Sudan hosts World Gum Arabic Conference

The Secretary-General of the Gum Arabic Council and a member of the International Organization, Abdulmajid Abdulqadir, hosted Khartoum to the World Conference on Gum, and expected to be the establishment of the African Center for Gum Arabic and the African Union of the gum-producing countries.

During his presentation at the International Health and Food Exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany, he presented a working paper and a report of African producing countries on the importance of gum arabic.

He pointed to the projects to develop the gum belt in Sudan and what they expect from the international community to increase the production of the commodity and the importance of its global and strategic dimension.

Abdelmajid said that the Sudanese group announced the intention to build strategic stocks of gum estimated at 25 thousand tons.

More than 3,000 companies specializing in the food, beverage, bio-food and pharmaceutical industries participated in the exhibition. Gum Arabic, which produces 85% of the world’s total production in Sudan, is introduced in several industries.

Western Europe is a traditional market for Sudanese gum arabic, and Pepsi and Cola are among the largest consumers of gum arabic.

The inauguration of the Food and Food Inputs Fair will take place on the day following the annual conference of the World Organization for the Development of Glues, in which Sudan is represented by the Gum Arab Board and some of the gum companies


Making Money from your Moringa Farm

Despite huge earning from oil proceeds, Nigeria remains largely an agrarian economy with agriculture accounting for about 50 per cent of employment.
Besides, cocoa, cashew, palm oil, rice, cassava and soyabean, one other major cash crop that has huge potentials to boost farmer’s income, the economy and create more jobs is moringa. But regretably, its full potentials is yet to be tapped in the country.
Few farmers, who once used their agricultural skills to feed their families, now have the opportunity to turn moringa farming into profit making, as the demand is highly huge in USA, China and other European countries.
Ironically, Chinese, Indians, Veitnamese and South Korea companies are all over Lagos looking for Moringa seeds, as a bag of moringa seed costs N150,000 to N170,000 depending on the weights. In Kano state, the Chinese usually pay a moringa farmers in advance far ahead of the harvesting period.
Moringa is a cheap seedling with high returns on investment and grows in every part of the country, but farmers are yet to appreciate the full benefits of the tree.
In Zamfara alone, a trader in moringa seeds rakes in N6 million every year because the seed has more monetary value than the leaves with a kilo of it sold for N1,800 to N2,000.
During the raining season, farmers can harvest at least three times a season, depending on the size of the farm. A farmer can also generate significant income to meet the family’s financial needs. With less effort, a small size of land can accommodate many stems that can within a short period grow and produce the seeds that can be used for export, where they are processed for both consumption and value addition.
Following its export recognition, non-profit and international development agencies have spent millions of dollars to encourage people across the African continent to grow and use moringa. The crop is being used by pharmaceutical, perfumery, trado-medical practitioners, and food industries as its leaves and other parts are useful as medicine for treatment of ailments.
Looking at the in-depth health benefits of Moringa leaves, stem, root, and seeds, scientific studies have shown that it contains specific antioxidants and health promoting ingredients that offer palliatives to malnutrition, hunger and diseases. The early leaves are edible and are commonly cooked and eaten like spinach or used to make soups and salads. It’s rich in many vitamins, including Vitamin A, several forms of Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Vitamin E.
According to the Deputy Managing Director of Peniel Gera International Limited, a seed company, Ojiefoh Enahoro Martins, Moringa is one of the world’s most useful plants and fast-growing tree grown throughout the tropics for human food, livestock forage, medicine, dye, and water purification.
Being one of the world’s most nutritious crops, he said that the leaves of moringa have more beta-carotene than carrots, more protein than peas, more vitamin C than oranges, more calcium than milk, more potassium than bananas, more iron than spinach.
Martins explained that Moringa requires normal farmland preparation and a well-prepared seedbed. It has two varieties, which are Moringa oleifera and Moringa stenopetala which are the most commonly grown. Moringa oleifera is most widely cultivated but the new variety Moringa oleifera differ in growing habit, leaf, flower, and pod characteristics.
While planting, he explained that there is direct seedling, transplanting, and using hard stem cuttings. He noted that direct seedling is preferred when plenty of seed is available and labor is limited. Transplanting allows flexibility in field planting but requires extra labor and cost in raising seedlings.
Pest control
“Plants 3-5m apart between rows and plants. If using raised beds, form beds with 2m-wide tops, and space plants 3–5 m apart in a single rows. On pest control, Moringa is resistant to most pests and diseases, but outbreaks may occur under certain conditions. For example, diplodia root rot may appear in waterlogged soils, causing severe wilting and death of plants. Mite populations can increase during dry and cool weather. These pests create yellowing of leaves, but plants usually recover during warm weather.”
Weed control
However, he maintained that Moringa grows well in most soils without addition of fertilizer. Once established, the extensive and deep root system of moringa is efficient in mining nutrients from the soil, saying that for optimum growth and yields, fertilizers are applied at planting time: dig trenches around the base of the plant (10–20 cm from the base) and apply approximately 300 g of a commercial nitrogen fertilizer per tree. He said farmers should maintain a weed-free planting by regular manual process or herbicide.
“I personally advise regular pruning to promote and  increase yields, and facilitate harvesting. If left to grow without cutting the main trunk, the fast-growing tree will grow straight, producing tall leaves and pods only on the primary stem.
Harvesting Leaves can be done after plants grow 1.5–2metres, which usually takes at least one year. Harves leaves by snapping leaf stems from branches. Harvesting young shoot tips will promote development of side branches. Harvest pods when they are young, tender, and green. They are eaten as green beans.
Preservation and market
“Farmers should store seeds in well-ventilated sacks in a cool, dry, and shaded area. Moringa seeds have both international and local market values. Since the introduction of Moringa, the price has been on 50 per cent increase annually because of new research and development of the usefulness. Between 2015 to 2016 price jumped from N50 per kg, which is N500, 000 per ton to 200 per kg, which is 2 million per ton. Our company has sold tons worth millions.”
He disclosed that Moringa tolerates a wide range of environmental conditions. It grows best between 25 to 35oC, but will tolerate up to 48oC in the shade and can survive in 98 per cent of states in Africa.  This adaptable tree prefers a well-drained sandy loam or loamy soil, survive clay except under prolonged flooding and the tree tolerates a soil pH of 5.0.


Global Shea Butter Market Size to reach USD 1.74 billion By 2025

Some prominent players operating in the global shea butter market are The Savannah Fruits Company, Bunge Loders Croklaan, Ghana Nuts Company Ltd, Akoma Cooperative Multipurpose Society, SHEBU Industries Limited, and Baraka Shea Butter.

The Global Shea Butter Market Size is estimated to reach USD 1.74 billion by 2025. Growing adoption in food, personal care & cosmetics, and medical industry is expected to drive the global shea butter market during the projected period.  In 2017, Europe shea butter market accounted for more than 35% of overall market share, both volume, and revenue.

Global Shea Butter Market Size is anticipated to grow and expand as much as cocoa market. Increase in the usage of shea butter in chocolate as a substitute for cocoa butter is expected to propel the shea butter market during the forecast period. Global shea butter market is fueled by its acceptance as an alternative to cocoa butter in the industry of chocolate. Various parts of shea tree like stems, roots, leaves, bark and fruit are used for treating several infections and diseases like dysentery, diarrhea, wound infections, gastrointestinal tract infections and skin diseases.  

Shea butter market is very demanding in world market and various sectors. Leading factors that are fueling the demand for the market are constant increasing demand for the cocoa products because of increase in the consumption of the chocolate. Increase in the demand for the natural products on the basis of skin care products and cosmetics is the factor that are driving the growth of global shea butter market. Additionally, products of shea butter are dominant antioxidants and bring back the destroyed hair and skin to health. On the other hand, cocoa butter includes only polyphenol which is supportive in relieving stress. Shea butter consists of vitamin E and vitamin A that are advantageous for eyes and skin


Price of shea goes up in Tamale

The price of shea nuts has gone up in the Northern Regional capital, Tamale – which has compelled processors and traders to increase the prices of their products.

A bowl of shea nut, which was sold at GH¢5.00 now sells at GH¢7.00; a bag that ranged in price from GH¢160.00 to GH¢170.00 now goes for GH¢180.00 to GH¢200.

In view of this, the price of 330 grammes of processed shea butter has increased from GH¢10.00 to GH¢15.00; while that of the 25kg has been increased from GH¢300.00 to GH¢370.00 for grade A export standard.

The grade B for local consumption has gone up from GH¢10.00 to GH¢13.00 per kilogramme, as checks by the B&FT revealed.

Large-scale shea pickers around Kumbungu, Gushiegu, Karaga, Savelugu, Nanton, Bole and other parts of the Northern Region are likely to suffer losses this year if there is no rain in this season.

The lack of a Shea board to regulate the floor price for shea nut purchases in the region at the farm gate level has been a problem to the pickers, because the activities of middlemen contribute to the hikes.

Lack of storage facilities for the picked shea-nuts has also meant that they end up selling their produce at low prices to prevent them from being destroyed.

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Though the Shea nut Farmers Association, which is the nationally recognised body representing the interests of shea nut farmers across the length and breadth of this country, played a key role, lack of policy guidelines continues to be a hindrance to the sector.

The entire Northern Region, for the past three years, has been experiencing drought because the rains are not forthcoming as expected.

Some of the frustrated retailers, including Isaac Amoah and Alhassan Iddrisu, bemoaned the situation and said business is down. They said customers are alarmed by the price hikes.

A shea expert, Prof. Seidu Alhassan, who is also the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS), told the B&FT that the hike in prices is due to the high demand from both the local and international markets.

“Shea has been recognised as one of the best commodities in the market, which has no side-effect – but the inability of the pickers to access the quality and quantity needed by the investors is the problem.”

According to him, when the demand is high, obviously the price will also go high due to the scarcity that might be encountered on the market.

“In northern Ghana in general, and the Tamale Metropolis in particular, many women process shea butter as their main source of income; and in recognition of this a number of stakeholders, including the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, Non-Governmental Organisations, the National Board for Small Scale Industries and other private businesses, have taken keen interest in the sector – culminating in the provision of resources to support the industry,” he said.

“As part of efforts to support the economic empowerment of women in general and shea butter processors in particular, there is a need to help establish more shea butter extraction centres for the women processing groups to enhance their activities,” he added.

He stressed that the fruits contribute to food security, particularly for the rural poor, especially since their ripening coincides with the lean season of food production


Uganda Govt to boost Shea Butter Exports

The government of Uganda has revealed plans that it wants to boost the Shea Butter in the region and the international market.

This was revealed by the Marketing Executive of the Uganda Export Promotion Board (EXPB), Mr. Sam Karuhanga during the launch of the National Shea Butter Exhibition at the Constitution Square in Kampala on Thursday.

Shea tree is particularly important for oil extraction from its nuts which has several nutritional and health benefits as well as the butter that is used for production of Cosmetics products that are chemical free.

According to Karuhanga, the UEPB is currently making efforts to increase the volume of exportation of the product which be help increase the country’s foreign exchange from USD 7 million per month to $30 per month within three to five years.

He went on further to state that they have connected Shea nut butter product processors and exporters to international markets.

The exhibition which started on the 23rd of January is expected to run till 27th of January.

‘Soil management crucial to food security’

Soil scientists have stressed the need to improve on the quality of soil in the country to achieve food security and improve living standards of Nigerians.

According to them, food security could only be achieved in Nigeria through diligent soil and crop management, stressing that the mission of Nigeria Institute of Soil Science is to improve on Nigeria’s living standards through improved agricultural practices.

The Registrar of the institute, Prof. Victor Chude, while speaking at the weekend in Abuja during the training workshop on ‘Nigeria Soil Resources and Sustainable Management of Soil’ in Nigeria, stressed the importance of soil management as the entire human race depends on it to survive.

He said: “Proper soil and crop management is essential to addressing issues of environment and land degradation. It is also important in combating the lingering issue of food insecurity, food insecurity can only be tackled through consistent government policies which must address the issues of land availability, accessibility and affordability.”


Nigeria could lead Africa to innovative future in agriculture by approving GMO cowpea

Nigeria has commenced a historic process of leading other African nations on smart and innovative agriculture with the recent application seeking commercial release of the genetically modified insect-resistant cowpea.

If approved, the pod borer-resistant (PBR) cowpea will become the nation’s first genetically modified food crop….At a recent public dialogue on PBR cowpea organized by the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) in Abuja, Prof. Muhammad Ishiyaku, principal investigator and lead scientist of the cowpea research team, told participants  that this new variety of seed has the potential to reduce pesticide use [and] increase production by 20 percent.

The pod-borer insect (maruca) [forces] farmers to spray pesticides about six to seven times within a planting season. Farmers often cannot afford to buy these expensive pesticides, which are harmful to human health and sustainable environmental practices. But they stand to lose over 80 percent of their crop unless the insect is controlled.

Some environmental activists totally disagree with this perspective….[T]he anti-GMO campaigners have [tried] to stop release of the crop into the environment and accused the NBMA of lacking neutrality.

It is true that every new technology is bound to face suspicion and concerns, but Nigeria must be brave and overcome fear, especially when there is substantial scientific proof of safety measures in place.

120,000 Kano rice farmers to benefit from Central bank’s anchor borrower programme

No fewer than 120, 000 rice farmers in Kano State would benefit from the Federal Government’s Anchor Borrower programme for this year’s dry season farming.

The state Chairman of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu, disclosed this in an interview in Kano on Tuesday.

He said already the list of the registered farmers had been forwarded to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for verification and processing of the loan facility.

He disclosed that each farmer would receive a loan package of not less than N220,000 comprising inputs and certain amount of money for payment of labour.

“About 150, 000 rice farmers registered for the programme but the number had to be reduced to 120,000 due issue of BVN.

“The list of the successful farmers have been forwarded to the Central Bank of Nigeria for immediate processing as the dry season farming activities for the commodity will soon commence, “ he said.

He advised farmers who were not able to scale through due to the issue of the BVN to exercise patience, assuring that they would be given priority during the wet season programme.

Aliyu advised those selected to make best use of the loan facility to boost rice production in the state and the country at large.

“This is an opportunity for our members to improve their socio-economic status since the federal government is committed to supporting the sector for massive food production in the country”.

He urged farmers across the country to embrace rice production so as to end importation of the commodity.

No fewer than 5, 000 hectares of rice farms were destroyed by flood in 10 local government areas of the state in 2018, with farmers under the programme said to have lost over N5 billion worth of the commodity in the state.


Nigeria rice mill hits 250 tonnes daily production

Rice mill

Kano-based Amarava Rice Mill says it is targeting to record 500 tonnes of daily production by June, just as it hit 250 tonnes to boost local self-sufficiency.

Mr Subhash Chand, the Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Nigeria, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.

NAN recalls that the multimillion Naira state-of-the-art rice mill, owned by an Indian national, was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari in Kano in December 2019.

The diplomat gave the assurance that the production capacity of the mill was being expanded to hit 500 tonnes by June.

He added that the investment was part of the overall efforts of the High Commission to help Nigeria attain self-sufficiency in rice production.

Chand said that India was supportive of Nigeria’s efforts to fully localise rice production, disclosing that many Indian companies were already among the leading millers in Nigeria.

He disclosed that the mill was built with machineries fabricated in Nigeria with local contents by Indian and Nigerian technological experts.

“India has been maintaining good relationship with Nigeria and will continue to do so.

“Through Nigeria-India’s cordial relationship, Indian investors are already investing in Nigeria to achieve self-sufficiency in rice production,’’ he said.

Chand noted that technical partnership was another area of mutual benefits to the two nations.

NAN reports that in 2017, Nigeria’s rice consumption stood at 7.9 million tonnes while the production rate has increased to 5.8 tonnes per annum from previous 5.5 million tonnes due to Federal Government’s local rice production policy.

The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) attributed the increase to the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Programme with a total of 12 million rice producers and four million hectares of FADAMA rice land cultivated.

NAN reports that Amarava Agro Processors Limited, a subsidiary of Fullmark Group was established at Amarawa Village, Gezawa Local Government Area of Kano State, with an initial 288 metric tonnes daily capacity.

NAN recalls that Buhari said at the inauguration that Nigeria’s continued dependence on rice importation had put a strain on the economy as well as the nation’s food flow.

Buhari added that a substantial amount of the nation’s foreign exchange went into rice importation yearly, noting the mill will help Nigeria to progress towards food self-sufficiency.

NAN reports that the bilateral trade between Nigeria and India between 2017 and 2018 was touching $12 billion (about N4.3 trillion), which can be expanded by both countries.



On Wednesday 19th December, Governor David Umahi swept another outstanding laurel from the presidency, exclusively awarded by President Muhammadu Buhari himself, in appreciation of the governor’s towering strings of accomplishments in Agriculture and undying political will to concretize the president’s vision of diversifying the economy.There is everything positive to say about Ebonyi State  when it comes to Agriculture where her name is already etched in the golden books of records. The state proudly recorded major milestone in all areas of the sector in the outgoing year, comparatively setting records that have not been achieved in Nigeria, but one achievement worth re-emphasizing is the recent establishment of a gigantic fertilizer plant.Yes, the state has welcomed with open arms a brand new ultra modern 40 tonnes per hour fertilizer blending plant, first in the entire South East and South South zones. This plant which is commemorative of the state’s advancement in agricultural services and preparedness to drive the sector was symbolically inaugurated by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh. How the state managed to set this project in the face of teething economic challenges is still a stuff of legends.It is no coincidence that Ebonyi state is at the top of every national ranking in Agriculture. The state has singlehandedly brought a revolutionary change that has positively upset the entire firmament of agriculture. Governor Umahi’s agricultural revolution, especially in the areas of rice production is widely acknowledged. It transcends party, ethnic and racial boundaries.Even though PDP, the administration has continued to endear itself to the presidency and policy makers in Agriculture through watershed agric policies and programmes.Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe further confirmed this when he said, “… Anywhere, anytime we mention our successes in Agriculture, your name (Umahi) comes up. Your rice is in every supermarket in Animal and in Lagos and you are one of the five governors who have succeeded in making Nigeria attain almost food sufficient in rice production. You have reduced rice importation by 90 percent and we have saved some seed import in the last 34 months to the tune of 21 billion dollars as a country…”Ebonyi as a state has unknowingly unlocked the potentials of Nigeria Agriculture. The state is now a prominent name and a major player in the current efforts to diversify the nation’s economy and discourage over reliance on oil revenue.Ebonyi has further revved up its agricultural programme with mechanization of farming, assistance in procuring necessary Agricultural inputs like seedlings, fertilizers and pesticides, grant of soft loan to local farmers under the CBN Anchor Borrowers programme.The state is sharpening up plans to introduce six-mega rice cities in the state and any local government area that covers 5,000 hectares for rice production.The governor himself is a farmer who takes more than a passing interest to turn around the fortunes of the state in agriculture. That’s a man who the cap fits!