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Showing posts from April, 2017

Ghana’s Northern Rural Growth Programme - innovative way to make agriculture a worthy investment for rural farmers

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The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) sought the African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) financial support to implement the Northern Rural Growth Programme (NRGP) in Ghana at a total cost of US$ 92.79 million. The programme was designed with the overall goal of ensuring equitable and sustainable reduction of poverty and food insecurity among rural households in Northern Ghana. The NRGP exemplifies a participatory operation based on a new innovative concept of women empowerment.
Empowering women, transforming livelihoods
Women have a critical role in the march towards food security in Ghana. Statistics suggest that about 66 percent of all smallholder farmers in Ghana are women. However, the NRGP gave equal attention to both male and female.
Salma Abdulai is one of several women supported by the programme. The 32 year-old mother of three is a very active and entrepreneurial woman. She lunched her enterprise “Unique Quality Production Enterprise”, located in Pagzaa comm…

IFAD earmarks $93.5m to support 727,000 farmers in 7 states

Prof. Morenike Adewolu of the Lagos state University (LASU) has called on the Federal Government to increase investment in the production of fish feed locally to improve the Nation’s fishing industry.
Adewolu, a professor of Aquaculture and Fish Nutrition, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos that local fish production is hampered by high cost of imported feeds.
The professor spoke to NAN on the sideline of the institutions’ 62nd inaugural lecture at its Ojo campus in Lagos.
Adewolu, who spoke on the topic “Feed the Fish: Feed the Nation”, said that Nigeria needs to have fish feed mills that would use 100 per cent local ingredients for various fish species.
She said that aquaculture plays an important role towards food security and nutrition for citizens.
According to her, a healthy meal of fish would provide the necessary nutritional values required to bridge the gap of poor food match in the country.
She called on government to facilitate research into local s…

IFAD earmarks $93.5m to support 727,000 farmers in 7 states

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) says it has set aside 93.5 million U.S. dollars to support 727,000 farmers in seven states, under its Climate Change Adaptation and Agribusiness Support Programme (CASP). Alhaji Lawal Idah, the National Programme Coordinator of CASP, said this at an interactive session with journalists in Katsina on Thursday. He listed the seven beneficiary states as Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Jigawa, Yobe, Borno and Zamfara. Idah said that the project would be implemented in 727 villages across 104 local government areas in the seven states. According to him, 1,000 farmers, mostly women and youths, are targeted in each village. “CASP is built on the lessons learnt from the previous Community Based Agricultural Rural Development Programme (CBARDP) which used Community Development Associations (CDA) as the primary entry for implementation. “It promotes agricultural productivity enhancement and agriculture, as principal drivers, while integrating …

Why brutalising food vendors hits Africa’s growing cities where it hurts

Why brutalising food vendors hits Africa’s growing cities where it hurts

In January this year, the Harare City Council in Zimbabwe accused informal food vendors of spreading typhoid. The council then attempted to confiscate, and destroy, all perishable food items that were being hawked in the central business district. Many vendorsfought back, resulting in deadly clashes over a series of days in the opposition run capital city. Sadly, such violent treatment of workers in informal markets isall too commonin African cities. Indeed, based oncalculationsfrom the Armed Conflict and Location Event Database, such treatment dramatically increased over the past decade. In 2015, there were more than 250 incidents of violence against informal workers in Africareportedin the media, a more than fourfold increase since 2005. Other examples of these so-called cleanup operations were carried out in Malawi in 2006 and 2015, in Nigeria in 2009, in South Africa in 2013, and in Zambia in 2007 and 2015. Thes…

Agriculture will help Nigeria tackle unemployment says Governor Wike

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has stated that investments in agriculture will help the nation tackle youth unemployment .

Speaking during a courtesy visit by the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh and Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri at the Government House Port Harcourt on Wednesday, Governor Wike said agriculture is essential to the revival of the nation's economy.

He said: "If Nigeria must move to the next level, agriculture is key. To reduce unemployment, we must focus on agriculture ".
The governor lauded the Minister of Agriculture for displaying maturity by ensuring that the issues of food production are insulated from politics.
The governor said that his administration is developing a public private partnership model to enhance the development of agriculture.
He said: "We are developing the cassava factory to improve the commercial farming of the product. We are also working wi…

Support farmers input system, IAR&T urges state govts

The Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, has urged state governments in the South-West geopolitical zone to support the activities of Research-Extension-Farmers-Input Linkage System (REFILS) in their states.
The institute’s Executive Director, Prof. James Adediran, made the call at the South-West REFILS workshop in Ibadan on Tuesday.
The theme of the workshop is “Diversification and Sustainability of Agricultural Production: the Role of Mechanisation’’.
Adediran underscored the need for the state governments to make concerted efforts to boost food security and sustainable agricultural production in their states by assisting all those who were engaged in agriculture.
He appealed to stakeholders, friends of research institutes and Agricultural Development Programmes (ADPs) to fund the activities of REFILS.
“We have to forge ahead with this mission if we want to be relevant to the needs of our farmers; all hands must be on the deck to achieve success,…

Gov. Lalong launches sale of 20,000 tonnes of fertilisers to farmers in Plateau

Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau on Tuesday in Mikang launched the sale of 20,000 tonnes of fertilisers to farmers at a subsidised rate.
Speaking at the event, Lalong said that the fertilisers, which had a 50-per-cent subsidy, would be sold to farmers at N5, 500 per 50kg. bag.
The governor acknowledged the challenges which farmers encountered last year in efforts to acquire the essential input.
He stressed that government had devised better means of facilitating the access of smallholder farmers to the product. Lalong said that a special fertiliser intervention scheme, where each state of the federation was expected to blend a specified quantity of assorted fertilisers for its people, was now in place.
“Plateau has received approval to blend 20,000 tonnes for distribution this farming season, using farmers’ database generated by Bank of Agriculture and accessed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as well as using the Bank Verification Number (BVN) of each registered farmer.
“You will…

AFDB approves $280m to support Nigerian youths in agriculture —Adesina

The President of the African Development Bank (AFDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, says the $280 million approved by the bank would be used to encourage Nigerian youths to go into agro-business.
Adesina, represented by Dr Chiji Ojukwu, a Director in AFDB, stated this on Tuesday in Ibadan at the African Youth Agripreneurs (AYA) Forum organised by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that forum was convened to attract youths across Africa into agribusiness as well as mentor them to invest in agriculture.
Adesina said with IITA training initiative and the financial support from AFDB, more youths would be interested to go into agribusiness.
He said that AFDB was working with 33 countries to give assistance to youths in agriculture.
Adesina said Zambia, Sudan, GR Congo, Cameroon and Nigeria had already been given necessary assistance in 2016.
He said that the bank was targeting 37,000 youths in Nigeria who w…

Food security: LASG acquires 634.6 hectares of farmlands outside Lagos

The Lagos State Government (LASG) on Tuesday said it had acquired and started cultivation on a total of 634.6 hectares of farmland in the three states of Ogun, Osun and Abuja.
Mr Sanni Okanlawon, the Special Adviser on Food Security to Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode made the remarks at the state’s Ministerial Press Briefing in Lagos.
Okanlawon said that the lands were acquired for the major purpose of producing and bringing food to Lagos State for consumption.
“The state government is making sure that what Lagosians consume is fresh, wholesome and healthy, that is why it has taken steps to ensure that the source of meals consumed here are known.
“Currently, 500 hectares have been acquired in the Yewa Local Government of Ogun State for rice production. Already, 128 hectares have been cultivated and the rest is available for rice investors to show interest in.
“Also, 84.6 hectares in Okini Osogbo, Osun State for the production of palm oil and cassava and whatever is produced comes back to the …

Group launches solar power dryer to cut post harvest losses

A group, Developmental Association for Renewable Energy in Nigeria (DARE), has inaugurated a solar powered dryer panel to overcome post-harvest losses.
The panel was inaugurated at Sabongarin Ba’awa in Makarfi Local Government, Kaduna State.
Malam Yahaya Ahmed , the Director of the group, said the move was to support local farmers with new scientific techniques and technology to reduce farm produce losses due to lack of processing machines in rural area.
“We introduced the solar powered dryer to the rural farmers through a revolving fund.
“Our target is to reduce the quantum of food crops being damaged and the attendant financial losses incurred by farmers.
“The dryer has an efficacy period of 25 years and farmers can use it to dry all their farm produce in both rainy and dry seasons.
“Farm produce such as tomatoes, pepper, ginger, mangoes, and so can be dried within few hours using the machine.”
According to him, the dryer also helps to prevent dust and contamination, and facilita…

LASG to upscale Imota rice milling plant from 2.5to 16 metric tonnes per hour

As part of plans to ensure food self-sufficiency, especially through rice production, the Lagos State Government says it is up-scaling the Imota Rice Milling Plant from 2.5 metric tons to 16 metric tons.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Toyin Suarau, who made the disclosure on Tuesday at a Ministerial Press Briefing to mark Gov. Akinwumi Ambide’s second year in office, said the plant would be delivered within one year.
Suarau said that the plant would be the biggest in Nigeria when delivered and also drive the state’s major goal to scale up food sufficiency from 12 per cent to 25 per cent in three years.
“The ministry is mandated to facilitate sustainable food production, poverty reduction and job creation through several agriculture projects and programmes.
“The major goal of the ministry is to make the state food secured and scale up food self-sufficiency from the current 12 per cent to 25 per cent within the next three years.
“It is part of plans to ensure that the production …

INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM SET TO BRING THE WORLD’S TOP COCOA RESEARCHERS TOGETHER IN PERU

Abidjan, 24 April 2017—The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) is organizing the International Symposium on Cocoa Research (ISCR 2017) to take place in Lima, Peru, 13 – 17 November 2017, in conjunction with the Government of Peru. With the theme, Promoting Advances in Research to Enhance the Profitability of Cocoa Farming, the International Symposium aims to review recent advances in technology and innovations, share information and agree on common strategies with the goal of accelerating the development of the world cocoa sector. The Symposium is expected to attract scientists, researchers and policy makers, as well as representatives from the trade and industry, development agencies and civil society, from all over the world. Peru, with its rich heritage of growing fine and flavour cocoa, as well as having one of the world’s highest growth rates in cocoa production, is an ideal place to hold the Symposium. The Symposium aims to provide a platform for the cocoa community and sci…

2,550 Plateau farmers get loan to improve food production

Jos - 2,550 farmers registered with the Plateau State Chapter of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN are to benefit from the over N2bn loan under the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN anchor borrowers' programme to cultivate maize and soya beans in this farming season so that the food security can be achieved in the State.
The Association which has gotten approval for the said loan is to give it to 150 registered farmers from the 17 local government area of the State totalling 2,550 even as it has also secured improved seedlings, fertilizer and other farm inputs which would help the beneficiaries in making profit so that they can repay the loan.
Disclosing these during a press briefing held at the weekend in Jos, the state chairman of the Association, John Jiller added that intensive meetings are ongoing with herdsmen and security agencies to ensure farmers are safe in their farms as only such collaboration would ensure food security and improved income and livelihood of farme…

300,000 farmers benefit from BOA loan schemes in North Central zone

The Bank of Agriculture (BOA) says no fewer than 300,000 farmers in the North Central geopolitical zone of the country have benefited from its various loan schemes in the past years .
Mr Ibrahim Alamba, the Zonal Manager (North Central) of the bank, said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday. He said that the farmers from Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger and Plateau states benefited from the bank’s micro-credit loans, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) loans, and the BOA/Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP). Alamba said the loan schemes were initiated to boost agricultural production in the country and complement the Federal Government’s economic diversification efforts. The zonal manager said that many beneficiaries of the bank’s loan schemes were currently employers of labour in their different agricultural fields. Alamba said the bank sourced its funds via different collaborations with the African Development Bank (AfDB…

2,550 Plateau farmers get loan to improve food production

Jos - 2,550 farmers registered with the Plateau State Chapter of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN are to benefit from the over N2bn loan under the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN anchor borrowers' programme to cultivate maize and soya beans in this farming season so that the food security can be achieved in the State.
The Association which has gotten approval for the said loan is to give it to 150 registered farmers from the 17 local government area of the State totalling 2,550 even as it has also secured improved seedlings, fertilizer and other farm inputs which would help the beneficiaries in making profit so that they can repay the loan.
Disclosing these during a press briefing held at the weekend in Jos, the state chairman of the Association, John Jiller added that intensive meetings are ongoing with herdsmen and security agencies to ensure farmers are safe in their farms as only such collaboration would ensure food security and improved income and livelihood of fa…

NGO secures N10 bn loan for young farmers from FCMB

United Young Farmers Forum (UYFF) has secured a loan of N10 billion from First City Monument Bank (FCMB) to empower 10,000 young farmers in the country.
President of the association, Mr Orimadegun Wilson, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja that a pilot phase of the scheme with farmers fron the from the North West and North East geo politicaal zones during this farming season..
Wilson, who said the loan was derived from FCMB, said the pilot phase was started from the two regions because theof the enthusiasm shown by the prospective participants in the region.
He added that 75 per cent of the loan guarantee would be covered by Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), while 25 per cent of the risk would be borne by UYFF.
According to him, beneficiaries are expected to deposit one per cent of whatever was collected to NIRSAL to serve as collateral, adding that the repayment period was one year from the time the beneficiary’s cr…

Farmer wants govt. subsidy on animal feeds

Sir Lucky Ikukaiwe, a poultry farmer and Chairman, Sparrow Agro-Vet Services, Warri, Delta, has called for government subsidy on animal feeds to boost production of poultry products in the Niger Delta.
He made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Asaba on Sunday.
He said government needed to also subsidise piggery feeds to enable the people of the region, especially the youths, to participate more in agriculture.
The chairman said increased participation in poultry production and piggery would create jobs and ensure adequate supply of protein needs of the people.
According to him, the Niger Delta region has more comparative advantages over other zones in the country in poultry farming, piggery and fish farming.
He added that “in this region, we have very good weather for poultry. ”
Ikukaiwe said that the people of the region, especially the youths, had been distracted for a very long time such that their focus had been misdirected.
He said that except fo…

Edo AFAN calls for provision of tractors, other implements

The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Edo chapter, has called on the state government to provide tractors, bulldozers, graders and other farm implements for farmers in the state to hire.
The state Chairman of AFAN, Chief Emmanuel Odigie, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Sunday.
Odigie said the association was willing to pay an agreed amount to the state government on a monthly basis for the use of the equipment if provided.
He said “the idea is to enable our members to hire them at affordable rates to prepare farmlands and construct roads leading to the farms.
”Our investigation revealed that farm produce waste away in the farms due to inaccessible and deplorable state of our farm roads.
“If the roads were graded, farmers would evacuate their produce and avoid the waste,” he said.
The chairman further said that the lack of the equipment and irrigation, as well as poor state of roads posed very serious challenge to farmers in the…

Farmers in Rivers community decry cassava stem scarcity

Some farmers in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers have decried the scarcity of cassava stems in the area, saying it would hamper cassava production if not checked.
The farmers expressed concern over the situation in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Etche on Sunday.
They called on relevant government agencies to ensure the availability of improved cassava stem species for farmers in the area and the entire state.
They complained that they now bought cassava stems at prices higher than what they were sold during the 2016 planting season.
One of them, Chukwuma Obioma, said that the scarcity had affected his cultivation plan for this year’s planting season.
He said “I buy cassava stems at double the price that I bought in 2016; this situation has affected my plans for the season.
“Ordinarily, my cassava farm should have been ready for weeding this month, but I am still searching for good specie of cassava stem to buy.”
Mrs Nkiru Samuel, another farmer, sa…

Farming: FG prepares 100 hectares of land in Edo

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has prepared 100 hectares of land for farming in Oria and Emu communities in Esan South East Local Government Area of the state.
Mr Wellington Omoragbon, the Federal Director of Agriculture in Edo, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Sunday.
Omoragbon said that the measure was to reduce the hardship faced by farmers in the area and to boost agriculture.
He said the ministry prepared 50 hectares of land as well as began the construction of a warehouse in each of the sites.
”The land preparation is to enable farmers in the communities to plant arable crops such as cassava, maize and oil palm among others,” he said.
According to him, about 150 fish farmers have been selected to benefit from the 2016 Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GES) programme in the state.
He explained that the fish farmers would be given subsidised inputs to enhance their production.
Omoragbon also said that the modern fish marke…

Federal government to engage 6000 youths in agricultural enterprises under FADAMA

‎About 6000 youths are to be engaged in agricultural enterprises by the Federal Government and the World Bank under the FADAMA III Project under the Graduate Unemployment Youths Support Scheme known as FADAMA GUYSS.
The Fadama National Project Coordinator (NPC), Mr Tayo Adewumi said this in Akure, Ondo State capital during the meeting with the Ondo State Federated Fadama Community Association (FFCA) .
Adewunmi said under the scheme, about 300 youths from ages 18 to 35 would be encouraged to go into agriculture as a profession and business in about 20 states. He said in subsequent programmes, between 500 and 1,000 youths would be accommodated under the scheme.
According to him "The programme, named GUYS, is to encourage youths from the ages of 18 to 35 and maximum of 40 years to go into agriculture as a profession and business. By study, real farmers are aging away, some dead and old. To start with, 15 to 20 states, including Ondo, will be among the first phase of 200 to 300…

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…