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.

IFAD President Advocates Right Policies For Agric Development

IFAD President Advocates Right Policies For Agric DevelopmentThe President of International Funds for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Mr Kanayo Nwanze, has challenged the federal government to create the right policies for the development of Agriculture in Nigeria.

He said that the provision of the necessary infrastructure for seamless production and transportation would add great value to the sector.

He was speaking in Ogun state, southwest Nigeria, while visiting a private farm at Iboro in Abeokuta North Local Government Area of the state.

“I think the nation has awoken to the fact that oil does not feed people.

“We have not gotten better; some people have gotten richer but the population has gotten poorer.

“We have to go back to basics and the basics and fundamentals for Nigeria’s development is agriculture,” he said.

The IFAD President said it was a shame that Nigeria spends a lot of money on unnecessary food importation into the country.

He warned that government must avoid policy somersaults in order to fully tap into the agricultural value chains for national development.

“I think we make the mistake by thinking government would do all.

“Government has primary responsibility – the right policies and social investments.

“They must provide basic social requirements – good roads, energy, electricity, water and access to financial services.”

While expressing the resolve to partner with government in the production of maize, sorghum and rice, he called on Nigerians to take advantage of government policies.

“The population has a responsibility to take advantage of those opportunities.

“Government cannot provide jobs for Nigeria’s 175 million people. It is impossible.

“If a government employs more than 15% of its population , it will go bankrupt,” he said.


Corruption, Poor Leadership Responsible For Africa’s Poverty- IFAD

Corruption, Poor Leadership Responsible For Africa’s Poverty- IFADHead of the International Fund For Agricultural Development (IFAD), Dr Kanayo Nwanze, says Africa is a leader in world poverty and hunger, as a result of lack of committed leadership and rampant corruption.

Dr kanayo was speaking at the UK’s house of lords on Wednesday.

According to him, despite its rich natural resources including arable land, Africa still generates only 10% of its agricultural output while spending some 35 billion Dollars on food imports each year.

The head of the UN agency then challenged African leaders to stop talking about change but rather, deliver it, particularly investments in small-holder agriculture.

Mr Nwanze who believes the future of agriculture lies in the hands of the continent’s young generation, also called on the youths as well as the government, who he has asked to create an enabling environment.

Benue Reduces Rice Production Deficit By 1.5 Million Metric Tons

Benue Reduces Rice Production Deficit By 1.5 Million Metric TonsThe Benue state government says it is contributing 1.5 million metric tons of rice, to reduce the national rice consumption deficit of 4.3 million metric tons.

This is an indication that the partnership with the International Fund for Agriculture Development is yielding great value.

Governor Samuel Ortom disclosed this to journalists in Guma local council, during the flag off of the harvesting season, where he declared every Friday a work-free day till January 2017.

The move, according to the Governor, who was in company of officials from IFAD, is to meet the national food supply needs, ahead of the full ban on importation of rice in 2017 by the Federal government.

Experts believe states with agricultural potential must take advantage of this window to avert the impending food crisis, considering the planned ban on rice importation beginning from January 2017.

IFAD to Extend RUFIN Program Beyond 2017

2017, Agriculture, IFAD, RUFIN, Rural Financing, International Fund For Agricultural DevelopmentBeneficiaries of the Rural Financing Programe of the International Fund For Agricultural Development in Benue state North Central Nigeria, have appealed for an extension of the program beyond 2017.

They made the call when officials of the Federal Ministry Of Agriculture and IFAD representatives visited Logor Council Area to assess how well the farmers have utilized the funding.

The IFAD officials were also in Lagos state where they visited the Epe and Ikorodu Local Government Areas.

Coordinator of RUFIN Lagos state, Funmi Bello said the Lagos State Government is planning to extend the program even if IFAD is not continuing. “We have to mentor these people to a certain stage” She added.

The 7-year program which was introduced in 2010 is being sponsored by the International Fund For Agricultural Development, in partnership with the government.

It’s main aim is to reduce poverty in rural areas by providing access to financial services for poor households especially women, the physically challenged and the youth.

Pleased With Results

So far, officials of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture are pleased with the results. Speaking with the Senior Technology Assistant to the Minister Of Agriculture, Autta Appeh, he says: “Our aim is to bring life back to the village and to do that, is to provide access to financing and elevate both the youth, women and ageing farmers”

Farm land and farm produce were among some of the rewards for the local farmers. A Beneficiary Gloria Nguto, in the Logor Local Government also expresses her joy while speaking with Channels Television, in her words, “With the first money they gave us, we started trading shoes, bags and other things.

“Even as we are not in the town, they are encouraging us to produce more so that we will not sit idle and eat, depend on our husbands or our children”

Another beneficiary Adebimpe Olawale said: “We started very small but now at least I can boast that I am somebody”

However, she admits that there have been challenges along the way, she opined that “the government should bring the interest down to 2% per annum where farmers can have real access and have gains from their farms, they will have something to remain for themselves and still have something to pay back”.

Microfinance expert, Adamu Ibrahim says, “What RUFIN has done in collaboration with Central Bank is to bring in intervention funds specifically targeted at a particular segment of the market to bring down the cost of interest”

An IFAD official expressed that RUFIN has thus far been the best pilot program that has been put together. “It has given us a platform to be able to build upon, from this we are building a bigger basket”, he added.

According to IFAD, 18,000 farmer groups have been able to access micro- finance through the RUFIN program.

IFAD: Farmers Call For Extension Of Programme

Agriculture,ifad, farmers, ifad programmeFarmers benefiting from the rural finance programme of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), have appealed to the Ministry of Agriculture and the Benue State Government, to extend the programme beyond 2017 to keep them away from unemployment and idleness.

The farmers, Mr Geofry Ahundegah and Nguto Gloria, made the call when the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh and IFAD delegation visited Logo council area on an assessment tour of the cooperative farm groups, where they showcased their harvest and farms.

The Minister of Agriculture who was represented by his Technical Adviser on Donor Funds, Mr Auta Apeh says, the rural finance project is a huge success capable of meeting domestic food production, if sustained beyond March 2017.

While the farmers are busy earning a living through Agriculture under the IFAD rural finance programme, government with do well to encourage the programme to keep young people busy and help achieve food sufficiency for Nigeria.

Ogun State Partners With IFAD On Rice, Cassava Production

Ogun, IFADThe Ogun State government is partnering with the International Funds for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to develop about 500,000 hectres of farmland in three local government areas for rice and cassava production.

The development is part of the aggressive plans of the state government towards widening its economic base.

Governor Ibikunle Amosun made the partnership known while addressing the members of the IFAD delegation on Friday in Ogun State in southwest Nigeria.

He reiterated the commitment of his administration towards agricultural development and its value chain in rice and cassava production.

In his response, the leader of the delegation, Dr. Samuel Iremi, commended the effort of the state government and expressed the organisation’s willingness to effectively partner with the Ogun State government.

Benue Govt. Queries Bank Over IFAD Funding

Benue, Ortom, Looted FundsThe fate of the Joint Benue Agricultural Revolution Programme between the State Government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is been hanging in the balance.

This is because the correspondence bank has failed to release the 166 million Naira state counterpart fund to the development partners.

The IFAD supervision team leader, Mr Samuel Eremie, gave the current state of the endeavour at a meeting with the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, who was on an inspection visit to the pilot project sites and farms across the state to ensure compliance with the rice and cassava value chain programme.

Mr Ortom questioned why the bank held on to the fund after all written approvals have been communicated to ensure smooth operation of the state diversification programme.

He gave the correspondence bank a 48-hour deadline to release the Fund.

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.

Ogun Govt. To Benefit From $104million Loan From IFAD

ogun stateThe Ogun State Government says it has paid its counterpart fund in order to benefit from a $104.4 million loan agreement between the Federal Government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

This is towards developing the agriculture sector for food security and employment generation,especially through rice and cassava production and its value chains in the state.

The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mrs Ronke Sokefun, who represented Governor Ibikunle Amosun, made the disclosure in Abeokuta, the state capital, during the inauguration of the state steering committee.

The committee is saddled with the responsibility of giving direction to the programme’s management unit, as stated in the project document.

Addressing members of the steering committee, the Commissioner asked them to make their experiences to bear on the effective oversight and monitoring of funds to be disbursed.

Anambra, Benue, Ebonyi, Niger, Taraba are currently being listed among beneficiary states and Ogun State remains the only state in the South-western part of the nation to benefit from the loan scheme.

Ogun Govt. To Revolutionise Agricultural Sector

Ogun Govt. To Revolutionise Agricultural SectorOgun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, says his administration is ready to revolutionise the state’s agricultural sector and its value added chains so as to create employment and reduce poverty

The governor’s declaration is part of plans to improve Ogun State’s economic base towards food sufficiency and security.

Governor Amosun made the promise while playing host to the Country’s Programme Manager, Value Added Chains of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Mrs Atsuko Toda, at his office in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital in South-west Nigeria.

While assuring farmers in the state of better years ahead, the governor also expressed readiness to partner with IFAD in agricultural development.

Director of Research and Statistics, Ogun State Ministry of Agriculture, Dele Olugbebi, decried that, many initiatives introduced by the government at all levels, the sector is yet to find its level.

He emphasised that over 90% of local farmers still depend on traditional means of production and poor marketing.

Despite putting other incentives in place for farmers in the state by the government, Chairman of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Ogun State chapter, Segun Dasaolu, urged the government to do more.

The State government in conjunction with IFAD is expected to empower about 1,500 farmers and provide cluster processing centres for selected agricultural produce.

Buhari Says Nigeria Must Cease To Depend On Oil And Gas

buhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari has stressed the need for Nigeria to cease total reliance on crude oil and gas as its major source of revenue.

He made this declaration on Friday in Abuja at a meeting with Dr Kanayo Nwanze, the Nigerian born President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

President Buhari said that time had come for Nigerians to do more than pay mere lip service to agriculture, which was the mainstay of the nation’s economy before the discovery of crude oil.

‘Go Back To The Land’

“It’s time to go back to the land. We must face the reality that the petroleum we had depended on for so long will no longer suffice. We campaigned heavily on agriculture, and we are ready to assist as many as want to go into agricultural ventures,” he said.

He also promised that his administration would cut short the long bureaucratic processes that Nigerian farmers had to go through, to get any form of assistance from the government.

Buhari assured the IFAD boss that his administration would give attention to improvement of the productivity of farmers, dry season farming, and creative ways to combat the shrinking of the Lake Chad.

According to the President’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, President Buhari said there was so much to be done and that his administration would try and articulate a programme and consult organisations like IFAD for advice.

He added that foreign exchange would be conserved for machinery and other items needed for production, “instead of using it to import things like toothpicks”.

Dr Nwanze congratulated President Buhari on his victory at the general elections, assuring him that IFAD was ready to give all possible assistance to the Federal Government and Nigerian farmers to boost agricultural production and promote food security.

Since the price of crude oil dropped, the Nigerian government has given more attention to agriculture to ensure that the economy of the oil-rich nation, which depended so much on revenues from crude oil sales, is diversified.

IFAD is an international organisation dedicated to addressing issues of agriculture and poverty alleviation.

It was established in 1978, and has been collaborating with Nigeria for over 30 years.