Showing posts from 2017

Using real-time satellite data to track water productivity in agriculture

New FAO tool offers water-scarce countries and river basins a way to boost productivity 20 April 2017, Rome - Measuring how efficiently water is used in agriculture, particularly in water-scarce countries, is going high-tech with the help of a new tool developed by FAO. The WaPOR open-access database has gone live, tapping satellite data to help farmers achieve more reliable agricultural yields and allowing for the optimization of irrigation systems. WaPOR was presented this week during a high-level partners meeting for FAO's Coping with water scarcity in agriculture: a global framework for action in a changing climate. It allows for fine-grained analysis of water utilised through farming systems, generating empirical evidence about how it can be most productively used. Worldwide water utilization - the majority of which is used by agriculture - has outpaced the rate of population growth for most of the last century and some regions are close to breaching viable limits. "Wat…

West Africa Loses 1.3 billion Dollars To Illegal Fishing Annually- Dogara

....Maritime sector key to Nigeria's economic revival says Dogara.

....Pledges Commitment to Passing Suppression of Piracy and other unlawful Acts at Sea Bill
The Speaker of the House of Representatives , Hon Yakubu Dogara, has expressed dismay that Illegal Unreported and Unregulated ( IUU ) fishing leads to an annual loss of over 1.3 billion dollars in West Africa alone. This is just as he pledged the commitment of the National Assembly to continue to be active in passing legislations that will make Nigeria's seas and waterways safer for exploration and exploitation of its natural resources for the benefit of Nigerians. Speaking while delivering a goodwill message at the annual conference of the Association of African Maritime Administrators in Abuja, the Speaker said, "Statistics has it that Illegal Unreported and Unregulated ( IUU ) fishing leads to a loss of over 1.3 billion dollars in West Africa alone, yearly. "We must tighten the legal and regulatory framew…

Four illegal fishing cases found in Sierra Leone in four days

In addition, more than 70 bags of shark carcasses were found on one of the Chinese vessels FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, April 20, 2017/ -- Four illegal fishing cases have been found during a joint surveillance mission conducted by Greenpeace ( and Sierra Leone fishery authorities. Two Chinese vessels and one Korean vessel have been arrested for infringements of Sierra Leone fishing legislation, including possessing or using illegal fishing nets on board, no visible marking and a lack of required paperwork, including log books and authorisation for unloading catch. Fishing authorities ordered the vessels to return to Freetown port for further investigation. A fourth vessel, owned by an Italian company, was found with four kilograms of shark fins on board. Though not illegal under Sierra Leonean laws, this is a clear violation of European Union (EU) fishing rules. This boat’s case will be taken further with relevant EU authorities.
In addition, more than 70 bags…

Akwa Ibom Govt. procures 3,000 tonnes of fertiliser for farmers

The Akwa Ibom Government says it has procured 3,000 tonnes of fertiliser for distribution to farmers in the state to increase food production.
Gov. Udom Emmanuel made the disclosure in his remarks during A-3 day Agricultural Policy and Food Summit in Uyo on Thursday.
Represented by Mr Moses Ekpo, his deputy, Emmanuel also said his administration had taken giant strides in repositioning the agricultural sector in the state.
He said it was the critical role that agriculture played in the state economy that informed the need by the state government to prioritise its five-point economic agenda.
According to him, agriculture is providing the pivot role to wealth creation, poverty alleviation and job creation.
“For me, it is already given that agriculture will not only form the bedrock of my administration’s policy, but it will also remain the major pre-occupation of our active populace.
“I consider the agricultural sector as the true foundation of our local economy, given its huge potenti…

CBN Anchored Borrower: Kebbi Govt. to prosecute 11,541 farmers

The Kebbi State Government says it will prosecute 11,541 beneficiaries of the CBN anchor borrower rice production in Suru Local Government Area, who failed to redeem their loan.
The State Deputy Gov. Alhaji Samaila Yombe, who visited the farmers in Suru local government area, on Thursday, gave the defaulting farmers three weeks ultimatum or face prosecution.
He said that the farmers should have redeemed their loan long ago, considering the bumper harvest recorded as a result of the support from the CBN anchor borrower programme.
“I came here to express my disappointment in you because you harvested your farmlands in large quantity and sold out to millers in and outside the state.
“You have been expressing your happiness and commendation on the programme as many of you have made the unexpected harvesting and now rich.
“Why did you not want to redeem the loan for others to benefit in the revolving loan programme?
Yombe gave the ultimatum following the request made by the District Hea…

Food Security: Group develops 617-hectare farmland for grains

The Nigeria Farmers Group and Cooperative Society (NFG-CS), a rural community-based farm settlements initiative, said it cleared a 617-hectare farmland to cultivate maize, rice and other grains.
The Secretary of the group, Mr Redson Tedheke, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gaate, Nasarawa State on Thursday that the initiative was to key into the agricultural revolution of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said that the farm, located at Gaate village, a rural settlement along Keffi-Akwanga road in Kokona Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, was geared toward ensuring food security for Nigerians.
Tedheke added that “this 617-hectare farm is where ordinary Nigerians come together, gather their resources with the support of government, to key into the laudable agricultural initiatives of Federal Government.
“We are farmers who believe that agriculture is the pride of the nation.
“We also believe that farming brings people together, especially in rural communities.
“This projec…

AFAN to organise 1.5m farmers in Niger into clusters

The Niger State chapter of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) says it will organise its 1.5 million members in the state into corporative groups. Alhaji Shehu Galadima, the state AFAN Chairman, said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna. He said that the measure, which was part of the association’s preparations for the 2017 cropping season, was particularly aimed at ensuring the full participation of farmers in various intervention programmes of government. “We have concluded arrangements to organise our 1.5 million members into clusters of many farmers, as part of our preparations for this year’s cropping season. “The grouping will also enable us to participate in all government intervention programmes in the agricultural sector,’’ he said. Galadima said that the groupings would enable the farmers to access various loans and grants as well as other assistance made available for farmers. “One of the criteria to key into government intervention program…

Osun govt. to provide farmers with 200,000 cocoa seedlings

The Osun Government has pledged to provide cocoa farmers in the state with 200,000 cocoa seedlings this year. Dr Bukola Aluko, the Coordinating Director, Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Youth Engagement, made the promise on Thursday, while speaking with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Osogbo. He said that the state government would also provide farmers with extension services and other facilities that would support and boost their productivity. “In helping to improve cocoa production in plantations across the state, the state government plans to provide farmers with 200,000 cocoa seedlings. “The process of making the seedlings available is ongoing and when the seedlings are ready, we will call on our farmers to come pick them at highly subsidised rates,” he said. Aluko also said that the state government had been allotting lands to farmers and individuals who were interested in farming so as to boost agriculture in the state.
He said that the state government had set up s…

Farmers urge FG to review cassava bread fund repayment policy

The Nigeria Cassava Growers Association (NCGA) has appealed to Federal Government to review the repayment plan of cassava bread development funds given to farmers. Mr Segun Adewumi, the National President of the Association, made the appeal in Abuja on Wednesday. He said that although part of the money was given to cassava farmers across the country to help boost cassava production, the assistance was marred as a result of farmers-herdsmen clashes. Adewumi, who expressed regret that some farmers had yet to recoup the losses they incurred when their produce was estroyed by ravaging herdsmen, suggested the extension of loan repayment period. “Government released money for us to plant but we couldn’t get market for our produce and the cassava processers who are meant to buy them did not do so, some of our produce rot away. “Secondly, herdsmen also destroyed the farms of most of our members who took the loan and this has affected the loan repayment. “We are recovering from the losses gra…

Agriculture can take Nigeria out of recession – CIBN chairman

Mr Abdulraheem Yusuf, the Chairman, Kwara chapter, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), on Wednesday, said the Federal Government’s agriculture intervention programme could take the country out of recession.
Yusuf, who gave this hint while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin, added that the effective management of exchange rate could equally take the country out of recession.
He therefore called on Nigerians to ensure that they added value to agriculture in all its ramifications in order to earn foreign exchange.
“With food production and reduction in the level of corruption and unemployment, the government can get us out of the situation we have found ourselves,” he said.
Yusuf said that the government also needed to police the borders more effectively to reduce smuggling.
According to him, smuggling is harmful to the economy because people are making sacrifices to produce for export as well as for local consumption.

“Regrettably, people still smugg…

Sokoto organic fertiliser plant begins production December

Sokoto - The ‎proposed Sokoto organic fertiliser plant is billed to begin production in December, officials overseeing the establishment of the factory have said.
The state government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formalise documentation of its 40 percent stake in the company, while IML Ltd, a consortium of private local investors, will hold 60 percent equity stake in the company estimated to produce 15,000 metric tonnes of fertilisers on completion. ‎ The Managing Director of Sokoto Investment Company, Alhaji Aliyu Bala said that the construction of the plant had been completed, while finishing touches were being put on auxiliary structures that would support the main plant.
"Signing of the MoU is an important step in realising the objectives of setting up of the plant. If you may recall, the State Executive Council recently gave approval for us to acquire equity share in the company and hold same in trust on behalf of the people of Sokoto State. Today's event…

FG to support agro firm on new seeds technology

By Gabriel Ewepu ABUJA- THE Federal government yesterday, expressed support for an agro firm, CONTEC Global Agro Limited, CGAL, to introduce new seeds technology to farmers and other seed companies for high productivity. This assurance was made by the Director General, National Agricultural Seeds Council, NASC, Dr Phillip Ojo, while on a visit to CGAL lab facilities in Maitama, Abuja. Ojo, who was impressed with the banana tissue multiplication using tissue culture technology being explored by CGAL’s scientists to increase food production and improve food security, promised that the farmers and other stakeholders will be sensitised and introduced to CGAL new innovations on seeds technology during forthcoming seeds demonstration. While emphasising on the need to have public private synergy, which the council will have with CGAL in the agricultural sector, he (Ojo) said such collaboration will enable farmers and seed companies know exactly how to apply available and various biological …

World Bank lauds FG, as 965,157 persons benefit from FADAMA III

The World Band has commended the Federal Government for the successful implementation of FADAMA III programme, which has so far benefited 965,157 persons, including 582,099 males and 383,058 females. Dr Adetunji Oredipe, the World Bank FADAMA Team Leader, gave the commendation in Abuja while speaking with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday. He said that this year alone, a total of 47,505 beneficiaries — 35,382 males and 12,123 females – had benefitted from the programme, under its additional financing phase. He said that that the Third National FADAMA Development Project (FADAMA III) had achieved its aims and objectives, particularly those relating to the sustainable increase of the incomes of FADAMA users. “This has been achieved by increasing the incomes of FADAMA users; the project has aided efforts to reduce rural poverty, boost food security and contribute to the achievement of a key objective of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). “The project has sustainably increase…

IFAD-VCDP to verify 2017 farmers’ business plans in Niger

The International Fund for Agricultural Development assisted Value Chain Development Programme (IFAD-VCDP) will begin verification of farmers’ business plans for 2017 in Niger on Wednesday.
Dr Mathew Ahmed, the State Programme Coordinator of IFAD-VCDP, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Minna.
“The verification will begin on Wednesday, April 19 to May 3 across the five participating Local Government Areas in Niger,’’ he said.
Ahmed said that the exercise was to ascertain the readiness of the 640 participating VCDP farmers for the 2017 farming season.
He said that the business plan would ensure effective management of the farm from land preparation to marketing of farm produce.
“The size of the farm and soil texture will determine the implement and input to use,’’ he said.
The coordinator explained that government and farmer organisations have made huge investment towards the 2017 wet season for rice and cassava production.
He added that…

IBB University to boost fish production through improved feed

Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University (IBBU), Lapal, Niger, has affirmed its readiness to boost fish production through an improved feed. Dr Naomi Dadi-Mamud, Senior Lecturer, Department of Biology in IBBU made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
She said such effort would reduce the cost of fish in the market and create more jobs in the country. She said feed ingredients for fish meal was presently expensive, adding that most feeds used in fish farming industry in the country were imported resulting in drain foreign exchange. “ Thus, there is need for sourcing of local alternatives to reduce dependence on imported materials. “It is important to search for alternative feed stuffs from unconventional sources to reduce cost,“ she said. Dadi-Mamud said the feeding trial of the IBBU project was conducted for twelve weeks to study the growth performance of Hybrid Hetero clarias fingerlings fed with Bambara nut as alternative meal. Accordin…

Association wants FG to establish cassava processing plants nationwide

The Federal Government has been urged to establish cassava processing plants in all the 774 local government areas to enhance food security in the country.
Malam Jamiu Lawal, Chairman, Niger Chapter, Nigeria Cassava Processors and Marketers Association, made the call on Monday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna.
Lawal said that the measure would also reduce the high cost of livestock feeds, including poultry and fishery in Nigeria.
“The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should promote the establishment of micro cassava processing industries in each of the 774 local government areas of Nigeria.
“Such plants will ensure enough processed cassava for local consumption and export.
“It will also reduce the high price of livestock feed since the by-products of cassava can be used to make various animal feeds,’’ he said.
He said that unpeeled cassava chips were sources of carbohydrate and in making livestock feeds for poultry, fish, cattle and …

Farmers to access fertilizers from Wednesday – Agric Commissioner

Farmers to access fertilizers from Wednesday – Agric Commissioner
ABA: THE Abia state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Uzo Azubuike, has said that the fertilizers the state acquired for its farmers would be available to them from Wednesday. The Commissioner, who disclosed this in Aba , said that the fertilizers would be sold to every Abia farmer who wants to buy and at the rate of N6000 per bag. He noted that unlike in 2016, there would be no allocation of fertilizers to farmers in 2017 but farmers would be free to get as much as they needed and on first come, first served basis. He further explained that the ministry was working hard to encourage youths to go into farming through the introduction of various aspects of farming such as mushroom farming to them. “The mushroom production is our own creation. We have brought experts who have established a mushroom farm right on the premises of the ministry of Agriculture in Umuahia.And what we have done there is to create another avenue …

Dry season farming: FG spends over N9.5 bn on inputs

The Federal Government spent more than N9.5 billion for the distribution of farm inputs to farmers during the dry season farming, an official of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, has said. Mr Ohiare Jatto, the Director, Farm Input Support Services Department in the ministry, said this while speaking in Abuja recently.  He said the inputs were distributed to no fewer than 458,498 farmers across 30 states of the federation between December 2016 and February 2017 dry season farming. Jatto said the inputs were provided under the governments’ Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme to guarantee improved food production and security. According to him, some of the inputs provided to the farmers include two bags of Nitrogen Potassium Phosphate, one bag of urea, one bag of organic fertiliser each, 25 kilogram rice seeds and 20 kilogramme maize seeds depending on the crop value chain. The director said that the government under the GES usually paid 75 per cent worth of…

Taraba can meet Nigeria’s annual rice demand— Gov. Ishaku

Gov. Darius Ishaku of Taraba on Monday said that the state had the potential to produce 10million tonnes of rice, the annual demand of the country, with adequate financing and availability of modern equipment.
Ishaku said this in Ardo-kola at a stakeholders’ meeting of the PDP’s delegates representing Jalingo and Ardo-kola.
He said areas like: Karim-lamido, Gassol, Ardo-kola, Lau, Ibi, Wukari, Takum, among others, had fertile lands suitable for growing large quantities of rice.
The governor noted that lack of sufficient funds had undermined the capacity of the state’s rice farmers to produce at an optimum level.
Ishaku, however, said the state government was determined to support farmers in the state with farm inputs and improved seeds to increase their productivity.
He said that Dominion Farms, owned by a Kenyan investor in Gassol, had been given six months to commence buying of paddy rice from out-growers for processing.
The governor announced that the state government had bought h…

Expert urges Nigerians to develop interest in organic agriculture

Mr Olugbenga Adeoluwa, the Country Coordinator, Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) Initiative in Nigeria, has called on Nigerians to develop interest in organic agriculture.
Adeoluwa, who is also the Vice-President, Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria, made the call in Abuja on Monday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.
He said the call became necessary because organic agriculture had many advantages, including mitigating the effects of climate change and global warming.
Organic Agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people.
It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects.
He also said that organic agriculture could mitigate the greenhouse effect due to its ability to get hold of carbon in the soil.
Adeoluwa said that management practices used by organic agriculture increased the return of carbon to the soil, r…

Economic Devt: SON, UNIDO Targets Nigeria's Agric Sector

Undeniably, the Nigerian economy must as a matter of urgency seek alternative means to earn the much needed foreign exchange to achieve rapid economic growth and development, this is why the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and United Nations Development Organisation (UNIDO) have strategised to deploye the use of standards to drive development in the nation's agricultural sector. Indeed, the standards body reiterated the need to ‎diversify the nation's economy away from hydro carbon resources, maintaining that Nigeria must prioritise its developmental efforts towards areas where the country has the most competitive and comparative advantage to achieve economic growth. According to the Director General, SON, Osita Aboloma, during a two- day training for SON staff certification programme, the partnership with UNIDO is aimed at ensuring that Nigeria's ‎agricultural products from the farm to table meets the minimum requirement of global standards, adding that the col…

Dangote will be the largest exporter of rice in 5 years to come - AfDB President

Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), says billionaire businessman, Aliko Dangote, may become the largest exporter of rice in the world by 2021 LAGOS, Nigeria, April 17, 2017/ -- Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), says billionaire businessman, Aliko Dangote (, may become the largest exporter of rice in the world by 2021.
Speaking at the Mo Ibrahim Forum in Morocco over the weekend, Adesina said Africa must focus on agriculture to drive growth and create jobs on the continent.
“I remember when I was minister of Agriculture in Nigeria. Aliko Dangote was there, and he was our biggest importer at the time, and he and I used to have all the time to dialogue,” Adesina said.
“One day, I was in my office, about 10 O’clock, Aliko walks in, Ngozi was minister of finance. Aliko bangs on my door and said ‘minister I came to see you’, and I said ‘what are we going to disagree on this time?’
“He said no, I have actually…

Sultan commends National Ummah for supporting agriculture in Nigeria

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, on Sunday commended the National Ummah Association for supporting agriculture in Nigeria.
Abubakar made the commendation during the 22nd National Ummah Convention held in Sokoto.
The Convention which has as its theme: “Agriculture: Panacea to Nigeria’s Economic Recession”, was aimed at addressing the cognate issues of hunger in the country.
“Much is needed from the government and the general public to tackle hunger, as our laziness could not aid our progress.
“Yes, there is hunger in the country, but we have been so much lazy to tackle the issue, as we always depend on government and other wealthy individuals to assist us.
“Moreover, no one could solve our own problems, but we should improve more on agriculture, in order to tackle them and yield a better society,” Abubakar said.
Gov. Aminu Tambuwal thanked the organisers of the convention and commended them for their consistency in organising it annually.
Tambuwal, who was represented …

IFAD reaffirms conquering hunger through agriculture

ABUJA- THE International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, reaffirms conquering hunger through agriculture in the rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa. This was stated by the President, IFAD, Gilbert Houngbo, while expressing concern over migration of young people from rural areas to urban centres in Africa, and even travelling on dangerous routes to Europe for greener pastures. Houngbo who was former Prime Minister of Togo took over from Kanayo Nwaneze as the new elected IFAD boss on February 14, 2017, said food security and nutrition were essential, but it has become imperative for governments in Africa and development partners to look beyond that, and rather make it a business that generates wealth, employment and income for the people living in the rural areas. According to him, his own personal experiences make him critically aware of the challenges rural families face and how the lack of infrastructure and opportunities can drive young people to leave their homes to seek…

Making the international trade in plants and seeds a safer venture

Making the international trade in plants and seeds a safer venture International plant health body adopts new global standards 13 April 2017, Incheon, Republic of Korea/Rome - The international body that oversees plant health has taken a big step forward with the adoption of a new global standard to help ensure that the international trade in plants and seeds, while very profitable, is also safer.
The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC)'s governing body, the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM) adopted the standard during its 12th session in Incheon, South Korea, which wrapped up today.
In this globalized world, food and agricultural products are continuously on the move. Ships are constantly underway from port to port, each year ferrying more than 500 million large steel containers filled with all kinds of cargo to and from all corners of the planet.
Unfortunately, that cargo can sometimes hide stowaways - agricultural pests that once on shore can devast…