Daura (Katsina state) May 17 2019 No fewer than 1,108 rice farmers in Daura Local Government, Katsina State would benefit from the wet season agricultural inputs under the 2019 first phase of the Federal Government anchor borrower agricultural scheme.
Malam Nura Baure, the chapter Chairman of the Rice Farmers Association (RIFAN) made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Daura.
He said all necessary arrangements for distribution of the inputs had been completed and assured that it would be distributed in accordance with the number of eligible farmers who fullfilled all the necessary conditions of obtaining the loan.
According to him, each farmer would be provided with water pumping machine, fertiliser, insecticides, herbicides, chemical sprayers and seedlings as loan which was to be repaid with paddy rice after a year.
Baure added that an estimated 5,800 farmers were expected to benefit from the scheme during the second phase of the programme in June.
He said that the data capture of the beneficiaries was currently ongoing, adding that the quantity of cultivable hectare registered against an individual farmer or organisation determines the quantity of the inputs to be collected.
The chairman said that prosecution of some of the beneficiaries who refused to repay the loan earlier collected would soon begin.
He added that his office has made significant progress in terms of the loan repayment as those who were serious and committed had since started repaying, stressing that steady progress is being made.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that no fewer than 2,500 farmers have benefited from the anchor borrower agricultural scheme in Daura local government area since the inception of the programme three years ago.
NIRSAL partners Nasarawa govt. to boost agribusiness
The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, (NIRSAL) a subsidiary of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is partnering with Nasarawa government to boost agribusiness in the state.
The State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, disclosed this in Lafia on Tuesday, while receiving a team from NIRSAL, who were in the state to have a technical session with stakeholders to facilitate agribusiness financing for farmers and others in the agricultural value chain.
He said that NIRSAL intervention in the state would go a long way in encouraging the teaming unemployed youths in the state to venture into agriculture as a productive business.
“Nasarawa is one of the states in the country with vast arable land, but challenged with huge youth unemployment, who would have been gainfully engaged given the necessary boost,”Sule said.
The governor pointed out that the proximity of Nasarawa to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) coupled with the population has created ready market for agricultural production from the state.
He called on stakeholders, especially the youths in the state to take advantage of the opportunity for them to be gainfully engaged, and earn a living and be self reliant.
Mr Sheriff Salau, NIRSAL Head, Collaboration and Partnership said they were in the state to interface with stakeholders with a view to boost agribusiness in the state.
Salau explained that NIRSAL is a 500 million Dollar project established by the CBN with the mandate of de-risking agriculture and facilitating agribusiness in the country.
According to him, NIRSAL works as an intermediary between the various players in the agribusiness.
He disclosed that since its inception 5 years ago, NIRSAL had facilitated about N90 billion into the agricultural space.
Salau added that NIRSAL’s decision to intervene in Nasarawa was informed by the passion of the state governor to develop agriculture and create opportunity for the teeming youths to have a profitable means of livelihood.
Edited by Remi Koleoso, Rotimi Ijikanmi
Sokoto: Industrialist lauds FG’s support for Nigerian farmers
Alhaji Nura Attajiri, a Sokoto-based agro-industrialist, has commended Federal Government’s support to some Nigerian farmers to boost food security in the country and encourage export.
Attajiri, the Chairman of Sokoto State chapter of Small and Medium Scale Rice Millers, made the remark on Tuesday in Sokoto while addressing newsmen.
According to him, the ongoing government’s efforts to intensify food production in Nigeria will no doubt enhance the country’s economic diversification.
“With the current trend, farming in the country is no longer for subsistence or hobby, it provides the needed elixir for most Nigerians who were hitherto mere consumers of foodstuffs to become producers.
“In the same vein, the provision of financial support to Nigerian farmers via the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme of the Federal Government has greatly boosted food production in Nigeria,” he said.
The agro-industrialist highlighted the positive impact of the recent banning on the importation of rice into the country by the government.
“Nigerians will now concentrate on the consumption of locally produced rice and other food items, the production of local rice will also be intensified.
“However, the provision of some inputs and implements such as improved seeds, assorted fertiliser, herbicides, pesticides and low interest loans should be given due emphasis,” he noted.
Attajiri said there was increased integrated rice milling by domestic companies in the nation, saying that majority of them were supported with loan facilities.
He, however, condemned the attention to the major rice producers to the detriment of the small and medium-scale rice millers.
According to him, there is the urgent need to transform the operations of the small and medium-scale rice millers to meet the required international standards.
“This could be done through the provision of more training and simple machinery for sorting the commodity, rice graders and electric dryers.
“Moreover, it will further boost local production for domestic consumption and exports hence, boost the country’s economy.”
Delta Govt. earmarks 33,000 hectares for oil palm cultivation
Delta Government has earmarked over 33,000 hectares of land in 28 communities across the state for commercial cultivation of oil palm.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the state’s decision to establish large scale oil palm production was in line with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Oil Palm Development Initiative (OPDI) aimed at restoring the country’s position as number three in oil palm production worldwide.
Mr Julius Egbedi, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources at roundtable on Sustainable Oil Palm Production in Asaba, said the CBN OPDI, when implemented would increase wealth and promote economic growth in the state and the country.
According to him, the CBN Oil Palm Development Initiative is geared toward creating oil palm belt in Nigeria and to revive dwindling fortune of the commodity.
He said that the objective of the programme, which prompted the interest of the state government, was to increase domestic production of oil palm through efforts of individuals, communities and investors.
He said the effect of the initiative would be to meet local demands for oil palm, palm kernel oil, hydrogenated fat and to stamp out the importation of the items, create employment and wealth in the state.
Egbedi disclosed that the CBN OPDI had planned to establish 1.2 million hectares of oil palm plantations between 2019 and 2023 across the country.
According to the commissioner, if the project is properly implemented, it will move the country from being its current 5th to 3rd position in oil palm production in the world chart within the short term.
“The time to begin the expansion of the oil palm sector is now.
“The accelerated production of oil palm will reduce poverty in our communities, move the country from overdependence on crude oil economy and also promote agriculture,” he said.
At the meeting, Mr Austin Oghoro, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, said the roundtable was organised to ensure that farmers in the state participated in the CBN OPDI programme.
According to Oghoro, 28 communities in the state have provided land for the programme and the total area to be covered is about 33,000 hectares of land.
He said that participating farmers would be giving loans at a single digit interest rate for a period of four years.
Oghoro urged interested farmer in the state to key into the opportunity provided by CBN OPDI to invest in oil palm business.
FCTA distributes agro-inputs to farmers affected by flood in Bwari
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has provided and distributed agro-inputs to farmers in Bwari Area Council of FCT who are affected by erosion and flood in the district.
Mr Christian Ohaa, the Permanent Secretary of the administration, made the distribution during the administration’s campaign against erosion in the district on Tuesday in Abuja.
Ohaa, who was represented by Dr Nkem Akanegbu, the Director, Agriculture Services of FCTA said that the inputs were to be distributed to farmers affected by erosion and flood to support to them and ensure they were back to business.
She said that the programme, which was initiated by the former Minister of the FCT, Mr Bello Mohammed, sought to address erosion and flooding challenges in communities within the territory.
“Bwari is well known for its farming activities within the FCT, especially with yam production.
“Unfortunately, many of these farmers plant on flood prone areas and along erosion lines which are not good for production and must be avoided.
“This administration has therefore taken it upon itself to help address this situation by sensitising the farmers on prevention, control and management of their farmlands against the disaster.
“Our extension service workers have been trained and will come to address all farmers in the district on how to go about this, so we plead your indulgence.
“Affected farmers have already been identified by the council’s extension service workers and will continue with the distribution of the inputs to the farmers in the villages after the flag off today.”
Akanegbu advised farmers to obey instructions given by the extension workers, and cautioned them against selling or eating some of the inputs.
She explained that this was because the maize and beans seedlings were not edible and had been mixed with chemicals.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the inputs include maize and beans seedlings, cashew, orange and palm trees, chicks and feeds.
The Chairman of the council, Mr John Gabaya thanked the administration for the gesture, adding that it was a laudable effort of government to plan for the needs of the rural people.
He said that the effort would not be forgotten by the people since it was first of its kind in the district.
Gabaya also called on the farmers to abide by the instructions given and ensure they gave the extension service workers all the support needed to make progress.
One of the farmers, Mr Galadima Salisu, Sarkin Noma Kawu who spoke on behalf of the farmers, expressed appreciation to government for the effort.
While thanking the administration, he said that the supply would go a long way to address some of the challenges of farmers in the district.
Nigeria,biggest importer of Cowpea in Africa -NGO
The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) says Nigeria can save billions of naira if it cuts down on its importation of cowpea.
Dr Issoufou Abdourhamane, the Regional Head of AATF in Abuja made this known in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday in Abuja.
“Nigeria is the biggest importer and producer of cowpea in Africa and the world.
“If Nigeria can cut down importation by 20 or 30 per cent, it will be saving the country, hundreds of millions of Naira annually.
“If you look at it, it is billions you are talking about,’’ he said.
The AATF Regional Head in Abuja said the purpose for the creation of the AATF, with presence in other African countries was to intervene and ensure food sufficiency and security.
“With mechanised farming and intervention in crops like cowpea, cassava, and currently rice which is underway, Nigeria can be sure of food security from that perspective.
“AATF is an organisation which focuses on some constraints faced by small holder farmers usually because in Sub-Saharan Africa, we don’t have large producers.
“Most of our producers are the small holder farmers but there are also many challenges to agricultural production,’’ he said.
He said that these existing challenges could be solved step by step and by focusing on them, they could be overcome.
Abdourhamane identified one of these challenges as mechanisation, which would go a long way in boosting food production in the country.
According to him, one of the AATF’s initial projects ongoing in six states in Nigeria is cassava mechanisation, which is a big and important food crop in the country and many other countries.
“One of the key components of cassava production is drudgery, how much labour it takes to plant, weed and harvest cassava because cassava is a shrub.
“We had to show people that solution exist, the cassava mechanisation development going on in collaboration with the National Mechanisation Centre is having very good success and impact,’’ said.
Abdourhamane said that farmers were not only into mechanised farming but were also taught how to weed at the right time, how to control insect pest on cassava and improve the soil fertility.
“As a result of the AATF cassava mechanisation, they were able to multiply the yield from eight to more than 30 tonnes per hectare and this is a real success story.’’
He described cowpea as a big cash crop and cowpea scientists in Africa in the late 80s found out that the limiting factor in the field was `maruca podborer’, insect pest of the commodity.
“So since then, people have been trying to develop resistant variety cowpea, unfortunately cowpea naturally doesn’t have any resistance.
“The development of biotechnology in late 80s and early 90s showed that there is a way because BT Cotton, BT Maize and BT Soybeans have been very popular and successful in the U.S.
“They were able to develop the BT Cowpea after difficult challenges, which will help boost the production of cowpea because we can double the yield of cowpea.
“We can do that easily if maruca is the challenge and in the area of marca challenge, we can easily double the yield.
“By doing this, not only do we improve food production, we’ve improved protein content,’’ he said.
Abdourhamane stressed the nutritional value of nitrogen and protein in the human body, stating that cowpea was easily affordable by those who could not readily purchase meat as a vital source of protein.
“It’s not an academic exercise, we are talking about food security, it is human health, also the economic, financial aspect,’’ he said.