BY DONATUS NADI, Lafia Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa state yesterday flagged of the sales of fertilizers to farmers in the state in Jenkwe, Obi local government area of the state. Almakura, while flagging off the sales of the fertilizers, said the his administration had over the past years procured assorted fertilizers and sold to farmers at a subsidized rate of N5, 500 but for the 2017 cropping season this, his administration decided to sell to farmers at the rate of N4000. "We are gathered here today to flag off sales of fertilizers for the 2017 cropping season in Nasarawa state. The choice of today is very important considering the vegetation for mass production of agricultural produce. "This government has committed a whooping sum of N1 billion for the procurement of 10000 metric tonnes of compound fertilizers at N5,500 per bag. That is the cost as far as government is concerned. "But considering...
Stakeholders in the agricultural sector have expressed mixed reactions on Nigeria’s new policy to export yams to UK and the U.S., saying Nigeria has yet to attain self-sufficiency in yam production. The stakeholders told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday that the hardship, which most citizens were facing in purchasing yams in the market, ought to be addressed first. They said that the export policy could be counter-productive if no tangible efforts were made to boost yam production across the country. Dr Tunde Arosanyin, National Coordinator for Zero Hunger Commodities, who commended the Federal Government for the new initiative, however, said that a lot needed to be done to increase food production in the country. “Ordinarily, the exportation of food items to Europe or America is a welcome development but there are mixed feelings on the policy in the sense that people are presently hungry in Nigeria. “We do not have...
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 pledged support for yam producers, saying the country is pushing to become the number one exporter of the commodity in the world. He made the allusion recently at the end of the meeting with the technical committee on Nigerian Yam Export Programme. The minister had said “beginning from next week, Nigeria will export 72 metric tonnes of yam to the United Kingdom and the United States in three containers. The consignment would be exported via Apapa Port. Assuring the exporters of government’s support, Ogbeh said Nigeria accounts for 60 per cent of global yam production. “We must sell all whatever we can to the world. We account for over 60 per cent of yam production, yet people do not know that we grow yam,” Ogbeh said. Because attention has been paid more on importation, he said...
By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja The director, system and site integration, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr. Kwesi Atta-Krah, has urged investors in seed production plants to help meet the demand for improved seeds. He said this will enhance quality seed availability as more stakeholders, will have access to more quality seeds. The director in an interview with journalists said though “farmers need quality seeds, they could not get them. He explained that Nigeria’s share in the seed trade is low, adding that the supply of quality seeds and improved crop varieties was weak” He asserted that poor seed supply threatens agriculture’s contribution to economic development. Attah-Krah further disclosed that IITA was working to improve seed systems. In his words “As an emerging economy with many small-scale cultivators, Nigeria needs IITA’s relevant knowledge, expertise and investments to help develop the seed sector. He said opportunities are available to seed companies for different...
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 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...