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AGRICBUSINESS EXPERT CALLS FOR DOCUMENTATION OF FARMERS

AGRICBUSINESS EXPERT CALLS FOR DOCUMENTATION OF FARMERS BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE BENIN. - AGRICBUSINESS expert, Mr. Peter Igbinosun has called on government at all levels to formulate policies geared towards documentation of farmers to make agriculture attractive. He also said that incentives such as the provisions of land, seedlings, fertilizers, funds among others should be given to the real farmers to energize their passion for agriculture. Igbinosun who is the immediate past Grower Manager, Rubber Estate Nigeria Limited , stressed the need for the nation to advance from peasant to commercial farming. Speaking during the official inauguration of his private Agro-service firm, P-MAN Integrated Service Nig. Limited (PMIS)) in Benin City, yestetday, Igbinosun urged government to equip farmers with modern technology in order to drive the needed change in the agricultural sector. Besides, he said funding of research institute was paramount in the agribusiness revolution. H…

Food transporters say food prices ‘ll remain high due to bad roads

Food transporters say food prices ‘ll remain high due to bad roads …. appeal to government to end multiple taxation By Gabriel Ewepu ABUJA- FOOD transporters under the auspices of Amalgamated Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers Association of Nigeria, AFCDAN, yesterday, said food prices will remain high due to bad roads across the country. This was stated by the National President, AFCDAN, Alhaji Muhammed Tahir, who said the bad roads across the country have compounded their problems, as they have lost lives and goods amounting to N250 million every week, which over 100 trucks and trailers involve in accidents and sometime breakdown. He said: “We the Amalgamated Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers Association of Nigeria, AFCDAN, are frustrated due to the deplorable state of federal roads across the country, which has caused us delay in transporting food items to the market, and food prices will remain high in the market. “The Jebba Bridge has been damaged due to lack of maintenance and rehabilitat…

Agriculture is the way to become wealthy but it can’t happen the way our parents practiced, IITA says

Developing creative messages/methods that would attract young people to agriculture could help Africa to attract youth to agriculture and end the rising unemployment in the continent, says the Deputy Director General Partnership for Delivery, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr Kenton Dashiell today./
In a message to journalists to mark the 2017 Media Day— part of activities to mark the 50th anniversary of IITA on 24 July 2017, Dr Dashiell said addressing the food insecurity question in Africa required collective efforts from the different institutions operating in Africa, stressing that “IITA cannot succeed in isolation.”
He underpinned the importance of creativity in packaging and dissemination of information on agricultural innovation in a way and manner that would attract youth into agriculture, and clear illusions about the sector.
Dashiell explained that for IITA, “our message is this—agriculture is the way to become wealthy. But this cannot happen if it …

IFAD injects N4bn into Ebonyi economy in 2016

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) said it injected N4 billion into the economy of Ebonyi in 2016 to support farmers.
Mr Sunday Ituma, the State Programme Coordinator, disclosed this on Saturday in Abakaliki while speaking on the recent distribution of farm inputs to farmers by the programme.
“IFAD’s intervention added over 2,500 metric tonnes of rice paddy to the rice production output of the state and supported 6, 245 farmers during the same period.
“We also piloted dry season farming in 2016 with the establishment of 32 hectare demonstration farms and accompanying impressive yields averaging 4.2 tonnes per hectare,” he said.
Ituma said that IFAD’s target was to support 10,000 farmers in 2017 as it has presently verified and approved 455 business plans with 7,478 farmers expected to cultivate 8,252 hectares.
“The cost of matching fund expected for this intervention is over N1 billion for which IFAD will contribute 50 per cent or over N500 million while the …

Nigerian Quarantine Service raises hope on banned agric produce

The Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service has expressed optimism that the European Union (EU) will remove the ban on exporting some Nigerian produce to European countries soon.
Dr. Vincent Isegbe, the Coordinating-Director of the service, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said the service and other relevant government agencies were working to ensure the removal of the three-year old ban in the first quarter of 2018.
He recalled that the presidency set up an inter-ministerial committee on zero-reject of the country’s agricultural produce to the international markets in 2016.
The committee, according to him, is to look into issues that led to the suspension at the first instance and what caused the extension of the ban as well as to find solution to the problem.
“The committee, comprising the service, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Federal Ministry of Health, among others, has made progress so far,’’ he observed.
“Excess ag…

Yam export: FG to train farmers on best agronomy practices

The Technical Committee on Nigeria Yam Export Programme, says it will train farmers on best agronomic practices for yam farming to avoid rejection of the produce at the international markets.
Prof. Simon Irtwange, the Chairman of the committee, disclosed this plan in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.
The chairman said that poor agronomic practices during farming contributed to the rejection of the country’s produce at the international market, hence the need for the training.
NAN recalls that the Federal Government had announced that the country would commence exportation of about 74 tonnes of yam to Europe and United States of America (USA) by June 29.
Irtwange said the committee was partnering with the Yam Farmers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria to carry out the training.
He noted that the training would help sensitise farmers on the use of pesticides as well as other requirements for the produce.
According to him, we are also …

NAQS urges FG to grant its return to airports to curb import of unsafe agric produce

The Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) has appealed to the Federal Government to allow it return to the country’s airports so as to curb the importation of unwholesome agricultural products.
Dr Vincent Isegbe, Coordinating Director of NAQS, told newsmen in Abuja on Monday that the withdrawal of NAQS officers from airports would enable unscrupulous persons to import unsafe products that could engender the spread of diseases and pests.
He said the certification of agricultural products would save for the country billions of naira which would have been used for disease-control measures. Recall that the Federal Government on May 18 ordered that NAQS, NDLEA and Nigerian Immigration Services, among others, should cease to function at the airports.
The government said that the aim of the new policy was to quicken the ease of doing business and that all necessary checks should be done in designated areas.
Isegbe said that barely 12 hours after dislodging NAQS from the airpor…

World needs to pre-empt devastating drought impacts through better preparedness

Seminar at FAO seeks to rekindle international cooperation, wider use of existing tools and approaches 19 June 2017, Rome - Investing in preparedness and building the resilience of farmers is fundamental to facing situations of extreme drought, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said today.
"Saving livelihoods means saving lives - this is what building resilience is all about," he said in a speech at the start of an international seminar on drought organized by Iran, the Netherlands, and FAO and held at the UN agency's Rome headquarters.
Recalling the 2011 drought in Somalia that saw over 250,000 people perish from hunger, Graziano da Silva said: "People die because they are not prepared to face the impacts of the drought - because their livelihoods are not resilient enough."
"For years, the focus has been responding to droughts when they happen, rushing to provide emergency assistance and to keep people alive," Graziano da Silva said…

Ogun flags off 20,000 tonnes fertilizer sales to boost farming

ABEOKUTA-The Ogun State Government under the aegis of the Federal Government Presidential Fertilizer Initiatives, has flagged off the sales of 20,000 tonnes of fertilizers at a subsidized prize of N5,500 to farmers.
The NPK 20-10-10 Golden fertilizer is said to be available across the state's warehouses in Asero, Ilaro, Ikene and Ijebu-Ode where it is sold to farmers at the subsidized prize.
Speaking at one of the warehouses in Asero, the Commissioner for Agriculture in Ogun State, Adepeju Adebajo, lauded the efforts of the state government toward supporting agricultural development in the state.
She noted that the state is first in South West to implement the fertilizer initiative sales, adding that the Governor is working towards protecting the interest of small scale and average farmers to get a profitable harvest.
"Ogun state has signed up to receiving 20,000 tonnes of fertilizers and we are here to launch the sales. This was the vision of the presidency under t…

Sokoto establishes poultry agency

Sokoto - Sokoto State Government has established an agency for poultry development to aimed at attracting about two million people that would tap from the sector.
Malam Imam Imam, media aide to Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, in a statement explained that the agency would work with the Federal ministry of Agriculture to achieve the desired results.
"The new agency will work closely with all stakeholders, notably the Department of Livestock Development of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, to introduce policy guidelines that will lead to the development of the sector for the benefit of the citizens. It will also equip citizens with needed technical expertise that will assist them in efforts to maximally benefit from the sector.
“Our target is to be the leading state in poultry production in the country, and to serve neighbouring countries in the near future,” the statement read.
It added that about two million people would be engaged in the sector in the next few years in orde…

RUFIN has empowered women economically, women groups say

Some women groups, which benefitted from the Rural Finance Institution Programme (RUFIN), said that the programme had particularly empowered women economically. The beneficiary groups from Agbowa-Ikosi, Ejirin and Mutaku communities in Epe Local Government Area of Lagos State commended RUFIN for improving the lot of women and households in the neighbourhood. Representatives of the women groups told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Agbowa-Ikosi on Tuesday that the programme had made women to become more relevant in their various households. Mrs Bridget Okute, President, God’s Time Cooperative Society, said that since the women now had a stable source of income, their husbands had been showing more respect for them. She said that members of her group were now able to feed their families and take care of other domestic tasks, adding that they also garnered more respect from their husbands. “Our husbands do not chastise us again because we now assist them financially; unlike before when w…

Katsina AFAN wants FG to empower large scale farmers

The Katsina State chapter of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has called on the Federal Government to identify and empower large scale farmers grow food and cash crops for local consumption and export.
The state AFAN Chairman, Alhaji Yau Gojo-Gojo, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at his Tafkin Bauna farm located in Mai’adua Local Government on Tuesday.
He also advised the government to establish demonstration farms to support local farmers with new farming techniques and improved seeds.
Gojo-Gojo said the government should serve as uptakers for all produce so as to ensure the success of the national food security programme.
According to him, the policy if implemented will promote agriculture, encourage consumption of locally produced food and make farmers more committed to recording higher yield.
He said for the programme to succeed, the federal government needed to have a comprehensive list of genuine farmers to partake in the food…

FG, IFAD support Niger farmers with N125m inputs

The Federal Government and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) have said they are supporting farmers in Niger with N125 million worth of farm inputs. Dr Mathew Ahmed, the Programme Coordinator in Niger, made this known in Kontagora at the inauguration of distribution of inputs for this year’s wet season farming in the state. “We are assisting our farmers with N125 million, being 50 per cent of the total cost of the inputs, as the farmers are to pay a balance of N125 million to redeem their inputs,’’ he said. Ahmed said that there were 255 VCDP farmers’ organisations in the state with 5, 238 members.
He said that the farmers comprising 4, 212 males, and 1,026 females would cultivate rice and cassava crops on 4, 991 hectares of land. According to him, the expected yield of rice from the farmers will be 20, 000 metric tonnes for the season. He said that redemption of the inputs was one month, beginning from June 12 to July12. …

Catfish reproduction process is not chemically induced – Association

The Catfish and Allied Farmers Association of Nigeria (CAFAN) on Tuesday refuted the allegation that the reproduction process of the catfish breed was chemically induced.
The President of the associations, Mr Rotimi Oloye, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the reproduction process was naturally done.
Oloye explained that the female reproductive system took longer time to mature, making it to require stress-free process of taking in the male pituitary.
The pituitary is found just below the skull, at the base of the brain in humans and as well as fish.
The association president said “when it is reproduction time, the female is examined to know if the eggs are mature for reproduction.
“If the female is okay, it is taken to a place specially prepared for the injection process. This injection process can be prepared by the farmer.
“The process involves taking the pituitary from the male, getting it finely grinded and preserved in mentholated spirit.
“Then, at the appropr…

Finance minister lauds IITA, AfDB for agric programmes

Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun has commended International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) for its Agripreneurs programme and African Development Bank (AfDB) for the ENABLE Youth (Empowering Novel Agribusiness-Led Employment) programme. A statement issued by IITA Head of Communication, Mrs Katherine Lopez, in Ibadan on Tuesday said that that minister made the commendation when she visited IITA. The minister, during the visit, had a meeting with 100 Agripreneurs graduates of different disciplines, some of whom spoke on their new perception of agriculture and agribusiness. The youths said that the programme had empowered them to set up businesses in different locations across the country. Adeosun said that her team was in IITA to see what IITA was doing in its efforts to boost youth participation in agriculture. “We are in IITA to assess the ENABLE Youth programme, which AFDB is executing in partnership with IITA. “From what I have seen today, I am extremely impressed and i…

Gov. Okowa urges rice farmers to increase their productivity

Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has urged rice farmers in the state to increase their productivity so as to meet the growing demand of the citizens for rice. The governor made the call on Thursday in Akwukwu-Igbo during a town hall meeting with people of Oshimili North Local Government Area (LGA) of the state. He encouraged the farmers to put in more effort to boost their production, taking into cognizance the Federal Government’s plans to fully enforce its ban on rice importation. Okowa particularly commended the people of Illah for their commitment toward rice production and urged them to take the business seriously. “There are indications that the Federal Government will totally ban the importation of rice; therefore, our rice farmers should boost their production to meet with the needs of the people and benefit from likely incentives. “We are taking the growing of rice very serious because the Federal Government may ban the importation of rice completely and rice farmers will benef…

Food Security: Sen. Adamu urges Nigerians to embrace agriculture

Sen. Abdullahi Adamu (APC-Nasarawa West) has urged Nigerians to embrace agriculture in order to achieve national food security. Adamu, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture, made the call on Thursday in an interview with newsmen in Keffi, Nasarawa State. He noted that agriculture would also help fight poverty, unemployment, and boost the revenue base and socio-economic development of the country. Adamu, who cited developed countries like China and Japan using their population to enhance agriculture for exports, urged Nigerians to emulate them through taking advantage of the abundant fertile land to boost agriculture. “No society can live comfortably without agriculture; agriculture is the major source of livelihood of every family and nation, and its importance cannot be overemphasised to the development of any society,’’ he said. He added that agriculture would not only reduce overdependence on oil, but also fight youth restiveness and other social vices. “There is t…

FG trains 2000 local dairy farmers

FG trains 2000 local dairy farmerspromises to continue partnership with Friesland Campina ABUJA- THE Federal Government yesterday disclosed that 2000 local dairy farmers have been trained on to boost milk production in the country. This was stated by the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Sen Heineken Lokpobiri, during the visit by delegation from Friesland Campina WAMCO, Nigeria Plc, led by the Managing Director, Ben Langat in his office. Lokpobiri who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Bukar Hassan, told the delegation that dairy products form a major part of the ongoing school feeding programme by the Federal Government to enhance pupils' brain performance. He said: “We appreciate the visit by delegation from Friesland Campina WAMCO, Nigeria Plc to the Ministry. Peak milk in Nigeria is a household name and every home takes it. “The Ministry would continue to partner with Friesland Campina WAMCO, Nigeria and other relevant …

Agric stakeholders call for restructuring of Bank of Agriculture

Stakeholders in the agricultural sector have called on the Federal Government to restructure the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) so as to reposition it to respond effectively to emerging challenges.
They made the call on Tuesday in Lagos in separate interviews with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) during the Project Completion Review (PCR) of the Rural Finance Institution Building Programme (RUFIN).
Dr Steve Ogidan, RUFIN Consultant and PCR Team Leader, said that the bank’s restructuring had become imperative to enable it to compete favorably with other lending institutions.
“The exercise is very urgent because the bank is not fitting into any of the financial institutions’ operations; BOA lacks the capacity to operate freely like other banks.
“For it to be farmers-friendly, the bank must operate to the full capacity; it must have the ability to respond favorably to the challenges of the 21st Century,’’ he said, Ogidan stressed that for the bank to be effective, it must be independent, while d…

Smuggling of agricultural products is sabotage – Saraki

The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, has described the high rate of smuggling of agricultural products into the country as “economic sabotage.”
A statement by his Special Assistant on Print Media, Mr Chuks Okocha, on Tuesday in Abuja, said that Saraki said this when he received representatives of Poultry Farmers’ Association of Nigeria who visited him.
“We all know that about 40 per cent to 50 per cent of poultry products are still being smuggled into the country and this is bad.
“Something needs to be done about it. Nigeria Customs must sit up because it is an economic sabotage.
“ It is now that we must stop this smuggling particularly on agricultural products like rice and chicken.
“We will take this up aggressively. Without that, we are only wasting our time. Nothing we are going to do at this level in support of agriculture if products are still going to be smuggled in.
“Chicken is still being smuggled in and rice as well. This is something we must fight as a nation.
“T…

farmers want national policy on wheat production

Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to put in place a national policy on wheat to encourage wheat farmers and boost production. The National President of the association, Alhaji Salim Muhammad, made the call in Kano on Tuesday, while speaking to newsmen on the current developments in wheat production in the country. He said that the policy would guide decision makers in establishing conscious plans and actions that would guarantee improved wheat production in the country. Muhammad, who is also a member of the Presidential Task Force on Wheat, nonetheless, expressed regret over the continuous neglect of wheat farming by various governments. He said that wheat farmers across the country had not enjoyed government support since the 2017 farming season, adding that the development had forced many wheat farmers out of business. He said that the proposed policy should encompass wheat processing, packaging and marketing. Also speaking, Alhaji Far…

Farmers association to cultivate 600 hectares of soya beans in Taraba

The Nigerian Commercial Farmers Association (NCFA) has secured 600 hectares of land in Wukari, Taraba, for soya beans cultivation.
The National President of the association, Dr Jones Ozuzu, made this known on Wednesday while inaugurating the Taraba Chapter of the association in Jalingo.
Ozuzu said that the aim was to assist individual farmers to have the opportunity to engage in commercial farming which, he said, was being hindered by lack of funds.
He said that individual farmers lacked access to funding from financial institutions.
According to him, the association went into partnership with some foreign organisations and other stakeholders to secure the 600 hectares and other farmlands for the benefit of its members.
“Commercial farmers association is formed to take Nigeria to its economic destination through agriculture.
“Agriculture is the pillar of every nation. Even countries with rocky lands such as Israel and U.S. have achieved food sufficiency with just five per cent of the…

Kano govt. trains 60 Fulani youths on artificial insemination for livestock breeding

Kano State Government says it has trained 60 fulani youths on artificial insemination for livestock breeding including dairy cattle to boost milk and meat production.
Dr Nasiru Gawuna, the state’s Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, said this while speaking with newsmen in Kano on Wednesday.
Gawuna said the training was aimed at replacing some of the animals that were killed at the height of terrorist activities in the state. “The youths have been trained in artificial insemination. It is another area where the governor is giving so much attention. “It has to do with livestock production and particularly milk and meat production.
“We took 60 Fulani youths to Turkey where they learnt skills on artificial insemination. “They are back now; most of them are gainfully self-employed.
“Some of them have gone to other states.
“We have put aside two AI (artificial insemination) centres in the state – one in Makuda Local Government Area and the other one in Kadawa Local Governm…

Why price of local rice is high – Rice Miller

Rice millers in Kano State have attributed the high cost of locally-produced rice to the increasing cost of production of the commodity in the country.
Mr Liman Muhammed, spokesperson, Medium and Small Scale Rice Millers Association in the state, said this during a visit to some rice mills in Kano on Wednesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the price of 50kg locally-produced rice ranges between N20,000 and N22,000 while that of imported rice is between N12,000 and N15,000.
“For locally-produced rice, the cost of production is high. Our people are used to the imported rice but with government’s intervention, we are seeing good quality rice.
“Most imported rice have spent more than 10 years in the storage and are not good enough but the local rice has more nutritional value.
“The number of people consuming local rice is increasing and if everybody along the rice value chain is empowered, the cost of production will reduce,’’ he said.
He commended the Central Bank of Ni…

Rural farmers seek distribution of fertiliser by Nasarawa Govt

Some farmers in Nasarawa State on Monday called for the distribution of fertiliser by the State Government to boost food production and achieve national food insecurity.
They made the appeal in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Keffi, Nasarawa State.
They alerted that late or delayed distribution of fertiliser and farm inputs would not only hinder boost food production, but also prevent the realisation of the national food security.
Mr Ibrahim Osada, a farmer in Keffi, said: “Most farmers in the state are poor; we cannot afford to buy fertiliser at the market price, the state government should always have it at the back of its mind that providing fertiliser on time to farmers will ensure bumper harvest.’’
He said that the importance of early distribution of the commodity and other farm inputs to the farmers by government can spur food production.
“As we are all aware that no society can live comfortably or survive without agriculture; agriculture is the m…

140,000 farmers to get anchor borrower loan in Kebbi

Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, said on Monday that the Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN] would grant loan to 140,000 rice farmers in the state under the next phase of its Anchor Borrower Programme.
Bagudu made the disclosure in Birnin Kebbi when he addressed some APC loyalists in the state.
“The CBN has agreed to provide soft loan to 140,000 farmers in the next phase of anchor borrowers programme.
”This will ensure that our state remain on top in the rice production chart as well as a leading exporter of the commodity”.
The governor said efforts were on to fully recover unpaid loan released to farmers under the programme in 2016.
He urged farmers who were yet to repay the loan to do so, so as to enable others to benefit.

Bagudu stressed that agriculture would continue to be accorded top priority by his administration.

Thousands of farmers in Ondo State benefit from FADAMA project – Association

Mr Boluwade Ogunbodede, Acting Chairman, Federated FADAMA Community Association (FFCA), Ondo State, says that thousands of farmers have benefited from the FADAMA project in the state. Ogunbodede, who said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Friday, noted that the development had led to a significant increase in rice and cassava production. He said that the grants were given to farmers in the last four years, adding that this had provoked an increase in the farmers’ agricultural production in all the 18 local government areas of the state. He said that the production of rice had increased from 1.5 tonnes per hectare to 3.5 tonnes per hectare, while that of cassava had also increased from 12 to 18 tonnes per hectare. Ogunbodede said that the achievement would not have been possible without the continuous support of the World Bank via the different intervention schemes of the FADAMA project in the state. “This achievement has encouraged youths to start thinking …

Invest in agriculture, not estates, Dogara urges businessmen

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has urged entrepreneurs in Nigeria to invest resources in mechanised farming in Nigeria, saying that it is not in doubt that it will generate revenue for the country and bring the needed foreign exchange to move the economy forward.
Speaking when he visited Integrated Dairies Limited in Vom, Plateau State, Dogara said owners of land and capital should look beyond building of estates for rent and move into agriculture where they can provide employment while generating wealth.
He said, "I want to call on other entrepreneurs in Nigeria, especially those who have capital in hand, to take to mechanised farming and for most of our businessmen who think that the only way you can make money is through rent seeking to now see this as an example where you can add value to peoples lives and our nation's economy.
"If you look at milk produced in Nigeria, if we continue to depend on imports, that will deplete our forex in …