Showing posts from 2017

Edo to fully roll out Agriprenuer programme, targets 55,000 youths in 2018 – Obaseki’s Aide

To sustain the on-going youth-focused agricultural programme in Edo State, the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration says it will in the first quarter of 2018, fully roll out its agriprenuer programme after a successful pilot scheme. Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Budget, Mr. Joseph Eboigbe, who disclosed this in a chat with journalists in Benin City, Edo State capital, said that the programme is part of the state government’s plan for Micro, Small-scale and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and youth-focused agricultural initiatives. Eboigbesaid that though the government in 2017 provided cheap credit to MSMEs, in 2018, it will significantly enhance the package of incentives to the enterprises, as there is anticipated growth in the sector, which will naturally translate to jobs.   “In 2017, the state government piloted the agriprenuer scheme. By the first quota of 2018, we will roll out the programme fully. The agriprenuer programme will target about 55,000 youths, who indic…

We’ve not met demands of Nigeria’s Palm Oil industry – PRESCO MD

MANAGING Director of Presco Plc, Mr. Felix Nwabuko, has said, despite being a major player in the Nigeria oil palm industry, the company has not been able to meet up with the demand for palm oil and oil palm produce in the country.
The company's MD made the disclosure to Vanguard during the Presco end of year/Dinner and award night for deserving staff of the company held over the weekend.
Nwabuko who described 2016 as a “crazy year”, said the company was able to grapple with its challenges in 2017 with a promise to make more sustainable growth in 2018 amidst expectations from the federal and state governments in ensuring that the Nigeria agri-business would grow to the point where it would count in the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
He said: “We have not been able to meet up with demands of the palm oil industry and it is based on this that we are driving certain expansion such as the increment of our refining capacity with 500 percent of what it is now as well as our plantati…


Jos - The idea of supporting prisoners’ rehabilitation and make the Nigerian Prisons Service self sufficient has received a boost as a rice farm (Lakushi Farm Centre) operated by prisoners in Plateau State has yielded 400 bags of rice in the year.
Lakushi which is one of the 17 Farms owned by the Nigerian Prisons Service is operated to enhance modern skills/training in farming techniques so as to enable the inmates learn while in detention and put the knowledge gained when they regain their freedom.
According to a statement issued yesterday in Jos and signed by the State Command’s Public Relations Officer, ASP Luka Ayedoo, the success came because the farm was re-positioned with funding to ensure the procurement and distribution of modern farm tools and inputs.
The statement reads,”The Lakushi Farm Centre of the Nigerian Prisons Service has harvested over 400 bags of rice in 2017. The farm is one of the 17 Prisons farms in Nigeria and major in rice production because of it co…

IITA gets grant to carry out confined field trials of transgenic cassava

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has been granted a permit to carry out Confined Field Trials (CFT) of genetically modified cassava (AMY3 RNAi Transgenic lines). This is contained in a statement signed by IITA Head of Communication, Mrs Catherine Lopez, and made available to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Ibadan. The statement said that the research, carried out in collaboration with ETHZ Plant Biotechnology Lab in Zurich, was aimed at reducing starch breakdown in storage roots of cassava after pruning the shoots, prior to harvest of the crop. It also said that the objective was to obtain storage roots with lower post-harvest physiological degradation, without any loss of the nutritious starch. It noted that cassava was an important starchy food crop in sub-Saharan Africa as well as other tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. The statement said that one of the challenges facing cassava farmers in the country was the high level of post-h…

Agribusiness: Edo farmers, investors to get N500m Agric Credit

To provide guarantee for agribusiness investments in the state, the Edo State Government has partnered with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to set up a N500 million Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS).
Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, revealed this at the inauguration of the committee to oversee the scheme at the Government House in Benin City, Edo State capital. The scheme is intended to de-risk investments in agriculture in Edo State.
The governor said the programme, which was set up by the Federal Government through the CBN, is to provide credit for agricultural transactions in the state, stressing that the programme is very critical to his administration’s agricultural initiatives.
He added that the state government was not interested in agribusiness to start farms, but only interested in de-risking the process and creating the enabling environment for entrepreneurs to emerge and thrive.
The members of the nine-man committee headed by Special Adviser to the…

Dangote: Only African in Bloomberg 50 list of year's most influential people

Dangote's contribution to the world this year revolves around his dynamic attention to lessen food imports into his own country and Africa's largest nation, Nigeria
NEW YORK, United States of America, December 5, 2017/ -- Aliko Dangote was honored last night at the Bloomberg 50 annual gala dinner at New York's iconic Gotham Hall. Bloomberg's list of 50 most influential names who have had an impact on the world in 2017 included Dangote, Africa's richest person, for his outstanding commitment of over $4B USD to increase Nigeria's food production capacity.
Represented in New York by the CEO of his Foundation, Dangote was joined by electric car visionary Elon Musk; Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmon; Beatrice Fihn, anti-nuclear weapons advocate and Nobel Peace Laureate; Amazon's Jeff Bezos; Robert Mueller, special counsel investigating Donald Trump's potential collusion with Russia; and Vitalik Buterin, whose invention of the cryptocurrency Ethereum i…

AfDB to support Nigeria to access Crop Insurance

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has announced its plan to support Nigeria to access Crop Insurance to mitigate the impact of climate change in the country. The President of the AfDB, Dr Akinwumi Adesina announced this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja. Adesina said that the bank would implement the support under its Second Climate Action Plan for 2016 to 2020. ``When it  comes to Climate Financing, what we will do is to support Nigeria, especially to have access to Crop insurance. ``A lot of pastoralist actually needs to have insurance as well because lack of access to water can become a big problem because of drought.  ``Also, I have being a big supporter of the need for the global climate financing mechanism to support countries to pay the premium to insure them against catastrophic risk. ``For example, there is a Facility, which is called Africa Risk Capacity and this is the Africa Union Facility that allows countries to buy insurance. ``It al…

Importers frustrating FG’s tomato policy, say stakeholders

Stakeholders in the agriculture sector say Nigeria is yet to feel the impact of the tomato policy six months after it was put in place by the Federal Government.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the stakeholders told participants at Agra Innovate West Africa forum on Tuesday in Lagos that Nigerians were yet to feel the impact of the policy.
The federal government in April this year announced a new tomato policy aimed at promoting local production of fresh tomato, increasing local production of tomato concentrate and reducing post-harvest losses.
The policy restricts the importation of tomato concentrates to the seaports to address the abuse of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS), stops the importation of tomatoes preserved otherwise by vinegar or acetic acid; and increases the tariff on tomato concentrate to 50 per cent with an additional levy of $1,500 per metric ton.
Nigeria imports an average of 150,000 metric tons of tomato concentrate per annum, valued at …

CARI hosts financiers in agric. sector to a breakfast meeting

The Competitive African Rice Initiative (CARI) yesterday held a breakfast meeting for financiers working in the agricultural sector to provide funding for smallholder rice farmers. Dr Stefan Kachelriess-Matthess, CARI’s Programme Director, said in Abuja that the meeting presented an avenue to discuss ways of promoting CARI perspectives and objectives on access to finance. “Our mandate at CARI is to facilitate access to finance for our smallholder farmers and that is what informed today’s gathering. “We have been doing this but we decided to take it more strongly now so as to see how actors across the rice value chain could have a better way to finance or promote access to finance. “This is the first meeting we are having this year and it is like a trial meeting. “We want to hold this breakfast meeting quarterly, so as to enable stakeholders to gather, discuss and update themselves on how to access to finance. “This will, however, go a long way to address some of the challenges faci…

Osinbajo inaugurates cashew factory

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has inaugurated a Cashew Processing factory, FoodPro Nigeria Limited, in Ilorin.
Osinbajo also inspected the factory after the inauguration. He was delighted with what he saw on ground.
The Vice President, who was conducted round the factory by the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Ayo Olajiga, restated the administration’s resolve to support the private sector with policies that would make business easier.
Osinbajo was accompanied by Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara; the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; the Executive director of Bank of Industry, Mr. Waheed Olagunju.
Olajiga said that the company had employed more than 400 staff with 90 per cent of them being women since it started operations a few years back.
He said the factory was expanded to produce 5,000 tonnes of processed cashew nuts a year.
Olajiga explained that most of the company’s output is exported to the United States of America (USA) and local stores in Nig…

AFAN procures 200 tractors for farmers in Kano state

The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Kano state chapter says it has procured 200 tractors from India with a loan facility it secures from the First City Monument Bank (FCMB), to boost food production in the state. The state AFAN Chairman, Alhaji Faruk Rabi’u, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Kano.
He said 100 of the tractors had arrived Nigeria and would soon be transported to Kano while the remaining 100 were being expected in the country.
“The FCMB gave us the loan facility which the Kano State Government serves as our guarantor,”he said. Rabiu, however, declined to state the amount of the loan.
According to him, said as soon as the association takes delivery of the remaining tractors, it will distribute them to interested farmers.
He stressed that the beneficiaries must deposit 20 per cent of the total cost of the tractor before collection.
“Each tractor costs N8.6 million while the cost of implement is N850, 000. So each farmer wishing t…

NDE begins sustainable agric training for youths in C'River

The National Directorate of Employment has flagged off a four-month training programme on Sustainable Agriculture Development for 30 unemployed youths on Agri-business economy in Ikom local government area of Cross River. Speaking during the event, the Director General of NDE, Dr. Mohammed Ladan, said that the training was designed to help farmers improve on their farming skills through constant practice of modern agricultural skills. Ladan, who was represented by Mr Gabriel Udam, the State Coordinator of NDE, explained that the training would help local farmers to enhance the quality of food production, improve their income and save cost. According to him, the training involves three approaches: two weeks adaptive field training in crops/livestock, trainee farmers’ mentorship and linkages with development and money deposit banks. While the other involves the identification of off-takers within the locality to reduce the risk of produce glut in the market.
He also added that the trai…

Financing smallholder farmers with technology

By Jimoh Babatunde With focus on agriculture as the next oil of the country's economy, many Nigerians with money to invest in the sector have developed interest in the sector but being held back by lack of the the technical know-how , while the smallholder farmers in the rural area with the knowledge are looking for finance to expand their farms. The over 38 million smallholder farmers in the country according to a survey are not captured within the -bankable populace thus they are forced to operate at that small-scale level across the country. To make these farmers have access to finance and contribute to the country's domestic food production and protect its food security, group of young Nigerians came together to form a Digital Agriculture Platform focused on connecting farm sponsors with real farmers . The initiative which started from a single farmland in Oyo state, Nigeria with about 5000 day-old chicks, now boasts of over 4000 farmers across eight states of the …

New Research: Gender Gap Shrinks in Agricultural Research in Africa south of the Sahara

New Research: Gender Gap Shrinks in Agricultural Research in Africa south of the Sahara New data portal tracks rising representation of women in agricultural research 24% of agricultural researchers are women in African countries 21% of PhD-qualified researchers are women Washington, D.C., November 20: The number of women researchers in Africa south of the Sahara (SSA) rose in both absolute and relative terms between 2008 and 2014, according to a latest research on gender gap in agricultural research by Nienke Beintema, head, Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). The increase is partly due to improved access to education for girls, which has resulted in more women enrolled in agricultural sciences, and sciences overall. “Women play an important role in food production and provision in SSA, yet are underrepresented in the agricultural research community in many countries,” said Beintema, author of the study. “Femal…

Agri-business: Ogbeh cries out over high interest rates

Agri-business: Ogbeh cries out over high interest rates. …Challenges CBN , banks to national debate …Says rates favour only foreign investors “At interest rates of between 25 and 32 per cent, what – on God’s green earth – can you do?”
Ahead of today’s decisions of the Monetary Policy Committee of on interest rates, the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh has cried out over the high interests rates in country. In an article sent to media houses, yesterday, Chief Ogbeh said that with rates of between 25 per cent and 32 per cent, there could be nither significant job creation nor economic growth in the country.
The minister challenged the Central Bank of Nigeria, bankers and  policy makers to a national debate with farmers, agricultural engineers, input producers, manufacturers on the matter.  
He also said that with global rates peaking at a mere 3.5 per cent, Nigerian farmers and manufacturers would never be able to compete, if nothing was urgently done.
Only foreigners, the minister poi…

NAFDAC, GAIN move to check malnutrition with fortification

Apparently worried by the growing level of malnutrition particularly among infants, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition have teamed up to fight the setback with food fortification across the country.
This strategy was unveiled at a two-day joint regulatory agencies retreat on food fortification organized by Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) in Kaduna.
The Country Director of GAIN, Dr. Michael Ojo, noted with dismay the absence of fortified foods for majority of the citizens especially in poorer countries including Nigeria and said that the agency was determined to reverse the ugly trend in the interest of the people.
Dr. Ojo, who was represented by the Project Manager of GAIN, Dr. Augustine Okoruwa, disclosed that the organisation has been helping to fortify many types of foods with vital vitamins in the past 12 years and would continue to do more in the y ears ahead so as to address the challenges…

KWSG disburses N1billion to 500 farmers.

ILORIN-Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed has disclosed that his administration has disbursed about N1billion to five hundred small holders farmers and fourty commercial farmers in the state. Besides, he said 381 kilometers of rural roads will be rehabilitated in 2018 under the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP) in partnership with the World Bank and the Federal Government. Speaking at the opening of the 2nd Harmony Agriculture International Fair (HAGIF) at Banquet Hall, Ilorin, he said the small holder farmers were also provided access to 2550 hectares of land across the state. The Governor said the Off-Takers Demand Driving Agriculture (ODDA) Scheme is an empowerment programme formulated to drive employment, boost food production and diversify the state’s economy by matching farmers with Off-Takers. He noted that over the years, his administration has embarked on various intervention programmes aimed at entrenching attitudinal change towards agriculture i…

IFAD supports 4,000 Benue youths in rice and cassava production

MAKURDI.........About 4,000 Benue youths are currently being supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development, Value Chain Development Programme, IFAD-VCDP, to boost rice and cassava production in the state.

Benue State Project Coordinator IFAD-VCDP, Mr. Emmanuel Igbaukum made this known yesterday at the opening of a one day Intra-State Youth Forum and Bootcamp on Agribusiness and Value Addition for Youths in Rice and Cassava value chain.

Igbaukum said, "the programme has exposed the benefiting youths to good agronomy practices, especially in the areas of land preparation, farm management, distribution of improved seedlings, planting technics and harvesting.

"When we started, our rice production level was at the range of 0.9 to 1.5 metric tonnes per hectare but today our farmers are making an average of 5.5 metric tonnes per hectare, that is the unprecedented achievement this programme has given us."

On her part, Nkiruka Nnaemego, Founder of Fresh and Young …