Rice millers in Gombe State have called on both the Federal and State Governments’ support for acquisition of modern rice drying machine to boost production of the commodity in the state.
Pantami said the closure of the land borders had increased the activities of rice production nationwide, hence, the acqusition of modern equipment to facilitate the processing of rice production in large scale.
He noted that the traditional methods of drying rice paddies were no longer helpful, considering the need to meet the high demand for rice across the country, to ensure food security and sufficiency.
According to him, with modern rice drying machine and other equipment, there will be wider acceptance of locally processed rice, which will gradually replace the consumption of foreign rice in the country.
“We are calling on the Federal and Gombe State governments to assist us in providing modern drying machines to ease the stress that processors face while processing rice for consumption.
“Government through the border closure has sent a strong message that they are willing to help farmers and local industries grow the wealth of the country through agriculture and that’s why we are pleading for support.
“ The Federal Government has really supported all stakeholders in rice production and we are happy. With the current revolution in rice production, Nigeria economy will really gain a lot,’’ he said.
He noted that a lot of youths had been absorbed from the streets since the closure of borders, adding “ the streets of Gombe are now empty of youths who before now take into drug abuse.
“ Youths are now making money for themselves as you can see. Some of us don’t even know the number of youths working for us because the expansion makes us keep taking more youths on daily basis.
“With government’s support more youths will be mopped out of the streets. This is the best way of addressing the menace of drug abuse; so we need all the supports here in Gombe,’’ he said.
Alhaji Musa Arab, a rice processor commended the government for closing the land borders, providing road networks and even improving the supply of power but stressed that the industrial layout needed more facilities to function maximally.
“We dry our rice on the ground which is not too hygienic. It makes the work a little bit tedious. We use local drums to parboil and spread paddies under the sun for drying.
“During wet season, we wait for the sun. Sometimes we may not process anything for weeks. Now there is sun so within a day or two, I can process over 1, 200 bags of 50 kilogram rice.
“We need complete turn-around of this layout. We need government to give us modern drying facilities because we use fire wood which is polluting the environment. We need infrastructure here,’’ he said.
Arab maintained that the closure of borders was a good idea that must be sustained, adding “ we have the capacity to feed ourselves but we need this kind of idea to thrive.
“Before the border closure, it was not like this. People don’t even patronize us even though our rice is better and fresh without chemical. I sincerely commend President Muhammadu Buhari for this idea.
“Before I can’t process 10 bags of rice in a day; now I process two trucks daily. Everybody is gaining; off-takers now look for farmers to take their rice unlike before when rice farmers look for off-takers.
He advised Nigerians to venture into farming and not depend on white collar jobs, adding that there is room for everyone in the agricultural sector.
“Even the civil servants can invest in agriculture and not only depend on their jobs. There is enough wealth to be created in the sector and we must all embrace it,’’ he said.
Edited by Kevin Okunzuwa/ Tukur Muntari.
FGN/IFAD -VCDP to support 9, 000 farmers in Anambra in 2020
The Federal Government/International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD)-Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), says it plans to support over 9,000 farmers in Anambra in 2020 under the additional financing.
Agwuncha, who expressed satisfaction with the programme, said it had spent over N300 million as at Oct. 31, in encouraging rice and cassava production during the 2019 farming season.
According to him, VCDP added three new Local Government Areas namely: Ihiala, Ogbaru and Orumba South this year that now benefit from our services and farm inputs support in both rice and cassava crops.
“This year, 1, 670 farmers have so far benefitted as against 1, 001 farmers in 2018.
“We have got approval for additional financing, which will commence next year. This was as a result of the improvement in the programme and performance by farmers,’’ he said.
He said the N300 million was spent on input/seedling and agro-chemical disbursement, land development/preparation, building of aggregation and cassava bulking centres, provision of water schemes and rice processing mills.
Other areas of support include building of market stalls, construction of small bridges to provide access roads to farm lands as well as provision of solar powered borehole, among others.
“In terms of yield, average yield of six tons of rice was recorded in 2019 as against 5.5 tons in 2018, while an average yield of 35 tons per hectare was recorded in 2019 as against 30 tons for cassava.
“In our 2020 annual work plan and budget, we have planned to support 3, 000 (2, 000 and 1, 000) farmers for rice and cassava production respectively.
“Other 6, 000 VCDP profiled farmers would benefit in all the VCDP training and extension services,” he said.
On border closure by the Federal Government, Agwuncha said it was long overdue, and urged farmers to seize the opportunity to excel in providing food and employment for the country.
“As a matter of fact, I had expected that to have happened a long time because there is no basis to make Nigeria a dumping ground.
“When the team visited the state in 2015, they went round and concluded that Anambra had the potential to feed Nigeria in terms of rice.
“If you open the borders, it affects the efforts of farmers. I expect the Federal Government to close the borders so we look inwards because we have the human and natural endowment to produce rice that will feed Africa,” he said.
The programme coordinator, however, advised the Federal Government to improve its support to agriculture by constructing rural roads and subsidising inputs, among other supports.
Edited by Kabir Muhammad/Felix Ajide (NAN)
Jigawa women farmers solicit farm inputs, gender-friendly equipment
The Jigawa State Chapter of Smallholder Women Farmers in Nigeria (SWOFON), on Wednesday solicited for farm inputs and gender friendly equipment from government.
Hajiya Hadiza Abdulwahab, SWOFON State Coordinator, who presented a list of the requests to the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, described it as a progressive step for communities where farming was their main occupation.
Abdulwahab said the provision of gender friendly equipment according to the needs and strength of women would go a long way to relieve women of fatigue.
The Coordinator solicited for 67, 915 bags of fertiliser, 10, 000 bags of rice seed, 3, 583 bags of maize seed, 2, 718 power tillers and 2, 718 hand planters.
She said the move had become imperative because the backbone of any agricultural revolution was farmers’ access to modern agricultural inputs.
The Coordinator noted that the gesture would directly improve the output of small-scale women farmers in the state and would also make them more productive, as well as ensure increased income for them.
She added that in the long run, there would be an improvement in the livelihoods of the women farmers, as they would be able to provide for themselves, their families and communities.
Abdulwahab said women were determined to end hunger; and it was a known fact that if women had equal access to productive resources, they would increase their yields and feed more hungry people.
According to her, though women make up to half of the agricultural labour force, barriers to credit, inputs and extension services, as well as land ownership and rights, limit their production.
“It is certain that women are more likely to reinvest their income into their families to improve education, nutrition and health; when women flourish, families and communities do too.
Abdulwahab disclosed that the move was an ongoing exercise in five selected states across the country and the FCT, where the priority demands of 500, 000 smallholder women farmers would be submitted.
“Currently, we have over 500,000 rural farmers working in different communities across the 36 states of the federation,’’ she said.
The Nigeria News Agency , reports that SWOFON is a coalition of women farmers associations and groups across Nigeria with the goal of advocating for and supporting women farmers, especially those in rural areas.
Edited by Hawa lawal/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore (NAN)
Association canvasses more investments in coconut plantation
Mrs Okoroginma Ogechukwu, the President, National Coconut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NACOPPMAN), has called for more investments in coconut plantation in the country.
She said that the potential of the sector had remained untapped due to lack of adequate investments.
She said the available coconut plantation in the country could not produce the needed quantity for the increasing demand of the cash crop.
Ogechukwu said that the Federal, State and Local Governments, foreign investors as well as the Diaspora communities should invest more in coconut.
NACOPPMAN is an apex body, established to nurture and authorised by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, to coordinate the activities of the coconut industry in Nigeria and globally.
The association was inaugurated in September 2019 in Abuja.
She said that Nigeria was faced with the challenge of going back to its own coconut plantations with the recent closure of land borders by the Federal Government.
She said the country could not promote what it did not have, saying that government must pay attention to the coconut industry by establishing more plantations.
“Thank God for the closure of land borders because we have been exposed to the reality that 90 per cent of coconuts consumed in Nigeria is coming from other African countries.
“We import coconuts from Ghana, Togo, Seme borders and other African countries.
“Now, with the closure of borders, we are faced with the reality of going back to our plantations, ’’ Ogechukwu said.
She said governments at all levels and investors should take advantage of the opportunities presented by the closure to invest in coconut plantation and its value chain.
She said the closure of land borders had exposed the reality that 90 per cent of coconuts consumed in the country were imported.
“We have to consciously invest in coconut plantations in Nigeria and that’s the only way out. We cannot promote what we don’t have.
“How can we be promoting other countries when we have the arable land for the plantation. A crop that can grow in the 36 states of the country; it is advisable to invest in it,” Ogechukwu said.
She urged Federal, States and Local Governments as well as the diaspora communities to tap into the huge market by investing in the industry.
She described the coconut industry as a good retirement benefit for investors.
“I want to call on the government, investors and those in the diaspora to invest in coconut.
“With coconut investment, you can be making 80 per cent return on investment and the coconut continues producing until the next 60 years.
“It is the best retirement benefits and investments you can imagine and with that, our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will grow and there will be employment opportunities for our youths.’’ Ogechukwu said.
Edited by Abdullahi Mohammed/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)
Insure crops, farmlands in case of erosion, fire – extension agent advises
Farmers in Anambra have been advised to insure their crops and farmlands to avoid losses in case of eventualities.
“For the fact that catastrophe is neither here nor there, besides the topography of the environment, farmers should insure their farms.
“Every crop should be insured for safety purposes in case of eventualities such as flood, erosion, wild fire.
“Insurance will go a long way in assisting victims of natural disasters in their farms,” he said.
Imoka urged farmers not to worry about insurance premium, saying that the benefits of insurance outweighed the premium.
“At first, it will look as if there is nothing to gain, but it is not true.
“ and farmlands, food security will be guaranteed,” he said.
Group set to train herders on greenhouse ranch management
The Nigeria Farmers Group and Cooperative Society (NFGCS) says plans have reached advanced stage to train herders on greenhouse to manage its 10,000 capacity ranch currently under construction at Gaate, Nasarawa State.
Mr Tedheke Retson, the National Coordinator made this known in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Abuja, said the herders, which were already working on the farm would be trained on how to grow grass to feed their cattle without using soil.
He said the essence was to reduce the amount of time required to grow grass to feed the animals as well as limiting the movement of the cattle to make them more fit for the purpose they were being bred.
According to him, the ranch which is expected to take off in December will be the first of its kind in the country, as the project will change the pattern of feeding of livestock in the country.
“We are going to train the Fulani who are in charge of livestock on the farm on how to use hydroponics (greenhouse). What that means is planting crops or grass without sand to feed the cattle.
“This is to reduce the number of times the animals will be going out to graze in open land.
“Of the 10,000 cattle that will be put in the ranch, 5,000 will be cross bred specifically for dairy purposes and the remaining 5,000 will be for fattening for onward sale in the Southern part of Nigeria.
“It will interest you to know that the south alone consumes in excess of 100,000 cattle a day, a market that is insatiable.”
The coordinator further pointed out that training would not be limited to herders, adding that the group was already discussing with the Nasarawa State Government as well as the Federal Government to train youths across the country.
He said one of the misconceptions that Nigeria “will not work no matter the effort” was unfounded, adding that the group had been able to disabuse the minds of Nigerians on such belief with the level of achievement so far.
“We have been able to sell that message to both the A.A Sule led administration in Nasarawa as well as the a Federal Government. The Vice President was here, we have met with the Minister of State for Agric as well as the Minister of Agric.
“The relationship we are trying to create is simple. Now we are beginning to fabricate some of the machineries we need to work in our rice mill, a mill that will be delivering two trailer loads of rice on a daily basis soon.
“The state government wants youths from the state to learn how to fabricate this, then we can have a conversation with the Federal Government and say let us turn every community into a rice producing community.
“Our plan is to build a research and training institute here on the farm so that as youths are brought in, we are teaching them the basic machineries that are needed to make agriculture simple for rural Nigeria.
“We are looking at a situation where we dedicate part of our revenue as a country to rural agro development.”
Retson emphasised on the need to make rural Nigeria attractive to reduce rural, urban migration, adding that the plan of the group was to move Nigerians from urban areas to rural areas.
He said the group was working to make rural Nigeria attractive to the point where unemployed youths seeking white collar jobs in urban areas would be willing to go to rural Nigeria to work and be productive for themselves and the society.
“Of course, the most productive industry in Nigeria today is politics and religion. Those are not sustainable. Betting industries are also springing up but they are not sustainable.
“The fact that our youths are spending about N100 billion every month on betting is not sustainable because that is an expectation that is almost lost.
“So, what we are trying to do is to see if we can create a pool effect where NFGCS will create a learning platform where all the arms of government will tap into for us to train Nigerians, to set up a project like the Gaate farm across all local governments in the country.
“If you create 500 jobs in a place like this and it is replicated in 774 local government areas in Nigeria, imagine what we will achieve within the next decade.
“We will not do training in a hotel in the urban centre. We will build hostels for the trainees on the farm to spend up to four months in the farm, train enough and have the capacity to be reproductive.
“For instance, what is in a colour sorting machine for rice that cannot be made in Nigeria?
“We are having a conversation right now with the Adekunle Ajasin University to go to the engineering department and tell them to produce the complete line for making rice,’’ he said.
Retson pointed out that one of the major focuses of the group was to establish a farm settlement with not only a complete value chain of farming, processing and marketing but one with every facility, including medical centre, school and a resort for vacation.
Edited by Ese E. Ekama (NAN)
Tak Agro Plc to acquire 250 trucks for fertiliser production, distribution
TAK Agro Plc, a major player in Nigeria’s agricultural value chain says it has concluded arrangement to purchase 250 MAN trailer-trucks for its fertiliser production and distribution, as well as grain processing and storage operations in readiness for dry season farming.
The Chairman of Tak Agro Plc., Thomas Etuh, said on Wednesday in Abuja that the decision was taken in Lagos, at the signing of N15 billion bonds facilitated for the company by Planet Capital as part of plans to acquire 1,000 trucks.
Etuh said that N15 billion was the first tranche of a N50 billion bond approved by Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) to finance the acquisition of key infrastructure to facilitate the movement of raw materials and evacuation of agricultural produce.
He also said it would help the company to meet the demands of boosting its production of fertilizers as well as provide the pillar that would enable it drive the government’s initiative towards boosting food production and food security.
He noted that acquiring the trucks became an important plank of the company’s strategy because of the intricate vehicular requirements of fertiliser and commodity businesses.
“Every six monhs, TAK Group moves raw materials and fertilisers to and from various blending plants.
“It requires about 34,000 truck trips to move one million tonnes for both raw materials and finished goods, and if you benchmark this against our installed capacity, we are basically talking of about 100,000 truck trips a year. You can now see why this is important to us.
“We are starting with 250 trucks for now but our requirement is more like 2,000 trucks to be able to meet our requirements.
“This means that even when we have the complete 1,000 trucks, we will still be supporting that with the third party trucking arrangement as we are currently doing,” he said in a statement by Mr Alex Emode, Media Consultant to Tak Agro.
Etuh explained that TAK Group is driving towards building a Pan African integrated agro solutions company with an installed capacity of three million metric tonnes out of the country’s need of about four million tonnes.
He expressed optimism that the additional investments in logistics would ensure optimal leverage of economy of scale with regard to the company’s installed capacity.
“TAK Group is one of the few end-to-end players in the agro value chain in Nigeria, starting from yield enhancement by providing NPK fertilizers to farmers all the way to storage of grains and the produce that comes out from the application of the fertilisers.
“TAK logistics is one of the key building blocks for the end-to-end value that the TAK Group delivers to the market, starting from the delivery of raw materials to the blending plants to the movement and distribution of blended fertilisers to the agro dealers.
“Nigerian farmers lose over 50 percent of their produce due to the lack of storage facilities and difficulty in moving the produce from farms to markets and storage centres, and that is why, part of the infrastructure that TAK group is putting in place is to deal with this issue.
“So, while we are enhancing yield per hectare with our fertiliser, we are also taking care of the waste that have been the lot in the industry over these years.
“This ensures our farmers earn a lot more at the end and the idea of seasonal availability of staples like grains will be a thing of the past,” he said.
The Managing Director, TAK Logistics, Mr Chuma Maduekwe, was also quoted as saying that the bond would help farmers be in control of the logistics chain.
He said farmers in Nigeria had hitherto, suffered serious losses owing to lack of storage facilities and poor handling of post-harvest activities.
“Nigerian farmers lose over 50 percent of their produce due to the lack of storage facilities and difficulty in moving the produce from farms to markets and storage centres.
“This is why part of the infrastructure that the TAK Group is putting in place is to deal with the issue of logistics.
“So, while we are enhancing yield per hectare with our fertiliser, we are also taking care of the waste that have been the lot in the industry over these years.
“This will ensure our farmers earn a lot more at the end and the idea of seasonal availability of staples like grains will be a thing of the past,” he said.
(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)
- Travel agent in court for allegedly defrauding 3 applicants of N1.186m
- Bayelsa Poll: We don’t have anything against Jonathan-PDP
- Engineer in court for allegedly buying stolen laptops
- Lagos BRT operator to roll out 50 more buses
- Court dissolves 6-year-old marriage over battery, infidelity
- Bayelsa Poll: INEC presents certificate of return to Lyon, Deputy
- Centre treats 50 VVF patients in Kebbi
- Ooni of Ife, group set to showcase tourist attractions in Ile-Ife
- Ikotun market traders lament poor road network
- Police arraign trader for allegedly insulting, intimidating neighbour
- Court remands man who allegedly raped 13-year-old
- Board Chairman tasks UCH management on international best practices
- Court remands 40-year-old man for allegedly sodomising neighborur’s 10-year-old boy
- Teenager arraigned over alleged theft of food items
- Beauty West Africa Exhibition: Visitors queue to get free haircuts
- Ruiz defeat made me a smarter fighter, says Joshua
- Nat’l Volleyball league: NCS vows to defend title
- Alleged P&ID scam: EFCC files fresh charges against Briton
- Zaria: College BoT chairman harps on character molding above learning
- Suspected fraudster gets N500,000 bail over N9,000 fraud
- Pentagon denies report U.S. mulls pulling up to 4,000 troops from South Korea
- ADB introduces new loan pricing for higher-income countries, economies
- Anglo-South African Investec reports 17% fall in first half profit
- North Korea says ‘pointless’ for Kim to attend South Korea ASEAN summit
- NAN photographer Jones, others win UNDP photo contest
- Don calls for adequate investments in agriculture to end poverty
- Smoke envelops Sydney, bushfire warnings issued across Australia
- Pope Francis delivers speech on humanitarian issues to Thai Govt
- Industrial waste management: Kano govt. pledges compensation to affected farmers
- China says it will strive to reach ‘phase one’ trade deal with U.S.
- Court sentences 3 traders to 2 years in prison for stealing rail bolts
- NGO promotes demand for nutrition, health services in Kaduna rural communities
- Oil drops amid new concern over prospects for U.S.-China trade deal
- IMF says trade tensions can shave off 0.8% of global GDP
- Opposition leader sworn-in as Sri Lanka’s new prime minister
- Maina arrives in court for trial continuation
- Indonesia will continue to partner with Nigeria for benefit of the two nations – Ambassador
- Mustering energy, consensus and fairness to negotiate the world
- Coca-Cola CEO, James Quincey in Africa, Defines Region as Company’s Future Growth Driver
- Hate speech bill: Governors tell NASS to respect views of Nigerians
- Zamfara: DPR cautions filling stations against supplying petrol to bandits
- Gov. El-Rufai appoints 8 more aides
- participants laud organisers of 2019 INAC Expo
- Surulere Super Plaza gutted by fire in Lagos
- Firm begins empowerment programme for Immigration Service officers’ widows, children
- Middle Belt Youth Organization takes peace advocacy to schools
- DMO offers N150bn from 3 instruments
- Malaysia exhibits indigenous cuisine at Abuja expo
- Customs promotes 2,508 officers to various ranks
- NYSC set aside N26m to replace Corps member’s amputated limbs