FAO unveils 5-year strategic plan for agric in Nigeria

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has given a breakdown of its 5-year strategic Programming Framework for Nigeria (CPF), spanning between 2018 and 2022.

Suffyan Koroma, FAO Country Representative in Nigeria, said in a press statement in Abuja on Tuesday that the framework was to assist Federal Government develop its agriculture sector.

He listed some priority areas which included: Strengthening national food and nutrition security through enhanced nutrition sensitive and climate-smart food systems.

Others are: supporting appropriate and operationally effective agricultural policy and regulatory frameworks, supporting Nigeria’s Economic Diversification Agenda and the promotion of decent employment for youth and women in the agriculture value chains.

It also included improving the efficient and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems and enhancing disaster risk reduction, resilience building and emergency management towards strengthening the Humanitarian-Development Nexus.

He also said the framework would ensure efficient management of the country’s natural resources.

He also spelt out a set of medium-term support objectives and results as approved by the FAO’s Regional Office for Africa (RAF).

He said the areas of action were defined in consultation with government ministries, agencies and departments, as well as related stakeholders from academia, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and private sector.

He said FAO also considered the humanitarian needs of Nigeria, as contained in various development strategies the government had put in place.


FG distributes fertilisers, inputs to 4,671 farmers in Borno

The Federal Government, under its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), on Thursday, distributed fertilisers, seeds and inputs to 4,671 farmers in Borno for 2019 cropping season.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme is a critical component of the Federal Government’s agricultural transformation agenda.

The programme is also designed to encourage rice production and processing to achieve self-sufficiency.

It aims at enhancing farmers’ access to fertilisers, seeds, inputs, promote enterprising skills, value addition and create market for the produce.

The programme is being implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in collaboration with Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) and designated agricultural input dealers, otherwise called “private anchors’’.

Malam Muhammad Mustapha, the Manager, Northeast Commodity Association, one of the anchor’s clients, said that the farmers were provided with inputs to enable them engage in rice production.

Mustapha noted that each of the benefiting farmers received assorted fertilisers, seeds, water pump, knap sack sprayer and chemicals.

He said that the anchor company would also provide tractor services to the farmers to enable them till and plough their farmlands.

Mustapha explained that the beneficiaries included male and female farmers drawn from 19 local government areas of the state.

He listed some of the participating local government councils to include; Jere; Konduga, Chibok, Askira Uba, Hawul, Biu, Shani, Bayo, Kaga, and Mobbar.

Source: https://newsdiaryonline.com/abp-fg-distributes-fertilisers-inputs-to-4671-farmers-in-borno/

FAO launches framework to support agriculture in Nigeria

The United Nations Food for Agriculture Organisation (UNFOA) has launched the Country Programme Framework (CPF) in Nigeria as part of the organisation’s efforts to promote agriculture in the country.

The launch took place on Tuesday at the Nicon Luxury Hotel in Abuja.

The CPF is a medium-term priority framework, derived from nationally defined priorities and objectives to be achieved over a five year period of the programming cycle.

The framework covers the main areas of FAO work in Nigeria, with the aims to achieve zero hunger and contribute to the attainment of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

Speaking at the launch, the FAO representative, Suffyan Koroma, said the framework will focus on food and nutrition security, support effective and operational framework, support Nigeria’s economic diversity and decent employment, and enhance disaster risk management in the country with resilience.

He said it aligns with the FAO strategic objectives of sustainable inclusive development growth.

He said the CPF preparation started from a formal request by the Nigerian government in 2017.

Mr Koroma said the framework also looks forward to helping in creating peace between farmers and herders, especially in Benue and Nassarawa states.

It also aims at improving the efficient and sustainable management of natural resources, he said.

Mr Koroma said the current CPF is building on the 2013- 2017 CPF by noting its achievements and learning from its challenges.

He listed the objectives of the framework as promoting school garden for better nutrition and learning skill, mainstreaming nutrition education in Agriculture, and learning extension and urban food system development.

The CPF will also offer support for appropriate and operationally effective agricultural policies.

Speaking at the event, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, said climate change has been a major issue for agriculture across the country.

He said beyond that climate change has been a danger to human inhabitation. He also noted the danger of tree falling across the country for firewood and for export.

He said part of the disappearance of the forest today is responsible for the drying up of the Lake Chad.

“Desertification is on its way to Nigeria so far we continue the cutting down of trees,” Mr Ogbeh said

He said the country also needs quality seeds that can endure high temperature and also give good yields.


Why Bank of Agriculture is Being Restructured – BPE

The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) said on Thursday that it has become imperative to restructure the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) with a view to substantially improve its operating framework and efficiency.
The Director General of BPE, Mr. Alex Okoh who stated this 
at the kick-off meeting for the recapitalisation of the Bank in Abuja, said the Bank had performed sub-optimally due to the myriad of challenges facing it since inception in 1972. 

A statement by BPE’s Head of Public Communications, Amina Othman quoted the DG as saying, “the process will lead to the privatisation of equity of the bank. We envisage that the Central Bank equity will be reduced to 20 per cent, Federal Ministry of Finance (incorporated) will be reduced to 20 per cent”. 
According to him, “the government agencies equity in the new bank will be a minority of 40 per cent. We will then invite private sector investors who will own 20 per cent and the remaining 40 per cent equity will be owned by farmers and farmers’ cooperatives”. 

Okoh further stated that the new strategy envisages that BoA will be transformed into a truly agriculture finance bank modeled along the lines of Agriculture Bank of China and Rabobank of the Netherlands, adding that upon its establishment in 1972 to serve as an agricultural and cooperative bank to provide services of a development finance institution, it was vested with the responsibility of providing low cost credit to small holder and commercial farmers. 

Lamented that the Bank had been unable to realise its  responsibilities due to its current structure, the DG stressed that the proposed restructuring and recapitalisation of the Bank seek to transform it strictly into an agricultural finance bank with functional branches in all the local government areas and major towns in Nigeria.

He said that the model was sure to  encourage farmers to form clusters of cooperatives and thrift societies throughout the six geo-political zones for the purpose of participating in the ownership of the Bank, adding that the model would fundamentally ensure that the BOA becomes a farmers’ bank owned by farmers.

On the sustainability of the strategy and attracting investment, the DG, explained that measures would be put in place to take non-performing credit facilities off the balance sheet and books of the Bank and possibly sold off to a factor agent. 

He said further that the measure is  to make the Bank attractive to investors and also attract cheap funding from multilateral development institutions and other institutional investors with a focus on agricultural financing.  

Okoh commended the Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh who doubles as the Chairman of the Steering Committee for the Project  for his passion and commitment to the development of agriculture in Nigeria.

He congratulated Lead Consortium-the Adviser for the transaction pointing out that upon conclusion, BoA would be placed  on a platform to optimise its potential to make positive impacts on the  nation’s natural endowments for arable farming.

Source: http://www.promptnewsonline.com

Dangote tasks Northern governors to invest more in agriculture

Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the President of Dangote Group, has called on the 19 Northern State Governors to invest more in the agricultural sector for the steady development of the region.

Dangote made the call on Wednesday while delivering his keynote address at the ongoing fourth edition of the Kaduna Investment Summit, tagged KADInvest 4.O in Kaduna.

He said Nigeria had been ranked 157 out of 189 countries on the Human Development Index, attributing the rating to the myriad of challenges confronting the country.

According to him, the widening gap between the rich and poor Nigerians as very alarming as such collective efforts must be made particularly in agriculture to change the narrative.

Dangote, however, commended Gov. Nasir El-Rufais drive to address the critical issues of development by attracting investments to the state, stressing the need for other governors to take a cue from the laudable initiative.

According to him, agriculture is one of the priority sectors that can create employment opportunities especially in Northern Nigeria, adding that with sustained investments, significant progress would be recorded in rice and sugar production.

If we have 10 Governors like El-Rufai, Nigeria would move forward in the next 10 years. The sector can create more revenue better than crude oil with proper investments, he maintained.

He expressed concern that more than 60% of the population live in extreme poverty in the Northeast and Northwest of Nigeria, saying Northern Nigeria will progress more if the 19 state governments would work together close the widening development gap.

He expressed the conviction that only private investments can create jobs and reduce unemployment and poverty in the region with agricultural potential, vast land and conducive climate.

According to Dangote, his conglomerate is working towards building 10 rice mills with a combined capacity of one million tonnes, which would come on stream before the end of 2019.

He said the Dangote Fertiliser Plant will also be ready in 2019, and has the capacity to produce three million tonnes of Urea and Ammonia per annum.

He added that project is geared towards making Nigeria the highest exporter of fertiliser sub Saharan Africa.

The business tycoon further said there were plans to build East-West Gas Pipeline which can produce power equivalent to Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG), with the capacity to generate 12,000 Mega Watts.

He gave assurance that his company is committed towards exploring new opportunities to invest in the state especially in the agricultural sector.

Dangote said:As a group, we are willing to partner state governments to address the menace of poverty, in the North in particular and the nation in general.

Source: Pulse.ng

Ghana government to supply cashew seedlings to farmers


Government on Monday said it will this year freely distribute 13 million certified cashew seedlings to farmers in 96 districts.

Mr Augustine Collins Ntim, a Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, who made the disclosure, said the distribution is under the National Tree Crop Programme dubbed “Planting for Export and Rural Development” (PERD) Programme.

He recounted that for the pilot year 2018, the programme distributed 9.3 million cashew seedlings to 64,000 farmers in 106 districts and was estimated to contribute about 53 per cent of total contribution of the non-traditional exports to the Ghanaian economy in 2018, an increase from 44 per cent in 2017.

“Despite this historic growth record, the Ghanaian cashew farmer is challenged with low productivity, due to poor agricultural practices and low returns on investments.

“Most of these farmers are also disconnected from markets, and lack access to on farm and business training,” Mr Ntim stated at the opening of Seventh Edition of the Master Training Programme on Cashew Value Chain Promotion at Peduase in the Eastern Region.

The Master Training Programme is being organised by the Competitive Cashew Initiative (GIZ/ComCashew) in partnership with the African Cashew Alliance (ACA) with support from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the Cocoa Research Institute Ghana (CRIG).

It seeks to increase theoretical knowledge and practical skills of African cashew experts along the value chain and consequently to further promote the competitiveness of African cashew.

The Programme provides a platform for 85 cashew experts coming from nine African countries: Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Cote d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, to share knowledge, discuss best practices and lessons learnt as well as to build national and regional networks for future collaborations.

Mr Ntim said the Competitive Cashew Initiative made enormous contributions towards the development of the African Cashew Industry since its inception in 2009.

He said this had been done through strategic innovations like the Master Training Programme that sought to build capacities, skills and experiences of cashew value chain actors across the African continent.

He said government had the vision to develop the nation’s rural economy with the aim of reducing poverty through agricultural development programme and as a decentralised intervention, the PERD Programme was implemented through the District Centre for Agriculture, Commerce and Technology in all districts.

He said the project was one of the key strategic interventions for the “Ghana Beyond Aid” Agenda in line with government’s coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies and the PERD programme, would be launched by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on April 24 this year.

It is a decentralised National Tree Crop Programme to promote rural economic growth and improve household incomes of rural farmers through the provision of certified improved seedlings, extension services, business support and regulatory mechanisms focusing on cashew, coffee, cotton, coconut, citrus, oil palm, mango, rubber and shea value chains.

It also aims at creating jobs and producing a sustainable raw materials base towards the Government’s industrialisation drive, through the One District, One Factory (1D1F) initiative.

He said the PERD programme would also engage some 10,000 young graduates as crop specialised extension officers.

“The inclusion of cashew in the programme seeks not only to alleviate poverty, but to also address issues of climate change and livelihood adaptation strategies, which seeks to position Ghana as a world leading producer of cashew within the next five to ten years,” Mr Ntim said.

Mr Seth Akoto, the Director, Crop Services, MoFA said through collaboration and joint efforts, Africa countries could succeed in strengthening the growth of the cashew sector on the continent.

Madam Dorcas Amoh, Food Safety and Technical Assistance Manager, African Cashew Alliance, said across the continent, many products of the Masters Training Programme could be found in key segments of the cashew sector.

Madam Mary Adzanyo, Director, Private Sector Development, GIZ/Competitive Cashew Initiative said the impact of the training programme, though subtle, could be seen in the tremendous growth and attention being given to the sector by governments on the continent.

Reference: http://www.ghanabusinessnews.com

Uruguay Reiterates Interest in Agricultural Exports to China

Montevideo, March 21 (Prensa Latina) Uruguay continues this Thursday in its interest in exporting to China refrigerated products such as beef cuts, honey, soy and sorghum at a time of strengthening bilateral relations.
This was one of the main issues discussed in Montevideo between the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rodolfo Nin Nova and the Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, Qu Dongyu.

Both stressed the importance of the agricultural economy for the development of their mutual countries, as Uruguay and China are complementary partners in this area, informed an official note from the Foreign Ministry.

They also exchanged views on multilateral issues relating in particular to the importance of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for their respective countries.

In this order they exchanged views on the leadership of FAO, which will elect its new Director-General during its 41st conference in Rome from June 22 to 29, a post for which China nominated precisely Qu as a candidate.

Uruguay’s interim minister, Alberto Castelar, also greeted the visitor with the prospect of making further progress in the coupling of strategic guidelines, especially in South-South cooperation.


STEP Woos Nigeria’s Youths To Agriculture

Start Them Early Program” (STEP), is an intervention designed to take agribusiness studies to primary and secondary school students, engaging them in club participation, course work, and experimental learning. The STEP is designed to operate in Nigeria, DR Congo and Kenya, for over two years and in nine secondary schools and is partnering with a local organization of young people called NEWDAY Afrika to expand an already existing initiative and has been introduced in three secondary schools in Bukavu, DRC. At the 2018 Africa Food Prize, AFP, ceremony in Kigali, Rwanda, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA, Director General, Dr. Nteranya Sanginga, reiterated his commitment to invest in the future of Africa’s younger generation and emphasized the importance of raising the ambition of primary and secondary school students to guarantee a food- and nutrition-secure continent. With the $100,000 AFP prize money, Sanginga promised to carry out an intervention program, using a unique approach that would redirect primary and secondary schools and their students to agribusiness skills. Dr Sanginga followed up on his promise by initiating the “Start Them Early Program” (STEP), an intervention designed to take agribusiness studies to primary and secondary school students, engaging them in club participation, course work, and experimental learning. STEP aims to provide primary and secondary schools with agricultural inputs, and train and empower students to change their mindset towards agriculture as a business and as an opportunity for job creation. Currently, over 800 students have been reached in DR Congo. Thirty-three, pupil-initiated agribusinesses are thriving; some are involved in rabbit farming, guinea pig production, poultry, and vegetable production. School managers are also involved in agricultural production especially in poultry and rabbit rearing to improve school incomes and pupils’ practical knowledge. All DRC students involved in the project succeeded in their national examination with two girls among them scoring the best results, 88 per cent and 84 per cent. Most of them are committed to continue in agriculture at university level. Exactly six weeks after DG Sanginga dedicated the Africa Food Prize award to agribusiness development in secondary schools, he initiated the process in Nigeria when he visited the students of IITA International School to share his strong passion for agriculture and his experiences on how he developed his career in the agriculture sector. The students have also undergone a series of agribusiness training by the STEP team set up to commence activities on the program. The curiosity of the students to learn more about agribusiness continues to grow day by day. The team is also working closely with the IITA Women’s Group to engage more students in Ibadan, Oyo State, in the program. Since the program commenced in Nigeria, the STEP team has reached out to more than 100 students from three schools to educate them about the benefits of modern agriculture and different viable opportunities along its value chain. 

Read More at: https://leadership.ng/2019/03/14/step-woos-nigerias-youths-to-agriculture/

Nigeria overtakes Egypt as Rice largest producer in Africa

Harold Roy-Macauley said rice cultivation in Egypt requires 1.8 billion metres of water in evaporation among other factors. Roy-Macauley noted that Nigeria has become the largest rice producer at four million tonnes a year

The director general of Africa Rice Centre, Harold Roy-Macauley, on Monday, February 4, said that Nigeria has overtaken Egypt as largest producer of rice in Africa. The Nation reports that Roy-Macauley said Nigeria has become the largest rice producer at four million tonnes a year. He noted that while Egypt was initially producing 4.3 tonnes per year, an almost 40% production reduction in 2019 attributed to the Egyptian government decision to limit cultivated to preserve water resources. According to him, rice cultivation in Egypt requires 1.8 billion metres of water in evaporation, transpiration and irrigation each year while Africa produces an average of 14.6 million tonnes of rough rice annually.

Roy-Macauley said there have been efforts to increase overall rice production in Africa although there are doubts that it will curb rice importation as population has increased across the continent.

He also said that the centre is ready to partner with Nigeria and other governments in Africa through training of farmers, extension officers and exporters on best practice’s in cultivation and post- harvest care and to understand market requirements to meet the production expectation. Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the Kebbi state governor, Atiku Bagudu, had said that Nigeria is on the path of taking on the world in terms of rice production.

The governor said this on Wednesday, December 19, at a Gala night organised by beneficiaries of the government’s Anchor Borrowers Programme held at the State House Conference Center, Abuja. Bagudu who is the vice chairman of the national food security council, noted that President Muhammadu Buhari has shown unprecedented commitments to agriculture development in Nigeria.

Source: https://www.legit.ng/1222101-how-nigeria-overtook-egypt-largest-rice-producer-africa-official.html

Africa: AU Commission Conducts Malabo Declaration On Agriculture Training of Trainers for Biennial Review Process

The African Union (AU) Commission’s Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA) and the AUDA-NEPAD last week organized a workshop for the Training of Trainers on the AU Malabo Declaration Biennial Review process.

The Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods was adopted by African Union Heads of State and Government in June 2014 at the 23rd Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly. It commits leaders to a set of actions that will accelerate agricultural growth and transformation across Africa. The Declaration was a recommitment to the principles and values of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) as well as additional commitments and targets for results and impact.

To ensure mutual accountability and to institutionalize a system for peer review that encourages good performance on achievement of progress made in implementing the provisions of the Declaration, the AUC was tasked to conduct a review on a biennial basis, the progress achieved by its member states in securing their CAADP and Malabo Declaration commitments.

The workshop was attended by officials from RECs, partnering institutions (including IFPRI/ReSAKSS, FAO) and Trainers from respective countries.

Opening the workshop, Mr. Ernest Ruzindaza, CAADP Team Leader, AUC, said the outputs of the training would be critical in the upcoming BR process in 2019 by improving the capacities of the trainers and the existing reporting tools and mechanisms.

During the five days training, the participants undertook a thorough review of the performance indicators captured under the various Performance Themes captured in the Technical Guidelines for reporting. This was vital in bringing the participants on the same wavelength in terms of understanding of the indicators measurement to adequately support the countries. It should be recalled that the Technical Guidelines is the output of an extensive review undertaken by the seven technical working groups tasked with revising the BR indicators in light of the lessons learned from the previous edition and the emerging issues. The participating experts therefore went through the updated metrics, while providing critical inputs to ensure technical soundness, relevance and usability by the countries.

Source: https://allafrica.com/stories/201902270614.html