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Food security: Scientist tasks farmers on improved animal production



Ogunleke, who works at the Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology, Ibadan, made the call at a training workshop on sheep and goat farming as a means of wealth creation.

The event held in Ibadan.

The scientist said that increase in production of animals would boost export.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the training was organised by the Sheep and Goat Farmers Association of Nigeria (SHEGOFAN) in collaboration with an Ibadan-based radio station, King FM 103.9.

Ogunleke said that animal production was of high economic importance, noting that sheep  and goats  provided skin, hair and manure as well  as meat, milk and other products capable of tackling malnutrition.

She advised  farmers  to increase their production and see their produce as essential to the wellbeing of the citizens and the development of the country.

“Take your farming as a business; not as a charity organisation; always take record of your production, sales and every transaction that takes place in your farm.

“Always feed your animals well; when they are well fed, there will be less diseases and mortality, while quality production and pasture establishment will be guaranteed,” she said.

Mrs Grace Fanawopo, a representative of the Bank of Agriculture, said at the event that the bank had been supporting small ruminant farmers because of their importance in the South-West and the entire Nigeria.

Fanawopo assured the farmers that her bank would continue to give support.

“You don’t have any problem when it comes to loan; we are there for you; just come, open an account with us; after three months, we will come and inspect what you are doing, and after, that we will give you loan.

“Our loan interest is low; it can be given to you within one or two weeks, once you pass the inspection; so, be serious with your business; that is the most important thing,” she advised.

Fanawopo also urged the farmers to make good use of the training to improve production of small ruminants in the country.

Earlier, the SHEGOFAN National President, Alhaji Wahabi Salami, said that the training was aimed at improving household incomes, enhancing food security through improved performance and ensuring a paradigm shift among players in sheep and goat production.

He added that the training was targeted at transforming animal farming from subsistence level to a viable and profitable commercial enterprise.



Food security: NGO distributes farm implements in Nasarawa



Stephen Abraham Narai Agricultural Support Scheme, an NGO, has distributed agricultural implements to 200 farmers in Nasarawa State to boost food production.

Presenting the items in Karu on Saturday, the donor, Mr Stephen Narai said the gesture was to complement Federal Government’s agricultural policy towards attaining national food security.

He urged the beneficiaries to use the implements to boost agricultural activities that would facilitate food production in the state and the country at large.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the items distributed were 80 sprayers, 150 bags of  hybrid maize, 50 cartons of herbicides and 22 bags of fertiliser, among others.

According to him, the scheme is a Karu-based NGO saddled with the responsibility of assisting farmers with agricultural tools to support agricultural activities in the area.

“No farms no food, no food no nation! We aim at focusing on how to address challenges farmers face in terms of provision of tools that can help.

“To encourage farmers improve their farming system as well as to generate income that will make them self-reliant, hence the importance of agriculture to societal development cannot be overemphasised,’’ he said.

Narai assured farmers of the organisation’s readiness to continue to support agricultural policies and programmes that would boost food security in the country.

Speaking at the event, former ASUU chairman, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Dr K’tso Nghargbu, commended the donor for donating the items.

He called on the beneficiaries to make use of the implements as expected to enable them have bumper harvest.

Responding on behalf other beneficiaries, Malam Usman Suleiman and Ms Blessing Amos, commended the organisation for the support and promised to utilise them properly to boost their farming activities.

NAN also reports that the event had in attendance the Deputy Speaker, Youth Assembly of Nigeria, Nasarawa State Chapter, Mr Shuaibu San; the President, National Youth Council of Nigeria, FCT chapter, Mr Umar Jijiwa; and former Overseer of Karshi Development Area, Mr Adamu Abdullahi, among others.

Edited By: Abigael Joshua/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Chinese embassy donates food to less privileged S. African families




The Chinese embassy on Friday donated food parcels to less privileged families in Soweto township in Johannesburg, South Africa.

“We are here to pay tribute and offer support to the people of Soweto through donations of some mostly needed supplies to local community. These 1,000 food parcels and 5,000 masks are not much, while they represent the cordial brotherhood and friendship between the people of China and South Africa,” said Li Nan, Charge d’affaires of the Chinese Embassy in South Africa.

Li said, “The Chinese companies and communities in South Africa will always fight as one with the South African people to tide over difficulties.”

The African National Congress youth league member Bheki Nkuta thanked China for the donations.

He said, “We thank the embassy for coming to our communities, we appreciate that.”

A 32-year old resident Nolwazi Majola told Xinhua that she will share the donated food parcels with eight family members. She said they are all grateful for the donation which will supplement the food they bought with grant from the government.


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20 ships laden with petroleum products, food items awaiting to berth — NPA



The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) says 20 ships laden with petroleum products, food items and other goods have arrived Lagos Ports waiting to berth.

NPA made this known in its publication, `Shipping Position’, a copy of which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Friday.

According to it, the ships are carrying containers, bulk wheat, general cargo, frozen fish and petrol.

NPA said that 17 ships were expected at the ports with frozen fish, base oil, general cargo, bulk salt, container, bulk wheat and soya bean.

It added that the ships were expected between June 5 and June 25.

Also, the organisation said that 17 other ships were at the ports discharging general cargo, containers, bulk wheat, bulk fertiliser, petrol, butane and frozen fish.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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Ethiopian food delivery startup rides to restaurants’ rescue



Restaurants may still be officially open in Ethiopia, but diners are staying away due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Connecting the two is an Ethiopian food delivery service, Deliver Addis, which has seen demand surge since the start of the health crisis.

For many restaurant kitchens, take out has become an important avenue to staying afloat since Ethiopia confirmed its first case of coronavirus in March and restrictions on public gatherings came into effect, leading to people staying at home.

In a leafy suburb of the capital, Henok Girma, 26, who runs a communications company, fancied trying some Mexican food. He used Deliver Addis’ mobile app to order.

“When it comes to working from home in a safe environment and being able to order whatever I want, it has really made that aspect of this whole situation a bit easier to deal with,” he said.

The owner of La Morena, a Mexican restaurant in Addis Ababa is also relieved.

“Our business virtually overnight slowed down to almost 10 per cent of what we used to be,” said Selamawit Paulos.

But joining Deliver Addis “really kept our business alive,” she added.

Launched in 2015 by United States-raised Feleg Tsegaye, the company is growing, hiring staff and drivers to keep up with the spike in demand.

“We don’t see that subsiding any time soon,” Tsegaye said.

Ethiopia has confirmed nearly 1,300 positive cases of COVID-19, with 12 deaths as of June 2.

African consumers have typically been shy of ordering good online but the coronavirus pandemic has created a boost for e-commerce to flourish on the continent as people are forced to stay at home.



Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)


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World food prices drop to 17-month low as coronavirus pandemic limits market demand




World food prices fell for the fourth consecutive month in May, hitting their lowest point in nearly a year and a half as the global coronavirus outbreak continued to erode demand and slow supply chains, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported Thursday.

The overall index dropped 1.9 percent in May compared to April, reaching its lowest point since December 2018.

Four out of five sub-indexes fell in May, with the index for grains and cereals — the largest component in the index — slipping by 1.0 percent. Prices for wheat and corn fell based on lower demand, but rice prices bucked the trend, rising slightly as demand for Japonica and Basmati rice saw demand rise compared to recent months.

Prices for vegetable oil slipped 2.8 percent to their lowest levels in ten months, pushed by lower palm oil prices.

Dairy prices were 7.3 percent lower based on lower demand for cheese and butter, though FAO said increased demand from China helped stabilize prices for powdered milk.

Meat prices saw a modest 0.8-percent decline, as rising supply was nearly offset by increased demand in Asian markets.

Only sugar prices rose in May, up 7.4 percent after falling 14.6 percent in April. FAO said up-and-down sugar prices were a reflection of unpredictable export levels from India and Thailand.

The monthly FAO Food Price Index is based on worldwide prices for 23 food commodity categories covering prices for 73 different products compared to a baseline year. The next index is scheduled for release on July 2, 2020.


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UK food banks hand out record number of emergency food parcels during pandemic: report




Food banks in Britain have had their busiest month ever in April, as the number of emergency food parcels distributed to British families in the month saw a 89 percent increase compared with the same month last year, a recent report has revealed.

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept the country, Trussell Trust, one of the leading food bank charities Britain, said in its report that it recorded a 107 percent rise in food parcels given to children.

Meanwhile, food banks in the Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN) reported a 175 percent increase in need during the same period.

The Trussell Trust said almost half of the increase in emergency food distributed from food banks was due to people reporting a fall in income from work or benefits, with 11 percent saying it was because of sickness.

A coalition of leading charities on Wednesday urged the government to act quickly to provide a stronger lifeline to people and prevent many from being swept into destitution.

“We have been seeing rises in food bank need for the past five years but this 89 percent increase — with the number of families coming to food banks doubling — is completely unprecedented and not right,” said Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust.

“The solution to the escalating food insecurity crisis has never been the provision of charitable food aid. Everyone needs to be able to afford to buy food and the bare essentials. Our joint call details how this can start to be achieved,” said Sabine Goodwin, coordinator of the IFAN.


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More than 27 mln people face acute food insecurity in East Africa in 2019: report




An estimated 27.6 million people were already food insecure in the Eastern Africa region in 2019 before the outbreak of COVID-19, a regional bloc said in a joint report released in Nairobi on Thursday.

The 27.6 million people were classified in Crisis or worse levels of acute food insecurity in 2019 in the bloc, which represents 20 percent of the total population facing food insecurity that required urgent action across the world, according to the 2020 Global Report on Food Crises by the regional bloc, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

“Our region faces multiple threats to food security. We are living challenging times with extreme climate events and the worst desert locust invasion in decades. Currently, we are grappling with the severe challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread flooding of arable lands,” said Workneh Gebeyehu, IGAD executive secretary.

Without taking into account the effects of COVID-19, the report said, projections indicated that around 25 million people would face acute food insecurity in the region requiring urgent action in 2020, largely as a result of weather extremes, conflict/insecurity and economic shocks.

However, the report said the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is likely to push the numbers of acutely food-insecure people well beyond these early 2020 forecasts.

“Our attention must now turn to what can be done to reduce the number of food-insecure people in the region,” said David Phiri, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization subregional coordinator for Eastern Africa.

Phiri warned that the disruptive impact of COVID-19, the desert locust, recurrent flooding, and conflict/insecurity will continue to hamper the availability of food and people’s access to it across the subregion.


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Retired Kenyan athletes to benefit from COVID-19 food relief




Retired Kenyan athletes who have been financially effected by the COVID-19 pandemic are set to benefit from a food relief program launched by the local Olympics committee on Wednesday.

The initiative, that was started with seed capital of over 500,000 shillings (4,700 United States dollars) by the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOCK), will initially target athletes who retired by 2004 and have competed for Kenya in the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and African Championships.

This is after the group was identified according to NOCK to be the “most vulnerable” by the spread of the coronavirus pandemic since Kenya declared its first case in mid-March.

“Food support has been identified as a critical priority need area of focus for the next three months. We want to give food support to retired athletes.

“After consultation, we felt food aid will be of greater assistance as we continue looking for other partners in this initiative,” the acting general secretary of NOCK, Francis Mutuku, said.

He added that a mobile phone contribution service number will be launched on Monday next week to enable the public to contribute towards cushioning needy athletes through the COVID-19 crisis.

The program is the latest relief effort targeted towards athletes in Kenya with active athletes starting to receive 95 dollars each from the Ministry of Sports kitty that rolled out last week as part of a state-run effort to alleviate the suffering brought by loss of income due to COVID-19.

The Olympic champion and world marathon record holder, Eliud Kipchoge, has been distributing relief food to athletes in the vast and talent-rich Rift Valley for three weeks now.

“Many people have lost their relatives due to the virus and I want to ask them to take heart at this trying moment. Countries have lost many people and we are experiencing worse situations but it will come to pass,” said Kipchoge, the first man to run the 42.195km marathon distance in under two hours.

The food rations donated by Kipchoge, in addition to the government stimulant fund, have benefitted the likes of Beijing 2008 Paralympics star, Abraham Tarbei, who won gold medals in the 1,500 meters T46 and 5,000 meters T46 as he continues to train in isolation in Kaptagat, western Kenya.


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General news

Covid-19: Rotary Club donates food items to 200 widows in Plateau



The District 9125 of Rotary Club International has donated food items to 200 widows and widowers in Plateau to cushion the hardships occasioned by the advent of Coronavirus disease.

The beneficiaries of the gesture were drawn from Zaria Road, Tudun Wada, Kwal and Jebbu Bassa communties of Bassa and Jos North Local Government Areas of the state

Presenting the items seperately to the beneficiaries on Wednesday, Mr Mike Okachi, the Coordinator of the District, said the gesture aimed at supporting widows and widowers in the society.

He said that the gesture came from  personal donations of members of the seven rotary clubs existing on the Plateau, which constitute the district.

“We the members of the seven rotary clubs on the Plateau decided to contribute in our little ways to support these widows and widowers in this time of COVID-19.

“This pandemic, no doubt, has devastating effects on the people; particularly the poor, and this informed this gesture.

“We have decided to take from our personal savings to put smiles on the faces of these poor brothers and sisters of ours.

“This is what Rotary is all about; supporting the have nots in our communities. We are not the richest in the society, but we are always moved by compassion to support,” he said.

The coordinator admonished the beneficiaries to share the items donated to them with other members of the community who are facing similar challenges.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that items donated include rice, beans, and garri (cassava flakes).


Edited By: Peter Dada (NAN)

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