The federal government said on Sunday that adequate provision has been made for farmers across the country to have enough fertiliser to grow food throughout the year. The chief executive officer, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Mr Uche Orji, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. “Last year fertiliser was sold as high as N14,000 a bag in the open market. “And now we are selling it for N5,500, that is 30 per cent below what the market was. The price is boldly written on the fertiliser bag so you can’t be cheated. “We have the capacity to blend what the nation needs and this year, fertiliser will not be an excuse for farming in Nigeria. “Anybody who tries to sell it more than that, there is a whistleblower number and when you call, then, the National Security Adviser would be involved to investigate,” he said. Orji...
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 Nasarawa state House of Assembly has passed a resolution calling on Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura to arrest, prosecute and relieve any government official found culpable in diverting fertilizer meant for farmers in the state. Alhaji Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi, the speaker of  the House made the call in Lafia after the chairman, House committee on Agriculture, Barr. Abubakar Kana(APC-Kokona West) moved a motion on the need for the House to investigate alleged cases of fertilizer diversion by government officials in the state Balarabe Abdullahi said that if the state government takes such a step, it would serve as a deterrent to others and would boost food production in the state. He said that the house would also investigate the alleged diversion of fertilizers by government officials in the state. The Speaker commended Governor Almakura for distributing assorted fertilizer at a subsidized rate of N4000 per bag to farmer and called on them...
By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh has said by the time the restructuring of the Bank of Agriculture is complete, it will become the largest bank in the country having anything between 25 and 30 million depositors and shareholders. The minister who stated this in an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP said “We have begun the process of restructuring the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) and by the time we finish, it will become the largest bank in this country, with probably anything between 25 and 30 million depositors and shareholders. Chief Ogbeh while stating his achievements and those of his counterpart minister of state, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri since resuming office as Ministers, said “We cut down on food importations very heavily, such as rice, in 2015 Nigeria imported 580,000 tonnes of rice. In 2016, the figure dropped to 58,000 tonnes, by the end of...
Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has re-energized his   desire and determination to make the state a hub for both local and international investors in  agricultural value-chain and other areas as he opened  linkages at a Business Roundtable  organized by African Caribbean Business Council of  Greater Philadelphia (ACDBC) in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, United  State. According to the Chief Press Secretary Jibrin Ndace the Governor has assured every investor of the establishment of enabling environment by instituting credible, transparent and proactive governance structure. He therefore called on investors in the United States and other part of the world at the roundtable to explore opportunities available in the state in the areas of agriculture, solid mineral infrastructure, sports and tourism. “Niger state is a bundle of opportunities and fertile ground for any investor. We are strategically located close to the capital city, Abuja. We have largest land mass in Nigeria – fertile, uncultivated and ready...
By DANJUMA JOSEPH, Lafia - The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Benue State Chapter, has appealed to the federal government to prevail on the Benue State government, to withdraw the implementation of its Anti-Open Grazing Law, which took effect on 1st November. MACBAN, made the call during a press briefing at the weekend held at the Dunoma Hotel, Bukan Sidi, Lafia in Nasarawa State. The North Central zonal chairman of MACBAN, Alhaji Danladi Ciroma, said the call has become necessary because the right of his people as Nigerians, has been trampled upon by the Anti-grazing Law, in Benue State. Parts of the new anti-grazing law stipulates that “Section 19 (4) movement of livestock on foot from one destination to another, in the state is hereby prohibited. Such movement shall only be by rail wagon, truck or pick up wagon. (5) Any person(s) found moving livestock on foot across urban centers,...
BY BAYO AMODU and RUTH TENE NATSA, Abuja Nigeria will be saving about N300 billion it spends annually on importation of rice as local production of the commodity has now reached 15 million metric tonnes, the federal ministry of Agriculture disclosed yesterday. The director of Agriculture at the Kano office of the ministry, Muhammad Adamu, who gave the hint, while inaugurating the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria (RIMAN) in the state, said in Kano alone, 1.2 million metric tonnes of rice was produced in 2016. He noted that, with the significant increase in local production and the effort to make the local variety qualitative and more attractive to Nigerians, the country expects to begin exporting rice to West African countries between 2018 and 2019. Adamu said presently, 34 states in Nigeria are producing rice, with most of them now producing three times in a year. He disclosed that investigation carried out by the federal...
By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has assured the lecturers and students engaged in non-agricultural studies in the three universities of agriculture that their careers will not be jeopardised. The Minister gave this assurance in Abuja while receiving the members of the governing councils of federal universities of agriculture. According to Chief Ogbeh, “the return of the three universities of agriculture to this Ministry is a rational, just and timely action, necessitated by the new economic realities we are in, to ensure that our institutions are better focused and more efficiently and economically managed.” “The three federal universities of agriculture,” he noted, “were established to advance the cause of agricultural transformation and modernisation in Nigeria for the development of core competencies in agricultural education, research and training, amongst others.  It is, therefore, expected that the admission policy of these universities will largely be reflective of...
By Obinna Ogbonnaya, Abakaliki The federal government is to compensate Ebonyi State poultry farmers affected by the December 2016 Avian Influenza attack on poultry farms in the state, from July 5. The state’s commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr Uchenna Orji, disclosed this yesterday in Abakaliki during a training programme for poultry farmers in the state on ways of preventing and handling incidences of the disease. According to Orji, a Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development team would arrive the state on July 5, to conduct necessary assessment and other procedures before the compensation. “20 poultry farmers would benefit from the compensation but they must be registered with my ministry and fulfill all obligations required of them in the conduct of poultry activities. “The effect of the avian influenza attack on poultry farms was devastating. “This training is part of the enlightenment programmes for farmers on the disease as directed by the federal...
BY ABDULGAFAR OLADIMEJI, Kano Northern Nigeria Flour Mill yesterday in Kano officially commissioned a Sorghum flour production plant which costs over N2 billion. The chairman, board of directors of the flour mills, Alhaji Aminu Dantata disclosed that the revamped plant situated in Kano would source for sorghum from local farmers, which would culminate into boosting the economy of the state and Northern Nigeria. The industrialist represented by the vice chairman board of directors of the company,  Alhaji Rabiu Gwarzo  in a welcome address revealed that  local farmers  would be paid handsomely for delivering  the  raw materials request of the plant, assuring that the  locally produced flour is in equivalence with global best practices. He commended CBN and Kano State Government for steering the successful resuscitation of the plant and introduction of sorghum milling initiative. The chairman, Flour Mills of Nigeria, John George  Coumatarous  disclosed that the sorghum plant would  facilitate the  employment  of over...