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WORLD FARMERS CENTRE

Feeding The World Through Knowledge Transfer To Farmers To Succeed In The Business Of Farming

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Civil Society raises alarm over dangerous food chemicals Nigerians consume

A Civil Society Organisation, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa, CAPPA, has raised alarm over certain dangerous food chemicals that are been consumed by Nigerians daily.

The alarm was raised at a media conference, to mark World Food Day 2020 with the theme, ‘Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together. Our actions, Our Future’, in Abuja, by the Executive Director, CAPPA, Akinbode Oluwafemi, who was represented by Director of Programmes, Philip Jakpor.

While speaking at the event, Oluwafemi said that, the little food most Nigerians, have continued to consume on daily basis, are harmful to their health unknowingly, that they need to raise the awareness about these trans-fats that have caused serious damage to vital organs of the body including the liver, kidneys, heart, blood vessels, colon, lungs, sight, skin, and also increase of body weight, joint pains, effects on men and women fertilities, and others.

He also said that trans-fatty acids are mostly found in fast, packaged, baked, and all sorts of processed foods best described as junk foods.

In his words, “To refresh our memories, the World Food Day is celebrated on 16 October annually to etch forever in our memories the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in 1945.

“The underlying message to governments, producers, consumers, and all of us every year is that the task of ensuring the wholesomeness of our food from the farm to the table is a shared responsibility. The theme of this year’s commemoration: Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together, reminds us of this shared responsibility.

“Ordinarily the focus of our engagement today would have been how Nigerians hunger amidst an abundance of arable land in the country. Yes, that is still true. But because of the urgency of the present situation, we must emphasize even more, how the little that Nigerians consume continues to harm their health. Fatalities attributable to trans-fats consumption in Nigeria just a decade ago was 1,300 persons.

“But with the upsurge in the consumption of fast foods, packaged foods, baked foods and all sorts of processed foods best described as junk foods there is the likelihood that more people, especially the young upwardly mobile are at risk of a major trans fats- induced health catastrophe.”

According to him, a well-publicized report some weeks ago emphasize on what has been said over time as the report alerted that more Nigerians are now getting heart attacks and strokes from consumption of imported vegetable oil that has ‘high trans fats content’.

“The world over, critical attention is being paid to what people eat. Food is a necessity of life just like the air that we need for respiration. The public health of a nation largely depends on what its citizens consume.

“In 2018 the World Health Organisation (WHO) while unveiling its REPLACE initiative, called on governments to remove trans-fat from food supplies in a bid to have a healthy population. “It particularly noted that “Eliminating trans-fats is key to protecting the health and saving lives: WHO estimates that every year, trans-fat intake leads to more than 500,000 deaths of people from cardiovascular disease”, he stated.

Read this also: FG to support farmers with interest-free loans – Nanono

He also made a call to the government, relevant regulatory authorities, and stakeholders including the media to rise up to come up with legislations and intensify awareness of the danger most Nigerians at all strata of life consume daily and expressed optimism that “a Trans fat-free Nigeria is possible.”

“Nigeria, with a huge and vulnerable population must not take the back seat in the global war against trans-fats. Nigeria must set the pace on the regulation of this silent killer on the African continent. While we commend the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for the release of guidelines and regulations on the use of fats and oils, as well as pre-packaged foods, water, and ice labeling, it is now time to speed up the process to check the trans-fats time bomb.

“As we mark the World Food Day 2020 we are re-emphasizing the need for the following: The Governing Council of the NAFDAC should speedily approve the guidelines and regulations on the use of fats and oils, as well as pre-packaged foods, water, and ice labeling which has strong provisions on trans-fats.

“Increased awareness on the dangers of consuming foods high in trans-fats; and compelling the oils and fats and the fast-food industry to comply with global best practice in relation to trans fats in the processing of their products.” He added.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

Lagos State Government set to Improve Fish Value Chain

 

The Lagos State Government to improve the fish value chain by establishing a processing center for fisheries and aquaculture sector in order to off take the produce from registered farm clusters and fish farm Estates to help set profit margins for the farmers.

Abisola Olusanya, the State Acting Commissioner for Agriculture, revealed this at the Quarterly Forum for Fish and Crop Farmers organised by the Lagos State Agricultural Inputs Supply Authority (LAISA) at the Odogunyan Fish Farm Estate, Ikorodu at the weekend.

She explained that this was necessary because the State had realised that a lot of the fish farmers had the problem of market and sales.

Olusanya said: “Lagos is tirelessly working on being a value addition State for agricultural products. It should be a processing State, which is why it is imperative that we set up a large processing facility for the fisheries and aquaculture sector such that what we have to do is to mop up offtake from farm clusters such as this Fish Farm Estate here at a pegged price so that the farmers can have a price point at which they will be selling. By that, there will be a guaranteed profit margin that they can begin to enjoy and for that reason, they would be able to increase production, since they are sure of an off taker.”

Speaking further, Olusanya said, there were quite a number of small clusters of smallholder farmers in the fisheries and aquaculture sector, stressing that because of lack of clarity around the margins that they could make, their productivity level has always remained low.

She added that based on the price that they would have to sell, the State Government has decided that it was a critical component to put a processing approach to it in order to alleviate poverty among the farmers.

Olusanya explained that the establishment of the Processing Center, which would be on a Public Private Partnership and has the capacity to process no fewer than 20,000 metric tones of fish that would be sent to other State within Nigeria or even exported out of the Country, was ongoing and would be kick-started this year.

“This arrangement is on a Public Private Partnership. The process is ongoing and we hope to be able to start it this year. The idea is for this one facility alone to be able to process at least nothing less than 20,000 metric tons of fish and after processing. This fish can be sent to other states in Nigeria or it can also be exported.

“In Lagos, we only look at a maximum of two species of fish which are catfish and tilapia. The idea is to also introduce other species like pangasius, carp, barramundi and others such that we begin to have more species of fish at higher price points.

“Then the farmers can enjoy this profit margin that will be coming to them. That is actually the idea around this processing facility that we have planned and for the facility to be able to offtake from small clusters.” She said.

Olusanya disclosed that the developmental objectives for the Agricultural Sector extended beyond providing market access for farmers, that it also include capacity building and empowerment which the State was currently carrying out under the Agro Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project, Lagos Agripreneurship Programme and Lagos State Farm Service Center at Oko-Oba, where executive programmes were being organized for farmers and would-be farmers.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

 

FG to Ban Fish, Milk Importation Soon - Nanono

The Federal Government to ban the importation of fish and milk into the country soon.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Sabo Nanono at the official commissioning of the Agribusiness incubation center (AIC) at Federal University Dutse, in Jigawa State.

Nanono explained that the Federal Government will look critically into the importation of any food into the country as we have most of what we import. He stated that Nigeria is a country where we should eat what we produce and produce what we eat.

The Minister said Nigeria has about 25m cows in the country by virtue of which we should be producing milk but the only problem the country has is how to get the milk.

He revealed that the Federal Government has commenced small scale milk processing centers to reduce dependence on the importation of milk into the country. That there are over seven of these centers and more will still be opened in the country. One of such was opened in Dawakin- Kudu last year and the center alone is serving over 12 thousand Fulani cattle farmers in the area.

Nanono said that there are so many abandoned fish infrastructures in this country that are not been utilized. That the Federal Government is also working to revive them and also add new ones to them.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

Maize Farmers Pledge to support FG’s Agricultural Policies on Food Security

The Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN), has pledged to support the Federal Government’s Agricultural policies and programmes on food security in the country.

This was revealed on Monday by the National President, Dr Bello Abubakar, during an interview with journalist in Abuja, that the association will support the government “once the policy and programmes are gear towards ensuring Nigeria attains food security and food sufficiency’’.

Abubakar said that the recent ban on importation of maize had increased the demand from local farmers, that the association would support maize farmers with the best available inputs and technical support to boost maize production.

He said the association’s target is to cultivate maize all over the country in the dry season in other to ensure that the crop is available all year round. That if farmers are able to cultivate all-round the year, they will make more profit, remain self-reliance and repay their loans with ease.

The national president noted that the dry season farming will enhance the local economy and enable cottage industries to grow across the country. And will culminate into Nigerians growing what they eat at a time they need to eat and the association, in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders, is ready to make it a reality.

Abubakar said that with all the plans on the ground and with the continual support of the federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Programme, the target was achievable.

He reiterated the association’s resolve to work with the federal government towards formulating standard and stable agriculture policy for the country, that the government should engage all important stakeholders to design a new road map for agriculture from 2020 to 2030.

The association national president appreciated President Buhari for the bold and strategic decision to ban the importation maize, that it was the right step in the right direction of attaining food security and self-sufficiency.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

Maize Farmers Assure Availability of Maize despite Recent Flood

Maize farmers under the umbrella of Maize Association of Nigeria, MAAN, has assured the availability of maize with the plan to go into extensive dry season maize farming and support the federal government’s agric policies.

This was disclosed through a statement signed by the National President, MAAN, Dr Bello Abubakar Funtua, revealing the plans of the association of embarking on a massive dry season maize farming to cover any form of deficit that would have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, recent floods, and drought in some parts of the country.

The association commended the Federal Government on the decision of banning the importation of maize into the country, that it is a step in the right direction towards making the attainment of food security a reality.

According to the statement “Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) restates its commitment to continuously support the Federal government’s Agricultural policies and programs geared towards ensuring Nigeria attains Food Security and Food Sufficiency in the nearest future.

“Recently, the Federal Government placed a ban on the importation of maize thereby increasing the demand from local farmers and reassuring them of government patronage. The association would work assiduously to support maize farmers in the country with the best available inputs and needed technical support to boost maize farming.

“In order to bridge the deficit occasioned by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, recent floods and drought in some parts of the country, the association would embark on dry season farming at a commercial level to scale up production.

“On Dry season farming, MAAN’s target is to cultivate maize all over the country in the dry season thereby ensuring that the product is available all year round as farmers can cultivate a minimum of three times in a year. This would enable farmers to make more profit, remain self-reliant, and repay their loans with ease.

“The impact of Dry Season farming on the Nigerian economy includes: Increase in Production & more Income; Boost Local Economy (As there is guaranteed market for produce); Enable Cottage Industries to spring up across the country for processing maize into different forms of food and animals feeds, particularly for the Poultry sub-sector; Drastically reduce Poverty in the country as it would be readily available and affordable; Reduce Hunger and create Jobs for the teeming youths in the country.

“Drastically reduce Dependence on importation; Reduce insecurities in the country (Many youths in the country are most likely to buy into the maize farming idea since it’s an easy crop to cultivate thereby keeping them busy), and Enhance self-sufficient and food security.

“All these would culminate into Nigerians growing what they eat at a time they need to eat and MAAN in collaboration with all relevant Stakeholders in all the States of the Federation is ready to make that a reality.

“The association’s target for the 2020 wet season farming is placed at Twenty –two million metric tons; with all plans on the ground and with the steady support of the Federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Programme, Maize has the potentials of becoming a Wonder Crop and the miracle all Farmers and Consumers are looking for.

“On the issues of stable agricultural policies in the country, the association wishes to call on the government to ensure a standard and stable agriculture policy in the country by engaging all relevant stakeholders to design a new road map for agriculture from 2020 to 2030”, it stated.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,
🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,
WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

Why You Need to Check WhatsApp Business Policy before Advertising on it as a Farmer

A farmer got banned from using WhatsApp Business after advertising live chicken on his whatsapp business account. This happened after the farmers advertised a live chicken through his whatsapp business account, unknown to him that it is against WhatsApp Commerce policy.

According to a farmer on a WhatsApp group General Poultry Matters who had similar experience about a month ago. He said he advertised a life chicken with his WhatsApp business account and after a while, he could not access is whatapp account and it is showing that he has been banned and he should refer to whatsapp Commerce policy.

He said the number which was used for the whatsApp business account can no longer be used for whatsapp business again that he had to use another number to open a new WhatsApp business account.

In reference to WhatsApp Commerce Policy in respect of animals, it states, “Businesses may not transact in the sale of any animals.”

They are allowed to transact the following;

Animal cages
Products for animal (toys, collars, etc.)
Veterinary services
Grooming services
Boarding services,

But they are not allowed to transact the sales of the following;

Live animals
Livestocks Prohibited animal parts, including but not limited to bone, teeth, horn, Ivory, taxidermy, Organs, external limbs, secretions or carcasses.
Any product or part, including but not limited to leather, skin, hide, fur, wool or hair from any dogs, cat and endangered or threatened animals.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,
🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,
WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

Insufficient Rainfall Poses a Serious Challenge for Farmers in South- West – AFAN

The Chairman, Oyo state, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), John Olateru, on Tuesday said that insufficient rainfall in the South-West had created a serious challenge for farmers this year. Olateru said that all the crops planted by farmers had dried up due to lack of rainfall.

He stated that Farmers have to start all over as the hybrid seed that would have helped farmers cope better with the challenge is not readily available and where they are able to get it, it is at a very high cost. He stressed on the need for the Government and Nigerian Seed Council not to allow seeds that will not give farmers profitable yield into the market.

Olateru called on government at all levels to assist farmers in getting correct seedlings and provide highly subsidized fertilizer and chemicals to the farmers and also support farmers financially to mitigate the losses they had experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other related issues. He also spoke on the challenges faced by the livestock industry that all the companies the government-issued import permit to are foreigners that are operating in the livestock industry, not a single Nigerian benefited from this. He said this has caused a competitive advantage over Nigerians as Nigerian livestock farmers are now at their mercies.

Olateru said that the National Grains Reserve silos at Iyana-Church, Ibadan, which had been concession as a private company by the government was a bad idea as the silos are now being used to mop up grains from the market and manipulate the price of foodstuffs rather than serving to mitigate its scarcity. He appealed to the government to bring back the commodity exchange board as a lasting solution.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

CBN Relaxes Maize Importation Ban

The Federal Government has eventually listened to the appeal of poultry farmers and stakeholders in the feed industry and granted four importers approval to import about 260,000 tonnes of maize.

This came following appeals from various quarters in both the poultry and feed industry that the Federal government should give a window for the importation some tonnes of maize so as to save the poultry industry from imminent collapse. This was contained in a circular letter by the Nigeria Customs Service Trade & Tariff Department, and signed by Deputy Comptroller General TM Isa.

 

According to the statement in the briefing, The Central Bank of Nigeria has granted approval to four importers namely Wacot Limited, Chi Farms Limited, Crown Flour Mills Limited and Premier Feeds Mills Company Limited. This is said to be carried done in line with government policy on food security, sufficiency and striking a balance between the food imports and local production capacities to meet the anticipated shortfall.

The window for the importation approval is said to last for 3 months.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

SON’S NEW STANDARDS FOR LIVESTOCK FEEDS

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has developed new standards for the animal and livestock feeds value chain efforts of achieving the Federal Government objective on food security. This was made known in a statement by the Director-General, SON Mr Osita Aboloma, at a Work Group meeting on Saturday in Lagos.

The meeting which was hosted by SON as part of an ongoing Livestock Micro Reforms in Agribusiness (L-MIRA) World bank project on Cattle Feed Value Chain. Dr Omolara Okunlola, the Deputy Director/ Head Food Group, SON, who represented Mr Osita Aboloma, said that developing the standards would help in improving Agribusiness in the country, that the new standards will help to counter the adverse effects of COVID-19 pandemic on key sectors such as agriculture.

 

He said that the development of the standards was achieved through a consensus of relevant stakeholders, including those in academia. That the new standards are focused on demands and relevance to animal and livestock feeds value chain to boost agribusiness in the country. According to him, “The elaboration of the Standards for Salt Mineral Lick which prescribed the specification for common salt as mineral licks for animal consumption. It will ensure proper proportioning of minerals in animal and poultry feeds for effective productivity of animal husbandry. “Other requirements specified was that of Blood Meal as an ingredient in fish meal production to ensure adequacy in meeting the protein requirements in fish farming. The elaboration of the Standard for Small Ruminant Feed was also established,” he said.

 

Aboloma further explained that the initiative would help feed manufacturers in compounding balanced protein ration and selecting appropriate feed and feed ingredients for fish, small ruminants such as goats and sheep. ”It will enhance meat and dairy from small ruminant production thereby contributing to the country’s gross domestic product in Agribusiness. The elaboration of Standard for Small Ruminant Feed Premix was found necessary because small ruminants (sheep and goats) are increasingly becoming major sources of animal protein", he said.

 

He also said that the standard will also guide premix manufacturers in compounding premixes for small ruminant’s feed and other livestock feeds. That The Standard for conserved forage feed for ruminants will also guide the feed producers in the production and processing of forages for ruminants

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

800 FARMERS EMPOWERED AND TRAINED ON RICE PRODUCTION PRACTICES

Lagos State government has empowered 800 rice farmers in the state with preferred high yielding Farrow 44 seeds, brand new high-quality knapsack sprayers, rain boots and farm coats. The beneficiaries were handed the empowerment tools at the beginning of a 3-day capacity building and training of the rice farmers on best production practices in the rice value chain.

 

The training was to get the farmers trained on global best practices and the most effective ways to grow rice. The exercise will take place in 20 locations cut across Ikorodu, Epe, Badagry, Gboyinbo, Idena, Obada, Ito Ikin, and Ise. Speaking during the handing over of the empowerment tools to the farmers, the Acting Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, explained that this strategic intervention by the state government was informed by the need to boost the farming activities of rice farmers in the state and is also geared towards ensuring the sustainable supply of paddy by the rice farmers, particularly for the state-owned Imota Rice Mill Project. “It is expected that if these farming techniques are adopted by the farmers in the next planting season, it will result in an increase in paddy production in the state to an expected average yield of four tonnes per hour,” the commissioner said.

 

She said the training was important to give all participating farmers the opportunity to get modern and improved rice farming techniques to ensure maximum output, improved yield as well as to derive maximum return on investment. “Due to the fact that the state has a limited agricultural cultivable land area and with the increasing rate of small and large scale rice mills across the nation, there is a strain on the state getting a constant supply of paddy to feed the mill when it becomes fully operational.

“It is to this end that the ministry has embarked on the sensitisation of rice farmers to train and disseminate the current production practices and empowerment geared towards the sustainable supply of paddy by Lagos rice farmers towards the Imota Rice Mill Project,” she said.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

FOOD SHORTAGE IMMINENT OVER FLOOD CRISES IN THE COUNTRY

All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), have raised the alarm that the country may experience shortage in food due to the flood crisis that is being experienced by farmers in different parts of the country.

The National President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Kabir Ibrahim, in a statement, said despite the various support that the farming communities have gotten from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other sources which have been impactful, but the hope of getting a bountiful harvest is already being threatened by the issue of flooding in some of this farming communities.

“As one traverses the nation from Dankama in Katsina State to Dutse In Jigawa State, Birnin Magaji in Kano State, Osogbo in Osun State, Ogbomosho in Oyo State, Nkwere in Imo State, Calabar in Cross River State etc. it’s all green signifying a potential bountiful farming season. “The floods in June up to early August all over the nation have washed away burgeoning crops and livestock enough to make the farmers apprehensive of imminent food shortage, though. For those of us living in the fringes of the Sahara, our large ruminants are mere skeletons because animal feed is very costly and very hard to come by. Wheat offal is going for close to 5000 per 50Kg”, he said.

 

The AFAN President further explained that “the poultry industry is in distress because of the scarcity and prohibitive cost of the energy component of poultry feed. “The skyrocketing prices of staples and grains such as maize selling for 18,000 per 100Kg scare the living daylights out of us. All these compounded by the COVID-19 still around us as much as when it impeded access to our farms during the complete lockdown portend a serious disaster to the food system”.

 

He, however, stated certain measures that can still be taken to mitigate the effect of a worst-case scenario. “The GMP (guaranteed minimum price) for produce should be re-established; the Bill for the reestablishment of the NFRA (National Food Reserve Agency) should be signed into law immediately and the NADF(National Agricultural Development Fund) should be established as soon as possible.

“The establishment of a seed fund as soon as possible, the immediate appointment of a Special Adviser on Food Security as well as the of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reappraisal through a PIVA (Partner Institution Viability Assessment),” he added.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

LAGOS KICK START AGRIC-YES PROGRAMME TO TRAIN STUDENTS AND BOOST FOOD SUFFICIENCY

The Lagos State Government has kick start different student farming enterprises under the State’s Schools Agricultural Programme (SAP), to train students in modern farming techniques, so as to stimulate their interest to pursue a career in agriculture.

The State Acting Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, made this known on Monday during the opening ceremony of the Agric-YES Summer School Programme 2020, at the Lagos State Agriculture Development Authority, Oko-Oba, Agege, that this was necessary to ensure that students and youths embrace agriculture to fill the vacuum that are been left by ageing farmers.

 

In her statement, 84 Senior Secondary School (SS 2) Agricultural Science students; 13 Education Officials, including Education Desk Officers (Agric) and Agricultural Science teachers, were being trained in groups and batches “They are being trained in livestock production, fisheries, crop production, agro-processing, poultry, aquaculture and vegetable farming, where the state has a competitive and comparative advantage.

 

“The goal is to provide food security and an enabling environment for the people to have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and hygienic food to maintain a healthy life. As such, more people are needed to be recruited into the agricultural sector, especially the young ones,’’ she stated. According to her, the Agric-YES Summer School Programme, is a two-week training which will run on an annual basis during the long vacation for SSII students offering Agricultural Science.

 

“It is also for their agricultural science teachers drawn from public Senior Secondary Schools across the six Education Districts in Lagos State. The Agric- YES Summer School Programme is essentially a programme to draw youths, our secondary school students, into exploring the possibilities around being in the agricultural sector. “There is no better time, just before their SS3; before they write their exams into the University, for them to choose a career pathway.

 

We felt that this is the opportune time for them to see the possibilities around what they can do with the agricultural sector. “We will be able to convince them with the kind of teachings they will have – the training, the practical aspect of it, for them to now see the possibilities around being in the agricultural sector. That is the main reason for this programme,” Olusanya said that the Agric-YES Summer School Programme is part of the vision of the state ministry of agriculture towards sustainable food production, wealth and job creation through youth and women empowerment. “With the introduction of the Agric–YES summer school programme, students are made to understand and are practically shown that agriculture, when well-managed, is a reputable and profitable business venture.

 

“This programme aims to ensure that students, on their resumption as fresh SSIII students, having imbibed the intensive programme, subsequently excel in their SSCE in Agriculture. “Such training is expected to encourage youths to grow into a more productive labour force as adults, thereby solving, to a reasonable extent, the problem of unemployment and mitigating the possible effects of the global food crisis,” she said.

 

She further explained that the participating students were selected from the six Educational Districts in the state, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. And commended the Ministry for its support towards agricultural programmes. The Acting commissioner called on the participants to make the most of the training, as the state was looking forward to them to help increase its food self-sufficiency status.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

 

40M FARMERS TO BE INSURED AGAINST FLOODING AND OTHER DISASTERS- NAIC

The Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) has revealed that it would be insuring over 40 million farmers across Nigeria against flooding and other disasters and this will be done in partnership with All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN).

Mrs Folashade Joseph, the Managing Director of NAIC, revealed this at a meeting with AFAN in Abuja that this move had become necessary in view of losses incurred by farmers due to flooding and other forms of disasters in the country. She stated that measures were already been put in place to come up with a scheme that would ensure farmers, especially the smallholder farmers, pay affordable premiums and that it is part of NAIC’s effort to help farmers mitigate the effect of losses.

 

According to her, ”NAIC’s drive has consistently been that every Nigerian farmer deserves to be protected from the effects of weather and other natural hazards. These hazards are mostly unpredictable and inescapable in the process of the primary production of agricultural commodities. ”It is noteworthy that the impact of these natural hazards on investment of these categories of farmers could be devastating to the point of driving such farmers into hopelessness and despondency,” she said.

 

The managing director expressed pleasure for the opportunity to partner with AFAN to reach vulnerable smallholder farmers whose investments were self-funded and vulnerable to the effects of nature and climate change. “It is important to state that the corporation is determined to make a special arrangement that will provide insurance cover for these categories of Nigerian farmers. This will be done under a special sub-scheme that will put smiles on their faces all year round.”

 

The President of AFAN, Mr Kabiru Ibrahim, said it was time farmers took the issue of insurance seriously in view of its importance, particularly in times of losses, which farmers in some parts of the country had begun to count their losses to flooding due to rainfalls. He said the insurance of their goods will provide succor in times of disaster.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

WOMEN TO BE INCLUDED IN CLIMATE CHANGE PLAN- MINISTER

The Minister of Environment, Mohammad Mahmood, has said, the government is working on plans that will include women in addressing the effect of climate change. He said that women are the most vulnerable to the adverse effect of climate change.

 

While addressing journalists on Wednesday at the 11th virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, where he presented a memo on “National Gender Action Plan and Climate Change,” Mahmood said, “Planet change will not affect everybody across the world just as here in Nigeria. It affects men, women, and children but we have found out that women bear most of the brunt of Climate Change", Mahmood said.

 

“Climate change will not affect everybody across the world just as here in Nigeria.” “It affects men, women, and children but we have found out that women bear most of the brunt of planet change and the purpose of the policy is to mainstream gender within the planet change action plan.”

The minister said that there is a need to involve women in climate action activities right from inception, design, development, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of projects. “We will also involve women in the process of decision making. Also, we will make sure that women are carried along in climate change issues and also in areas where women are predominantly involved, like in agricultural activities.”

 

He also noted that 70 percent of agricultural activities in Nigeria involve women, that some of the priority areas in the gender action plan are agriculture, forestry, health, water and sanitation, energy, transportation. “Through these sectors, we can reduce the emissions in Nigeria, thereby meeting our indices as we committed ourselves during the Paris Agreement,” he said.

The minister also stated that Nigeria has achieved the reduction of emissions by 20 percent this year in line with the Paris Agreement.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

NAQS CALLS ON COWPEA FARMERS AND OTHER STAKEHOLDER TO CHECK NEGATIVE APPLICATION OF PESTICIDES

The Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service, NAQS, has called on Cowpea Association of Nigeria CAN and other stakeholders to check the negative application of pesticides during the storage of the cowpea meant for export and local consumption.

This call was made on Monday during a strategic engagement with the President CAN, Shitu Mohammed in Abuja, in a statement signed by Dr. Gozie Nwodo, the Head Media, Communications and Strategies, where the Director, NAQS, Dr Vincent Isgebe, said it has become pertinent to checkmate the way pesticides are applied to cowpea if Nigerian exporters and farmers want acceptance in the international market.

 

Dr Isegbe said the country made loses in form of foreign exchange and jobs loss when the export of cowpea was suspended due to high presence of pesticides residue in the cowpea that where been exported. He said: “The pattern of boom and bust in cowpea export owes to the ingrained issue of high pesticide residue. The pesticides are largely introduced during the storage phase. “The residue levels in the cowpea tend to rise above the maximum threshold set by certain customs union and this makes the product unacceptable in crucial destinations. We need to make a clean break from the imprudent application of storage pesticides and consolidate a reputation for producing and delivering cowpea that satisfies relevant quality criteria.”

 

Dr Isegbe, However, called on stakeholders in the cowpea value chain to create a cooperative that will ensure that they meet both local and international standards and regulations, that those in the value chain will benefits more when the business is up to international standards and regulations within and outside the country. So it is very pertinent for players in the cowpea industry to make a clean break from the imprudent application of storage pesticides and consolidate a reputation for producing and delivering cowpea that satisfies relevant quality criteria.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

HUGE OPPORTUNITIES FOR MAIZE FARMERS

Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) and Maize Growers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (MAGPAMAN), have both received a total of N29 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) to boost the production over 20 million metric tonnes of maize for the wet season.

MAAN received N16 billion and MAGPAMAN received N13 billion to make a total of N29 billion. Dr. Abubakar Bello Funtua, the National President of MAAN, said over 200,000 farmers in the association targeted over 20 million tonnes. When the federal government, through the CBN, directed all dealers in foreign exchange to immediately stop processing Form M for maize importation further created more opportunities for maize farmers in the country.

The CBN believes that the maize importation ban policy will attract large-scale investment in maize production and create more market. Dr. Edwin Uche, the president of MAGPAMAN, stated that the association had received N13 billion for the wet season, and he can see a huge opportunity for maize production. “Maize is one of the commodities that can pull people out of poverty, it has a short life span, short gestation period, and you can do it two or three times a year. So what is a graduate doing when he can make a lot of money from it?”

 

Mr. Yusuf Yila, the Head of Development Finance at the CBN, who was represented by Mr. Elennor Ihua at the maize stakeholders meeting; “The CBN is passionate about maize as a commodity, and we believe that there is immense opportunity in that crop, and Nigeria has a comparative advantage to produce maize that will not only sustain the country but can be exported.

“We have a mandate to ensure there is no maize scarcity in this country and to grow maize production in this country. So, our target for the dry season is that we are going to double that number. “In the next 18 months from this dry season, our target is to do 2.5 million hectares of maize in this country. It means in the next 18 months our projection for production is 12.5 million metric tonnes of maize, and we believe with that and the other products around the country, Nigeria will be self-sustainable in maize production.”

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE: BUHARI LED ADMINISTRATION’S AGRIC POLICIES HAS SAVED NIGERIA FROM FOOD SCARCITY

The Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, has stated that the Buhari led administration’s Agricultural Policies has saved Nigeria from food scarcity in the course of the COVID-19 crises. Alhaji Nanono made this statement on Thursday at the flag-off/Roll out of agricultural input distribution to farmers Nationwide in Calabar.

 

According to him “Prior to Buhari administration a lot of Nigerians were doubtful of the capacity of the country to feed itself, this notion fuelled the agitation for greater allocation of foreign exchange to finance food imports ranging from rice, dairy, sugar, oil, and host of others. “With COVID-19, the priority of every country in the world is to ensure limited disruption to its food supply chains. A number of countries have banned or drastically reduced food exports to avoid scarcity of food.

“With dwindling oil revenues and limited opportunity to import food, one would only wonder what Nigeria would have been experiencing today, in terms of food supply, if this Administration had not taken the right policy steps and remained focused and steadfast. “This gathering is one of our efforts to work hand-in-hand with state governments and other relevant stakeholders to assist in ensuring food security, economic growth and job creation, especially in the face of COVID-19 Pandemic.

 

“It is, therefore, my pleasure to roll out the distribution of agricultural inputs to smallholder farmers which include different categories of cocoa seedlings, improved oil palm sprouted nuts and cashew seeds as part of my Ministry’s interventions to reduce the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on agricultural production in Nigeria and avert food scarcity in 2021.

 

“As you are aware, the restriction of movement of people, goods, and services has negatively impacted on food supply chains, incomes, and livelihoods in the country. “Since smallholders are the most vulnerable, it becomes imperative for the government to support them with the much-needed inputs especially seeds, which is the most important factor that influences farmers’ yield in order to enable them to recover quickly from the set back of the Pandemic,” he said.

 

He further explained that complementary intervention efforts by the government will increase the resilience of farmers and the national food system. “Through this effort and other complementary interventions by different stakeholders, the government hopes to increase the resilience of farmers and the national food systems in general. “The Ministry and its research institutions are working towards making Nigeria self-sufficient in good quality seed and its availability to farmers as a foundation for attaining food and nutrition security as well as industrialization.

 

“Our efforts to improve rural infrastructure and other value-chains supports would invariably contribute to the attainment of Mr President’s desire to ensure easy access to quality food and nutrition by Nigerians.

“Today, the Ministry is supporting the oil-palm farmers, with 5,000 improved oil-palm sprouted nuts and 1,500kg improved cashew seed. The cocoa farmers will also be supported with 20,000 cocoa seedlings and agrochemicals. In addition, Rice farmers will be supported with 1,000 kg of rice seeds,” he added.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

NIRSAL Calls For Enrollment For The Agrogeocoop® Formation

The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) has called on all youths, smallholder farmers, farmer leaders and aggregators to key into its Agro Geo-Cooperative model created for the purpose of sustainable farm/field structuring and governance, to enable sustainable access to finance, quality inputs and structured markets through NIRSAL’s facilitation.

 

NIRSAL which was launched in 2011 and incorporated in 2013 by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a dynamic, holistic USD500 Million public-private initiative to catalyse the flow of finance and investments into fixed agricultural value chains.

The exercise is aimed at creating 16,000 Agro Geo-Cooperatives ranging from 10 hectares to 20,001 hectares and above on 4 million hectares of farmland and enrolling about 8 million farmers across Nigeria who are expected to produce about 12 million metric tonnes of Grain Product Equivalent (GPE) annually over the medium to long term In line with this, Community Leaders, Individuals, Enterprises, Corporate Bodies, Graduates, N-POWER Beneficiaries, Active and Retired leaders and farmers in: The ADP programme, World Bank FADAMA Programme, USAID MARKETS Programme, IFAD Value Chain Development Programme, The World Bank Climate Adaptation and Business Support Programme, AfDB Agric Programmes, the DFID’s Propcom Maikarfi Programme, the SASSAKAWA Global 2000 Programme and others that meet NIRSAL PLC’s eligibility requirements and who are domiciled in or have access to their communities and farmers, are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity as a means of employment and a source of income generation through supporting the productive activities of their self-organized Agro Geo-Cooperatives.

 

NIRSAL is, therefore, calling on all smallholder farmers, farmer leaders and aggregators, particularly for Dry Season and Non-Seasonal Commodities to take advantage of the NIRSAL AgroGeoCoop® formation exercise which is currently structuring smallholder farmers for access to finance, training, markets and more.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

70,000 FARMERS ENROLLED FOR THE ANCHOR BORROWERS PROGRAMME IN OGUN STATE

The Ministry of Agriculture Ogun State has revealed that it has registered over 70,000 farmers with the Anchor Borrowers Programme and over 40,000 smallholder farmers have also been enrolled with Anchor / agro-processors.

 

Dr. Adeola Odedina, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, made this known during the budget performance appraisal of Ministries, Departments and Agencies by members of the State House of Assembly’s Committee on Agriculture and Forestry led by Sylvester Abiodun at the state Assembly Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta. Dr Odedina said that the Ministry had pay out over N700m to 3,500 cassava farmers through the Central Bank of Nigeria in the first phase and had also linked 5,000 farmers to credit facility and land.

 

The Commissioner however mentioned some places in the four geopolitical zones of the state where agricultural programmes are taking place which include Asa, Ewekoro, Obafemi town, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Odeda farm Institute, Apojola, all in Ogun Central; Mamu, Awa, Oru, Ojowo, Ijebu-Igbo, Ikenne Diary farm, Alamure Atoba, Segan Village, Akaka Remo, Omu Gbawojo, in Ogun East, while the sites in the Ogun West include Imeko, Afon Farm Estate, Imeko (Idose) Ayetoro and Itoro.

 

He further explained that the Ministry had generated N50.2m into the of state government’s coffers within the period under review. Engr. Tunji Akinosi, the State Commissioner for Forestry, said the Ministry had successfully apprehended those carrying out illegal felling of trees and farming within the forest reserves especially Omo Forestry Reserve. He further explained that over 40 truckloads of illegal logs and 5,000 flinches had been confiscated and N2.5m had been gotten from fines during the period review.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

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NAIC AND THREE OTHERS TO ADDRESS LOSS OF FOOD IN TRANSIT

The Federal Government has set up a tripartite committee in order to find a lasting solution to series of losses farmers incur during road crashes when transporting farm produce from across the country.

The committee, which is made up of the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC), Nigeria Association of Agricultural Product Dealers (NAAPD) and Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), is expected to work under a scheme, National Transit Insurance Scheme (NATIS). M

rs Folashade Joseph, the Managing Director of NAIC, who addressed journalists after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the other parties involved, said all farmers and their products in the 774 local government areas across the federation would be insured against any loss before transporting them to various markets on road. “NASIT is the National Transit Insurance Scheme and it has to do with agricultural products that move on the road from one state to another. These products need to be insured. We all know why it needs to be insured,” she said.

 

She said losses of agricultural products on roads was threatening food sustainability, hence the reason for the urgent and practical step to set up the committee. Kingsley Chikezie, the Secretary, Board of Trustees of NAAPD, attributed most of the crashes to roadblocks mounted by security agents, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on them to reduce the roadblocks in other parts of the country, having removed 98 between Sokoto and Calabar.

 

Salau Nuhu Ozigi, the ALGON representative, advised farmers at the grassroots to approach their local governments for details on the insurance of their products before any loss.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

LAGOS FINALIZED THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A N10 BILLION AQUACULTURE CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE

The Lagos State has finalised arrangements on the establishment of a N10 billion Aquaculture Centre of Excellence (LACE) to promote local production and support the Federal Government’s plan of stopping fish importation by 2022.

Considering the latest report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) that global consumption of fish is set to rise. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, while speaking in Lagos during the distribution of agricultural inputs and productive assets to 2743 farmers under the 2020 agricultural value chains empowerment programme, explained that the project would be located on a 35-hectare land in Igbonla in Epe under a Public-Private partnership arrangement.

He said the project was designed to boost the growth and development of aquaculture industry in the state, with 2,000 tonnes of fish expected to be produced yearly, provision of input to fish farmers under the Lagos Nucleus Farms (LANS) scheme and also serve as off-taker for fish farm clusters.

 

According to the Governor, “The experience of the past few months during the lockdown occasioned by COVID-19 Pandemic has further reinforced the urgent need to expand the State’s food production base to meet such spontaneous increase in demand for food in the future. In line with this realisation and to ensure sustained food production and supply in the State, we are establishing the Lagos Food Production Centres in Badagry and Epe.

“The two centres will ensure the resuscitation, expansion, stocking of agricultural production facilities in various value chains and also develop Agro-Tourism centres in Lagos State Songhai project in Badagry and the Agricultural Training Institute, Araga, Epe,” he added.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

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“PEOPLE SHOULD EMBRACE RABBIT PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION”—DR. POPOOLA

A livestock scientist at the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, Dr Yemi Popoola, has advised Nigerians to embrace rabbit production business and consumption due to its numerous benefits. He gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan, Oyo State.

Popoola stated that, unlike rabbits, other livestock animals like cow, goat and sheep take a longer time to mature, cost more to feed and also with the fact that they are slower to reproduce.

He said developing countries like Nigeria could benefit by switching to rabbit meat as a food source considering that we have a shortage of animal protein. “In many countries, this product costs roughly the same as chicken, which means that the price is not a barrier. “Rabbit meat is more than just a delicacy, the meat is white meat, which means it is healthier and it nourishes the body with nutritional values like proteins, iron and phosphorus.

“Its low-calorie content almost equates it to a balanced meal that meets the optimal health goals. “As compared to beef and pork, rabbit meat is relatively low on saturated fat as consuming high amounts of saturated fat subjects one to greater risks of coronary heart diseases due to its high cholesterol content,’’ he added.

 

According to him, rabbit meat is composed of the required proteins for the body that are important building blocks for essential muscle strength, and such strong muscles help the body generates more energy to build and maintain other tissue types.

Looking at the various benefits derived from rabbit meat, he said it is recommended for the young and old for brain development, as part of the reasons. It is also recommended for pregnant women, nursing mothers and athletes

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

LASPOTECH STARTS A COMMERCIAL FISH FARM

In order to support the Lagos State Government Food Security Project and boost food production in the state, the management of the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Ikorodu, has started a Pilot Project of Cage Culture for Large Scale Fish Farming at Agbowa-Ikosi Beach in Epe, where the polytechnic had secured about five acres of aquatic land. The project which will also serve as a training and research field for students and members of staff of the institution, among others.

 

Last week, the polytechnic, organised a sensitisation programme, entitled: “Optimising the Performance of Fisher Folks at Agbowa-Ikosi Fishing Community,” to kick-start the project, Fishermen and women in the community were taught modern fishing practices. Mr Olumide Metilelu the Acting Rector said, as part of the core mandates of community service and the establishment of the polytechnic to proffer solutions to the challenges faced by the society in different areas of development.

He added that the polytechnic would continue to work on opportunities that can improve the lives and well-being of the people, especially the people dwelling in the rural areas by teaching them modern fishing techniques that will boost their occupation and solve the various challenges faced the people in their fishing business.

 

The Rector encouraged the people in the fishing community to take advantage of the modern techniques and training that they are being taught by members of staff of the polytechnic, who are the facilitators, so as to boost their productivity and strengthen food security in the state.

The speakers at the programme include the Dean, School of Agriculture, Dr. Adebayo Ashafa and Head of Department of Fisheries Technology of the polytechnic, Dr. Olusola Babalola. The Director, Information & Public Relations for the institution, Lanre Kuye, assured members of the community of the management’s support in their areas of needs through sensitization programmes to boost their yields.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

LAGOS GOVERNMENT TO CREATE EXPORT OPPORTUNITIES FOR AGROPRENUERS THROUGH E-COMMERCE HUB SETUP

The Government of Lagos State is set to set up an e-commerce hub for agroprenuers in the state to produce farm produce under hygienic conditions suitable for export markets. Ms. Abisola Olusanya, the State Acting Commissioner for Agriculture, made this known during the inspection of venues of the Eko City Farmers Market, for Ileya, at St. Georges Primary School, Falomo, and Opebi Primary School, Opebi.

That the proposed hub would be located in a central location where all the certification of production would take place. She said that the ministry was trying to work with the Ministry of Science and Technology to develop an app-tech hub so as to encourage the youth to bring innovative solutions for agriculture. “We are trying to set up hubs or platforms where we will be able to get our producers to come together and be able to produce in sanitary and hygienic condition for export opportunities. We will get organisations like SON, NAFDAC to do a sort of assessment on the items produced for us to be able to export.

“Essentially, we want to be able to make it easier for our producers to be able to produce in a way that they do not have to go through many channels to certify their products. We want to make our certification take place in one location and then they can easily export,” the acting commissioner said.

Olusanya further said that the state government was working to create an enabling environment for agricultural businesses in the state. “When you talk about app-tech and e-commerce, I think we have a platform for that in the Eko City Farmers Market, which is supposed to connect the producers to the consumers and whosoever wants to buy along with any value chain that exists already.

“We know that there are several other platforms as well, like oja.ng and we have food.ng and a lot of platforms exist already to try to connect producers to the consumers.

“I believe we are doing that and you can come to the Ministry of Agriculture if you need any resources, if you need any help and support, we are willing and glad to do that.

“We have the agric-business department which actually has the mandate to be able to do farmer linkages to consumers, to farmers, to even the export community and to other stakeholders across the value chain. I believe that platform has been set up already,” she said.

She also said that “In August, we will be having our stakeholders’ engagement virtual, just to try to see what is ongoing with the terrain in the agric space and to be able to see whatever challenges they have and how we can mitigate all and be able to offer solutions to them.

I believe in app-tech space, yes a lot will be done, a lot still needs to be done. “We are also trying to connect to our sister Ministry, which is the Ministry of Science and Technology to develop an app-tech hub to encourage the youth to actually bring innovative solution in the agric space, so we believe we are doing that.

“Also, we have the Lagos State Entrepreneurship Programme (LAP), in Araga, we will be commencing with the next batch in August and part of their syllabus is the e-commerce section, just to try to encourage them that it is not just about the physical interaction between yourself and the consumer or whosoever is buying.

“It is to ensure that they can also set up e-commerce platforms, they can sell regardless of the time or the situation,” Olusanya added.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

THE GOVERNMENT OF OGUN STATE PARTNER IITA FOR AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT

The Government of Ogun state had on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) as part of measures to boost and develop the agricultural sector in the state.

Dr Adeola Odedina, the Commissioner for Agriculture, said the partnership with IITA would strengthen agricultural intervention activities as well as expand mechanised agricultural opportunities. During the signing of the MoU at the institute’s Head Office in Ibadan, Odedina noted that the state was leveraging on the expertise of IITA so as to assist the state in its key strategic agriculture pillars of food security, job creation, industrialisation, nutrition and food safety among others.

He added that the state would also benefit in technical support for the establishment of demonstration farms for youths that would focus on agricultural projects as well as training. According to the commissioner, “In Ogun State, the focus on agriculture is real and we have close to 70,000 young people that have registered for opportunities in agriculture and the opportunity is along the value chain. Before we deliver on this responsibility as a state, we don’t want to rely on our strength alone, we also want to rely on partners. In the last two months, we have been working to develop an MoU so that IITA can support our programme in terms of technology, infrastructure and advice.

“Ogun state is running the biggest cassava programme in Nigeria, so some of our youths will be coming here to learn. We have over 27,000 registered cassava growers under its Anchor Borrowers Programme. We can’t do less than to attach our aprons to IITA in the cassava sector so that our youths can come out with high yield and farmers can sustainably supply raw materials to industries,” he said.

 

In a remark, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture, Dr Angel Adelaja-Kuye, said that the state was positioning itself to ensure it maintained its agricultural hub status, that the partnership was in line with the state government’s desire to make agriculture the mainstay of its economy and also make the sector technology-driven.

 

Mr Nteranya Sanginga, The Director-General of the IITA, who was represented by the Deputy Director-General, Partnership for Delivery, Mr Kenton Dashiell, said Ogun was on the right path of agricultural development. She applauded the state’s agriculture team for their effort in working to boosting the state’s economy through agriculture.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other agricultural experts that were present during the signing of the MoU were the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Dotun Sorunke. Others were the General Manager, Ogun State Agricultural Development Programme, Mr Taiwo Ayansanwo and the Coordinator, Cassava Revolution, Mrs Kehinde Jokotoye.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

GOVERNOR MAKINDE CHARGE SCHOOLS: TEACH AGRICULTURE AS A BUSINESS.

Mr Seyi Makinde, the Governor of Oyo state has addressed schools in the state on the importance identified of tweaking the curriculum of secondary schools to accommodate the teaching of agriculture as a business. T

he governor made this call at Fasola Grammar School, during the launching of the Start Them Early Programme (STEP) and the inauguration of STEP Agribusiness Facility in the school on Thursday. He noted that such teaching of agriculture as a business right from primary and secondary schools will enable people to, from young ages, possess practical entrepreneurial training and knowledge of modern agriculture practice.

In his statement, he noted that the teaching of agribusiness will change the typical mindset of young people of hard labour of tilling the soil with a hoe or weeding with a cutlass. He said that his government was open to any ideas that will change the mindset of the youth towards agriculture. According to Makinde, “In the 80s to early 90s, we had the Young Farmer’s Club in schools. There was also the School to Land Programme in Rivers State. These programmes helped to steer the interest of some youths towards agriculture, and I must say that some people who have grown to become farmers today developed their interest in agriculture because of those initiatives. So, it is time to borrow a leaf out of the 80s book and bring back this initiative. This pilot programme will expose young minds to careers in agriculture that they never knew existed, and they will be given the needed direction to pursue these careers.

 

"I am particularly thrilled because they will not only be learning agriculture in the classroom. Positive peer pressure, in the form of social clubs, will be used to reinforce their classroom training, and then, they will get practical entrepreneurial training in the business of agriculture. “The truth is, what we set before young people as goals, is what they will pursue. When our parents told us to be doctors, lawyers, engineers and architects, we followed that path. The school system also emphasised those professions.

"It is now time to diversify. It is time to start teaching our children, the business of agriculture" he added.

 

Makinde commended the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) for the STEP initiative, that the state government was ready to build such agribusiness facilities across the six geopolitical zones of the state. "I will provide a small budget within the 2020 budget of Oyo state for IITA and our Ministry of Education, as well as Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA) to locate facilities like this within the other six geopolitical zones in the state.

"We have a Memorandum of Understanding with IITA to do the survey. We will finish the survey this year, and if we move really fast, we will be able to do one or two before this year runs out. I will take ownership of this project, the rest of the schools will come in under the 2021 budget. This project starting in Fasola Grammar School will be extended to other areas of Oyo state. Through this project, we will have a new generation of agro-entrepreneurs in Oyo State", Makinde added.

Giving a brief about the programme, the Coordinator, STEP, Mr Adedayo Adefioye, said that the programme was put in place to encourage and develop the interest of young people in agriculture and promote agriculture as a business in Oyo state.

He said modern farming technologies rather than subsistence practice of farming will encourage young people to embrace agriculture. The Coordinator, Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation Programme (TAAT), Dr Chrusantus Akem, while making a remark, charged the state government to utmost priority to the security of the Fasola facility, stating that the way to go in the world today, is for agribusiness to be incorporated in the school curriculum.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

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UNILORIN TO EMBARK ON A N600M POULTRY PROJECT

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, has disclosed that the university, would be embarking on a poultry project worth N600 million. He made this known on Tuesday while inaugurating the Mycoplasma Diagnostic and Research Laboratory of the Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the university.

Professor Mikhail Buhari the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Technology, and Innovation), who represented the Vice-Chancellor, noted that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) came up with the idea after the FG banned the importation of poultry products into the country.

Abdulkareem narrated that the CBN invited some selected universities to Abuja for presentation and the University of Ilorin was among the selected universities and the first to submit its report which the CBN said would be used as the benchmark for others. He said that the CBN representative recently visited the University of Ilorin at Ganmo – Amoyo, and noted that the location was an ideal place to bring together all aspects of the university’s agro-business.

 

Abdulkareem said there would be a strong collaboration with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine when the place was fully developed, as there was no way one could talk of agro-business without talking about veterinary medicine. In a remark, Dr. Isaac Olorunshola of the Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, commended the Vice-Chancellor for his active role in making the project a success.

Olorunshola said that the laboratory was put in place in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, that the purpose of the laboratory was for research, training of students, and for collaborative work within and outside the faculty.

He said it was especially for colleagues in Medicine to investigate Atypical Pneumonia (non-conventional Pneumonia) in children under the age of five years, that mycoplasma organism cut across human and animal growth which needed to be studied.

 

Olorunshola further explained that mycoplasma organism was responsible for Atypical Pneumonia in children that could lead to neonatal death and also infertility in women and men of the reproductive stage. That the organism could cause chronic respiratory diseases that could lead to mortality of 50 to 60 percent in an animal like a chicken.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

CBN SUPPORTS MAIZE GROWERS TO PRODUCE 12.5MILLION METRIC TONS OF MAIZE IN 18 MONTHS

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has on Friday in Abuja stated that it would intensify its support to maize farmers so that they can meet the target of producing 12.5 million metric tons of maize in the next 18 months. The Head, Development Finance Department, CBN, Mr Yusuf Yila, made this known at the stakeholders’ meeting of Maize Growers Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (MAGPAMAN).

The meeting which was focused on strategies for effective implementation of 2020 wet season CBN-MAIZE Anchor Borrowers Programme. According to him, “CBN is passionate about maize as a commodity and we believe that there is immense opportunity in that crop and Nigeria has a comparative advantage to produce maize that will not only sustain the country but can be exported. It is on that premise that the CBN resolved and decided to pursue the support of the maize initiatives.

“Just this 2020 wet season farming, our total pursuit and target that we have met is 250, 000 hectares across the country and MAGPAMAN coming for the first time has taken about 70 000. We have a mandate to ensure there is no maize scarcity in this country and to grow maize production in this country.

"So, our target for the dry season is that we are going to double that number. “In the next 18 months from this dry season, our target is to do 2.5 million hectares of land of maize in this country. It means in the next 18 months, our projection for production is 12.5 million metric tons of maize and we believe with that and the other production activities around the country Nigeria will be self-sustainable in maize production,’’ Yila said.

The Senior Commercial Officer, Commodities and Export Department, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Inuwa Ibrahim, the moved was very commendable, especially at a time the country was diversifying its economy. Ibrahim, charged the maize farmers to leverage on the CBN ABP support to prove they could produce to meet local demand.

 

The National President of MAGPAMAN, Dr Edwin Uche, said that the association had received N13 billion support from CBN for the 2020 wet season farming. “MAGPAMAN has received N13 billion for the wet season maize anchor borrower programme for 70, 000 farmers. It is a programme that provides farmers access to finance, technology and mechanisation and virtually to all key component of the value chain,’’ he said.

 

He commended the Federal Government for its agricultural policies, “Our farmers have gotten their inputs and they have also received their cash components. They are farming and activities are going on and we are working to address gaps where necessary. “Maize is one of the commodities that can pull people out of poverty, it has a short life span, short gestation period and you can do it two or three times a year, so what is an unemployed graduate doing when he can make a lot of money from it,’’ he added.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

COCOA FARMERS SEEK FG’S INTERVENTION OVER PEST INVASION

Cocoa and Plantain Farmers Associations of Nigeria has appealed to the Federal Government to come to their aids over the invasion of pests on their farms. The state Chairman of the association, Mr. Oluronikise Ibidapo made this appeal during the inauguration of the Ondo State chapter of the association, in Akure.

 

According to him, cocoa beans and plantains were destroyed by the pests and this has badly affected the expected harvests of the farmers. The magnitude of destruction of our crops by the pests was even more terrible during the period of the COVID-19 lockdown as farmers could not work on their plantations. Ibidapo, appealed directly to the President, Muhammadu Buhari to please come to their aid in the provision of chemicals, farm implements, seedlings as well as funds to cushion the effects of the pests invasion.

 

He also solicited financial intervention farmers in the South and some Northern states that didn’t benefit from the N13 billion, that was recently released to control pests invasion on their farms. He appreciated the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu for his support to farmers. However, he called on the governor to help fix the roads leading to their farms, as this had been resulting in wasted harvests and revenue annually.

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

YOUTH IN AGRIBUSINESSES TO GET CBN’S INTEREST FREE LOANS

Youth in agribusinesses to get an interest free loan. This was revealed by the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN on Tuesday when it unveiled new policy guidelines for Non-Interest Financial Institutions (NIFIs) under its Agri-Business, Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF). Amongst the guidelines included the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS) which is said to be targeted at youth in agribusinesses.

 

According to the CBN: “The non-interest guidelines for the AADS are aimed at engaging a minimum of 370,000 youths in agricultural production across the country between now and 2023, in order to reduce unemployment among the youth in the country.

“While the specific objectives of the MSMEDF for NIFIs are to increase the productivity and output of microenterprises, job creation and engender inclusive growth, those of the AADS are to increase agricultural production towards food security, job creation and economic diversification, CBN said.

 

“The non-interest guidelines for the AADS, which is targeted at Nigerian youth between 18 and 35 years, seek to promote interaction among state governments, the CBN and other stakeholders in the agricultural value chain in each state. “To enhance job creation in the agricultural sector, with focus on two crops where states have a comparative advantage.”

 

This is believed to help Nigeria engage the teeming unemployed youths in the country.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

MAIZE FARMERS APPEALED TO FG TO END ATTACKS ON FARMERS TO FORESTALL FOOD CRISES

The National President Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN), Dr Bello Abubakar, has appealed to the Federal Government to find a lasting solution to the continuous issue of bandits and herdsmen attacks on farmers so that they can to carry out their farming business.

This appeal was made in Abuja during the inauguration of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter of the association and the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers program input distribution for the wet season.

Dr Abubakar said the attack on farmers need to end in order for Nigeria to make up for the possible food deficit that could be caused by the COVID-19, “We want to kindly plead with the Federal Government through the CBN to increase security presence in the country to safeguard farmers so that the impact of the pandemic on food production will be drastically reduced”.

He also appealed to the CBN to review the tenure of loans from a year to two years and also review the stringent personal guarantor requirement, “We seek your assistance to kindly look into the tenure of the loan for it to be extended to two years, the issue of personal guarantee for members should be reviewed and a better alternative be sorted out by the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI).’’

He urged the benefiting farmers to utilize the opportunities being given to them through the anchor borrowers' loans and inputs to ensure they were able to repay the loan. Dr. Abubakar also urged farmers to strive to repay the loans promptly as their ability to repay will sustain the program for the future.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

IAR&T PRIORITIZES RESEARCH ON INCREASING SEED LONGEVITY

The Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, said that to increase seed longevity for maize, kenaf and grain legumes, proper crop breeding, right agronomic management and good conditioning of storage facilities are essential. To achieve this goal it had to prioritise research on these crops to enhance food security.

 

The Executive Director of IAR&T, Prof. Veronica Obatolu, who is a professor of food nutrition made this known to News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan on Monday. She said that in achieving food security, seeds are the most essential living inputs when it comes to crop production. She said that the cost of producing quality seeds for farmers to plant yearly would be higher than what it would cost to store the same quantity of seeds under suitable conditions for future use.

 

In her statement “Good storage also ensures the purity of seeds than the frequent production in the field. Hence, a lot of work in the institute is being channelled into improving the storability of seeds. “The main benefit of our research on improved shelf life of crops to farmers is improved income and livelihood; this is because the farmers have access to adequate and quality seeds to plant at the right time.

 

“Planting high-quality seeds results in good crop establishment, vigorous plants and ultimately higher yield at harvest. Another important benefit of improved seeds to farmers is the high value of produce and products derived from the use of high quality seeds, the products command higher prices.”

 

Furthermore, she said availability of quality and nutritious food to the populace at affordable prices contributes largely to food security and assurance of peace in a nation. “The institute has made a giant stride in research breakthroughs most especially, the provision of additional technical support to farmers in terms of preservation of renewable resources through seeds and value addition has grossly improved their livelihood. Many of our technologies in terms of value addition to food products, food preservation, low cost agronomic practices, and improvement of varieties and seed availability have been adopted by farmers all over the nation.”

 

She advised farmers that the most important way they could increase their yield per hectare is by following the recommended guidelines for the production of each crop, planting improved varieties and adopt the use of quality seeds. And other cultural practices such as plant population density, crop protection against weeds, pests, diseases and other natural enemies, timely harvesting and proper techniques of post-harvest handling must be done at the right time and appropriately.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

FEED INDUSTRY TO FACE MORE CHALLENGES AHEAD

The Nigeria feed industry may face a serious shortfall in Soybeans production this year. The Soya beans farmers’ association is projecting that output may decrease by 50 per cent.

The National President of the soybeans farmers association, Dr Nafiu Abdul said, the association had earlier projected to produce one million bags of100kg per bag this season but unfortunately, most farmers could not get the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ loan because of COVID-19.

 

This has reduced the population of farmers to cultivate soybeans and is going to affect production by almost 50%. He further said that This Is really going to affect the poultry feed industry, that depends on the crop as one of the main ingredients in feed production. Poultry farmers are already complaining of the scarcity of maize for feed production across the country.

 

Maize farmers are already forecasting a downward trend too due to pandemic. Maize and soybeans are the major ingredients of the poultry feeds. Soybeans is always been planted late in the season beginning from the second week of June and even at the beginning of August in some places.

 

Dr Nafiu said the farmers have been worried about so many things that are happening now in the country because of the COVID -19 as the cost of inputs is going very high. Fertiliser is now been sold in some locations for more than N10, 000, which is double the price it was sold last year.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

NATIONAL BIOTECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT AGENCY SET TO PRODUCE 5 MILLION YAM SEEDLINGS

The Acting Director-General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) Professor Alex Akpa has said that the agency is set to produce 5 million yam seedlings for Nigerian farmers this year.

 

Professor Akpa made this known during a Webinar conference on ‘Curbing COVID-19 Pandemic in Nigeria: Analysing the role of Plant Genetic Modification in boosting immunity against infectious diseases’. He stated that the agency was able to produce 1 million yam seedlings last year that were distributed to farmers for cultivation.

 

According to his statement “Biotechnology has other applications, in agriculture, it is massive and that is where most post-COVID-19 is coming, you find out that here in NABDA, using Biotechnology we have started impacting massively in the area of agriculture. For instance, in our yam multiplication program, last year, we were able to produce 1 million yam seedlings, and this year, we are targeting 5 million yam seedlings, all these things are feasible because of Biotechnology”.

 

He spoke on the importance of biotechnology application for the benefits of man especially in the areas agriculture, health and environment. In his words “The COVID-19 pandemic has created a massive problem in the world and here in Nigeria. We all know that at this time, Biotechnology is a tool that is extremely important and useful not only to Nigeria but to the whole world.

“If you look at it in the area of health, there is no way you can do vaccines, there is no way you can do diagnostic kits without Biotechnology. In NABDA, we have been able to succeed with our technical partners to develop an RNA based test kits which are the first of its kind in the world, it is purely African project.

 

“You will find also that apart from diagnostic kits, we have been involved in vaccines which more than 100 countries are working on for COVID19 including Nigeria. We will soon start to unveil our efforts to Nigerians and to the world”, he added.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.

OGUN ASSEMBLY- ANIMAL GRAZING BILL PASSES SECOND READING

The problem of farmers/herder clashes has been a serious case across the country. In order to find a lasting solution to the problem, a bill on Animal Grazing and Cattle Ranch Establishment Law of Ogun State 2020 was sponsored by Hon Ganiyu Oyediji of the Ogun State House of Assembly.

The bill on Animal Grazing and Cattle Ranch Establishment Law of Ogun State, 2020 has passed second reading on the floor of the House, with the assurance that when it is implemented, it will curb the destruction of farmlands and stop the various attacks killings between farmers and herders which has been a result of the open grazing.

 

the motion was moved by the Minority Leader and sponsor, Ganiyu Oyedeji, seconded by Hon. Yusuf Adejojo and supported by the Whole House through a voice vote, during a plenary presided over by Speaker Olakunle Oluomo, at the Assembly Complex in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

 

The sponsor explained that the bill is of essence to promote peaceful co-existence. He also said that the bill was proposed to ensure peaceful atmosphere for existing and prospective herders to set up ranches for their cattle.

 

He added that the full implementation would boost agricultural practices, particularly animal husbandry in the State. support of the bill, Honourables Adejojo, Adeyanju Adegoke, Sola Adams, and Amosun Yusuf, added that when the bill is passed and signed into law by Governor Abiodun, it would stop environmental pollution, reduces farmers-herders clashes and increase food production.

 

Other members also said that the bill would make the State to embrace the ranching system, which is in accordance with best practices around the world.

 

Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,

🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,

WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.