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

 

Poor Conservation May Disrupt Agricultural Production

Poor conservation policies and programmes of the government may hinder agricultural production in the country, environmental experts have warned.

This warning was recently given at a one-day seminar organized by the Department of Applied and Environmental Biology at the Rivers State University.

Professor Godfrey Akani who is the Professor of Wildfire and Biodiversity Conservation stressed that conservation is the key to ensuring sustainable agricultural production.

He said the need to maintain conservation policies and programmes was important in all spheres of agricultural activities as he feared that many species which included animal and plants were facing extinction.

He recommended that the State Ministry of Agriculture should engage in tree planting programmes in order to revive lost forest resources.

The event was also attended by Director of Forestry in the state Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Nkemdiri Odoya. She stated that many forests in the conservation area of River State have been encroached upon.

She went on to state that the Niger Delta accounts for 50 percent of freshwater fish in Africa, but observed that, “over hunting and over-harvesting of wildfire is such that it has depleted the growing ones”.

Odoya called on the relevant authorities to enforce the forestry laws in order to curb the activities of people who encroach into restricted areas to hunt and fish.

The Director of Forestry wants to staff members to be trained and equipped so that they will be able to monitor conserved forests and lands.

FG in talks with foreign countries regarding agric produce

 

 

 

According to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Federal Government is currently negotiating with some foreign countries to facilitate the exportation of Nigeria’s agricultural produce.

The minister mentioned this while on an official visit to the Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State. He said that “the aim of the discussion with the countries is to boost the country’s economy.”

The minister said that the agricultural policies of the Federal Government in the last two years were aimed at promoting the diversification of the economy.

He said that the ministry had identified the agricultural produce in which each state of the federation had a competitive advantage.

He said that the ministry would ensure that the commercial production of the agricultural produce so as to generate raw materials and finished goods for export.

The minister said the agricultural produce included staple foods such as rice, maize, wheat and millet and tuber crops, as well as dairy products, livestock, and fisheries.

Ogbeh stressed that the enhanced production of food crops and livestock would facilitate the growth of the national economy.

He said that Katsina was one of the major states under the focus of the new initiative because of its rich soil, expansive land mass and a large number of farmers.

In his remarks, Masari said that his administration had gone into several partnerships with the Federal Government, private investors and international agencies to boost agricultural production.

He said that the state government had procured 225 modern tractors from an Indian firm, as part of its efforts to fast-track agricultural production to achieve food security.

The governor said that over five dams across the state were currently undergoing rehabilitation to facilitate dry season farming.

Source: Pulse.ng

Don’t Lift The Ban On Importation Of Rice- Farmers Tell FG

Alhaji Jamilu Ibrahim who is the Chairman of Rice Farmers in Daura, Katsina State, has asked the Federal Government not to lift the ban on importation of rice so as to boost local production.
It will be recalled that the Federal Government banned the importation of rice through land borders in 2015, the policy was to protect local farmers and promote local rice consumption in the country.
Ibrahim briefed journalist on Monday after a meeting of Local Rice Farmers of Daura, that there was a need for the present administration to maintain its stand on rice importation to boost local production.
The ban will help the local rice farmers to produce more at affordable prices for local consumption as well as assist the government to conserve foreign exchange
“In Nigeria, we have fertile land in no fewer than 25 states where rice can be produced in large quantities for local consumption,” he said.
The chairman also urged the Central Bank of Nigeria should make funds available that could be used to grant loans to local rice farmers in the country.
 
“The CBN should continue with the Anchor Borrower Programme that was introduced to assist local rice farmers with loans.
“The programme has assisted farmers in producing rice in large quantities during the 2017 farming season.
“We are now set to go back to our farms for the production of rice during the dry season farming,” he said.
Ibrahim told the rice farmers to use the loan given to them judiciously in order to increase rice production.
He praised the Federal and State Governments for giving the much-deserved attention to the agriculture sector, which, according to him, has the capacity to guarantee food security in the country.
According to NAN, the Federal Government has introduced Anchor Borrowers Programme to boost cotton and rice production in the country.
Source: http://agriculture.einnews.com

USAID gives 5,400 Farmers, Agro-Dealers $3M in Agric Scheme

 

 

 

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has come out to say that 5,400 farmers and Agro-Dealers have benefitted from the $3 million feed the Future Nigeria Agro -Inputs Activity.

Stephen Haykin who is the Nigerian Mission Director of USAID said in a statement over the weekend in Abuja that the three-year activity had built about 1,400 agro-inputs dealers and 4,000 smallholder farmers.

Haykin said “the activity worked with microfinance institutions to improve access to credit and easing the burden normally faced by farmers during the planting season

“Through this partnership, 60 percent of beneficiary farmers and agro-inputs dealers were able to access finance to grow their business.”

This USAID scheme has strengthened the capacity of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. It also helped to regulate the agro-inputs sector and improved the entrepreneurial capacity of agro-dealers to extend their network to rural areas.

Smallholder farmers’ demands for high-quality input, technologies and good agricultural practices were also impacted as the scheme helped increase activities in these areas.

Women and Youth farmers were able to get access to agricultural inputs and new agricultural technologies.

He said, the scheme has strengthened the private sector-led agricultural inputs market, as this has enabled farmers to access quality inputs and increase their agricultural productivity.

”We are heartened to see that the strong actions of the Government of Nigeria and other stakeholders have fortified these gains, and we are confident that we will continue to see progress,” he said. (NAN).

 

Ref: Newsdairyonline.com

Obge calls for increased collaboration between Agric Universities and the Ministry of Agriculture

 

 

 

Image result for audu ogbeh

The Minister of Agriculture who was at the 23rd, 24th, and 25th combined convocation ceremony of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, called for an increased collaboration between Universities of Agriculture and the Ministry of Agriculture and other relevant agencies of the government as efforts to boost agriculture in Nigeria. The convocation ceremony took place on the 27th of October.

According to the Minister, “the University of Agriculture should probably be our most important partners in the agricultural sector because agriculture cannot thrive without knowledge. We are determined to remodel the universities of agriculture as nodal centres of excellence and I assure you that our approach will be friendly and inclusive.

“The universities of agriculture are fertile grounds for the accomplishment of this objective and that is why I have directed that the UAs should review their curricula and grading system to give more weight to practical agriculture activities rather than mere theory.

“I therefore seek your cooperation in ensuring that this university and the other two are truly remodeled and focused as specialized institutions of agriculture education and training in line with the vision of the founding fathers, “he said.

He also lamented the deviation of UAs from their core mandates, describing it as ” a dangerous signal and a disincentive to agriculture development in the nation”

There are currently three Universities of Agriculture in the country namely the Federal University, Abeokuta (FUNNAB), University of Agriculture, Makurdi and the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia state.

The minister urged the three Universities of Agriculture to take advantage of their reintegration into the Ministry of Agriculture and get enlisted as reliable allies in the agricultural sector.

Ogbe also promised that the ministry under his watch would build a dam and blocks of hostels in the school as well as provide mini-tractors at 60% discount and also develop the institutions’ seed faculty for production of more improved seedlings among other areas of support