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Agriculture

Seed council repositioned for quality seed deployment

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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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Agriculture

FAO donates inputs to 247 tomato farmers in Kaduna

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The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has distributed farm inputs and implements to 247 farmers in Kaduna State.

This is contained in a statement issued by Malam Dahiru Abdullah, Information Officer of the State Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and made available to the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Kaduna.

Abdullahi said the UN agency donated the inputs and implements to the farmers based on their high rating for adopting global best practices in food production.

“Farmers in the state were chosen for engaging in the best agricultural practices, in line with Global standards that ensures improved livelihood of farmers.

“Dr Hadiza Balarabe, led the farmers to receive the items on behalf of Gov.  Nasiru Ahmad El –Rufai and the state government expressed gratitude to FAO pledging to partner with the agency to transform the sector.

“The FAO has assisted farmers in the state for more than a decade.

“The government will continue to partner with the organization to transform the Agricultural sector into Agri-business moving away from subsistence farming,” the statement said.

It added that El-Rufai urged the benefiting farmers to use the intervention maximally to create jobs for the teaming unemployed youths in the state.

He also urged them to ensure the maintenance of the implements and effective use of the seeds and insecticides distributed to them.

El-Rufai reminded the farmers to use the proceeds from their farm produce to send their wards to school.

Amb. Sufiyan Koroma who represented FAO, while presenting the donation, said the Agency had been supporting Nigeria since 1978 for food sufficiency in the country.

Koroma said FAO would continue to commit more resources to improve agriculture in the state to ensure food sufficiency and growth of agriculture businesses.

He encouraged the benefiting farmers to use the items to improve their livelihood and that of their families to reduce poverty.

Also, the General Manager, Kaduna State Agricultural Development Agency, Mallam Sabi’u Ismaila said the 247 farmers who benefitted from the FAO gesture were drawn from Jere in Kagarko Local Government of the state.

Ismaila said the farmers were trained on Agriculture Production, Processing and Marketing with emphasis on Tomatoes.

He commended the UN agency for improving the lives of farmers in the state through trainings and workshops on food production, processing and marketing.

“Farmers in the state had gradually adopted the culture of global best practices in production and KADA will ensure effective monitoring for judicious use of the items by the benefiting farmers,’’ he said.

Inputs and Implements distributed to the farmers included; Improved Seeds, Agrochemicals, Water Pumps, Wheel-barrows, Watering-cans, Rakes, Plastic- Crates, and Pesticides to reduce the impact of insects on crops.

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Agriculture

Genetically modified foods highly scrutinised for safety-NGO

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He said if there was any class of food highly scrutinised for safety, it was GM food.

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