The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) has secured a N3.5 billion loan commitment to boost maize and soybean production in the 2019 wet season.
The Managing Director, NIRSAL, Mr Aliyu Abdulhameed, disclosed this at the end of a two-day Preliminary Technical Session Roundtable Engagement with stakeholders for the Mapping for Markets (M2M) project in Abuja on Tuesday.
Abdulhameed stated that the loan would be disbursed to 3,750 farmers in three pilot states under the M2M project.
According to Abulhameed, NIRSAL will be using these three states as its pilot scheme by providing the necessary support to smallholders maize and soybean farmers with quality inputs to increase their yields.
“It is interesting to note that under this single pilot project and as a result of our deliberations and interactions, we have been able to extract significant commitments to be executed in this 2019 wet season.
“We were able to secured a loan commitment of N3.5 billion for smallholder farmers by Stanbic, Union Bank and Sterling Bank under the M2M initiative.
“The farmers will be supported across these three states and 107.5 metric tonnes of seeds worth approximately N65.5 million will be supplied by seed companies.
“Also, 2,062 metric tonnes of fertilisers worth about N290 million will be made available by the fertiliser companies,” he said.
The NIRSAL boss added that 33,250 litres of “crop protection products” worth N54.6 million had be committed to the project.
He said 8,750 metric tonnes of maize worth N744 million and 2,000 metric tonnes of soybean worth N208 million are expected to be produced and off taken under the pilot phase.
Abdulhameed said that the downstream actors present had committed to off-take the maize and soybean to be produced.
This, he explained, would generate an estimated revenue of N425,000 and N2260,000 for maize and soybean respectively.
He added that the M2M project would save the country about N1 billion via import substitution, adding that it would also create jobs and income opportunities to players along the two value chains.
Abdulhameed said that NIRSAL would not relent in its effort to ensure that standard fertilisers and improved seeds were supplied to farmers under this project to boost productivity.
He expressed hope that the M2M strategy would unlock the “immense potential across all agriculture value chains, the agriculture finance value chain and other agribusiness support sectors in Nigeria”.
Mr Tunde Faturoti, Managing Director, Agriseed Co Nigeria Limited, assured Nigerians that the seeds to be supplied under the M2M project were not Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) but hybrid.
“The seed we are promoting is not GMO, it’s hybrid and what hybrid does is that you have a predetermine period that will give you what you want like disease resistance.
“The seed we are promoting is a three way crop whereby you have a minimal of three parents. The first point is to get an hybrid, then we get the one for disease resistance.
“It has been adapted to our environment. It is adapted to all the stresses that we have around in the southern and Guinea Savannah were this can actually grow.
“This same varieties give two tonnes in Zimbabwe. But there, everybody look at the soil then fertiliser is used according to soil testing. We are not just providing seed but we will back it up with training, ” he said.
Mrs Tope Samuel-Odu, Regional Agribusiness Manager, Union Bank, quoted the NIRSAL MD as saying that, all structure would put put in place to ensure a win win situation at the end of the day.
‘If such is the case, then you don’t have to push financial institutions to lend. Financial institutions are there to lend.
“The money is there to give out but they are looking for bankable products, bankable projects that they can put their money towards. The transaction is right when we are making profit, ” she said.
On his part, Mr Richard Olafare, the President, Seed Entrepreneurs Association of Nigeria (SEEDAN) said that N65 million worth of seed to be committed to this project was a good one.
Olafare was represented by Prof. Johnson Onyibe, an Adviser to Seed Industry, thanked NIRSAL for this laudable project and called for it sustainability.
Edited by Felix Ajide
NDE begins poultry training for 50 youths in Delta
The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) says it has began practical training of the 50 youth recently inducted into its poultry farm scheme in Delta.
Olu said that the practical was a follow-up of the earlier orientation training given to the trainees by the Director-General of the agency, Dr Nasiru Ladan, in Asaba.
“The practical actually commenced on Nov. 15 and it is expected to run for three months.
“On Thursday, Nov. 21, the trainees will be taken through a process of bird vaccination, water and feeding techniques and how to change wet litters to maintain good hygiene in poultry farm,” he said.
He said the trainees were recruited under the Sustainable Agricultural Development Training Scheme (SADTS) of the Rural Employment Promotion (REP) Department of the directorate.
According to Olu, the director general of NDE, represented by the Acting Zonal Director, South-South, Mr Duke Edem, inaugurated the programme earlier in the month, with a charge on beneficiary to take it seriously.
“The DG approved the implementation of the programme for selected states of the federation with 50 persons to be recruited in a state and Delta is one of the benefiting states.
“The programme is designed to give experiential training in crop production and livestock farming to the unemployed, with emphasis on enhancing food production and mass employment.
“The training of which the curriculum is structured to include major areas of modern agricultural production, marketing and agripreneurial training, life skill lecture and business plan, will last for three months,” he said.
The state coordinator said that at the end of the programme, the trainees would be linked with financial institutions and other sources of funds to sustain their businesses.
Edited by Ejike Obeta/Donald Ugwu
Lion domestication: Police your environment, LG urges residents
Dr Samuel Akingbehin, Head of Department of Environmental Services in the council area, said this while reacting to the evacuation of a lion from a residential building on 229, Muri Okunola Street, Victoria Island.
The environmental officer said that people should be mindful of goings-on in their area, particularly those that could pose threat to their lives and promptly alert authorities to arrest such situations.
“People have to be involved in keeping the environment safe from seen and unforeseen environmental and health-related acts which can disturb their lives and the community.
“We were able to remove the lion from the private home of an Indian who was rearing it because of the alarm raised by the neighbours. Without such an environment policing attitude, the situation would have degenerated into a major crisis.
“It is everyone’s civic obligation to ensure that the environment is protected from hazards, to foster sustainability of life and human habitat,” he said.
According to him, rearing of wildlife in residential area is prohibited in the state, adding “such practice is not only alien to our culture, but can cause injury to both the owner and others, in the case of the animal straying”.
The council official alerted the state government of numerous abandoned and empty properties in the area, all of which, he said, constituted environmental challenges and threat to life.
He urged the residents of the area to be vigilant over abandoned properties that could provide hideouts for street urchins and other environment non-compliant elements.
NAN reports that a lion, brought from Cameroon two years ago and domesticated by an Indian resident, had, on Monday, been evacuated to Omu Resorts, Bogijie Epe, Lagos, for safe keep.
Officials of the ministry of agriculture, in conjunction with the state environmental task force team, led by Dr Samuel Akingbehin of Iru-VI LCDA, had carried out the evacuation exercise.
Edited by Ifeyinwa Okonkwo and ‘Wale Sadeeq
FGN/IFAD VCDP urges Anambra farmers to embrace insurance
The Federal Government/International Fund for Agriculture Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) has advised farmers in Anambra to embrace insurance schemes to mitigate losses during disasters.
Mr Emmanuel Chukwukwelu, the -VCDP Agricultural Production Officer in the state, gave the advice at a sensitisation forum on insurance cover for farmers at Atani in Ogbaru Local Government Area near Onitsha on Tuesday.
Chukwukwelu said the programme was currently paying an insurance premium to over 2,000 farmers in the eight participating council areas.
He said the payment include the 750 farmers, who had benefitted from a N9 million fund set aside for the insurance premium.
“We want to further sensitise farmers on insurance because the weather situation cannot be determined any more.
“We want to encourage farmers to always take insurance cover when they plant their crops, rather than waiting until VCDP insures one hectare for them.
“VCDP insurance premium will only cover one hectare of rice farm for those that benefitted from our inputs,’’ he said.
He said the insurance programme was the only successful window through which the Federal Government could assist farmers affected by hazards like flooding, fire and pest.
Mr Andrew Uzoma, the State Manager, Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Cooperation, (NAIC) also enlightened the farmers on insurance policies documentation and claims settlement procedure.
Uzoma said NAIC was preparing indemnity owed to farmers with claims in this year’s disaster.
He also said that the corporation had paid more than N132 million indemnity to farmers in Anambra farmers in 2018.
The manager expressed happiness that more communities were keying into the insurance policy.
Mrs Joan Ajie, a rice and cassava farmer from Ochuche community, appealed for early disbursement of farm inputs to enable the farmers harvest before flooding.
Another rice and cassava farmer, Mr Aloysius Nwadeghi from Umunankwo community, commended the VCDP for the sensitisation visit
He said that majority of the farmers were ignorant of the benefits of insuring their farm.
Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde/Dada Ahmed
UBEC introduces school-to-farm programme in basic schools
The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) said on Tuesday, it has introduced School-to-farm programme at basic education level to inculcate practical agricultural skills among learners in primary and junior secondary schools.
The Executive Secretary of the commission, Dr Hamid Bobboyi made this known at the opening of a three-day workshop on the implementation framework of the programme in Kaduna.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the participants include UBEC officials, directors and desk officers at State Universal Basic Education Boards in charge of schools agriculture programme.
Bobboyi, who was represented by UBEC Director, Administration and Supplies, Rev. Edwin Jarumai, added that the programme would prepare the learners for a life-long learning in line with the commission’s mandate.
He noted that over the years, the teaching of agriculture as a subject was mainly theoretical and less practical, which left most learners ignorant of proper agricultural practices.
“In view of this, UBEC has approved 2.0 per cent of the Universal Basic Education Grant for the school-to-farm programme to make agricultural science more practical and hands-on at basic education level.
“The objective is to provide learners with requisite skills to stimulate self-employment, equip them with functional entrepreneurship and life skills, promote dignity of labour and self-esteem and expose them to biological process of agriculture.”
The executive secretary said that the learners would be exposed to cultivation of farm produce like maize, cassava, yam, guinea corn, and vegetables, as well as livestock like poultry, rabbit, snail and fisheries.
He added that the programme would equally build the capacity of teachers and community members who would be part of the implementation of the programme.
Bobboyi explained that the objective of the workshop was to familiarise the participants with the approved guidelines and build their capacity on the implementation of the programme.
“It is also designed to develop instruments for monitoring, share experience and adopt best practices.
“It is expected that at the end of the workshop, participants will come up with mechanism that will ensure sustainability of the programme in different geographical zones of the country,” he said.
Earlier, the Director Academic Services, UBEC, Malam Wadata Madawaki, said that the programme, if successfully implemented, would boost agricultural production in the country.
Madawaki called on all stakeholders to support the commission in ensuring the success of the programme.
Also, the commission’s Director, Social Mobilisation, Malam Bello Kagara, said that the programme would enable UBEC deliver equitable access to quality and functional education at basic education level.
According to him, the acquisition of practical agricultural skills will add value to the lives of learners and make them self-reliant.
Prof. Sadiq Abubakar of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, commended UBEC for the initiative, which he believed would be “a useful legacy for the coming generation”.
Edited /Maharazu Ahmed
Association raises alert on antimicrobial resistance to public health, livestock
Abuja, Nov. 19, 2019 The Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association(NVMA), on Tuesday, joined the global effort to raise awareness on antimicrobial resistance to public health and livestock.
The NVMA made the call in a statement on Tuesday to mark the World Antibiotic Awareness Week, signed by its publicity secretary, Dr Gloria Daminabo.
The association stressed that though antimicrobial are useful in disease treatment, their misuse leads to failure as microbes develop resistance to these life-saving treatments.
It said these resistant microbes are also transferred to other animals and humans as well.
“Antimicrobial resistance in livestock industry is a threat to public health, livestock productivity, food security and the economy, especially in developing nations such as Nigeria,’’ the association said.
The NVMA said the Nigerian situation arose as a result of poor production practices, poor hygiene, weak policies, under regulation of antimicrobial use in animals and inadequate veterinary and other related manpower.
The statement said that with antimicrobial resistance come attendant losses from increased cost of research in producing more effective antibiotics, when the available ones stop working.
Other losses noted by the NVMA as a result of antimicrobial resistance include; increased cost of livestock production, as more funds go into treatment and losses from deaths of livestock and people.
It also said the country shall be unable to neither participate, nor benefit fully from international trade in animal products in spite of enormous livestock resources.
On this note, the association also called on stakeholders in the livestock production sector to imbibe good production practices, and seek advice from professionals with the use of antimicrobial.
It urged all regulatory agencies and professionals to be proactive and alert to their responsibilities, and work in synergy to reduce antibiotic misuse in the overall interest of the country.
The association pledged to continue its advocacy and professional role, and in collaboration with all relevant stake-holders and the public, to curb the spread of antimicrobial resistance to the benefit of humanity.
edited by Sadiya Hamza
KDSG partners Arla foods, Miyyetti Allah on N15b Damau Milk Farm
Kaduna State Government on Monday said it would spend N15 billion on the construction of Household milk farms in Damau, Anchau Local Government Area.
Gov. Nasiru el-Rufai, who disclosed at a meeting with members of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in Kaduna, said the project would be executed in collaboration with Arla foods.
He said that the money would be spent on the programme which will cover 1, 000 herdsmen.
el-Rufai, represented by his Senior Adviser, Jimmi Lawal, said the initiative was to proffer solutions to the multifaceted problems associated with nomadic pastoralists.
He said the goal was to develop a world class grazing reserve to enable government centralise activities of herdsmen in one community.
The governor said the project would reduce importation of milk product, ensure self sufficiency and food security in milk and beef.
“We believe that their lives are important as the rest of us as the life of a commissioner,’’ he said.
He noted that the government is for all and there is the need to empower the people to achieve the best in their endeavours.
el-Rufai said that the programme would stop herdsmen from roaming about, create employment and stop the importation of meat and milk.
“The programme is costing the government N15 billion in the first phase. We had to borrow N10.5bn out of the money from the Central Bank as government guaranteed the repayment of the money.
“It means per person, the government is spending N15 million per herdsman that is going to be settled in that programme
“As part of the N15 million to be spend on each of the herdsmen we will be looking for those who will have their own cattle for the first time.
“Each will have between 12-15 cattle each and will have at least N1.5 million as working capital.
“There will also be a two bedroom farm house at about N2.5 million that each of the herdsmen will own,’’ he said.
He said the farm will also have road network, hospital, electricity supply, market, schools and all other social amenities.
The chairman, MACBAN, Alhaji Haruna Usman assured the association’s commitment for proper utilization of the programme.
He said the gesture was a promise fulfilled by the state government in proving the breeders with modern method of rearing animals.
Usman appreciates the efforts of the state government, adding that the programme should have been by the Federal Government.
On his part, Hafis Bayero, Managing Director, Kaduna Market and Development Company said the programme would aid in settling all herdsmen in one single location to rear their animals.
He said the programme would also allow them to live with their family in a proper modern house and to have access to pasture and water while the partner add value to the milk and sale it
Bayero assured that another component of the project would be the expansion of Ladduga ranch in Kachia Local Government and many other locations.
“We will ensure that pastoral and movement of cows becomes a thing of the past, we will settle them in one location for the benefit of all.”
Edited by Kabir Muhammad/Maharazu Ahmed
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