P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Agriculture http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Sat, 23 Aug 2014 04:37:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 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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Union partners bank on cassava production in Borno http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/29/union-partners-bank-on-cassava-production-in-borno/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/29/union-partners-bank-on-cassava-production-in-borno/#comments Sun, 29 Jun 2014 14:16:27 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=200960 Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State

The Cassava Farmers Cooperative Union (BCFCU) in Borno, on Sunday, said it had entered into an agreement with Union Bank Plc toward boosting cassava production in the state.

President of BCFCU, Alhaji Al-amin Umara, made the disclosure when he received the Zonal Agriculture Manager of the bank, Malam Sani Kabara, in his office in Maiduguri.

Umara said the partnership was initiated under the Nigerian Incentive Based Risk Sharing for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL).

He added that the partnership would allow cassava farmers in Borno to access loans payable in four years to boost their production.

He noted that the union, which had more than 50,000 cassava farmers in the state had also concluded arrangements to train 150 female farmers to be drawn from three local government areas of the state in cassava processing.

“We are working on a plan to train 150 women to be drawn from Kukawa, Nganzai and Bayo local government areas in cassava processing,” the union president added.

Responding, Kabara commended the union for the efforts in enhancing cassava production in the state.

He congratulated the union for excelling at the National Agricultural Show in Lafia, Nasawara State, where it bagged the overall second position in the show.

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FG develops 30-year infrastructure Master plan http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/25/fg-develops-30-year-infrastructure-master-plan/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/25/fg-develops-30-year-infrastructure-master-plan/#comments Wed, 25 Jun 2014 09:16:48 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=200216 Supervising Minister of National Planning, Alhaji Bashir Yuguda

Supervising Minister of National Planning, Alhaji Bashir Yuguda

The National Economic Council (NEC) on Tuesday considered the final draft of the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP) meant to accelerate infrastructure development in the country.

Addressing State House correspondents on the outcome of the NEC meeting in Abuja, Supervising Minister/Deputy Chairman, National Planning Commission (NPC), Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, said the master plan was formulated to span for 30 years.

According to him, the master plan beginning from 2014 to 2043 will focus on key areas of infrastructure including energy, housing, agriculture, ICT, roads, and security.

“Today, at the National Economic Council, I presented the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan, which is a total way of looking at the infrastructure stock in the country.

“The idea of the master plan is to look at the various sectors that make up the infrastructure in the country, develop a framework, develop monitoring and evaluation and also develop focused areas for us as a nation

“The idea of the Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan is to focus on key areas of infrastructure: energy, transport, which includes rail, roads and aviation.

“We are also focusing on ICT, Housing and security. We also have water, agriculture and mining,” he said.

He said the document was designed to raise “infrastructure stock as a percentage of GDP from current 35 per cent to a minimum of 70 per cent”.

He said Nigeria’s core infrastructure level was significantly below the target benchmark level, and identified the required investments to improve infrastructure in line with the country’s growth aspirations.

Yuguda said the document which would be resubmitted to NEC before the final approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), also provided for short and medium terms priorities to guide project selection with the first term covering the next five years.

He said the council directed the National Planning Commission and the state planning/finance ministries to review the document in line with the council’s observation as well as reflect the actual required funding in view of the value of the rebased economy.

Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State, said state governors had agreed to set up a technical committee to study and further enrich the document.

“Essentially, what NEC agreed like we all said, was that this is a robust document, well researched document and since it is a document that we expect to last for about 30 years that we should not just browse over the document.

“We should look at it critically, especially at state and regional levels.

“We have agreed that each and every one of us should set up small committees of technical people within two weeks to work on the document so that as stakeholders whose buying-in is required we will add to the document that we will produce,” he stated.

Dankwambo said the council commended the National Planning Commission for the comprehensive report on the draft NIIMP.

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Osun set to increase apiary http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/21/osun-set-to-increase-apiary/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/21/osun-set-to-increase-apiary/#comments Sat, 21 Jun 2014 06:47:20 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=199659 The Osun Government on Friday said it had acquired 10.7 hectares valued N2.4million for apiary at Oyan, Odo Otin Local Government.

Muyiwa Ige, Commissioner for Land, Physical Planning and Urban Development, announced this at the presentation of cheque to Arogun family at the palace of Oloyan of Oyan as compensation for the land.

Ige said the state government acquired the land for a meaningful agricultural project that would boost the state’s economy.

In the file: Aregbesola commissions a project

In the file: Aregbesola commissions a project

He urged residents of the area to take ownership of the factory when established so that the aim of floating it would not be defeated.

He explained that the state government decided to establish the factory in order to reduce the growing rate of youth unemployment.

Dr Ogundipe Bamidele, Coordinator of Quick Impact Intervention Programme (QIIP), said the government was investing in the project to make the state a hub for honey production.

Ogundipe expressed optimism that the project would soon be completed.

The Oloyan of Oyan, Oba Kilaani Oyedare, lauded the administration’s achievements so far.

Responding on behalf of the Arogun family, Chief Ibitoye Omotoso commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola for fulfilling his campaign promises.

Omotoso assured the government of the family’s readiness to contribute its own quota to the success of the project.

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Grasscutter, Antelope Meat Are Superfoods http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/20/grasscutter-antelope-meat-are-superfoods/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/20/grasscutter-antelope-meat-are-superfoods/#comments Fri, 20 Jun 2014 11:15:14 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=199498 By Prince Arinze Onebunne

Every one of us makes life critical decisions each day. With each meal; we are determining our short term and long term mental and physical health.

With every single mouthful of food, our health is going in one of two ways. Either getting closer or further away from health. For example, if you were driving your car and at every crossroad you choose left rather than right, you would end up at a completely different destinations. After 20 decisions you are miles apart. Now, apply that to a lifetime of food choices! Year in year out of decisions.

Artificial foods versus Organic foods

Our food menu these days is so exotic that one would think we do not have local natural dishes anymore. We now breed “artificial food children” who practically feed on junk foods. Yet, we have grains like beans, maize and guinea-corn with which we can make a delicacy. We also have rice, yam, potato, plantain, fruits and vegetable which can be grown with organic manure.

Grasscutters

Grasscutters

Unfortunately, western diets and lifestyle is what most people prefer nowadays and that is what is gradually destroying us. Let’s join hand to bring back organic food for our people and jettison this modern diet that consists mainly of nutritional empty, processed foods that are often laden with sugar and artery-clogging fat. Is it any wonder that the serious diseases that plague the country today can be prevented and reversed by simply eating the right food?

By replacing artificial food with organic food, you’re giving your body the fuel it needs to renew its living cells. And that means your body will be healthier, and more powerful-no matter what your age!

We’ve all heard the old adage ‘you are what you eat’, but have you ever stopped to think exactly how true that is? Put simply, healthy eating is the key to wellbeing. Food affects all of our cells, and by extension, every aspect of our being: mood, energy levels, food cravings, thinking capacity, sex drive, sleeping habits and general health. If you feed your body junk foods it will simply lay down, lower your energy, even your brain power.

The continuous use of chemicals such as hormones, drugs, GMO and steroids in livestock production is risky. Instead, we should strive to use natural food ingredients to raise healthy and safe to eat farm animals. Therefore, by promoting organic food consumption, we are helping people to stay in good health and preserve our environment.

Prince Arinze with antelope

Prince Arinze with antelope

Organic products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Organic foods are what previous generation used to simply call food. It is food free of additives, chemicals, or genetic manipulation.

Processed food has a bad reputation as a fake and diet saboteur. It’s blamed for our nation’s obesity epidemic and other chronic diseases. Processed food refers to foods that are packaged in containers, boxes, cans, bottles or bags. In addition to going through many complex processing steps, processed foods often contain additives, artificial flavorings and other chemical ingredients. .

Personal responsibility for personal health. That’s the 21st century way. Proactive for health rather than reactive to disease. Disease is painful, activity limiting, and costly. That’s why eating the right food will become as routine as checking your credit card balance, or fuel gauge. Why? Because it can help you be an active participant in your personal health process.

People that follow diet consisting of organic-based food, which are the basis of any healthy diet, will find it easier to maintain a healthy body, and will live a healthier life due to their food choices.They are more likely to buy and consume local, organic food, which is significant for many people worried about the rise of genetically modified organisms present in a lot of the mass produced food now found in the local food market. At Jovana Farms, we are also helping the low income earners build and protect their livestock-based assets so that these, not poverty and disease, are passed on to the next generation. Attend our nationwide seminars nearest to you and learn about profitable organic farming. Visit us at www.jovanafarms.com, TEL: 08033262808, E-mail: jovanafarms@gmail.com for more details. Choose also the nearest venue from the advert box on this page.

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Inflation rate up by 0.1% – Bureau http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/16/inflation-rate-up-by-1-0-bureau/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/16/inflation-rate-up-by-1-0-bureau/#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 12:47:05 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=198935 Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr Yemi Kale

Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr Yemi Kale

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday said inflation rate stood at 8.0 per cent in May, 0.1 per cent higher than the 7.9 per cent recorded in April.

This was contained in a statement issued in Abuja by the Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr Yemi Kale.

Kale, in the statement, said, “the increase in price in May were as a result of higher prices in groups that contribute to both the food and core sub-indices.

“Specifically, food prices edged higher to 9.7 per cent, up from 9.4 per cent in April.

“Prices were pushed higher as a result of higher prices in the bread and cereals, fish, dairy, fruits, and vegetable groups.”

The statistician-general said the price increases in the food sub-index were however weighed down by relatively slower increases in the meats; oils; fats; potatoes, yams and other tuber classes.

He said prices measured by the “All items less farm produce or Core sub-index” increased at a faster rate in May from April.

Kale added that groups that contributed to the increase in the core sub-index included furniture and furnishings, garments, rental prices, as well as liquid and solid fuels.

“Urban prices increased at a faster rate in May, 8.2 per cent, up 0.3 percentage points from April, after growing at a constant rate in March and April (7.9 per cent year-on-year).

“Rural prices increased by 7.8 per cent in May, also up by 0.3 percentage points from April, and the fastest since Jan. 2014.

“On a month on month basis, movements in the urban and rural indices have largely mirrored the headline index this year,” the statistician-general said.

He said in May, the urban and rural all-items indices rose by 0.8 per cent and 0.77 per cent respectively.

Kale explained that this was about 0.2 percentage points higher than the rates recorded in April.

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Rice farmers lament insecurity in Borno http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/15/rice-farmers-lament-insecurity-in-borno/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/15/rice-farmers-lament-insecurity-in-borno/#comments Sun, 15 Jun 2014 18:28:53 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=198880 Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State

The Maisandari Rice Farmers Association in Borno state said that Boko Haram insurgency had forced its members to abandon farming this year.

Malam Garba Ibrahim, Chairman of the association, stated this in an interview with NAN in Maisandari, Jere Local Government Area of the state, on Sunday.

“We are an association of big term rice farmers comprising about 200 members.

“Each of us used to produce between 50 and 200 bags of rice per year.”

He said that the production had witnessed some decline due to the insurgency in the state.

“We have witnessed steady decline in production in the last two years due to the insurgency.

“Last year, most of our members were not able to produce for fear of attacks in the farm by suspected insurgents.”

Ibrahim said that the situation became worse this year as most of the farmers had abandoned the dry season farming due to insecurity.

“This year, no farmer has been able to cultivate during the dry season due to the insecurity.

“Although the state government has provided imported rice mills to our members in anticipation of massive production, insecurity had made it impossible for us to cultivate.”

He appealed to the Federal Government to intensify its efforts in tackling the Boko Haram insurgency so that the farmers could go back to the farm.

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Jigawa gets 6 rice trading centers http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/13/jigawa-gets-6-rice-trading-centers/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/13/jigawa-gets-6-rice-trading-centers/#comments Fri, 13 Jun 2014 10:25:23 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=198529 The Jigawa chapter of the Rice Dealers Association of Nigeria, on Friday, said it had concluded arrangements to establish six pilot rice trading centres in the state.

Chairman of the association, Alhaji Idris Ya’u, told NAN in Hadejia, Jigawa, that the centres would be established in collaboration with the Federal Government.

He said the Federal Government would spend about N12 million on each of the centres, while farmers’ association in each of the participating areas would contribute N600,000 to the project.

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan

“The Federal Government has also introduced a new 100-kg bag to ensure accuracy in the measurement of paddy rice,” he said.

Ya’u explained that the gesture was to accelerate paddy rice production, enhance farmer enterprising skills and encourage competition.

The chairman said that the trading centres would be sited at Auyo, Birninkudu, Hadejia, Kazaure, Kirikasamma and Ringim, all in Jigawa, and be equipped with processing and packaging equipment to add value to the produce.

He added that officials of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture had already inspected the sites for the proposed trading centres.

It would be recalled that the Federal Government had, during the last dry season, distributed fertilisers, seeds and chemicals to 154,000 registered rice farmers under the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) programme.

The government had also distributed mini harvesters, tractors, water pumps, tube wells, thrashers and Knapp sack sprayers to farmers in the state.

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Germany boost for Governor Amosun http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/12/germany-boost-for-governor-amosun/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/12/germany-boost-for-governor-amosun/#comments Thu, 12 Jun 2014 08:50:43 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=198366 Abiodun Onafuye/Abeokuta

Governor Ibikunle Amosun

Governor Ibikunle Amosun

Ogun State government received a boost Wednesday when German Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Dr. Geah Mueller commended Governor Ibikunle Amosun and his team for the giant strides recorded the past three years.

Mueller said that the development policies of Governor Amosun made his country to consider extending its hands of fellowship.

The German diplomat led a powerful delegation to hold talks with Amosun in his Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta Office Wednesday.

“The development of your country has made us interested in working with you. Nigeria has now become the strongest economy in Africa and your government is particularly successful because of your good policies and that is why we are especially committed to expand our work to Ogun State”, Mueller said.

He said that the Germany is ready to partner with Ogun State and Nigeria at large, observing that, the state has rich resources, fair weather and good soil that will enable the state to feed itself. He added that Germany is also ready to help the state in the areas of road development, increasing agricultural productivity and vocational education, training as well as other areas as defined by the state.

The German Minister said the perception of people in Germany was marred by the Boko Haram insurgency, the kidnap of over 200 school girls and expressed hope that the menace will soon become a thing of the past in the country.

“But we have seen very good examples here today, a peaceful atmosphere and also interesting to know that women are actively involved in the politics in your state. We must not reduce your country to the image painted by the insurgency.

“Your country is big and magnificent, very strong women in your polity and this is why we want to expand our work here,” he stated.

Governor Amosun thanked the German government for the partnership with the state in the area of agriculture and particularly for joining forces with the country in the bid to fight insurgency.

Amosun stated that unemployment is a major challenge to the state and the country at large and sought the cooperation of the German government in this regard, noting that, his administration is more committed to keeping unemployed youths off the streets.

Amosun called for support in capacity building as he is more keen in the vocational and educational training of artisans and other professionals in the state, noting that, if the people of the state were adequately and gainfully employed, it would not only boost the economy of the state, but also improve their standard of living.

Highlight of the visit was the inspection by the German delegation of some projects and health facilities in the state.

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Confab adopts Agricultural Committee’s Report http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/11/confab-adopts-agricultural-committees-report/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/11/confab-adopts-agricultural-committees-report/#comments Wed, 11 Jun 2014 22:12:24 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=198322 Justice Idris Kutigi: chairman of the conference

Justice Idris Kutigi: chairman of the conference

The National Conference in Abuja on Wednesday adopted the amended report of its Agriculture and Water Resources Committee’s Report.

One of the adopted recommendations was the call for the revival of the unified agricultural extension system with expansion of its coverage to include livestock production, fisheries, soil and water conservation.

It also accepted a recommendation that government policies should take advantage of climate change and decertification by introducing new species of tree crops that could adapt to desert.

It called on government to invest heavily in date palm plantations as well develop its related industries in communities with serious desert encroachment challenges.

The conference also accepted the recommendation that farmers should be exposed to export opportunities as well as develop agricultural trade policy that would promote agricultural export.

It also adopted that the country should guard against land grabbing and ensure that irrespective of purposes for which land was needed, the owner must not be dispossessed without due consultation and adequate compensations.

The committee also resolved that Bio-Safety Bill that would regulate trans-border movement of genetically modified drugs be initiated and enacted by the National Assembly.

It recommended that major irrigation infrastructure in the North West be extended to other parts of the country as a way of boosting farming in those areas.

The conference called on the states and local governments to facilitate the establishment and revival of skills-acquisition agricultural training centres in each senatorial district to make agriculture attractive to youths and for job creation.

It also called for the involvement of farmers, herdsmen and rural dwellers in formulating policies pertaining to soil degradation.

It was also decided that fertiliser production plants be established in different parts of the country to meet the growing demands by farmers and reduce capital flight.

It said appropriate policy should be put in place to facilitate the participation of people living with disability to enable them to enjoy low interest on loan and 50 per cent subsidy on farm inputs.

It was agreed that government should grant low interest and long tenured micro-credit loans to assist the private sector to support agricultural development.

In addition to existing budgetary allocation, it was adopted that 30 per cent of the National Resources Fund be used for the development of agricultural sector.

It added that an additional 20 per cent of the fund be used for the development of water resources, especially mechanised deep sea fishing to boost foreign exchange earnings.

It also accepted that farm works should not be used as punishment for students for bad behaviour in schools.

The conference however rejected the recommendations that called for the establishment of a new National Agricultural Coordinating Agency and the revival of farm settlements.

The delegates also rejected a proposal that government should put in a policy where every land owner should have a minimum number of trees grown on it.

The conference further rejected the recommendations that government should provide full scholarship for students doing OND, HND and degree courses in agriculture.

It also rejected the recommendation that the Federal Government should hand over river basin project to all state governments where they were located.

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