‘Farming’ Brought To Fruition A Vision I Carried For So Long – Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

 

British-Nigerian actor, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, has shared some of the experiences that inspired his directorial debut, ‘Farming’.

Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, the actor who said he had gone through an identity crisis as a teenager, explained that the movie was an expression of some of those struggles.

According to him, producing the movie “was very surreal, very cathartic, at times very emotional but ultimately it was like the fruition of a vision that (he) had carried for so many years”.

The movie which tells a story of a young Nigerian boy, ‘farmed out’ by his parents to a white British family with hopes of a better future, featured Genevieve Nnaji, Kate Beckinsale, Damson Idris, among others.

Adewale described them as “fantastic” saying, “I couldn’t have got a better cast”.

When asked what Nollywood can do to get international attention, he said the Nigerian film industry has so much potential to be seeking the attention of its foreign counterparts.

“The Nigerian film industry has to have its own identity,” he said.

He further explained that the industry is not lacking with talent and is rapidly expanding in terms of quality of productions.

“A lot of Nollywood was born out of a lack of resources. We were using cameras that were relatively outdated. There’s new technology and artists and filmmakers are now getting access to that and that’s definitely going to improve the quality,” he said.

Beyond that, he believes that the industry does not need to compete with others but rather continue to improve itself and tell its stories in the best ways possible.

“I don’t think you should think of it in terms of improving the quality to compete with Hollywood or anybody else.

“It is improving the quality to be able to tell our stories in the richest texture and the ways that we can and if we stick to that, who knows it may become the dominant channel,” he said.

North Korea Admits Farming Failures Amid Food Shortages

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un attending the Second Plenum of the 7th Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) in Pyongyang. STR / KCNA VIA KNS / AFP

 

North Korea has acknowledged “drawbacks” in its agricultural sector this year, echoing UN reports of declining crop yields in a country that remains heavily reliant on food imports and aid.

Agricultural production is chronically poor in the North, which has periodically been hit by famine, with hundreds of thousands dying — some estimates say millions — in the mid-1990s.

Premier of the government cabinet, Pak Pong Ju, referred to “drawbacks made by some farms and units in the past” at a national meeting of farming officials that took place in Pyongyang this week, state media said on Thursday.

“He said that they failed to conduct seed production and management in a responsible way and also fell short of doing proper strain distribution,” Pak was quoted as saying by the KCNA news agency in an English-language report.

He “underscored the need to attain the goal of grain production” set out in a five-year development plan that wraps up in 2020.

The North has been less hesitant in highlighting shortcomings and policy failures through its state media since leader Kim Jong Un succeeded his late father Kim Jong Il in 2011.

The young, Swiss-educated leader has occasionally been reported rebuking officials for failing to satisfactorily carry out tasks.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization said this month that the isolated, nuclear-armed state would need to import 641,000 tonnes of food in the coming year. The figure is up from 456,000 tonnes this year when it bought 390,000 tonnes and received 66,000 tonnes in food aid.

There was a widespread lack of access to food in the North, it said.

North Korea was one of 40 countries — 31 of them in Africa — identified by the FAO as in need of external assistance for food.

UN agencies estimate that 10.3 million people in the North need humanitarian assistance.

But donor funding has dried up in the face of political tensions over its weapons programmes, with critics saying the provision of aid encourages Pyongyang to prioritise its military ambitions over adequately providing for its people.

David Beasley, the head of the UN’s World Food Programme, said in May that there was undoubtedly a hunger problem in North Korea but it was not on the scale of the 1990s famine.

AFP

EU Says Farming ‘Not Part’ Of US Trade Deal, Contradicting Trump

File: US President Donald Trump meets with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on July 25, 2018.
SAUL LOEB / AFP

 

The EU insisted on Friday that proposed trade talks between Europe and the United States would not include farming, in contradiction to a claim by President Donald Trump.

“I have been very clear on that… Agriculture is not part of it, only the things that are explicitly mentioned in the statement,” EU Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva told reporters in Brussels, in reference to a joint communique after White House talks on Wednesday.

Python Swallows Woman In Indonesia While Farming

12 Killed In Bali Village Landslide In Indonesia

 

An Indonesian woman has been found in the belly of a giant python after the swollen snake was captured near where she vanished while tending her vegetable garden, police said Saturday.

The body of 54-year-old Wa Tiba was found Friday when villagers cut open the seven-metre (23-foot) python which was found bloated in the village of Persiapan Lawela on the island of Muna, offshore of Sulawesi.

“Residents were suspicious the snake swallowed the victim, so they killed it, then carried it out of the garden,” said local police chief Hamka, who like many Indonesians has only one name.

“The snake’s belly was cut open and the body of the victim was found inside.”

Some 100 residents, including worried relatives, launched a search for the woman after she failed to return from her garden Thursday night.

Hamka said villagers found the giant serpent lying about 30 metres from Tiba’s sandals and machete, adding she was swallowed head first and her body was found intact.

The garden in which she disappeared was at the base of a rocky cliff, pockmarked by caves, and known to be home to snakes, Hamka added.

Giant pythons, which regularly top six metres, are commonly found in Indonesia and the Philippines.

While the serpents have been known to attack small animals, attempts to eat people are rare.

In March last year, a farmer was killed by a python in the village of Salubiro on Sulawesi island.

AFP

Akwa Ibom Speaker Urges Youths To Embrace Farming

The Speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Onofiok Luke, has advised youths in the state to embrace agricultural.

He gave the advice in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State when he visited an integrated farm owned by a young entrepreneur, Mr Solomon Solomon, who is a beneficiary of his mentoring initiative.

The speaker who was delighted with the progress so far made by the young farmer said, “With what I’m seeing here today, there is no way one can be hungry. There is no way there would be hunger in the land.”

He expressed satisfaction with the quality of harvest from the farm and the fact that coconut, cassava, pineapple and other crops were being cultivated there.

“With the quality and number of coconut harvested so far from the farm, I am certain that Solomon and other members of the federal constituency who own coconut plantations will soon have a ready buyer that would be willing to order coconut for refining at the refinery which is under construction in the area,” he said.

READ ALSO: Akwa Ibom Govt Begins Construction of Coconut Refinery

He called on the youths of the federal constituency to protect the coconut plantation sited in their domain by the state government.

Mr Luke, who is the leader of the mentoring team, assured the youth of his continuous support for the growth of small and medium enterprises in the state, saying his mentoring initiative was aimed at promoting entrepreneurship.

He said, “My decision to mentor the young ones in entrepreneurship is in line with the Dakkada philosophy of the Governor Udom Emmanuel administration.”

Mr Solomon thanked the Speaker for the initiative and support and briefed him on the successes so far recorded by the farm.

He also presented some harvested produce from the farm to the delight of members of the team.

More Nigeria Women Take Up Farming, Invest In Technology

More women in Nigeria are seeking ways to transform agriculture by making their farms more efficient.

Kofo Durosinmi-Etti is among a new crop of women farmers. She owns and runs Next Generation Innovative Farm in Lagos State and has adopted drip irrigation and greenhouse technologies to grow a variety of vegetables for sale including tomatoes, habanero peppers, okra and kale.

Kofo Durosinmi-Etti is among a new crop of women farmers. She owns and runs Next Generation Innovative Farm in Lagos State and has adopted drip irrigation and greenhouse technologies to grow a variety of vegetables for sale including tomatoes, habanero peppers, okra and kale.

“I think the way we farm is different now, it is not just about manual labour. There are different technologies to make the process easier. For example, we are using a greenhouse technology here, so basically you are able to protect your crops, manage the elements you know, we are watering our plants through drip irrigation so nobody is actually taking a hose to water anything,” said Kofo.

“Everything is made easier you know, and also, to be honest, women have always been a fundamental part of agriculture, you know, that has been a given, but women are now coming to the forefront of it, you know, we are no more just workers you know,

“We are now heading farms, managing farms and really we are bringing that softer choice, look at how pretty my tomatoes are. I mean we make farming look a lot better and now we are just taking our seats on the table essentially,” she added.

Kofo is a trained management accountant who returned home from University in the UK and started her business in 2015.
She also holds a diploma in Agriculture, Water and Crop Management from an institution in Israel.
Women on the continent are the main food providers but a majority don’t have access to technology, which could cut the time it takes for them to grow and harvest crops.

Small-scale women farmers grow up to 80 percent of food consumed in Africa but most of them don’t have equal land rights as men.

Kofo leased land from Lagos State government to run her farm.

To encourage other young farmers, the entrepreneur writes a blog about farming where people can discuss ways of improving their farm strategies.

“We are bringing a new energy to the game you know, we are trying to collaborate. It is not about them and us. It is about how do we work together because space is huge. It is big enough for all of us. We are not just trying to feed Nigeria; we are trying to feed Africa.

“When we are done with Africa, we are going to feed the world, and for us to do that successfully, effectively and efficiently, we have to work together, male or female. Gender isn’t a divide; it is really your commitment and your passion that will really differentiate you,” she said.

At Lekki Farm, Oladunni Otitoju keeps and sells cattle, goats, rams, turkey and chicken. She started her business three years ago with just five goats after leaving her job as a civil servant.

Oladunni says it was not easy at first. At one point she lost her initial flock of 50 chicks to a disease.

“When I started a lot of my friends thought I was crazy. They actually told me; look at you, you are going dark, you are always in the sun, but it was something I enjoyed doing.

“I enjoyed feeding you know the animals; I enjoyed feeding grasses to those animals. I enjoyed looking at them if they were okay,” said Oladunni.

Nigeria has been trying to diversify its economy to boost agriculture after it slipped into its first recession in 25 years last year, brought on by low prices for its mainstay, crude oil.

The country spends $20 billion a year importing food. With the fall in oil prices, it has been running short of dollars, which has also weakened the local currency.

“I think more food for everybody, more food for the masses. I mean if there is food nobody cares what happens to the economy, everybody will be happy and there will be less crime in the society and there will be peace,” said Oladunni.

Agriculture has the potential to reduce African poverty two to four times faster than any other sector according to experts. It employs nearly two-thirds of the population on average, with women producing most of the food.

Tackling Unemployment: kwara Govt. Promises 20,000 Jobs In Agriculture

Unemployment, kwara, 20,000 Jobs, AgricultureThe Kwara state government has restated its commitment towards addressing youth unemployment with the resolve to create 20,000 jobs in the agriculture sector.

The state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Adegoke Bamidele, made this known while addressing journalists in Ilorin, the state capital.

He revealed that the government has concluded plans to create the jobs for youths who are interested in agriculture adding that they would be selected across the 16 local government areas of the state.

“There are no criteria for selecting the youths in agricultural business as it is the only alternative source of revenue for government to generate revenue.

“If 20,000 youths are empowered in agricultural business, it will boost the Gross Domestic Products of the state and also enhance its economic development.

“The youths will be trained on farming, piggery, animal husbandry and fishery among others.

“Private organizations are sacking workers on daily basis but the only secured job is skilled jobs and the idea is to make the youths not to depend on government jobs alone but also be self employed,” Mr Bamidele added.

Anambra Launches 2016 Dry Season Farming

Obiano Meets Industrialists, Seeks Solution To RecessionAnambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, has flagged off the 2016 ‘dry season farming and agric show’ in Awka, the Anambra state capital.

According to the governor, he is advocating for an all season farming practice, as he believes that as climate is changing, food production and agricultural processes must also change.

The programme was attended by over 5,000 farmers and representatives of various cooperative groups from the 21 local government areas of the state, gathered to be part of the new initiative.

Re-enforcing the new farming initiative, the governor announced the introduction of practices and technology that would help reduce food losses through better technology for harvesting, storage, packing, transport, infrastructure and market mechanism, as well as institutional and legal frameworks.

The flag off which took place at the ABS Headquarters, Awka field, featured distribution of farm inputs, fertilizers, pesticides, improved and high yielding seedlings, as well as handover of motorcycles to deserving farmers for farm to farm movement.

With a strong resolve to ensure food security and sufficiency, Governor Obiano has made agriculture the number one pillar of his administrative blueprint.

Also, in the budget proposal for the 2017 fiscal year, a budget of 5.4 Billion Naira has been earmarked for agriculture alone, in which the state aims at being one of the top three producers of rice, maize and cassava.

With the challenges of climate change and the growing population however, there is need for agriculture and food system to find means of adapting to the adverse effects of climate change and becoming more resilient, productive and sustainable.

It is for this reason that thousands of farmers and cooperative groups gathered to re-dedicate themselves to the course of agricultural development.

The arrival of the governor charged up the arena where various food crops were on display for the agricultural exhibition.

He then moved round to inspect the crop harvest of 2016 as well as felicitate with the farmers.

While addressing the farmers, Obiano commend them for their steadfastness in the trending occupation and assured them that the state would support them with every necessary equipment needed.

He ended the event by distributing various farm inputs such as certified rice seeds, high variety vitamins, a termite free cassava stems and agricultural facilitating equipment like pesticides, irrigation equipment, tractors and motorcycles.

Women cooperatives, on the other hand, presented a gift to the governor and commended him for the support he has been giving them especially in the area of making available off takers who buy off their farm produce upon harvest.

The representative of the Minister Of Agriculture, Mr Albert Odukwe, stated that the governor’s resolve to embark on all year round farming is a demonstration of his commitment to agriculture as a serious business which all must embrace.

The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export, Mr Afam Mbanefo, also announced the agricultural success of the outgoing year.

FG To Restructure Bank Of Agriculture

Audu-Ogbeh-Bank-Of-AgricultureThe Federal Government says that it is set to restructure the Bank of Agriculture to encourage low interest credit facility to farmers.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbeh, made the disclosure to Channels Television in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

He explained that the restructuring might see interest rate fall to 5% for farmers who seek funds to boost their businesses.

The Minister added that the government wants to encourage young generation to also get into farming.

He said that efforts were being made to attract the teeming youths to the agricultural sector.

FG Asked To Involve More Young Nigerians In Farming

rice farming in NigeriaThe International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is asking the Federal Government of Nigeria to formulate policies that will encourage young people to go into farming and also reduce farmers’ risks.

According to the President of IFAD, Kanayo Nwanze, agriculture provides a better revenue and job creation alternatives to Nigeria.

He also attributed the growing number of rural-urban migration experienced in most cities to lack of development policies that consider rural dwellers who are mainly farmers.

A large number of Nigeria’s youth are unemployed and according to IFAD agriculture is a good means to get them engaged.

At a meeting of representatives from Central and West African countries in Abuja held to brainstorm on best ways to encourage young people into agriculture, IFAD decried the rate of rural-urban migration among young people.

For the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbe, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the forum, good initiatives of the government alone are not enough to change the narratives.

He stressed that implementation framework must be developed for impactful programmes.

Nigeria has participated in several fora of this kind in the past, with successive governments formulating policies aimed at developing the agricultural sector.

Yet, the practice of agriculture has continued to remain in the hands of peasant farmers with low capacity to produce food for Nigeria’s growing population.

This has led to a growing import index for food items including some perishables that could be grown locally.

Niger Delta: Shell Pays Bodo £55 Million Over Oil Spills

OgoniOil giant,  Shell has made an out-of-court settlement to the tune of 55 million pounds to Bodo, Niger Delta,  for oil spills which led to the destruction of the community’s livelihood, mainly fishing and farming.

The £55m will be split between £35m for 15,600 individuals and £20m for the community.

Two oil spills occurred at Bodo in the Niger Delta in 2008, the first in August and the second in December, after which Amnesty International and CEHRD gave backing to the community to secure compensation and clean up.

In 2011, the people of Bodo, represented by a UK law firm, began court proceedings in the UK against the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria.

“While the pay-out is a long awaited victory for the thousands of people who lost their livelihoods in Bodo, it shouldn’t have taken six years to get anything close to fair compensation,” said Audrey Gaughran, Director of Global Issues at Amnesty International.

Shell had initially admitted that the oil spills were the fault of failures on the company’s pipeline at Bodo, but claimed that the volume of oil spilt was approximately 4,000 barrels for both spills combined.

However, In 2012 Amnesty International, using an independent assessment of video footage of the first oil spill, calculated that the total amount of oil split exceeded 100,000 barrels for this spill alone.

In the course of the legal battle, Shell admitted that its figures were wrong and it had underestimated the amount of oil spilt in both of the Bodo cases. It also noted that  it had been aware, at least since 2002, that most of its oil pipelines were old, and some sections contained “major risk and hazard”.

Fayemi Administration Is Government Of Billboards – Labour Party

Bolanle badekunle-BruceThe Labour Party, represented by Bolanle Badekunle-Bruce on Saturday told Channels Television that it is the party to beat in the Ekiti governorship election, describing the Kayode Fayemi administration a government of billboards and publications.

Appearing as a guest on Sunrise, 20 days to the election, along with House of Reps member and leader of the Fayemi Campaign Organisation, Bimbo Daramola, Mrs Bruce claimed that there were 400,000 unemployed youths in the State, a figure which had given rise to political thuggery and violence.

She further claimed that inidigenes of the State were still practicing subsistence farming, attributing this to the non-performance of the current administration and noting that the LP was offering a new hope, new dawn, a government that would be unusual, real democracy and a government that would be accountable to the people.

“Right now in Ekiti State, we still practice substance farming,” she said, adding that the first love of the State was agriculture. Therefore the LP is also promising mechanized farming as well as youth empowerment to the 400,000 employable youths who are roaming on the streets.

The LP representative also took on the issue of Local Government elections in the state which had not been held and which she alleged to be a deliberate move by the APC administration to control the Local Governments.

However, Congressman Daramola, representing Ekiti North Federal Constituency, debunked the claims made by the LP representative,claiming that the Governor could not have conducted the elections because there was a case in court which arose from its previous attempt to conduct the elections.

After arguing his way out of allegations that the court case was an orchestration of the Government, who purportedly made a party member the head of the electoral body to provoke litigation, he went on to list the achievements of the Fayemi-led government.

“The only man who is coming to this election with a paid cheque is Dr. John Kayode Fayemi. His cheque is paid, not promissory notes. Every other person is coming on promisory notes,” he said, in defence of the Governor, although the Labour Party woman later refereed to it as “dud cheques”.

Presenting a newspaper publication containing the progress made in over 3 years, Daramola further stated that each one of the 131,000 villages and towns in the State had no less than 5 projects running.

He noted that Ekiti state had moved beyond subsistence farming 3 years ago and had gone further to set up the Youths In Commercial Agriculture policy.

In what turned out to be a fierce debate, with claims and counterclaims, Bruce alleged that all the achievements the Fayemi administration had publicized were not real.

She went ahead to state that the social security scheme for the elderly, put together by the State was merely a ruse to appreciate loyal supporters of the All Progressives Congress.