Cassava farming declines in Katsina as Farmers Concentrate on other farm produce

 

 

 

 

It has been gathered that cassava farmers in Katsina are losing interest in cultivating the farm produce and concentrating on other produce like sorghum, maize, and soya beans.

Recently, the African Agriculture Technology Foundation (AATF) said that Nigeria is the highest producer of cassava in Africa, but the country has zero value chain for the produce.

For many years now, Katsina state farmers have been into cassava production essentially for local consumption, but due to the gradual change in the agricultural trend across the country, cassava production has started declining.

Some of the farmers attributed the situation partly to the fact it takes time for cassava crop to reach maturity. Most farmers do not want to wait for one year to harvest their cassava produce, hence farmers are turning to other cereal crops that will give them more yield and revenue at a shorter period.

The farmers called on the Government to device a means of reaching out to the genuine farmers of the produce at the grassroots.

Due to the fact that only a few farmers now cultivate cassava, it has shot up the price of Cassava.

We hope the Government can intercede on time so that this won’t lead to a bigger problem in the future.

How to start a Plantain Business in Nigeria

 

 

 

 

 

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Farming in Nigeria is no doubt becoming more attractive in Nigeria. Today we will be focused on how to start a plantain Business. Plantain is one of the most consumed foods in Nigeria, one can consider these Agric produce a premium as the price varies on the condition of the bunch of Plantain with unripe ones more expensive than the ripe on.

To start a business in Plantain production, you must follow these steps,

Step 1: Purchase a suitable land to start your own plantain farm.

You should purchase a suitable land that meets the basics condition of plantain farming. Plantain grows best in a condition where the soil can retain water.  In a situation where you can not afford irrigation, you should consider soils that retain water, have a good humus layer and you should always improvise by incorporating animal manure to the soil to improve the humus and texture of the soil to retain water.

Step 2: Clearing the Land

You need to clear the land unless it has already been cleared by the seller (depending on the price you paid for it). It is important you clear the land as it increases the area of the land base for producing the crop.

Step 3: Prepping the land

Once the land for your plantain farm is cleared, you will need to take certain steps for making the land suitable for growing plantain. This is necessary for creating the right soil conditions for a healthy growth of these young plants, and to ensure that your plantain plantation is successful in the long run.

Land preparation should be done long before you start the process of transplantation of the plant suckers. Although this step may require significant efforts and investment, you cannot skip it, or you will have an unsuccessful harvest, which will set back your plans of owning a successful plantain farm.

Prepping the land will also enable you to structure and plan your farming operational processes and procedures.

The areas that you must consider are:

  • The availability as well as the quality of water for irrigation that you have
  • Mechanical actions that will need to be implemented and how they will be implemented
  • Selection of land
  • Any chemical requirements for improving the soil before transplantation
  • Equipment and tools that will be required for the cultivation of plantain
  • Labor and manpower requirements
  • Leaching schedule
  • Time schedule
  • Financial requirements
  • Hole preparation

Step 4: Purchase Plantain Suckers

Plantains are propagated vegetatively, from corms, which are underground bulbs or rhizomes or from suckers, which are shoots that grow from the bud that is at the plant base.

Since the use of the entire corm is quite laborious, the more common method is to grow those using small corms. The mother plant makes three kinds of plantain suckers, namely sword suckers, maidenheads and water suckers.

Sword suckers come with a short pseudostem and have narrow leaves, similar to blades, along with a narrow base. When they mature, they have fruitful and healthy pseudostems.

Maidenheads come with a pseudostem that is large and does not produce any fruit; white water suckers have broad leaves with short pseudostems.

Water suckers do not have a strong attachment to the rhizome and produce less fruit with weaker plants. They are less preferred in comparison to large sword suckers and maidenheads.

It is essential that you purchase suckers only from a farm that is reputable and trusted. There is no fixed price for these, a conventional sucker can cost anywhere around N50 to N100, while a hybrid will cost around N120 to N200. This price may again, vary depending on where you procure it.

Step 5: Planting

It is essential that before you begin your plantain plantation, you eliminate any grass or weed competition. To prevent any re-growing of weed, you can use mulching.

However, for turf grass, you will need to either use herbicides or go by the hoeing technique. If you are planning to plant for producing fruit, there should be a space of at least 8-10 feet in between. Irrigation needs to be applied at regular intervals to keep the soil moist. Ensure that there is no standing water since plantains are not tolerant to wet conditions.

Step 6: Inorganic and organic fertilizer

After planting, you will need to manure them using a combination of household waste, poultry manure and wood-ash for improving the growth and yield of plantains. It will also help to reduce the infestation by nematodes and borer weevils.

Organic manure helps maintain the temperature of the soil, conserve its moisture content and help regulate soil acidity. This will help you make the most of your efforts for plantain farming in Nigeria.

Step 7: Harvest

Plantain trees produce large bunches of heavy fruit, which may cause the tree to slump or droop. If you find that your plantain tree is struggling to stand up due to the weight, use string and bamboo poles to tie and prop the tree.

Fruits appear within 90 to 120 days after the tree flowers. Upon fruiting, plantains are typically ready for harvest within 6 to 8 months.

Step 8: Market

As a farmer or producer of plantain, your ultimate aim is to secure buyers for your produce. In most instances, this should be straight forward as there is currently a high demand for plantain.

Buyers can range from the mama in your local market to large companies/industries. However, since industries do not buy small quantities and require that plantains meet international standards, you will only gain access to this important market if your production is to industry specification, both in terms of quantity, quality and time.

 

Source: https://mynaijanaira.com/plantain-farming-in-nigeria/

Niger State Govt. signs $3.25bn MoU with Firm

 

 

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Image source: www.bbc.com

 

Yesterday, we told you about how the FG is stopping the issuance of fish importation quota as the venture was no longer sustainable, a move that is certain to boost local production both for consumption and exportation.

The Niger state has signed a MoU with a company called All States Investment Ltd on fish farming in the state. This was made known by the Managing Director, Mr. Henry Goiko at the 2017 Niger State Investment Summit tagged “Impact Advancing Agricultural Economy through Innovation”. which took place on Tuesday 15th of August 2017

The MoU was signed by the Secretary to the Niger State Government, Alhaji Ibrahim Ladan.

According the Goiko, the company has acquired 42,948.21 hectres of land in Tegina, Rafi Local Government Area of the state to develop an agricultural estate. He said the estate will have world-class facilities including independent electricity supply facility.

He said the facility “will also have all types of animal husbandry that will be producing and selling products in the world market.”

we want to start aquaculture farming such as Crocker and Tilapia fish farming to stop importation. We have our Chinese partners from Shanghai to assist us” He added.

Goiko said the agricultural estate will have a 40,000 housing capacity and will generate over 200,000 employment opportunities. The establishment of the farm will have industrial clusters where people will be trained with exposure to the latest technology.

The ground breaking ceremony of the project will take place in February 2018.

Nigeria moves to stop issuance of fish importation quota- Minister of State

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The Federal Government has said that it will stop the issuance of fish importations quota to importers as this venture was no longer sustainable.

This was stated by the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Heineken Lokpobiri said during a meeting with the Ijebu Development Initiative on Poverty Reduction (IDIPR) in Abuja on Tuesday.

This move is to ensure that there is a boost in local production of fish and other produce of agriculture in Nigeria.

He said that there was a fish deficit of over two million tonnes in the country and that importers of fish should think of the backward integration that will boost local fish production to make up for that deficit and also give the country an opportunity to increase revenue from exports.

He also stated that not only will the move boost local fish production but it will also help create employment in that sector.

So if you are thinking of going into the Agric business, the fish sector might be a lucrative and cost effective business worth considering

 

The reason Kebbi dry season rice farmers recorded huge loss

This year’s dry season rice farming in Kebbi State does not seem to be as profitable to farmers as last year’s when many farmers in the state claimed they recorded bumper harvest and huge profit.

Their story is different this year as some of them are already lamenting huge losses they incurred due to the poor harvest.

Some of the farmers who spoke to our correspondent said they were able to produce about 900 to 1000 bags of paddy during last year’s rice harvest. They however, lamented that they could only produce about 50 to 100 bags of paddy during this year’s harvest.

The farmers attributed their loss to the variety of rice seeds, poor weather, the wind, flood, and lack of fertilizer as well as experience on the part of some of them among other challenges.

Alhaji Kabiru Sani Giant is one of the successful rice farmers at the River Niger valley in Baguio area of the state with an expansive rice field of over 15 hectares. During last year’s harvest, he was able to produce 930 bags of paddy. However, he told our correspondent that after this year’s harvest he only got 148 bags of paddy.

While speaking to our correspondent on the poor harvest he recorded this year, he said, “There are big differences between last year and this year’s harvests. One of the reasons responsible for the poor harvest many of the farmers recorded this year is the fact that many of them are new in rice farming. They are ignorant of what they need to do to achieve high yield in rice production.

“I started planting my rice late February this year. However, it grew well and I was expecting about 800 to 900 bags of paddy. Unfortunately, there was a terrible wind accompanied by heavy rainfall which caused the flood in my farm for over one week. Because of this, we could only harvest the little rice that was left on the farm. Many other farmers also suffered this fate. I know of those that can produce about 3,000 to 4,000 bags of paddy rice but were also affected by the flood. If not for the wind and flood that washed our rice away we could have produced more rice in Kebbi State than we produced last year.”

According to him,  after planting the rice, water became a problem to some people, saying it is expensive to maintain a rice farm during the dry season.

“From the day I started cultivating my rice farm to the day I harvested it I spent nothing less than N2.5 million on watering it. That does not include what I spent on labor during planting, removing of weeds, harvesting, trashing and bagging the rice. That amount was only for fueling the pumping machines. By the time I calculated the money I had spent I realized I had spent over N5 million.

“Unfortunately I lost everything to the wind and flood. I could only get 148 bags compared to the 930 bags I got after last year’s harvest. More than nine hectares out of my 15 hectares of rice field was submerged and these are the areas we were expecting to have a bumper harvest. Where we got the 148 bags was not more than three hectares. I don’t want to go to the government because I don’t want to be seen as begging for money. It was my money I used for the farming to maintain myself and my family. If they want to assist us they can set up a committee to go to the farms and see the losses we suffered.”

Another farmer, Aliyu Abdullahi, at Duku area of Birnin Kebbi, said he could only get two bags of rice from his three hectares of rice farm.

“It was a total loss for me. I spent over N1million  cultivating the rice farm but I could only get two bags after harvesting it. I was not the only farmer that incurred losses many others suffered even more serious losses. Many of those who got 50 to 100 bags of rice last year could only get seven to eight bags this year. Unfortunately, a bag of rice is currently sold at N6,000 to N7,000.”

In the same vein, a farmer in Bunza area of the state, Saadu Muhammed, who said it was his first time to venture into dry season rice farming, said, “I cultivated one hectare of rice field. I expected to get about 100 bags of paddy after harvest but all I could get is eight bags. It was a complete loss for me,” he lamented.

 

Source:  https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/agriculture/why-kebbi-dry-season-rice-farmers-recorded-huge-loss/209356.html

HOW TO SECURE A BANK OF AGRICULTURE LOAN

 

 

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The Bank of Agriculture (BoA) Limited is Nigeria premier financial institution for Agriculture and Rural Development. The bank which is 100% owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria is jointly owned by the CBN and Federal Ministry of Finance with each owning 40% and 60% respectively.

The operation of the bank is being supervised by the Federal Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development. BoA plays an important role in catalyzing the SME lending market in Nigeria.

BOA LENDING SCHEME 

The BoA provides the following Loan facilities:

  • AGRICULTURAL MICRO LOANS
  • NON-AGRICULTURAL MICRO LOANS
  • SME LOANS
  • COOPERATIVE & FARMERS GROUP LOANS
  • ON- LENDING LOANS
  • AGRI- BUSINESS LOANS
  • COLLABORATION –FUNDED & GUARANTEED COLLABORATIONS

MICRO CREDIT LOANS:

  • The micro loans scheme is a service that avails credit facilities for financing both Agriculture and Non-Agricultural initiatives and activities including traders, artisans, arable/field crops farmers, Fisheries, Horticulture, Agro-Processing, Livestock, Agric Produce Marketing, Tree Crop Production, etc
  • Micro credits are loans not exceeding N 250,000.00 for a period not exceeding two (2) years depending on the project type.
  • Under this scheme, loans can be granted to individuals and members of co-operative societies/groups.
  • Provision of two (2) acceptable guarantors & 20% lien deposit.

GROW AND EARN MORE-(GEM)

The product is an initiative targeted at women of all ages & classes in recognition of the place of women in Nigeria and to address the challenges to women’s access to finance.

  • Maximum loan limit of  N1 million per beneficiary @14% per annum subject to variation.
  • All applicants must open and maintain account relationship with BOA  Office nearest to their project location for a minimum period of 12 weeks before purchase and processing of loan application
  • Loan and Grace periods on the products depend on the project type.
  • Under this scheme, loans can be granted to individuals and members of groups.
  • It is non-collateralized loan but two (2) acceptable guarantors
  • There must be 10% lien deposit in the savings account.
  • This is an opportunity for increasing woman access to finance to enhance the growth of Woman- Owned Business in Nigeria.
  • All Activities along the Agriculture value chain are covered.

SME LOAN APPLICATION FOR INDIVIDUALS:

  • Individuals can access credit facility up to a maximum of a ₦5,000,000.00 mainly for Agricultural Projects.
  • It is a collateralized loan

COLLABORATION & SPECIAL CREDIT:

  • BOA collaboration scheme is a partnership program that enables us to pool the resources of other agencies to grow the operations of our customers and our collaborative partners’ groups of interest.
  • We engage in collaborative ventures with international agencies, local agencies, Governments, and NGOs.
  • Collaboration Loan/Special Credit Scheme to farmers involve an arrangement between BOA and Agencies of government/Groups/Individuals for disbursement of fund to identified groups or individuals at a determined interest rate which can be varied according to the market rate.
  • The condition for this type of collaboration is usually specified in a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in addition to the subject of the targeted group and in line with BOA lending conditions.

INTEREST RATES

The interest rate can be varied according to the market rate, at present, the following are BOA interest rate:-

  1. 14% per annum for SME Agricultural production
  2. 14% per annum for SME Agro-processing
  3. 20% per annum for SME Agriculture Marketing
  4. 12% per annum for Micro Credit Loans Agric
  5. 20% per annum for Micro credit loan (Non-Agric)
  6. 14% per annum for YARN & GEM products

INSURANCE COVER

  • Our Loan facilities are insured with NAIC
  • Subsidized insurance premium of 1.5%, 7.5%, 2.5%, and 2.0% are being charged on Non-Agric   Piggery, Livestock, and Arable crop respectively.

REQUIREMENT FOR THE OPENING OF ACCOUNTS

  • Completed and signed Account Opening  Form
  • Completed Mandate / Signed Card
  • 3 (Three) recent passport photographs
  • A recent copy of Utility bill ( PHCN, Water,etc.), photocopy only required
  • Signed Letter to the Bank
  • Signed Letter Of Set-Off
  • A photocopy of means of identification (National I.D Card, International Passports or Driver License)
  • At least, a minimum of N3, 000.00 as Initial Deposit.

 

  • [SOCIETIES, CLUBS, OR COMPANY ETC
  • Completed and Signed Account Opening Form
  • Completed Mandate / Signed Card
  • Three (3) recent passport photographs each from the Executives
  • A recent copy of Utility bill ( PHCN, Water etc), photocopy only required, to be submitted by the each of the Executive
  • Resolution to open Account with the Bank
  • Copy of Rules or Constitution ( Original copy to be sighted)
  • Memo and Articles of Association( Original copy to be sighted)
  • Certificate of Registration / Incorporation( Original copy to be sighted)
  • At least, a minimum of N10, 000.00 as Initial Deposit.

 

Source: http://agronewsng.com/featured/how-to-access-bank-of-agriculture-loans/

Scientist Working on Multiplication of Cassava Planting Materials

Scientists who are working on cassava breeding are now using the Semi- Autotrophic  Hydroponics (SAH) technology to boost the propagation of clean planting materials.

The use of SAH involves the use of modified soil which can hold plant roots in planting pots with little water.

Usually, the trays are filled with a little amount of water, and the soil transports the moisture up to the plant roots, yet the top of the soil remains relatively dry.

The roots are encouraged to grow down, and the dry soil on top discourages damp-off and other diseases caused by excess moisture.

Dr. Peter Kulakow, a cassava breeder with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), said the beauty of technology was its rapid multiplication ratio.

Usually, when breeders develop new cassava varieties, the challenge is how to multiply and disseminate to farmers. Hence cassava is a clonal crop and multiplication is done using stems, this process takes several years.

Dr. Kulakow said this explains in part why it takes longer for new improved varieties to be disseminated at scale to farmers.

“With this technology, these constraints will be addressed and it will be easier for farmers to have easy access to new varieties once we develop them,” he explained.

But besides addressing the constraints of slow and low multiplication ratio in cassava seed system, the SAH technology also produces clean planting materials that are disease-free.  The cost of production of the plants is cheaper using SAH when compared to tissue culture, Dr. Kulakow said.

The SAH technology in cassava is a brainchild of the project: Building an Economically Sustainable Integrated Seed System for Cassava (BASICS).

Hemant Nitturkar, Project Director of BASICS explained that once the technology, which is adopted from Argentina, is adapted and perfected in Nigeria by the Project, it is expected to have a significant impact on the ability of early generation seed businesses to quickly bring suitable varieties within reach of farmers.

The BASICS project is also working with National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) and Fera of United Kingdom to improve the quality certification system in Nigeria.

Grown by more than 500 million people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America; cassava is an important crop for both food security and wealth creation. The root crop is a source of commercial animal feed, fiber for paper and textile manufacturers, and starch for food and pharmaceutical industries.

 

credit: http://www.nta.ng/agriculture/20170808-scientists-multiplication-cassava-planting-materials/

Farmers ask FG to set up yam conditioning centres to boost exports

In order to export quality yam produce abroad, the Yam Farmers, Processors, and Marketing Association of Nigeria have appealed to the Federal Government to establish modern yam conditioning centres.

This appeal was made by Prof. Simon Irtwange in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday. Irtwange who is also the Chairman of Technical Committee on Nigeria Yam Export Programme said these proposed centres were needed to enable farmers to store the yams at an appropriate temperature in order to avoid decay.

He said that the centres were also considered necessary as part of efforts to ensure that our yam exports met international standards and prevent being rejected at the international market.

According to Irtwange, the second batch of yam exports to the UK was already under going packaging in Benue for onward trans-loading to the Lagos ports

 

However, Irtwange called on yam farmers to increase yam production to meet local and export demands.

 

Osinbajo to commission ₦10 Billion WACOT rice mill Today

 

 

 

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Acting President Yemi Osinbajo and 24 state governors are billed to commission the ₦10 billion WACOT Rice Mill at Argungu located in Kebbi State today. This was confirmed by the State Governor, His Excellency, Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu.

In addressing journalist while on a visit to Governor Abubakar Atiku Badugu at the Government house in Birnin Kebbi, the chairman of WACOT in the person of Alhaji Bashar Aminu said the decision to establish a rice mill in Kebbi state was in line with the president’s directive that they should produce and make the people patronize Nigerian rice.

He disclosed that WACOT investment in Kebbi State would expand to ₦10 Billion with 400 metrics tonnes production per day plus, employ 1000 workers of which 95 percent will be Kebbi state Indigenes.

The company, which he said has branches in 13 African countries, the Middle Belt and Asian countries, when fully expanded, would generate its independent energy and supply 250 villages in 14 local government areas of the state.