BY ANDY ASEMOTA, Katsina Niger Republic has urged Nigeria to allow for more easy passage of herdsmen from the Francophone country to graze their animals. The Speaker of Maradi State House of Assembly, Bala Bokwai, gave the charge when he visited his Katsina assembly counterpart, Abubakar Yahaya Kusada, yesterday. Bokwai said his delegation was at the assembly to intimate the Katsina law makers on the efforts being made by the government of Niger Republic towards ensuring peaceful co-existence between citizens of both countries. He, however, commended Katsina State Government for maintaining good relationship and mutual respect with Niger Republic and called for sustenance of such efforts. Receiving the delegation, the Speaker of Katsina State House of Assembly, Abubakar Yahaya Kusada, emphasized the need for effective bi-lateral ties between Nigeria and Niger Republic to ensure lasting solution to farmers, herdsmen conflicts. Kusada noted that it was only through mutual engagement between the two governments that persistent...
The most important security concern of any nation is ‘food security.’ A nation that can’t feed its population is leaving at the peril of other nations. Agribusiness and economic experts has overtime, raised concern about the whooping sums being spent on imported food items by Nigeria. However, the tide is about to turn, with the bold step being taken by NFG with the establishment of two thousand hectare farmland in Gaati, Kokona Local Government of Nasarawa State and Yola, in Adamawa State. The National Coordinator of the Group, Retson Tedheke told LEADERSHIP’s OMONU YAX-ONELSON, that, the aimed of the Group is to cover the six Geo-political zones of Nigeria. Can you let Nigerians into what Nigeria Farmer’s Group and Cooperative Society (NFG) is all about?   My name is Retson Tedheke, I am the National Coordinator of Nigeria Farmers Group and Cooperative Society, also the Secretary of the Group. Mal Ibrahim A. Waziri...
Suzan Nwachukwu, Abuja A coalition of civil society organisations under the auspices of Voices for Food Security (VFS) has commended the present administration on its recent policy thrust in the agricultural sector that has seen it contributing to over 28 per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. At the re-launch of VFS to strengthen its campaign on advocacy for issues on food security and production in Nigeria, President, National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS), and Secretary of the coalition, Mr Ken Ukaoha said over 70 per cent of Nigerian workforce population are engaged in small scale farming little or no voice that could be effectively heard. A challenge he said have rather reduced the Nigerian small scale farmers to merely policy recipients. According to him, VFS intends to continually engage the government on pro-poor policies that affect farmers and build capacities for small scale farmers. “We want create a movement of a...
The minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, said the federal government will soon establish commodities’ certification centres across the six geo-political zones to aid certification and standardization. Ogbeh made the disclosure in Kano, yesterday during the flag-off of the nationwide advocacy on agricultural quality control and standardisation. The minister was represented at the occasion by a Director in the Ministry, Dr Aminu Babandi. He said that the Federal  Government received 48 notifications from European Union on aflatoxin and other contaminants in the last one year. He said that the country received 48 notifications between July 2016 and June 2017 from EU on export goods due to aflatoxin and many other contaminants either biological or chemical. “We will establish commodities certification centres across the zones to aid certification, standardization and traceability. “The ban on dry beans from Nigerian origin by EU therefore geared our attention to what is an eye opener that we have actually been...
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...
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,...
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...
By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja The inclusion of Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP) in wheat bread and school meals is boosting the nutritional status of children and could help Nigeria to reduce its imports of wheat drastically. Developed by the International Potato Centre (abbreviated by Spanish acronym CIP) and partners, the OFSP varieties are rich in Vitamin A—a critical vitamin that is deficient in most diets in sub Saharan Africa, and remains a serious public health problem in Ghana, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso in West Africa. In Nigeria, one in three children suffer from Vitamin A deficiency (VAD)—which can lead to blindness and even death. In the last three years, CIP has pioneered a three-year project in Osun and Kwara States of Nigeria. In Osun State, the project intervention entails inclusion of OFSP in school meals as part of efforts to improve the nutrition of children.  The project, which is funded by...
By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja The Federal government through the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri has again expressed the political will and commitment to creating business employment in agriculture. The Minister restated this commitment when he received a delegation of Nestle Nigeria Plc led by its managing director and chief executive officer, Mauricio Alarcon, in Abuja recently. According to Lokpobiri “the business-employment opportunities in Agriculture cannot be fully tapped despite our increasing population.” He commended the business activities of Nestle Nigeria whose source of raw materials for production of her varied food products is 82% local, noting that this has reduced the pressure on foreign exchange for importation of such needed raw materials. “This sourcing has automatically created business-employment for Nigerians across board, especially farmers who grow the needed produce which Nestle needs for their final nutrition food products” he said Lokpobiri was optimistic that very soon...