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Showing posts from May, 2016

Stakeholders give reasons for tomato scarcity, proffer solutions

The scarcity of tomatoes and hike in its price nationwide had been of great concern to many Nigerians this year.
The perishable vegetable, majorly cultivated during dry season, had its price astronomically up due to many factors and in many states, unavailable.
Consequently, stakeholders gave reasons for the scarcity and the hike in price, as they made suggestions on how to tackle the dearth of the nutrient-packed food item, while government put more efforts to tackle the problem.
The Kebbi chapter of All Farmers Association (AFAN) attributed the scarcity to the lack of improved variety of seedlings to grow the commodity in commercial quantity.
The Secretary of the Association, Alhaji Muhammad Idris, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Birnin Kebbi that farmers in the state produced large quantity of tomatoes but lacked modern methods of its cultivation.
He said ``there are modern varieties of tomato seedlings which, if made available to farmers, it will improve yield.
``The se…

Coordinator encourages farmers to plant tomatoes, says can be grown under controlled weather

The tomato crisis in the country had been receiving attention as experts and farmers proffer solution on how best to produce the crop and how to preseve it.
Mr Gideon Dandam, the Fadama III Coordinator in Plateau, who attributed the present scarcity of the food item and its price hike to low cultivation of the crop by farmers, stressed the need to boost its production.
Dandam told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos that the demand for the crop was very high, while supply remained low, thereby causing scarcity and hike in price.
According to him, most farmers in the state prefer to cultivate maize, millet, potatoes, yams and other crops instead of perishable crops like tomatoes during the rainy season.
``One major cause of scarcity of tomato during rainy season is because there is always high level of water beneath the earth which adversely affects the production of the crop.
``But the major cause of this year's astronomical and unprecedented scarcity is because only few farm…

Agro firm to introduce commodity control market

The Women in Agriculture Advancement Sustainability in Africa (WAASA) on Tuesday said it was set to introduce a weekly WAASA Control Market across the country. Ms Chi Tola, the Founder of WAASA, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the market would open weekly for farmers to exhibit commodities to be sold at controlled prices. Tola said that the WAASA Control Market was to also promote the initiative of the organisation, to help rural women farmers get their produce to factories, processors and the end users. ``We are trying to introduce WASSA Control Market where maybe once a week, we will bring farm produce from different parts of the country to sell at controlled prices. ``Let us say for instance, women farmers in Lagos will bring their produce to Berger Market every Friday to sell at a controlled price. ``That way, post-harvest losses would be eradicated, and women farmers would have a ready market to sell their products,’’ Tola said. She said that this step would …

Fertiliser: AFAN urges FG to make farming attractive before removing subsidy

The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has urged the Federal Government to make farming attractive to farmers before removing subsidy on fertilisers. Mr Remi Adekoye, the Chairman of AFAN in Ekiti East Local Government Area of Ekiti State, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Omuo-Ekiti on Tuesday. Adekoye explained that the government should make farming attractive through adequate provision of farm inputs and other incentives to farmers. According to him, the government needs to resolve all bottlenecks hindering easy access to soft loan, hiring of tractors and resuscitation of irrigation farming. “Government should provide necessary support to farmers and make farming attractive by addressing various challenges facing farmers. ``Purchasing fertilisers at free prices without subsidy will not be difficult when other challenges facing farmers must have been tackled. ``Presently, government should do everything to encourage Nigerians, especia…

Expert counsels farmers on improved harvesting technique to boost income

An Agriculture Extension Officer, Mr Afeez Adebayo, has advised farmers to always imbibe improved mechanical harvesting technique to reduce post-harvest losses.
Adebayo gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Omu-Aran, Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara.
He said that the advice was informed by the need for farmers to avail themselves of new research innovations in harvesting technique to enhance their income.
Adebayo said that in spite of continuous research and development aimed at making farming less stressful, most local farmers are still presently engrossed in primitive methods on their farms.
He attributed the recent low income earnings being experienced by farmers to the high losses incurred on farm products occasioned by farmers’ adoption of obsolete harvesting methods.
``Most farmers, especially in remote towns and villages, are not aware or yet to embrace the new available mechanical harvesting technique and innovations on th…

FG earmarks N600m to boost Irrigation, farming in Katsina

The Federal Government has earmarked about N600 million in 2016 budget to boost water supply and irrigation farming at Zobe Dam in Katsina State.
Kurfi, a member of House of Representatives from Dutsin-ma/Kurfi Federal Consistency, stated this during an interview with newsmen to mark the All Progressives Congress' (APC) one year in office in Katsina.
Kurfi said contract for the supply of water from the Zobe Dam to communities of Dutsin – ma and Kurfi would soon be awarded.
The lawmaker said about N300 million out of the amount had been set aside for irrigation at the dam to boost food production.
Kurfi said that the dam would be used for irrigation farming to generate income for unemployed youth from his constituency.
He said the Federal Government would also established two power sub-stations in Dutsin-ma and Kurfi Local Government Areas to boost electricity supply to the two areas.
Kurfi promised to continue to attract Federal Projects to his constituency to improve the living …

Miyetti association bans night grazing in Jigawa

Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has urged nomads to desist from grazing their livestock at night in order to avoid farm land encroachment as farmers begin planting.
The MACBAN's Secretary in the state, Alhaji Adamu Birniwa, gave the advice on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Dutse.
Birniwa said that the warning has become necessary in view of the current security challenges facing the country.
He added that it had become necessary to warn the nomads against grazing at night because they had been accused of committing all sorts of crime during the night.
The scribe also urged parents to desist from sending their under-aged children out to graze at night.
He stated that grazing at night can make young nomads turn wild and susceptible to all sorts of vices in the society.
According to him, under-aged children could commit any kind of crime due to ignorance of the law of the land.
Birniwa, therefore, urged the parents to …

Don wants establishment of farm settlements to encourage youths` participation in farming

A don, Dr Ebun Iretiola, has urged all tiers of government to establish farm settlements with basic social amenities to attract energetic and intelligent youths to farming.
Iretiola, a Senior Lecturer, Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Sociology, Fountain University, Osogbo, made the call in Osogbo on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He said research works on farming activities had revealed that many youths, who supposed to embrace agriculture, were discouraged by the social conditions in the rural areas where farms were located.
The senior lecturer further advocated for more credit facilities in form of soft loans to farmers to encourage mechanised agriculture in the country.
Iretiola also appealed to all tiers of government to review their policies on agriculture to increase food production and secure the nation`s future.
He stated that policy review on agriculture became imperative for the purpose of making the sector more capital-driven…

VC’s wife inaugurates agric. impact project to create jobs

Dr Eyiwumi Olayinka, wife of the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, has inaugurated an agriculture project titled ‘Ag Impact’ to create jobs for women and youths.
Olayinka, who is also the President, University of Ibadan Women’s Society, made this known on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan.
She said the project’s vision was to eradicate poverty by empowering women and youths through sustainable agricultural projects.
Olayinka emphasised that women would be introduced to simple cutting edge technologies by working with experts with relevant skills nationally and internationally.
``We hope to explore value addition chain by keying into best practices that have been proven to have the capacity to eradicate crop glut in the production and processing of agricultural crops.
``We hope to apply simple technologies that bring improvement in economic activities of women farmers and youths, `` she said.
The vice-chancellor`s wife said to achieve the go…

Africa gets first hybrid rice

A public-private partnership project, the Hybrid Rice: Breeding by Design Project, has developed the first ever indigenous hybrid rice in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA). With the new hybrid rice, Africa can boast of having  its own rice hybrids. The varieties which have been developed using the 2-line rice hybrid technology have the potential to produce 7 tonnes per hectare. Rice farmers in Africa are set to increase their productivity with the new hybrid varieties that are capable of yielding more tonnes per hectare. Beside Nigeria, Kenya will be among the first countries to benefit from this pioneering breakthrough in rice breeding in SSA as early as next year considering that two hybrids are already undergoing national performance trials. Farmers in Tanzania are likely to get access to the hybrids in 2018. According to Dr Kayode Sanni, the Project Manager, the project is further evaluating the performance of 127 rice hybrids for advancement to national performance trials. Hybrid rice seeds cu…

Olubadan, farmer advise Yoruba to return to agriculture

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The Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji and a banker-turned farmer, Mr Babatunde Ogunyemi, had called on Yoruba sons and daughters to return to agriculture to stave the lingering economic downturn. They gave the advice at the ``Lunch with Olubadan’’ held at the Conference Hall of Kakanfo Inn, Ibadan, capital of Oyo State. Adetunji said that the Western region had in the past blossomed with agriculture as its major source of economy. It was also a great source of livelihood bequeathed unto them by their forefathers, the traditional ruler said. The monarch said that several past leaders of the region had also achieved tremendously by embracing agriculture with a desire to transform the region. He stressed the need for the Yoruba people to collectively return to their farmlands, which he said was more profitable in the face of economic crisis. ``We must collectively ensure that the region does not go backward. We are known for playing the pacesetting role in all good areas. We have a…

FADAMA bank targets women, youths for empowerment - Coordinator

The Fadama lll Project Coordinator in Plateau, Mr Gideon Dandam, says that the main target of the Fadama Farmers Micro Finance Bank is to empower women and youths in the society.
Dandam made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos on Monday.
According to him, the bank aims to assist the poorest of the poor in the society.
NAN reports that Fadama Bank, which commenced operations in December 2015, is the first of its kind to be established in Nigeria and second to Kenya in Africa.
According to the Coordinator, the bank already has over 8,000 depositors and has disbursed over N23 million as loan to farmers and petty traders at an interest rate of 3.5 per cent.
``This bank was established using over N60 million saved by our farmers because we encourage them to imbibe the culture of saving.
``Our main target is to improve the economic fortunes of the poor in our society, especially women and youths.
``We are particularly targeting women and youths because we …

Emir of Gwandu calls for sustained investment in agriculture to diversify economy

The Emir of Gwandu in Kebbi, Alhaji Muhammad Bashar, has called for sustained investment in agriculture to diversify the nation's economy. The emir said this on Friday at a workshop organised by the Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero on the control of diseases affecting Cassava. The workshop with the theme, “Symptoms identification and control of Cassava mosaic and brown streak disease," was jointly organised with Mikochemi Agriculture Resource Institute in Tanzania. Bashar, who was represented by the Wazirin Gwandu, Alhaji Abdullahi Umar, said agriculture offers viable alternative to oil, which Nigeria heavily depends on. The emir stressed that apart from ensuring food security, agriculture has huge potentials of significantly reducing unemployment and restiveness in the country. He therefore said that all levels of government must create the needed atmosphere to encourage massive investment in the sector, for the rapid economic growth and development o…

FG to develop 500,000 hectares of irrigable land - Minister

The Federal Government on Friday said it would develop 500,000 hectares of irrigable land as part of renewed effort to boost food production in the country.
The Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Sulaiman Adamu disclosed this at the Special Town Hall Meeting held on Friday in Kano.
NAN reports that the meeting was organised by the Federal Government as part of activities to celebrate the one year anniversary of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said that the Federal Government found it necessary to give priority attention to agricultural sector in order to provide jobs to the teeming
“We have five River Basins in the country, so we plan to use the irrigation sites to boost food production in the state and the country,“ he said.
He said that the Federal Government would partner with investors with a view to achieving the desired result.
He said that over 50 millions Nigerians lacked potable water and assured that the Federal Government was doing everything possible to change the ugly trend b…

Tomato disease: experts proffer solutions to Tuta Absoluta

Agricultural experts at the University of Ibadan on Sunday proffered solutions to the recent outbreak of Tomato disease, Tuta Absoluta, saying importing tomato seeds was not the best option. Dr Morufat Balogun, a Geneticist, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan that importing seeds to cushion the problem would further further drain the nation's foreign exchange. She said the Federal Government should direct Plant Breeders/Entomologists to develop new tomato varieties that could adapt to the Nigerian environment. ``Tomato is a short duration crop that breeds fast; when an insect smells something in the plant that puts it away, it can’t feed on it. ``If the gene from such hormones is put in tomato, the pest will not feed on it. That will be a lasting solution. ``A cushioning solution will be when farmers grow their tomato in an insect screen environment, the insects can’t attack it. ``Tomato can be produced anytime of the year. So, government should build screen houses f…

Tomato disease outbreak: Institute appeals for research funding

The National Horticultural Research Institute, Ibadan, has appealed for funding to carry out research and create awareness on the tuta absoluta pest on tomatoes. The Institute’s Head of Vegetable Programme, Dr Olagorite Adetula, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Friday that there was an urgent need to tackle the problem to save the economy. Adetula said the institute needed money to do surveillance survey of the pest/damage, ascertain the impact of the damage and proffer solution for eradicating the pest. She appealed to the Federal Government to help the institute get pheromones to lure and trap the pests and distribute to farmers. ``Spraying insecticides is not the best, the pest has high production rate, some of them can escape while spraying it and they will be resistant to the insecticide thereby causing us more cost. ``The pheromones can be used for six to eight weeks before changing it, it is very effective, the pest has short life cycle, within 40 days it is …

Plateau farmers to produce 5,975 metric tonnes of tomatoes - Fadama III

The Fadama lll project in Plateau says arrangement has been concluded for farmers in the state to make available 5,975 metric tonnes of tomatoes for the rainy season.
Coordinator of the project in the state, Mr Gideon Dandam, made this known to with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos on Sunday.
According to him, the project through its Additional Funding (AF) had accessed N200 million from the World Bank for the production of the crop in the rainy season.
Dandam said that the funds would be disbursed to the 1,000 selected farmers as grant in order to massively produce the crop so as to avert scarcity during wet season.
He said over 239 hectares of land had been selected and made available in seven local government areas of the state for the production of the crop.
``The World Bank through Fadama III AF has approved N200 million for us on Plateau for the production of tomato crop during this rainy season.
``We have already identified 1,000 farmers that will be empowered with skills an…

Carlo Petrini named FAO Special Ambassador Zero Hunger for Europe

Slow Food's Carlo Petrini named FAO Special Ambassador Zero Hunger for EuropeRole includes awareness raising on improving agriculture; need for sustainable food supply chains 26 May 2016, Rome - Carlo Petrini, President of Slow Food, an organization working to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions and to ensure everyone has access to good, clean and fair food, has been named FAO Special Ambassador Zero Hunger for Europe, the Organization announced today. FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva praised Petrini's contribution to increasing public awareness on the need to improve agriculture in Europe and ensure a sustainable food supply chain. "These include numerous activities drawing attention to the necessity to reintroduce local crops that smallholders and subsistence farmers can produce for their own consumption and sell on the markets as a means to achieve food security," Graziano da Silva said. Petrini's nomination and his involveme…