Tag Archives: agriculture

News+: Stakeholders urge kogi to meet with benchmark

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Stakeholders at a one-day Consultative Meeting on Public Financing of Agriculture have called on Kogi government to ensure its annual budget for the Agriculture sector met Maputo Declaration benchmark of 10 per cent minimum.

The stakeholders made the call in a communique issued at the end of the meeting, organised by the Public Financing of Agriculture (PFA) Committee of ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) on Wednesday in Lokoja.

The communique was signed by Mathias Okpanachi, chairman of PFA; Hajiya Safiya Yahaya, State Coordinator, SWOFON and Halima Sadiq, Executive Director, PIBCID.

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They observed that budgetary allocation to the Agriculture sector had not met the Maputo Declaration benchmark since its ratification and adoption by Nigeria in 2003.

“There is need for budget developers to ensure that Kogi State Public Sector Agriculture Budget meets the Maputo Declaration benchmark of 10 per cent minimum

“There is also need for the Ministry of Agriculture to adopt innovative revenue generation strategies and block resource leakages in its bureaucratic processes, and as well, improve capacity and attitudes of public service workers on quality service delivery”, they suggested.

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The stakeholders insisted that there must be an agreed participatory public sector policy on agriculture value chain development, while emphasising the need for government to off-take Agriculture produce from farmers.

They also urged increased partnership and collaboration between government and citizens on improving public sector funding for Agriculture, just as they advocated increased transparency and accountability in the sector to engender confidence.

They noted that the top-bottom approach to Public Sector Agriculture budget development was still a major challenge in ensuring participatory development in the sector.

The meeting was attended by representatives of Civil Society, Media, Kogi House of Assembly, Smallholder Women Farmers, Agriculture Financial Institutions, the state Agriculture Development Project (ADP) and Ministry of Agriculture representatives.


#Newsworthy…

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We will make agriculture alternative revenue earner – Wike.


Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said the government is working to make agriculture a major revenue earner for the state, in view of the dwindling revenue from oil.

Speaking, yesterday, during a courtesy visit by the Kingdom of the Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria, Harry Van Dijk, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Governor Wike said the state government will partner Netherlands to build its agricultural base.


He said: “We are going into agriculture in order to diversify the economy of the state. We want to partner investors from your country to develop agriculture and create employment opportunities for our people.

“With the price of oil crashing, it is necessary to get alternative sources of income. We know Netherlands is good in aquaculture and we will collaborate in that area.”


The governor said his administration has improved security to ensure investors operate freely without hindrance.

“We have developed a system to tackle criminality. We have drastically reduced the level of insecurity in the state and that has improved the business climate.


“We have developed roads and we are developing other basic infrastructure to create access across the state,” he said.

The governor added that the state government has established a medical and teaching hospital to groom the next generation of doctors and medical professionals.


He commended the Netherlands government for working with relevant stakeholders to clean up impacted sites in Bodo, Gokana Local Government Area.

He said some improvements have been made, but it is not enough as the Ogoni communities need total remediation to carry on with their lives.


Earlier, Dijk said: “We are here to inspect the clean up sites in Bodo. We witnessed the replanting of the mangrove with the support of Shell Petroleum Development Company.”

The ambassador said 800 people from Bodo community got certificates for the training they received and work they have been doing to reclaim sites.

He said the Netherlands government is willing to discuss areas of partnership with the Rivers government for the development of the state.


#Newsworthy. .

700million metric tonnes of tomatoes demanded in Nigeria – NIHORT


The National Horticultural Research Institute(NIHORT) says 700,000 million metric tonnes of tomatoes are required to meet the nation’s demand for it.


Dr Abayomi Olaniyan, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of NIHORT said this at a two-day training workshop in Abuja on Wednesday.

The training was organised by the institute for critical stakeholders in tomato and telfairia (pumpkin or `Ugu’ leaf) production and value addition.


“Though Nigeria is currently producing 2.3 million metric tonnes as against 1.8 million produced two years ago, more needs to be done to meet the three million metric tonnes national demand.

“Tomato production in Nigeria is still short of what is demanded particularly during the second and third quota of the year. While about three million metric tonnes is the national requirement, about 2.3 metric tonnes are the production.


“About two years ago, the production was 1.8 million metric tonnes but because of the trainings and technologies that NIHORT has perfected alongside other stakeholders, the production has increased by about 25 per cent.

“That is the reason we are getting the production figure of 2.3 million metric tonnes as against 1.8 million metric tonnes,” he said.


The chief executive officer said that one of the major reasons for the deficit was post-harvest loss, adding that about 40 per cent of tomatoes is often wasted.

He added that tomato nursery practices are other reasons for the deficit in supply, stressing that “tomatoes management is important for future development of the commodity value chain.


“Nursery is a basic need and prerequisite for producing quality seedlings. Putting efforts on quality seedling production offers scope for sustainable tomato production.

“Additionally, nursery provides employment opportunities for technical, skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled labour.”


On telfairia, known as `Ugu’ in Nigeria, Olaniyan noted that the pumpkin leaf is of high nutritional, medicinal and industrial value, adding that it was rich in protein, fat, minerals and vitamins.

According to him, there is high prospect in production and marketing of telfairia within and outside the country, saying basic knowledge on value addition was important.


He said the two-day training would cover tomato value addition and processing among other things, to reduce seasonal glut and inconsistent year round supply.

The NIHORT boss added that processing of tomato would help reduce the amount been imported into the country particularly “during lean season of tomato supply.”

He urged the participants to pay critical attention to all the sessions to make the best use of the opportunity.

He assured them of the institute’s readiness to liaise with relevant stakeholders to support and promote their various entrepreneurial skills along the value chain.


#Newsworthy…

17-year-old arraigned for rice farm destruction guilt in ekiti


The police in Ekiti State have arraigned 17-year-old boy, Bumba Karba, before an Ado Ekiti Chief Magistrate Court over unlawful destruction of a rice farm.

Karba was arraigned alongside Nafiu Mohammed and Mohammed Audu for grazing their cattle on the farm located at Okemesi Ekiti with others still at large on January 7, causing massive destruction on the land.

Police prosecutor, Johnson Okunade, said the total damage caused by the accused person to the farm belonging to Olusola Sanni was N4.5m.

The accused however, pleaded not guilty.

Upon their application for bail, the Chief Magistrate, Mr Adesoji Adegboye, granted the defendants bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties each in like sum and adjourned the case until February 24, 2020, for hearing


#Newsworthy…

Osun to build specialised agricultural & fish market – commissioner


Osun State Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr Adedayo Adewole has disclosed that the Federal Government plans to build a specialised agricultural produce and international fish market in Ijebu –Jesa in Oriade Local Government Area of Osun.

Adewole, made this known at a meeting of the Project Implementation Committee(PIC) in Osogbo.

He said the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, in conjunction with Agricultural Traders Welfare Association (ATWA), would be executing the project in the state.


According to him, the project is a fallout of the economic and investment summit organised by the state government in November 2019 and targeted at boosting the economy of the state.

He said apart from the fact that the project upon implementation would boost the economy of Osun, it would also boost the business of fish farmers and marketers in the state and its environs .


Earlier, the representative of the PIC, Dr Joseph Okeke, thanked the state government for promoting discussion of the economic transformation of the state and Nigeria in general through agriculture and agricultural value chain.

Okeke, who also doubles as the National President of ATWA, further said that the project was targeted toward economic diversification by the Federal Government in the area of specialised agricultural market.

According to him, it is also geared toward job creation, enhancing economic activities and facilitating exportation of Nigerian commodities.

The committee, comprising of the project facilitator, Dr Gabriel Eniola, Osun Fish Farmers Association Chairman, Mr Tope Ogundipe and Osun Commissioner for Lands and Physical Planning, Mr Nathaniel Agunbiade among others later inspected the site.


#Newsworthy…

Mr. Joseph, Rivers Deputy Speaker calls for more concentration on Agriculture


Mr Joseph Bassey, Deputy Speaker of Cross River House of Assembly has called on government at all levels to explore the agricultural sector with a view to improve on the nation’s economic.

Bassey made the call on Sunday in an interview. NobleReporters culled


He said that the Nigerian economy would thrive and create jobs for the unemployed if governments invest massively in the production of food for export and local consumption.

“Agriculture is the main factor that can help to revamp the economy of this country for good.


“President Muhammadu Buhari speaks much of agriculture, it is a money making venture; I will encourage him to tap the potentials in the sector.

“Nigeria has massive and fertile lands for agricultural produce; what is needed is the government factor by way of grants and improved varieties including fertiliser for farmers to boost their productivity.


“If we go into agriculture proper and harness the sector, there will be abundant food for the country,” he said.

He said that if there was enough food to eat and export, it will improve on the health of the citizenry and generate more revenue for the country.


He, however, commended Buhari for closing the borders temporarily, saying that the directive had promoted the production of local rice and curbed some illegal activities within the borders.

“The President’s directive on border closure has improved our local rice production and today our rice farmers are making money and feeding their families as well.

“Food is health and wealth. If we have a good agricultural system in Nigeria, it will carry everybody along because almost all fields of human endeavours can work in the sector and be productive,” he said.

The Deputy Speaker said that Nigeria had the man power to adequately go into the cultivation of rice for local sale, consumption and export.He added that if properly tapped, the sector would build Nigeria’s capacity and raise the economy profile.


#Newsworthy…

AIGC boss assures FG, Says steel plant worth $600million will boost the economy.

…says inaugurate Phase 1 of the plant

The Managing Director of African Industries Group Company(AIGC), Mr. Alok Gupta, yesterday said the company’s $600million integrated steel plant would be Nigeria’s biggest non-oil Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

He said the new plant would boost the nation’s economy and lead to the mining of 5.4 million tons of iron ore in the country.

He also said about 36 MW Power Plant will be constructed from the waste heat recovered from the plant, which will be partly used for captive consumption.

Gupta made the disclosures when the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite , visited the project site in Kagarko , Kaduna State.

He said the firm would inaugurate Phase 1 of the plant by December 2020.

He said: “We expect to commission the Phase I of the project by end December 2020. We will be mining 5.4 million tons of iron ore, beneficiate the ore to produce high grade concentrate followed by making into pellets and then finally into Directly Reduced Iron (DRI).

“The DRI will be used to make steel billets and will avoid our need to import the same. We are also building a 36 MW Power Plant from the waste heat recovered in the process, which will be partly used for captive consumption.

“Let me also highlight the key benefits of the project at this stage: About $600 million investment will be Nigeria’s biggest non-oil FDI, will serve as a catalyst for development of solid minerals sector by attracting other serious investors following our example in downstream processing.

“The project will eliminate the need to import steel billets thereby saving scarce foreign exchange.

“Currently 100 per cent of steel production in Nigeria is from scrap route, which is a diminishing resource. Producing steel from locally available iron ore will lead to sustainable economic development, considering the abundance of iron ore reserves in the country.

“The project will also contribute significantly to the Nigerian GDP by way of royalties and direct & indirect taxes.” Gupta also highlighted other benefits of the project, including a power plant.

He added: “With the completion of first phase of the project, there will be significant economic and industrial development in the area by means of creation of several allied industries and social infrastructure.

“The surplus power generated will further assist in developing other industries and residences and will help in urbanization of the local area. “Our project is not only important for Nigeria or for Nigeria in the African context but for Nigeria in the World context. It complements Nigeria’s desire to be self-sustaining and become an independent steel producer not dependent on imports.

“This Integrated Steel Plant will surely put Nigeria on the world map of crude steel producers of the world”. “This is just the start of our long journey and I would like to thank all the people who trusted in us and supported us so far and we hope that you will keep supporting us in setting up of this Integrated Steel Plant.”

#Newsworthy…

FG inaugurates committee to oversee agric projects.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has inaugurated a 13-man Steering Committee for the implementation of Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises (LIFE-ND) project, valued at over 90 million dollars in some states of the federation.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, while inaugurating the committee on Monday in Abuja, said the project was aimed at developing some agricultural commodities in nine states in the Niger Delta.

He said the commodities are cassava, plantain, rice, fish, cocoa, oil palm and poultry, adding that they had the potential to contribute immensely to annual agricultural productivity, food security and value chains development.

The minister pointed out that the nine benefiting states are Cross River, Rivers, Edo, Bayelsa, Ogun, Akwa Ibom, Imo, Abia, and Delta.

According to him, the project will be implemented within a six year implementation period and another six years financing gaps, making a total of 12 years project cycle.

“The organisational framework of LIFE-ND project has four levels: Federal, Regional, State and Local Government.

“Today we are inaugurating the National Steering Committee to be chaired by the Minister and Permanent Secretary and composed of representatives from relevant departments and agencies.

“The national steering committee is expected to meet once in a year and its strategic role is to provide oversight functions in the implementation of LIFE-ND and also approve the Annual Work Plan and Budget.

“Under the implementation of LIFE-ND project, the federal government has identified priority value chains for the Niger Delta region,” he said.

Nanono said government’s plan to replicate the project in the remaining five geo-political zones of the country had reached an advanced stage.

He called for transparency and accountability in the implementation of the project.

The Director Project Coordinating Department in the ministry of agriculture, Maimuna Habiba, said the steering committee would ensure prudent use of funds for the project.

“This National Steering Committee is to ensure that there is prudent use of fund within the project life so that people do not spend the fund the way they like.

“This project is from IFAD and it is worth 60 million dollars for six states, funded by IFAD and the remaining three states get 30 million dollars, funded by NDDC”

“The entire project’s are supposed to create jobs, improve agricultural production, creation of value chain, and we link them to market. We have 10 projects under the Project Coordinating Department,” she said.

#Newsworthy…

Gov. Obaseki set to expand Agripreneur scheme to oil palm, piggery & cassava.

In a move to sustain the Agripreneur Scheme designed to boost food security and create wealth for farmers in the state, Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has expanded the scheme to cover piggery, cassava and oil palm production, in more locations in the state.

Obaseki disclosed after attending the annual thanksgiving service of Omega Fire Ministries International, in Auchi, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State.

The governor said the state Agripreneur Scheme has recorded huge success, which necessitated its expansion to cover more crops and also livestock production, noting, “Because the scheme was successful in 2019, we are applying and expanding the facilities across areas like piggery, and crops such as cassava and oil palm.”

“Agriculture is the largest employer of labour and largest contributor to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the country,” he added.

He said investment in Agriculture would create more employment opportunities, urging youths in the state to key into the state’s Agripreneur Scheme.

According to him, “What we are doing is to encourage more youths to participate in our Agripreneur programme where we give them the support, facilities and opportunities to cultivate crops that will be bought by off-takers.

“We are hoping that in 2020, we will have massive expansion in the areas of livestock and boost food sufficiency. I see a lot of young people keying into the programme.”

He asked for more prayers for the state and country, adding that the prayers of the faithful have continued to protect the Nigeria.

He reiterated that he would continue to sue for peace in the state but not to the detriment of the welfare of the people, adding, “If we have to fight to make Edo better, I will do so. If we have to fight to put food on the table of the poor, we will do so.”

In his sermon titled “Thanksgiving as a Weapon,” General Overseer, Omega Fire Ministry, Apostle Johnson Suleiman, said thanksgiving is a command from God. He urged Christians to thank God with their heart and substance.

#Newsworthy…

Buhari’s Executive Orders For 5 Yielding Results On The University of Agriculture In Daura.

…Says policy’ll spur economic revolution

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr LOgbonnaya Onu, has said that the decision to site the proposed University of Transportation in Daura, Katsina State is an indication that President Muhammadu Buhari”s Executive Order 5, for the planning and execution of projects, is starting to yield results.

The Minister made the remark in defence of the President who has come under fire for situating the planned university in his hometown of Daura.

Onu said in a statement that the Executive Order “marks a revolutionary effort” that will help move the country toward developing the necessary local human capital needed to fight poverty, create jobs, strengthen local manpower development, encourage indigenous technology capacity and enhance self-reliance.

Onu said 60 years ago, the rail system was operational as a means of public transportation, but that it had since become inoperative due to a lack of local capacity to maintain the system. He said that by establishing a transportation school, the government expects that Nigerians will acquire the skills and training necessary to run and improve the country’s transportation system, including its rail network.

“On February 2, 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Presidential Executive Order No. 5 for the Planning and Execution of Projects, Programmes and Contracts with Science, Engineering and Technology Component,” Onu stated.

“This marks a revolutionary effort that will help move Nigeria toward developing the necessary local human capital she badly needs to fight poverty, create jobs, strengthen local manpower development, encourage indigenous technology capacity and enhance national self-reliance.

“This is better appreciated when we remember that some 60 years ago, the rail system was operational as a means of public transportation. It is sad that for a very long time, the rail system became inoperative because we lacked the indigenous capacity to even maintain the system. It is indeed heartwarming that with Executive Order No. 5, appropriate measures are being put in place to ensure that what happened in the past will not repeat itself in the future so as to ensure that the rail systemacross the country will be properly managed with indigenous manpower.

“We are happy that the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology supervises the implementation of the Order as a conscious effort to help ensure that Nigeria takes her rightful place among nations whose economy are dependent on knowledge and are innovation driven. It is therefore a welcome development that the choice of this initiative in establishing the University of Transportation in Daura, Katsina State, shows the Executive Order 5 as an important instrument that will stimulate self-reliance in our development process,” Onu said.

#Newsworthy…

Former University of Agriculture Accused for alleged fraud. #N70M

…Trial to come January 5

The former Vice Chancellor of University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Prof Emmanuel Kucha has been arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged N70 million fraud.

The University Don pleaded not guilty to a four-count charge of conspiracy, misappropriation of public funds, abuse of office and gratification after being arraigned before a Federal High Court in Makurdi, Benue State’s capital.

Kucha who reportedly committed the offence while serving as a public officer at the university between 2012 and 2017, was accused of collecting bribe in the course of performing his official duties. The money was allegedly paid into his Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) Account No: 0124395144, contravening Section 18(c) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Act, 2000.

The University former Vice Chancellor was granted bail in the sum of N10 million with one surety in like sum. His surety must be a public servant with the federal or Benue State Government on Grade Level 17.

The court ordered that Kucha be remanded in EFCC’s custody pending the perfection of his bail conditions, before adjourning the case till January 5 for trial.

#Newsworthy…

Presidency: We are no longer neglecting agriculture – Buhari praised farmers…

President Muhammadu Buhari, commenting on the state of agriculture in the country, said that although Nigeria had once neglected the sector, the Federal Government was wiser now as it makes new investments in the industry.

Buhari made the remark at the weekend through a video presentation at the 23rd Farmers’ Day Celebration tagged: ‘Farm and fortune’ at the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC-Green River Project (GRP) Plant Propagation Centre(PPC) Obie, in Ogba/Ebema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State.

He stressed the need for the country to make adequate investments in the agricultural sector, saying that farmers “are our authentic healers now and years ahead.”

The President commended NAOC for investing in farmers in the four states of their operations in the Niger Delta and urged farmers to make good use of opportunities in the agriculture sector.

“I commend the Nigerian Agip Oil Company for their efforts in repositioning agriculture. I urge others emulate the examples set,” the President said.

“I urge you, the farmers, to make good use of the investment made by the company. We want to make farming our bedrock.

“We neglected farming in the time past, but we are wiser now as a nation. We will also take precautions of bad harvest.

“Agriculture is a veritable tools for economic recovery. It engenders better living standard and ensures food security. Agriculture will improve food security and provide jobs. Farmers are our authentic healers now and years ahead,” the President told the audience.

The General Manager, District, Tiani Alessandro, promised that NAOC would continue to build sustainable projects and development in its host communities.

“Eni will continue to build sustainability into all its activities, focusing on the development of people and reorganising the great opportunities embedded in the Green River Project.

“As a company, we will continue to pride ourselves with the Green River Project (GRP) being one of our company’s most impactful projects as an integrated programme of agricultural entrepreneurial development, created to promote a path of autonomous development in the Niger Delta,” he noted.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Managing Director, Mansur Sadiq Sambo, following on the theme, urged oil companies to develop the communities where they operate.

Ben Halliday, who represented Sambo, said: “It gives me great pleasure to be here to celebrate with farmers. NNPC before was in the business of oil exploration only, but we don’t want that again. We want that the companies should develop the areas they are operating.”

#Newsworthy..