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Showing posts from May, 2017

Increasing food production without damaging the environment

FAO Director-General addresses European Parliament's Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development 30 May 2017, Brussels - To achieve sustainable development we must transform current agriculture and food systems, including by supporting smallholders and family farmers, reducing pesticide and chemical use, and improving land conservation practices, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said today addressing European lawmakers.
"Massive agriculture intensification is contributing to increased deforestation, water scarcity, soil depletion and the level of greenhouse gas emission," Graziano da Silva said. He stressed that while high-input and resource intensive farming systems have substantially increased food production, this has come at a high cost to the environment.
"Today, it is fundamental not only to increase production, but to do it in a way that does not damage the environment. Nourishing people must go hand in hand with nurturing the planet," he s…

FAO issues alert over lethal virus affecting popular tilapia fish

Though not a human health risk, Tilapia Lake Virus has large potential impact on global food security and nutrition
A highly contagious disease is spreading among farmed and wild tilapia, one of the world's most important fish for human consumption.
The outbreak should be treated with concern and countries importing tilapias should take appropriate risk-management measures - intensifying diagnostics testing, enforcing health certificates, deploying quarantine measures and developing contingency plans - according to a Special Alert released today by FAO's Global Information and Early Warnings System.
Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV) has now been reported in five countries on three continents: Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Israel and Thailand.
While the pathogen poses no public health concern, it can decimate infected populations. In 2015, world tilapia production, from both aquaculture and capture, amounted to 6.4 million tonnes, with an estimated value of USD 9.8 billion, and worldwide t…

Economist advises FG to invest more in agriculture

An economist, Dr Aminu Usman, has advised the Federal Government to invest more in agriculture during the current rainy season and support farmers with inputs to boost food production. Usman, a lecturer at the Department of Economics, Kaduna State University, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja. He said that agriculture should be given priority because of its huge employment capacity and the onset of the rainy season. “The government should ensure adequate supply of fertilisers and other critical inputs to ensure massive food production. “This will eventually bring down the consumer prices of food commodities, which is the major source of inflation in the country,’’ he said. Besides, Usman said that increased investment in agriculture would boost Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and aid efforts to bring the country out of recession. The recent GDP released by the National Bureau of Statistics stated that the nation’s GDP co…

Gowon, Obasanjo, Adesina, Kanayo and Elumelu to speak at IITA’s 50th anniversary celebration

Two former heads of state of Nigeria, Dr Yakubu Gowon, and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo will be among dignitaries that would grace the 50th anniversary celebration (IITA@50) of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan on 24 July. The two former heads of state will be addressing a gathering of more than 1000 staff including former and serving workers of the Institute and other dignitaries.
Other confirmed participants include Dr Akin Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB); Dr Kanayo Nwanze, Former President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; Chair of United Bank for Africa, Tony Elumelu; Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Burundi, Dr Deo-Guide Rurema; Former Prime Minister, Democratic Republic of Congo, H.E. Mapon Matata Mpoyo; IITA Alumni Representative, Mrs. Ayoka Lawani; Associate Vice President, IFAD, Dr. Perin Ange; the Representative of Bill & Melinda G…

Youth farmers want govt support to boost food production

The Concerned Youth Empowerment Association of Nigeria (CYEAN) has called on the Federal Government to support youth farmers to help the country achieve self sufficiency in food production.
The National President of the association, Mr Noble Adaelu, made the call in Abuja on Monday while speaking on the achievements and challenges of the Federal Government in the past two years.
Adaelu said the youths were yet to receive the needed support from the Federal Government in the areas of subsidised farm input supplies and access to low interest finance.
“Democracy day, what are we celebrating, Democracy that is well dependent on foreign donors or foreign food items. No, we have to move away from that.
“The Federal Government has not involved the youths in agriculture.
“In fact, all the programmes outlined by previous governments for agriculture advancement have not been replicated.
“We have the one we call Nigeria Agriculture Payment Initiative, that programme was done for farmers’ inclu…

NYSC to post corps members to farms

Brig-Gen. Suleiman Kazaure, the Director General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), said on Monday that the scheme would soon begin posting of corps members to farms.
Kazaure said this in an interview with newsmen during his official visit to the NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp in Sagamu, Ogun.
He said that the move to deploy corps members in farms was in line with the agricultural development programme of the NYSC.
According to him, the NYSC has concluded preparations to begin the posting at the conclusion of the three-week orientation exercise.
He said that Bauchi, Oyo, Kebbi and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, had been earmarked for the pilot phase.
“It should interest you to know that the NYSC will soon begin its agricultural development scheme where corps members will be posted to farms for their primary assignments.
“Already the NYSC has acquired active farmlands across the nation’s geopolitical zones with four already fully operational in Kwali, Bauchi…

May 29: MAN advises Govt to increase investment in agriculture

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has advised the three tiers of government to increase investment in agriculture to boost food production and sufficiency in the country.
Its Director-General, Mr Segun Kadiri, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday while reviewing the performance of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Kadiri said that government should embark on aggressive food production via mechanised farming to make more food available for human consumption and as raw materials for industrial use.
“It is important that people get food to eat; it is also important that industries get raw materials to use for production. Both are priorities.
“We, as a nation of more than 180 million people should plan big and operate big such that there would be no shortage anywhere.
“Nigeria is too big and blessed to complain about scarcity of food.
“We have about 36 states in the country and you can grow virtually anything. The…

“Seeds of Renaissance” offer internally displaced persons in Nigeria’s north east lifeline

Ibadan— The improved seeds donated by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to Borno State are lifelines for farmers, and will help rebuild the livelihoods of food insecure persons in the region.
Tagged ‘seeds of renaissance’, the 35,930 kilograms seeds comprising cowpea, maize, soybean, rice, sorghum and millet were received by the Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kashim Shettima on 22 May in Maiduguri.
The delivery of the seeds comes at a time when aid agencies offering food packs are hurt by funding cuts from donor agencies, and some are scaling down their operations.
Dr Kenton Dashiell, Deputy Director General for Partnership for Delivery, IITA, said today in Ibadan that the seeds donated to Borno state were among the best planting materials suited for the semi-arid zone which is divided between Sudan and Sahel savannahs.
“The varieties are extra-early maturing or early maturing, meaning that in few days farmers who plant them can harvest and have food on thei…

Gateway Fair: Dangote to spend 10 billion dollars on rice cultivation...gives tools to block makers

Group disclosed that it was investing N10 billion dollars in rice cultivation in five states to boost food self-sufficiency
LAGOS, Nigeria----- The Dangote Group (www.Dangote.com) shone at the just concluded 2017 Gateway Trade fair which was held in Abeokuta, emerging as the second most patronised exhibitor, just as the Group disclosed that it was investing N10 billion dollars in rice cultivation in five states to boost food self-sufficiency.
To mark its Day at the Fair, a subsidiary of the Group, Dangote Cement, gave out several tools and implements to the block makers in Ogun State in appreciation of their patronages. Tools such as wheel barrowers, shovels, umbrellas and hand gloves were donated to block makers who assembled from different areas of the state.
During the 10-day trade fair, Dangote Flour delighted customers and participants with free sampling of its new pasta products. The wet sampling made the Group’s pavilion the center of activities at the Fair as participants tro…

Kano govt. to supply 400,000 bags of fertiliser to farmers

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The Kano State Government says it will supply 400,000 bags of fertiliser to farmers to enable them to record bumper harvests in this year’s farming season.

Alhaji Bala Muhammed, the Managing Director of Kano State Agricultural Supply Company Limited (KASCO), said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano on Thursday.
Muhammed said that the state government had provided the company with the needed equipment to blend the “NPK 10-10’’ fertiliser and meet the farmers’ needs.
“KASCO will also supply improved maize, rice, sorghum, soya bean, tomato and cucumber seeds to enhance agricultural production this year,’’ he said.
He said that the state government would invite prominent agricultural companies to collaborate with KASCO, with a view to expanding its fertiliser blending capacity.
He said that the company was targeting the production of between 25 tonnes and 30 tonnes of fertiliser per hour. Muhammed urged the chairmen of the 44 local government councils in the st…

Double taxation on feed raw materials affecting fish price — Association

The Catfish and Allied Fish Farmers Association of Nigeria (CAFAN) on Thursday said that double taxation on raw materials for fish feed production was affecting the overall market price of the commodity.
The National President of CAFAN, Mr Rotimi Oloye, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that there was need for the Federal Government to urgently look into that area of concern.
Oloye said that members of the association, who wished to produce cheap but quality fish, however, were limited by the issue of taxation.
“The biggest challenge to produce cheaper and quality fish is the tax imposed on imported raw materials like maize, soya beans and other additives.
“Government needs to address this because when these products are imported, taxes are paid on them.
“Then, when we want to produce the feed locally, another government agency will ask for value addition tax.
“To us, that is double taxation; and by this, there is no way the consumer will not have an overwhelming effect…

World Bank earmarks $200m for Fadama III financing in Nigeria

The World Bank says it has earmarked 200 million dollars or N7.2 billion for Fadama III Additional Financing of projects in Nigeria.
The World Bank Consultant on the project, Dr Idris Badiru, made the disclosure on Thursday in Calabar at the opening of the Fadama III Additional Financing Mid-Term Review Mission to Cross River.
“Cross River is moving in the right direction; we hope they will continue to improve.
“We are happy with them; however, we are still in the planting season, until when it is time for harvest, we will then know the positive impact on the people.
“The whole package is from the World Bank is 200 million dollars (N7.2 billion) for the project.
“They should also know that the money is in the pool; if you perform better, you draw more,’’ he said.
Also, the National Project Coordinator, Mr Tayo Adewumi, said they felt concerned about the success of Cross River in the project last year due to their late start.
“But today, from what we have seen in the field, it is obvi…

Food security: Association begins agro-processing entrepreneurship programme for youths

The Concerned Youth Empowerment Association of Nigeria, Abuja, on Thursday commenced agro-entrepreneurship programme for youths in the country.
The National President of the association, Mr Noble Adaelu, told newsmen at the opening of the maiden edition of the programme, that it was geared toward promoting youth’s involvement in agriculture.
He said the programme was organised in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC).
While expressing concern at the increasing rate of hunger in the country, Adaelu said the programme was also aimed at promoting and sustaining the demand and supply of locally made goods.
He said that the beneficiaries would be sensitised on the processing, preservation and packaging agro-products; food and vegetable production, fisheries, feed making, poultry and nutrition.
Adaelu said the programme would be replicated in the six geo-political zones of the country to stir…

Nigeria needs 1.9m metric tons to meet national fish demand

Prof. Olujimi Faturoti, Chaiman, Council of Fellows, Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON), on Thursday in Lagos said that Nigeria had a deficit of 1.9 million metric tons of national fish demand.
He also said that the society and other stakeholders were also debunking the fact that catfish was bad for consumption because of a fictitious story that it had “bad fat” content.
Faturoti, who made the disclosure at news conference, said the national fish demand was about 2.7 million metric tons per annum whereas the current domestic production was estimated at 800,000 metric tons.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that theme of the conference is “Health Benefits of Eating Catfish: Debunking the Myth of Catfish Bad Fat’’.
However, Faturoti said that aquaculture farming in Nigeria had greatly assisted in bridging the gap between fish demand and supply.
“In the last 20 years, fish production from aquaculture has increased from 70,000 metric tons to more than 350,000 metric tons.
“Produ…

Osun Govt. provides 15 hectares of land for commercial farming

The Osun State Government on Thursday said it had provided about 15 hectares of land for large scale cultivation to boost food production in the state.
Dr Bukola Aluko, the coordinating director, Osun state Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Youths Engagement, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Osogbo.
According to Aluko, the state government is collaborating with investors that will facilitate farming on large and commercial scales in the state.
“Through this collaboration, billions of naira will be invested in agriculture: planting, processing and packaging of farm produce.
“Currently, farmers that are interested in partnering the state government have started importing their raw materials.
“The state government on its part has provided between 10 hectares and 15 hectares of land to investors for cultivation of farm crops, “ he said.
He said that the state government would allocate plots of lands to farmers to cultivate crops like cass…

FG to establish staple crop processing zones –Lokpobiri

The Federal Government plans to tackle post-harvest losses put at nine billion dollars annually through multiple approaches, including setting up of staple crops processing zones.
Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Agriculture, made the disclosure on Thursday in Abuja, at a stakeholders’ conference organised by Akassa Development Foundation (ADF).
Akassa is a community in Bayelsa in the southernmost part of Nigeria.
The theme of the stakeholders’ conference is: “ Sustainable Development and Security in the Niger Delta beyond Oil.’’
The minister, represented by Eniye Amloakederem, Senior Technical Adviser on Agric-business, listed the approaches to include-storage, development of cold chains, improving infrastructure, improving product handling, among others.
He said that staple crops processing zones would be set up in “ areas of high food production.’’
According to the minister, the government will utilise “ fiscal and infrastructure incentives’’ to attract private food …

Argentina partners Nigeria to boost agriculture

The Head of Mission, Argentina Embassy in Nigeria, Gustavo Dzugala, says his country is ready to collaborate with Nigeria to boost agricultural production.
Gustavo disclosed this on the sideline of the Argentine’s National Day celebration on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that Argentina major business was agriculture, stating that the country exports agricultural products to different parts of the world.
He said that if Argentina has the market, they would not be exporting millions of products out of the country, noting that Nigeria has the market.
According to him, Nigeria should shift her attention from crude oil to agriculture because agriculture is more lucrative than oil.
“Our main activity is agriculture, I am trying to ensure a better relationship in agriculture; we are going to train a delegation from Nigeria on Agro business. “We have to understand that agro-business is more lucrative than oil because of the stability in the long terms, in agriculture only human beings are need…

DAWN : South West Commissioners meet in Ogun , discuss agricultural development

ABEOKUTA- The South West Commissioners for agriculture have met in Abeokuta , the Ogun State capital and discussed how to improve agriculture and agric-businesseswuthin the region.
The commissioners for agriculture in six states ; Ogun,Oyo,Osun, Lagos , Ondo and Ekiti under the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria Commission agreed to harness the cultivation of local produces, exportation of raw materials, marketing of goods and control in importation of finished goods,
The stakeholders at the meeting highlighted major challenges and proffered possible solutions regarding agriculture within the south West region.
Speaking at the meeting , the Ag. Director General of DAWN commission, Seye Oyeleye, faulted Nigeria on its over dependency on crude oil as source of revenue generation and allocation without exploring other sources of income.
Oyeleye stressed that the focus on oil has made southwest region dependent on allocations from Federal Government and not self-product…

Nigeria needs to really develop her fishery industry – Norway

Mr Johan Sandvaer, the Regional Director (Middle East and Africa) for Innovation Norway, a Norwegian Governmentorganisation, on Wednesday said that Nigeria should be committed to the development of her fishery industry. Sandvaer told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that it was imperative for Nigeria to begin to evolve measures aimed at boostingfish production, for her increasing population. According to him, Nigeria is currently Norway’s mackerel highest importer and consumer. “Norway and Nigeria has for decades had very good trade cooperation with Nigeria, supplying much of its mackerel, fresh and frozen salmon. “With the United Nations prediction that the Nigerian population will increase higher in the years ahead, we want Nigeria to know that there will also be a high demand for its protein needs. “There are limits to how long Norway would continue to feed the world. “In order for Nigeria to be able to cope with its population’s demandfor fishery pro…

Veterinary experts express concern over rate of animal diseases in humans

Veterinary experts have expressed concern at the increasing rate of animal diseases manifesting in human beings.
Some of the veterinary experts, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja, blamed the appearance of the diseases, medically known as “Zoonossis” to increased contact between humans and animals.
Dr Bala Mohammed, a Veterinary Surgeon said that the zoonossis diseases were now affecting humans at a fast rate.
“Zoonotic diseases can be caused by germs including viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi that can cause different types of illnesses in people and animals ranging from mild to serious illnesses and even death.
“It is important to know that animals do not always appear sick when carrying a zoonotic diseases, many animals can appear healthy but still be carrying the germs that can make people sick,’’ he said.
He identified the diseases caused by animals to include tuberculosis and rabies.
He said that bats, cats, cattle, chimpanzees, dogs, g…

Sokoto State Govt. distributes N19m fish feeds, seeds to farmers

Sokoto State Government has distributed fish feeds, seeds and other facilities worth N19million to one hundred and forty (140) fish farmers in the state.
The Commissioner for Animal Health and Fisheries Development, Alhaji Tukur Alkali, disclosed this in Sokoto on Tuesday, at news briefing to mark the two years in office of Gov. Aminu Tambuwal.
He said, ”The state government supported the fish farmers, including women, and pensioners to benefit from the starter pack programme in the state.”
Alkali said that the gesture was aimed at increasing and providing the needed protein food that can bridge the gap between its demand and supply.
The commissioner said the state government has spent N 9.4 million to make adequate provision for livestock.
This is to further alleviate the the incessant conflicts between farmers and herdsmen.
Alkali hinted that the administration has also approved the survey and demarcation of nine grazing reserves across the state.
The commissioner said that the st…

Wheat farmers harvest 9,000 tons in Gombe

The Chairman, Wheat Farmers Association in Gombe State, Mr Batari Dauda, said 9,000 tons of wheat were harvested in 2016/2017 farming season in the state.
Dauda, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe on Monday, said 1,200 registered farmers cultivated 2,000 hectares of land across the state.
The chairman described the yield as fairly good, but added that the initial target was cultivate 10,000 hectares of land across the state.
He said the cultivation was limited by lack of quality seeds and farming implements.
“Most of the farmers said the seed they secured was plantable material, that is seed that was planted for over five years.
“This results to deterioration in terms of quality because the yield will not be good.
“Initially Lake Chad Research Institute brought us foundation seed, but the problem we have with them is that the seed is not sufficient, he said.
Dauda said those that were able to plant the crop early realized three to four tons on each hectare while…

Expert wants increased synergy between Nigerian, regional agric programmes

Mr David Adama, Programme Coordinator, Public Financing for Agriculture, ActionAid International, on Tuesday advocated increased synergy between Nigerian and regional agricultural programmes to boost the achievement of the desired results.
Adama made the call when he delivered a paper on “The Review of Agriculture Promotion Policy with CAADP Result Framework’’ at the Stakeholders Consultative Meting on 2018 Agriculture Budget.
He recalled that the Heads of State of African countries at the AU Summit in Maputo, Mozambique, in 2002 made the first declaration on the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).
The CAADP is Africa’s policy framework for agricultural transformation, wealth creation, food security and nutrition, economic growth and prosperity for all.
Adama said that10 years later, the African Heads of State at the AU Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, adopted the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared…

Yobe irrigation farmers decry lack of storage facilities

Vegetable farmers in Yobe have decried poor storage facilities to preserve their produce after harvest, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
A survey conducted by NAN in Damaturu on Thursday revealed that most farmers lost their harvests to poor storage facilities.
Alhaji Adamu Mai Tumatur , a farmer, said “irrigation farmers lose more vegetables than what was usually sold out”.
‘‘Tomatoes were in the recent past available everywhere but it is now exhausted due to poor storage.”
Ali Usman, a grocery seller, said prices of fresh tomatoes and pepper have suddenly gone up because of the declining supply from the farms.
“Farmers have to cut into pieces the vegetables to dry them up as the only means of storage thereby reducing the value and sold at lesser prices to avoid total loss.”
Bunu Giedam, an onion farmer in Giedam, said “the harvest of onions is now at its peak and a bag is sold for just N3, 000 with many getting rotten due to lack of storage facilities.
‘‘Very soon the price will i…

Osinbajo urges incentives for farmers to enhance trade competition

Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the Acting President, on Thursday said it was very important to give local farmers incentives to be able to compete favourably in international market.
He said this when he addressed the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) meeting in Abuja.
According to him, the reason the imported rice are cheaper than local rice is that the foreign producers get incentives to produce at cheaper rates.
He said that he was not worried much about the current high cost of rice in the country because it was a temporary challenge that would soon end.
“It is a short time challenge and we fully expected it even in agriculture policy.
“It is fully expected that Nigerian rice will be more expensive than imported rice.
“The simple reason is that the countries that export rice to us subsidise the production of rice.
“So, their rice will hit the Nigerian market cheaper than our farmers and millers can currently deliver.”
The acting president said that trade was a seri…