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Showing posts from July, 2016

Race against time in drought-ravaged Southern Africa to ensure 23 million people receive farming support

With only a few weeks before land preparation begins for the next main cropping season, some 23 million people in Southern Africa urgently need support to produce enough food to feed themselves and thus avoid being dependent on humanitarian assistance until mid 2018, FAO said today. A FAO-prepared response plan aims to ensure that seeds, fertilizers, tools, and other inputs and services, including livestock support, are provided to small-holder farmers, agro-pastoralists and pastoralists to cope with the devastating impact of an El NiƱo-induced drought in the region. At least $109 million in funding is required to provide this urgently needed support. Farmers must be able to plant by October and failure to do so will result in another reduced harvest in March 2017, severely affecting food and nutrition security and livelihoods in the region, FAO warned. Worst drought in 35 years Two consecutive seasons of droughts, including the worst in 35 years that occurred this year, have partic…

Rice farming: No arrangment to deduct or mortgage salaries of civil servants - Ebonyi govt

ABAKALIKI-EBONYI state government yesterday debunked rumours making round that it has plans to deduct or mortgage the salaries of civil servants in the state to pursue its agricultural programme in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

It also stated that the policy was meant for interested farmers as the state government was working towards creating an alternative income for Civil servants and indeed every Ebonyian in the State.

State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Barr Uchenna Orji stated this in Abakaliki.

According to him, the state government had put modalities in place to engage 65000 farmers across the state as the scheme has attracted the attention of the apex bank which agreed to partner government by making certain facilities available to all interested farmers in the state.

"Nobody is deducting any money from their salary. Government have encouraged all those who are willing to participate to open a separate account from their business or salar…

EU ban: Agric engineer canvasses beans farmers' education on pesticides

An Agriculture Engineer, Dr John Olaoye, on Wednesday called for education of beans farmers on moderate application of pesticide and insecticide during cultivation for the preservation of the commodity. Olaoye made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, against the backdrop of the ban on the Nigeria’s beans to European Union (EU) countries. According to him, this is the only way to ensure reduction in the residual effects of the chemicals on beans to make it acceptable for export. ``The major problem why international community do not accept Nigerian beans exported to their countries is the use of synthetic materials during cultivation and preservation. ``Each of the materials has their active ingredients which, if high, make our beans not to be accepted internationally. ``The best way to check is to determine the minimum content using the Acceptable Dosage Level (ADL). ``Farmers do not just need to apply the chemicals they need to optimise the ADL. `…

FG to begin paddock development to end herdsmen/farmers clash

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, says the ministry will begin the paddock development (growing of special grasses for cattle) in August. Ogbeh, who made the disclosure at an interactive session with newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja, said that the ministry has started bringing the special seeds of grass (fodder seeds) into the country. Ogbeh explained that after some time, the country would become an exporter of the grass to earn foreign exchange. ``The Saudi Arabia is asking that if Nigeria can grow enough grass they will buy to feed their cows,`` he said. He assured that with the paddock development, the clash between farmers and herdsmen in the country would be put to an end. ``The clash between farmers and herdsmen has been getting worse by the years and by the grace of God I will bring it to an end,`` he said. He said that no farmer would allow his crops to be eaten by cattle. ``No farmer in the world would like to plant his crops and arrive to s…

BOA, Chinese coy to roll out $300m Agriculture Mechanisation Programme

The Bank of Agriculture (BOA), says it is partnering LOVOL of China, to execute a $300 million agricultural mechanisation programme in the country. Mr Auta Jamaka, Head, Corporate Planning Department of the Bank disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Kaduna. He said that the bank had in April signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with LOVOL, and a Nigerian company, AGROMECH, to implement the three-year programme beginning from next irrigation season.. He said that under the agreement, LOVOL International Heavy Industries Company Limited would supply various categories of tractors and farm equipment from China through AGROMECH in the first year. According to him, the company would subsequently set up tractor assembly plants with maintenance units at different locations across the country. ``The measure is aimed at quick impact and sustainability of the sector through comprehensive mechanisation programme for farmers at all levels.`` …

Sokoto State Govt. gets N4bn loan for farmers - Commissioner

Alhaji Nagwari Tambuwal, Sokoto State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, said the State Government had accessed N4billion loan for its medium and large-scale farmers. Nagwari who stated this at a ministerial briefing in Sokoto on Wednesday, added that the loan was accessed from Zenith Bank. He said the loan would specifically go to rural farmers to enable them to purchase basic farming inputs for the cultivation of crops for domestic consumption and export. He added that a committee had been constituted to ensure that only genuine farmers benefited from the loan. The commissioner stressed that the State Government was determined to provide state-of-the-art equipment to modernise farming in the state. He also said government was poised to encourage youths’ participation to promote all year round farming.

Funtua LG farmers get 17,776 bags of subsidised fertiliser

Katsina State Government had distributed 17,776 bags of subsidised fertiliser to farmers in 202 polling units of Funtua Local Government Area for 2016 farming session. Alhaji Rabi’u Idris, the Local Government Sales Committee Chairman, disclosed this on Wednesday in Maska village while inspecting the direct distribution of the fertiliser to benefiting farmers by local sales committee. Idris, who is the Special Adviser to Gov. Aminu Bello Masari on Legislative Matters, cautioned wards and polling units level committees against political favoritism and diversion of the commodity. According to him, the present financial condition in the country is making it difficult for all tiers of government to execute their respective electioneering promises. ``This fertiliser distribution is intended for all categories of farmers irrespective of political affiliations. “I want all those involved in this exercise to live up to the expectation and be transparent in their dealings. ``Each polling unit…

Agric entrepreneurs woo youth into food production

ABUJA-A group of young agric entrepreneurs have taken the initiative to woo youth across the country to engage in food production following the aged farmers in the sector were not meeting food demands of Nigerians. This was stated by the group during the unveiling of ‘Agricultural Role’ project in Abuja, where the Creative Director of the project, Miss Tamo Irueme, said the initiative was to couple agriculture and entertainment and make farming attractive to youth in the country. Irueme stressed that the youth cannot be left behind in the policy direction of the government in the agricultural sector, because there were a lot of prospects for them to be self employed and create wealth as they produce food for over 180 million Nigerians. Irueme: “The unveiling of ‘Mr and Miss Agriculture Project’ in Abuja, is to infuse agriculture into entertainment and make farming attractive to the youth. “The idea of diversifying the economy may remain a pipe dream unless the youth are keyed into finding…

Agric organisation urges govt. to train farmers on post harvest management

The Agro Impact Projects Empowerment Initiative, an agricultural organisation, has urged government at all levels to train farmers on post harvest management of agriculture produce to boost food sufficiency.
The organisation’s members led by Dr Eyiwumi Olayinka, wife of the Vice-Chancellor of University of Ibadan (UI), who made the appeal in Ibadan, implored government to adequately fund research institutes to develop technologies that would enable farmers to preserve excess produce.
``Farmers need to be trained, from time to time, to ensure that they deploy best practices; this will, in turn, help to regulate prices of produce and eradicate scarcity in some seasons,’’ she said.
She also emphasised the need to adequately equip agriculture quarantine departments in the country to enable them to function better.
``The tomato disease, which was imported into Nigeria, is an indication that our borders are porous.
``The quarantine units within agencies that control the things that come in and…

Kaduna State Govt. reviews strategy for fertiliser distribution

Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has ordered the review of the strategy for fertiliser distribution in the state, saying past arrangement was ‘a scam.’ The State Commissioner for Agriculture and Forestry, Dr Manzo Maigari, said the governor gave the directive on Tuesday in Kaduna and directed Ministry of Agriculture to take full control of the exercise. Maigari said that the State government looked into fertiliser distribution for the 2016 cropping season and discovered that the distribution, so far, was not satisfactory. The commissioner described the earlier distribution strategy as ``a scam.’’ ``Those entrusted with the distribution of the fertiliser have turned it into a business. ``The council was greatly dissatisfied with the result of the review on the distribution strategy,’’ he said. Maigari said the fertiliser distribution meant for local farmers often ended up in the hands of the wrong people, resulting in a hike in the cost when they eventually got to the farmers. He s…

Rice millers raise alarm over influx of foreign rice in Nigerian markets

ONITSHA - Local rice millers and other stakeholders in rice production in Nigeria have raised the alarm over the influx and flooding of foreign rice in the Nigerian markets again, describing such an ugly development as a sabotage to the efforts of local rice producers who are about to stabilize.

One of the millers, Chief Akai Egwuonwu whose rice mill, Stine Industries Limited, based at Amichi in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State and adjudged to be the current largest rice mill in the country, yesterday,  expressed disappointment that as local rice cultivators and millers had doubled their efforts to produce enough rice for local consumption and possibly for export in due course, it came as a surprise to them that foreign rice has filled up the market once again.

Egwuonwu, the Chief Executive Officer, CEO of the mill, recalled that they had made an earlier appeal to the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS to close the borders against rice smuggling and checkmate shipment of th…

FG to encourage production of selected crops for export - Minister

The Federal Government has disclosed that it would continue to encourage the production of some selected crops in the country for export. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, made the pledge at a North-West Business Summit and Exhibition in Kano. The summit was organised by the Daily Trust Newspapers in collaboration with the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC). The Minister, who was represented by the Managing Director, Bank of Agriculture, Prof. Danbala Danju, said the measure was in line with the government’s effort to diversify the economy for the nation`s sustainable development. ``We will prioritise for export markets, the production of the following crops and activities,`` he said. He listed the crops to include: cowpeas, cocoa, cashew, cassava, ginger, sesame, oil palm, yams, fruits and vegetables as well as beef and cotton. He said the ministry would also work with investors, farmers, processors and other stakeholders to deepen the …
Fish farmers are underutilising Nigeria’s dams -TADAN The Tilapia Aquaculture Developers Association of Nigeria (TADAN) said on Tuesday that dams in the country were underutilised by fish farmers, especially the tilapia farmers, because culturing the fish required space. TADAN’s National President, Mr Remi Ahmed, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that it was cheaper and healthier to culture tilapia fish in natural dams and lakes. Ahmed said that ponds built in urban areas are more expensive to run and aerate (to supply oxygen and expose to fresh air) because tilapia needs more oxygen than catfish. ``Fish generally needs lots of water, especially tilapia, which thrives very well in spacious water because it requires a lot of space. ``Where you can keep as many as 350 catfish per cubic meter, you cannot do that for tilapia because for that species of fish, the highest is about 200 per cubic meter. ``We have been talking about dams and artificial lakes, because the urban aqu…

Sen. Adamu urges synergy among tiers of Govt for effective implementation of agric policy

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu has called for synergy among all tiers of government for effective implementation of the new national agricultural policy - `Green Alternative’. Adamu, who gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday on the sideline of his 70th birthday celebration in Abuja, said all hands must be on desk to reposition agriculture in the country. Adamu said it appears that ‎there is a silent conflict among the various tiers of government relating to the position of agriculture. He said that the country has a constitution that placed agriculture on the concurrent list and because of ``which government responsible for what is not too clear.’’ Adamu said the Federal Government has most of the funds that are available for the development of the various sectors, and also has most of the competent manpower ‎to drive the economy. The lawmaker explained that the Federal and State Governments on the other ha…

Atiku supports 1,000 farmers with improved seedlings

Nigeria former Vice President , Atiku Abubakar,  donated 500 bags of 25Kgs improved maize seedlings to farmers in five communities affected by Boko Haram insurgency in Mubi North Local Government Area of Adamawa.
Atiku said that the gesture was to bring succour and assist the communities who are predominantly farmers to improve their agricultural production.
The vice president, who was represented by Alhaji Muhammadu Gambo, the National Vice Chairman, Adamawa Peace Initiative of the American University of Nigeria (APIAUN), said that the beneficiaries were selected after thorough screening.
``The beneficiaries are grassroots farmers affected by Boko Haram insurgency from Mubi North Local Government Area.
``The beneficiaries include 300 women farmers,” Gambo said.
He said that the gesture was a complementary palliative, assuring them of more assistance of farm inputs.
He listed Mayo-Bani, Mavu, Mavur, Kwa and Betso communities as the beneficiaries of the farm inputs.
The District Head of Mayo…

Association urges farmers to register for CBN anchor borrower programme

) Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) in Kano State on Tuesday advised farmers to register with the association to enable them benefit from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) anchor borrower programme. The Chairman of the association in the state, Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu, made the call while fielding questions from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano. Aliyu said the advice was necessary as the Federal Government was committed to ensuring success of the programme. ``Those who have not been able to register for the wet season farming, can do so for the dry season farming because the federal government is serious about the programme.” According to him, the programme is not restricted to wet season as farmers stood the chance of producing rice twice in a year. The chairman said the advice was necessary because of the processes involved before one could be registered for the programme. ``Farmers should not be discouraged with the processes as they are part of the prerequisites f…

Kebbi Govt. registers 5,000 farmers for soya beans production

The Kebbi Government, has registered no fewer than 5,000 farmers for commercial soya beans production. Alhaji Garba Dandiga, the Commissioner for Agriculture, who  made this disclosure in an interview said the pilot programme was aimed at encouraging farmers to embrace the cultivation of soya beans, stressing that the farmers would be assisted with incentives. The commissioner said that interested farmers would be provided with seedlings,insecticides,fertilizers and training by agricultural extension workers. Dadiga also disclosed that 5,000 farmers had been registered for the production of tomatoes in commercial quantity. He said that the state had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Lagos State Government on beef processing and establishment of rice processing mill. The commissioner said that the programme on commercial rice production under the Anchor Borrower Programme, had empowered 78, 000 farmers economically. NAN reports that the Federal and State Governments…

KTSG cautions fertiliser committees against political favouritism, diversion

Katsina State Government on Wednesday cautioned wards and polling units level committees on the sales of 2016 farm inputs against political favouritism and diversion of fertiliser. Alhaji Ibrahim Bako, the Chairman, Fertiliser Sales Committee in Malumfashi Local Government, gave the warning at an interactive session with the committee members in the area. The chairman stressed that the aim of the state government in assisting farmers at the grassroots should not be frustrated. Bako, the Chairman Katsina State Independent Electoral Commission (KATSIEC), noted that the exercise was intended for all categories of farmers irrespective of political affiliations. He urged members to live up to the expectation by being transparent in their dealings. He said that each polling unit was allocated 88 bags of fertiliser to be sold at subsidised rates of N2, 700 for Urea and N2, 500 for NPK as launched by Gov. Aminu Bello Masari. According to him, the committee members comprised politicians, tra…

Farmers in Hadejia, Jigawa, groan over hike in fertiliser prices

Some farmers in Hadejia, Jigawa, have expressed concern over the hike in prices of fertiliser amid growing demand for the farm inputs, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. Malam Yusuf Abdullahi, a farmer, decried the high cost of fertiliser at the open market occasioned by the increasing demand for the commodity. Abdullahi, who noted that the high cost of fertiliser had exposed farmers to difficulties, opined that the scarcity of the farm input could affect farmers` productivity. ``The high cost of fertiliser is worrisome and the commodity is beyond the reach of small-holder farmers. ``The trend is discouraging and it may affect food production, `` he said. Abdullahi stated that he cultivated five acres of rice plantation in 2015, adding that he would need about 25 bags of fertiliser to nurture the crops. NAN checks showed that a bag of fertiliser was sold between N6, 800 and N8, 000 as against N3, 500 it sold in the 2015 cropping season. Another farmer, Muhammad Mukhtari, calle…

Gombe to commence training of agric extension workers

Gov. Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State has announced plans to commence the training of agriculture extension workers in the state. Speaking in Gombe on Wednesday while inaugurating the sale of fertilisers for the 2016 farming season, Dankwambo said that arrangements had been concluded for the fencing and upgrading of facilities in the three MDGs farm training centres at Kupto, Wajari and Ladongor villages. ``The extension workers will assist farmers with new agricultural innovations to improve their yield,’’ the governor said. Also speaking, Malam Adamu Barmani, a former director in ministry of agriculture, who spoke on behalf of the farmers, commended the governor for providing farmers with fertilisers in spite of the hardship in the country. ``The fertiliser distribution is timely; we really appreciate the effort of Gov. Dankwambo,’’ he said. The Programme Manager of the Gombe State Agricultural Development Programme, Mr Ishaya Ngale, had said earlier that extension services workers…

Stakeholders decry multiple taxation, exploitation of farmers by middlemen

Stakeholders in the agriculture sector have decried the multiple tax regime meted on farmers by the government at various levels in the country. The farmers and stakeholders spoke at a validation meeting organised by the Nigeria Association of Women in Agriculture (NAWIA) on Wednesday in Jos. The meeting was held in collaboration with the Civil Society Legislative and Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), and the Association of Small Scale Agro-Producers in Nigeria (ASSAPIN), and supported by Trust Africa. It has the theme: ''Validation/Sensitisation meeting on Strengthening Advocacy for Increased State Budgetary Allocation, Investment and Policy Formulation in Benue, Plateau and Nasarawa States.'' Ms Fatima Sani, an official of ASSAPIN, while contributing, alleged that farmers suffer from multiple taxation, a development she said posed a lot of challenge to farming business in the country. She explained that this had contributed to discouraging farming activities in the country…

Gov. Fayose offers 100,000 hectares of land to agric investors

Gov. Ayo Fayose has approved the donation of 100,000 hectares of land to investors, who are willing to embark on farming to improve agricultural production in Ekiti. The state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr Kehinde Odebunmi, stated this on Wednesday while addressing participants at the ongoing 2016 Agric. Summit, holding in Ado Ekiti. The commissioner said the government was ready to offer incentives to individuals and corporate bodies willing to invest in farming and other farm-based commercial activities in any part of the state. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the governor had allocated another 10,000 hectares of land to members of the state chapter of Cassava Growers Association of Nigeria for ethanol production. Odebunmi explained that the incentives were to create agribusiness and investment-friendly environment, capable of revolutionising agriculture as a big-time revenue earner in the state. He enjoined the people of the state to embrace farmin…

FG approves ``Green Alternative'' policy towards diversified economy

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the implementation of the ``Green Alternative’’, a road map towards diversifying Nigeria’s economy. The Minister of Agriculture, Mr Audu Ogbeh, made this known on Wednesday in Abuja while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the Council’s meeting, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari. Ogbeh stated that the policy objective of the document, which has a four-year implementation period (2016 to 2020), is to make agriculture the biggest alternative to oil and gas business in the bid to diversify the economy. ``We have just concluded a (Federal Executive) Council meeting in which two issues were discussed. ``One is the roadmap for agricultural operations in the next three years which we presented to council, today. ``It outlines our policy and our objectives in trying to see agriculture as the next and biggest alternative in our drive to diversify the economy of this country. ``The document is titled, ``The Green…