Agriculture stakeholders have solicited for continuity of Fadama project in the North East aimed at providing succour for more households and communities affected by insurgency.
The stakeholders disclosed this at the dissemination workshop for Fadama III Additional Financing II Impact Assessment Report on Tuesday in Abuja.
Mr Tayo Adewunmi, the National Coordinator of Fadama III Project said that it was important for the project to continue so that more households would be reached.
Adewunmi said that the project intervention to the beneficiary households in the region during the four years was in the area of provision of food assistance and restoration of livelihood through packages of economic benefits.
“This has really enhanced income and social benefits through capacity building, training and other provisions.
“The project has been very remarkable and with the efforts of the other donor agencies, we have been able to support over 600 households, which produced a community action plan for all the local governments that are badly affected.
“Fadama project has exceeded 30,000 beneficiaries with advisory services support, capacity building, and mostly rehabilitation and reorientation of the youths for them to take agriculture as a business.’’
Adewunmi said that the World Bank had also helped the female headed families by introducing cash for work, a stipend given to take care of their children, which includes a back to school programme.
He said that the project engaged the services of the international firm – International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) to undertake an impact assessment of its interventions in the participating states.
“This can be looked upon and up scaled by the Federal Government, adding that the local government that were not reached out to are now calling for support and World Bank is about to attend to it.
“I urge Federal Government and the donor partners to consider the upscaling of the Additional Financing II (AF-II) in the North eastern part of the country based on the success story and sustainability.
“Some of the people, who left their communities are now back to their base but were not captured in the initial plans and now need support.’’
Dr Kwaw Andam, the Representative of IFRPI country office said that IFPRI’s mission was to generate sustainable solutions for reducing poverty and ending hunger and malnutrition in the world.
Andam said that the Fadama projects had become well known both within and outside Nigeria because of their numerous impacts.
“It is important to note that these impacts would not have come to light without the hard work of applying a rigorous approach, interviews, data collection, and analysis – to evaluate the interventions.
“IFPRI is proud of the achievements of the government and Nigerians through the Fadama projects and to have played a part in measuring and reporting this success.
“The Fadama impact assessment is one of the IFPRI’s success stories that will be featured in a forthcoming publication `IFPRI Making a Difference,’’ he said.
Dr Maimuna Habib, the Director, Projects Coordinating Unit (PCU), said that PCU went round the states to check on the project implementation and noticed that Fadama had done very well.
Habib said that the project aligned closely with the policy of the government of Nigeria to arrest the dwindling food situation and equally restored the economic livelihood in the region.
She said that the situation of the North East required an initial adopting of multipronged approach comprising several interventions intended to increase agricultural productivity.
“To also increase productive asset creation and enhance access to rural services, increase community entrepreneurship and institutional capacity where strong instrumental stakeholders and partners will come together to form a synergy to strengthen a common course.’’
Dr Muhammed Bello, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture said that Fadama project provided support for restoration of agricultural production activities which supported economic opportunities for women and youths.
“I strongly believe that we will get the quality of results that will impact instruments and structures of implementation of the project activities on several outcomes.
“The assessment today will no doubt capture effectively lessons learnt and provide information on the nature, extent and where possible, the effect of the Fadama III AF II project in six participating states.’’
Edited by Grace Yussuf
Agro business dealers decry multiple taxation by govt. agencies
Mr Raufu Lawal, the Deputy National President of Agro dealers Association, has decried multiple taxation of the association by some government agencies.
Lawal, who spoke with the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Abuja, noted that multiple taxation by government agencies was affecting the agro chemical business in Nigeria.
He urged the federal government to regulate all tariffs by different government agencies, saying that these agencies were claiming to have been assigned to carry out the same mandate.
“We find it difficult to bring all the contending parties together.
“NAFDAC has its regulating role, the Federal Ministry of Environment, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture as well as the Standard Organisation of Nigeria have theirs; everyone claims a right in this regulation,” he said.
“We have been finding it difficult to bear, so we appeal to the federal government to bring these parties together in order to relieve the suffering of our members.”
He called for a policy review that would spell out how to bring all these contending parties together and let them be on the same page, as agro dealers were currently the ones at the receiving end.
Lawal said the overlapping roles of government agencies could promote fake and adulterated products in Nigerian markets, and stressed the need to quicken the policy review in the interest of all stakeholders. .
NGO to establish 4,000-hectare ranch in Kaduna state
Mr Vincent Keteojo, the President of the organisation, made this known on Wednesday during a tour of the proposed site at Kurmin Dangana.
“We believe the ranch, upon completion, would improve the welfare of the people and ensure maximum utilisation of available human and natural resources.”
Keteojo disclosed that the cooperative had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria as joint partners for the project.
He explained that the partnership was to ensure smooth take-off of the project aimed at providing value chain benefits for farmers and herders in the community.
Mr Shunom Adinga, the Director, Human Resources of the organisation, said that a five-year intensive research with foreign partners from the Netherlands alongside professionals in Nigeria was undertaken to ensure that the ranch operations meet global best practices.
“The aim is to achieve organic products as so much is being wasted as pastoralists move from one place to the other.
“The consultants would therefore provide technology-based management for effective productivity,” he said.
Also, Mr Philemon Kure, a pioneer member of the project, said the venture was a Public-Private-Partnership aimed at mobilising members of the community and creating symbiotic relationship between farmers and pastoralists.
“The clashes between farmers and pastoralists had over time brought unrest for us as a nation, as it has claimed lives and property.
“This project would, therefore, mitigate what has hitherto been a national misfortune to a national fortune,” he said.
Earlier, officials of the cooperative had visited Mr Bawa Giwa, a stakeholder and former District Head of Kurmin Dangana, who assured them of the support and cooperation of the community.
“Our people are always open to projects that would add value to their well-being,” he added.
On his part, Mr Isha John, Secretary, Kurmin Dangana Development Association, described the move as“ timely” and prayed God to ensure its actualisation.
Nasarawa: LG Chairman donates land to boost farming
Mr Adamu Giza, the Chairman, Keana Local Government Area of Nasarawa State has promised to donate land to local farmers to boost farming activities in the area.
Giza said this while speaking to newsmen on Wednesday in Lafia.
According to him, the gesture is aimed at boosting agricultural production, creating more jobs and to enable youths engaged in agriculture in the state.
He said that there many fallow lands in Keana, hence the need for government to allocate such lands to interested farmers to put them to good use.
“Keana is an area dominated by farmers, yet we still have enough land that is left unused.
“In fact, the unused lands are far bigger than the lands used for farming in the area.
“So, I am inviting interested persons to come to Keana. If you don’t have land, come to me and I will provide land for you to start farming.
“We have so many virgin lands that have not been used for the past 30 to 40 years and we don’t need to use any chemical or fertilisers on them to have bumper harvest,” he said.
He assured that those who chose to farm in the locality would reap huge benefits, particularly in crops such as cassava, yam and guinea corn, among others.
Giza, however, appealed to the state government to construct roads within the locality to enable easy entry and exit by farmers.
Edited by Polycarp Auta/Grace Yussuf
Gombe govt. cautions farmers, fishermen against attacking Hippopotamus
“It is very sympathetic to farmer that their livelihoods are being threatened by wild animals. However, from a conservation aspect, the Hippos, especially Pigmy hippo species that are multiplying in the Dadin-Kowa Dam are endangered.
“The species are highly endangered and needed to be conserved as they are threatened to extinction. It is not commonly found everywhere. They are only a few remaining species.
“It is because of the favourable habitats that they found in the reservoir around the dam that makes them to multiply. It is a gift to the communities and we must make efforts to conserve them.
“The consultant came to Bauchi State for the restructuring of the Yankari Game Reserve. Together with the consultant, we went to the site and engaged the traditional rulers and locals in the communities concerned.’’
“We sensitised them on the economic importance of conserving hippos when appropriate measures are put in place through the establishment of a Hippo colony which will be a source of revenue to the state and communities.
The director said the persistent attacks of hippos between fishermen and farmers in Dadin-Kowa was a major concern for the ministry and temporary measures had been put in place to mitigate the attacks.
“As temporary measures, we engaged local fishermen to scare Hippos back to the river whenever they come out; but for sometimes now, we have not been giving them the stipends due to lack of funds.
“We hope to resume as soon as the financial situation improves. The ministry is using this opportunity to call on the state government in that regard.’’
“If this is done, it will go a long way in conserving the specie and serve as a source of employment for the communities and tourists attraction sites for the state,’’ he said.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that some farmers in the Dadin-Kowa Dam often complained that hippos graze on their crops while the fishermen often had their equipment destroyed by the animal.
Hippopotamus, referred to in ancient Greek as the ‘river horse’ which were largely herbivorous, do not eat while in water as they are not known to graze on aquatic plants but graze on land.
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