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Agriculture

Dry Season Farming: Over 350,000 Kebbi farmers unable to participate this year – AFAN

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The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Kebbi on Wednesday disclosed that more than 350,000 farmers were unable to participate in the 2019 dry season farming in the state due to financial constraints.

The Secretary, AFAN, Kebbi, Alhaji Muhammad Idris, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Birnin Kebbi.

Idris said that the farmers lacked the necessary wherewithal owing to economic hardship and expenses attached to sustenance of the dry season farming, especially given the current sweltering weather.

“Every year, about 500,000 farmers participate in dry season farming, but this year, they cannot do so because they do not have enough money to do so.

“So far, our records reveal that only 150,000 farmers are farming, out of the 500,000 farmers that participated in 2018 dry season farming.

“Apart from the current sweltering weather, the grassroots farmers do not have enough assistance and enough money at their disposal to venture into the routine dry season farming,’’ he said.

The AFAN scribe stressed the need for farmers to be provided with modern seed varieties that were drought resistant and could grow faster than conventional seeds.

“The rural farmers need loan now as assistance from both the Federal and State Governments’’.

NNN had earlier reported that the state government had provided confirmed 886,000 tonnes of fertiliser at subsidised rate of N5,500 a bag to farmers across the state to ensure hitch-free farming.

The fertiliser will be sold to the farmers in the 225 wards across the 21 local government areas of the state at the subsidised rate of N5, 500 per bag, instead of N8,000 being sold in the open market.

Ibrahim Bello: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Politics

Relocate dry dock to N’Delta, UNDEDSS, PANDEF urge FG

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The Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and the United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy (UNDEDSS) have urged the Federal Government to relocate the Mega Dry Dock from Lagos waters to the Niger Delta region.
The two organisations stated this at a special webinar meeting, organised on Monday in Lagos, to mark to mark the 93rd birthday of the PANDEF Leader, Chief Edwin Clark.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the meeting was aimed at x-raying the Niger Delta economy after the COVID-19 lockdown.
According to the Niger Delta leaders, the dock, which is described as the largest in Africa, will be the ideal enterprise for President Muhammadu Buhari to inaugurate in the postCOVID -19 Nigerian economy.
They said that the dry dock, specifically designed for the region, had been lying unused in the Lagos waters.
A statement issued by Mr Tony Uranta, the UNDEDSS Executive Secretary and General Secretary of PANDEF, said that the benefits of the dock to the region would be immeasurable, considering the Maritime University in Delta.
“Relocating the Dry Dock project to the Niger Delta will be the biggest investment in the Niger Delta, postCOVID-19, and will open up the economy of the region,” he said.
NAN recalls that the House of Representatives had, in March, urged the Federal Government and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to return the floating dock, acquired at a cost of over N50bn to Okerenkoko, Delta.
The House had also called for the installation of the floating dock at Okerenkoko, the location that was said to have been decided upon by government as the operational base of the maritime facility.
It had urged NIMASA to abide by all the terms and conditions precedent to the acquisition of the dock, with a view to ensuring that it was put into operation in Okerenkoko.
NAN recalls that the dock had, since its arrival in the country on June 11, 2018, been in a storage cart, owing to alleged bureaucratic wrangling over its location as its operational base.
The statement stated that the project was duly considered and approved by the Federal Executive Council at its 37th meeting on Oct. 23, 2013, adding that the approval was conveyed to the Federal Ministry of Transport on Oct. 29, 2013.
“The location of the dry dock to Badagry in Lagos State is contrary to the initial approval by the Federal Government for its location in Delta.
“Our appeal is that the dry dock be moved permanently, installed and inaugurated in Delta, considering the contributions of the region to the nation’s economy.
“The dry dock is lying fallow in the waters of Lagos State and should be taken to Delta, next to the Maritime University, to provide practical knowledge to the students.
“The dock, if located in the Niger Delta, will open up the region and make it more viable, including the employment it will generate and the trainings on ship building processes,” he said.
Uranta said that the meeting had set up a committee, headed by Prof. Utomi, to look at its institutions, state leaderships and contributions of its elected members in the National Assembly to the development of the region.
“We are going to begin to study, more rigorously, the daily records of how many bills promoted by the region’s representatives at the national assembly.
“Our focus will also be on state governments in the region and their ministries, to ascertain the utilisation of statutory funds to cut down corruption,” he said.
Uranta quoted the meeting as appealing for more palliatives to the region in order to keep it robust and assist the people whose lands were no longer viable for farming due to excavations and explorations.
He said that the region had remained the cash cow for the country, pointing out that while oil prices had crashed, gas prices had risen.
Uranta reiterated the groups’ position, supporting the audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NNDC), as ordered by the Federal Government and cleansing of the Ogoni land oil spills.
He also quoted the groups as urging the governors of the region to step up action for internal security of their respective states.

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Foreign

Afghans buy dry fruits ahead of Eid al-Fitr festival in Herat

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Afghans buy dry fruits ahead of Eid al-Fitr festival in Herat, Afghanistan, May 20, 2020. Many Afghans prepare for the upcoming Eid al-Fitr festival, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. (Photo by Elaha Sahel/Xinhua)

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Foreign

New Delhi experiences hot and dry weather

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A security guard sits in front of a fan as he talks on a mobile phone on a hot day in New Delhi, India, May 21, 2020. New Delhi is experiencing hot and dry weather as the city recorded a temperature of 41 degrees Celsius on Thursday. (Xinhua/Javed Dar)

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Agriculture

Gov. Bello tasks ministry on improved animal husbandry

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Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger, on Wednesday, charged the state Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries to intensify efforts on animal husbandry production as an integral part of his administration’s agricultural transformation agenda.

Bello made this appeal when he visited the state Livestock Improvement and Breeding Centre at Tagwai Dam in Bosso Local Government Area of the state.

The governor lamented that the progress and process of developing unique species of cattle at the centre was slow and promised to meet with the ministry to fast track its development.

“The previous administration imported many of the Bonsmara breed from South Africa with the hope that by now, we should have been doing artificial insemination, so that over time, we will be able to improve on our local breed, especially the bokolo breed.

“It is a wonderful programme but unfortunately, I have to find out why we have not made much progress,” he said.

According to him, the whole idea of the centre is to have improved generation of cattle for more qualitative milk and beef production.

He disclosed that the state government had partnered with a South African firm on Bonsmara, a disease-resistant cattle semen supply.

“The state government has sponsored four veterinary doctors to South Africa for training in artificial insemination,’’ he said, adding that there would be an improvement on the production of milk.

The governor said that a crossbreeding between the Bonsmara and the local boakolo species of cattle production were effective in the state, saying it was time for such an effort to be redoubled.

He said that with the Bobi Grazing Reserve, it was time for government to assist the herdsmen with artificial insemination to get the rare cattle of 500kg- 600kg that could produce high quantity of milk of 10 litres per day instead of two litres daily.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Yemi Idris-Aduloju (NAN)

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Foreign

Indonesia to brace for dryer drought

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Indonesia has prepared strides to offset major risks of forthcoming drought which is forecast to be dryer than normal time.

Among the major impacts of the unusual weather phenomenon are the potential of forest and bushfires in areas vulnerable to such a disaster on Sumatra Island and Kalimantan Island, and disruption of cultivation of plants including oil palm and rice, officials said.

In countering regular forest and bush fires, artificial rains would be created to prevent hot spots from emerging on peatlands and keep soils wet, according to them.

The operation to create artificial rains would kick off in the provinces of Riau and Jambi on Sumatra Island, Head of the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology John Arifian said on Wednesday.

Dozens of tons of salts will be poured onto clouds with high water content above the two provinces, he said.

“The operation will take 30 days, 15 days in South Sumatra and the rest in Jambi,” the official told an online press conference here.

Meanwhile, the Environment and Forestry Ministry’s Director-General for the Climate Change Ruandha Agung Sugardiman said the move would be persistently carried out in some provinces on Kalimantan Island.

The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency forecasts this year’s drought would be dryer than those previously happened and it was expected to peak from June to August.

Forest and bush fires have regularly stricken Sumatra Island and Kalimantan Island, sending thick smokes to some neighboring ASEAN nations, as well as triggering health problems and a huge economic loss.

Another potential risk of the dryer drought is the disruption of food supplies as it may disturb plantations and paddy cultivation, making President Joko Widodo order authorities to anticipate such risks and ensure that food supplies for over 260 million people in the country is undisturbed.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Sea of Galilee water level rises after years-long dry spell

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Heavy rains in recent months have replenished the Sea of Galilee, ending years of worries about falling water level, Israeli officials said on Friday

The rainfall has put the sea’s level at 208.9 metres below sea level, just 10 centimetres short of its record high.

The sea, back in 2017, as the region suffered from drought, was recorded at 214 metres below sea level.

The Sea of Galilee is the world’s lowest-lying body of fresh water.

It is also Israel’s most important source of water.

It is also a draw for religious pilgrims who want to see the waters, which play prominently in the Bible.

According to the Bible, Jesus performed multiple miracles there, including walking on the water and feeding a crowd of people with only five loaves of bread and two fishes.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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APO

Liquidity: Managing Cash Flow when Revenue and Funding Dry Up

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Africa.com has convened the largest ever gathering of Africa’s CEOs, managing directors, finance directors, private equity and venture capital investors, bankers, asset managers, corporate law partners, senior executives and diplomats. Over 8,000 business leaders from 81 countries – 41 countries on the continent and 40 countries throughout the world, registered for Africa.com’s “Crisis Management for African Business Leaders,” a four-part webinar series hosted by Africa.com and faculty from Harvard Business School.

The next session of this weekly series will take place on April 22, 2020 at 15:00 South African time, on the topic of Liquidity: Managing Cash Flow When Revenue and Funding Dry Up.

Speakers include: Sim Tshabalala, Chief Executive, Standard Bank Group; Kunle Elebute, Chair, KPMG, Africa; Welela Dawit, CFO, GE Africa; Admassu Tadesse, Chief Executive, TD Bank.

Teresa Clarke, Chair & CEO of Africa.com said, “When we surveyed the 8,000 registrants for the webinar series, liquidity was the number one concern. Business leaders are worried about how they will fund their companies when their revenues have plummeted. African business leaders are also very concerned about how they can support their employees, their communities and their nations when their own resources are drying up.”

The webinar series features panel discussions led by faculty from Harvard Business School, in conversation with African business leaders including:

  • Sola David-Borha, Chief Executive, Africa Regions, Standard Bank
  • Welela Dawit, CFO, GE Africa
  • Kuseni Dlamini, Chair, Massmart
  • Kunle Elebute, Chairman, KPMG Africa
  • Nolitha Fakude, Chairman, Anglo-American Management Board
  • Foluso Phillips, Chair, Phillips Consulting
  • Funke Opeke, Founder and CEO, MainOne
  • Jay Ireland, Former President and CEO, GE Africa
  • Admassu Tadesse, Chief Executive, Trade and Development Bank
  • Fred Swaniker, Founder & CEO, African Leadership Group
  • Sim Tshabalala, Chief Executive, Standard Bank Group
  • Rob Shuter, President/CEO, MTN Group Ltd.

More information and free registration at https://bit.ly/2wz86dg.

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AMA

Managing Cash Flow When Revenue And Funding Dry Up

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Africa.com has convened the largest ever gathering of Africa’s CEOs, managing directors, finance directors, private equity and venture capital investors, bankers, asset managers, corporate law partners, senior executives and diplomats. Over 8,000 business leaders from 81 countries – 41 countries on the continent and 40 countries throughout the world, registered for Africa.com’s “Crisis Management for African Business Leaders,” a four-part webinar series hosted by Africa.com and faculty from Harvard Business School.

The next session of this weekly series will take place on April 22, 2020 at 15:00 South African time, on the topic of Liquidity: Managing Cash Flow When Revenue and Funding Dry Up.
Speakers include: Sim Tshabalala, Chief Executive, Standard Bank Group
                                  Kunle Elebute, Chair, KPMG, Africa
                                  Welela Dawit, CFO, GE Africa
                                  Admassu Tadesse, Chief Executive, TD Bank

Teresa Clarke, Chair & CEO of Africa.com said, “When we surveyed the 8,000 registrants for the webinar series, liquidity was the number one concern. Business leaders are worried about how they will fund their companies when their revenues have plummeted. African business leaders are also very concerned about how they can support their employees, their communities and their nations when their own resources are drying up.”

The webinar series features panel discussions led by faculty from Harvard Business School, in conversation with African business leaders including:
• Sola David-Borha, Chief Executive, Africa Regions, Standard Bank
• Welela Dawit, CFO, GE Africa
• Kuseni Dlamini, Chair, Massmart
• Kunle Elebute, Chairman, KPMG Africa
• Nolitha Fakude, Chairman, Anglo-American Management Board
• Foluso Phillips, Chair, Phillips Consulting
• Funke Opeke, Founder and CEO, MainOne
• Jay Ireland, Former President and CEO, GE Africa
• Admassu Tadesse, Chief Executive, Trade and Development Bank
• Fred Swaniker, Founder & CEO, African Leadership Group
• Sim Tshabalala, Chief Executive, Standard Bank Group
• Rob Shuter, President/CEO, MTN Group Ltd.

Registration is free at virtualconferenceafrica.com.

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Agriculture

Dry season farming reduces poverty, food insufficiency – Agriculturist

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An Agriculture Extension Officer, Mr Nathaniel Adetunji, has called on farmers in the country to embrace dry season farming to boost food production in the country.

Adetunji made the appeal in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Omu-Aran, Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara, on Saturday.

According to him, dry season farming would promote all year round farming and increase food production.

“This will in turn help to reduce poverty, food insufficiency and the menace of unemployment.”

Adetunji said the present administration’s agriculture initiatives, such as the Anchor Borrowers Programme, to the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, and the much-publicised Food Security Council, are veritable platforms to achieve success as regard dry season farming implementation.

He noted that with those policies in place the envisaged increase in production and income would be achieved as beneficiaries under the scheme have unhindered access to credit facilities and highly subsidized farm inputs.

Adetunji said engaging in dry season farming would improve food production and more income by keeping farmers busy on their farms all year round.

He, however, expressed the need for the Federal Government to exhibit strong political will and accord top priority to promoting dry season farming in its programmes and policies.

He maintained that potential dry season farmers required adequate fund to achieve all-year round farming.

According to him, inadequate rainfall as forecasted for some regions could posed serious challenges to farmers in meeting up with their food production target.

Adetunji, who noted that dry season farming, was capital intensive, called for more adequate budgetary allocation for the sector to reduce poverty and unemployment.

He said that the recent decline in the global prices of crude oil was enough reason for the authority to give the sector the necessary attention to bail the country out of food insufficiency challenges.

“I think it is time the Federal Government gives priority attention to increasing its budget provision for agriculture, especially dry season farming for the 2017 planting season.

“There are lots of expectations from all tiers of government to turn around the socio-economic fortune of the country by utilising our God-given land and natural resources for our own benefit.

“With increase in production of crops like rice, wheat, sorghum and vegetables, this will go a long way to complement the wet season harvest and output in meeting up with the desired target.

“Dry Season farming, if well planned and implemented, would allow for all year round farming and is capable of solving the nation’s poverty and food insufficiency challenges,” Adetunji said.

He also called for the provision of modern storage facilities and markets to assist farmers actualise their high production target and income.

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
(NAN)

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Metro

Dry Season: FCTA bans indiscriminate bush burning

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The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Tuesday banned indiscriminate bush burning in rural communities and within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Assistant Controller General, FCT Fire Service, Mr Opetunsin Julius, made this known at the launch of the Campaign against Indiscriminate Bush Burning, held at the Sakpeyi Garki (Chief of Garki)’s Palace, Abuja. 

Julius called on all farming communities, royal fathers and their subjects to desist from indiscriminate bush burning to avoid fire outbreaks in the FCT.

 “In case people want to adopt bush burning as an alternative approach to clearing farmlands, we advise that they should put some control measures in place to protect their properties and that of the neighbours. 

“But the message still remains that we must desist from indiscriminate bush burning so that our farms and environment will be safe and protected,’’ he said.

He stressed that officers from various fire stations located within the city centre, would be visiting the rural communities to ensure compliance. 

Julius noted that bush fires had over the years accounted for millions of Naira in property damage, untold hardship many and loss of lives.

 “It is on this basis that the current Minister of FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, has mandated the department of Fire Service to carry out the campaign against bush burning to all chiefdoms and area councils within FCT,” he said.

On his part, Malam Suleiman Abdulhameed, acting Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), said the FCT administration had put in place measures to reduce fire outbreaks in the territory. 

The Sa’peyi of Garki, His Royal Highness, Dr. Usman Nga-Kupi, pledged support to government’s moves to apprehend and punish anyone found engaged in indiscriminate bush burning.

According to Nga-Kupi, he has directed all district heads and chiefs within his chiefdom, to ensure that farmers and residents do not hide under any guise to burn bushes in a manner that would put the public in jeopardy.

 

Edited By: Joseph Edeh/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore
(NAN)

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Health

Antibiotics doesn’t dry up blood, says expertl

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Dr Mayowa Kolade — has dismissed the myth that using antibiotics medication dries up blood when used, as such blood tonic should be used with it.

Kolade told the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Ilorin that contrary to the belief, the abuse of antibiotics cause  antibiotics resistance, which makes it ineffective.

He said it was unnecessary for patients to self medicate themselves to use blood tonic alongside antibiotics.

The doctor said it was more worrisome that the practice was extended to children as too much of blood tonic could cause Iron poisoning in children.

”People should stop taking blood tonics with antibiotics especially for children, if not prescribed by a doctor.

”This is because antibiotics does not dry up blood as widely believed and if children are given unnecessary blood tonic, it exposes them to iron poisoning.

”Iron overdose has been the leading cause of poisoning deaths in children less than six years, so we need to be very careful,” Kolade warned.

”Antibiotics resistance causes more harm than you can think of like longer stay in the hospital, increased medical costs or even increase mortality.”

He urged Nigerians to also desist from the abuse of antibiotics as it causes antibiotics resistance which eventually makes same ineffective when used.

”It is high time we stop the use of antibiotics without doctors prescription like some over the counter drugs.

”This is because if care is not taken, common infections or minor injuries may start killing people,” Kolade said.

Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

Source

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Agriculture

Dry season farming: Assembly collaborates with Nasarawa govt.

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NNN: The Nasarawa State House of Assembly says it is collaborating with the state government towards boosting food production in the state.

Dr Peter Akwe, the Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture, stated this at the assembly complex on Monday in Lafia, while interacting with the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Prof. Allahnana Otaki.

Akwe said that the interaction was to get briefs on the distribution of fertiliser for the dry season farming in the state.

“This interactive session is not to witch hunt anybody but to see how we can work together in order to boost food production in the state and enhance food security.

“This is because the importance of agriculture, particularly in the area of food production, could not be over-emphasised,” he said.

The lawmaker assured the ministry of agriculture of the assembly’s determination to support agricultural activities towards boosting food production and employment generation in the state.

Earlier, Otaki, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Naphtali Dachor, said, while briefing the committee, that ministry had distributed fertilisers for dry season farming.

He also told the committee that all was set for the early distribution of fertiliser for rainy season farming.

The commissioner said that the ministry had efficient extension agents to monitor fertiliser application to enhance agricultural practice and mechanisation in the state.

Edited By: Razak Owolabi and ‘Wale Sadeeq

Source: https://nnn.com.ng/dry-season-farming-assembly-collaborates-with-nasarawa-govt/

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General news

Hisbah arrests woman for polyandry in Kano

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The Kano State Hisbah Board has arrested a 37-year-old woman, Hauwa Ali, for allegedly marrying two husbands in Kumbotso Local Government Area of the state.

The board’s Public Relations Officer, Alhaji Lawan Fagge, who confirmed the arrest of the woman in an interview with Nigeria News Agency in Kano on Tuesday, said the suspect was arrested on Monday.

He said the woman was apprehended when her first husband, Bello Ibrahim, 45, who was critically ill and was taken to his village for treatment, reported the case.

“So after waiting for some time she thought he was dead after taking a long period and proceeded to marry the second husband, Bala Abdulsalam, who is 40 years old.

“The first husband of the woman is the father of her six children and they were living in their matrimonial home when she went ahead to marry another man, Bala Abdulsalam, 40 years old who claimed to have paid a dowry of N20,000 to her.

He said Ibrahim, after recovering from the sickness, was brought back to the house only to find out that his wife had married another man.

“The woman at the moment has three or four children for the second husband. She claimed the first husband had divorced her but he denied ever divorcing her,” Fagge said.

He said the case was first reported at the Hisbah office in Kumbotso where it was later transferred to the head office in Kano.

He said as soon as investigation was concluded, the woman would be charged to court.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz

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Sport

Rodrygo to miss `Clasico’ for overzealous celebration in Real Madrid reserves game

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Real Madrid’s plan to give Brazilian Rodrygo Goes some extra playing time in the reserves backfired badly after the forward was sent off on Sunday.

His sending-off followed an overzealous celebration, and he is now suspended from next week’s ‘Clasico’ against FC Barcelona.

Rodrygo, 18, has been playing for both Zinedine Zidane’s first team and reserve side Castilla in the third tier of Spanish football.

He was however involved in farcical scenes in Sunday’s 2-0 win at home to San Sebastian de los Reyes.

The teenager scored the second goal late in the game with a mesmeric run followed by an audacious chip over visiting goalkeeper Xabi Irureta.

The goalkeeper however berated the forward after the ball had nestled in the net, and Rodrygo responded by waving his arms in Irureta’s face in a mock celebration.

He was promptly shown his second yellow card of the game and was subsequently sent off.

The forward has scored seven goals for Real Madrid’s first team this season and is the youngest player to score a hat-trick in the UEFA Champions League.

Yet his suspension for next week’s title showdown against La Liga leaders FC Barcelona adds to Real Madrid’s shortage in attack.

It has come after Eden Hazard fractured his ankle in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Levante.

OLAL

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)

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Agriculture

Delta RIFAN nominates 6,500 farmers for CBN-sponsored dry season farming

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The Delta chapter of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) says it has nominated 6,500 farmers for this year’s dry season farming being sponsored by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Mr Silver Ejezie, the state Chairman of RIFAN, said this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Asaba on Monday.

Ejezie said that the nominees would be screened by CBN and that successful farmers would be participating in the dry season farming under the CBN-RIFAN Anchor Borrower’s Peogramme.

He said that the list of nominees from the state rose from below 300 to 6,500 farmers because of Federal Government’s ban on rice importation.

He said that the demand for local rice in the state had steadily risen, adding that farmers had taken advantage of the import ban to make good business from rice farming.

He said that though the list of the farmers had reached the CBN, participants would be required to present their Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) for proper documentation.

“I submitted a list of 6,500 rice farmers who will participate in the dry season farming to the CBN in Abuja.

“There will be screening.  Farmers are expected to provide their BVN after which they will qualify to receive inputs to participate in the programme.

“The challenge has been the delay in the delivery of inputs and land to cultivate, but the small farmers are operating in cooperatives to secure lands,” Ejezie said.

He said that big farmers would not have to wait for the arrival of inputs from CBN since they had commenced transplanting from nursery to the field.

“As we speak, I have started transplanting from nursery to the field while we wait for arrival of the inputs from the CBN,” he said.

Ejezie expressed the hope that the inputs, including rice seedlings, chemicals, fertilizers, water pumps and herbicides, among others, would be delivered soon to farmers in the state.

(
Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Sam Oditah)

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Agriculture

Kogi Govt. pledges support for RIFAN’s dry season farming initiative

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Kogi Government has pledged support for the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN)’s dry season farming initiative, to boost rice production in the state.

Mr David Apeh, state’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr David Apeh, made the promise during an inspection visit to a dry season rice farm at Geregu, Ajaokuta Local Government of the state on Friday.

Apeh, represented by Mr Emmanuel Idenyi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, said the initiative would complement the state government’s agricultural revolution programme.

The commissioner commended the measure put in place by RIFAN to actualise all-year-round farming in the state.

He said that the measure would go a along way in complementing government’s efforts at ensuring food security for the people of the state and the nation.

Apeh said the Geregu rice farm would serve as a major off-taker for the Omi Rice Mill, and commended Mrs Rabi Emaiku, RIFAN Chairperson in the state, for the initiative.

The commissioner noted that with all-year-round farming in the state, there would be increase in the income of farmers and government.

Earlier, Emaiku, revealed that over 10,000 hectares of rice was cultivated in the state, with the help of the imported technology from Kebbi.

She said the state government’s counterpart funds to the Anchor Borrowers Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) played significant role in the initiative.

Newa Agency of Nigeria reports that representatives of CBN and NAIC, who were on ground, also commended the efforts of the association, the achievement and promised continued intervention.

Edited By: Ejike Obeta/Felix Ajide

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Judiciary

Dry cleaner bags 3 months jail term for stealing in church

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A Grade 1 Area Court in Karmo, Abuja, on Monday sentenced a 21-year-old dry cleaner, Efe Osamade, to three months imprisonment  for stealing a worshipper’s cell phone from a church.

The judge, Alhaji Inuwa Maiwada, sentenced Osa.

He also promised not to commit crimes again.

Maiwada, who gave him an option to pay a fine of N6, 000, held that the court was lenient on the convict because he saved the court from prolonged trial.

He warned the convict to shun crimes.

Earlier, the prosecutor, Ijeoma Ukagha, told the court that Osamade committed the offence on Jan. 29 at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).

Ukagha said that the complainant, Favour Meliga, of RCCG, Masters Place Parish Jabi, Abuja reported the matter at the Utako Police Station.

She said that Meliga plugged his phone, value yet unknown, inside the church and Osamade stole it.

The prosecution said that Osamade confessed to the crime during police investigation and the phone was recovered from him.

Ukagha informed the court that the offence contravened the provisions of Section 287 of the Penal Code.

Edited By: Abigael Joshua/Sadiya Hamza

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Agriculture

How to protect snails during dry season–Scientist

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Dr Yemi Popoola, an animal scientist has urged snail farmers to build shed over their pens with insulators to reduce heat stress during the dry season.

Popoola, who is of the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, spoke with the Nigeria News Agency on Monday.

According to him, the shed will reduce heat conduction by over 50 per cent and save more than half of the snails’ stockings from dying from heat in the dry season.

He said that there was need for moist environment for snails to survive and mulch materials to make the animal feel comfortable.

Popoola also said there was the need for farmers to deploy rudiment of moistening the soil.

“Snails are invertebrate cold-blooded and nocturnal animals that are active in the night or at dusk. They live in cool environment under leaves or stones in their natural environment.

“It has been discovered that snails are very dormant during the dry season; they become increasingly scarce and the market is starved of adequate supply until the next wet season.

“This makes snail supply seasonal in some parts of Africa where they serve as food.  Farmers should give it adequate care during the period to curtail the challenges,” he said.

The animal scientist emphasised that good housing equipped with adequate water and feed facilities were essential inputs to improve productivity of ruminants during the dry season.

He said that planting of multipurpose forage trees around the animal’s house to reduce heat stress and ensuring regular water supply from wells, bore holes and dams were critical.

“Farmers should embark on improved nutritional management practices that are suitable such as establishment of pasture and utilising adequate irrigation facilities to ensure rapid vegetative growth and continuous supply of quality forages,” he added.

(
Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Mufutau Ojo)

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Agriculture

Dry season: Lawmaker distributes water pumps, inputs to farmers in Adamawa

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A member of the House of Representatives, Jafar Magaji has distributed water pumps and inputs to 60 households in three border communities of Adamawa to encourage dry season activities.

Magaji, representing Maiha-Mubi North-Mubi South Federal Constituency, made the disclosure while inaugurating the distribution exercise on Saturday at Belel community in Maiha Local Government Area of the state.

Magaji, who was represented by Bala Karisma, said the inputs were distributed to farmers selected from Sorau, Belel and Konkol border communities with the Republic of Cameroon.

He added that the gesture was inline with his campaign promises to empower the people at the grassroots.

The lawmaker urged the beneficiaries to ensure effective utilization of the inputs to boost their production.

While reiterating commitment to qualitative representations, Magaji urged the people to be law abiding and support government’s programmes aimed at agricultural transformation.

Also speaking, Abubakar Murtala, the District Head of Belel, commended the lawmaker and urged other leaders to emulate the gesture to complement government effort towards addressing poverty.

Some of the beneficiaries, Adamu Konkol, Badamasi Abubakar and Mijinyawa Shuaibu thanked the lawmaker over the gesture, adding that it would go a long way to encourage irrigation activities in the area.

Edited By: Rabiu Sani Ali

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Agriculture

Expert urges farmers to feed pigs with improved nutrition feeds during dry season

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An animal scientist, Prof. Akinyele Adesehinwa, on Friday, urged pig farmers to feed their animals with improved nutrition feeds during dry season.

Adesehinwa, who is of the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, gave the advice in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency .

According to him, improved nutrition, through production of nutrient dense and less fatty feeds, is a good strategy which pig farmers can deploy to reduce heat stress on pigs during dry season.

He said that it was important farmers supply the animals with minerals and vitamins supplementation, insulation of pens, planting of shade providing plants, provision of evaporation, cooling facilities such as fan and sprinkler, among others.

The animal scientist said that pig farmers should also transport the animals early in the morning or at night when the weather was cool, adding that many pigs died during transportation in hot weather.

“Use open-sided vehicles to transport your animals; reduce loading density, load fewer pigs per load and avoid use of beddings for pigs during transportation in hot weather.

“Load and unload quickly to avoid heat buildup in the vehicle and use a large droplet spray, not a fine mist.

“Farmers should allow the pigs bodies to dry before another wetting; use cool water to wet them but be careful not to use much cold water on hot animals to avoid death as a result of thermal shock,” he said.

Adesehinwa said that heat stress in pigs was not caused by high temperature alone, but also influenced by air speed, relative humidity, stocking density and surface temperature.

He emphasised that the effect of heat stress on pig could lead to reduced feeds intake, reduced inconsistent growth, decreased feeds utilisation efficiency and decreased facility efficiency.

Others, he said, were decreased carcass quality as a result of increased lipid deposition and decreased protein accretion, poor sow performance and increased mortality, among others.

The expert said that heat stress could generally make pigs uncomfortable and result in bad mating behavior, such as low libido and lack of interest in mating.

“There is an optimum temperature required by the testis for efficient spermatozoa and semen production.

“Boars naturally maintain this range of temperature by dangling the scrotum to keep the testicles away from the hot body.

“When the boar can no longer maintain the optimum temperature as a result of heat stress, it results in impairment of the process of spermatogenesis, resulting in poor semen production and quality.

“During heat stress, pigs drink excess water; this leads to increasing loss of electrolyte and accumulation of acids produced within the body, causing loss of acid base balance.

“This may eventually result in diarrhea or even death, in severe cases,” he said.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu and ‘Wale Sadeeq

 

 

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