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Agriculture

Ondo Govt warns farmers against harbouring kidnappers

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The Ondo State Government on Friday warned farmers in government farm settlements and reserves against harbouring kidnappers or  providing to them, information about security movement.

The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Adegboyega Adefarati, gave the warning in Akure during a meeting with traditional rulers, camp heads and representatives of farmers in the state.

Adefarati said that available information was that some farmers were  collaborating with criminals to the extent of supplying them and their victims, food stuff and information about security movement.

He warned that anyone caught would “face the music of the unpatriotic act.’’

He also gave the farmers a two-week ultimatum to pay their yearly dues to avoid arrest and loss of their farms.

Adefarati, who said that the agreed fee was N10,000 per rope, decried  the farmers’ failure to pay the agreed amount to the government as and when due.

“Ondo State Government’s patience is running out over the recalcitrant attitude of most of the farmers in honouring the agreement in paying their dues to the government.

“To ensure compliance, we have directed the governor’s task force to arrest any defaulters as from the first week of August.

“Such defaulters, apart from paying the amount, would lose their farm to more patriotic and serious farmers,” he said.

He said that camp heads would be held responsible for any lapses.

According to him, as part of measures to develop agriculture, the government has approved  construction and rehabilitation of 60km  farm roads across the state, and purchase of 20 tractors and five Hilux  vans to make life better for farmers.

The commissioner advised farmers yet to register their titles to perfect their papers before the end of the month.

He said that any farm and camp not captured before the deadline would be forfeited.

According to him, records available to the government show that only 86 farm camps have paid out of 600 camps believed to be in existence in the farm settlements across the state.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Segun Odusanya, advised the farmers against making payments to anybody except the government through the approved e-payment process or through their camp heads.

Chief Babatunde Ero from Ifon, Owo, who spoke on behalf of the farmers and camp heads, appealed to the them to pay the fee to avoid losing their farms.

 

 

Agriculture

Expert warns of looming scarcity of honey in Nigeria

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Dr Yusuf Madaki, Director, Animal Health, Yobe Livestock Development Programme, has warned that unregulated use of agro-chemicals was threatenening the existence of bees and honey production in Nigeria.

Madaki gave the warning on Wednesday in Damaturu while speaking with the Nigeria News Agency .

He said that Nigeria’s ecosystem had suffered grossly from unregulated use of agro-chemicals on farms with health implications on humans, animals and plants.

“Unfortunately, in spite of earlier warnings by concerned persons, there has been little or no effort to stem the tide of the abuse in usage of the chemicals,” Madaki lamented.

The director said that there was gross reduction in honey production across the country as “the bees are facing extinction by the activities of farmers”.

“Bee farming and honey production is becoming unattractive and unprofitable in the country.

“I am afraid the scarcity of honey will continue to be on the increase and the product will always be adulterated,” Madaki said.

He advised government at all levels to take stringent measures against flagrant abuse of agro-chemicals by crop farmers.

Edited by Razak Owolabi and Ephraims Sheyin

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Agriculture

Climate change, most crucial development challenge – ministry of environment

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The Federal Ministry of Environment says unpredictable climate change is the most important development challenge currently and external climate finance is key to fast tracking Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Mrs Ibukun Odusote, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment said this on Wednesday in Abuja during a workshop on Promoting Climate Finance for Agriculture in West and Central Africa organised by the ECOWAS commission.

Odusote said Global Green House Gas (GHG) emissions was a threat to agricultural gains and there was an urgent need to reduce global emissions.

“Toward this path, countries have made resolute commitments to emission reduction targets through national legislation, policies and regulations, regional and sub-national actions combined with a new binding agreement,’’ she said.

Odusote said that with the adoption of the Paris Agreement, Nigeria pledged through its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to reduce its emission unconditionally by 20 per cent and conditionally up to 45 per cent by 2023.

She said that effective implementation of the Paris Agreement and its components would depend greatly on the combined efforts at international, regional, national, sub-national and private sectors.

“So far, Nigeria has deepened the understanding of relevant national stakeholders on the concept of a low carbon and climate resilient development and the green economy,’’ Odusote said.

She said another milestone Nigeria achieved in this regard was the development of sectoral action plans for the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributors.

The Permanent Secretary said agriculture was an indispensable indicator of growth in the economy of every country, not just for provision of food, but it connected other development sectors.

Dr Oluyede Ajayi, Lead Specialist, leading agriculture and climate change at the Technical Climate for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation, said the workshop was to promote climate finance to support agricultural resilience.

Ajayi said most countries depended on agriculture and food security, and small holder farmers were at the receiving end in climate change because they had very low adaptability.

“One way of addressing this is to promote adaptation and help farmers to be resilient, and a lot of money and resources have been channeled globally into climate financing in respect to climate change.

“Out of this, less than 10 per cent goes into agriculture and less than five per cent goes to small holder farmers,’’ he said.

Ajayi noted that a slight change in rainfall pattern had implications which might be able to wreck havoc on farm practices.

He said the essence of the meeting was to strategise on how to increase financial support for climate change activities in agriculture with regards to small holder agriculture in West and Central African countries.

“We have conducted studies in some countries and now we are synthesising to look at the key issues with options to promote reinvestment in climate actions to support small holder farmers,’’ Ajayi said.

The first day of workshop witnessed presentations from African countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, Cameroun, Chad and representatives of other countries.

 

 

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Agriculture

I won’t tolerate indiscipline; Agric minister warns

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Nigeria News Agency reports that the minister is expected to tour the 40 agencies and parastatals under the ministry to familiarise himself with their activities.

CJM/KAY

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Agriculture

Biotechnology crops have contributed to global food security – Expert

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“Let’s get this technology out as fast as possible; let government create the enabling environment that will make those developing the project to quickly expedite action and get the products out to the farmers who need the technology,” Oikeh said.

IBK/GY

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Agriculture

Kaduna agric agency partners research institutes to offer new technologies to farmers

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The Kaduna State Agricultural Development Agency (KADA) is collaborating with research institutes to extend new technologies to farmers across the state.

Alhaji Ya’u Kasimu, Director Extension Services, KADA, made the disclosure in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Zaria, Kaduna State on Wednesday.

NAN reports that Kasimu spoke on the sideline of a meeting with specialists from four Agricultural Zonal Offices of the state.

The Director said: “All the Agricultural Development Agencies (ADPs) are collaborating with research institutes because, research institutes are a basket or a store of knowledge that come up with new technologies, because we cannot develop technologies ourselves.

“Therefore, we have to collaborate with the research institutes for us to get the technologies, which at the end we train our extension agents so that they can take such technologies to our farmers for agricultural improvement.”

Kasimu expressed concern over the inadequate ratio of extension agents in Kaduna State in particular and Nigeria as a whole.

“The Food Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations says one extension agent is to oversee the activities of 800 farmers that means one extension agent to 800 farmers.

“When they saw the number of farmers are multiplying, they shift it to one extension agent to 1,000 farmers but today, Bureau of Statistics reports that in Nigeria, one extension agent is attending to 9,650 farmers.

“The ratio is so big, indicating that the number of extension agents is grossly inadequate and that is why we are using the media to see how we can extend the massage on the new improved technologies to farmers,” he noted.

According to him, the meeting was to raise awareness of the participants on the need to educate farmers to take farming as a business instead of tradition or hobby.

“We want the farmers to see how they can analyse their activities to know how much they have spent, what value are they getting from each value chain, be it maize, rice or whatever crop they are growing, we want to put them through.

“We want them to be keeping records of what they are producing, to understand the nature of rainfall, weather happening, so that they will not be victims of circumstances or victims of weather situations.

“We also want to see that women farmers are being carried along. We are trying to see how women farmers will be going together, know the happening just like their male counterparts,” he said.

Kasimu encouraged women to redouble efforts and participate more in farming business to gain the benefits therein.

He lauded their commitments in engaging in agricultural value-chain especially in the aspect of processing, livestock and cereal crops among others.

The Director appealed to farmers generally to learn and understand what agriculture is all about.

“Farmers must understand that there is science aspect of agriculture and art aspect of agriculture, you cannot just go for one aspect to achieve what you want to achieve.

“You have to combine the two to be able to get to where you want to go, by combining the two aspects, sky will be your limit,” he said.

Kasimu attributed the loan repayment challenges being encountered in CBN’s Ancho-Borrower programme to lack of involvement of extension agents in the scheme, assuring that extension agents knew the real farmers.

He said most of the loans were disbursed to political farmers instead of real farmers due to inability of those in-charge of the programme to identify actual farmers.

KLM/MZA

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

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