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Agriculture

Corrected! H2A Foods partners Edo Govt. on consumer foods production

Foods

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Foods

By Itohan Abara-Laserian
Lagos, Feb. 13, 2019 (NNN) The Heritage Agro-Allied Foods Nigeria Ltd (H2A) on Tuesday said it was partnering with the Edo Government, Elephant Group and Von Foods to develop processing of High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF).

The Managing Director of H2A Foods, Dr Tony Bello, said on Wednesday in Lagos that HQCF also known as “Tapioca Flour” would be processed into nutritious consumer foods like snacks in Nigeria.

`The HQCF policy of the Edo Government has gone beyond cassava bread.

“What we are working on is the transformation of staple crops into industrial food ingredients such as gluten-free tapioca flour and extruded snack foods.

“Our goal is to engage thousands of small scale cooperative farmers in Edo to grow cassava for processing into tapioca flour, flakes, granules and snack foods,” Bello said in a statement.

According to him, H2A, a U.S.-based Food Science and Technology company is facilitating the 6 million dollars investment plan as well as institutional investments and private sector partners under a strategic public private partnership platform with Edo Government. (NNN)
ITM/PDE
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(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)

Agriculture

Gastroenteritis epidemic: Health workers advise public on preventive measures

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Two health officials in Lagos State on Sunday advised members of the public on steps to tackle the outbreak of waterborne gastroenteritis (stomach) disease in the state.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that there has been incidences of stomach disorder that has left many children hospitalised in Ajegunle area of the state.

The officials, in separate interviews with NAN in Lagos, said the preventive measure was key.

Mr TaiwoAwonuga, the President of Lagos Chapter of Environmental Health Officers Association of Nigeria (EHOAN), advised residents to clean and disinfect vomit and faecal spillages promptly.

“We have to increase the frequency of routine environmental inspection and in cleaning, including toilets, bathrooms and the surrounding.

“Particular attention has to be given to cleaning objects that are frequently touched such as faucets, door handles and bed rails.

“Environmental services and waste management department personnel should wear gown, gloves and a surgical or procedure mask when cleaning surface soiled with vomitus and faecal material.

“The use of approved disinfectant, freshly prepared sodium hypochlorite solution to disinfect the surface contaminated with faeces or vomitus is highly recommended,’’ Awonuga said.

According to him, the reliability of disinfectant, other than those containing chlorine to kill the norovirus, is uncertain.

“So, chlorine containing hypochlorite is recommended for use whenever is possible.’’

Mr Aroe Adesola, the state Public Relations Officer of EHOAN, decried the outbreak as epidemic and advised people to maintain a clean culture and ensure their homes were cross-ventilated.

“Clean carpets and soft furnishing with hot water and detergents or stream clean, dry vacuuming is not recommended.

“Open defecation and channelisation of faecal matters into public drain need to be discouraged out rightly, while offenders should be prosecuted.

“Hand washing should be encouraged after visiting toilets and before handling of food,’’ Adesola told NAN.

According to him, water samples are being collected in the affected areas for analysis at the Drug Quality Control Laboratory, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH),  for effective control.

He enjoined the public to notify the appropriate Environmental Services/Primary Health Care Department of any suspected case.

Adesola said that advocacy and health education on the importance of personal and food hygiene would be intensified.

/TÁ

Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde/Tajudeen Atitebi

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Agriculture

Border Closure: NGO launch magazine to educate youths more on Agriculture

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An NGO, Madison Development Partners (MDP) has launched a new magazine known as “Nigerian Harvest” to educate Nigerian youths in every part of the country on agricultural developments.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the vision of the quarterly magazine is to gather and serve the reading public with news about promising agricultural and rural development initiatives.

It also aims to tell success stories that impact or have impacted lives and livelihoods of Nigerians.

The NGO, while launching the magazine in Abuja, charged the government and private sector operators to galvanise efforts to support and provide Nigerians with useful information on agriculture that would enable abundant harvest in the country.

Mr Godson Ononiwu, the Publisher/Editor-in-chief of the magazine said that the objectives and the vision of the magazine was to share knowledge and information on food and agriculture as they affect the lives and livelihood of Nigerians.

According to Ononiwu,  development implies change and change is the product of decision based on information.

“That is why all actions in the agriculture value chains continually need and consume information to enable them make progress.

“Over time, we find out that agriculture is being relegated, but now many people are pouring into agriculture hence the publishing of this magazine.

“In the past few decades, so many programmes on agriculture development have been instituted by government and individuals with varying degrees of success.

“Some of them failed, while some others succeeded but unfortunately, many of them feezled out due to poor publicity or lack of media attention.

“This magazine therefore hopes to transmute from Nigerian harvest into African harvest not too long from now as predicted by a well wisher, “he said.

Ononiwu, who is also a former Director, United States Agency for National Development (USAID), MARKETS Project assured Nigerians that the magazine would not only educate people on food and agriculture.

“it will also help to transform the narratives of Nigerian news on agriculture in the country.

“Agriculture and rural news do not usually make headlines of popular print or electronic media because they are not hot news or hard news.

“The vision of the Magazine “Nigerian Harvest” is to fill this gap through gathering and serving the reading public promising agricultural development initiatives as well as success stories that will impact on lives and livelihood of Nigerians.”

Prof. Joy Ogwu, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairperson of the event said that the survival of any Nation was dependent on food security.

“That is why this platform is so vital because food security is what sustains the power of a nation.

“Without enough food, we will have conflicts and that’s war,” she said.

Ogwu, who was also Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN said that the younger generation felt that agriculture was slow in its rewards.

She however urged the youths to look at the vitality of agriculture in the national interest.

“Over the years we have heard of efforts being made not only by government but also individuals to ensure that there is adequate food security.

“So, I want to urge Nigerians who would like to venture into agriculture to use this magazine as a guide and a golden opportunity,” she added.

JN/GY

Edited by Grace Yussuf

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Agriculture

APPEALS, KNARDA train farmers on improved rice farming

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Agro-Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) project, in Collaboration with Kano State Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (KNARDA), has trained 30 farmers on improved rice farming technology.

Speaking at a farmer’s field on Saturday in Gurdo community of Bagwai Local Government Area, the APPEALS’ Project Coordinator in Kano state, Alhaji Hassan Ibrahim said the aim of the training was to teach farmers how to increase theirs productivity.

Ibrahim, represented by the APPEALS’ specialist in charge of productivity enhancement, Malam Baushe Mohamed, said the farmer field and business school was initiated to train farmers on modern rice farming technology, introduce standard practices and improved variety of Faro 61.

According to him, such standard practice was aimed at getting a higher yield of production compared to the farmers’ usual traditional farming method.

Ibrahim added that such improved method would also assist in easing the farmers’ production processes in addition to reducing their difficulties and  cost of production.

He said that APPEALS was ready to provide the beneficiaries with the necessary support that would enable them to remain in business.

“This programme will not only end here in Bagwai, we are hoping to extend it to other Local Government Areas, therefore, we are calling on the beneficiaries to make proper use of the opportunity,” he said.

The Managing Director of KNARDA, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulaiman, said that the training would also give the farmers opportunity to acquire knowledge on how to market their produce after harvest.

“Such improved method when applied from the land clearing to harvesting has since been in existence in most of the developed nations, especially the United States of America (USA).

”With the experience they acquire during the training, the farmers can contribute their quota to improve the agricultural sector in Nigeria to compete with the developed countries,” he said.

Sulaiman added that such initiative would go along way in complementing the efforts of both Kano State and Federal governments on agricultural production.

Malam Mansur Akawu, who spoke to the Nigeria News Agency on behalf of other beneficiaries commended APPEALS project and KNARDA for the initiative.

He assured that the eneficiaries would utilise the knowledge they acquired and teach other farmers that were not opportuned to attend the training programme.

Edited by Chidinma Agu/Tukur Muntari.

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Agriculture

IITA, ACAI to train 30,000 farmers on cassava weed management

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No fewer than 30,000 farmers from Abia, Benue, Oyo, Ogun and Osun states will benefit from the training on the six steps to cassava weed management and best planting practices in November.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the training is being organised by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, and African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI).

Mr Godwin Atser, the IITA Digital Extension and Advisory Services Specialist, made this known in a statement made available to NAN on Saturday, in Ibadan.

Atser said that the training was aimed at empowering farmers with the knowledge to boost cassava and maize productivity and yield per hectare.

This, he added, would subsequently increase farmers’ incomes, improve their standard of living and create jobs for more people.

He said that the trainings would be done in collaboration with the Oyo State Agricultural Development Programmes (ADPs) and other extension service providers.

“To ensure a seamless and successful dissemination of the six steps to cassava weed management and best planting practices tool, the team has developed videos and translated same into local languages: Igbo, Yoruba and Tiv, targeting the respective zones.

“The ACAI team has also procured mini-projectors and mobile phones to empower extension service providers in the participating states.

“The six steps to cassava weed management tool was first developed by the IITA Cassava Weed Management Project. The tool has since integrated the best planting practices of ACAI.

“Farmers, who use the toolkit, have more than doubled their cassava yield from the national average of nine tonnes per ha to more than 20 tonnes per ha.

“It is amazing to see how the tool is changing the face of cassava farmers,” he said.

Also, Dr Alfred Dixon, the IITA Director for Development and Delivery, described the toolkit as an innovation that combined a set of agronomic recommendations and plant protection products to control weeds and increase cassava productivity.

According to Dixon, beyond Nigeria, several other countries have requested for the toolkit with ACAI team training partners in Liberia, Tanzania, Burundi and Zambia.

“Apart from the use of videos, the ACAI team has put up the recommendations from the tool on the 3-2-1 service of Airtel.

“In this, subscribers in Nigeria can dial 3-2-1 and get information on cassava weed management and other agronomic practices free of charge, up to 10 times in a month.

“The idea is to get the recommendations to thousands of farmers across Nigeria and Tanzania so that they can get better yield from cassava farming,” Dixon said.

Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi and ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Agriculture

Border closure: Agriculturist advocates mega mills to boost rice production

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An agriculturist, Alhaji Abba Kale, has called for the establishment of mega rice mills to accelerate production and achieve self-sufficiency in the country.

Kale made the call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Saturday in Maiduguri.

Kale, who is one of the Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP) clients in the Northeast, called on the Federal Government to support the establishment of modern mega rice mills in each of the 109 senatorial districts in the country.

He said that the call was imperative to encourage processing, value addition, enhance farmer enterprising skills, promote competition and create market for the produce.

“We have paddy rice in prolific abundance, the produce cultivated by the farmers is higher than the capacity of the existing mills in the country.

“The ban on importation of foreign rice is a well come development, and the sudden hike in prices occasioned by the border closure can be pushed down and control through mass production.

“Most of the mills in operation lack basic equipment such as boiler, driers and trash machines to enable them produce high quality rice to meet local demands and for export.

“It is desirable for the Federal Government to support establishment of mega mills by businesses in each of the senatorial districts to encourage productivity and attain self-sufficiency,” he said.

Kale also urged state governments to adopt proactive measures to mobilise participation in the ABP scheme to encourage agricultural activities, processing, provide job opportunities and enhance wealth creation in the society.

Commenting on the border closure, Kale said the measure would reinvigorate agriculture and manufacturing, stimulate government’s drive to diversify the economy and enhance security in the country.

Kale called on the people to support government policies and programmes as well as patronise local products for sustainable social and economic development of the country.

NAN reports that ABP is a critical component of the Federal Government’s agriculture transformation agenda designed to encourage production and processing to achieve self-sufficiency.

It is also aimed at enhancing farmers’ access to fertilisers, seeds, inputs, promote farmer enterprising skills, value addition and create market for the produce.

The programme is being implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in collaboration with the Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Nigeria Agriculture Insurance Corporation (NAIC), farmer associations and designated agricultural input dealers known as  d private anchors.

Edited by Ese E. Ekama

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Agriculture

Kebbi: Flood victims receive 14,000 bags of free fertilizer in Shanga LGA

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Flood victims in Shanga Local Government Area of Kebbi on Friday received assistance of 14,000 bags of fertilizer and other inputs donated by the National Food Security Council.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the donation was distributed to the 2018 flood victims in the area by the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).

Alhaji Sani Dododo, the SEMA Chairman, said while distributing the items in Shanga, that it was to cushion the impact of the losses incurred by the farmers.

“The gesture is part of the present administration’s policy through National Food Security Council to assist farmers whose farmlands were ravaged by 2018 flood disaster in the state,” Dododo said.

He noted that the state had received donation of 149 trucks of fertiliser and assorted chemical from the Council, out of which farmers in Shanga were allocated 14000 bags.

“Each victim will get nine bags of fertiliser, chemicals, sprayer and two bags of improved seeds,” the chairman explained.

Dododo said a committee had been set up to distribute the items and warned against diverting the relief materials, as anyone caught would face the full wrath of the law.

Alhaji Aminu Kawara, Vice Chairman of the local government, commended the Federal and state government for the gesture and assured that the beneficiaries would use the items judiciously.

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Malam Adamu Ali thanked the government for the intervention.

NAN reports that no fewer than 11,345 victims were affected during the 2018 flood in Kebbi.

Edited by Hawa Lawal/Maharazu Ahmed

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