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World Food Day: LASG pledges continued support to farmers



The Lagos State Government on Tuesday assured farmers in the state of its continuous support to boost and create an enabling environment for optimum food production.

Mr Gbolahan Lawal, the Commissioner for Agriculture gave the assurance at a Farmers’ Forum organised by the ministry in commemoration of this year’s World Food Day.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on Oct. 16 in honour of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN in 1945.

Lawal said the government appreciated the myriad of problems farmers faced in the process of getting their produce to the consumers.

Lawal said the state government had consistently been creating an enabling environment for optimum food production.

The commissioner was represented by Dr Olayiwole Onasanya, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry.

He said that the essence of the Farmers’ Forum was to interact with stakeholders in the agriculture sector, especially farmers to get feedback from them about the various government’s interventions and complaints.

He said that the feedback would guide and help government formulate and initiate new projects and programmes that would enhance agriculture development in the state.

Lawal said that agriculture could not be developed without the active participation and support of farmers hence the ‘bottom up approach’ the state government was adopting.

“From our interactions with the farmers, key issues such as land encroachment, processing of produce, market for the produce, youth empowerment and technology have been identified to be the most pressing challenges confronting them,” he said.

Lawal said that 1,700 youths and women farmers had been assisted under the Agro Processing Productivity and Livelihood Enhancement Empowerment Support (APPEALS) project in the state.

He said that there was still need to reach out to more farmers through what he referred to as technology and extension.

The commissioner reminded the farmers of the theme of 2019 World Food Day ‘Our Actions Are Our Future: Healthy Diet For a Zero Hunger World’ and urged them to ensure they produced nutritious more food for the public.

“The World Food Day is celebrated annually by the United Nations and Nigeria is no exception; in this year’s celebration, we will ensure that the theme is given the necessary attention it deserves.

“All the activities for the celebration are in line with the creation of a sustainable system of agriculture in Lagos state,” he said. (NAN)


Edited by Grace Yussuf


Annual World Bicycle Day marked in Manila, the Philippines




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Policemen prepare to ride their bicycles along the newly-installed bike lane on the annual World Bicycle Day in Manila, the Philippines, June 3, 2020. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)

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Coach decries effect on COVID-19 on World Cycling Day celebration



Head Coach, Cycling Association, Edo Sports Council, Orogho Bello, has decried the low-key celebration of World Cycling Day in the state due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Bello told the News Agency of Nigeria in Benin on Wednesday, that the pandemic prevented the association from showcasing the benefits of cycling .


According to him, the 2018 and 2019 editions of the World Bicycle Day were celebrated in the state in conjunction with the Federal Road Safety Corps and other stakeholders.


“But there is no activity to mark this year’s celebration because of the pandemic.’’


He noted that cycling as a sporting event could be done by both young and old as there were different competitions for different age groups.


“Riding bicycle keeps you fit and healthy. Cycling is not only for the youths, anybody can go into cycling as a sport. We have the amateur, professional and elite category,’’ he said.


Bello said that the pandemic had also affected the association’s mode of training, adding that cyclists have to train individually to ensure social distancing.


NAN reports that World Bicycle Day is celebrated every year on June 3 with the first celebration held in 2018 at the UN Headquarters in New York.


The World Bicycle Day aims at developing a culture of cycling for basic transportation, commutation, and strengthening physical and mental health.


Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Obike Ukoh (NAN)

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Vietnam world’s 5th largest instant noodles consumer in 2019




Vietnam was the fifth largest instant noodles consumer in the world in 2019 with 5.43 billion servings, up 4.4 percent year-on-year, according to the World Instant Noodles Association.

Ahead of Vietnam were China with 41.5 billion servings, followed by Indonesia, India and Japan, Vietnamese online newspaper VnExpress cited the association as reporting on Wednesday.

Vietnam ranked third regarding per capita consumption with 56.9 servings, following South Korea with 75.1 and Nepal with 57.6.

This is the third year in a row that Vietnam ranked fifth in overall instant noodles consumption after being fourth in 2015 and 2016. In the country, instant noodles are popular for breakfast and night snacks.

As many as 106.4 billion servings of instant noodles were consumed in 2019, according to the association. Among the top 15 consumers, 10 are from Asia, where more than 80 percent of instant noodles are consumed.


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China shares anti-epidemic experience with world | COVID-19 timeline




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China has timely shared anti-epidemic efforts and measures with countries and international and regional organizations around the world. #COVID19timeline


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ICAO adopts new COVID-19 aviation recovery ‘Take Off’ guidelines to reconnect the world



The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has adopted a new report and recommendations aimed at restarting international air transport system and aligning its global recovery.

ICAO Council President, Mr Salvatore Sciacchitano, revealed this on the official tweeter handle of the organisation @icao.

According to the president, the COVID-19 report and guidelines were produced by the Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART).

He said the report and guidelines were developed through broad-based consultations with countries and regional organisations, and with important advice from the World Health Organisation.

He noted that the key aviation industry groups including; International Air Transport Association (IATA), Airports Council International (ACI World), Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), and the International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations (ICCAIA).

“The world looked to the ICAO Council to provide the high-level guidance which governments and industry needed to begin restarting international air transport and recovering from COVID-19.

“We have answered this call today with the delivery of this report, and with its recommendations and Take-Off guidelines which will now align public and private sector actions and mitigations as we get the world flying again.

“Also, in full accordance with the latest and most prudent medical and traveller health advice available to us. The world needs aviation and aviation today is in great need of ICAO,” Sciacchitano said.

He said global cooperation through the organisation had helped countries to connect the world to their mutual benefit for over 75 years which as well now helping to reconnect the world.

He noted that solidarity among all countries and regions and industry sectors would be critical going forward, pointing out that ICAO was where to achieve the goal for global aviation.

CART Chairperson, Amb. Philippe Bertoux, noted that the CART guidelines were intended to inform, align and progress the national, regional, and industry-specific COVID-19 recovery roadmaps now being implemented, but not to replace them.

“These guidelines will facilitate convergence, mutual recognition and harmonisation of aviation COVID-19 related measures across the globe. They are intended to support the restart and recovery of global air travel in a safe, secure and sustainable way.

“In order to be effective, we need to take a layered and especially a risk-based approach. Measures will be implemented or removed as needed based on the wide ranging medical and other factors which will be at play,” Bertoux said.

Bertoux, who was also representative of France to the ICAO Council, said countries and operators needed autonomy and certainty as they took action to get the world flying again.

According to him, the CART guidelines are therefore designed to serve in both these capacities as a common reference, while remaining adaptable.

He said CART guidelines was a type of ‘living guidance’ which would be continuously updated based on latest risk assessments of the progress monitored to reconnect the world.

He said CART’s report contained a detailed situational analysis and key principles supported by a series of recommendations focused around objectives for public health, aviation safety and security, and aviation economic recovery.

He reinstated that the content was supplemented by the report’s special ‘Take Off’ document which contained guidelines for public health risk mitigation measures and four separate modules relating to airports, aircraft, crew, and air cargo.

ICAO Secretary-General, Dr Fang Liu, welcomed the CART’s accomplishment and highlighted that ICAO would continue to develop implementation packages to assist member states to restart the operations and recovery.

“Restoring public confidence in air travel has very broad benefits. This isn’t only about operational and economic viability of air transport sector, but of entire societies and regions having their economic livelihoods and stability restored.

The full CART Report is available as part of ICAO’s COVID-19 platform, and will be regularly reviewed and updated based on the latest data and information received from all stakeholders,’’ she said.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Fiji launches environment week to celebrate World Environment Day




Fiji launched on Monday the Environment Week to celebrate the World Environment Day which will fall on Friday.

According to a Fijian government statement, speaking at the launch of the Environment Week in the Fijian capital Suva on Monday, Fiji’s Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Mahendra Reddy said while national movement and individual responsibility are vital to address environmental threats, global involvement and collaboration is also vital especially for developing countries.

The World Environment Day has become a powerful platform for environmental advocacy to help accelerate, amplify, and engage communities, he said, adding that protecting a safer and healthier environment for a future generation can be attained through a collaborative partnership and individual responsibility and involvement to deliver the common environmental vision.

“We have been working with nations around the globe and will continue to take leadership to ensure that global action is meaningful and nations take action to address environmental challenges that affect the globe,” Reddy said.

“We are looking at ways to address the impact of climate change, including taking immediate actions to save the planet we call home.”

The minister hoped through various organized events this week, the Fijians will gain insight into the significance of taking urgent actions to protect the environment.

The Department of Environment continues to work on Fiji’s position on a number of issues and will be calling for stronger action at a global level to protect marine and terrestrial biodiversity.”

With the theme “Biodiversity”, this year’s World Environment Day will be a week long commemoration for Fiji’s Department of Environment.

The purpose of the week-long program is to provide a platform for environmental advocacy to help accelerate, amplify, and engage scientists, communities, governments and the private sector to take actions on the dangerous and unprecedented environmental challenges that the world is facing.

The World Environment Day is held each year on June 5. It is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action.


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Dangote wins World Travel Market Award with CNN commercial 



Barely a week after emerging the most admired brand in Africa, Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) has won another award through its television commercial on the Cable Network News (CNN) detailing its business processes.

The company said in a statement on Sunday in Lagos that Dangote Industries won “Most Compelling Agency Story” award by the World Travel Market (WTM) with its ‘Farm to Table’ commercial.

The commercial, which is part of the ‘Touching Lives’ documentary aired weekly on CNN, detailed the process of food metamorphosis from the farm as raw material to final process as food on the tables at home.

According to CNN International Commercial Account Executive, Varshmi Arasalingam, the award recognises powerful storytelling capabilities.

He affirmed that the Touching Lives Farm To Table campaign holds a prominent socio-economic impact for which Dangote Industries continues to empower and improve the lives of people in Africa.

“We are extremely pleased to announce that Dangote Industries and CNN International Commercial are the winners of the WTM Africa Awards for the ‘Most Compelling Agency Story.

Dangote Industries is one the most diversified business conglomerates in Africa, with multiple entities impacting the daily lives of most of the continent’s population.

“The company provides the population with employment opportunities that are also self-sustaining through basic needs, such as food, cement, construction, agriculture, and technology.

“Through a branded content production, CNN International Commercial (CNNIC) wanted to showcase Dangote Industries empowering Africans through employment and self-sufficient opportunities.

“Filmed and produced by CNNIC’s award-winning branded content studio Create, the campaign promotes Nigeria and the wider continent through the stories of real people, and focuses on the connections people have with each other, be it in their work and daily lives.

“The character-driven story helps to change perceptions and encourage global audiences to visit Nigeria (and the African continent more generally) so they can experience and understand its culture and hospitality.

“It also shows that we should not look at the travel and tourism as a narrow sector, but instead view it as part of a larger socio-economic project.

“In this way, travel and tourism can empower and improve the lives of people in Africa – and all over the world – a goal Dangote is dedicated to realizing,” he said.

In his comment on the award, DIL Group Chief Branding and Corporate Communications Officer, Anthony Chiejina, said the management was delighted at the award and it only showed that the company was living up to its billing as the most diversified conglomerate in Africa.

He said the Commercial shot by the CNN which has won the award depicted the businesses of the company and gave vent to how we arrive at our mission statement of meeting the expectation of the people by providing for their basic needs.

“It simply demonstrates how it starts from the farm through which our people are engaged in every process before it gets to table at home.” he said.

Editing Wale Ojetimi

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Tennis’ world number 11 undergoes surgery on both ankles



World number 11 Fabio Fognini underwent surgery on both ankles on Saturday to cure a long-standing problem.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the 33-year-old Italian tennis player said he had hoped the two-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic would have improved his situation.

“I’ve been having a problem with my left ankle for three and a half years now and it’s an issue I’ve learnt to cope with,” Fognini said. “Then my right ankle started playing up in the last two years as well.

“After a medical examination and a long discussion with my team, I decided to have arthroscopic surgery on both ankles.

“I believe it’s the right thing to do while the Tour is on an enforced break. I will have surgery today`(Saturday).”

No professional tournaments have been played since the start of March because of the pandemic, and the ATP Tour has been suspended until at least the start of August.

Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

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Florida officials approve Walt Disney World reopening plans



Florida officials have approved plans for a phased reopening of Walt Disney World (DIS.N”>DIS.N) in Orlando, starting on July 11, according to a memo from a state agency released on Friday.

The successful reopening of its parks is a signal event for Disney and the rest of the world as governments and companies strategise how to move out of lockdown while the novel coranavirus is still a threat.

The state also cleared Sea World Entertainment Inc (SEAS.N”>SEAS.N) to reopen on June 10, said Halsey Beshears, secretary of Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation, in a memo sent to officials in Orange County, Florida.

When the Disney parks reopen, guests and employees will be required to wear masks and undergo temperature checks.

The resort will suspend parades, fireworks displays and other activities that create crowds.

Disney will encourage contactless payment systems and expand its existing mobile order systems in restaurants, it said on Wednesday.

It plans to restrict the number of guests who will be required to reserve their park passes ahead of time.

Starting in January, the media and entertainment giant closed theme parks around the world to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The company had estimated it lost $1 billion at its theme parks division, from January through March.

On Wednesday, Disney Chief Executive Officer Robert Chapek told CNBC the company currently has about 20,000 people per day visiting Shanghai Disneyland, which reopened on May 11, with mandatory masks, temperature screenings and social distancing for visitors and employees.

Disney is soon expected to reveal plans for reopening its Anaheim, California, Disneyland amusement park, the company’s original themed attraction.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/ (NAN)

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