Showing posts from February, 2017

Domesticating Malabo declaration to spur Nigeria’s economic growth

NEWS ANALYSIS African Heads of States at the 23rd Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, in June 2014 adopted the “Malabo Declaration’’ to accelerate agricultural growth and transformation to lift Africa out of poverty. The 2014 declaration was a formal commitment by AU Heads of States and Governments to provide effective leadership for efforts to achieve some specific goals by the year 2025. The goals include ending hunger on the continent and tripling intra-African trade in agricultural goods, among others. The African Union Commission (AUC), in collaboration with other international stakeholders in agriculture, recently converged on Abuja to deliberate on the ways forward in domesticating and implementing the initiatives of the Malabo Declaration to boost Nigeria’s economy via agriculture. The efforts are particularly aimed at aligning Nigeria’s National Agriculture Investment Plan (NAIP) with the commitments of the 2014 Malabo Declaration of the…

FG calls for investment in food processing

By Jimoh Babatunde The Minister of State for Agriculture, Mr Heineken Lokpobiri, has appealed to investors to invest in food processing in the country as the government is prepared to grant incentives for investing heavily in the sector and to make the nation earn foreign exchange as well as feed the populace. Lokpobiri made the appeal yesterday during his tour of Atlantic Shrimpers Ltd’s Shrimp Farm in Badagry, Lagos State. While commending the company for its massive investment in the shrimp farm, Lokpobiri said that the ministry would ensure that the project succeeded. He said the ministry was interested to see the shrimps in markets overseas as Made-In-Nigeria, adding that the ministry would also ensure that the shrimps were exported to China and Russia that needed the products by fast-tracking the certification process and regulating it. Mr Heineken Lokpobiri added that the Ministry would soon start certification of agricultural produce and products before export. Acc…

Obaseki tasks Japanese envoy on Agric, economic development

Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo, on Tuesday charged the Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Mr Sadanobu Kusaoke, on new measures to boost agricultural and economic development in the state.
The governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Mr Philip Shuaibu, made the remark while the Japanese Ambassador paid a courtesy call to the Edo Government House in Benin.
Obaseki assured the Ambassador that Edo people were peace loving citizens of Nigeria.

He said that the state government was taking new measures to woo investors, who would enhance agriculture and economic development in the state.
Obaseki pleaded with the envoy that the Edo Government was looking forward to developing a fruitful business relationship with the Japanese Government.
Earlier, the ambassador told the governor that Japan had decided to enhance the relationship between Japan and Edo.

He assured the governor that his home government was willing to develop the economy of Edo State, as well as its agricultural system.

Women farmers want increased budgetary allocation to agric sector

The Nigerian Association of Women in Agriculture (NAWIA), has urged the Plateau government to increase the budgetary allocation to agriculture to boost activities in that sector.
Mrs. Ngizan Chahul, National President of the association, made the call while on an advocacy visit to the State’s Agricultural Development Programme (ADP), on Tuesday in Jos.
“It is only through strong budgetary allocations and adequate release of such funds that the agriculture sector can achieve the desired results of transforming the fortunes of the state.
“It is only when it is well funded that the sector can be transformed into the hub of the nation’s economy.
“Taking a cursory look at the budgets of Plateau over the years, the allocations to the agricultural sector have been very small and this development is worrisome” she said.
She stated that successive governments had not worked out consistent and progressive policies for a robust agricultural sector, and wondered why such a crucial sector should …

AfDB to inaugurate $850m agriculture transformation programme to reduce imports

AfDB to inaugurate $850m agriculture transformation programme to reduce imports The African Development Bank (AfDB) will launch an 850 million dollars agriculture programme to transform the sector and reduce food imports in Africa, an official of the bank has said. Dr Chiji Ojukwu, the Director of Agriculture in the bank, said this on the sideline of the International Conference on Wheat in Abuja on Tuesday. The conference was organised by the Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops project of the AfDB. Ojukwu said the project, to be called Technology for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), would ensure the generation, sustainable dissemination and adoption of agricultural technologies and innovations. According to him, this new programme will cost about 850 million dollars of which wheat alone is 20.8 million dollars. “ We are likely going to get the approval for the programme this year and after that, it will start,’’ Ojukwu said.
He listed some …

Association to collaborate with research institutes to boost fish production

Mr Rotimi Oloye, newly elected National President, Catfish Farmers Association of Nigeria (CAFAN), says the association will collaborate with research institutes in the country to boost fish production for local consumption and export. Oloye told the News Agency of Nieria (NAN) in Ibadan on Tuesday that a well focused development of the fish industry would take Nigeria out of the current economic recession to economic prosperity. He said collaboration with research institutes and relevant government agencies would result in massive production of local fish feeds that would serve as substitute to imported feeds. “We will partner with research institutes on inputs substitution. “For instance, black soldier fly can be well packaged and preserved through such partnership and used as nutritious fish feeds that will enhance healthy development and multiplication of fishes in our ponds,” Oloye said.
He noted that CAFAN planned to collaborate with government agencies for human capital devel…

Agric processing smallholders should drive diversification of economy – expert

An agriculturist, Mr Duro Kuteyi, on Tuesday called for active participation of agriculture processing smallholders to enhance diversification of the nation’s economy from oil. Kuteyi, the Managing Director of Spectra Industries Ltd., disclosed in Lagos that agriculture processing smallholders should drive the diversification. According to him, the smallholders -owners of small farms – need different amounts of money to start and sustain their businesses. “It is good to add value to our agricultural produce, and it is the agriculture processing smallholders that can cover the whole gamut of the produce. “Agriculture value chain is vast; waiting to set up a gigantic factory before processing will not take us anywhere as a country. “In the hands of smallholders, we can go a long way until we get to the top,’’ he said. He said that a smallholder could graduate from kitchen, micro and cottage to a big holder overtime. Kuteyi noted that all agricultural produce had beneficial byproducts. …

Dangote Tomato coy signs agreement with farmers in Gombe, Sokoto States

The Dangote Tomato Processing Company, Kadawa, Kano state has concluded arrangement to purchase fresh tomatoes from farmers in Gombe and Sokoto States.
The company had already signed an agreement with Tomato Growers Association for the procurement of the commodity from the two states.
The Managing Director of the company, Alhaji Abdulkarim Kaita disclosed this to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano on Tuesday.
He said that the company found it necessary to go into the agreement following the non availability of the commodity in Kano and other neighbouring states that produced it in large commercial quantities.
He noted that the CBN anchor borrower programme had adversely affected tomato the production this irrigation season, especially in Kano State where many farmers shifted to wheat and rice production.
“The wheat and rice loans given to farmers this year have affected tomato production in the state.
“This is the reason why the product is still costly as a big basket which was bet…

FG concludes 2016 dry season farming, plans for wet season

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development says it has concluded the 2016 dry season farming under the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES) across the country. Mr Osho Akinbolawa, the Regional Director, in charge of North Central Zone in the ministry made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna. “We wrapped up the 2016 dry season farming across the states on February 20 to enable us plan for the wet season,’’ he said. Akinbolawa said that 30 states, including Abuja participated in the dry season farming, adding that the inability of the remaining six states to participate was due to paucity of funds. He also attributed the inability of the states to attend to misunderstanding between suppliers of agricultural inputs and agro-dealers due to credit owed the suppliers by government since 2014.
The director said that government had commenced arrangements to start the wet season farming between March and April this year.

You need technology to meet global standard, Onu tells snail farmers

Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has charged snail famers in the country to adopt technology in their farming chain to boost their production.
The Minister gave the charge yesterday, when officials of the Federation of Snail Farmers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria, led by its National President, Mr Ebeh Ikechukwu, paid him a courtesy visit in his office, Abuja.He told the farmer that they must adopt modern technological applications in snail farming in order to enhance the quality of locally produced snails and to meet international standards, while facilitating efforts to create wealth, jobs and guarantee food security.While assuring his support, Onu said the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) would work with them in efforts to acquire useful technology that would boost their production.“We commend you for how far you have gone in snail production in Nigeria. We will help to link you up with NABDA in order to support you.“Apart …

Plateau ADP decries paucity of agric extension workers

Mr Luka Kefas, Director of Technical Services, Plateau Agricultural and Development Programme (PADP), on Tuesday decried the paucity of agricultural extension workers in the state. Kefas said this when Mrs Ngizan Chahul, National President, Nigerian Association of Women in Agriculture (NAWIA), visited him in Jos. He said that the shortage of agricultural extension workers had posed a serious challenge to the fulfilment of agricultural activities in the state. “One of the greatest challenge facing agricultural activities on the Plateau is the inadequacy of extension workers. “Agricultural activities cannot thrive without the input of this category of experts because they are the engine room of the agricultural sector. “They educate farmers in the urban and rural areas on the new trends in agriculture. “According to the Work Bank standard, one extension worker is supposed to handle 800 farmers but in our own case here, it is one extension officer to 7,000 farmers. “Some of our farmers …

Nigeria to stop wheat importation to end soon –Minister

Wheat importation to end soon –OGBEH …assures support for farmers on local production
ABUJA- THE Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, yesterday, maintained that wheat importation into the country will end soon as the federal government has put in place measures to boost productivity of local wheat farmers. Ogbeh disclosed this at the ongoing ‘International Conference on Wheat’, organised by the Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops (SARD-SC) project of the African Development Bank, AfDB, in Abuja. The minister, who was represented by the Director of Agribusiness and Marketing in the ministry, Dr Muyiwa Azeez, revealed that farmers in the country were currently producing high-quality wheat for consumption. He said: “As a result of this, the Flour Milling Association of Nigeria submitted a written commitment to the ministry, stating that they will off-take all the wheat produced by Nigerian wheat farmers.” Also speaking at the o…

7,000 Benue farmers get IFAD support to boost rice and cassava production

Benue state government has stated that over 7,000 farmers are being supported in the state by the International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, Value Chain Development Programne VCDP, to boost rice and cassava production in the country.
The state Commissioner of Agriculture, Mr. James Anbua made this known yesterday at the IFAD-VCDP Commodity Alliance Forum for Farmers and Stakeholders in Makurdi.
Represented by his Director of Media, Mr. Ahangba Ayati, the Commissioner said "the government recently released N166million as counterpart fund to the programme to further support it success story."
In his remark, the IFAD-VCDP State Programme Coordinator, Mr. Emmanuel Igbaukum stated that beside availing farmers financial support, the programme had also exposed them to improved agronomy practice.
"The coming of IFAD-VCDP has also helped Benue farmers upscale their rice production from1.5million metric tonnes to over 5 million metric tonnes annually."
"We …

FG procures 100 rice mills for distribution to states – Ogbeh

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, says the Federal Government has purchased 100 rice mills for distribution to rice-producing states in the country. Ogbeh said this in Umuahia on Monday during the Federal Government’s town hall meeting with prominent indigenes of the state. He said that the machines would also be sold to private millers at reduced rates, adding that the gesture was part of government’s interventions to boost local rice production. According to him, Nigeria is spending 5 million dollars daily on rice importation from Thailand, India and Vietnam. He expressed delight that Nigeria now ranked second in rice production in the continent, adding that the money spent on importation could be put into infrastructure development. The minister also spoke on government’s efforts to enhance the production of Cocoa and Cashew in the country. He said that the Federal Government would soon relaunch Cocoa production in three states of Abia, Ondo and…

Rice processor urges more support for rice farmers

A rice processor, Mr Hassan Sheshi, has called on the Federal Government to assist rice farmers in the country with more intervention programmes to enable them to increase their productivity. Sheshi, the General Manager of Onyx Rice Mill Limited, Bida in Niger, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday that most rice processors were currently operating below installed capacity because of the scarcity of paddy. “Federal Government should support rice farmers with more intervention programmes so as to enable them to produce more paddy for rice mills across the country,’’ he said. According to him, the Onyx Rice Mill is operating below its installed annual capacity of 16,000 tonnes due to inadequate paddy from local growers. Sheshi said that the mill, which was established in 2012, was just managing to produce about 9,000 tonnes per annum. “We are currently producing 9,000 tonnes of rice per annum instead of our full capacity of 16,000 tonnes. “This is below our installed capacity…

FG flags off Presidential fertilizer initiative with 4,000 metric tonnes in first week

FG flags off Presidential fertilizer initiative with 4,000 metric tonnes in first week
*initiative to cut retail price of fertilizer per bag to by 30-40%
*create between 80,000 - 100,000 jobs
ABUJA Presidency last night announced that it has flagged off the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative of the present administration with the production of more than 4,000 metric tonnes of locally-blended fertilizer in the first week of operation. Recall that the Initiative was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari in December 2016, to achieve the local production of one million metric tonnes of blended Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium (NPK) Fertilizer for the 2017 wet season farming. A statement signed by Mr. Laolu Akande, the media aide to Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo stated that "Prior to December 2016, Nigeria’s stock of blended Fertilizer was shipped into the country as fully-finished products, even though Urea and Limestone, which constitute roughly two-thirds of the component…

Lagos trains 400 butchers on abattoir magt, wholesome meat processing

Lagos State Government said it has trained at least 400 butchers and live cattle dealers drawn from various abattoirs and slaughter slabs on current trends in abattoir management. The three-day training programme which centered on the standard operating procedures in abattoir was organized by the state Ministry of Agriculture, as part of the ongoing reformation in the red meat value chain in the state. Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Oluwatoyin Suarau, who disclosed this at the presentation of certificate to participants, said the training was part of effort aimed at ensuring and maintaining a hygienic and conducive environment within abattoirs and wholesomeness in the red meat value chain business in Lagos. Suarau, who noted that there was the need for attitudinal change by stakeholders and concessionaires in the red-meat-value chain business especially in the areas of operational procedures and abattoir management stressed that these are major determinant in the wholesomeness …

Malabo Declaration: AU agric stakeholders assure FG of economic growth

The African Union Commission agricultural stakeholders has assured the Federal Government of economic growth if Malabo declaration initiative is implemented in Nigeria.
The stakeholders gave the assurance in Abuja at the workshop on the National Agricultural Investment Plan (NAIP) for Nigeria.
Prof. Adeolu Ayanwale, a facilitator called for adoption of an inclusive process involving all relevant stakeholders to develop strategies and technologies to achieve NAIP objectives.
According to him, provision of incentives for constructive engagement of private sectors, civil society groups and establishment of needed capacities will go a long way to achieve it.
Ayanwale said that one of the cardinal objectives of the workshop was to establish a roadmap toward the domestication of the Malabo commitments.
He said the workshop would also deliberate on ways of implementation of the AUC NAIP plan in Nigeria.
According to him, there will be a definite working document plan for NAIP which other p…

Delegates pledge support for Nigeria’s plans to domesticate Malabo Declaration

Delegates at the workshop, organised by AU Commission and New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) on Nigeria’s efforts to domesticate the commitments of the Malabo Declaration, have pledged support for the nation’s initiatives. They promised to facilitate the fulfilment of the country’s initiatives, while speaking at the sidelines of the workshop in Abuja. Last week . The delegates voiced their support for specific strategies that were aimed at accelerating Nigeria’s agricultural growth in order to improve the citizens’ living standards. AU Heads of State and Government in 2014 adopted the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods. As part of the commitments, the African leaders committed to ending hunger by 2025 via designed efforts to halve the current levels of post-harvest losses by the year 2025. Dr Kehinde Makinde, the Nigeria Programme Officer, Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AG…

FG plans urgent relief for poultry industry – Osinbajo

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday promised that the Federal Government is planning urgent relief to poultry farmers in the country to save the industry from collapse.
He gave the indication during his second meeting in the week with representatives of the poultry industry at the Presidential Villa.
The intervention is part of an urgent effort by the federal government to address challenges in the agricultural sub-sector in line with its policy on self-sufficiency in food production.
The poultry industry has had to contend with a number of challenges including an outbreak of Avian Influenza which affected almost four million birds in 2015.
It also suffered non-allocation of Foreign Exchange for the importation of needed machinery and other critical inputs, and high production costs in the industry.
At the Friday meeting relevant ministers and agency heads came together to fashion out how to bail-out the ailing poultry industry.
“The poultry industry is a local industry that nee…

Kano Govt. threatens to sue defaulters of N 900m agric. loans

Kano State Government has threatened to sue about 5,000 defaulters of the N 900 million loans disbursed to them by the Central Bank of Nigeria( CBN),under the Anchor Borrowers Programme in 2016.
The state’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Nasiru Gawuna, disclosed this to journalists in Sokoto on Sunday.
He said: ”The state government guaranteed the loans for the farmers when none of the agro-allied firms willing to do so.
”Unfortunately, only four out of the over 5,000 beneficiaries have repaid the loans as we are speaking now.
”So, the state government is pondering on taking any action to recoup the money, including going to the courts.”
Gawuna further stated that the state government had purchased 500 hydraulic water pumps, worth N 45million and distributed same to irrigation farmers.
” The state government has also ordered for additional 5,000 of such pumps for the same purpose.
” The state government also plans to buy N250 million worth of insecticides, pesticides and improv…

Catfish consumption is safe, says association

Mr Tayo Akingbolagun, former President, Catfish Farmers’ Association of Nigeria, says consumption of catfish is safe and healthy to the human body. He allayed the fears in some quarters that catfish was harmful to the body, and described it as handwork of some mischief makers.
Akingbolagun dispelled the rumour in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Benin on Sunday
According to Akingbolagun, some unpatriotic Nigerians had sponsored publications to say that catfish contained bad cholesterol and was not fit for human consumption.
“For their information, the Food and Drug Administration of the United States of America recently confirmed that cholesterol is a non issue in human health.
“America produces channel catfish, while China produces her own specie of catfish and these are consumed by their citizens.
“We therefore cannot understand the reason why some unpatriotic Nigerians decide to destroy their own product,” he said.
According to him, the association will soon make p…

BoA to sensitise youth, women on Anchor borrowers programme at Kaduna trade fair

The Bank of Agriculture (BoA) on Thursday said it would use the 38th Kaduna International Trade Fair to senitise women and youth on the benefits of accessing facilities under the Anchor Borrower programme and Agriculture Value-chain management.
Mr Oluremi Olaoye, the Bank’s Corporate Communications Manager, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Kaduna.
NAN reports that the 38th edition of fair, with the theme: Promoting Public Private Partnership as a panacea for accelerated Growth and Development will hold from Feb. 24 to March 5 in Kaduna.
Olaoye said that the bank, as a member of the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA) would explore the opportunity to promote the programmes.
“We shall participate in the 38th edition of the Kaduna International Trade Fair focusing on marketing our financial inclusion product to the two segments of farmers,” the official said.
NAN reports that some 15 states had enlisted on the anchor borrower…

Fufore council in Adamawa allocates 250 hectares for rice production

Alhaj Wakili Boya, the chairman of Fufore Local Government of Adamawa, says his council has allocated 250 hectares of land for rice production.
Boya made this known Thursday in an interview with newsmen in Demsa.
Boya said that the measure was part of efforts by his council to key into the present government’s move to boost rice production nationwide.
“The move by government to boost rice production has led to rise in number of farmers going into rice production, and that prompted my council to allocate 250 hectares of land,” Boya said.
Boya, who is the state chairman of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), said that the 21 local governments councils of the state, had procured 105 tractors to enhanced mechanized farming.
He lauded the state government for providing support by subsidizing the cost of fertilizer, adding that the councils were ready to collaborate in moving agriculture forward in the state.

The ALGON chairman also commended Gov. Muhammadu Bindow for his latest…

Nigerian can produce rice twice a year, says NCRI Director

Dr Samuel Agboire, Director General National Cereal Research Institute Badeggi in Niger, said on Thursday that Nigeria has the capacity to produce sufficient rice to meet local demand.
Agboire said in Badeggi that all that was required was sufficient farming implements and inputs, as well as cheap credit facilities and market for farmers.
The director general added that all tiers of government must embark on massive construction of feeder roads to open up the hinterland and enable farmers transport their produce to mills and markets.
” We can comfortable produce rice twice a year if the required farming implements will be made available at government approved rates.”
He said that farmer should be motivated through the provision of modern farming implements at subsidised rates.
Agboire called for sufficient funding of research institutes to enable them meet up with national challenges.
“No nation can develop or meet its Agricultural produce targets without adequately paying attention to Agri…

Gov Ahmed inaugurates ‘Kwara Go Veg’ programme

Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara on Thursday inaugurated ‘Kwara Go Veg,’ a programme that would assist vegetable farmers in the state to make profit in whatever they cultivate. Speaking at the ceremony in Ilorin, Ahmed added that the programme was initiated to increase farmers’ productivity, income and develop the value chains of crops. He said the initiative was also aimed at sensitising farmers on the untapped money making potential on vegetable farming. The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr Mahmud Ajeigbe, said this would also provide raw materials for industries, promote food security and create employment for the youths. “We also want to build the capacity of vegetable farmers in the state to increase their productivity and profitability. “The project is also aimed at identifying and revealing the numerous opportunities available to every actor in the vegetable value chain to enable farmers build their capacity through training…

Delta farmers bemoan loss of crops, farmlands to bush burning

Some farmers in Aboh-Ogwashi community in Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta on Thursday grumbled about the destruction of their farmlands and produce by fire ignited via indiscriminate bush burning. The farmers expressed their grief in separate interviews with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ogwashi-Uku. They stressed that their productivity had nose-dived due to perennial incidence of bush burning in the area. One of the farmers, 76-year-old Gabriel Ubosi , said that he lost all the crops in his farmland to bush burning last Friday night. He said that the fire had consequently incapacitated him as a farmer. “In just a night, I lost my entire farm to bush burning. This is very devastating to me because the farm is my only source of livelihood. “Right now, I am finished because I don’t know where to start from. “I was in the farm on Friday, only for me to come on Saturday morning to discover that my farm has been ravaged by fire, with all my crops like cassava, yam and vege…

KTSG earmarks N6.4bn in 2017 budget to boost agriculture — S/A

Katsina State Government has earmarked N6.4 billion in the 2017 budget to boost agriculture, Alhaji Abdullahi Imam, Special Adviser to Gov. Aminu Masari on Budget and Planning, has said.
Imam disclosed on Thursday in Katsina, that the government had also set aside N2 billion in the budget for the purchase of farm tillers for distribution to farmers.
“The government has set aside N1.1 billion in the budget for rehabilitation of several dams in the state to enhance irrigation farming.
“The government has set aside N3.6 billion for the purchase of assorted fertilisers for distribution to farmers.
“The government has also earmarked N700 million for participation in Fadama III project,” he said.
The SA said the government accord high priority to agriculture, adding that this informed the lion share given to the sector in the 2017 budget.
He said that the government was committed to boosting of food production since 70 per cent of the citizens are farmers.
“The government is aware that t…