Food Security: Govt Policies Not Showing On Average Nigerian’s Stomach – Farmer

A former chairman of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Agric Sector), Mr Wale Oyekoya, believes the policies of the Federal Government has little or no effect on the average Nigerian.

The agricultural expert and farmer said this during his appearance on Sunrise Daily on Thursday.

“All these policies are not really trickling down or showing on the stomach of average Nigerians,” he said on the Channels Television breakfast show.

“Yes, there have been so many robust ideas by the Federal and state governments; but I’m here to be corrected if most of these farmers are really benefitting.”

Mr Oyekoya stressed that while the government has come up with various laws to reform the nation’s agricultural sector, there is a need to focus more on the implementation stage.

He cited the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS) initiated by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

The expert claimed that less than 15 per cent of farmers benefited from the disbursement of billions of naira by the previous government under the programme.

He added that a part of the fund was benefitted by “political farmers” and more problems were surfacing as the present administration address the issue.

Food Security: Govt Policies Not Showing On Average Nigerian’s Stomach – Farmer
Former LCCI Chairman (Agric Sector), Mr Wale Oyekoya, speaks in an interview on Sunrise Daily on August 23, 2018.

 

The farmer said, “Definitely, there have been so many policies and the problem has always been the implementation of most of these policies.

“See, it’s a game they play and it’s a bad time that we keep deceiving Nigerians in the process of achieving political points. An average Nigerian will tell you that there is a problem in this country in terms of food security.”

The agricultural expert also condemned a situation where the country still imports certain food, saying such is not good for its economy.

According to him, Nigeria is blessed with fertile soil and good atmosphere while the assertion that the nation is self-sufficient in rice production is a lie.

Mr Oyekoya accused some political leaders of supporting food importation because of greed and urged the government to come to the rescue of farmers in the country.

“We have no business importing any food into this country,” he insisted, saying, “We are doing that because of the greed of some of our leaders; because they capture some of these interventions and instead of them to spend the money here, they spend it elsewhere.”

The expert added, “Look at the price of maize today, do you believe that more than half of the maize we use in this country are still being imported? By the time you produce yours, there is no way you can compete with the importation of some of these things.”

CBN Agriculture Scheme To Boost Food Security, Employment In Abia

The Abia State Government has formally sworn in a project management team of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Accelerated Agricultural scheme, as part of efforts to boost food production and provide 10,000 jobs for Abia youths.

The team has the commissioner of Agriculture as the chairman, with the Programme Director of the Agriculture Development Programme (ADP), Head of Development Finance officer of the CBN, representative of farmers, representative of Bank of Agriculture and State Director of National Directorate of Employment (NDE) as members.

At the inauguration of the committee at the Ministry of Agriculture Headquarters Umuahia, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Uzoamaka Ikonne, said it was the governor’s directive and in line with the CBN requirement for the programme.

According to her, the state government is ready to implement the scheme in the state and expressed hope that the success of the scheme will help curb youth restiveness.

“As a state, we have shown readiness to buy into the CBN programme, because agriculture is one of the main pillars of development of the Governor Ikpeazu administration.

“I want you to know that this government has taken concrete steps to procure farming equipment and delve into novel areas of agriculture like mushroom farming aim to boost agriculture development”.

The chairman of the project management team, Uzor Azubuike, in his remarks, explained that the state is set to implement the scheme as it can boast of enough hectares of land to accommodate the scheme.

“I want to thank Governor Ikpeazu for his interest in the welfare of the people and the agricultural sector, as well as the CBN for its relentless effort in opening various windows of opportunities to assist Nigerians especially the youths”.

Food Security: Nasarawa Govt. Subsidise Fertilizer For Farmers

Al-Makura Commits To Peaceful Coexistence In NasarawaThe Nasarawa State Government says it has concluded arrangements to purchase more than 240,000 bags of fertilizers to distribute to farmers at a subsidized rate.

The Nasarawa State Commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources Jameel Zakari made the disclosure in an interview in Lafia.

He said the government would ensure that genuine farmers access the adequate amount of the commodity as the rains set in. and added that government has signed an agreement with suppliers

He added that government has signed an agreement with suppliers through the governors’ forum for the product.

He pointed out that that the over 400 truckloads of the product expected from the agreement would last beyond the coming rainy season.

He also pointed out that given the commitment of the state government to make fertilizer available early enough, had worked out the necessary modalities for the prompt supply of the commodity.

“We would soon begin to take delivery of the fertilizer in the state for distribution to farmers taking into cognizance of the fact that the earlier farmers got it, the more beneficial it would be towards improving crop yield,” he said.

He explained that there is already a template for the equitable distribution of the commodity to genuine farmers to allay the fear of diversion of the commodity.

The commissioner further said that Governor Tanko Al-Makura has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a Chinese firm, during his recent visit to China, for the establishment of four fertilizer blending plants in the state.

“As we speak, the Chinese partners are already in the state to put finishing touches to the Memorandum of Understanding and start work on the plants,’’

In his opinion, the persistent cases of scarcity of fertilizer would be over in the state when the plants start production.

FG Spends N9bn To Boost Food Security

Agriculture, Food Sufficiency,The Federal Government through the Bank of Agriculture, has expended nine billion Naira on agriculture in Nigeria’s south-east region, to encourage farmers, foster food security, as well as employment of women and youths.

This assertion was made known to newsmen at Enugu when the delegation unveiled their Agriculture layout aimed to boost the economy. According to them, there are opportunities that can be tapped from in the region, that include the oil palm revolution, the cocoa enhancement, rice, among many others.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Bank of Agriculture, Kabir Mohammed, noted that there are projects that are directed at improving the employment rate in the country.

“I want to say that what we intend to do is to make sure that we support the rural women because that is one of our mandates.

“You must know that there are a lot of women in the rural area that are involved in agriculture in the south- east zone and presently, our intention is to make sure that our activities are extended to them.

“I want to say that we are looking at youth unemployment which is a global phenomenon and we are committed and have projects targeted at improving employment rate in Nigeria. We want to use agriculture to get the youths engaged thereby reducing youth restiveness drastically.”

Meanwhile, the Executive Director, Partnership and Strategy, Dr. Gabriel Okenwa, disclosed that the Federal Government’s strategic focus on the agriculture sector is geared towards producing more food for the citizens and a lot more for export.

“I must say that Nigerians are very hard working and resilient people and with the strategic re-focus in Agriculture now, all hands should be on deck – We will produce enough food for the people and have more for export, and I must say that the Federal Government is doing a lot in Agriculture.”

Osinbajo Meets With Rice Task Force

Osinbajo Meets With Rice Task Force  Nigeria’s Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has met with the Presidential Task Force On Rice and Wheat at the presidential villa.

The meeting which took place behind closed doors, had in attendance some state governors, including the governors of Kano, Jigawa, Kebbi and Ebonyi.

The Kebbi State Governor, Bagudu Abubakar, speaking to journalists after the meeting, said that they reviewed the wheat and rice programme so as to discover how to support states to increase production of the staple foods.

He said Osinbajo noted with satisfaction, all the efforts of the different stakeholders to attain food sufficiency in the shortest possible time.

Furthermore, the acting president gave an assurance that the Federal Government would continue to support the drive towards food self-sufficiency.

Ogun Govt. Partners IFAD On Cassava, Rice Production

Corruption, Poor Leadership Responsible For Africa’s Poverty- IFADThe Ogun state government says it is partnering the International Funds For Agricultural Development (IFAD), to cultivate 6,000 and 2,000 hectres of mechanized farmland for cassava and rice respectively, in the 2017 planting season to ensure food security.

This was communicated in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital at a one day sensitisation workshop for representatives of farmers from the three senatorial districts of the state on mechanized Agriculture service delivery.

According to the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mrs Adepeju Adebajo, who was represented by the Ogun state coordinator of the IFAD, Mr Samuel Adeogun, this is in order to take advantage of the sector and its value chain in rice and cassava production to develop the state economy and ensure employment opportunities for its residents.

”We are here because farm mechanization is one of the strategies adopted by IFAD to enhance the productivity of farmers along the rice and cassava value chain and as you know, to improve the productivity of farmers we must be mechanised, the era of hoes and cutlasses are over if we are to feed our teeming population.

”It is becoming very important that we put in place a service delivery that will ensure our farms are adequately mechanized. For this planting season, we are looking at about 6,000 hectres of cassava and 2,000 hectres of rice production and if we are to deliver on this, all hands must be on deck.

”Ogun state is the only state in the whole of the southwest participating in the IFAD supported value chain development programme. That is very instructive for us and let me also put it on record that the state government has actually supported this project.

“Our counterpart funds for 2014 and 2015 have been paid while approval for the 2016 has been granted by the governor. He has been highly supportive of the programme.” he added.

Some of the farmers present at the occasion appealed to the government to fast track efforts in this direction before the commencement of the planting season.

”The government should please come to our aid. At least last year we were able to cultivate about 37 hectres of farmland through mechanized farming and we are targeting 50 hectres this year.

“The most important thing is that government should help us on time before the commencement of the planting season,” they urged.

Imo Govt. To Establish Agriculture Park To Ensure Food Security

Agriculture, Cross River, PINDThe Imo state government has resolved to establish an Agriculture Park in the six local government areas in Imo North Senatorial District, in a bid to foster a development of the sector and ensure adequate food security.

This move was disclosed by Senator Benjamin Uwajimogu representing Imo North Senatorial District.

He stated that since the Federal Government has promised to accord agriculture a top priority, the Agriculture Park will definitely address unemployment, facilitate employment opportunities in various agricultural entreprises for youths and rural dwellers as well as improve the economy.

Speaking to newsmen after a tour of designated sites provided for the take-off, Uwajimogu also disclosed that the Agriculture Parks would be located in Izunomi, Ihitte-uboma, Nzerem/Ikpem, Ehime Mbano and Umuluwo-Owerri, and Onuimo Area Councils.

He added that the first phase of the agriculture intervention would include the immediate clearing of the over 1,000 hectares of farm land, creation of access roads to the farms, soil testing and treatments, digging of mud holes for fishery,  construction of new dams for irrigation farming, as well as, resuscitation of non-functional dams, among others.

According to the Senator, “The priority of this government is in agriculture and basically to provide job opportunities and create food security, especially in this period of recession.

“Agriculture is the way out, we have to think less of the oil and focus our energy on agriculture.

“The importance of this agricultural park in this zone definitely cannot be overemphasized”.

He revealed that there would be provision of take-off loans, improved seedlings, fingerlings, pesticides and modern farm implements that can help cultivate large expanse of land, while also pledging to enhance the productivity of the farmers through training programs, as well as facilitate the installation of fish drying plants, oil mills and cassava processing plants.

The Senator also stated the intention of the Federal Government through the Ministry of Agriculture to site two “40 tonne capacity” rice mills in the Federal Constituency with the aim of enhancing production and creating a viable market for finished agricultural produce.

He then stressed the need to support government at all levels and private organisations with empowerment programs aimed at creating food sufficiency and employment opportunities through agriculture.

According to him, the ability for rural dwellers to engage in productive agricultural activities has great social and economic benefits for the economy of the zone.

He then concluded by saying that he is aiming to achieve an on-farm apprenticeship system where young people will receive practical, on-the-job agro business training, learn skills in  areas which include agricultural tool-making, feed making, farming and gain experience  in managing small-scale agricultural  enterprises.

Zero Hunger: Obasanjo Presents Strategy For Food Security

Zero Hunger: Obasanjo Presents Strategy To End HungerNigeria’s ex-president, Olusegun Obasanjo has urged the federal government to show stronger support for farmers and build stronger institutions to end hunger in the country by 2030.

He made the recommendation while speaking on the newly developed Zero Hunger strategic review report that the federal government would need to address the reality of increasing hunger among Nigerians by 2030.

The sixty page document, which was launched in Abuja to facilitate food security, reflects Nigerians’ perspectives on effective ways to halve the number of impoverished people.

In the last few years, Nigeria has developed a reputation for evolving bold ideas to boost agriculture in the country, many of which have ended as mere paper talk.

But according to Chief Obasanjo, the latest is not just another government initiative but one that would involve intense monitoring of states to ensure rapid productivity in agriculture.

The former president also listed other important areas as recommended in the Zero Hunger Strategic Review Report.

Working with the private sector to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2, and find effective ways to beat poverty and malnutrition, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole said the country stands to lose over 5 million children to malnutrition in the northeast.

The promoters say the Zero Hunger road map, which has four states as pilot to monitor agricultural productivity, will be intensely monitored every six months.

FG Encourages Local Rice Production Towards Self-Sufficiency

Rice-Farming-In-NgieriaThe Federal Government of Nigeria, has endorsed the ban on the sale of foreign rice in Ebonyi State, with a view to encouraging local production, as the Nation strives towards rice self-sufficiency.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbe, gave the government’s position over the weekend.

He assured farmers in the state that the Federal Government would deploy agricultural equipment, including rice harvesters, threshers, and parboiling drums, to the state to encourage rice farming.

Mr Ogbe, however, asked youths to key into the initiative in order to diversify the economy.

Since recession hit Africa’s largest economy, there has been an upsurge in the cost of the staple food from about 12,000 Naira per bag of rice to over double that amount.

As a way of seeking solutions to the recession, the Federal Government as well as several economic analysts, have suggested a ban on the importation of products which the nation’s farmers can produce, though not in sufficient quantity.

The increase in prices has pushed many to resort to smuggling of rice to be able to sell cheaper to Nigerians.

Just last week, a tanker was intercepted by the Ogun State Area Command of the Customs.

Twenty-five other vehicles, loaded with smuggled bags of rice, were also intercepted along the land borders in some parts of Ogun State.

With the Federal Government’s intervention and full support in the area of local rice production, it is expected that the menace will be curbed while there would be increased supply of rice at subsidized rates.

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, earlier in November, predicted that in less than five years, Nigeria would become self-sufficient in rice production, going by the actions and on-going support of the government to farmers and Nigerians

 

Nigeria Targets Food Security Through River Basin Revitalisation

food crisis, Federated Foodstuff Dealers AssociationThe Nigerian government has started the process of revitalising the River Basin Development Authorities to tackle the challenges of food insecurity and environmental degradation.

There are also hopes that reviving the River Basin Development Authorities would further add impetus to the economy of the oil-rich nation that is already in recession.

The process began with the flag off of a Graduate Farmers Employment Scheme (GFES) at the Anambra-Imo River Basin Development Authority in Agbala, Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State.

Addressing the some trainees enrolled in the scheme, the Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, lamented that the River Basin Development Authorities had over the years abandoned its core mandate of supporting agricultural development.

He said that the flag-off of the GFES was another milestone in revitalising the River Basins.

Production Of Improved Varieties

According to him, 5,450 graduates across the 109 Senatorial zones of the country would be trained and empowered to set up their various agricultural ventures.

He said that the scheme would guarantee food production and provide opportunities for the graduates to be meaningfully engaged and become employers of labour.

“The scheme will be a continuous process and 50 graduates will be selected from each of the 109 Senatorial zones across the country and the beneficiaries would be empowered to set up their own agricultural ventures.

“The idea is to revitalise the River Basins and ensure that they would effectively perform the mandate for which they were established.

“The River Basin Development Authorities will no longer be involved in road building or construction of schools or markets but it will henceforth carry out its mandate,” he told the gathering.

In his address, the Managing Director of the Anambra Imo Basin Development Authority, Mr Patrick Okereafor, recalled that the Authority had in the past implemented similar programme when it commissioned about 42 Agricultural projects in the southeast.

He explained that the projects were used as seed multiplication centres for the production of improved varieties and forestry products for research institutes which were distributed to farmers in order to increase output.

Mr Okoreafor, however, noted that “the change in Government in 1985 and the enactment of Decree No 35 of 1987 saw the agricultural functions of the River Basin Development Authorities exorcised from the original functions and all the Agricultural farms were tagged non-water project”

The Managing Director commended the FG for taking measures to revitalise the River Basin Development Authorities.

According to the Act that established the River Basin Development Authorities, they are to undertake comprehensive development of both surface and underground water resources for multipurpose use with particular emphasis on the provision of irrigation infrastructure and the control of floods and erosion and for watershed management.

They are also established to construct, operate and maintain dams, dykes, polders, wells, boreholes, irrigation and drainage systems, and other works necessary for the achievement of the Authority’s functions and hand over all lands to be cultivated under the irrigation scheme to the farmers; supply water from the Authority’s completed storage schemes to all users for a fee to be determined by the Authority concerned, with the approval of the Minister and construct, operate and maintain infrastructural services such as roads and bridges linking project sites: provided that such infrastructural services are included and form an integral part of the list of approved projects.

Another function is to develop and keep up-to-date a comprehensive water resources master plan identifying all water resources requirements in the Authority’s area of operation, through adequate collection and collation of water resources, water use, socio-economic and environmental data of the River Basin.

Revitalising the agency is part of the government’s efforts to diversify the nation’s economy, with substantial engagement in agriculture which was the mainstay of the nation’s economy before the discovery of crude oil.

Food Security: FG Promises To Tackle Climate Change    

food security, climate change, World Food DayThe Nigerian government has raised concerns about the negative effects of climate change, which it says is posing serious threat to food security, especially in developing nations, including Nigeria.

According to the Minister of State for Agriculture, Mr Heineken Lokpobiri, the government is poised to tackle the menace as part of steps aimed at ensuring food production.

The Minister made the remark at a forum to mark the 2016 World Food Day in Abuja.

The focus of the event was how to mitigate the effects of climate change on food production.

Prior to the Minister’s speech, the country’s representative for the International Funds for Agricultural Development, Mr Mohammed Lawal drew attention to how recent flooding in some parts of Nigeria has affected farmers.

food security, climate change, World Food Day

The Chairman of the House of Reps Committee on Agriculture, also explained some intervention that mitigate the negative effects of climate change.

He said that the House has created a committee dedicated to look at issues that concern climate change.

Then the Minister of State for Agriculture reaffirmed government’s determination to tackle climate change.

“In line with global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emission, the President on September 22, 2016 signed the Paris Agreement, which essentially seeks to reduce global warming to below 2%,” he said.

FG Launches CBN Rice Anchor Borrowers’ Programme In Imo

Rice Anchor Borrowers' Programme, CBN, ImoThe Federal Government has flagged off the Rice Anchor Borrowers’ Programme in Imo State, to provide farmers with credit facility made available by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The programme was launched on Sunday at the Imo State International Conference Centre in Owerri, the state’s capital in southeast Nigeria.

Governor Rochas Okorocha explained that the aim was to provide food and guarantee food security in the country.

He added that the development was also targeted at empowering the teeming unemployed youths and create the much needed dividends of democracy to the people.

Governor Okorocha called on the people of the state, especially farmers to support the programme, which he described as a “laudable gesture by the CBN”.

He stressed the need for Nigerians to embrace agriculture as Nigeria battles with recession, disclosing that the sum of nine billion Naira has been earmarked to support farmers in the state for the programme.

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Water Resources in the state, Udo Aguoha, also highlighted the benefits of the programme.

The event was witness by the Kebbi State Governor, Sen. Abubakar Bagudu and representatives from the CBN led by the Head of Development Finance, Mrs Nkechi Osuji.

Mrs Osuji revealed that Kebbi State government had already gotten access to 20 billion Naira credit facility on the programme.

With the support, she expressed hope that the state government would harvest at least one million tonnes of locally made rice by the end of 2016.

Governor Bagudu, on his part, corroborated Osuji’s disclosure.

He commended the Federal Government for the intervention programme, saying it would help to cushion the effect of the economic recession in Nigeria.

The Rice Anchor Borrowers’ programme is an initiative of the Federal Government through the CBN and its primary aim is to provide credit facilities to rice farmers.

It is targeted at encouraging local production, reduce rice importation as well as providing food and job security for the citizenry.