P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Agriculture http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Sat, 18 Oct 2014 14:07:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Monarchs urge states to replicate FG’s agric transformation agenda http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/07/monarchs-urge-states-to-replicate-fgs-agric-transformation-agenda/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/07/monarchs-urge-states-to-replicate-fgs-agric-transformation-agenda/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 22:48:13 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=215073 Agriculture Minister, Akinwunmi Adesina

Agriculture Minister, Akinwunmi Adesina

Traditional rulers in Nigeria have called on state governments to replicate Federal Government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda in their various states to enhance productivity in the sector.

This was contained in a statement issued during the just concluded seventh National Development Summit of Traditional Rulers.

The statement signed by Prof. Laz Ekwueme, General Secretary of the summit stressed the need for state governments to modernise the agriculture sector.

It said the summit urged state governments to transform the sector to become lucrative and dignifying to encourage Nigerian youths participate in it.

The monarchs also urged state governments to step up efforts at improving infrastructure for effective transformation of the sector.

According to them, the efforts included the provision of functional agro-storage and processing facilities as well as access to energy.

The summit, the statement said, advocated the need to promote mandatory programmes on entrepreneurship in tertiary institutions to boost economic growth and development.

On security, the traditional rulers called on retired military officers to join the Federal Government in the fight against insurgency.

They contended that their expertise was relevant in tackling the insurgents. They also commended the efforts of the government in combating the spread of the Ebola virus.

The statement said the summit among other issues, recommended the need for the appointment of a Special Adviser on Chieftaincy Affairs to the President.

According to the monarchs, the appointment will promote “effective and a healthier relationship” between the government and traditional rulers in the country.”

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Anambra plans town hall meeting on agriculture http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/06/anambra-plans-town-hall-meeting-on-agriculture/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/06/anambra-plans-town-hall-meeting-on-agriculture/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 06:48:40 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=214833 Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State

Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State

Following the success that the government of Anambra state has so far recorded in attracting significant investments into the agricultural sector of the state, plans are underway for a high-level Town Hall Meeting on agriculture to be hosted by the state government in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.

The planned meeting was one of the highlights of a close-door meeting that recently took place in Abuja, between the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina and a special delegation from Anambra State Ministry of Agriculture led by Governor Willie Obiano.

The meeting came on the heels of a string of Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) which the government of Anambra recently signed with big time investors who are currently setting up shops in the food-belt of the state to commence large scale mechanized farming.

Giving assurances of the ministry’s readiness for the proposed meeting, Dr Adesina said, “we are going to have a special agricultural engagement in Anambra state. I will come with a strong team and we shall have high level deliberations on Agriculture”.

According to him, the Federal Government has just approved an Agricultural Mechanization Scheme estimated at N50bn which would finally weed out the dependence on hoes and cutlasses by Nigerian farmers. The mechanization support grant will enable the farmers to hire tractors and engage in more modern farm practices.

The Minister also declared that the Federal Government would fast-track the full realization of the proposed Staple Crops Processing Zone that has been designated for Omor in Ayamelum Local Government Area of the state, describing the mill as very important to his ministry.

Adesina also lauded Obiano’s achievements in the past six months which he said had fully restored the confidence of the investment community, leading to the recent acquisition of the moribund Omor Rice Mill by Joseph Agro Limited and the planned investment of $150m to revamp the mill.

“My Ministry is one of the first few places you visited when you were sworn-in as governor of Anambra State. You are one governor that got it right. You came here to share your plans for the agricultural sector and I could see that you were very passionate to make an impact there. Your administration is moving at an incredible speed. I think it comes from your private sector background. I followed your efforts to provide security in Anambra State and I am happy that the benefits have started pouring in now,” he said.

The Minister also assured of the readiness of the Ministry to partner with Anambra State in Aqua-culture, promising to lend critical support to governor Obiano’s plans to make the state a leader in the production of fish fingerlings in the country.

Earlier in his opening remarks, governor Obiano had appealed for the assistance of the Minister to ensure that Anambra State is adopted by the ministry as one of the leading agricultural states in Nigeria.

The governor further explained that his administration had set a target to make Anambra State the leading producer of fingerlings in West Africa. Outlining the achievements of his administration in the area of agriculture, Obiano maintained that with the inflow of investments into the sector, the state was well on its way to becoming the first agro-state in Nigeria.

He also sought the assistance of the Minister to allow the state take over the Lower Anambra River Basin which had been lying fallow for a long time and integrate it into the overall master-plan of the proposed Omor Crop Processing Zone.

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Kenya commends Nigeria for boosting its agric policies http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/28/kenya-commends-nigeria-for-boosting-its-agric-policies/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/28/kenya-commends-nigeria-for-boosting-its-agric-policies/#comments Sun, 28 Sep 2014 19:55:04 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=213810 Agriculture Minister, Akinwunmi Adesina

Agriculture Minister, Akinwunmi Adesina

Mrs Dorcas Makwoi, the focal person, Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), Kenya, has commended Nigeria’s Agriculture Minister, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, for influencing Kenya’s agric policy formulation.

Makwoi, who gave the commendation on Sunday in Nairobi during an interview with NAN, said Adesina’s efforts had influenced a lot of agric policies in Kenya.

According to her, when Adesina was president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), he contributed to making policies that would boost agricultural production across Africa.

She said that the Agriculture Sector Coordinating Unit (ASCU), Kenya, was working along with some of those policies especially in the aspect of inputs.

She also commended the minister for the launch of the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) through which Nigerian farmers could receive subsidised seeds and fertiliser through vouchers on their mobile phones.

She added that the policy had establish an enabling working environment for private sector to key into the business, which was what ASCU in Kenya was working towards.

She said this would enable Kenya farmers to benefit from fertiliser, seeds, feeds and pesticides without any interference from middle men.

Makwoi said that Kenya was an agro based economy and was ready to key into Adesina’s policies to improve the agric sector of the country.

She said that in terms of funding the agricultural sector through the coordination, ASCU had been able to harmonise development partners to know where to invest and areas of highest impact.

“Through our agricultural sector development strategy, the growth target has been pegged at a target of seven per cent which is above the six percent expectation from CAADP.

“We believe that agriculture growth, if it does well, would really change the economy of this country,’’ Makwoi said.

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Chinese firm to establish cassava processing industry http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/14/chinese-firm-to-establish-cassava-processing-industry/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/14/chinese-firm-to-establish-cassava-processing-industry/#comments Sun, 14 Sep 2014 15:15:31 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=211682 Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River

Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River

The Coordinator of Fadama 111 Project in Cross River, Mr Bassey Elemi, has said that a Chinese firm will establish a cassava processing plant in Yakurr Area of the state.

Elemi told NAN in Calabar on Sunday that the plant, when established, would be fed by cassava produced by Fadama User Groups clusters in the area.

He said that under the World Bank-sponsored Fadama extension project, Cross River would engage in cassava production with each cluster cultivating a minimum of 20 hectares of cassava.

NAN recalls that Fadama 111 project ended in February but the World Bank extended the programme in some selected states in the federation, including Cross River.

“We are looking at each cluster having a minimum of 20 hectares of cassava farm and it can be as large as 100 hectares.

“You know we have a very large expanse of land for cultivation in Cross River state.

Fadama 111

“The areas with such expanse of land, include Akpabuyo, Awe and of course Yakurr, where a Chinese company plans to establish a factory.

“So, under the Fadama extension programme, you can have as many as nine clusters in a state.

“Each cluster will have a factory to process the cassava that is produced in the catchment area.”

According to him, the World Bank has set aside $200 million for Fadama 111 extension project.

He said that the state government targeted to get 10 million dollars from the grant as an additional financing for cassava production.

Elemi said that under Fadama 111 project, the state government paid its counterpart funds for five years – 2008 to 2013.

The coordinator, however, said that the 18 local governments in the state had not paid theirs completely.

“The 18 councils are collectively owing N108 million for three years. We are making efforts to see that the outstanding funds are paid,” he said.

“I am sure that as we present our case for additional financing, the issue will be resolved.”

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FG trains 140 master bakers on cassava bread in North-Central http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/11/fg-trains-140-master-bakers-on-cassava-bread-in-north-central/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/11/fg-trains-140-master-bakers-on-cassava-bread-in-north-central/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 14:15:28 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=211179 Agriculture Minister, Akinwunmi Adesina

Agriculture Minister, Akinwunmi Adesina

The Federal Government has held two-day training for 140 master bakers from North-Central zone on the Inclusion of 20 per cent Cassava Flour in Bread Production.

Mrs Olajumoke Adewolu, Assistant Chief Agriculture Officer, Root and Tuber Division, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said in Lafia on Thursday that the essence was to improve the quality of bread.

She said the inclusion of high cassava flour would reduce the cost of producing bread and put an end to the importation of wheat.

She urged the participants to accord the training the desired attention to enable them to utilise the knowledge for their trade.

Alhaji Umaru Mohammed, Nasarawa State Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, said Nigeria was the largest producer of cassava in the world.

He urged the bakers to fully maximise the abundant resources and the new initiative to improve their products.

Some of the participants toid NAN that the initiative was “a milestone toward self-actualisation”.

According to Mr Ishaya Kuje, North-Central Coordinator of Master Bakers, the innovation was economical and urged the federal government to extend the gesture to other states.

Mathew Olujede from Kogi, expressed satisfaction with the federal government’s drive and pledged to complement the effort.

NAN reports that the programme drew 20 participants each from all the states in the North-Central zone and the FCT.

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FG urges Fulani community on Almajiri education http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/09/fg-urges-fulani-community-on-almajiri-education/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/09/fg-urges-fulani-community-on-almajiri-education/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 20:47:37 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=210920 Prof. Rufai Alkali

Prof. Rufai Alkali

The Federal Government on Tuesday urged the Fulani community to take advantage of the free and qualitative education available in their localities to improve their relationship with their host communities.

The Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Prof. Rufai Alkali, gave the advice in Abuja during a courtesy visit to his office by the Miyetti Allah Cattle Rearers’ Association.

“Ensure that you send your children to school. Education is the liberation of all societies; it makes a lot of difference especially in your relationship with farmers, clients, and people around you.

“You must all go to school; the opportunity is now, and the transformation should begin from our own homes,” he said.

He also advised the visitors, who represented herdsmen in various regions, to live in peace with the farming community and erase the notion that they were troublemakers.

“You should re-establish the relationship that the cattle rearers gain from the farmers and the relationship that the farmers gain from the cattle rearers.

“Government is committed to ensuring lasting peace in all conflicts; retaliation is not the best form of action; always wait for government redress.”

The adviser also urged the association to educate the people on the need to get the Permanent Voter Cards and come out enmasse to vote in elections.

“There’s no shame in saying that you belong to the PDP; it is a thing of pride but you must get registered and ensure that you collect your voter cards.

Special Adviser to the President on Agriculture, Hajiya Baraka Sani, also reassured the association of government’s commitment to the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme for their benefit.

“We have presented a bill to the National Assembly for grazing reserves to stop interference between the rearers and farmers.

“We also have the artificial insemination technology which encourages cross breeding. If you cross breed, the meat increases and the milk increases.

Alhaji Abdullahi Bello, President of the Association, said: “We are ready to work with the President; we are close to the grassroots. We have Fulani in all parts of the country.”

NAN reports that the association, with representatives drawn Ondo, Oyo, Lagos and other states, decorated Alkali as its Grand Patron.

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Anambra’s futures hinge on agriculture – Stella Oduah http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/06/anambras-futures-hinge-on-agriculture-stella-oduah/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/06/anambras-futures-hinge-on-agriculture-stella-oduah/#comments Sat, 06 Sep 2014 18:31:37 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=210473 Stella Oduah

Stella Oduah

Former Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, said on Saturday that the economic future of Anambra lay on the development of the state’s agriculture and agro-allied business.

Oduah said this in Onitsha while addressing members of stakeholders of Anambra North Senatorial zone.

She identified robust entrepreneurship as well as investments in agriculture and agro-allied as the surest ways to get communities in Anambra out of the cycle of poverty.

“Our people have innate skills in agriculture through crop farming, fishery, agro-allied business and education.

“But it is regrettable that those skills and potential remain largely untapped; and we need people, policies and programmes to help us tap these potential,” she said.

Oduah noted that the entire Anambra North Senatorial zone should have farm settlements and storage/collection centres with independent power plants to provide energy to the storage centres.

She commended the Federal Government for approving cargo terminals in airports and export processing zones across the country.

She noted that the facilities would make it easier for those in agriculture and agro-allied business to get their farm produce to international market.

“With the approval of cargo terminals in various airports across the country, including Asaba and Owerri, the zone will begin the export of perishable agricultural goods to different parts of the world,” she said.

NAN reports that Anambra North Senatorial zone comprises Anambra East, Anambra West, Ayamelum, Ogbaru, Onitsha North, Onitsha South and Oyi local government areas.

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Osun raises 54000 oil palm seedlings http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/05/osun-raises-54000-oil-palm-seedlings/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/05/osun-raises-54000-oil-palm-seedlings/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 22:47:25 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=210355 Oil Palm Seedlings

Wale Adedoyin, Osun Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, said on Friday that the government had raised 54,750 improved oil palm seedlings to replace ageing palm trees.

Adedoyin disclosed this at Ojere farm settlement in Ife North Local Government Area of the state where the distribution of the seedlings to registered farmers was inaugurated.

The commissioner said the distribution was a component of government’s Semi Wild Groove Yield Enhancement Scheme.

He said the programme was borne out of the government’s commitment to the production of food in abundance.

He promised that the government would ensure the provision and distribution of free, unadulterated oil palm seedlings to farmers in the state.

He said the government raised 54,750 improved oil palm seedlings spread in seven nurseries in which 41,544 was the establishment count to replace ageing oil palm trees.

Adedoyin enjoined oil palm farmers at the Ojere axis, the direct beneficiaries of the pilot scheme, to use seedlings to regenerate their plantations.

Seyi Adegbembo, Project Manager of Tree Crops in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, charged farmers to make the best use of the agricultural farm inputs.

Adejumo Anthony, a beneficiary, who spoke on behalf of the farmers, described the occasion as an omen of the good things that would happen in the agricultural sector.

Adejumo described the regeneration of oil plantations as a wise investment for the state.

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Delta farmers appeal for rehabilitation of cassava mills http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/24/delta-farmers-appeal-for-rehabilitation-of-cassava-mills/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/24/delta-farmers-appeal-for-rehabilitation-of-cassava-mills/#comments Sun, 24 Aug 2014 13:37:13 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=208471 Cassava

Cassava farmers in Delta have appealed to the state government to rehabilitate the three abandoned cassava mills established by Governor James Ibori.

The state Chairman, Nigeria Cassava Growers Association (NCGA), Mr Justus Kachikwu, made the appeal in an interview with NAN in Asaba on Sunday.

Kachikwu said that the mills were located at Ubulu-Okiti, Aniocha South Local Government Area; Oghara in Ethiope-East, and Ogbe-Ijaw in Warri South-West council area.

According to him, the processing mills were at various stages of completion with the equipment already procured and waiting installation, before the projects were abandoned.

He, however, said that the state government had proposed to build six new cassava processing industries across the state, locating two in each of the three senatorial districts.

Kachikwu said although the farmers’ expectations from the proposed industries were high, but they preferred the government to complete the abandoned mills.

“I want to appeal to the state government to please help us and complete the abandoned three mills.

“If the proposed six cassava mills cannot be ready before the expiration of the tenure of this administration, the old ones should be completed,” Kachikwu said.

The chairman said that with the completion of the three mills, the association was sure of producing quality starch and other cassava by-products.

He said that the association had gone into negotiation with the communities where the six new ones would be established for procurement of lands for large scale cassava cultivation.

Kachikwu said that the measure was to ensure that enough cassava would be produced to feed the mills when established.

However, he urged the state government to expedite action on the proposed six mills to create job and ensure food security in the state.

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Grasscutter Farming Is Work In Progress http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/22/grasscutter-farming-is-work-in-progress/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/22/grasscutter-farming-is-work-in-progress/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 10:54:37 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=208136 By Prince Arinze Onebunne

In the past decade, food prices have skyrocketed to all-time high, in 2010-2011 alone, rising food prices pushed nearly 70 million people into extreme poverty.

Think about it, hundreds of millions of our fellow human beings don’t get enough to eat especially in Africa our beloved continent; many of our graduates are without jobs. Meanwhile, solutions exist. Does that make you unhappy? Then, let’s show poverty red card by investing in food production. Ultimately it is people who will bring an end to unemployment. Through our nationwide agro-seminars, Jovana Farms is leading nationwide efforts to defeat hunger, join us.

Grasscutter

Grasscutter

Nigeria has a population of about 160 million from the 6.5 billion of the world population. Even with these, less than 20 percent are rich while more than 80 percent are poor. The question you must ask yourself is…. What category do I belong? Do you earn enough? Are you tired of being bossed around or fear of being sacked anytime? Do you want to choose your own working hours? Do you need extra or part-time business that will give you extra income? If you answer yes, then plan yourself out of employment and step outside the box.

With rising unemployment rates in Nigeria, it is hard to see progress, unless we make agriculture attractive. The road to sustainable employment creation will not be found only in government establishments. Instead, it will be discovered through entrepreneurship. The Nigeria’s economic recovery programs have necessitated a radical shift from total dependence on government for jobs to self-employment.

Ever heard of grasscutter farming? No. Then you are behind time. Grasscutter breeding-the new income earner is thriving. To be in the business, all you need to do is to convert that space in your backyard into a farm. Many, who are into it, are making their millions quietly and boosting the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

At Jovana Farms we are encouraging people to start small-scale farming because it has enormous capacity to touch lives. Although, large scale farming has its own advantage, but it’s capital intensive and the risk aversion nature of our people have made it difficult for many entrepreneurs to go into it and so, the price of food has remained high in Nigeria.

Grasscutters

Grasscutters

There are inspiring and interesting accounts of backyard entrepreneurs, who have achieved tremendous financial success from this relatively low-profile, but forward- thinking venture. Many of these small scale animal farming businesses have emerged because of the country’s sluggish economy that has compelled the unemployed to look inwards.

If you have any available space at the backyard, then you don’t have problem to start grasscutter production.

Currently, there is a wide gap in the food supply chain; the demand for healthy-meat in cities is high and growing as fast as the urban population. Besides, one can start raising mushroom, grasscutter (domesticated bush-meat) and snail for profit. A little care, market planning and timely technical support can bring amazing results for any serious farmer.

 Today, we have developed a delivery system that brought the grasscutters to the doorstep of our clients. If you solve a problem, people will pay you for it. This valued-added service sky-rocketed the reputation of JOVANA FARMS as the grasscutter company of choice in Nigeria.

Other opportunities are in poultry and pig farming; it has become imperative to adopt livestock farming for sustainable agricultural production and for the economic prosperity of the farmers. This stemmed from the fact that Nigerians are becoming health conscious by avoiding the consumption of red meat that is loaded with cholesterol.

Currently, demand for domesticated bush-meat (grasscutter) is growing higher than those killed by hunters from the forest. This development may not be unconnected with the recent outbreak of Ebola virus disease in some West African countries. According to World Health Organisation, Ebola virus disease is spread by Chimpanzes, gorillas, monkeys and fruit bats. Fruit bats are considered to be the natural host of Ebola virus, not all animals.

To raise grasscutter, one requires at least N60,000. These include the cost of the 5-grasscutters and their cage. Feeding them is affordable; they are no longer bush-meat but domesticated white-meat. They are no longer ‘’grass-cutters but grass-eaters’’. The farmer is now the grasscutter because he goes into the bush to cut the grass for the animal that’s now the grass-eaters in the house.

To succeed in animal farming, new farmers are advised to “sit at the feet” of a mentor-someone that has years of experience, has made the mistake, has learned how to succeed and is willing to pass that knowledge down. Attend Jovana Farms nationwide seminars nearest to you and know more opportunities in grasscutter farming.

Visit us at www.jovanafarm.com, E-mail:jovanafarms@gmail.com or Call: 080 33262 808, for more details.

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CBN disburses N237bn to 313 agric projects http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/20/cbn-disburses-n237-bn-to-313-agric-projects/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/20/cbn-disburses-n237-bn-to-313-agric-projects/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:04:39 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=207775 Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele

Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it had disbursed N237 billion to 313 projects under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS).

CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, made this known at the 8th Micro, Small and Medium Finance Conference and Award, in Abuja on Tuesday.

Emefiele said that the loans were given to farmers from inception of CACS in 2010 to July, 2014.

He said that the credit facilities had significantly improved the comparative advantage of Nigeria’s domestic agriculture and positioned Nigerian farmers to tap into the foreign market.

He announced that the scheme which was scheduled to end in 2016 had been extended to 2025 by the Board of Directors of CBN to enable the bank to fund more projects in the scheme.

He said that the scheme, along with Agricultural Credit Support Scheme created in 2006, had boosted financing of agro-allied programmes, especially large-scaleones, in the country.

Emefiele also said that under the Nigeria Incentive Based Risked Sharing System for Agricultural lending (NIRSAL) established in 2011, 158 projects valued at about N29.1 billion were guaranteed for Ministry of Agriculture.

This, he said, was for the Federal Government’s Growth Enhancement Scheme, adding that 46 credit risk guarantee cover valued at N16.3 billion had also been issued.

Under the Power and Airline Intervention Fund established in 2010, he said that as at May, 2012, commercial banks in Nigeria had financed over 50 projects to the tune of about N233 billion.

“Going forward, the CBN’s focus will remain on sectors that can create jobs on a mass scale.

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Union, Sterling bag CBN’s agriculture awards http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/20/union-sterling-bag-cbns-agriculture-awards/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/20/union-sterling-bag-cbns-agriculture-awards/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 06:59:53 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=207782 Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor

Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor

The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, on Tuesday has rewarded Union Bank of Nigeria for supporting the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme for Farmers (ACGSF) with N4.2 billion in 2013.

He said that a total of 14,752 farmers benefitted from the bank’s fund during the period.

Emefiele spoke while presenting the award of CBN’s Best-Support Bank on ACGSF award to the bank at the 8th Annual Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Finance Conference and Entrepreneurship Award in Abuja.

Emefiele and President Goodluck Jonathan jointly presented the award to the bank at the ceremony.

He said that Union Bank’s contribution to the scheme represented 77.62 per cent and 74.65 per cent of the total fund and number of beneficiaries of loans, respectively, granted by all commercial banks under the scheme during the period.

NAN reports that ACGSF was established by the Federal Government to bridge the significant shortfall in credit to agricultural sector by providing a 75 per cent cover for banks that offer loans to farmers.

The fund managed by the CBN, has been in existence for 36 years. “Union Bank has proved to be the most farmer-friendly bank in the country.

“Equally significant is the highly impressive loan recovery rate during the year, a record that is attributed to its formidable loan recovery strategies and professional support given to farmer,” Emefiele said.

Similarly, Sterling Bank Plc received an award as the Best-Performing Bank in Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) for sponsoring nine projects valued at N6.18 billion.

NAN reports that CACS was established in 2009 to finance large ticket projects along the agricultural value chain through the provision of credit facilities to commercial agricultural enterprise at a single digit interest of nine per cent.

In 2013, 12 banks participated in the scheme and disbursed a total of N26.50 billion to 37 projects across the country.

For the award to corporate organizations, Sion Economic Alliance and ARAC Farmers’ Cooperative, PortHarcourt, won the best National Farmer of the year award under Fisheries and Arable Crops categories, respectively.

Under Tree Crop, and Poultry categories, Prof. Vincent Iyawe and Bay Farms Nigeria Limited, won the award as best National Farmers of the year, respectively.

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Amaechi launches distribution of 1,000 tiller machines to Sokoto farmers http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/15/amaechi-launches-distribution-of-1000-tiller-machines-to-sokoto-farmers/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/15/amaechi-launches-distribution-of-1000-tiller-machines-to-sokoto-farmers/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 16:59:25 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=207183 Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State

Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State

Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State on Friday in Kasarawa village, Wamakko local government of Sokoto State, launched the distribution to farmers 1,000 tiller machines purchased by the state government.

NAN reports that Amaechi began a two-day official visit to Sokoto State on Wednesday. Speaking at the event, he said that the only plausible solution to most of the problems of Nigeria was “heavy” investment in agriculture.

“It creates employment for skilled workers, hence makes them to be engaged productively.”

He appealed to the beneficiaries to utilise the machines properly, to boost food production and food security. Amaechi further urged that leaders desist from dividing Nigerians using religion.

The governor advocated the reduction of the existing wide gap between the rich and the poor in Nigeria. “This is absolutely necessary to ensure even socio-economic development, unity, peace and prosperity,” he added.

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, said that the machines would empower farmers and enhance their productivity.

“Most of the rural dwellers in the state and Nigeria in general, are farmers and they need to be assisted with such tools.

“Farmers should be further encouraged and assisted to keep on producing food for the nation and for export.

“A hungry man is an angry man and most of the violence and insecurity in Nigeria is due to hunger,” Abubakar said.
The sultan thanked Amaechi for the visit, which he said would strengthen the bonds of peace, unity and understanding among Nigerians.

Gov. Aliyu Wamakko, in his speech, maintained that agriculture is the occupation of over 90 per cent of the people of the state and Nigeria in general.

“The gesture is to encourage the people to farm and live happy as well as be peaceful. The economy of the nation should be diversified to avoid the unpalatable consequences of total dependence on oil revenue.”

He further underscored the importance of food to mankind, saying: “With food all other sundry needs can follow.”

The Agriculture Commissioner, Alhaji Arzika Tureta said that the tiller machines were aimed at mechanising the agricultural sector in the state.

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Nigeria Has No Business With Poverty http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/01/nigeria-has-no-business-with-poverty/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/01/nigeria-has-no-business-with-poverty/#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 13:24:35 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=205251 By Prince Arinze Onebunne

Nigeria exploits of old in agricultural commodities like groundnuts in the Northern part, oil palm, rubber, rice in the South-east and South-south and cocoa in the South-west, should be remembered with emphasis on how we lost ground in the trade of these commodities to countries far and near. The corresponding losses in revenue; not only from failure to maintain production but the graduation to net importing. The overall picture is that of a person who abandoned healthy limbs only to borrow crutches.

If Singapore, Brazil, Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, etc. -countries that started roughly at par with Nigeria at independence-are now producing aeroplanes and other finished goods while Nigeria is merely a net importer of finished goods, including tooth picks, and gross exporter of primary commodities, much, then, is left to be desired.

Our inability to favorably compete in the world of agriculture, loosing to nations that learnt from us, procured initial inputs from us and later turned round to supply our need in the same commodity, as well as other nations that had better plans, foresight and governance. The Malaysian experience serves as an eye opener showing the need to invest in agriculture. It is not for nothing that the World Bank sponsored agricultural extension through the ADP for over 22 years, expecting that this will be continued by the country and states, on withdrawal. Instead, the ADP of many states have either totally collapse or near that. The contributions of certain livestock and crops to the economy and development of some regions in the past are well known to our people. These animals and crops appear to be suitable for the regions and, therefore, of economic advantage. For instance, cotton, cattle, and groundnut in the North, oil palm, rice, rubber and timber in the South-east and South-south, cocoa in the South-west and so on. Will it be wrong to re-anchor the production of these agricultural produce in the regions especially given that these commodities still command economic respect globally?

The World Bank makes it clear that the foundation for development and for breaking the backbone of poverty is investment in agriculture. The greatest need of the poor is food. Mankind must first of all eat, drink, have shelter and clothing before it can pursue politics, science, art, religion and other endeavors. No government can create enough jobs for her citizens; government creates the enabling environment, while the people create the jobs themselves. It is agriculture that creates the highest number of employment in the society.

Over ten million jobs can be created in animal farming alone. The corporate bodies can engage the army of unemployed youths which is at present dominated by the people who are mostly school leavers, with senior secondary school certificates and graduates of tertiary institutions. Nigeria’s over dependence on oil is a risky option, if banks, oil and telecommunication companies can ventures into agriculture, then this country will bounce back. Nigeria is a fertile area for agriculture; but many of us abandon agriculture for the oil sector. We feel farming is only meant for our grandparents in the village.

Nigeria soil is five times more fertile and arable than Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, China and yet we import over N2 trillion in wheat, rice, sugar, flour, poultry and fish every year.

This dilemma is not confined to the urban areas, as rural unemployment is on the rise. These various dimension of employment reflect the undiversified structure of the economy, a factor which restricts and affects the scope for reasonable job creation.

One of the smartest things the Nigerian government can do is to encourage Nigerians to go back to agriculture especially help farmers take advantages of their greatest asset-micro and small livestock production. Most small farmers own a few cows, some pigs, grasscutters, goats, fish, rabbit and poultry. But many don’t understand the many roles these animals can play towards boosting a farm’s income, so the animals are underutilized. It was the realization of huge potentials that agriculture holds for development and poverty reduction in the country that motivated JOVANA FARMS to launch nationwide agro-awareness creation and sensitization seminars, to make agricultural sector a major area of government intervention in Nigeria. The company’s intervention strategies were based on its sound understanding of the problems associated with agricultural development in the country which include, lack of access to improve farm inputs; new adoptable agricultural technologies, marketing, packaging, exporting and financing.

Jovana farms organizes nationwide sensitization training seminars on the practical ways of making it through small scale animal farming. Attend our nationwide seminars nearest to you and know more opportunities in agriculture.

Visit www.jovanafarms.com, E-mail: jovanafarms@gmail.com or Call TEL: 080 33262808 for more details.

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Grasscutter Farming: The Wonderful New Doorway To Success http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/21/grasscutter-farming-the-wonderful-new-doorway-to-success/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/21/grasscutter-farming-the-wonderful-new-doorway-to-success/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 11:54:53 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=203779 By Prince Arinze Onebunne

There are many reasons for keeping and raising grasscutters. Not only are they friendly, but they will entertain you with their antics. In addition, the grasscutter will also eat up your kitchen vegetable waste. Mankind must first of all eat, drink, have shelter and clothing before it can pursue politics, science, art, religion etc.

Grasscutter farming is great if you have a space as small as a room, parking store or kitchen. They are very little trouble; they can get most or all of their food from eating grass. They are one of the most efficient bush-meat producers. In their wild state, grasscutters are one of the many creatures that practice polygamy. In domestication they’re more promiscuous. They breed like pigs.

Grasscutter

Grasscutter

It’s understandable if farmers fail in livestock farming such as poultry, piggery and fish farming; because of their high cost of production. But, farmers will never fail in grasscutter breeding because 95% of their feed is sourced free. Nigeria needs entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs create jobs; lift the standard of living, usher new technology into society, and keep competition alive in the marketplace.

Friends, are you ready to get started on animal breeding? Don’t delay. I want you to take a deep thought on the inspiring words of George Cecil which says: “On the plains of hesitation, bleach the bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of victory, sat down to wait, and waiting—died! Make hays while the sun shines. After reading this piece, do not waste time, it’s never too late to start your own grasscutter farm.

Albert Einstein’s parents were sure he was retarded because he spoke haltingly until the age of nine and even after that would respond to questions only after a long period of deliberation. He performed so badly in his high school courses, except mathematics, that a teacher told him to drop out, saying, ‘’You will never amount to anything, Einstein.’’ Charles Darwin did so poorly in school that his father told him, ‘’You will be a disgrace to yourself and all your family.’’ Thomas Edison was called ‘’dunce’’ by his father and ‘’addled’’ by his high school teacher and was told by his headmaster that he ‘’would never make a success of anything.’’ Henry Ford barely made it through school with the minimum grasp of reading and writing. Sir Isaac Newton was so poor in school that he was allowed to continue only because he was a complete flop at running the family farm. Pablo Picasso was pulled out of school at the age of 10 because he was doing so badly. His father hired a tutor to prepare him to go back to school, but the tutor gave up on the hopeless pupil. Giacomo Puccini, the Italian opera composer, was so poor at everything as a child, including music that his first music teacher gave up in despair, concluding the boy had no talent. And the list goes on.

Grasscutter meat

Grasscutter meat

If we can be so far amiss in recognizing types of intelligence that are a bit different from the norm and yet belong to members of our own species who are destined to make great contributions. Life is too short to spend it unfulfilled; You can still make it through grasscutter farming.

Are you keen on making naira from animal breeding? The following tips will guide you to succeed.

Believe you can make it happen: Napoleon Hill the great American author has said, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, the mind of man can achieve with positive mental attitude.”

Be ready to work hard: Success in livestock farming requires diligence. No food for a lazy man, they say.

Be passionate: Every business has its challenges. Animal production is not an exception. If you really desire success in this line of business, you have got to be passionate.

At our nationwide seminars; we lead participants into the secrets to success in grasscutter breeding.  Some of its unique features are:

Investing in grasscutter farming is a wise choice. The animal is prolific. The female litter twice a year and one female can litter as many as eight young ones at a time if well fed.

The capital requirement for grasscutter rearing is very low compared to the good returns the farmer stands to reap from the venture. With less than N60,000 you can kick start grasscutter farming.

Presently in Nigeria, the market for grasscutter meat is immense and not being met by the few available farmers.

Attend JOVANA FARMS nationwide seminars nearest to you and learn about grasscutter farming. Visit us at www.jovanafarms.com, TEL: 08033262808, E-mail: jovanafarms@gmail.com for more details.

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Jonathan tasks Bayelsans on agric development http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/19/jonathan-tasks-bayelsans-on-agric-development/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/19/jonathan-tasks-bayelsans-on-agric-development/#comments Sat, 19 Jul 2014 15:33:13 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=203590 President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has charged the people of Bayelsa state to engage in vigorous undertakings to speed up the economic development of the state.

Jonathan gave the charge in Yenagoa during the opening ceremony of the first Bayelsa Investment and Economic Forum (BSIEFORUM).

The President, who was represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo, described the economic forum as a great opportunity to secure and acquire knowledgeable ideas to diversify the economy.

“You have to pay attention to agriculture on land and sea because the importance of farming to economic growth cannot be neglected.

“The government itself should place the business of agriculture and education on high priority; focus should also be given to infrastructure; these are the major keys for development.

“Bayelsa has been beautiful for investment right from its creation in 1996; the state is undoubtedly green in vegetation and green for investment opportunity.

“I will also like to urge the state government to redouble efforts in securing peace and security in Bayelsa and in all of the Niger Delta states,” he said.

In his address, Governor Seriake Dickson said the state was poised to advance the available investment opportunities, describing the economic forum as a clarion call to all Bayelsans.

“Today’s programme is not going to be talk show but basically on workshop to enlighten the potential businessmen and women on the need to diversify the economy.

“We are going to get the youths back to production in order to develop the endless potential that abound in the state for investment.

“Our land must be used for wealth creation; I urge the youths to get involved in food production and I must say that we are ready to partner with the private sector to exploit the business ideas. Bayelsa is a virgin waiting for a bride for business; our land and sea are very ripe for business.

“I welcome all investors to the state and I must assure you that we have a conducive environment for a growing economy,” he said.

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Zamfara plans N1bn loan for farmers http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/19/zamfara-plans-n1bn-loan-for-farmers/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/19/zamfara-plans-n1bn-loan-for-farmers/#comments Sat, 19 Jul 2014 15:27:02 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=203591 Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State

Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State

Zamfara Government plans to access N1 billion loan to be disbursed to farmers to boost food production in the state, said Governor Abdulaziz Yari in Gusau on Thursday.

Yari made this known while launching the National Agriculture Payment Initiative (NAPI).

Represented by the Commissioner of Agriculture, Alhaji Idris Rikiji, the governor said that the money would be borrowed from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and that the farmers would access the loan through UBA Bank Plc.

According to him, the state government sells 50 kg of fertiliser at N1,000 and also gives 50 per cent subsidy on all agricultural inputs to farmers.

“This administration is ready to go to any length in assisting farmers to improve their livelihoods.”

Also speaking at the event, a representative of the CBN, Henry Walter, said that the introduction of the cashless society would benefit Nigerians, especially farmers as it encouraged e-payment.

Walter said that CBN had interest in agriculture and was ready to encourage them to work harder with an assurance of financial assistance.

Managing Director of Cellulant Nigeria Limited, Bolaji Akinboro, spoke on the importance of the e-wallet programme through which the Federal Government’s Growth Enhancement Support scheme is being implemented.

Akinboro said that it facilitates easy access to agricultural products, including loans.

He urged farmers insure their farms in order to receive assistance in the event of any disaster.

He further said that if a farmer collected a bag of fertiliser, he would be entitled to N20,000 loan, two bags of fertiliser would attract N40, 000 loan.

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Nigeria to produce 22mn tonnes of additional food by 2015 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/19/nigeria-to-produce-22mn-tonnes-of-additional-food-by-2015/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/19/nigeria-to-produce-22mn-tonnes-of-additional-food-by-2015/#comments Sat, 19 Jul 2014 13:55:24 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=203570 Nigeria's Agriculture Minister Akinwunmi Adesina speaks at a conference on agriculture in Nigeria's capital Abuja

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has said that Nigeria would surpass its target and produce 22 million tonnes of additional food by 2015.

Adesina made this known on Friday during a media chat on self-sufficiency in rice in Abuja. “When we started in 2011, our aim was to produce additional 20 million tonnes of food to the existing production.

“As at the end of 2013, 17 million tonnes of additional food had been produced since 2011 and by 2015, 22 million tonnes of additional food would be produced,” he said.

Adesina said Nigeria was now the reference point for agriculture on the continent as the country was rapidly closing food importation gap.

He observed that the impact of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) was noticeable as food import had dropped by N2.5 billion in the last three years.

According to him, when ATA started in 2011, the land area for rice production was increased by 1.9 million hectares.

He said rice varieties known as Faro 44 and 52, which was as good as the imported rice, had been introduced to about six million local farmers.

Adesina said these varieties could give farmers five to six tonnes per hectare as against the one to two tonnes per hectare hitherto produced from the local grain.

He said the intervention of the Goodluck Jonathan administration had seen the production of paddy rice grow from four million tonnes to nine million tonnes in the last three years.

Within the same period, Adesina said integrated rice mills had also increased from one to 18 in the country, with lots of small-scale millers also processing the commodity.

He said the ongoing revolution in the rice sub-sector was adding a lot to the domestic economy of rice producing states, which had increased from10 states at the start of the programme to 22 states today.

The minister noted that a total of N750 billion had been added to the economy of the states and thousands of jobs had been created as youths no longer sought cheap temporary jobs during the dry season.

Adesina described rice importation as `prodigal economy’, saying that Nigeria had no business importing rice when rice could be grown in all parts of the country.

He blamed the situation on oil discovery but acknowledged that the situation was changing as rice produced in Kebbi was being processed in Lagos, boosting economic relations between the states and creating wealth and jobs locally.

According to him, Nigerian rice is being sold in markets across the country and that Nigerians were consuming it without knowing it.

Adesina said the ministry was working in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance to set up paddy rice bulk collection centres, where there would be guaranteed price for the commodity.

He said that rice importers must produce or process rice locally before they would be allowed to import, to meet the total demand of the country.

On the menace of rice smuggling into the country, Adesina stressed the need to protect local farmers by effectively manning the borders, adding that the government was determined to cub the activities of saboteurs.

The minister attributed the successes recorded in the sub-sector to the support of President Goodluck Jonathan and the collaborative efforts of state governments especially their contributions to the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme.

He advised unemployed youths to get involved in agriculture, saying “people do not eat gas or drink oil but eat food to stay alive.”

Adesina urged them to form clusters as that would enable them to have access to funds set aside by government to support youths in agriculture.

On the impact of climate change on agriculture, the minister said that government was interested in insurance cover for farmers, stressing that the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) had been repositioned to meet the demands of farmers.

He said the government was also putting in place an insurance programme called “Farming with Peace’’ which targets about 10 million farmers.

Adesina said that in order to eliminate the drudgery of hoe and cutlass agriculture which he described as `punishment’, the government was setting up 250 agricultural equipment hiring centres across the country to enable farmers to practice mechanised farming.

He said the centres would be managed by the private sector, adding that the would continue to provide subsidies to farmers via their mobile phones, and also enable them to access the equipment.

According to him, saying that N20 billion had been mobilised for the project.

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Grasscutter Farming: Turning Passion Into Profit http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/11/grasscutter-farming-turning-passion-into-profit/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/11/grasscutter-farming-turning-passion-into-profit/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 15:49:23 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=202559 By Prince Arinze Onebunne

The world needs entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs create jobs; lift the standard of living, usher new technology into society, and keep competition alive in the marketplace.

At Jovana Farms, we aim to bring agro business opportunities to the easy reach of our teeming population. As you will agree, we live in frightening times as these facts and statistics show:

About 54% of Nigerian Youths are unemployed, less than 3% make it on their own in business today. Jobs are getting workers no-where. Millions feel swallowed up by the economy. Workers are working hard, but hardly making ends meet. No pension or social security, and so no retirement. About 40 million Nigerians are unemployed. And the list goes on: Would you be open minded to hearing about a business if it could potentially add substantially to your income, without jeopardizing what you do now? Is this the right time in your life that you could take action if presented with something that had enormous financial potential? Do you keep your eyes open to making money in areas outside of your business or career? One of the best and overlooked ways to earn more money is to develop alternative income streams by investing in grasscutter farming.

Grasscutter

Grasscutter

Life is too short to spend it unfulfilled. If you are looking for a new direction to explore business diversification try grasscutter farming. Joblessness and insufficient income can be  a thing of the past, as you can make over 500 percent returns by investing N60,000 on grasscutter farming, and turn your passion for animal farming into a big business!. Sadly Nigerians inclination to go into business in the field where thousand have already made their fortunes has led to the utter neglect of such lucrative area as grasscutter breeding.

“If you want to succeed, strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success. Explore uncharted business paths” Grasscutter farming though a relatively new in livestock farming, is a viable commercial venture. Only few Nigerians for now have penetrated the lucrative market and reaping cool big-profit without stress. What are you still waiting for? Stop guessing and join the growing business. Do you know that demand for grasscutter meat can never be met? And that cost of production is cheap and the high rate of multiplication is amazing? Are you aware that with few grasscutters, your passion for animal farming could be transformed into prosperity? Pass the message.

Nigeria’s academic curriculum is defective and this had led to limited teaching techniques and dearth of thinking abilities among the youths. The increasing unemployment in the country was the result of poor policy planning and implementation of the nation’s educational system.

Grasscutters

Grasscutters

The standard of education in the USA and Asia were designed to test the ability of students to think independently and develop their initiatives. Knowledge and its application are deployed to the creation of entrepreneurial opportunities in developed nations and this they achieve by fashioning a school system that teaches students actualization of scientific processes for the purpose of creating wealth for individuals and collective benefit. The educational system in such countries revolves around inspiring young minds to undertake researches that explore the sustainable usage of resources. The rising unemployment should also be blamed on the disconnect between learning and societal needs. The Nigeria educational curriculum teaches more of theory and neglect practical. Sound education is knowledge through practical and it is sad that many people have the wrong notion of what education is all about. In the US, there is what is called ‘New Generation Standard’ which is a policy designed to aid learning and move away from the conservative approach. The missing link in Nigeria today is the practical experience and understanding of what the society needs.

We should let our youths understand that no government can create enough jobs for its citizen, government creates enabling environment while the people create jobs themselves. Our people should be taught how to be part of the solution and not job seekers.

At Jovana Farms, we are  looking inwards and focusing on the neglected, but vital sources of animal protein for household diets, export  and employment  generation. Therefore our nationwide agro-seminar is intended to provide useful information on the various aspects of animal production, create awareness and thus motivate Nigerians to get involved in agriculture. Attend our nationwide seminars nearest to you and learn about grasscutter farming.

Visit us at www.jovanafarms.com, TEL: 08033262808, E-mail: jovanafarms@gmail.com for more details.

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Farming More Lucrative Than Banking http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/03/farming-more-lucrative-than-banking/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/03/farming-more-lucrative-than-banking/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 06:16:37 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=201366 When Prince Lanre Ettu left banking for farming, his friends questioned his decision. They thought he had made a costly mistake, but that decision paid off years later.

For Prince Ettu, farming is far more lucrative than banking. He earns five times more as a farmer than he did as a banker.

His love for farming dates back to when he lived with his maternal grandmother who was a big time cocoa and plantain farmer. This has probably influenced his decision to cultivate plantain and cassava on his 200-acre farm in Ijaye, Oyo State and a 50-acre farm in Ijebu, Ogun State.

Ettu’s venture into farming made him discover the appalling poverty level of farmers. He was inspired to do something to better the lives of people in the grassroots in his own little way.

Prince Lanre Ettu

Prince Lanre Ettu

So he got together with a number of like minds in 2013, at a historic meeting in Akure the capital of Ondo State and formed the Grassroots Forum, a socio-economic platform for the emancipation of the people in the grassroots.

In collaboration with people like Olajuwon, who is the National Co-ordinator of the Grassroots Forum, Pastor Olowookere, and Comrade Adeoti, the Grassroots Forum came into being.

Prince Ettu was mandated to convene the Lagos Chapter of the Grassroots Forum, which he has so far done very well. Speaking recently, he stated that: “We decided to sensitize the people in the grassroots, so that they can stop being deceived by the politicians. I was assigned to nurture the Grassroots Forum in Lagos.

“I can tell you that within one year, with the contributions of coordinators, we have mobilised more than 8,000 members across all 57 local government and LCDAs in Lagos. We hold regular meetings which we rotate around all the local governments. Our membership include artisans, tailors, farmers, traders, market people and even professionals in different areas of human endeavour. We welcome people that are very passionate about creating a better life for people in the grassroots across Nigeria.”

According to him, one of the objectives of the Grassroots Forum is to encourage more young people to go into farming since it is lucrative. He commended President Goodluck Jonathan for the enabling environment created for farmers through the Minister of Agriculture. This he says has encouraged more people like him to embrace farming as an occupation and it is paying off handsomely.

“We want grassroots people, especially farmers, to have a better life, so we have helped many of our members who are farmers, traders, fishermen, artisans etc, get micro credits to put food on their tables and take care of their families. We help to package credit facilities for farmers and also link them to growth enhancing schemes of the federal government for the agricultural sector. We have also helped lots of our members to access jobs in the Federal Government’s SURE-P employment scheme,” he added.

The convener of the Grassroots Forum in Lagos said he got his inspiration from the likes of Prince Buruji Kashamu whom he likened to the late MKO Abiola in terms of philanthropy. He says Kashamu has placed thousands on scholarships and empowered thousands with tricycles, taxis, tailoring equipment, mechanic tools , etc.

Presently, the Grassroots Forum is embarking on a moral re-armament advocacy for the youth due to the appalling moral laxity in the society.

With the enlisting of religious clerics the group hopes to reach out to the youth through various media to encourage them to shun crime, embrace peace, integrity and work towards their dreams.

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