Showing posts from May, 2017

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

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.

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…

Orange-fleshed sweetpotato in school meals to improve nutrition and cut Nigeria’s wheat imports

Oshogbo, Nigeria— The inclusion of Orange Fleshed Sweetpotato (OFSP) in wheat bread and school meals is boosting the nutritional status of children and could help Nigeria to reduce its imports of wheat drastically. Developed by the International Potato Center (abbreviated by Spanish acronym CIP) and partners, the OFSP varieties are rich in Vitamin A—a critical vitamin that is deficient in most diets in sub Saharan Africa, and remains a serious public health problem in Ghana, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso in West Africa. In Nigeria, one in three children suffer from Vitamin A deficiency (VAD)—which can lead to blindness and even death. In the last three years, CIP has pioneered a three-year project in Osun and Kwara States of Nigeria. In Osun State, the project intervention entails inclusion of OFSP in school meals as part of efforts to improve the nutrition of children. The project, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has also trained bakers on the inclusion of…

Expert calls for more investment in agric value chain to tackle inflation

An economist, Mr Emmanuel Eze, has called on all tiers of government to urgently encourage more Nigerians into agriculture value chain businesses to contain any upsurge in inflation in future.
Eze, Chief Executive Officer, Perfecta Investment Company, Lagos, gave the advice while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.
He said the advice was necessary because one of the causes of the rise of the country’s inflation was too much demand for forex for the importation of finished products.
He said since most of the finished products were in the agriculture value chain businesses, it was better the government encouraged more Nigerians into the ventures.
He said it was wrong for the country to rely always on high price of oil at the international market to contain the rise in inflation.
He noted that so long the oil price in the international market continued to rise, the inflation rate would drop domestically.
“This is because our country is an import-driven …

Company trains farmers on tilapia fish production

Aller Aqua Nigeria Ltd, a Fish Feed Company, on Thursday in Ibadan, conducted free training for fish farmers on tilapia fish production and aquaculture, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
NAN reports that the free training was based on better farm management practices of fish farming, among others.
At the sideline of the event, the Company’s Regional Sales Manager, Mr Dada Foluso, told NAN that the farmers were taught on profitability and cage culture system in fish farming.
Foluso said that the company, based in Denmark, aimed to teach the farmers how to grow their output, so that they could produce more fish for the country and export.
“When the farmers have good harvest through better knowledge, the miller will have good business.
“We have two major categories of fish products: hatchery pack and Aller Claria float with different protein contents.
“Our feeds are formulated for the highest efficiency and nutrient digestibility for low nutrient discharge to water,” he said.

Kaduna State Govt. to recruit more extension service workers, says official

The Kaduna State Government says it is set to engage more extension service workers in its bid to optimise its agriculture potential and boost food production, an official has said.
Malam Dauda Ashafa, the General Manager, Kaduna State Agriculture Development Agency (KADA), told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna at the ongoing three-day workshop for extension service workers.
The training was organised by an NGO, Synergos Nigeria with participants drawn from Kaduna, Kogi and Benue participating.
Ashafa stressed the importance of the ongoing training, adding that the state government would support the programmes of the NGO to ensure food security and improve the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
He said that the additional extension service officers to be engaged would supervise and educate farmers on modern agriculture methods that would enhance the quality of crops.
NAN reports that about 60 extension workers drawn from Kogi, Kaduna and Benue are taking part in t…

Expert advocates hydroponic farming for women journalist

Mr Philip Okpala, an expert in hydroponic farming on Thursday advocated hydroponic farming for all women journalists in Nigeria. Okpala explained that“ hydroponic farming is a method of growing plants without soil.’’
He spoke during the National Association of Women Journalists’ (NAWOJ) Delegates Conference in Benin.
He said hydroponic farming was a subset of hydro-culture, adding that the process required growing plants without soil using mineral nutrients solution in a water solvent. He explained that all that was needed in the hydroponic farming was hydroponic nutrients, an inert hydroponic medium, a light source, time and plant. ”The output of hydroponic farming is ten times greater than the traditional way of farming ”This type of farming is done indoors. It grows all round the year. It is very profitable”, he said.

According to him, whether we like it not, women are the drivers of Nigeria’s economy. It is an opportunity to be an entrepreneur.

FADAMA III increase rice farmers in Enugu

ENUGU- STUDY has reveled that the advent of FADAMA III program has increased the number of farmers cultivating rice in Enugu state.
The state project coordinator, FADAMA III additional financing, Mr. Ikechukwu Ogboke, made the disclosure in Enugu during a mid term review program of World Bank and federal joint supervision mission to Enugu state.
Ogboke said that many people in Enugu state now have keen interest in rice farming as a business and as a meaningful source ‎of livelihood.
The Task team leader, World Bank office, Abuja,‎ Dr. Adetunji Oredipe, however, called on Enugu state government to intensify efforts towards accessing over $20 million available for the state under FADAMA III additional financing, to improve rice production in the state.
Addressing farmers and other stakeholders in the agricultural‎ sector during the mid term review, Oredipe regretted the low pace of implementing the program in Enugu state.
He however commended Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for the rece…

NDDC signs agreement to develop agric sector

PORT HARCOURT: Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr Nsima Ekere has reaffirmed determination of the commission to grow the agricultural sector in the region.
Speaking at the commission's headquarters in Port Hsrcourt during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with a group, Market Development Project in the Niger Delta, MADE, Mr Ekere explained that under the agreement MADE would work with the commission to stimulate sustainable effort in selected agricultural markets
He also said the MoU would create access to grant to develop initiatives in oil palm production , poultry farming, adding that Niger Deltans would be trained in poultry farming , aquatic farming and ICT supported agriculture extension.
The commission also yesterday signed another MoU with Facility for Oil Sector Transperancy and Reform in Nigeria, FOSTER , to provide technical support and training in ICT to strengthen the Commission's mamagement system for project deliver…

Expert says proper post-harvest management, processing will boost cassava marketability

Dr Sekinat Farinde of the Institute of Agricultural Research & Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, says proper post-harvest handling of cassava as well as processing will increase the marketability of cassava. Farinde, a food scientist, who said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Tuesday, stressed that proper storage and processing of cassava tubers would reduce their post-harvest losses. She underscored the need to adopt good post-harvest handling practices of cassava and technologies to preserve the produce. “These good practices will increase palatability of the developed cassava products, while boosting the income and improving the livelihood of the populace. “This is because cassava is one of the major staple food crops in Nigeria,” she said. The food scientist emphasised that careful harvesting and selection of cassava tubers, prior to their storage was a good strategy for post harvest handling of cassava. Farinde, therefore, stressed the need fo…

LASG acquires 500 hectares of farmland, pays compensation to communities

The Lagos State Government on Tuesday said it has acquired 500 hectares of farmland for farm estates in five communities in Eluju-Mowo in Itoikin-Epe.
Mr Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, an Assistant Director in the state’s Ministry of Agriculture, made the disclosure in a statement in Lagos.
The statement quoted Mr Sanni Okanlawon, the Special Adviser to Gov. Akinwumi Ambode on Food Security as saying that the land owners were compensated for the crops on the acquired land.
It said the compensation was in fulfillment of the promise made to the communities by the governor.
It added that Okanlawon spoke at a cheque presentation ceremony to the representatives of the affected communities.

According to the statement, it is a step to addressing the challenges (especially land availability) facing agriculture the state.
It said the effort was to boost food security in the state, while the lands would be allocated to farmers after the payment of crop compensation.
“The move by the government is aimed a…

Rice production in Nigeria increases to 5.8m tonnes in 2017 -RIFAN

Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, President Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) says annual rice production in Nigeria has increased from 5.5 million tonnes in 2015 to 5.8 million tonnes in 2017. Goronyo disclosed this on Wednesday in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. He said that in 2015, Nigerians spent not less than N1 billion daily on rice consumption, adding while spending had drastically reduced, consumption had increased because of increased local production of the commodity.
“The consumption rate now is 7.9 million tonnes and the production rate has increased to 5.8 tonnes per annum,’’ he said. The RIFAN president said that the increase was as a result of the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) with a total of 12 million rice producers and 4 million hectares of FADAMA rice land. Goronyo said that the programme since inception had created economic linkage between Small Holder Farmers (SHF) and reputable large-scale processors, thereby increasing agricul…

Diversification in agric sector requires actions, not talks — Sen. Adamu

Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture, says the diversification efforts that will bring the country out of recession requires actions from both government and private investor.
Adamu said this on Tuesday in Abuja at a National Farmers Empowerment Programme organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with the Eurobase Consult Limited.
The chairman of the committee further said that the theme of the programme: ‘Enhancing Productivity and Quality Assurance’ was apt but must be matched with actions.
The Senator said that although wet season farming was fast approaching, many farmers were yet to get inputs and implements to commence planting.
Adamu also expressed concern that the country had yet to implement the Malabo Declaration which commits at least 10 per cent of national budgetary resources to agriculture and rural development policy implementation. “Farmers are used to ploughing, harvesting and selling of their …