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National Seed Council goes digital to protect seeds from contamination

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The National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), has resorted to digital means, in order to track and protect genuine and quality seeds from contamination.

Mr Chukwudi Madu, the technical expert in charge of the Codex, spoke with the Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday in Abuja, on how the Codex works in securing genuine seeds.

Madu said that the NASC engaged technical experts to design the NASC Seed Codex, a digital means of protecting and tracking seeds, in its bid to secure the genuineness of seeds.

Madu disclosed that they had been engaged in text authentication solutions, where unique codes were put on products.

“The codes are unique in the sense that, they don’t occur twice, once they are used; since each code has a one life span before it gets exhausted.

“It has been established that these codes are actually secure and reliable and are stored at our data base and allocated to products.

“Therefore, each time someone sends a text, the code automatically connects your device to our data base, by pulling information about that product,’’ Madu said.

According to the expert, when a message is sent to any particular number, it returns an original report about the product, without asking to find out from a second party.

The NASC, he said, from experience had been complaining that farmers were getting diseased, adulterated and low quality seeds.

He said though there was the idea of paper tags, yet farmers still could not distinguish the original from the fake paper tags, due to imitations.

“Now when the buyers make purchases, they no longer have to struggle to find out, if the tags are original but just to scratch the number and send it to 1393.

“Once this is done, the system responds immediately whether or not the product is original.

“In a situation like that, they would then begin investigations by tracking the contact, since each phone number and text are stored in data base.

He said people can also track their supply chain as well. “For instance, if we allocate number one to 10 codes, to Kano. We know that one to 10 is going to Kano.’’

According to Madu, if the same codes allocated to Kano are found in Calabar or any other place, we are bound to know and investigate.

For further clarification, he gave another example in a situation where government decided to send seeds to a particular state, where farmers were experiencing flood.

“We put the tags on the bags and then the codes are dedicated to that state.

“If someone scratches and text from any other place, other than where the products were sent, they will be traced because everything has digital proof with electronic inputs.

” Now a farmer can simply ask for electronic tag on the pack of seeds, in order to text for confirmation of originality and quality,’’ he said.

He said that companies were also issued certificates by the NASC and these certificates carried unique electronic codes on them, which can also be verified.

He said the farmer or any buyer can go online and text the code, because everything on the product is tagged to electronic, seed and certificate.

 

 

Agriculture

BSADP promotes grapevines cultivation in Bauchi state

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The Bauchi State Agricultural Development Programme (BSADP), said on Sunday that it had perfected plans to promote the cultivation of Grapevines as part of efforts at encouraging production of cash crops in the state.

The Director of Agriculture and Technical Services of the programme, Mr Luka Daniel, said this in Bauchi in an interview with Nigeria News Agency .

Daniel said that the effort would encourage farmers to engage in the venture to meet local demand and also conserve huge foreign exchange being spent on the importation of the commodity.

Daniel dispelled the belief by most Nigerians that grapevines could not be grown in the country.

“Any person who says that grapevines cannot be grown in the country may be ignorant and does not  know about  grapevine production.

“We have assisted many people who are interested in the cultivation of the crop, both within and outside the state.

“In the horticultural section of the Programme, we have various species of the seedlings;the fact of the matter is that grapevines are presently being produced in Nigeria.

“We started it in the BASDP in 2012 and had trained students, farmers, extension officers and people who are interested in the production of assorted tree crops and those who need to have seedlings.

“We currently have nurseries in Bauchi, Azare, Dutsin Kura, Toro and other locations, and had assisted individuals in setting up farms,” Daniel explained.

Edited by Saidu Adamu

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Agriculture

FG determined to boost tomato production – NIHORT

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‎The Executive Director, National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), Dr Abayomi Olaniyan, says that the Federal Government has a robust plan to boost local production of tomato and create employment opportunities in the country.‎

Olaniyan said this at a workshop on tomato and ginger production, and value addition on Saturday in Kano.

The executive director, who said that tomato production in Nigeria was below demand, added that the production figure for fresh tomato was about 1.8 million tonnes while the annual demand was 2.3 million tonnes.‎

‎According to him, ‎the Federal Government’s tomato policy is to significantly reduce post–harvest losses of tomato fruits, boost production and attract investments into the entire value chain.

He said that the workshop had become imperative as a means of creating more awareness on the importance of the commodities in achieving food security, sustainable livelihood and economic empowerment.

“The training will cover important aspects of the commodities’ value chains such as nursery practices, production practices, value addition, economics of production, marketing and record keeping.

“The training will also cover tomato value addition and processing in order to reduce seasonal glut and inconsistent year round supply,” he explained.

Olaniyan further said that processing of tomato would reduce the quantity of tomato being imported into the country, especially during the lean season of supply.‎

“It is evident that improved production techniques and value addition must be taken seriously to attract ‎sustainable levels of investment and stakeholders’ interest in ginger,” he said.

‎The executive director said that Nigeria was the third largest exporter of ginger in the world after China and India.

According to him, Nigerian ginger verities are acclaimed to be of superior quality and outstanding flavour, adding that they were preferred products in the international market. ‎

‎He said that NIHORT had the mandate to conduct research into genetic improvement, production, processing, utilisation and marketing of fruits, vegetables, ornamental plants and spices.

Olaniyan then urged the participants to pay critical attention to all sessions in order to make the best use of the golden opportunity.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the participants were drawn from mainly tomato and ginger farming communities in Kano‎ and Kaduna States.

Some of the participants, who spoke with , commended NIHORT for the training and promised to extend the knowledge acquired to other farmers.

Edited by Franca Ofili and ‘Wale Sadeeq

 

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Agriculture

River basin to create farm settlement in Auchi for food sufficiency

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“Songhai farming is the best model of farming and I urge many Nigerians to embrace the model of agriculture from Auchi experience,” he said.

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Agriculture

YIIFSWA, IITA sensitise 50 Edo yam farmers on new technology

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The Yam Improvement for Income and Food Security in West Africa (YIIFSWA ll) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) on Friday held a sensitisation forum on Aerophonics system of seed yam production for 50 yam farmers in Edo.

Mrs Perpetual Isiahon, Head of YIIFSWA, said that the programme was initiated to set a new tone for yam value chain in the state.

“Our task at this forum is to access the economic benefits of yam value chain, while using it as an initiative for the attainment of food security in Edo.

“The purpose of this forum is to sensitise participants on new technologies in producing seed yam and developing a better understanding of existing methods.

“It is also to expose participants to different products they can get from yam for income generation through its value chain,” she said.

Isiahon urged yam farmers in the state to key into the project and invest more on yam value chain for wealth creation.

She also called on the state government to assist in establishing new seed yam production companies in the state.

She said that a budget for yam in Edo would also encourage the production of yam.

She said that Abia, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Ogun states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, were currently producing seed yam, using the new technology

In a speech, the Commissioner for Wealth Creation, Cooperatives and Employment, Mr Felix Akhabue, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Joe Edionwe, said that Nigeria had a high demand for yam as a staple food.

Edionwe regretted that yam production in Nigeria was not enough to meet the growing local and export demands, hence the need for new technologies in seed yam multiplication and production.

He said that the realisation of the goal would, no doubt, facilitate wealth creation and empowerment in the yam value chain.

Akhabue pledged government’s support to collaborate with critical stakeholders to ensure that yam farmers and Edo people benefited immensely from the project.

Mr Wellington Omoragbon, state Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), commended the initiative and urged the farmers to take the message to their communities.

Omoragbon said the one-day advocacy and sensitisation forum, tagged “Sustainable production of high quality seed yam for wealth creation and empowerment”, was organised by IITA, in collaboration with Root and Tuber Division of FMARD.

 

 

 

 

 

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Agriculture

1,300 rice farmers receive input for dry season farming in Delta–RIFAN

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Mr Anthony Umunna, Delta Chairman, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) said that no fewer than 1,300 registered members of the association in the state have received inputs for dry season farming.

The RIFAN chairman, who disclosed this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Friday in Asaba, lamented the late arrival of the inputs for the year’s dry season farming season.

Umunna said though members received the inputs; paddy rice, herbicides, water pumps among others for the year’s dry season farming, they might not be able to plant until about September ending when the rains would have subsided.

He said that there was need for a review of the farming calendar between the northern and southern parts of Nigeria to enable timely release of inputs to farmers because of the difference in weather conditions.

According to Umunna, the quest for the release of the inputs have been on since to enable farmers in the south engage in this year’s dry season farming.

“As at today, 1,300 registered rice farmers in Delta have received paddy rice, herbicides, and water pumping machines among other inputs for 2019 dry season farming.

“In spite of our efforts, the inputs came late and as our farmers will have to wait till the end of September for the rains to subside before planting.

“This is why we are appealing to government for timely release of the inputs to enable our farmers work with the seasonal timetable and key into the dry season farming and that of the wet seasons farming appropriately,’’ he said.

He appealed to the farmers not to lose their patience as everything possible was being done by the association to ensure that all registered rice farmers benefited from the CBN-RIFAN Anchor Borrowers Scheme aimed at boosting rice production in Nigeria.

He also called on all the South-South governors to support the programme and ensure that farmers in the area got full benefits, adding that the programme would not only create jobs but also boost the economy and create wealth.

NAN reports that the programme is part of the CBN Anchor Borrowers Scheme in Partnership with RIFAN to boost rice production in the country.

 

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