Rice farmers in Gombe State have decried the high cost of agricultural inputs in the 2020 wet season farming in the state.
Some of the farmers who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Gombe on Friday said that the situation would impact greatly on the price of the produce after harvest.
Alhaji Musa Arab said the high cost of fertiliser and other inputs was frustrating him as a rice farmer
“As a rice farmer, I am foreseeing food crisis. We are ready to farm but there are no inputs, especially fertiliser and pesticides.
“We have planted rice but nowhere to get fertiliser to apply because of cost.
“We can’t cultivate rice without fertiliser. Like now I need at least 30 bags of fertiliser to apply in my rice farm which is over N500, 000 because a bag is going for nearly N20, 000.
“So where will I get the money and how much will I spend on the farm and how much am I getting?
“The cost of farming now is very high. In fact this is the highest in my several years of farming and there is no way it is not going to affect the price of rice,’’ he said.
He added that the state government had not given the right assistance to rice farmers to help encourage them to produce more to avert the impending food crisis in the state.
“We are hearing on radio that the state government has launched the sales of subsidised fertilisers but I can tell you that the real farmers have not benefitted.
“Farming should not be politicised because if there is food crisis, we all would be affected,’’ Arab said.
Another Rice Farmer, Sanusi Tela from Garin Bako Awak Community in Kaltungo Local Government Area said that it had become difficult for rice farmers to continue their vocation.
“Two years ago, I lost over 148 bags of paddy rice because of disease. I am yet to recover from that loss and usually what we get from this year’s harvest is ploughed back into farming.
“Now I don’t have enough to invest and no assistance whatsoever. Nobody comes to us to check on us as farmers.
“The high cost of fertiliser and other inputs has made farming extremely difficult for us.
“ I could only cultivate a small piece of land because of the high cost of inputs,’’ he said.
He added that he was not sure of getting good returns if he were to invest more.
Malam Jauro Aliyu, another rice farmer from same community, said he had to jettison rice cultivation for sesame which needed little or no fertiliser as a result of high cost of inputs for rice farming.
Other farmers who spoke with NAN raised similar concerns while stressing that there might be shortage of paddy rice in the state for processing after harvest.
Edited By: Buhari Bolaji/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)
COVID-19: FG to develop innovative interventions to improve survival chances
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, says efforts are ongoing to develop innovative interventions to reduce COVID-19 case fatalities to below one per cent.
According to him, fatalities at present is at two per cent, especially for the elderly and those with co-morbidities.
Ehanire said that PTF members were aligned in non-pharmaceutical key role interventions in controlling new infections, as the measures of wearing of masks and avoiding crowds were easy, cheap and proven to be effective.
He added that “we would work with state governments to prepare necessary space and human resources at general hospitals or Primary Healthcare Centres to train and set up at least one sample collection site in every local government area in due course, with efficient sample retrieval logistics to convey samples to laboratories.
“This means that we should consider adjusting to what has been described as the ‘new normal,’ a way of life that is intended to reduce risk of infection, while allowing meaningful economic life to resume and citizens to restore their livelihoods,” he said.
The minister said there was need to sustain the efforts as the increase in testing capacity recorded 40,000 in one month, while the number of positive cases dropped by over 2,000.
“The total number of positive COVID-19 cases recorded in July was 17,457, out of a total of 154,454 samples tested, with a positivity rate of 11.3 per cent, as against that of June of 19,149 positive cases from a total of 111,052 samples tested with a positivity rate of 17.2 per cent.
“By Aug. 3, we recorded 43,841 confirmed cases out of of 286,091 samples tested, while 20,308 persons were treated and discharged with 888 persons dead,” he said.
Ehanire also announced that plans were ongoing to designate holding rooms at general hospitals, with facilities for oxygen administration, such as oxygen concentrators or oxygen cylinders.
“Some investment in this strategy, known in Lagos State as oxygen kiosks, will be required, but the benefit in lives saved will be significant,” he said.
Ehanire said that the task force responded to the request of São Tomé for commodities for COVID-19 response, as directed directive by the President.
He assured that there was continued increase and optimisation laboratory diagnostic capacity most recently in Zamfara, Kebbi, Yobe, Taraba, Gombe and Bayelsa states.
The minister said there should be no anxiety among health workers about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as the equipment had been reasonably well-stocked with materials and commodities and supplied to all sections of the country.
He said government was grateful to the United Nations and European Union for the donation of another consignment of valuable supplies, which he received on July 31.
“This additional delivery will boost our stockpile of wherewithal to fight the pandemic and it includes face masks and shields goggles, airways tubes, bio-hazard bags and safety boxes, test kites,” he said.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
COVID-19: Nigeria records 288 new cases, total now 44,129, with 896 deaths
The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Monday.
The agency said that eight new deaths were reported, bringing the total number of fatalities to 896 across the country.
The NCDC said that the new infections were recorded in Lagos, the Federal Capital Territory and 13 states.
It stated that Lagos topped the list with 88 new cases, while the FCT reported 25 fresh infections.
Among others were Kwara, 33, Osun, 27, Enugu, 25, Abia, 20, Kaduna, 17, Plateau and Rivers, 13 each, Delta, 10, and Gombe, 8.
The agency stressed that states with fewer cases include Ogun, 4, Oyo, 3, Katsina, 1 and Bauchi, 1.
According to it, till date, 44,129 cases have been confirmed, 20,663 cases discharged and 896 deaths recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
Meanwhile, the health agency added that washing of hands frequently with soap under running water was one of the best ways to stop the transmission of diseases like COVID-19 from person to person or after touching contaminated surfaces.
“#TakeResponsibility to keep yourself and loved ones safe and healthy.
“This election period, #TakeResponsibility by adhering to guidelines to protect ourselves and loved ones from COVID-19, including Physical distancing, Use of hand sanitisers and Use of face mask,” it advised.
“In Nigeria, use of hydroxychloroquine is only limited to clinical trials.
“Please #TakeResponsibility and avoid self-medication,” it stressed.
The agency warned that a high percentage of those infected with COVID-19 did not show any symptom of the disease.
“So, to protect yourself and everyone around you, wear a face mask, maintain physical distancing, wash your hands frequently and follow all guidelines from the NCDC website,” it said.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
COVID-19: Nigeria reports 304 fresh infections; death toll hits 888
Nigeria reported 304 new confirmed cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as the death toll jumps to 888.
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) made this known on its official twitter handle on Sunday.
The centre noted that five deaths were recorded in the country.
It added that till date, the country recorded 43,841 confirmed cases, 20,308 discharged and 888 deaths in 36 states and the FCT.
It showed that the 304 new cases were reported from 15 states, namely Lagos (81), FCT (39), Abia (31), Kaduna (24), Rivers (23), Plateau (16), Cross River (13), Ebonyi (12), Ondo (12) Ekiti (11), Edo (11), Benue (10), Nasarawa (10), Ogun (6) and Gombe (5).
The health agency noted that a multi-sectoral national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), activated at Level 3, would continue to coordinate the COVID-19 national response activities across the country.
The NCDC said that Nigerians risk of the virus would be higher if they were less than six feet from people at a crowded public place or if they freely share equipment and not practice social distancing and other habits to stay healthy.
Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
NiMet predicts cloudy, thundery weather activities Monday to Wednesday
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted cloudy and thundery weather activities from Monday to Wednesday across the country.
NiMet`s weather outlook released on Sunday in Abuja predicted cloudy skies with isolated thunderstorms over some parts of northern states.
The states are Yobe, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Sokoto, Taraba, Kebbi and Katsina.
According to the agency, the rest of the region will be under cloudy conditions during the time.
“Later in the day, cloudy skies with pockets of thunderstorms are anticipated over the region with the exception of Sokoto where cloudy condition is expected.
“Over the central region, cloudy skies with isolated rain showers are anticipated over Jos, Nasarawa, Makurdi, Niger and Abuja during the morning hours.
“As the day progresses, much cloudiness is expected to prevail over the region with prospects of thunderstorms over Benue, Abuja, Niger and Plateau States.’’
The agency predicted that southern coast and the inland would be cloudy with the exception of Ikom, Obudu, Calabar in Cross River and Eket in Akwa Ibom, where light rain showers were anticipated during the morning hours.
It further predicted that some southeast inland and coastal cities such as Enugu, Umuahia, Obudu, Uyo, Calabar, Eket, Port-Harcourt and Yenagoa are expected to experience cloudy skies with scattered rain showers later in the day.
The agency, however, envisaged cloudy skies over the inland and coastal areas of the Southwest.
According to NiMet, morning thunderstorms are likely over Katsina, Borno, Taraba and Katsina on Tuesday, while the rest of the northern region is expected to be cloudy during the morning hours.
“Places like Southern Borno, Bauchi, and Gombe will experience cloudy skies with isolated thunderstorms in the evening while the rest of the region are expected to be cloudy.
“Cloudy skies with thunderstorms are expected over Niger axis, while other parts of the central cities will experience much cloudiness during the morning hours.
“Scattered thunderstorms are anticipated over Kaduna and Niger States in the afternoon with more prospects in the evening.
“Cloudy conditions are expected over inland and coast of the south during the morning and evening period.’’
NiMet forecast cloudy skies over the northern region with chances of thunderstorms over Borno, Gombe, and Adamawa during the morning hours of Wednesday.
It also predicted pockets of thunderstorms over Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Zamfara and Kebbi States.
“Cloudy skies are expected to prevail across the central region during the morning hours, while thunderstorms are expected over the high grounds of the central states during the afternoon and evening period.
“Cloudiness is expected to prevail over the inland and the coastal belt throughout the forecast period.’’
Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Silas Nwoha (NAN)