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Showing posts from 2017

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

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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

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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

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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 …

Nigeria gets N212.73bn from agricultural exports in 2016 – Report

By Deji Abdulwahab  Nigeria realised N212.73 billion from agricultural product exports at the end of the fourth quarter of 2016.
The was disclosed in excerpts of a book entitled: ‘‘Making steady, sustainable progress for Nigeria’s peace and prosperity: a mid-term scorecard on the President Muhammadu Buhari administration,’’
It was authored by the Presidential Media Team.
The book, which will be presented to the public on Nov. 16 in Abuja, was sighted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
“At the end of 2016, agricultural goods, as share of total trade, got N212.73 billion and 4.02 per cent.
“Agricultural goods’ exports were 2.7 per cent higher in the fourth quarter of 2016 than third quarter of the year.’’
It stated that the products, which contributed most to agricultural product exports in the fourth quarter, were sesame seeds with N6.46 billion, frozen shrimps and prawns with N4.4 billion.
According to the report, flour and meals of soya beans contribute N2.59 billion; cashew nuts …

Obaseki to revamp College of Agriculture Iguoriakhi, Edo State Polytechnic Usen

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The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has assured the people of Ovia South West Local Government Area of the state that the College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi and Edo State Polytechnic Usen, will be revamped to enable it produce employable graduates. Obaseki gave the assurance at Ovia South West Local Government Council during the last leg of his thank-you-tour of the 18 Local Government Areas to appreciate party members for their votes and support. He said the College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi, was closed earlier because it was not worthy of being a school of agriculture due to its poor standard. "I shut down the school to enable me invest money and bring it up to standard. I will revamp the school so that the graduates will be employable." He said he is in talks with Okomu Oil Palm Company Plc, Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) and PRESCO Plc., to join hands with his administration to revamp the school, help train students and provide them with employm…