Ebonyi State Reopens Abakaliki Rice Mill

Ebonyi state

Ebonyi State government has reopened Abakaliki Rice Mill Limited after being shut down owing to the poisonous bags of rice that were allegedly found in the mill.

Governor of the State, Mr. David Umahi ordered the closing of the mill on last week, when the state ministry of environment received reports of bags of rice allegedly labeled ‘not fit for human consumption’ in the mill.

During a news conference in Abakaliki, Leader of the inter-ministerial committee, Dr. Kenneth Ugbala, set up to investigate the matter, revealed to that the Rice all adulterated products had been evacuated, the mill sanitized and poisonous products confiscated.

He further stated that “The state governor reopened the mill to save innocent millers and buyers from untold economic losses and also due to the mill’s importance to the state’s economic survival.”

“Ebonyi citizens and buyers from across the country are hereby assured that the suspected products have been identified and evacuated, so they could freely process and purchase rice from the mill,” He assured.

He however said shops that were confiscated due to poisonous products will remain shut till investigations are concluded.

“Citizens who purchased rice from the mill within the period under scrutiny should present such products to the concerned ministries of health, agriculture, environment among others, for a thorough screening.

In his remarks, the State Commissioner for Environment Chief Donatus Njoku, disclosed that 317 bags were confiscated from 10 shops at the mill during the committee’s screening exercise.


Nigeria, Germany sign MoU on agriculture, commerce

Nigeria and Germany sign agreement on Agriculture and Commerce.

Nigeria and Germany on Friday in Abuja signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) in agriculture and commerce.

The first agreement was signed between the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) and the German-Africa Business Association.

The First Deputy National President of NACCIMA, Hajiya Saratu Iya-Abubakar, signed on behalf of Nigeria, while Dr. Stefan Liebing of German Africa Business Association, signed on behalf of the German Business Delegation.

The second agreement was signed between the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, (NIRSAL) and the PETKUS Technologie GmbH, a company that specializes in the post-harvest agricultural value chain.

While the Managing Director of NIRSAL, Aliyu Abdulhameed, signed on behalf of Nigeria, the representative of PETKUS Technologie GmbH, Peter Huser, signed for the Germans.

Speaking after signing the MOU, Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Okechukwu Enelamah, said the agreements would increase the collaboration between Nigeria and Germany in the two areas.

According to Enelamah, the agreements will also leverage small and medium enterprises in Nigeria.

“We want our SMEs to learn from the German experience.

“The other areas of German excellence is the technical area: technical education, technical training, and technical development. It’s also an area of great interest to Nigeria.

“We are also working with Germany in the automobile sector because that is also an area where Germany is a leader and Nigeria clearly has the policy to be a leader in the auto sector in West Africa and Africa.’’

The minister said that all these would require high levels of engagement, collaboration, and communication to be actualized.

Also speaking, Abdulhameed said the MOU signed between NIRSAL and PETKUS was borne out of the realization of the opportunities that existed for investments in the Nigerian agricultural sector under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

“Under the current administration and the present agricultural promotion policy of this government, there are ample opportunities for investors in terms of technology and capital, to come to Nigeria and to invest in the agricultural sector.

According to Abdulhameed, NIRSAL provides the risking environment and mechanisms to enable investors like PETKUS to come to Nigeria and do their business.

He noted that the agreement would go a long way in reducing the 51.3metric tons of aggregate food production, equivalent of about 9 billion dollars, “which the Food and Agricultural Organisation, the report says Nigeria loses annually.’’

He expressed his optimism that PETKUS, which specializes in the postharvest segment of the agricultural value chain, would bring its expertise to bear on post-harvest productions in Nigeria.

In his remarks, Huser said the interest of his company was to help small farmers boost their yield.

“We are not talking about big investments. We are talking about smallholder farmers, where we like to help them to boost their yield, to get a better yield.

“We are talking about plant production. We are talking about fertilization.”

He expressed hope that each machine supplied by PETKUS Technologie would provide employment and improve income for five people and their families.


Pay back your bank loans, FG tells farmers

The Federal Government on Wednesday charged farmers and industrialists to repay the loans they took from banks following the new agricultural lending rate recently announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Before the announcement of the new agricultural lending rate of nine percent by the CBN, the Deposit Money Banks provided funds to farmers at 25 percent to 30 percent interest rate, a development that made it tough for farmers to access loans for agriculture.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, stated that the old lending rate to agriculture had stifled many businesses in the agricultural value chain, but noted that the new rate would impact positively on the sector.

He also said the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development would partner the CBN, banks and farmers cooperatives to ensure that Nigerian farmers comply with the conditions put in place to access loans at the current rate, adding that those who borrowed must repay.

Ogbeh said, “We want to urge borrowers especially farmers and industrialists to ensure that whatever they borrow, they repay because banks are not charity organizations. We in the FMARD will join hands with the banks and the CBN to play a major role in making sure that whatever farmers borrow, they repay.

“This is especially as we intend to use the cooperatives to move agricultural credit to the most vulnerable segments of our population, mainly the women and the youths. We believe that under these conditions, our youths, women, big and small-scale farmers can now have access to credit to fulfill their dream and drive Nigeria towards self-sufficiency in food production.”

The minister lauded the CBN for listening to the pleas of Nigerians, particularly farmers, by bringing down the lending rate to agriculture to a single digit.

Unilorin set aside land for agriculture


The University of Ilorin (Unilorin) has earmarked 5,000 hectares of land for staffs and students who have a passion for commercial farming.

Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Sulyman Abdulkareem, made this known at the official presentation of things purchased by the 1988 University set of the Faculty of Agriculture in Ilorin.

The chancellor said putting up the land for productive use is their contribution to the Federal Government’s efforts aimed at making Nigeria a food basket of Sub-Saharan Africa.

He also said that the university had started the process of accessing a loan of about N2 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to move the farming scheme.

Professor Abdulkareem stressed that the university would key into the Federal Government’s Ranching Programme, to find a lasting solution to the herdsmen/farmers’ clashes in the country.

The Vice-Chancellor, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Technology and Innovation Prof. Mikhail Buhari, however, commended members of the 1988 set, describing them as “good ambassadors” of the university.


Bumper harvest expected in Kano, Yobe

Bumper harvest expected in Kano, Yobe

Alhaji Faruk Rabi’u, the Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Kano state, has expressed optimism that the state would witness a bumper harvest this year.

He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano that farmers in the state would record bumper harvest, especially in rice, sorghum, and maize as well as in other cash crops.

He noted that the steady rainfall experienced in most parts of the state since the commencement of the 2018 farming activities had contributed to rapid growth of the crops.

“At the beginning of the rainy season, many farmers expressed fears over the late arrival of rain but when it stabilized, farmers began to express happiness.

“So I can say that we have not experienced drought spell in any part of the state this year, so we are expecting a bumper harvest in all the crops across the state,” he said.

He also attributed the expected bumper harvest to the availability of fertilizer, which was sold to farmers at the subsidized rate of N5, 500 per bag.

“Kano state government has directed the state Agricultural Supply Company (KASCO) to produce and sell the commodity to farmers at N5, 500 per bag.

“This made it possible for local farmers to access the commodity, which used to be sold at N12,000 or even more in the open market,” Rabi’u said.

Also, some farmers in Yobe state have expressed optimism about the probability of recording bumper harvest this year.

They made their feelings known in an interview with a Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Damaturu, just as they commence harvesting of their produce.

Malam Abba Umar, a farmer in Damaturu, said that he had started harvesting, alongside other farmers at Sindiri village in the state.

“Some of us who commenced planting earlier than others are now harvesting, while those who planted late will wait a little while.

“The yields from the ongoing harvests are quite promising and unlike what happened last year, we are all celebrating,” he said.

Modu Mustapha, a civil servant who engages in subsistence farming in Katarko village, Yobe, said that the rains had been steady and good for the crops.

“The rain this year has been steady, unlike last year when most farms dried up because it stopped abruptly without the grains maturing.

“Last year, it was very bad for beans and groundnut farmers, as they recorded poor yield, but the signs are better this year,” he said.

Mustapha, however, appealed to the state government to provide farm inputs to farmers in good time, to boost production.

Kolo Gaji, another farmer based in Dapchi town of Bursari Local Government Area of the state, said that the steady rains had protected the crops from the menace of pests and insects. Millet, sorghum, rice, beans, groundnut and sesame seeds are the common crops cultivated across the state.

Federal government commissions Maska earth dam

The Federal Government has commissioned the reconstructed Maska Earth Dam at Funtua Local Government Area of Katsina State, built in 1996.

The dam was executed by the Ecological Fund Office aim at providing water for agriculture and cattle rearing.

Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, in a statement made available to newsmen, noted that the project would also address the decay and degradation of the dam that provided water for agricultural and other purposes for the communities.

“The overall objective of the dam construction is to increase the capacity of the dam to provide adequate water for farming and grazing purposes,” he said.

Adamu explained that the reconstructed project was to fulfill the promise of the present administration, stressing that no part of the country will suffer neglect owing to its geographical location or political consideration.

“The completion of this project has also underscored government’s concerted effort and sincerity of purpose in tackling environmental problems in our country,” he said.

He, however, charged members of the community to ensure proper management of the dam, to avoid destruction.

In his remarks, Deputy Director, Ecological Fund Office, Mr. Awwal Sani, said the dam was first constructed in 1996 and started the reconstruction process in 2017.

The project is expected to serve communities in Katsina, Dutsinma, Charanchi, Kankia, Bindawa and Kurfi local government areas in Katsina State with potable water.


Ogbeh commends CBN 9% lending policy to farmers


Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development

Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) new nine percent lending policy to farmers.

Ogbeh, who gave the commendation in Abuja on Wednesday while briefing newsmen assured of plans to further reduce the rates to between six and seven percent.

CBN, on Aug. 23, announced its nine percent new credit policy, called Guidelines for Accessing Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF).

RSSF is being achieved through Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) and Corporate Bonds.

The minister said that the ministry was speaking with the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risks Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) to fashion out ways to further reduce the rates.

He, however, called on borrowers of the loans, especially farmers and industrialists to ensure prompt repayment.

The minister promised that the ministry would collaborate with CBN and banks to ensure that farmers who borrowed repaid the loans.

Ogbeh said the initial high-interest rates had been responsible for the slow growth and high incapacity of Nigerians to create jobs for young people.

He described the new policy as the first and major step toward reversing the damages done to Africa by the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) of the mid-80’s.

“We have been advocating this for many years. I have always had this strong feeling that the lending rates in Nigeria could not sustain growth in the economy.

“We want to thank CBN and the Committee of Bankers for listening to our appeals and I wish to assure them that this bold and revolutionary policy is deeply appreciated by farmers and manufacturers.

“We were pushing for five percent interest rate but they gave us nine percent, we thank them for that.

“We are talking to Nigeria Incentive-Based Risks Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL). By the time they come in fully and we discuss the details, we may get a much lesser figure.

“I don’t know if we will get five percent yet but we will definitely get something less than nine. Maybe six or seven percent, he said.

He said the ministry would join hands with banks and CBN to make sure that farmers, who borrowed, repay the loan.

“We intend to use the cooperatives to impact the people, especially women and youths.’’

The minister quoted the CBN as saying that banking credit to agriculture currently stood at N523 billion from N460 billion in 2015 representing about only 3.41 percent of total credits to Nigerian borrowers.

Ogbeh, who assured farmers of CBN’s caution to banks against hidden charges from the loans, told farmers that there was no excuse for lagging behind in agriculture.

“CBN warns that the money is not for lending to traders and individuals that will come under the guise of agriculture or manufacturing to borrow; they will be denied credit.

“CBN has cautioned banks on hidden charges. We need to feed this nation.’’

Ogbeh also said the ministry would work out a system with the apex bank and commercial banks to ensure that smallholder farmers benefit from the loans.

Under the new policy, agricultural, manufacturing and the sectors considered as growth and employment stimulating, can now borrow long term as much as N10 billion.

However, it is at the consolidated nine percent interest rate.

The guidelines followed the recommendation of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the CBN at its 119th meeting held between July 23 and July 24.

The MPC had emphasized the need to increase the flow of credit to the real sector of the economy to consolidate economic recovery.

FAO Trains 51 Agricultural Workers to Boost Extension Services in the North East

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations says it has trained no fewer than 51 agricultural workers under its Farmer Field School (FFS) in the North East. This was disclosed on August 23 by FAO’s Communication and Reporting Officer, Ms. Patrina Pink, in Maiduguri said that the training was to provide farmers with extension services information (farming and pastoral advice), market access and financial capital.

Pink said the organization had on August 18, graduated the second batch of trainees to support conflict-affected farmers in the northeast with the skills to set up and run at least two farmer field schools. She said the school was an interactive and participatory ‘learning by doing’ approach which involved groups of 20-25 farmers, pastoralists or fisherfolk and a trained facilitator.

According to her, the group members experiment with best practices and discuss challenges and solutions to agriculture-related issues in their own local context.

“FFSs usually comprise of resource-poor participants who typically face limited access to education, information, extension (for farming and pastoral advice) services, market access and financial capital,” Pink said in a statement. She quoted Mr. Suffyan Koroma, the FAO’s Representative in Nigeria, as saying that the school was another entry point for the organization to support the most at-risk farming households in the Northeast. Koroma said in the statement that the UN agency planned to install at least 100 of the farmers’ school in 2018 with regional partners.

“Smallholder farmers face huge hurdles in managing increasingly complex agro-ecosystems. Through FFSs, farmers will learn how to create sustainable solutions to farming and pastoral issues.

“FAO works closely with farmers to ensure that inputs they receive are being properly utilized and that they are employing the most effective techniques in the management,” Koroma said.”

This is good news for the North East.


NIRSAL Says It has Injected Over N77bn into Agribusiness With Positive Impacts

The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) says it has facilitated the flow of N77.7 billion from commercial banks into the Agric-business sector of the country.

Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, the Managing Director of NIRSAL, disclosed this at his investiture and award ceremony by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Management of Nigeria (CIPSMN) in Abuja.

Abdulhameed said the money had assisted and supported smallholder farmers, especially to boost production and earn a better livelihood.

The managing director noted that no fewer than 700,000 farmers had also been trained on best agronomic practices and financial education.

According to him, NIRSAL under his stewardship has directly facilitated the distribution of high-quality agricultural inputs to more than 500,000 smallholder farmers.

Abdulhameed said the organization had developed a product known as the Secured Agricultural Commodity Route (SACR), a transportation system designed to facilitate the easy and timely movement of agricultural produce from farms to market.

“With my conferment as a fellow of the institute, I assure you that I will continue to maintain a reputable and high standard expected of any profession in Nigeria.

“NIRSAL is dedicated to abiding by good procurement and supply chain management principles to achieve our goals.

“NIRSAL with me at the helm has facilitated the flow of N77.7 billion from commercial banks balance sheet into agri-business,’’ he said.

The managing director assured that the organization would continue to work toward transforming the agri-business and the agricultural space of the country, within its mandate.



Commodity prices for 29/08/2018



Soybeans 823.01 Bushel (bu.) USD
Wheat 510.36 Bushel (bu.) USD
Corn 339.57 Bushel (bu.) USD
Cotton 82.73 Pounds (lb.) USD
Rice 10.78 Hundredweight (cwt) USD
Cocoa 2324.00 Metric tons (Mt) USD
Coffee 99.10 Pounds (lb.) USD
Oats 258.32 Bushel (bu.) USD
Live Cattle 108.07 Pounds (lb.) USD
Palm oil 2,189 Metric tons USD
Milk 15.02 Hundredweight (cwt) USD
Rubber 158.50 Kilogram (kg) JPY
Sugar 10.41 Pounds (lb.) USD
Tea 3.27 Kilogram (kg) USD
Lumber 447.10 1000 Board feet USD
Wool 2,075.00 100 Kilogram AUD
Lean Hog (Pork) 52.27 Pounds (lb.) USD
Poultry 3.87 Kilograms USD
Beef 9.61 Kilogram BRL


* Rubber priced in Japanese Yen (JPY)
* Wool priced in Australian Dollars (AUD)
* Beef priced in Brazilian Real (BRL)