P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Agriculture http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Thu, 15 Jan 2015 17:32:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 If not for Jonathan’s intervention in agriculture, says PDP http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/09/if-not-for-jonathans-intervention-in-agriculture-says-pdp/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/09/if-not-for-jonathans-intervention-in-agriculture-says-pdp/#comments Fri, 09 Jan 2015 07:30:16 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=225624 President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday said that the timely intervention of President Goodluck Jonathan in agriculture had placed Nigeria on the sure path to food sufficiency, noting that, Jonathan’s intervention saved the agriculture sector.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Olisa Metuh, in statement in Abuja, said that the president had delivered and strategically re-engineered the sector, noting that, the effort had resulted in direct impact on the welfare of the citizens in line with the PDP manifesto.

He said that PDP had the avowed commitment to uplift the living standard of Nigerians. “In the last four years, the Jonathan administration repositioned agriculture from the traditional subsistence occupation to an investment-driven, wealth-creating sector that guarantees food security in the country.

“Under President Jonathan our country has through strategic partnership with the private sector expanded food production by an additional 21 million metric tonnes between 2011 and 2014,” Metuh said.

The record, PDP spokesman, added had exceeded the nation’s set target of 20 million metric tonnes set for 2015.

He said that between 2013 and July 2014, the nation’s food import bill declined by USD5.3 billion and still falling, even with the country`s increasing population.

Metuh said that in the period under review, additional nine million metric tonnes of food was produced while over 2.7 million farm jobs were created.

He expressed joy that with all these achievements, “Nigeria now ranks as one of the biggest food producers in Africa”.

He added that under the Jonathan administration, the country met its Millennium Development Goals on agriculture and food production, two years ahead of the 2015 target set by the United Nations.

This, it said, earned the country a special award by the Food and Agriculture Organisation.

This feat, Metuh said, was achieved by meticulous implementation of deliberate policies that empowered millions of farmers and strategic investors with private sector investment, rising to about USD5.6 billion.

“For instance, encouraged by the Federal Government, the Dangote Group is investing USD1billion in commercial rice production and processing expected to raise Nigeria’s export capacity in the next five years.

“Other entrepreneurs, including foreign firms, are also investing in food production and processing, following the favourable business environment provided by the government.

The PDP spokesman further said that under the present administration, Nigerian farmers enjoyed bumper harvest as a result of benefits they derived from special intervention initiatives.

These initiatives include the Nigerian Seed Venture Capital Fund and the deregulation of fertiliser distribution, which he said, had guaranteed farmers direct access to fertiliser and other farm inputs.

“Today, under the e-wallet system, developed by the Jonathan administration, 14 million farmers access fertiliser directly using their mobile phones.

“Nigeria is recorded as the first country in the world with such innovation.”

This achievement, he said, was in addition to the Nagropreneurs Programme used by the government to encourage young graduates and students in post primary schools to actively participate in commercial agriculture.

He pledged that the PDP would ensure that their governments at all levels continue to pay greater attention to agriculture.

He, therefore, urged Nigerians to massively vote for Jonathan in the Feb. 14 election and all other PDP candidates in the subsequent polls, to enable the government sustain its towering achievements in agriculture.

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Nigeria world’s largest producer of yam http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/28/nigeria-worlds-largest-producer-of-yam/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/28/nigeria-worlds-largest-producer-of-yam/#comments Sun, 28 Dec 2014 19:08:06 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=224296 Yam

A geneticist at the University of Ibadan, Dr Morufat Balogun, on Sunday said Nigeria produced 70 per cent of the yam grown annually and globally.

Balogun, who is also a researcher at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, said this in an interview with NAN in Ibadan.

She said while Nigeria grew 70 per cent of yam annually, other countries shared the remaining 30 per cent.

She said that between 37 and 40 million of metric tons of yam were produced in the world annually.

“Nigeria alone produces 70 per cent of yam every year all over the world, the remaining 30 per cent is shared among Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo and Benin Republic,” Balogun said.

She said in some areas in Southern America, some varieties of the commodity were also produced adding that the production of yam both for import and export largely depended on Nigeria.

“If Nigeria stops to produce yam today, the global production of yam will reduce by 70 per cent and it will affect exportation,” she said.

The expert said that production of yam if properly harnessed, could turn around the standard of living of millions of farmers and other investors interested in the business.

She advised farmers to plant more yam so as to improve the economy, saying that the crop could liberate Africa from excessive rice consumption.

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Ogun promises food sufficiency in 2015 – Sokefun http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/24/ogun-promises-food-sufficiency-in-2015-sokefun/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/24/ogun-promises-food-sufficiency-in-2015-sokefun/#comments Wed, 24 Dec 2014 17:24:15 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=223873 Abiodun Onafuye/Abeokuta

Mrs Ronke Sokefun

Mrs Ronke Sokefun

Residents of Ogun state, southwest, Nigeria have been assured of sufficient food production as well as food security in the state in the year 2015.

This was revealed on Tuesday by the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mrs Ronke Sokefun while defending year 2015 budget before the State House of Assembly Committee on Finance and Appropriation at the Assembly Complex, Oke–Mosan Abeokuta.

She hinted that agriculture boost will form the major thrust of ministry’s activities in the coming new year.

Sokefun however disclosed that the Ministry has proposed the sum of N4.690b as total expenditure for 2015 ,which according to her is set to stimulate increase in the production of both plant and animal origin through the cultivation of farmlands.

The Agriculture Commissioner said the capital project in 2015 would gulp N4bn, while N690m had been earmarked for recurrent expenditure with a sum of N350m as revenue target for the next fiscal year.

She noted that on capital project to be executed next year, N11.9m would be expended on purchase of agriculture equipment, just as another N108m was set aside for production of farm seedlings.

Meanwhile, the Ogun State Agriculture Development Corporation said it proposed the sum of N181m as its total budget for 2015.

The agency disclosed that of the amount; N122m was meant for capital projects, while N59m would go for recurrent expenditure.

The agency has revealed that its revenue target for the next fiscal year stands at N175m.

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Netherlands unveils plan to develop Nigeria’s agriculture sector http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/14/netherlands-unveils-plan-to-develop-nigerias-agriculture-sector/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/14/netherlands-unveils-plan-to-develop-nigerias-agriculture-sector/#comments Sun, 14 Dec 2014 17:53:51 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=222890 Agriculture Minister, Akinwunmi Adesina

Agriculture Minister, Akinwunmi Adesina

The Head of Netherlands Representation in Lagos, Mr Michel Deelen, on Sunday said that his government planned to provide Nigerian farmers with technical assistance to increase their crops production.

Deelen told NAN in Lagos that it was imperative for Netherlands to support Nigeria because of the existing cordial relationship between both countries in different areas.

The envoy, however, said that the agriculture sector was one major area of cooperation where Netherlands would sustain relationship with Nigeria in the years ahead.

“Agriculture is one major area of Netherlands cooperation with Nigeria and this is expected to grow in the years ahead.

“Netherlands was actually the number one destination count for Nigerian agricultural products in 2013.

“We are, therefore, going to be giving technical assistance to Nigerian farmer to boost their crops production in 2015,” he said.

Deelen, also the deputy Ambassador of Netherlands to Nigeria, said that his country depended largely on Nigeria’s cocoa and other products.

The envoy expressed optimism that the assistance would increase the farmers’ production in the year and beyond.

According to him, Nigerian farmers can be made to grow from subsistence farmers to larger ones.

“We are, therefore, going to be sharing our experiences in products development with Nigerian farmers so that farmers can improve on their agricultural products in the years ahead.

“We strongly believe that Nigerian farmers can grow from being subsistence into big mechanised farmers producing for local and international consumption,” he said.

Deelen said that his government was committed to investing in Nigeria’s agriculture and development of animal feed companies.

He said that the Netherlands Embassy in Nigeria would continue to facilitate agricultural development services for Nigerian farmers.

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Goat Farming: Nigerians Embrace Foreign Breeds http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/12/goat-farming-nigerians-embrace-foreign-breeds/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/12/goat-farming-nigerians-embrace-foreign-breeds/#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2014 11:41:20 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=222648 By Prince Arinze Onebunne

Goat farming is becoming very popular day by day. Several businessmen are now considering establishing goat farming business, with focus on high yielding breeds. This is because goat is one of the main meat and milk producing animals. Goat’s milk and meat have huge domestic demand.

Therefore, commercial goat farming (under intensive or semi-intensive system) has been gaining momentum in the past few years. High demand for goat and goat products has made good economic returns of its initial investment possible. Easy accessibility to improved goat species and farming techniques has also made the business attractive to farmers. As a result, numerous commercial goat farms are now springing up in the country.

Choosing the right goat breeds for your commercial farm is very important. There are numerous breeds around the world. Some goat breeds produce quality skins and fiber. In Nigeria, the three main breeds of goat we have are: West African Dwarf, Sokoto Maradi Red and Borno Sahel White. The WAD goats are found in the southern parts of the country. It has the potential of good tasty meat with a good reproductive performance.

Kalahari she-goat

Kalahari she-goat

The Sokoto Maradi Red is found in the Northern part of the country and is well adapted to arid conditions. This breed produces good milk and meat and is highly notable for production of fine leather materials.

The Borno Sahel White which are also found in the semi-arid area in Northern Nigeria, is a good producer of meat and milk, but highly susceptible to trypanosomiasis.

However, the introduction of Boer and Kalahari Red breeds from South Africa into Nigeria has made them exotic breeds and the new game changer in modern goat farming in the country.

It is not for nothing that some state government have imported these exotic breeds from South Africa to sell to local farmers in their respective states with a view to reproducing them for beef, leather and dairy purposes, thereby encouraging profitable goat farming. Surely, ‘’A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones’’.

This exotic South African breeds have better body conformation and are the type of livestock that easily adapt to the climate condition of the country. ‘’The South African Boer goat has brown head and neck but Kalahari Red is red all over.

At JOVANA FARMS we remain committed to providing farmers with quality breeds of farm animals. We have what it takes to make you successful; if you desire to invest in animal production anytime. We are ready and experienced to train, guide and mentor you wisely from site survey, farm set-up to the supply of fast growing animal species.

Kalahari he-goat

Kalahari he-goat

Goat eats wide range of vegetables, grasses, leaves, grains, tubers etc. In fact, goat can thrive on any edible material if allowed to forage freely. For mass production, Supplement food is needed for good health and fast growth.

Goats reach puberty between 6 and 12 months, depending on the breed and nutritional status. Female goats come into estrus every 21 days for 3 to 50 hours. In addition to natural mating, artificial insemination has gained popularity among modern goat breeders, as it allows easy access to a wide variety of bloodlines. Gestation period is approximately 150 days. They usually bear twins or more depending on the specie.

Goat farming has many benefits. As a result, it is very popular around the globe. The main benefits of commercial goat farming are listed as follows.

Goat meat is low in fat and it’s widely acceptable as source of food nutrient across ethnic and religious persuasions. It has excellent meat-quality and does not trigger allergic reactions when consumed.

Skin from the Kalahari Red provides the best leather material for the tannery industries. This, if properly harnessed for international trade, has a great potential as a foreign exchange earner and can put Nigeria in an enviable position in the global leather industry.

Contact us for consultancy or attend Jovana Farms seminars nearest to you and know more opportunities in goat farming. Can’t attend? Order for self-tutorial VCD & BOOK. Visit us at www.jovanafarms.com, E-mail:jovanafarms@gmail.com or Call: 080 33262 808, for more details.

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Cassava production will hit 51million metric tonnes by 2017 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/13/cassava-production-will-hit-51million-metric-tonnes-by-2017/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/13/cassava-production-will-hit-51million-metric-tonnes-by-2017/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 07:03:17 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219492 Abiodun Onafuye/Abeokuta

Agriculture Minister, Akinwunmi Adesina

Agriculture Minister, Akinwunmi Adesina

The Federal Government has revealed that its target is to increase cassava production by 2017 to 51 million metric tonnes, about 11 million metric tonnes increase from between 38million and 40million metric tonnes that it presently produces.

The FG also revealed that it has earnmarked the sum of N3.4 billion to support and upgrade the equipments for the Small and Medium Entrepreneurs.

The FG disclosed that the said amount has been deposited with the Bank of Industry, BoI, which will disburse the fund to the targeted people including Master Bakers and the SME’s who are producing the high quality cassava flour.

This was disclosed on Tuesday at a training workshop on quality management systems for flash dried high quality cassava flour held at the Peak Products Cassava Flour factory, located at Lala village, near Wasinmi in Ewekoro, Ogun state.

Minister of Agriculture, Akinwunmi Adesina who was represented by his Technical Adviser on Cassava Value chain, Mrs Toyin Adetunji, maintained that the Bank of Industry is in a better position to handle the fund.

“It is good the bank handles it because of the recovery of the fund. The monies will be given out as loan and the loan will be recovered by the bank. On the matter that the money may go to the wrong people, sometimes, you need to do investigative work. When you hear such thing, maybe somebody who is not qualified, whatever you do, there
must be standard and criteria set. Some people don’t even know what we are doing here, they just hear news and then say what they like.

“You come to BoI as SME’s and they know themselves and some are not members of the SME’s. When you can prove yourself, BoI will go to your location and see what you are doing. There is nothing like non–SME’s getting the facility. The SME’s have associations, if something goes wrong, you would have heard complaints from them, but there is nothing like that.

On how much production the ministry is targeting yearly, she said: “I may not be able to tell you that, but our target is to increase cassava production by 2017 to 51 million metric tonnes. Presently, we are between 38 million and 40 million metric tonnes. That is our our target for 2017 to reduce the cost of production and this varies from location to location in Nigeria. We want to reduce cost by giving out improved varieties to farmers which
we have been doing in the last three years, giving them technical and skill training. We are trying to create markets for the farmers, the catchment areas for their market should be between 30 and 50 kilometers radius.

“We are here for the production of cassava flash drive. When we talk of flash drive, we mean the type of
equipment they use where the grated, pressed cassava marsh are introduced into the machine and it will be taken up under certain pressure and it dries it, so the quality management is basically introduced in terms of skill development and business development to improve upon capacity of the existing SME and also to help in the
development of cassava industry as you all know, under the cassava transformation agenda, which entails the inclusion of high quality cassava flour in bread, quality administration of the flour, and getting high quality cassava means putting all the necessary inputs in place to achieve the desired result,” Adetunji stated.

She reiterated government’s desire to support the Small and Medium Entrepreneur so as to attract the markets and create room for competitiveness, thus, calling for training and re-training of the beneficiaries.

Adetunji disclosed that the training will take places in two phases in the region, hinting that, their target is to reach about 150 farmers. “The training is spread across the country and our target is to touch about 150 of
them. We have over 40 intended beneficiaries for Southwest (I) and we have training for Southwest (II) in Ekiti by next week.

She submitted that similar training exercise will be conducted for people from both the Southeast and North Central regions of the country.

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FG attracted $7bn investment in cement sector – Aganga http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/07/fg-attracted-7bn-investment-in-cement-sector-aganga/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/07/fg-attracted-7bn-investment-in-cement-sector-aganga/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 21:46:13 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=218920 Dr Olusegun Aganga

Dr Olusegun Aganga

Olusegun Aganga, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, on Friday said the Federal Government has attracted new private sector investment worth $7 billion into the cement sector in the last three years.

Aganga stated this at the 4th Annual Seminar for Industry, Trade and Investment Correspondents and Editors in Abuja.

According to him in 2011, the installed capacity in the cement sector is 16.5 million metric tons per annum.

“Today it is 39.5 million metric tons. When we came in, there were about $9 billion investment in the cement sector, but today it is more than $15 billion.

“In 2011, the direct and indirect jobs from the cement sector was less than 600,000 today the sector provides about 2.2 million direct and indirect jobs,” he said.

He said the federal government spent at least $5.2 million in the importation of cement, but since 2013 the present administration has not issued any import license.

“Our main focus for the cement sector, going forward, is to improve the standard of cement and to bring the price down. Cement manufacturers must do it because we do not do price regulation.

“There was announcement a few days ago that one of the cement manufacturers is bringing down the price of its 32.5 by 40 per cent from N1,700 per bag to N1,000.

“The 42.5 is coming down from around N1,800 to about N1,150 per bag,” said the minister.

He said there have been complaints about what was happening in the sector, urging Nigerians not to worry because the government was aware of its policies.

The minister said that a new anti competition policy that would provide a level playing field for all investors in the Nigerian economy would soon be rolled out by the federal government.

“We have a competition policy, we have anti-trust law that we are looking at and we have competition Bill that is going to the National Assembly.

“We will make sure that industrialists and investors across the country continue to have the confidence that everyone will play on a level playing ground,” he added.

Aganga noted that President Goodluck Jonathan had initiated and implemented far-reaching industrial policies which have helped to diversify the nation’s economic and revenue base.

“The policies are also to attract fresh foreign direct investment, create employment and increase the capacity utilisation of key manufacturing sectors of the economy.

“When the name of the Ministry was changed from Commerce and Industry to Industry, Trade and Investment the emphasis was for us to focus on industrialisation, trade and attracting investment across all sectors,” he said.

The two-day seminar is expected to end tomorrow.

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Produce Grasscutters, Save Our Environment http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/07/produce-grasscutters-save-our-environment/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/07/produce-grasscutters-save-our-environment/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 13:32:08 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=218836 By Prince Arinze Onebunne

The United Nations, years ago set certain parameters to measure the effect of governance on human development in poor countries particularly Sub-Saharan Africa; bedeviled with deepening poverty. It was named Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). They cover critical areas like hunger, unemployment, malaria and other diseases and environmental degradation. With year 2015 set for the attainment of these goals just few months’ away, human development is still very low in many African countries.

Currently, report on the MDG showed that poverty is on the rise in Africa. Child mortality rates have also risen in sub Saharan Africa, which has 34 of the world’s 36 countries with child high mortality rates.  The worsening state of human development in Nigeria is not surprising.  How can Nigeria attain MDGs without addressing the inadequacies in her socio-economic set-up? Is it possible to eradicate hunger and poverty with food importation and oil-dependent economy?   Oil is not only an exhaustible resource; its job creation potential is also grossly limited.

Grasscutter

Grasscutter

Yet, the main target audience of MDGs lives in the rural areas and earns their livelihoods from agriculture. Consequently, about 70 per cent of people in rural Nigeria particularly women wallow in abject poverty with hunger and malnutrition being the greatest facets of their deprivations.

In other words, it’s not possible to eradicate hunger and poverty without reviving the nation’s agricultural sector. Agriculture is the bedrock of sustainable economic development and growth in Africa. Interestingly, grasscutter farming is among the cheapest livestock business that can create huge employment. How can Nigeria boost food production to eradicate poverty without at least one of these two factors? Grasscutter farming is a veritable poverty reduction measure that can turn-around the economic misfortunes of the poor and income seeking people. It generates income through healthy meat production, boosts human health and farmers’ income.

MDGs are not attainable without curtailing the unbridled exploitation of natural resources in the rural areas. For instance, bush burning, deforestation and over-hunting of grasscutters, this reduces valuable income and increases rural poverty. But grasscutter farming can help stem bush burning in our rural areas. How? Grasscutter domestication will reduce pressure on the animal in the wild thus reducing environmental degradation, create wealth and conserve biodiversity.

And since grasscutter farmers need grass to produce grasscutter for food and income, continued bush burning is tantamount to destroying their economic base.  In effect, bush burning can be halted by sustainable economic activity like grasscutter farming in which our people are stakeholders.

Grasscutters

Grasscutters

Grasscutter farming is less demanding of space and capital, farmer’s time and does not require much labour like crop-farming, thus making it the most ideal strategy to empower the unemployed who constitute the bulk of the poor and malnourished in Nigeria.

One of the major problems is what we do to our environment and everything we take in as food. There is no short cut. We should wean ourselves of our quick-fix mentality. We must not relent in our efforts to get it right for our generations unborn. Over-hunting, bush burning, pollution and deforestation are evils that will progressively destroy our environment if not checkmated now.

Hunters should be well adviced that it’s cheaper and safer for our environment to breed grasscutters than to hunt all of them to extinction without replenishment thereby destroying the eco-system. They should re-deploy their fire-power and energy in breeding grasscutter than hunting them indiscriminately.

Demand for grasscutter will forever remain high because people are becoming health conscious by avoiding the consumption of red meat that is loaded with cholesterol and toxins. Nowadays, consumers prefer chemical-free meat like grasscutter.

To raise grasscutter, one requires at least N55,000. These include the cost of the 5-grasscutters and their cage. Feeding them is affordable; People should understand that domesticated grasscutters are no longer bush-meat but domesticated bush-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.

At JOVANA FARMS we remain committed to providing new farmers with prolific grasscutter breeding families and supplying the white-meat to top class hotels. We have what it takes to make you successful; if you desire to invest in grasscutter farming anytime. We are ready and experienced to train, guide and mentor you wisely from site survey, farm set-up and supply of fast growing animal species.

Attend Jovana Farms nationwide seminars nearest to you and know more opportunities in livestock production. Visit us at: www.jovanafarm.com, E-mail:jovanafarms@gmail.com or Call: 080 33262 808, for more details.

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FG approves N77bn credit to boost irrigation nationwide http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/06/fg-approves-n77bn-credit-to-boost-irrigation-nationwide/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/06/fg-approves-n77bn-credit-to-boost-irrigation-nationwide/#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2014 09:36:10 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=218680 Minister of State for Finance, Mr Bashir Yuguda

Minister of State for Finance, Mr Bashir Yuguda

The Federal Government on Wednesday approved the use of the $495 million (about N77 billion) credit it secured from the International Development Association (IDA) to boost irrigation nationwide.

The Minister of State for Finance, Alhaji Bashir Yuguda, stated this when he briefed State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo.

According to him, the facility is to augment what the Federal Government is doing to improve irrigation throughout the year.

“The first memo is on the approval of an International Development Association’s credit of $495 million for the proposed irrigation management.

“The idea about this facility is to upscale what the Federal Government is doing in improving the irrigation system so that we will have year-in-year-out farming season in the country.

“Part of the fund under this IDA credit is to upscale the cultivation of the irrigable land in the country.

“Currently, we have an estimated 2.2million hectares of potentially irrigable land in the country out of which about one million hectares are situated in the Northern parts,” he said.

Yuguda said the facility, to be managed by the Ministry of Water Resources, had four components.

He said that out of the sum, $81 million would be spent on Water Resource Management and Dam Operation Improvement just as $294 million would be used for Irrigation Development and Management.

He said that while $38 million would be used to enhance agricultural productivity and support the value chain development, $30 million would be spent on governance and institutional framework.

According to him, $52 million will be set aside as contingency funds.

Commenting on the IDA credit, the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe, said the loan would be used to upscale the cultivation of the irrigable land in the country.

Ochekpe added that part of the loan would be used to rehabilitate the Bakolori Dam and the Irrigation Scheme in Zamfara.

“We are talking about the rehabilitation of the dam, which has an existing 8,000 hectares irrigation scheme, recovering the over 1,557 hectares lost due to poor drainage and converting 13,000 hectares of abandoned areas.

“The facility is on five years grace period, repayment period of 20 years and a service charge of 0.75 per cent and interest rate of 1.25 per cent per annum and commitment fee of 0.5 per cent per annum,”

Also addressing the correspondents, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr Stephen Oru, said the council approved N22.2 billion for the construction of four roads in the Niger Delta region.

He identified the roads as the Mbaise Ring Road intersecting and Owerri-Umuahia Road in Imo State (N6.17 billion) and the Calabar-Oban-Nsan-Okoroba-Ajassor Road in Cross River (N9.067 billion).

Others are the Phase 1 of Mbak Mkpeti-Itu-Okoita-Arochukwu Road in Abia, Cross River and Akwa Ibom (N3.55 billion) with a completion period of 24 months and the Mbak Atai-Ikot-Ntu-Mkpeti-Okuiboku Road in Akwa Ibom to be constructed at N3.2 billion, with a completion period of 18 months.

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Obasanjo saved poultry industry in Nigeria, says DG PAN http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/05/obasanjo-saved-poultry-industry-in-nigeria-says-dg-pan/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/05/obasanjo-saved-poultry-industry-in-nigeria-says-dg-pan/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 02:24:10 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=218502 Abiodun Onafuye/Abeokuta

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo: credited for saving poultry business in Nigeria

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo: credited for saving poultry business in Nigeria

The Director General of the Poultry Association of Nigeria, PAN, Mr. Onallo Ankpa has disclosed that if not for the singular efforts of the former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the poultry industry in the country would have become a forgone issue as at today.

Ankpa made the disclosure Tuesday during his welcome address at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Nigeria Poultry Show taking place in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

He revealed that, “for the intervention of the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the sector would have been dead. Obasanjo saved the poultry industry, as he ensured that the importation of poultry items were restricted.”

The Director General also hinted that the body would strive to ensure that the policy on School Feed programme under the Universal Basic Education (UBE) scheme is implemented, noting that, the country has enough farmers to produce eggs to feed the primary school population in the country.

Ankpa, while commending both the Osun and Kano State governments for implementing the policy, assured that the policy would soon become a national policy.

He enjoined stakeholders to come forward to protest against using the country as dumping ground for items, which “we can produce and provide more healthy vitamins for the citizens.”

Meanwhile, hope rise for the country’s poultry farmers over the scarcity of soya beans, as indication emerged that a total of 60,000 tons of the essential feeds have arrived the country.

The development came, even as the efforts of the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in providing life-line for the country’s poultry farmers’ was noticed and commended.

The National President of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Ayoola Oduntan made this revelation during his address at the event.

He said the arrival of the soya bean would ameliorate the hardship farmers in the poultry industry have been facing for past months, hinting further that the distribution would commence next week.

Oduntan in his opening address themed: “Poultry Industry’s Impact on Employment Generation”, said the industry provides about 15million jobs for the people of the country.

He described the future of the poultry business in Nigeria as bright, disclosing that, “that situation is getting better every year with Nigeria being presently the largest producer of eggs (with 13b eggs produced) annually in Africa.”

In her reaction, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mrs. Ronke Sokefun assured that the state government would continue to provide enabling environment for the farmers to succeed as the sector is key to the industrialization of the state policy.

She also added that abandoned poultry farms in the state would be rehabilitated and while standard quality-control centre is under construction.

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Jonathan ended 40 years of corruption in agric sector, says Adesina http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/03/jonathan-ended-40-years-of-corruption-in-agric-sector-says-adesina/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/03/jonathan-ended-40-years-of-corruption-in-agric-sector-says-adesina/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 20:19:47 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=218371 President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has said that President Goodluck Jonathan`s administration has, through its Agriculture Transformation Agenda, ended four decades of corruption in the sector.

He said this on Monday in Abuja at the Public Affairs Forum, organised by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe.

The minister said the transformation in the agriculture sector had witnessed a monumental change in the way and manner agriculture and its related activities were handled.

“We ended 40 years of corruption in the fertiliser sector. The old system of government direct procurement and distribution of fertiliser was corrupt, he said.

According to him, over N873 billion was spent on fertiliser subsidies between 1980 and 2010 while nearly 90 per cent of farmers never received subsidised fertilizers.

He also said that over N776 billion was estimated to have been lost to corruption or an average of N26 billion annually, a situation that displaced the private sector.

Adesina said the ministry, under the current arrangement, had built a national database of 10.5 million farmers, which had increased agriculture participation in every state of the federation.

He further said that the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GES) of the Federal Government had increased farmers’ access to fertiliser from 11 per cent to 92.

Out of this figure, he said, 1.3 million tons of fertiliser had been delivered to farmers, while 55,000 tons of improved seeds had been delivered to farmers.

The minister, while highlighting President Jonathan administration’s achievement in the agriculture sector, also pointed out that Nigeria was the first country in Africa to deliver inputs to farmers through e-wallet.

He also said that the cassava transformation initiative had led to the introduction of 20 per cent cassava bread, a development that led to the establishment of over 30 bakeries across the country.

He further said that the ministry, with support from Bank of Industry and Bank of Agriculture, had ensured self-sufficiency in rice production, leading to production of million tones of the commodity.

The investment, he said, had run into billions of naira, adding that several crops, including sorghum, cocoa, maize, oil palm, fish and animal production had also been increased significantly.

The minister said this was in addition to youth participating actively in the entire value chain circle.

He announced the completion of 33 silos with capacity of 1.1 million tones across the country, nine conditioned warehouses and a 250 million dollars investment by Blumberg.

He said this was geared towards making Nigeria the hub for manufacturing warehouses.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the four-day forum, with the theme: “The Jonathan`s administration: Four Impactful Years,” was organised to highlight the achievements of the President Jonathan-led administration.

Okupe had earlier said that President Goodluck Jonathan remained the most performing president the country had since independence

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Domesticated Grasscutter: Too Natural To Be Neglected http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/25/domesticated-grasscutter-too-natural-to-be-neglected/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/25/domesticated-grasscutter-too-natural-to-be-neglected/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 13:20:18 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=217342 Grasscutters

Grasscutters

Inadequate regional food supplies, diminishing quality of health and increasing environmental deterioration are the three key underlying problems affecting the future and well-being of mankind. The magnitude of these problems is set to increase as the world’s population continues to grow.

The three facets of applied grasscutter production technology combined, offers meaningful solutions through the generation of relatively cheap source of high quality chemical-free farm animals, the provision of health-enhancing dietary proteins and conversion of environmental waste such as grass, cassava and vegetable waste to food for grasscutters, thereby creating jobs and maintaining the balance of eco-system.

The potential of grasscutter farming in generating new employment opportunities is another positive element emanating from grasscutter breeding ventures. Some of this project will aim at providing initial skills for cottage level grasscutter breeding. Later, large scale development can be expected to lead to the establishment of commercial grasscutter farms.

Grasscutter farming is too important to be neglected, the fast population growth and the associated increase in the demand for livestock products present many development opportunities. Grasscutter production will become the biggest contributor to agriculture in coming decades, with consumption of animal-based foods the fastest growing sub-food category in Africa. The key challenge is determining how to intensify livestock productivity in a sustainable manner.

In order to ensure their sustainable existence and use, their farming at this juncture is therefore most opportune, given the fact that domesticated grasscutters are now consumers delight. Investors may delay, but time will not.

During the last few months, interest in grasscutter farming has escalated. This may be due to the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease as people now prefer home-grown grasscutters than those killed by hunters from the bush.

Grasscutter meat

Grasscutter meat

Although, grasscutter is not among the bush meat mentioned that carry Ebola Virus Disease. The World Health Organisation had said “the virus is transmitted to people from wild fruit bats, gorillas, monkeys and chimpanzes and spreads in human population through human-to-human transmission”.

Moreover, the man that brought Ebola virus into Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Sawyer flew in from Liberia and later died in Lagos Hospital. Then, the medics that attended to him contracted the virus and it began to spread in some part of the country.

After all said and done, the Ebola outbreak has been contained and defeated in the country. The World Health Organization on Monday 20th October 2014 declared that Nigeria was now free of Ebola Virus Disease.

However, demand for domesticated bush-meat (grasscutter) is growing higher everyday. This development may not be unconnected with the fact that grasscutters are healthy white-meat, which is averagely delicious and more nutritious than any other domesticated meat.

Prince Arinze holding two grasscutters

Prince Arinze holding two grasscutters

The meat is tender, palatable and low in cholesterol. This type of meat is recommended for patient with cardiac problems, diabetes and high blood pressure. Grasscutter meat once called the “the king of bush meat” and still treated as a delicacy; can be taken regularly as part of the healthy human diet or be treated as medicine. Therefore, avoid grasscutter meat to your peril.

Demand for grasscutter will forever remain high because people are now becoming health conscious by avoiding the consumption of red meat that is loaded with cholesterol. Nowadays, consumers prefer chemical-free meat like grasscutter than pig, chicken, fish and turkey that are raised with growth hormones, vaccines, antibiotics, drugs, genetically manipulated organisms, etc.

In other words, all meats are not equal. Grasscutter is still the best domesticated safe to eat farm animal.
To raise grasscutter, one requires at least N55,000. These include the cost of the 5-grasscutters and their cage. Feeding them is affordable; People should understand that domesticated grasscutters are no longer bush-meat but domesticated bush-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.

JOVANA FARMS have what it takes to make you successful; if you desire to invest in livestock production anytime. We are ready and experience to train, guide and mentor you wisely from site survey, farm set-up and supply of fast growing animal species

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. Choose also the nearest venue from the advert box in this page and in our website.

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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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