By Ruth Tene,  with Agency Report The President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has been named the 2017 World Food Prize Laureate. Adesina, whose name was selected yesterday at Washington, D.C, becomes the 46th recipient and the sixth African to be so honoured. The award ceremony would take place October 19. Adesina was the Nigeria Minister of Agriculture under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan. Announcing the new Laureate, Amb. Kenneth Quinn, the President, The World Food Prize, The Hall of Laureates, described Adesina as “someone who grew out of poverty, but whose life mission is to lift up millions of people out of poverty.’’ The prestigious 250,000 dollars prize is given annually to a person who has worked to advance human development by “improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world”. Over a 31-year existence, the award has become known as the “Nobel Prize’’ for Food and Agriculture. The...
By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja As part of efforts, led by the Government, to restore livelihoods and combat critical levels of food insecurity and malnutrition in areas affected by Boko Haram violence, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has began the distribution of emergency seeds and fertilisers  to over 1million farmers in North-east Nigeria In a statement to Leadership yesterday,it stated that "The emergency distributions comes as Germany contributes €4 million ($US4.5 million) to alleviate food insecurity in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states - the largest contribution FAO has received so far for the Nigeria operation. The statement further revealed that "Around 5.2 million people are struggling with high levels of food insecurity in the three states and require immediate and enhanced support" "Seeds and fertilizer for more than one million people are being distributed by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in north-eastern Nigeria for the planting season that...
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...
By CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos The Nigeria Agribusiness Group, a think tank group that advises government on ways to grow the country’s agriculture sector, has said that with the successes already recorded in rice production the stage is now set for the country to move from rice importation to rice exportation. The group said that by 2018, locally processed rice would be exported to other countries which in turn will create jobs and generate foreign exchange for the federal government. Dr. Emmanuel Ijewere, the group’s coordinator and vice president, while speaking as a guest at the monthly forum of Nigeria Association of Agriculture Journalists, NAAJ, in Lagos said that with the level of activities going on in rice production, Nigeria should have enough to consume and start importing by end of 2018. The Vice-President also stated that Nigeria is now self-sufficient in cassava production, while the group is ensuring production value chain with the...
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 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...
By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has said three million school children will benefit from the Home Grown School Feeding programme by the end of 2017 even as he revealed that more one million primary school children across seven states are currently being fed through the programme. The Acting President who stated this in his Democracy Day speech to commemorate the second anniversary of the Buhari Administration, in Abuja, noting that President Buhari in the budget presentation speech to the National Assembly last December outlined their economic agenda in detail, and assured that 2017 is the year Nigerians would begin to see tangible benefits of all the planning and preparation work by the administration. The Acting President said in the five months since the President delivered that speech “We have seen tremendous progress, as promised, take the example of our Social Investment Programme, which kicked off at the...
BY BAYO AMODU, Abuja and CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos Disturbed by the surge in prices of food stuffs and its attendant impact on Nigerians, the federal government has concluded plans to crash the prices of rice and other foodstuffs within the next two weeks. To ensure that this is fully implemented, government is already holding wide range consultative meetings with farmers. Minister of agriculture and rural development, Audu Ogbeh, who is the chairman of presidential task force on soaring prices of foodstuffs disclosed this in an interview with LEADERSHIP. Recently, the national bureau of statistics (NBS), in its annual reports, indicated that the nation is still being weighed down by soaring prices of food stuffs in the face of rising inflation. Before the NBS report which is something most Nigerians were already conversant with, the federal government had in February set up a task force on food security, with the sole aim of looking at...
BY  Ruth Tene Natsa ...Despite enormous challenges, the nation’s agriculture and solid minerals sectors have recorded great achievements even as Nigeria waits the unfolding of the sectors’ revival Nigeria in the past two years recorded various challenges in the agricultural sector, ranging from insecurity as a result of insurgency, farmers/herdsmen clashes, Federal Government’s indebtedness to Agro dealers leading to non supply of fertilizers, to disease infections such as the tuta absoluta which affected tomatoes, bird flu which threatened the nations poultry farmer’s investment. In tackling these challenges the government through the Minister of Agriculture initiated a number of policies, one of such is the Agriculture Promotion Policy (APP), also referred to, as the Green Alternative Policy. The document launched on August 15, 2016, by President Muhammadu Buhari emphasized the sustenance of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA). In addition to the inauguration of the Standing Inter-Ministerial Technical Committee on Zero-Reject of Agricultural Commodities and...
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...