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10,000 farmers get farm inputs support in Kaduna State

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By Mustapha Yauri

The Agro Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project has commenced the distribution of farm inputs to 10,000 farmers in Kaduna State.

Dr Yahaya-Aminu Abdulhadi, the Project Coordinator, made this known during the delivery of the farm inputs to farmers’ cooperatives at Biye, Giwa Local Government on Thursday.

Abdulhadi said that the intervention in Biye Community was for 985 farmers, while the target beneficiaries in the state were 10,000.

He said that the intervention farm inputs were fertilisers, improved seeds and herbicides, among others, adding that the second intervention would be mainly equipment.

He said that beneficiaries would receive thrashers, combine harvesters and tractors, adding that the support was demand-driven.

Abdulhadi said that the two phases of interventions were decided by the farmers themselves with the aim of boosting their farming enterprise.

He said the interventions were to ensure that the farmers were empowered to enable them make judicious use of the support.

He said that the project was a World Bank supported initiative with the mandate of Kaduna State Government to support the farmers from production, processing and marketing.

“We want them to make use of the knowledge and the resources that was avail them under the APPEALS project, so that they can shift from being subsisting farmers to commercial and economically viable farming enterprises.”

The coordinator said the support was an end-to-end intervention, the farmers who are receiving the intervention now had already signed agreement with up-takers before they could go to the farm.

He added that the farmers already had market for the products.

The Kaduna State Deputy Gov., Hajia Hadiza Balarabe, said that the state had done a lot in improving agriculture productivity.

The deputy governor said that the state had also improved agriculture sector toward diversifying the economic base of the state.

Balarabe was represented by Mal. Sabiu Ismaila, the Permanent Secretary, Kaduna State Ministry of Agriculture.

She said that the state government was working tirelessly to support the development of agriculture as a business so that farmers would be able to feed themselves and supply the products for the use of industries.

“It is the wish of the state to see tremendous reduction in poverty, massive employment generation for the youths and women and general improvement in the wellbeing of the populace through the agricultural sector,” she said.

The deputy governor said that she was impressed with the turnout of women and youths for the programme.

“It also shows that Kaduna State’s policies and programmes on inclusion were working. A society cannot develop if half of its population was idle and are not included.

“The efforts of the state toward bringing women to be part of economic development by enhancing their skills in various fields of endeavor is a worthy cause.

“ I can see here that the people of this community have accepted it; we are also happy that the men were understanding and cooperating. I pray that this level of commitment will result into improve productivity,’’ she said.

The deputy government said that partners to the project were experts from National Agricultural Extension Research and Liaison Services (NAERLS).

Alhaji Adamu Shika, one of the beneficiaries, who spoke on behalf of others commended government’s efforts on the project and for the timely provision of the inputs.

Shika said that the beneficiaries were earlier trained on new and better farming methods and processing of the farm produce to boost production.

He pledged the commitment of beneficiaries to judiciously use all the farm inputs.

(NAN)

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Agriculture

Kano Govt. concessions 1,000 hectres of lands for fodder production

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Kano State Government has approved the concession of 1,000 hectares of land to animal feeds processors to encourage fodder productions.

The leasing agreement would be implemented under the Kano State Agro Pastoral Development Project (KSADP).

Mr Ibrahim Muhammad, the Project Coordinator, stated this in a statement signed by Ameen Yassar, the Project Communication Specialist on Friday in Kano.

Muhammad disclosed that the 1,000 hectares of lands were earmarked for leasing in designated grazing reserves in 16 local government areas of the state.

He said: “The state government’s gracious approval for the land will hasten commencement of our investment in commercial large scale fodder production, in partnership with the private sector.

“KSADP will identify 20 private sector investors interested in fodder production, to be allocated 50 hectares each and assist them in the development of pastures, provision of harvesting and bailing equipment as well as marketing facilities.”

According to him, the programme will encourage animal feeds production, increase milk yield, and facilitate artificial insemination services.

Muhammad said that the state government through the state Ministry of Agriculture also earmarked 20 hectares of land for fodder seed multiplication at Dudduru Grazing Reserve, in Ajingi Local Government Area.

“Other critical issues of the project included state wide cattle and small ruminants vaccination, establishment of a veterinary reference laboratory at Gwale LGA.

“Others are equipping and operationalisation of Artificial Insemination Center at Kadawa, in Garun Malam and the construction of a modern veterinary clinic at Dansoshiya in Kiru.”

NAN

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Agriculture

Ondo to Train 18,000 Youths in Agribusiness

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No fewer than 18,000 youths in Ondo State have been selected to partake in the training in various fields of agriculture organised by the state government as part of efforts to create employment through agriculture.

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu disclosed this during the presentation of certificates to 40 participants in a training programme on the cassava enterprise project organised by Star Deep-water Petroleum Limited in partnership with Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta and the Ondo State Agricultural Business Empowerment Centre, recently.

The governor, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Agriculture, Mr. Akin Olotu, stated that 1,000 youths from each of the 18 local government areas of the state would participate in the programme, adding that it would start next year.

According to him, the state government will also provide soft loans for graduates who are interested in agriculture.

“This administration is committed to taking the youth out of unemployment through agriculture,” he said.

The governor stressed the need to make agriculture attractive to the youth, urging them to embrace it.

He stated that the state government had commenced moves to lay the foundation for economic development in the state.

Akeredolu also explained that the state government recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in Oke Luse, Ose Local Government Area of the state on how to develop agriculture.

Also speaking at the event, the Market Development Officer, PIND, Mr. Emmanuel Nwala, said the 40 youths who received the certificates were recruited and commenced training in 2015, with each participant allocated 2.5 hectares of land to cultivate cassava.

According to him, all the participants have planted cassava and are awaiting harvest, adding that PIND and other organisations involved in the training were excited to see “what these farmers do with their businesses and their earnings, and the impact they will make on their communities.”

Nwala expressed optimism that the partnership would go a long way to address the challenges of youth unemployment in the state and would also serve as a model for boosting income.

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Agriculture

Nigeria Has Saved $600m From Rice Importation – BOA

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Nigeria has saved over $600m dollars (N216bn) from the importation of rice alone from Thailand and other countries since the nation’s domestic mass production flooded the markets under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.

The figure represents a fraction of a staggering $22bn (N7.92tr) spent on importation of foods into the country annually prior to the advent of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

The Executive Director, Risk Management and Finance, Bank of Agriculture, disclosed this when he led a delegation of top officials of the bank on a courtesy call to Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, in his office, in Ibadan.

Akenzua said it was worthy of commendation that the country had committed itself to diversifying from the oil economy, with emphasis on the revitalization of agriculture.

He said, he had embarked on advocacy visit around the country to enlist the support and involvement of state governments in the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, which, he said, had freed the country from reliance on importation of rice.

Akenzua said, “We enjoin Oyo State to participate in the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, as we have rejigged the programme to expand the scope of beneficiaries. The pilot scheme was so successful that $600m was saved from rice importation due to massive rice production in the country.

“One or two rice millers in Thailand have closed down because Nigeria, which has always been their major importer, has stopped importing their rice.

“We used to spend $22bn importing food into Nigeria and with our consciousness that every square meter in the country is arable land, we felt that it was not sustainable. Of course, the crash in crude oil price has forced us back to agriculture.”

The ED said that the state could choose a particular crop it wished to produce under the programme, with a promise to either co-fund or completely fund the production of such crop.

In his response, the governor commended the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, for what he called the positive changes he had brought into the agriculture sector since taking over the ministry.

The governor stated that the fundamental problem besetting the country was attitudinal, stressing that the country was not bereft of knowledge, policies and programmes capable of boosting its economy.

Ajimobi said that the state was supposed to be the food basket of the nation if past leaders had seen agriculture as a major solution to hunger and economic driver, as well as a main source of employment for the youth.

According to him, the state was in good stead to be a major Agric hub, judging by the concentration of reputable research institutions in the state, its vast arable land, as well as the location between Lagos, the commercial nerve centre of the country, and the North among other comparative advantages.

He advised the new management of BOA to do all that was humanly possible to sustain the momentum in its renewed drive to revitalize the agriculture sector.

Ajimobi said “You need to change the attitude of our people so they would know that there is money in agriculture. We are in this sorry state today because of bureaucracy and lack of sustenance of past Agric policies. What has happened to Operation Feed the Nation?

“The new management of BOA has started well. I hope you will maintain the zeal with which you have started. Don’t just talk the talk, walk the talk. In the past, some people will just give loans to themselves, which they knew they would not recover and this had crippled the bank.

“Oyo State is ready to take advantage of all opportunities available in agriculture to promote the standard of living of our people. We believe that with the natural endowment in our state we should be the food basket of Nigeria.

“I salute the giant strides of the Ministry of Agriculture under the leadership of the Minister, Chief Audi Ogbeh. I have known him for many years as a man of impeccable character, a professional with high sense of responsibility.”

The governor promised to lead by example by also venturing into commercial agriculture, urging the BOA team to advise him on how he could go about obtaining a loan for the State

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