India To Woo Investor to invest in the Nigerian Agricultural Sector

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The Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (ASSOCHAM) has said it would partner with the Nigerian Government to woo investors to invest in agriculture and other allied sectors of Nigeria’s economy.

This was announced on Tuesday in Abuja by Mr. Edwin Devakumar, Chairman of ASSOCHAM India-Nigeria Chapter.

He made this known at the sideline of the business event titled: “Nigeria-India cooperation in agriculture and allied sectors, opportunities and way forward.’’

Devakumar said ASSOCHAM had signed MoU with the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA) in a bid to encourage investors from India to invest in agriculture in Nigeria.

He said this would promote business investment in Nigeria and also fill the lapses in agriculture and other allied sectors.

He said that ASSOCHAM had also launched a website recently where investors in Nigeria and India could be linked, interacted and tap business opportunities.

“It is a website where Nigeria and India chambers can speak with one voice; where they can use as means to encourage Indians to invest in Nigeria agriculture, ICT, and Housing sectors,’’ he said.

At the event, Mr. Yashpal Jain, Triton Group on Aquaculture and Poultry in Nigeria, said in spite of 1.3 billion population of India, the youth created job opportunities for themselves through agro sectors, among others.

According to Jain, India produces 3.8 million broilers (chicken) per year, and it is the largest producers of eggs in the World.

He said that Indian Government resisted importation of chicken and fish, as Indians reared large quantity of fishes every year.

According to him, Nigeria is currently producing 1.12 million fishes annually; this is mainly done by the artisanal fishery.

He urged Nigeria to encourage its youths to invest in agriculture business to meet the demands of its 170 million population.

 

Source: Pmnews

FG Praises Katsina State Governor Over Increase In Rice Production

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The Federal Government has lauded Katsina State Governor Aminu Bello Masari over the increase in rice production and other grains in the state.

This was contained in a letter that was sent to the Governor from the Minister of Agriculture, Cheif Audu Ogbeh.

In the letter, the Minister expressed satisfaction on the enthusiasm of the current state administration on agricultural, adding that “The present level of rice production in Katsina is going hand in hand with the Buhari administration effort in improving agriculture in the country.”

Ogbeh said, his ministry was happy with the collaboration between the state government and the Federal Government to achieve much in the agricultural sector.

He said “We celebrate your Excellency and other members of your team in the state for being the harbingers of change in the agricultural sector.”

Ogbeh said the positive development under Masari is ‘gladdening and motivating,’ saying “it is evident that a reinvigorated and modernized agricultural sector holds the key to the future well-being in Katsina and the nation gave the volatilities and unsustainable of an oil-led economy.”

Ref: www. dailytrust.com.ng

FG accused of procuring substandard agricultural inputs for cocoa farmers- Cocoa Farmers Association Of Nigeria

Cocoa farmers have accused the Federal Government of damaging their crops by procuring substandard agricultural inputs for farmers.

The farmers, under the aegis of Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria on Monday fingered the Federal ministry of Agriculture for sharp practices by procuring such substandard inputs.

This was contained in a statement jointly signed by the National President, National Secretary, National Vice President (South-West) and Public Relations Officer of the association, Chief Raimi Adeniji, Adeola Adegoke, Ayodele Joseph and Yerima Mustapha respectively.

According to the association, some of the inputs allegedly procured by the ministry include fungicide, insecticides, and cutlases.

The statement reads in part, ” The procured inputs particularly fungicide had destroyed our cocoa trees and farms.

The association also noted that it had earlier appealed to the ministry of agriculture to always consult farmers whenever critical issues relating to “the procurement of inputs in order to know our demand for the year.”

The statement said the association had written series of letters to the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, on the matter but there was no response from him.

The group threatened to stage protests across the country if nothing is done on the matter.

“We strongly appealed to Mr. President to move into the matter urgently to save cocoa farmers from an untimely death due to the havoc caused by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, ” the statement added.

The officials of the ministry in Ondo State contacted on the matter declined to comment, referring DAILYPOST to the headquarters of the ministry in Abuja.

One of them, who did not want his name in print said, ” We can’t say anything on the matter here, you can contact the Abuja office.”

 

Source: dailypost.ng

Make Farming Attractive To The Youths, Cleric Tells Incoming Local Government Chairmen In Kwara state

A cleric, Christopher Owolabi, has asked the newly elected council chairmen in Kwara to make mechanized farming their major preoccupation.

Owolabi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Omu-Aran on Monday that agriculture remained the veritable alternative to engage the youths productively, especially at the grassroots.

The 16 chairmen, who were elected during the Nov. 18 council polls,  would be sworn-in by Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed on Tuesday.

“A situation where not a single council out of 16 in Kwara State could boast of a tractor to develop agriculture at the grassroots is not good.

“This does not show the seriousness of the government in that regard, Owolabi said.

Owolabi, who is the General Overseer of Christ Apostolic Church, Ori-Oke Irapada, Omu Aran, called on the newly elected chairmen to channel adequate resources toward making farming attractive to the youths.

The man of God also advised governments at all tiers to increase funding for agriculture, saying that over-dependence on oil could not achieve the desired socio-economic development for the country.

According to him, such intervention will assist to secure the nation’s growth and economic diversification.

Owolabi said youths had formidable roles to play in the government’s efforts to diversify the economy from oil to agriculture.

He said that transforming agriculture required collective responsibility of all stakeholders to achieve the desired results.

Owolabi stressed the need for re-ordering of priorities by the federal, state and local governments to adequately tackle the nation’s food insufficiency.

He suggested a well-coordinated national policy on agriculture to be embraced by all tiers government to develop the sector.

He said that the problem was compounded as most youth empowerment initiatives were concentrated on the distribution of motorcycles, grinding machines, with less regard for agriculture at the grassroots.

“There is a need for state ministries of agriculture to work in tandem with their federal counterparts in the areas of research, documentation, and development”, Owolabi said.

source:newsdiaryonline.com

House Of Representative To Probe Concessionary Sugar Tariff

 

 

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The House of Representatives on Thursday resolved to investigate the concessionary tariff granted by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to sugar importers.

The low tariff enjoyed by the importers, according to the lawmakers, run into hundreds of billions of naira.

The resolution was a sequel to a motion by Rep. Johnson Agbonayinma (Edo-PDP).

Moving the motion, Agbonayinma said that in 2013, the Federal Government approved low concessionary tariff of five percent duty and 70 percent levy in the National Sugar Policy.

He said that the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) had revealed that some companies flouted the terms and conditions for obtaining a three-year low tariff for sugar importation into the country.

Agbonayinma explained that the high tariff for the importation of refined sugar was deliberately designed to discourage importation and encourage local production of sugar.

He said that the concession became necessary in order not to hike the local price of the commodity since the country had yet to achieve self-sufficiency in sugar production.

“The government took the decision to approve the National Sugar Master Plan Policy because of the importance of the commodity.
“This is because as at 2013, Nigeria still depended on sugar importation to meet 90 percent of local demand, and in the realization that if sugar is to be imported at that high tariff, the cost will be excessively high.

“The concession was given to three companies that signed a commitment for Backward Integration Programme (BIP) with the Federal Government.

“The money saved from the concession is expected to be invested in their farms to cater for sugar being sourced locally.

“This is with the target that by 2018, the companies will be able to produce 700,000 metric tons of sugar locally from those farms, create jobs and diversify the economy from petroleum to agriculture,’’ he said.

Agbonayinma, however, recalled that in November 2015, the Executive Secretary of the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Dr. Abdullatif Busari, said that some companies had flouted the concession terms.

He said the grant of a low tariff to those companies was for them to put the savings from the concession into the BIP agriculture farms.

According to him, this is a move that will help the country to achieve self-sufficiency in sugar production for domestic consumption and export.

The lawmaker expressed concern that the companies had nothing to show for the grants, in their farms over the three years they enjoyed concessionary low tariff running into billions of naira.
The motion was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers when it was put to a voice vote by the presiding Deputy Speaker, Mr. Yussuff Lasun.

Consequently, the House resolved to constitute an ad hoc committee to investigate the issue, and said that the exercise would cover from 2013 to date as contained in the backward integration policy. (NAN)

Source:newsdiaryonline.com

 

 

IFAD-VCDP Gives N8.6M Rice Processing Equipment To Farmers In Niger

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The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)- Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) on Tuesday distributed rice processing equipment with N8.6 million to five women farmers group in Niger.

The State Programme Coordinator (SPC), Dr. Mathew Ahmed, while distributing the equipment to the farmers in Minna on Tuesday, said the measure would go a long way in creating jobs.

According to him, it will also ensure that local rice farmers produce the crop in line with international best practices.

“We are here today to distribute rice processing machines to our farmers to enable them to produce rice that will compete favorably with the foreign rice.

“Many of the foreign rice we eat today in Nigeria are not better than our local rice because they are expired but our local rice is fresh.

“Some of the foreign rice we eat constitute health hazards, hence the need for VCDP to ensure food security,’’ he said.

The equipment distributed included five rice de-stoners, 10 rice parboilers, and 46 manual sprayers.

The equipment distributed included five rice de-stoners, 10 rice par boilers, and 46 manual sprayers.

The coordinator said IFAD-VCDP would subsidize the cost of the equipment.

He explained that the groups selected from the five participating local government areas in the VCDP applied for the equipment.

The local governments include Bida, Wushishi, Kontagora, Shiroro and Katcha.

He said that aside from training the farmers in mechanized farming in the value chain, the programme also trained them in using the first-bottom approach to parboil rice.

“We are presently working with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to make sure that our farmers adhere to international best practices that will make their product accepted across the globe,’’ he said.

He said that there were 13,000 farmers participating in rice and cassava value chain in the state.

In her remarks, Dr. Amina Bello, wife of the state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Bello commended IFAD-VCDP, saying that it had added value to the state’s agriculture drive.

She was represented by Mrs. Kaltume Rufai, the Permanent Secretary, Niger State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.

Bello urged the beneficiaries to utilize the equipment to ensure the success of the programme.

Responding on behalf of one of the beneficiary groups,  Hajiya Hadiza Yunusa, Chairman, Nufawamasu Gumi Rice Producers Association, Bida said that before the coming of IFAD-VCDP the color of their rice was not attractive and contained impurities.

Yunusa said that the VCDP had trained them on modern ways of cultivating, processing and marketing rice.

“Now we sell our rice and cassava to other West African countries, our customers even book in advance,’’ Yunusa said.

 

Source: Punch

10,000 Farmers In Adamawa State To Benefit From Agric. Development Scheme

The Adamawa State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Ahmadu Waziri on Monday said that there was provision for over 10,000 farmers to participate in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS).

The programme, which is under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, is targeted unemployed at youths within 18 to 35 years who are not currently participating in any government empowerment programmes.

Waziri said the state entered maize and livestock as its areas of strength under the programme, and that participation is open to all categories of youths. The educated and the non-educated youths willing to take up agriculture are welcome to participate in the programme.

The land will be provided to beneficiaries, where necessary, while participants would be entitled to hectares of land ranging from one to three hectares.

He advised officials of the farmers’ group at the meeting and advised members who wished to use the loan for the dry season farming to start their registration process within the week so as to enable them to access the loan in good terms.

Various stakeholders, including representatives of the farmers’ groups, CBN and participating financial institutions present at the town hall meeting lauded the programme and reiterated their commitment to ensuring its successful implementation in the state.

Ref: http://nigeriana.news

Oando: Partners Boosts Agricultural Production In Host Communities.

Increased awareness of the growth potential of agriculture, organizations such as USAID and Oando and its JV partners have invested in improving agricultural practices in Nigeria.

In 2015, Oando joined its JV partners (NNPC and Nigeria Agip Oil Company, NAOC) for the first time, to support the Green Rivers Project (GRP)/Farmers Day celebration. Since then, the company has been an active participant of the initiative.

The GRP aims to increase agricultural productivity and prevent further deterioration of the soil through the use of better farming techniques; enhance farmer’s income.

It is also meant to improve the quality of life of farmers through the adoption of improved and sustainable farming systems, thereby contributing to the improvement of the livelihoods of the households in NAOC operational communities in Rivers, Bayelsa, Imo, and Delta states.

In commemoration of the 2017 GRP, JV Partners; Oando Plc, NNPC, and NAOC held the annual Framers Day celebration in Igbogene, Bayelsa State.

Speaking at the event, the CEO, Oando Energy Resources, Olapade Durotoye, said: “We have taken it upon ourselves to re-orientate members of our host communities particularly the unemployed youths to embrace agriculture as a viable future for the Niger Delta and Nigeria at large. The hard truth is that beyond the oil and gas sector, greater opportunities abound in other sectors of the economy and we must take advantage of this.”

Oando acknowledges the untiring efforts shown by farmers in providing sustenance for the country’s ever-growing population, providing raw materials to the nation’s industries, and contributing substantially to the nation’s foreign exchange earnings through its corporate social responsibility initiatives.

“Today, through our GRP program the joint venture partners – NAPIMS/NAOC/OANDOhave set the pace for our peers to follow. We have successfully sensitized our community-based farmers on the importance of agriculture through the introduction of high yielding planting materials, fisheries activities, and formation of Cooperative Societies to access our Micro-Credit scheme,” Durotoye said.

To date, the Joint Venture partners have trained over 5000 youths and women in various vocations, distributed millions of material/improved seedling to assist farmers in their agricultural production, in the quest to increase food security, provide a livelihood for people, and steer the communities towards economic independence.

Agriculture is the backbone of any country and plays an undeniable strategic role in the economic growth of both developed and developing countries. In Nigeria, agriculture currently contributes about 38.4% to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and is the second highest contributor to the country’s GDP.

Despite underwhelming government investment in Nigeria’s agricultural sector, the commerce remains resilient.

 

Ref: http://www.4-traders.com/OANDO-PLC-10653856/news/Oando-Partners-Boost-Agricultural-Production-in-Host-Communities-25519668/

Abakaliki residents praise President Buhari on Agricultural Policies.

 

source: ChannelsTV

On Wednesday, some happy residents of Abakaliki showered encomiums on President Muhammadu Buhari on his government’s agricultural initiatives as pragmatic and purposeful.

President Buhari was on a two-day official visit to Ebonyi which started on Tuesday.

The residents are of the opinion that the president’s aggressive agricultural policy was capable of rapidly growing the nation’s economy.

Mr. Chima Iduma said, “President Buhari’s visit is a symbolic one, irrespective of his political party (APC); he will also inaugurate new projects in the state.”

Mr. Emmanuel Emerugini, who is an Abakaliki-based industrialist, particularly commended the president for his agricultural programme which, he said, has had a positive impact at the grassroots level

“The president is for all Nigerians; his agricultural initiative has recorded some feats at the grassroots; we want more programmes like that,” he said.

Mr. Sylvester Okeh, a community leader, commended Buhari’s efforts to revamp the agricultural sector.

“Our president has been able to combat hunger in the society; judging from his zeal to transform the agricultural sector, famine will soon become a thing of the past in our country,’’ he said.

Mr. Sunday Uguru, a civil servant, praised the President’s efforts for creating employment for the people especially youths, adding that many youths, who were jobless, had been engaged through the N-Power project and other programmes.

Mr. Anthony Onwuegbulam, another civil servant, however, urged the Federal Government to make efforts to provide employment for more people so as to reduce crime in the society.

He said that the government could engage more people by initiating more infrastructural projects and establishing more industries

“We need more life-touching projects to boost the people’s living standards while reducing crime and other illegal activities in our country,’’ he said.

Ref: PM news

500 Daura Farmers Register For Anchor Borrowers programme

 

Image: Agro News Nigeria

The Duara Local Government chapter of the Rice Farmers Association has come out to say that 500 farmers have registered for the second phase of the Federal Government’s Anchors Borrowers Agricultural programme.

Alhaji Nura Baure who is the chairman of the association said this an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Daura on Tuesday.

According to him, the farmers would be provided with farm implements such as seedlings, fertilizer, insecticides, water pumping machines and cash so as to help them become committed to the venture.

Baure also noted that the first batch of farmers who benefited from the programme had started repaying the loan.

“We have received hundreds of bags of rice as loan repayment from the first batch of the beneficiaries,’’ he said.

He said that the second phase of the disbursement and distribution of farm implements is expected to take place in December for the dry season farming.

The beneficiaries were told to make judicious use of the loan when collected as this will promote food security and economic sustainability.

He commended the Federal Government for the reforms in the sector, especially the Anchor Borrowers Programme, adding that the programme has created thousands of millionaires nationwide.

The Anchor Borrowers Programme was established by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in line with its developmental function.

The Programme was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) on Nov. 17, 2015, and is aimed at creating a linkage between anchor companies involved in the processing, and smallholder farmers of the required key agricultural commodities

The goal of the programme is the provision of farm inputs in kind and cash (for farm labour) to smallholder farmers to help
boost production of these commodities, stabilize inputs supply to agro-processors and address the country’s negative balance of payments on food.

At harvest, the smallholder farmer supplies his/her produce to the Agro- processor (Anchor) who pays the cash equivalent to the farmer’s account.

Up to 2,000 farmers have so far keyed into the programme since its inception.

Ref: pmnews Nigeria