Rice importation down by 80% — Osinbajo

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has said Nigeria’s rice importation has dropped by over 80 per cent and that the country would be self-sufficient next year.

Declaring open the 16th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth (CSPOC), Africa Region yesterday in Abuja, Osinbajo said the feat was achieved based on the collaborative efforts of both the Executive and the Legislature.

“In the last two years, Nigeria which is the largest producer of rice in West Africa and the second largest importer of rice in the world has changed that story. Our rice import bill in 2014 was N1billion a month.

“Today by a combination of progressive legislative appropriation to agriculture and providing single digit credit under our anchor borrowers programme for the purchase of right fertilizer quality and other inputs and credit, many rice farmers moved from getting yields of 3.5 metric tons per hectare to 7.5 mt per hectare.

The acting president also said the two arms of government have worked harmoniously in the past two years but that the media gets more interested in disagreements between them.

“On a lighter note, I don’t know the experience of Presiding Officers from other nations present of the portrayals by the press of the relationship between the executive and the legislature. Here in Nigeria what makes the news is the conflict between the executive and the legislature.

Senate President Bukola Saraki in a goodwill message said the conference should provide the opportunity to address certain issues in Africa.

Speaker Yakubu Dogara, who is the chairman of the conference called on legislatures across Africa to break their people free from dictatorship by building strong institutions

ref: https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/general/rice-importation-down-by-80-osinbajo/207086.html

Dangote to breed 500,000 cows to boost Milk production, invests $800 million

Business Tycoon and President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote is making moves to enter the Dairy farming and production

 

Dangote is planning to develop dairy plants and develop home-grown milk production as he seeks more ways of ensuring Nigerians don’t go hungry as the population increases drastically.

According to research, Nigeria spends an estimated $1.3 billion annually on the importation of dairy products and the Dangote believes his intervention will address this issue.

He said: “We have marked massive dairy production for the next three years. We cannot solve all Nigeria’s problems, but at least we can embrace and add value to areas where we have a comparative advantage”.

The business mogul intends to breed 50,000 cows in 2018 and hopes to produce 500 million litres of milk every year starting from 2019.

According to Foraminifera Market research limited(FMRL), “Presently, the local production of milk is less than 1 percent of the total annual demand that has been estimated at 1.2bn litres, making the total milk consumption in Nigeria less than 10 litres per head, whereas the global average is about 40 litres per head”.

It has been estimated that about 500,000 cows and between 300,000 and 400,000 hectares of land are required to meet the national demand of the country, However Africa’s richest man has boldly taken up this responsibility for the benefit of the country.

 

ref: https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/business/milk-production-dangote-to-breed-500-000-cows-invests-800-million/206831.html

LET’S GO GREEN

Gradually Nigeria is moving away from the over dependence on Oil to other non-oil sectors, one of which is the agricultural sector. We are seeing a paradigm shift towards the agricultural sector, a sector that was once neglected by Nigerians because they considered it a dirty job and below standard for a university graduate. Well, the economic hardship and Government’s nationwide campaign for the sector has seen a lot of people especially the youths venture into the lucrative business of agriculture.

The days where one thought that ‘only when you wore suit and tie, will you be earning serious money’ are fast disappearing. Most people within the age range of 25-45 years are venturing into farming as they see an opportunity in this sector.

So why did it take about 4 decades to realize that agriculture is a very important contributor to the GDP of Nigeria? Why did the green revolution, operation feed the nation and other policies fail? I guess the government of the day was sincere in coming up with these policies but lacked the determination to successfully execute it. Had the policies being executed well, I am sure we won’t have had over concentration in the oil sector as we have it today.

So come on people, take off that suit and tie, put on your farming gears and let’s go green.

OSUN STATE TO REVOLUTIONIZE FARMING- AREGBESOLA

Picture source:agrobusinessngr.com 

The Osun state  Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has disclosed that the state is revolutionalising farming to make agriculture attractive to youths.

The Governor said massive supports for farmers, modern technological training for enhanced yields, provision of improved seedlings, engagement and encouragements in forms of loans and lands with the provision of access roads to farming communities in the state have all helped to bring farming into focus.

Aregbesola listed the strategies embarked upon by the state to make this possible when he hosted the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, in his Office in Osogbo.

Both the governor and the minister sought partnership as part of the ways out of the current economic challenges being experienced by Nigerians.

The Osun Governor said the present economy has left Nigerians with options of either to develop or destroy the country, thus calling for massive participation in agriculture.

“So, considering development, the only viable alternative is to till the land for massive agriculture to ensure better economic alternative.

“We all need to go back to the land. Let us start by feeding ourselves. We don’t need to wait till we get machineries. Let us develop the spirit of farming. Farming is the only way to the economic prosperity of the Nigerian nation,” he said.

Speaking, the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, said it was unfortunate that Nigeria was still spending billions of dollars on food importation, thus calling for massive collaboration and partnership between and among the various authorities to revamp agriculture.

“By December this year, we will stop the importation of rice into the country. It’s a pity that as a nation we spend about N5 million dollars on the importation of rice on a daily basis.

“We have no choice in this country now but to get back to the land and begin to till the land to be able to free ourselves and the land from poverty because oil and gas can no longer do it.

“In Osun, there is a lot of potentials through various crops; just two crops alone are enough for Osun to make over three billion dollars in a month.

While expressing readiness to partner Osun in his efforts to enhance agriculture potentials, Ogbeh said the ministry has mapped out strategies to collaborate with the state on piggery production, cocoa production, cassava, cashew, cattle, and lot more.

 

Source: https://agronigeria.com.ng/revolutionalising-farming-osun-aregbesola/

States intervene to save wheat production

The annual demand for wheat in Nigeria is about 4.2 million, but the nation produces about 600,000 metric tonnes, which is about 12.2 per cent of what the nation needs to be self sufficient, leaving demand gap of over 3.8 million metric tonnes.

The country needs about four million hectares of land given the average yield of four to five tonnes per hectare to be able to achieve that self sufficiency target.

Currently, Nigeria imports about four million metric tonnes of wheat every year, spending around $4bn.

This figure, however, “is expected to reach $10bn by 2030 when Nigerians are predicted to consume over 10m metric tonnes of imported wheat to satisfy their growing demand for non-traditional foods like pasta, noodles, and bread,” Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank and Nigeria’s former minister of agriculture has said.

Although the Lake Chad Research Institute has released wheat varieties such as LACRI WHIT-1 (Seri M82), LACRI WHIT-2 (Cettia), LACRI WHIT-3 (Linfen) and LACRI WHIT-4 (Atilla Gan Atilla), which  have potential yields of 3.0 to 4.5t per hectare, the nation is not yet anywhere close to self sufficiency.

To encourage domestic production, the wheat farmers association of Nigeria signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Flour Millers Association of Nigeria to offtake the grains after production.

That MoU left many wheat farmers, particularly in Kano and Jigawa states, in anger and pains because the agreed price per kilogramme is far from the cost of production.

The farmers want a review but the millers are not ready to accept such review. The farmers are threatening to boycott production next season-a threat the Federal Government must take seriously.

Although the MoU has expired, the millers are maintaining a similar condition as contained in the agreement since they are the major buyers- the farmers do not have an option.

Chairman of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (Kano State chapter) Farouk Rabiu, described the situation as an extortion of wheat farmers by the big millers.

Speaking to agriculture correspondents in Kano, he said some governors in the north-west had an agreement with millers to offtake wheat at prices that did not favour farmers.

Mallam Rabiu said millers bought 100kg bag of wheat at N18, 000 and that this price was not good for the farmer to break even from the cost of production.

The National Chairman, Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria and a member of the National Task Force on Rice and Wheat, Alhaji Salim Muhammad, called for a national sustainable policy structure on rice and wheat to protect farmers in the country and to boost production.

“Without a policy supported by the government, I don’t think that this administration will be able to sustain production, and a subsequent government that is not interested may wave it aside and the production of wheat may be mere history in Nigeria,” he said.

How Jigawa waded in

Speaking to agric journalists, Governor Mohammed Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State admitted that the state and the association of flour millers had agreed to uptake and had already bought reasonable tonnes of wheat from the state.

“This year we agreed on price with them, we agreed that they will buy at N18,000, but it was really very difficult for us to get to that negotiation because when we were buying the seeds, the price as at that time (because of the scarcity of seeds) was N32,000 per bag; but now farmers have to sell grains at N18, 000,” he stated.

He, however, noted that there was a difference between grains and seeds.

“When farmers started harvesting, the price was between N24,000 and N25,000 and later went down to  N15,000; and at that price we intervened and it has picked up now and is between N18,000 and N19,000,” he said.

Governor Badaru stressed that the state was going to give loans to farmers for the cluster approach they did for massive upscale production from the 100,000 metric tonnes achieved during the last season, adding that, “we are working very hard so that next season will be very profitable and better for farmers.”

The Kebbi approach

While speaking on the issue, Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu noted that Kebbi did not participate in the MoU because the state was worried about future availability of seeds and so decided to buy everything the farmers produced, which they would use as seeds next season.

“We did not participate in selling what we produced and that was what saved the nation: we have to be clear and clever,” he said.

Governor Bagudu, who is the Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Rice and Wheat Production, stated that people who imported wheat were buying auctioned wheat, stressing that, “for us to achieve that four million tones, we have to support our farmers by providing the seeds for planting.”

Kano helping farmers to mechanise

The Kano State government has acquired two combined harvesters for wheat farmers in the state-an effort Alhaji Salim Muhammad, who is the leader of Nigeria wheat farmers, has applauded.

He, however, said the state needed no fewer than 10 combined harvesters to lessen the burden of the farmers as old methods most times resulted in wastage.

For now some wheat farmers who suffered from falling prices caused by MoU with millers are sceptical about going into wheat production this season. They are considering expanding their rice farms as rice is considered more lucrative.

Until the Federal Government and the wheat producing states intervene to sustain production, Nigeria will have to rely on importation for many years, which could reach trillions of dollars as demand grows with the country’s population.

Author: Vincent A.Yusuf

Ref:https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/agriculture/states-intervene-to-save-wheat-production/203639.html

Full Access to Agriculture Data for Stakeholders

Mr Patrick David who is a representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has said that the AMIS CAPI system which cost $600,000 (which is an equivalent of N240 million) would provide an unparalleled access to agricultural data to various stakeholders across the country and in turn, bring remarkable growth to agricultural stakeholders across the country and this will lead to a growth in the agricultural sector.

In other to ensure that Nigerians have access to valid data on agriculture ,FAO has handed over the CAPI system developed with the support of AMIS for the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Bukar Hassan, who represented the minister said, “the only way agricultural production can be sustained is when the farmers can be able to reach out to various markets to sell their products ‎and make some returns to enable them to invest, and therefore today’s programme gave us a unique opportunity to move away from traditional marketing system to a more digital and sustainable method where we will be able to ensure that whatever we have produced and the figures we are going to have, in terms of production, is accurate, and therefore food security will be ensured.”

According to Mr. Olutayo Oyawole who is the National project Coordinator, he said that CAPI system would provide access to agriculture information and data from various stakeholders around the country that will, in turn deliver tremendous growth for the agricultural sector.

He went on to say that “Real-time data gathering has always been a problem in the agricultural sector. With this CAPI System, investors, agriculture merchants, traders and farmers can make better decisions and optimize their activities in their respective roles. Today, we bring to fore, a system that will bring about a paradigm shift in the way we collect and manage agriculture data in Nigeria. The excess produce of a farmer in Kano, might be key to fulfilling the scarcity of a factory in Kansas or Kentucky in the United States of America, thousands of miles away.”

 

Ref: https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2017/06/30/unparalleled-access-to-agriculture-data-for-stakeholders/

Nigeria Starts Exportation of Yam

 

 

 

 

The Federal Government through the Ministry of Agriculture is set to export 72 metric tonnes of yam to the UK and the United state today.

In what seems to be a major diversification breakthrough, the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, made the announcement yesterday that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the exportation to the United States and United Kingdom.

The Minister however said that Nigerians should not worry about shortage in supply of yam for local consumption assuring them that such will not happen.

He went on to say that “Now, we account for 61% of the total output of yams in the world, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization. The rest is shared between some countries in West Africa and the West Indies. For us to go abroad and not find Nigerian yams in the market is an embarrassment”.

He said that since Ghana is targeting $4 billion from yam exports in the next three years, Nigerians shouldn’t be lagging behind but should be thinking of surpassing that.

He also said that the government is going to provide solar coolers in yam markets and yam producing areas to keep the temperature at 14 degrees Celsius; not to freeze them but to keep them at that temperature throughout the year and can last up to two to three years in the container.

He also said that the Ministry is in talks with Walmarts, the biggest supermarket chain in the US who approached the Ministry to roast cashew nuts for them. Their demand is total 130,000 tonnes of cashew nuts which will lead to a revenue of $7 billion for the country. The government is looking to create six cashew processing factories in Nigeria which will be sited at Enugu, Imo, Benue, Kogi, Kwara and Oyo states