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


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

Research Institute to Develop Flood Resistant Maize

 The Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, has revealed an ongoing plan to develop a maize variety that can withstand flood and remain in waters for up to 14 days.

This was made known during an interaction with newsmen on Tuesday in Zaria, by the Executive Director of the institute, Prof. Muhammad Ishiyaku.

Ishiyaku stated that one of the institute fundamental focus areas of genetic improvement programmes was to develop crop that could withstand drought and flood.

He said that the development of the flood resistant maize variety was to ameliorate the effect of flood on farmers’ investments, as climate change has become an undeniable natural phenomenon.

“To date, the institute has developed and released up to 54 different varieties of maize including hybrid among them. The genetically improved maize can be grown in Azare, Bauchi State, some parts of Jigawa and Katsina states which are dryer parts of northern Nigeria.

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“The institute has also developed and released 47 improved varieties of sorghum and the improvement include the ability to do early enough even under short rainfall season,’’ He said.

Ishiyaku said the institute had developed up to 29 different improve varieties of groundnut which include those that could be used to produce confectioneries and others and solely for vegetable oil production.

According to him, sunflower is an oil producing crop like groundnut and the institute had developed four different varieties of sunflower.

“If the two (Sunflower and groundnut) are put together, and production is boosted, Nigeria will no import vegetable oil. We have also developed 13 different varieties of cotton which have different length of fibre.

“The fibre quality of cotton determines its utilisation potential in the textile industry and other sundry things on which the cotton is required,’’ he said.

Talking on cowpea, he said the institute had released an improved variety that was resistant to pest called Sampi 20 that require very low spray of insecticides.

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“Relatively, instead of spraying the other cowpea varieties for about seven to eight times, this new variety would do very well with only two targeted sprays. We have also developed soil fertility management, something that is very difficult for farmers. We developed ways of rotating different crops to ensure the sustenance of the fertility of the soil,’’ he said.

The Director said the institute would leverage on agriculture extension workers technologies such as conventional media outfits and social media, such as the farmer help-lines which provide 24 hours services in which farmers can ask questions about technologies.





FG to Ban Milk Importation Within the next two years - Nanono


The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Muhammad Sabo Nanono, said the federal government planned to ban the importation of milk within the next two years. That the country has become Africa's largest producer of rice and the largest producer of cassava in the world.

While speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday in Abuja, in commemoration of the 2020 World Food Day celebration, he said "We are planning in this ministry and watch my words, in the next two years we will ban the importation of milk into this country. And ask me why: we have 25 million cows in this country to produce five million litres per day. "The issue is now logistics, which we have started by setting up milk processing plants across the country. I see no reason why we should import milk in the next two years. We should stop the importation of milk".

He also said the federal government will also be considering an outright ban on fish importation.

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Responding to concerns about the increasing prices of food commodities in the country, Nanono stated that, "In the next two, three months, most of the prices will level off to a more comfortable level adding that the price of Milled rice is expected to reduce to between N14,000 and N15,000. We anticipate the reduction in the price of rice."

He said that since the beginning of the 2020 farming season, the ministry had distributed inputs in all the states of the federation to boost food production. That last year, the country recorded a boost in the production of major staple crops, pointing out that maize and rice production rose from 12.8 million metric tonnes (MMT) and 12.3MMT to 13.94MMT and 14.28 MMT respectively.

The minister also said that cassava production has also increased from 58.47 MMT in 2018 to 73.91MMT- and further projected to rise to 93.6MMT by 2023. And such growth had also been recorded for groundnut, tomatoes, and sorghum production adding that cattle beef, milk and fish production also rose by 166 per cent, 146 per cent and 11 per cent respectively between 2018 and 2019.

Nanono maintained that some significant level of progress had also been made to improve agricultural productivity since the inception of the present administration through the various policy initiatives.

Adding that the ministry had been able to raise the country's national food reserve stock to 109,657 metric tonnes, adding that the figure is expected further increased to 219,900 MT by the end of 2020.

The minister also said that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is not resting on its oars in addressing challenges of the country's agricultural sector.






To fast-track the economic development of the indigenous dairy industry, the Kano State Agro Pastoral Development Project has said it is ready to invest in the local milk production and processing.

Ibrahim Garba Muhammad, the State Project Coordinator, said what spoiled this investment decision is the huge amount being spent on the importation of processed milk and milk products to Nigeria and economic effect the nation’s economy.

According to the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria spends between $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion on milk and other dairy products importation yearly. According to the statement by Ameen K. Yassar, the Project Communication Specialist said Garba gave an assertion while receiving Malam Hambali Muhammad, the State Coordinator, Raw Materials Research and Development Council of Nigeria, (RMRDC), at the project office in Kano. “The gap between supply and demand for dairy products is widening in Nigeria. Yet we have the potential to produce enough milk that will serve our population and even export to other countries if we invest appropriately.

“So under this project, we are approaching the issue from different angles. We are constructing 200 milk collection centers to supply the high quality, safe and adequate raw milk required by dairy processing firms and indeed, the general public.

“Similarly, we will train the herdsmen and milk vendors on hygiene and best practices on milk production and processing, to add value to their products. We are also engaged in large and community scale fodder production that will help our herdsmen to settle down and not to migrate seasonally in search of pasture.

“Another area of focus of the project, according to Malam Ibrahim, is insemination of cows and small ruminants fattening, to improve the quality and quantity of milk, meat and even leather produced in the state. He said the project was keen to gain from the expertise of the Raw Materials Research and Development Council of Nigeria, RMRDC, in the establishment of milk collection centres as well as in the areas of meat and leather development,” the statement reads.

However, Malam Hambali Muhammad said the visit was to see how they can work together to help the project to grow as the organization was charged with the mandate of promoting the development and utilization of Nigeria’s industrial raw materials for the benefit of the citizen.






The National Apex of Nigerian Farmers’ Cooperative Society (NANFACOS) has appealed to the Federal Government to support them with loans and grants and that the President should give more priority to the private sector so that they can drive the country’s agriculture value chain to make it more self-sufficient in food production.

Chief Nwogwugwu Uzoma, the Acting National President of NANFACOS, made this appeal at a meeting with all state presidents in Abuja. The association said for the country to become a global force to be reckoned with in agriculture like Israel, there must be a support for farmer cooperatives in the form of loans and grants.

NANFACOS bemoaned the serious effect of Covid-19 on farmers and called for financial and material assistance from the federal government. Uzoma appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for his determination to make agriculture the mainstay of the economy.

He assured farmers to join to the corporative society so that they can have easy access to farming loans, equipment and other important farm inputs. He further said that the association had been given the go-ahead by the Department of Cooperative, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to conduct its national general election.






The Abeokuta Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture has revealed that many farmers in Ogun State could not access credit facilities from the Central Bank of Nigeria and other banks because they do not have Certificates of Occupancy.


The chamber has, however, appealed to the Ogun state government to grant power to the local government areas so that they also be able to issue Cs of O for agricultural purposes. Mr. Jare Oyesola, the President of ABEOCCIMA, said this at the 44th Annual General Meeting of the chamber in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.


Oyesola said that efforts made by most farmers failed in getting loan facility from the CBN because they do not have Cs of O to process the funds. He also stated that the low agricultural production in the state is due to the current Land Use Act, which only empowered the state government to issue Cs of O to landowners. In his words, “The challenge we have with agriculture is Land."


"It is easier to get land in the North than in the South-West. What I’m advocating is that just like the Land Use Decree of 1978 has stated, local governments should be able to give land for agricultural development. We know one another in our local government areas, we know the cooperatives in our local government areas; allow local governments to be able to give us C of O.," he continued. 


“From my experience, the Central Bank Nigeria and international companies recognize a C of O issued by a local government and they will give farmers loan because it shows the evidence that they are authorized to till that land.


"The CBN in Abeokuta says they don’t disburse the funds given to them by the Federal Government because many farmers don’t have Cs of O. If they have Cs of O, they will be able to access the funds for agricultural value chain development.”


Oyesola however, advocated for an agricultural revolution, that Nigerians must embrace agriculture to overcome the economic challenges faced by the country. Mrs. Alaba Lawson, the Chairperson of the ABEOCCIMA Board of Trustees, also called for massive investment in agriculture for Nigeria to survive the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.