LEADERSHIP EDITORS The Cross River Government says it is ready to partner with First Bank Nigeria Plc to enhance agricultural production in the state. Prof. Anthony Eneji, Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, stated this on Monday in Calabar while receiving a team of First Bank which paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Calabar. Eneji thanked the bank for showing interest in improving agriculture in the state and promised that the government would use the opportunity offered by the bank to improve services in the sector. He said that the stat government had successfully carried out various value chain projects in rice, oil palm, Cassava, cocoa, and yam production. ‘‘But we will love to improve on the quantity of production in order to feed our local factories, companies and also meet the international market standards and demands,’’he said. According to him, the state government has allocated land for the growing of cotton,...
According to reports, there is a new threat discouraging tomato farmers as well as threatening Dangote’s multi billion naira tomato processing factory. Farmers are currently avoiding planting the crop after pests ravaged last year’s produce while the factory is now expected to resume operations in July when tomato supply improves. A report said that several farmers in northern Nigeria engaged to grow tomatoes for a set price are now avoiding planting the crop this season after pests destroyed much of last year’s produce, leaving the processing factory set up by Aliko Dangote, short of raw materials. The Dangote Farms Ltd, in Kano was established to process 1,200 metric tons of tomatoes each day and produce 400,000 tons of paste annually. At its conception it was envisaged to meet Nigeria’s domestic needs and help cut paste imports of 300,000 tons a year from China. It was expected to help put to better use...
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has called on the Federal Government to increase its investment in agriculture to enable Nigeria to regain its place in the sector. Principal Programme Officer on Agriculture, ECOWAS, Mr Ernest Aubee, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja. Aubee said that more investment in agriculture would attract and encourage more youths and women into the venture. He said that technology that would ensure good quality seeds, fertiliser, good storage and packaging facilities, good transportation and marketing facilities should also be encouraged. Aubee commended the Federal Government for its agricultural policy, `Green Alternative’, and said that improved investment in the sector would help to translate the plan into reality. “Nigeria has been a leader in agriculture in the past but it went down at some point and oil and gas took over. “Nigeria needs more investment in the...
BY Hembadoon Orsar, Ilorin The Ijaha Ochekwu community in Edikwu ward 1 of Apa  Local Government Area of Benue State is in dire need of government attention to overcome  the chieftaincy crisis between it and the Edikwu community. The crisis which has engulfed the community since three years ago, has led to the death of many inhabitants and destruction of properties, even as thousands of people have been displaced  from their ancestral homes. While other communities in the state are struggling to put their pieces together following the attack by the marauding Fulani herdsmen on farmers and their farmlands, the Ijaha community  and its host community, the Edikwu are busy attacking and killing each other over chieftaincy tussle. The Edikwu people have over powered  Ijaha community  and  displaced them out of the town. LEADERSHIP Sunday gathered that the Ijaha people have fled  their ancestral home and are taking refuge in the neighbouring villages for...
The Bank of Agriculture (BOI) says it has injected more than N9 billion into the South East to stimulate agriculture in line with Federal Government programme. Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu, the Managing Director of the bank, Mr Kabiru Mohammed said the move was part of efforts to diversify the economy and attain food security. Mohammed said that the bank had the mandate of providing agricultural credit and non-agricultural micro-credit with a view to curbing poverty. He, however, said that the amount so far disbursed in the zone fell below the expected target for the region considering the abundant opportunities in the area. “Our bank and its stakeholders are making concerted efforts to curb all known challenges to agro-entrepreneurship to widen the space for more participation,” he said. Kabiru said that most of their credit facilities were directed at women whom he said had suffered from neglect, chronic under...
By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja The federal government is set to revive the School of Agriculture in Rivers state in order to put into good use the naturally endowed land and water resources as well as train the youths in the south-south region in agricultural production. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu  Ogbeh disclosed this when he paid  a courtesy call on the Executive Governor of Rivers state, Barrister Nyesom Wike  on the sideline of the 42nd Regular Meeting of the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development held from 24-26th April,2017 Ogbeh said a lot of agricultural potentials are inherent in Rivers state which requires supports of governments for them to be fully developed, saying that the School of Agriculture in Rivers state would be revived in partnership with the state government. He said “we think that we should revive the School of Agriculture and provide the place...
By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja Farmers from the north-western states of the country have called on the Federal Government to review some of its agricultural policies and programmes with a view to encouraging commercial agriculture. The farmers spoke recently at the just concluded Northwest Farmers’ Forum and exhibition organised by a media organisation in collaboration with Kano State Ministry of Agriculture, in Kano. The Chairman, Sweet Potato Farmers Association, Kano State chapter, Alhaji Abdullahi Bebeji, called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to review the guidelines for accessing loans under the Anchor Borrowers’ Scheme with a view to attracting more farmers to the scheme. Bebeji blamed the CBN for denying many farmers the opportunity to benefit from the scheme, saying “we were asked to open accounts at the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) and we have submitted our names to the bank but up till this moment, we have not heard from the...
By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh has said food prices have remained high because the nation’s currency value fell by almost 80 per cent in two years. The minister who spoke in an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP over the Weekend said “our currency fell in value, since we arrived, the naira dropped almost 80 per cent in value, so what do you do? “The farmer is buying diesel to run the tractor, the price of diesel went from N160 a litre to N300, and it’s just coming down now. The farmer buys pumps, the prices of pumps went up by 65 per cent, the farmer buys chemicals to spray his crops, and he buys seeds” Ogbeh stated. He however posited that the price of rice had dropped from N19,000 a bag to N17, 000 now and it is still falling. He added that government...
BY DONATUS NADI, Lafia From 2012 till date, Nasarawa State Government has made deliberate effort towards land acquisition for various development projects which has become a critical issue in the state since 2011 when Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura assumed office. For Al-Mmakura to deliver on his mission to provide development in a chaotically unplanned urban centres, many people had to be displaced, and large numbers will also still be displaced in future as various infrastructural  development projects are currently going on. The state government’s commitment to fostering economic growth and developing new governmental institutions has necessitated massive acquisition of land. Acquisition of private land by the government for public purposes became a common practice in the state since 2012, but unlike in other societies, land acquisition did not mean something threatening and frightening to land owners as government paid full compensation and relocated land owners long before it commenced any form of development. Since...
Nasarawa State governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura has stated that the state government would establish an Institute of Agriculture in Lafia to boost agricultural research, food production and create employment in the state. Al-Makura made this known during the 5th combined convocation ceremony of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi in Keffi local government area of the state. The governor said that agriculture does not only provide food, fight poverty, hunger, unemployment but would also improve on the revenue base of the country. Al-Makura also urged the graduating students to be good ambassadors of the university by adding values to the lives of their communities through the sound knowledge they had acquired in the institution. “My administration has invested so much in the education sector because no society can achieve meaningful progress without qualitative education, hence the need for my administration’s commitment to invest massively in the education sector.” “This administration is committed in transforming all...