Showing posts from March, 2017

IRRI, FAO step up joint efforts to globally bolster sustainable rice production

Focus is on food security and helping poor farmers by enhancing crop resilience and adapting to climate change
FAO and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) have agreed to cooperate more closely to support sustainable rice production in developing countries to improve food security and livelihoods while safeguarding natural resources. An agreement signed today seeks to better pool the scientific knowledge and technical know-how of the two organizations so that they can expand and intensify their work globally. The partnership primarily aims to enhance sustainable rice-based farming systems through capacity building activities - including assisting governments draw up and implement national and regional policies and strategies - to the benefit of small-scale farmers, especially women. "The world faces very significant changes over the next few decades to produce the volume and quality of nutritious food to feed a global population heading for 10 billion people," said I…

IITA urges more investment in research to boost agricultural production

International Institute on Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has called on the Federal Government to increase its investment in agricultural research to boost agricultural production in the nation. Mrs Oiwoja Ooihi, an IITA’s Communication Specialist on the Yam Improvement for Income and Food Security in West Africa (YIIFSWA) project, made the appeal in Abuja on Thursday while speaking with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). YIIFSWA is a seed system development project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to assist Nigerian farmers to cultivate improved and high-yield yam seedlings to enhance yam production under the aegis of IITA. Ooihi said that the increased investment would also empower farmers and guarantee food security in the country. She disclosed that the institute had a lot of research works on its shelves, which were awaiting resources before being moved and executed. ‘‘My advice to the government is to link with the IITA and its technologies. ‘‘IITA has a lot of technologies in …

SON to partner Kwara Agro Mall to enhance agricultural production

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) says it will collaborate with Kwara State Agro Mall to enhance agricultural production in the state. The state Coordinator of SON, Mr Sunday Yashim, said this in Ilorin on Thursday in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). He underscored the need to enlighten farmers in the state on various agricultural best practices to enhance the quality of their produce. Yashim maintained that farmers in the rural areas needed to work more on the quality of their produce to enable them to compete with others in the international market. “We are ready to partner with Kwara Agro Mall for the development of good agricultural practices. “Enlightenment of farmers on the standard practice in farming is very important and we hope to ensure Kwara State is not left out,” he said. Yashim said that a standard Code for Agricultural Practice (CAP) had been set up to guide farmers on how to cultivate the land and the type of fertilisers that was suitable for a part…

FG to construct more rural roads to salvage post-harvest losses

The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Sen. Heineke Lokpobiri, says the Federal Government will construct more rural roads to enable farmers transport their produce to the market.
Lokpobiri disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday at the National Sensitisation Workshop on the selection of states to participate in the third Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP3).
He expressed optimism that the effort, when materialised, would also address post-harvest losses.
The workshop was organised by the Rural Access and Mobility Project, a Federal Government agency, saddled with the responsibility of constructing rural roads to ease farmer’s access to inputs and market.
He said most farm produce got destroyed, daily, because of lack of good road linking the rural roads to the market.
“From the report available to us, about 70 per cent of the 193 million Nigerians, whose only means of livelihood is agriculture, reside in the rural areas with half of them live less than 2 kilometres …

NIHORT announces reduction in tomato devastation by Tuta Absoluta pest

National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), Ibadan, on Wednesday disclosed that the devastation of tomatoes by Tuta Absoluta pest had been reduced by 40 per cent. The Acting Executive Director of NIHORT, Dr Abayomi Olaniyan, said this in Ibadan at the institute’s In-House review with the theme “Role of Horticulture in Green Alternative for Improved Livelihood’’. Olaniyan noted that some of the major achievements of the institute in the 2016/2017 period included 114 tomato lines that were collected and under screening for bacterial wilt tolerance. He said that 44 pepper lines were collected and under screening for tolerance to viral infections, adding that five new varieties of mushroom were also collected from East Africa. He also said that 50 kilogrammes of organic fertiliser were produced from a mixture of horticulture waste, while four forms of soap were produced from horticultural waste and packaged. “One micro garden demonstration centre was established at NIHORT, 10 accession…

Taraba govt’s N2bn Greenhouse project employs 200 youths – Official

Mr Isaac Mela, the Permanent Secretary, Taraba Ministry of Agriculture, says the N2 billion Greenhouse project of the state government has so far employed 200 youths. Mela said this in Jalingo on Thursday at the 5th edition of “Face the Press’’ programme. He noted that apart from the employment opportunities which the project had generated, it would also supply good vegetables to the citizens. He said that the project would also serve as a centre for practical studies for students, especially those studying agriculture in higher institutions across the country. The permanent secretary said that the government sourced funding for the project from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), adding that the project was designed to pay back the loan over time. Besides, Mela said that the state government’s partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) had yielded good results in terms of infrastructural projects like access roads to farms and increased production of rice a…

Association seeks FG’s support in popularising organic agriculture

The Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria (NOAN), on Thursday, urged the Federal Government to support its efforts in popularising Organic agriculture (OA) in Nigeria.
The Association’s National President, Prof. Victor Olowe, made this appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of the association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Ibadan.
The NOAN president urged the government to increase the contribution Organic Agriculture was making in the Growth Enhancement Scheme of agriculture, to enable the association achieve its goal.
Olowe noted that OA was essential for the development of agriculture in the country, adding that it could improve farmers’ incomes with a lot of health benefits.
According to him, the association has registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) with the aim to improve the livelihoods of stakeholders, especially farmers in agriculture.
“We are affiliated with the International Federation of Organic Agri…

Stallion Farms to produce 1.5 million metric tonnes of rice annually---Singh

Stallion Farms to produce 1.5 million metric tonnes of rice annually---Singh …Gets outstanding agric sector award ABUJA: The Group Managing Director of Stallion Popular Farms and Mills Limited, Mr. Hapreet Singh has assured of the company’s readiness to increase locally rice farming from 450, 000 metric tonnes to 1.5million tonnes annually, using integrated rice value chain and enhanced milling activities, Mr. Singh gave the assurance in Abuja during IBCA - ‘Outstanding Projects and Business Leaders of the Year Award’ conferred on the company for its remarkable role in integrated rice value chain and enhanced local rice production, 10 years since it began farming activities in Nigeria. Singh noted that: “We owe this accomplishment to President Muhammadu Buhari’s leadership aptitudes and agri-business agenda as well as Chief Audu Ogbeh agrarian backward integration initiative. According to him, “Popular Farms and Mills Limited would leverage on the impulse provided by the Federal Gove…

750 farmers in Bauchi receive training on irrigation farming — APC chieftain

No fewer than 750 farmers in Bauchi Federal Constituency recently received training in irrigation farming, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Ado Danladi-Maigoro, has said.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Bauchi, Danladi-Maigoro said that the Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, sponsored the farmers from three local governments in the constituency.
Danladi-Maigoro, the immediate past chairman of Dass Local Government Council, said that the farmers were selected from Dass, Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro Local Government areas.
He said that the farmers were trained at the College of Horticulture, Dadin-Kowa, in Gombe State in dry season farming and other related irrigation agricultural techniques.
Danladi-Maigoro said that the farmers would be assisted with farm inputs and other equipment to enable them to embrace dry season farming.
He said that the speaker also appointed 20 people in Dass Local Government as legis…

AfDB’s $280m `Enable Youth Programme’ in agric commences soon

The African Development Bank (AfDB) says it will soon commence the implementation of the $280 million `Enable Youth Programme’, to promote youths’ employment in agriculture in the country.
The `Enable Youth Programme’ is designed to contribute to job creation, food security and nutrition, rural income generation and improved livelihoods for youths, in both urban and rural areas.
Dr Ibrahim Amadou, the Chief Agricultural Economist, AfDB, Nigeria Country Office, made the remark at a training programme for youth farmers in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said the support was the Bank’s 10 years strategy to create jobs for youths in Africa, from 2013 to 2022.
Amadou said the programme would be done in collaboration with the Federal Government in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
According to him, “we are waiting for the government to meet its own obligations before we kick-start the programme.
“The targeted beneficiaries will be in two categories.
“The first …

NARICT to set up tomato processing plants in northern states – Ag. D-G

The National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NARICT) says plans are underway to establish tomato processing plants in the northern part of the country. Prof. Mohammed Kabir-Yakubu, the Acting Director-General of the institute, said this on Monday in Zaria, Kaduna State, while interacting with newsmen on the recent achievements of the institute.
He said: “What we want to do in NARICT is to help government set up small tomato processing plants across Northern Nigeria because we lack the processing technology. “Those who process tomato in Nigeria have to import tomato concentrates from China, Vietnam, India and other countries who produce tomato in high volumes.
“We are going to meet with Ericsson next week; the idea is that we want to be able to mop up excess tomato available at peak harvest periods and convert them into concentrates,’’ he said.
Kabir-Yakubu said that Ericsson would tell the institute the quality analysis it wanted in terms of moisture contents a…

MD lauds FG for banning tomato paste importation

Alhaji Abdulkarim Kaita, the Managing Director of Dangote Tomato Processing Company, Kadawa, Kano State, has commended the Federal Government for banning the importation of tomato paste into the country.
The managing director said on Tuesdayin Kano that “I want to use this opportunity to commend the Federal Government for the singular act.
“The information reaching us is that government has banned importation of tomato paste and the Central Bank of Nigeria will support tomato growers with loan under the Anchor Borrower programme,” he said.
Kaita noted that enforcing total ban on importation of the commodity would enable local tomato processing factories to thrive, in addition to providing job opportunities to the teeming number of unemployed persons in the country.
“The importation of tomato paste from China had adversely affected the local tomato processing companies as local product was not being patronized adequately.”
According to him, his company plans to produce tomato paste in…

Urbanization can be a catalyst for rural development

Rome-Managing urbanization sustainably poses new challenges and opportunities to recast food and agriculture systems in ways that benefit both cities and the countryside, according to a new report presented by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and FAO. Meeting the rising urban demand for food can increase the incomes of the rural poor, most of whom derive their livelihoods from small and family farm agriculture, said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva. "This could generate much-needed employment and development prospects for the people who will remain in the countryside of developing countries while also making healthier food easier to access in cities." "But growing urban demand will not automatically benefit small farmers,, so we must look for solutions that can seize on the opportunities, and avoid the downside of increasing urbanization," he added, noting the pressure the expected changes will put on nutritional needs, scarce natur…

RIFAN urges FG to sustain ban on rice importation to boost local production

The Kaduna State chapter of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) has appealed to Federal Government to maintain its ban on rice importation so as to boost local production. The State Secretary of RIFAN, Mr Ishaya Audu, made the appeal in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Kaduna. Audu urged the government to ignore calls from various quarters to lift the ban on rice importation through the country’s land borders, saying that the ban should be sustained to encourage rice farmers to increase their productivity. “Our farmers produce at a loss due to their lack of access to fertilisers, agro-chemicals, high-yield seeds, tractors and loan facilities to expand rice production in the state. “We were among those who encouraged the Federal Government’s ban on importation of rice, although we cannot meet up with the current demand for the commodity due to these challenges. “We still insist that the ban be sustained while all these challenges are addressed. Certainly, …

Researchers to unveil techniques for controlling weeds in cassava

Researchers working under the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture led Cassava Weed Management Project (IITA-CWMP) will this week share findings and recommendations on how to tackle weeds in cassava farming systems.
The sharing of research findings is part of activities marked for a week-long annual review and planning meeting and Steering Committee meeting scheduled to hold 27-30 March 2017 at IITA in Ibadan.
“We are optimistic that the key findings from our research will help farmers to tackle the problem of weeds in cassava, with the view to having more yield,” says the Project Leader of IITA-CWMP, Dr Alfred Dixon, who is also a Director with IITA on Monday.
Declaring the meeting open, Dr Kenton Dashiell, IITA Deputy Director General, Partnership for Delivery, said the goal of the project was to take off drudgery due to weeding in cassava farming systems.
“I am happy that this meeting will share findings that will impact positively on weed control,” Dr Dashiell said.

Grown on…

250,000 Kebbi farmers to become millionaires by end of 2017 – CBN Gov.

Mr Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has assured farmers in Kebbi that 250,000 millionaire farmers will be created in the state by the end of 2017. Emefiele gave the assurance when he visited the WACOT Rice Factory in Argungu on Thursday. “I was told by a permanent secretary that 88,000 millionaires had been created through rice and agricultural revolution. “I am assuring you that by the end of this year, 200,000 to 250,000 farmer millionaires will be created through the revolution,” he said. He also assured farmers in the state that government would buy off whatever quantity of rice they were able to produce. Emefiele commended the Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Sama’ila Mere, for providing land for the company and for his desire to stimulate agricultural revolution in the country. He, however, called on other royal fathers to emulate the monarch’s desire to drive agricultural revolution in the country. Also speaking, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Deve…

Katsina wheat farmers cultivate 7,500 hectares – WFAN

Wheat farmers in Katsina State say they have cultivated 7,500 hectares this season, an increase of 5, 000 hectares from the previous season.
Alhaji Hassan Salihu-Kwai, Katsina State Chairman, Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday that more farmers were engaged in wheat cultivation because of its huge profits.
“Wheat cultivation started in four local government areas in Katsina State and has expanded to 34 local government areas with larger number of people,’’ he said.
He commended the Federal Government for its support to wheat farmers and called for increased supply of fertilizer and inputs to enable more farmers embrace wheat production across the country.
“More inputs should be provided to our members to encourage them to expand the scope of production,’’ he said.
According to him, the association and flour mills support farmers with water pumping machines, improved seedlings, fertilizer, chemicals and other inputs.
He appealed to Go…

Gombe govt. procures 20, 000 tonnes of fertiliser for 2017 farming season – Dankwambo

The Gombe State Government has procured 20, 000 tonnes of fertiliser for distribution to farmers for the 2017 farming season.
Gov. Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State disclosed this at the inauguration of Agrochemical plaza in Gombe on Saturday.
The governor, who was represented by Alhaji Shehu Durbi, Commissioner for Land and Survey, said that the fertiliser would be disbursed at subsidised rate to farmers.
He said that the state government would assist farmers in the state to improve their yields.
Dankwambo also commended the owner of the newly constructed plaza, adding that it would contribute positively to the economic development of the state.
He said such agro-chemicals were the essential ingredient for farming and would complement government’s efforts in agricultural development at the state and federal levels.
The plaza’s owner, Alhaji Uba Abdullahi, said that he constructed the plaza to boost business and to complement efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari in giving priority to…

Kogi govt. declares state of emergency on agric, clears land for farmers

Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi says it has become a policy of the state government to clear land for farmers to boost agriculture and transform it into a business initiative. The governor said this on Friday when he inaugurated a factory that would process cassava peels into animal feeds in Ojapata, Ankpa Local Government Area of the state. Bello, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Agriculture, Mr David Apeh, said that his administration had also declared a state of emergency on the agriculture sector. “We want to use agriculture to create jobs in the state; it is now a policy of the state government to clear lands for farmers, as no farmer can clear much land with hoe and cutlass. “And as part of efforts to encourage farmers, government has ordered 500 tonnes of fertiliser for distribution from this month.” Bello said that a bag of the fertiliser would not cost more than N5, 000, urging the citizens to engage in agriculture and cultivate the vast arable lands of the state. Sp…