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Rainy season: farmer calls for proper drainages to avert crop losses

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Rainy season: farmer calls for proper drainages to avert crop losses


An Organic Farmer, Mr Uche Ikenga, has advised local farmers to build drainage systems through sturdier and higher ridges to avert flooding and loss of crops on their farms.

Ikenga gave the advice while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Wednesday.

He said that construction of such farm ridges was important now as the rain became more constant across the country.

The farmer noted that the constancy of the rains had resulted in the flooding of some farms.

“With the constant rainfall in some parts of the country presently, local farmers experience flooded farms with their ridges being washed away.

“When we make our heaps and ridges higher, it will make the excess water to flow through the valleys that has been created and then channel out.

“If the farmer does not create a proper drainage system in his farm through the high ridges, the rain will end up flooding the farm.

“We need to see how to deploy the right mechanics in our farming system so that local farmers do not experience loss during the rainy season,” Ikenga said.

He called for the development of better storage and preservation technology to stop the scarcity of seasonal crops as well as make the crops available all year round.

“There are some crops that are rain averse, they cannot withstand high torrents of rain and good examples of these are tomatoes and beans.

“Tomatoes and beans do not thrive well with much water, so most farmers usually wait till the rain subsides before they cultivate them, hence the seasonal scarcity and hike in price of these items.

“The fluted pumpkin (Ugwu) usually does well when it rains. The reason some farmers complain of the rain washing away the vegetable is because they do not build high ridges when cultivating it.

“You should not plant the fluted pumpkin on ordinary beds or low ridges during the rainy season if you do not want to lose your crops.

“To make available crops that do not do well during the rainy season, we need to develop a good preservation technology and culture to get these crops all year round,” Ikenga said.

He said that the lack of adequate storage and preservation technology was a major challenge to farmers because when they grew the perishables and did not have an immediate market for them, they were forced to sell them cheap.

“However, if we have adequate storage systems to keep our produce fresh, we will not sell them off as peanuts but get a reasonable return for our investments,” Ikenga said.

Edited By: Razak Owolabi/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

 

Omoike Mercy: 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

Agriculture

Agro expert wants ban on maize importation beyond economic benefits

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An agriculture expert, Mr Ismail Olawale, has advised the Federal Government that the ban on maize importation should go beyond economic benefits.


Olawale, a Fellow at the Nigerian Agriculture and Extension Liaison Service (NAERLS) said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Lagos.

The expert speaking in reaction to the recent ban on importation of maize by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said the government should have considered the ripple effects of the ban before its commencement.

“The question we are asking is what is the actual basis for the ban on importation of maize? Are we banning because we have large quantity of maize in stock or because of the quality of our local maize?

“Has the government considered all the variables affecting local maize production like quality and quantity produced before implementing the ban on importation?

“If they have, what has the government come up with to salvage the ripple effects of the ban on the importation of maize?

“We should not just consider the economic impact of the ban but also consider how it borders on the quality and health of our local maize.

“If the ban is just for economic reasons alone without factoring in the substitutes if they are healthy enough, if they have the best quality and other favourable factors to the end users, then it is not fair,” he said.

Olawale reiterated that the ban should not just be about increasing the nation’s Gross Domestic Product but also about improving the local value-chain of the crop.

In addition, he said a balanced communication on the reasons for the ban should be communicated to the consumers, producers and also the farmers.

“If we are serious about banning the importation of maize, then we need to improve our production value-chain line.

“Is the ban on maize importation just about not allowing the cost imported maize affect the patronage of local maize?

“The banning has come, so how well have we marketed local maize production, because most producers and consumers of maize product are used to the imported ones.

“We need to do an analysis of the ripple effects of the ban beyond our farmers having the competitive capacity of the imported maize and their ability to make more money.

“What have we done to convince the consumers on patronizing locally grown maize or else we should be expecting an increased level of maize smuggling into the country,” Olawale said.

The expert also added that the first effect of maize importation ban is the hike in the price of maize in the local market, if the ban is mainly for maximization of GDP, as soon as the ban takes off, the effect reflects on the local price.

“Also because of the ban on maize importation, most local farmers begin to hoard the stock they have so that after sometime they can have good market value for it.

“We need a deep analysis on how the ban on maize importation and how it affects the local farmers, consumers and producers,” the expert said.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)

 

 

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General news

Work resumes in Osun after Eid-el-Kabir holiday

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Workers in Osun resumed work on Monday after observing Thursday and Friday Eid-el-Kabir public holiday declared by the Federal Government.


The News Agency of Nigeria reports that commercial banks in Osogbo that were closed for the holiday, reopened for business as customers were seen queuing up to go into the banks for transactions.

The state civil servants working at the state secretariat in Abere, Osogbo, were also back to their duty posts, as many were already behind their duty desks carrying out the day’s work.

The same scenario also played out at the Olorunda and Osogbo Local Government secretariats, both in Osogbo, where some workers were seen resuming to their offices, as some others, already at the secretariats, were busy with their office works.

Staff and workers of the state House of Assembly in Osogbo, were also at the assembly’s complex carrying out their various duties and responsibilities.

Workers at some federal establishments in Osogbo too were also back to their stations as a lot of them were seen carrying out their daily jobs.

A federal worker, Mr Kareem Ashimu, said he traveled to Lagos, where his family resides, for the Eid-el-Kabir, and he returned back to the state on Sunday evening to resume work this morning.

Ashimu said the extended public holidays gave workers the opportunity to spend more time with their family, especially those working in separate states from their family.

“Apart from the festivities and celebration stuff, the break afforded me the opportunity to spend more time with my children.

“Though the COVID-19 restricted visitations and social gathering, I had a low key celebration with my immediate family and the expenses was also minimal,” he said.

A staff of the Osun House of Assembly, Mr Kamal Adeniyi said this year’s Eid-el-Kabir was the only one he ever observed without travelling to his own town to celebrate with his extended family.

“The outbreak of COVID-19 has really affected a lot of things. Now, this year’s Eid-el-Kabir could not be celebrated because of the effect of the pandemic.

“I just pray that this Coronavirus goes away soonest because it has really caged a lot of us and restricted our freedom,” Adeniyi said.

Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)

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Economy

NIPOST: LCCI wants regulatory framework reviewed 

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The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called for the review of the regulatory framework of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) in the interest of the Nigerian economy, business continuity, private sector development and job creation.


Dr Muda Yusuf, LCCI Director-General, said in a statement on Sunday in Lagos that a framework in which NIPOST was both a regulator and an operator was detrimental to the development of courier business in the country, and inconsistent with best practices globally.

He said the LCCI had strong reservations particularly over a provision in the courier regulation guidelines prescribing contribution by an operator, a sum equal to 2 per cent of its total annual revenue, to the postal fund.

This is to be used for postal development and delivery of postal services in rural and underserved areas.

“We submit that this provision will put too much burden on courier and logistics businesses and make them unsustainable.

“These businesses are already grappling with multitude of taxes and levies in the course of their daily operations.

“We request that this provision be expunged immediately in the interest of investments and investors in the courier and logistics sector of the Nigeria economy.

“Currently, NIPOST is vested with powers to regulate its competitors; this arrangement is unfair, inequitable, and inherently repressive”, Yusuf argued

According to him, it is a negation of the ease of doing business policy of the Federal Government and inconsistent with the extant competition law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“We, therefore, urge the federal government and the National Assembly to urgently remedy the situation,” he said.

Yusuf also called for the review of the provision in the courier regulation which vests with the Minister the powers to compel any licensed courier and/or logistics services operator to undertake free delivery service for the purpose of universal postal service obligations/or any social service delivery in national interest.

He argued that the provision bordered on overbearing power with little regard for the interest of investors.

“This provision will undermine the confidence of investors in the courier and logistics business and should be immediately be repealed.

“It is a negation of the efforts of the federal government to attract investment, create jobs and grow the economy.

“The reality is that many corporate organisations are already undertaking various forms of Corporate Social Responsibility projects without being compelled or coerced to do so”.

Yusuf also noted that citizens should not be compelled to patronise NIPOST irrespective of the size or weight of an item as stated in a courier regulation.

He referred to the stipulation that says: ”All courier items/articles such as Right Issues, Shares Certificates, Statement of Accounts, Cheques, Letters or Offer documents, etc weighing below 0.5kg brought to a courier/logistics service operator shall be recorded and referred to the nearest Post Office of the Nigerian Postal Service for processing and delivery.

“Failure to do so will attract payment to Nigerian Postal Service of a penalty of 90 per cent of the amount charged on the item by the erring Operator”.

Yusuf described it as an unfair provision and an infringement on the rights of citizens and in conflict with the principle of fairness.

Edited By: Angela Okisor/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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Economy

Boat mishap: NIWA to deregister indicted operators

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The Lagos Area Office of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) warned boat operators on Sunday that it would henceforth, deregister and withdraw operational licences of indicted operators.


The warning follows what NIWA described as the disturbing and worrisome boat accidents on Lagos Waterways in recent times.

The Lagos Area Manager of NIWA, Mrs Sarat Braimah, said in a statement that the company would also prosecute indicted operators.

She said the regulatory agency would no longer fold its arms and watch deviant operators doing things that would result to loss of lives.

“We have tried to provide the needed enabling environment for the operators, including training programmes to expose them to operational standards yet some have chosen the path of desperation and dangerous behaviours, leading to loss of lives and property.”

Braimah said that the company had run out of patience with recalcitrant operators, noting that no operator would go unpunished for committing any indiscretion.

She disclosed that pre-boarding formalities targeted at passengers’ awareness would now form part of the enforcement regime to help stabilize and encourage first timers.

“Those afraid of water transportation will adhere to safety measures, particularly during turbulence on the waterways.

“Time has also come for passengers to take responsibility, listen and obey boat crew when emergencies or turbulence occur.

“Sadly, some passengers go into frenzy and panic mood, triggering fearful alarm and causing bedlam leading to avoidable deaths,” she said.

According to the manager, detailed takeoff protocols, pre-boarding checks and physical inspection of use of life jackets are to be introduced.

She said also that unscheduled and random checks of boats to ascertain their seaworthiness will be part of the new safety measures.

“The new dawn will be implemented to the letter with passengers addressed in English, Pigin English and the three major dialects – Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa before takeoff.

“We are going to step up our awareness programme for stakeholders in this month of August and beyond. We are determined to arrest this situation and hereby enjoin all hands to be on the deck,” Braimah said.

Edited By: Nkiru Ifeajuna/Silas Nwoha (NAN)

 

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