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Agriculture

AFAN chairman wants lasting solution to herders/farmers clashes in Enugu

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Mr Romanus Ezeh, the Chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Enugu state chapter, has called on the Federal Government to find a lasting solution to the herders and farmers clashes in the country.

He said that the country should rather go back to the establishment of ranches.

He said, “This Ruga settlement plan by the Federal Government is a very difficult issue and very delicate and I do not think it is going to work.”

He described cattle rearing as a business like any other business in the country that could thrive in any part of the country provided it did not cause problem to the host community.

”Compelling states or communities to give out land for private business in the name of Ruga  settlement would not be acceptable to our people,” Eze said .

He said that the activities of herders remained one of the challenges facing the farmers, adding that most of them could no longer go to their farms.

He said: ”The farmers do go to their farms with fear of harassment or attack by herders and the female farmers hardly go to their farms alone.

”If the Ruga settlement is allowed, the farmers will no longer have a enough land for farming as the South-East states do not have mass land.”

Ezeh suggested that the Sambisa forest should be developed into ranches to solve the problem of insecurity from the Boko Haram insurgents.

”Sambisa is a mass land and can accommodate all the castle in the land while the cattle rearers should come down to other parts of the country and get grasses for their cattle.

”They can buy corns from the farmers or in alternative collect the remnants from farm lands to feed their cattle after farming season,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

Agriculture

Climate change: AFAN advises members on improved seeds variety

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The  All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Adamawa  on Tuesday advised  members to cultivate  improved variety of seeds that grow within short time, going by the current situation of climate change.

Usman Michika, Chairman of  AFAN in the state who gave the advice on behalf of the association during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria  in Yola, said  improved varieties produced more yields.

The association said it was doing its best in educating members on how to improve their production and  profits at the end of the season.

It called on members to avoid farming on cattle routes and  grazing  reserves to avert clashes with herdsmen.

It  also advised them not to allow their farm produce to overstay in the  farms to avoid any clash.

According to the association , farmers are facing challenges of kidnappers and sometimes clashes between members and herders.

It called on governments to set up a committee  at the state, local government  and  community level  to check the frequent clashes between  farmers and herders.


Edited By: Vivian Ihechu (NAN)

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Agriculture

Swine fever virus kills pigs worth N7 bn in Lagos farm-AFAN

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The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) Lagos State Chapter, says  swine fever virus has killed pigs worth about N7 billion in the Oke-Aro piggery farm during the COVID-19 lockdown in the state.

Dr Femi Oke, AFAN’s Chairman told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Tuesday, that the farm was stricken by the swine fever before the COVID-19 lockdown.

African swine fever virus is a large, double-stranded DNA virus in the Asfarviridae family. The virus causes a hemorrhagic fever with high mortality rates in domestic pigs.

Some isolates can cause death of animals as quickly as a week after infection.

African swine fever is the biggest threat to commercial pig production the industry had ever seen, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health.

Oke said due to the restriction of movement by both the Federal and State governments, many of the affected farmers were unable to visit the farm to attend to the animals which resulted in the death of the animals.

He said some of the affected farmers were now dead, while others were bed ridden  due due to the huge loss in their business and source of livelihood.

He said very few were now struggling to revive the farm which was now in ruins.

According to Oke, about two months before the lockdown, our farmers in Oke-Aro discovered that there was outbreak of swine fever in the farm.

“They tried to contain it and treat the animals but because of the inability of our people to go to the farm during the lockdown, they were not able to treat the animals very well.

“The situation resulted in the death of many of the pigs in the farm and the loss is very huge investments.

“It is a very huge loss to the sector and some affected farmers died of shock.

Oke-Aro market is one of the largest piggery market in the country.

“Many of the affected farmers borrowed money from the banks and have not been able to pay back since the incident occurred.

“We have lost some of our farmers due to the incident, some are in the hospital as we speak and some are still battling with the losses,” Oke lamented.

The AFAN’s chairman said Swine fever virus was a major killer of pigs any outbreak and almost all the pigs would be dead.

Oke described the piggery value chain as very huge, with Nigeria having the biggest producer in West Africa.

“The Oke-Aro piggery farm is in ruins. Our farmers are in pain because they have lost all their live investments,” he said.

“The piggery farm sits on about 10,000 acres of ariable agricultural farm land with about 10,000 active members.

“Members breed top quality pigs for local and export consumption.

“We are still trying to relate the situation to the Federal and State government, the Lagos state government is aware and have been to the farm, as I was reliably informed,” he said.

Oke appealed to the federal and state governments to assist assist the farmers in order to revive the sector as the country battled to recover from COVID-19 pandemic.

“We want to reach out to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development through AFAN, to see what the federal government can do in terms of grants and compensation for the affected farmers.

“We are looking at compensation from the government despite the fact that some have died and others are still battling to revive the farm.

“The loss is very huge and it will have  huge effect on the piggery value chain and the farmers for a long time,” he said.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

 

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Agriculture

AFAN cautions members against adulterated fertilizers purchase

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All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Niger chapter, has cautioned members to be vigilante in the purchase of fertilisers in the state.

The call followed rumours of the sale of adulterated fertilizers by unscrupulous persons and already in circulation in the state.

Alhaji Shehu Galadima, the state chairman, AFAN gave the warning on Saturday in Minna, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria .

“It is no longer rumour that some evil merchants are adulterating fertilizers in Niger state. There is need to alert our members to be at alert not to purchase such fertilizers in the markets,” he said.

Galadima said that the news of the fake fertilizers started as a rumor before members of AFAN confirmed it.

“It is true, AFAN is aware and we even complained to the state Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. We have alerted our farmers on the issue, and we are all monitoring,” he said.

He enjoined the farmers to report any one engaging in such unwholesome practice to the nearest security agency.

NAN recalls that recently the Niger Police Command arrested a man who specializes in adulterating Nigerian made fertilizers in the state.

ASP Wasiu Abiodun, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), in the state confirmed the incident to newsmen.

The PPRO said that the suspect was arrested following intelligence reports of his activities in his factory at Farm Centre in Minna.

Abiodun alleged that the suspect adulterated TAK Agro brand of NPK fertilizers.

According to him, a total of 445 bags of adulterated fertilizers were found in the factory during a raid.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Judiciary

Lockdown: Kaduna Govt. inaugurates mobile court to prosecute violators in Kafanchan

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The Kaduna State Government has inaugurated a mobile court in Kafanchan, Jema’a Local Government Area, to try offenders of the ongoing lockdown aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Court, Mr Christopher Umar, the Permanent Secretary, Kaduna State Ministry of Justice, urged the mobile court to discharge its duties without fear or favour.

Umar urged residents to respect the lockdown order and other safety guidelines on COVID-19, noting that it was in the best interest of the public.

He said the court would try offences such as, vehicular movement and other violations during the lockdown period.

In his remarks, Mr Peter Averik, Chairman of the Council,  said the presence of the mobile court would ensure greater compliance with the order.

Averik called on the people to show more cooperation with the state government in its bid to curb the spread of the dreaded disease in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the mobile court would be presided over by Abdulaziz Ibrahim, the Chief Magistrate of Kafanchan.

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin (NAN)

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Judiciary

Legal Aid Council handles 38 cases in Kafanchan in Kaduna state

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The Legal Aid Council of Nigeria says it successfully completed 38 cases in Kafanchan, Jema’a Local Government Area (LGA) of Kaduna State in 2019.
Mr David Adudu, the Kafanchan Centre Coordinator of the Council, made the disclosure on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Kafanchan.
“The total number of cases we handled and successfully completed in the various courts in Kafanchan in the year 2019 was 38.

“Out of that number, 14 were criminal while 24 were civil matters. As it is, we do not have any pending case brought forward from last year,” he said.

He noted that the cases handled in the year under review ranged from breach of trust, theft, cheating, house breaking, criminal conspiracy and trespass.

He said that the council usually encourage mediation and out of court settlements whenever possible to ensure speedy dispensation of justice.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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Judiciary

AFAN drags Kabiru Ibrahim-led NWC to court over alleged refusal to hand over assets

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The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has sued Mr Kabiru Ibrahim and his dissolved National Working Committee (NWC) over alleged refusal to hand over association’s assets and property.

Counsel to AFAN, Modibbo Bakari, filed the suit before Justice Taiwo Taiwo at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

 

In the originating summon with number: /322/2020, Bakari also asked the court to stop Kabiru Ibrahim-led NWC from parading themselves as executive members of the association.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that while Ibrahim, the embattled national president, and his dissolved NWC are the 1st defendants, the Inspector General (I-G) of Police is the 2nd defendant in the case.

The lawyer wanted the court to determine whether by virtue of the established law of AFAN, the 1st defendants whose tenure expired in June 2018 still vested with powers to manage and run the affairs of the association.

Bakari sought: “a declaration of this honourable court that by the combined effect of Article 13.1 of the Constitution of the AFAN and Section 593 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1 Cap. C20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, the 1st defendants who were inaugurated in June 2013 had served their single term of 5 years which tenure expired in June 2018.

“A declaration that by virtue of the provision of the aforesaid Article 13.1 of the plaintiff’s constitution, the 1st defendants are divested of any powers, rights, prerogative and/or privileges to perform or carry out the work, duties and/or functions of the National Executive Council and/or National Working Committee or any other committee or committees whatsoever whether collectively or severally.

“An order directing the 1st defendants to hand over the assets and property of the plaintiff in their possession and custody.

“A perpetual injunction restraining the 1st defendants from parading themselves or holding out as members of Exco and executive.”

Bakari also sought the order of the court, restraining the 1st defendants from using the services of the 2nd defendant or his agents to harass, arrest or detain the members of the caretaker committee of AFAN, among others.

The interim Secretary-General of AFAN, Yunusa Halidu, in an affidavit in support of the application, said “having exhausted the 1st defendants’ tenure, the plaintiff (AFAN) set up a 13-member caretaker committee led by Farouk Rabi’u Mudi as interim national president.”

According to him, on March 3, we had a resolution dissolving the National Executive Council and we were inaugurated into office by Admiral Murtala Inyako (rtd.), who is the Chairman, Board of Trustees of AFAN, on March 4.

“The caretaker committee is to run the affairs of the plaintiff (AFAN) for two years to enable the plaintiff conduct election of substantive members of the National Working Committee and National Executive Council.

“However, despite the inauguration of the caretaker committee, the 1st defendants have refused to hand over the plaintiff’s assets and property in their possession,” he deposed.

Halidu said if not checked, the actions of the defendants could ground the activities of AFAN against the economic interest of the country.

Justice Taiwo was yet to fix a date for hearing of the case as at the time of filing the report.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Agriculture

COVID-19: AFAN distributes food items to 500 residents in Lagos

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The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Lagos State Chapter, has distributed food items to 500 residents to complement the efforts of the Federal and State Governments during the lockdown period.

Dr Femi Oke, AFAN Chairman, South-West Zone, presented the items to the beneficiaries on Friday in Lagos.

Oke said that the donation was a way to show solidarity with the vulnerable, less privileged and also give back to the society.

He said the items donated include: rice, garri, pepper, eggs, tomatoes, vegetables and pork meat locally produced by the farmers.

According to him, we are here to distribute the palliatives that our members collectively brought together to give to the masses.

“This is to complement the efforts of the Federal and State Governments in regards to effects of the lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

“Our members decided that whatever we make from our farmers we should bring it together for the masses to enjoy and see what we are doing during the lockdown.

“Our target was for 300 people, but to our surprise, we have over 500 in attendance, because of the situation in the country, we were able to give out to all of them.

“Many people are hungry; the women, children, youths, aged and physically challenged are without food, because they cannot got out to work due to the lockdown directive.

“We thank our farmers, especially those in the crops, they brought perishables items like tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins and vegetables.

“Those in the poultry value chain also supported with eggs, a poultry donated 100 crates of eggs, while another donated 50 crates. In all we have enough to give to the masses.

“Another farmer in the piggery value chain donated a pig to us, and it was shared while those in the cassava processing were able to produce garri, about 15 bags as part of the palliatives.

“We also donated rice, tomatoes paste and other items to the people,” he said.

Oke said farmers have not benefited from the Federal or State Governments’ support during the lockdown.

He said that was why the association was clamoring for the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Food Security.

Oke said the association was clamouring for the creation of the office so as to address issues confronting farmers directly as well as issue regarding palliatives to the farmers.

He urged other organisations and NGOs to come together and support the vulnerable during the lockdown, adding that the government could not do it alone.

Mr Richard-Mark Mbaram,

the Technical Adviser to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development on Knowledge Management and Communication, commended the farmers for their gesture.

Mbaram said the importance of agriculture had come to play in the present situation in the country.

According to him, this is a health emergency, and we are trying to ensure that we flatten the curve of infection regarding COVID-19 and people have been asked to stay at home.

“We have locked down our society and by implication our economy.

“If you look at it critically, my minister has been consistent about the need for us to ensure that the agricultural sector is not locked down.

“This is because, if you lockdown agriculture, you are bound to have food insecurity and we need food security to have a national security.

“The challenges we are having for now with youths, all over the streets, lead to the fact that people do not have access to food.

“They are not about what they wear, or how they smell; they are really concern about what is in their stomach right now.

“So, this gesture by farmers is very laudable,” he said.

The special adviser urged other well meaning Nigerians to rally round and support the less privileged in the society to weather the situation caused by the pandemic.

“AFAN is the umbrella body of farmers in the country; they are the ones producing the foods and they are charged over the years producing the food for the country.

“The farmers are the custodians of food that we are talking about and it is in their place to demonstrate to the country that they are here for you.

“This is a collective emergency; it is not a government thing alone. So, we all must come together as individuals or groups to help out,” Mbaram said.

Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Health

COVID-19: Gov Masari locks down Safana LGA

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Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State has ordered the complete lockdown of Safana Local Government Area of the state.

Alhaji Mustapha Inuwa, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), announced in a statement on Thursday in Katsina that the closure would take effect from April 25, at 7 a.m.

Inuwa said that the lockdown followed the result from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) which tested and confirmed three people positive of Coronavirus in the area.

According to him, the report shows that all the positive people are primary contacts of the index case established in Dutsinma Local Government Area of the state.

He explained that the closure of Safana was in line with the decision already taken by the state government and other stakeholders to shut down any area where COVID 19 case was established.

The SSG advised the people of Safana local government area to stay at home as security agents would be deployed to ensure total compliance to curtail the spread of the virus,

“As usual the governor has directed the COVID-19 committee to identify and earmark some pharmaceuticals, grains and essential commodities stores in the locality that will be allowed to offer skeletal services to the people.

“The decision is taken in the best interest of Safana, state, Nigeria and humanity at large.

“Therefore, people are once again advised to strictly adhere to the guidelines against the spread of the virus as provided by security and health experts,” he said.

Inuwa also urged the people to use the month of Ramadhan to fervently pray to Allah to bring an end to the contagious disease.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that seven local government areas of Daura, Dutsinma, Batagarawa, Katsina, Mani, Jibia and Safana had been shut down as a result of COVID-19 with 21 index cases recorded.

AIS//

Edited y Chinyere Bassey/Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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General news

Lockdown: AFAN urges Anambra Govt. to devise means to avert food shortage

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The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Anambra chapter, has urged the state government to devise means to prevent acute food shortage amidst enforcement of COVID-19 lockdown. Tha AFAN Chairman in the state, Mr Joseph Madubuko, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Awka.

Madubuko said while it was imperative to encourage adherence to government’s directives to prevent spread of the coronavirus, government must not loss sight of the danger of famers not cultivating the land now.

“Now is the peak of planting season especially in Southern Nigeria and it is the same period that the whole place is in lockdown due to the cooronavirus pandemic.

“My view is that states should find safer ways of ensuring that the situation does not adversely affect farming activities, because the impact of lockdown implementation will be obvious during harvesting time.

“In Anambra, I have been trying to get the stakeholders, including the Governor and the Commissioner for Agriculture to see with me and we appear to be on the same page now”, he said.

Madubuko said he was aware that some farmers in the hinterlands were going to farm in spite of the lockdown order.
He, however, stressed the need for farmers to observe all precautionary measures against coronavirus pandemic and emphasised that it was real.

The AFAN chairman said that not much would be achieved in food production in the state if the state Ministry of Agriculture was not fully operational.

“Farmers work hand in gloves with the ministry of agriculture and if result will be recorded, the ministry must be there for the farmers.

He recalled that the state government had mapped out incentives to boost agricultural activities in the state this planting season.

Reacting, Mr Nnamdi Onukwuba, the Commissioner for Agriculture, told NAN that government would soon make a pronuncement on agricultural activities amidst the enforcement of the lockdown.

“Your thoughts on agricultural activities in the face of COVID-19 lockdown is as good as ours, already.

“We are articulating guidelines on what should be done in the sector; we are just waiting for the governor to speak first.

“All I am advising is for farmers to listen to the media. Very soon government will take a position on that,” he said.

 

Edited By: Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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