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  •  Some farmers in the South East geopolitical zone have identified policy inconsistency as the major impediment to sustainable growth in the country s agricultural sector The stakeholders operating under the aegis of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria AFAN said that agriculture had experienced some ups and downs under different policy frameworks in the post independence era They spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria on how agriculture has fared in terms of its prospects and challenges in the past 62 years The Chairman of AFAN in Imo Dr Vitus Enwerem said that the country had performed considerably well in agriculture since it gained independence on Oct 1 1960 We cannot say that we have not done well because we have recorded some successes in rice and cassava production and other value chain programmes Enwerem said He however argued that the progressive trajectory in the sector had suffered a major setback due to policy inconsistencies and insecurity He said that the situation where people sit down in Abuja to initiate policies on agriculture and impose them on farmers at the state and local government levels had not yielded the much expected gains Nigeria started with Operation Feed the Nation and Green Revolution amongst other beautiful programmes but did not succeed because the farmers were not part of the policy formulation But if we adopt a bottom top approach where farmers are involved from policy conception and formulation to implementation things would be better Any policy that does not put the interest of the rural farmer into consideration does not appeeciate the farmer as the driver of the policy hence it would not be easy to implement he said Enwerem also said that the rising security challenges in different parts of the country had seriously hampered growth in the agricultural sector Enwerem said Even here in Imo I usually pray before I go to my farm to avert any impending danger on the way He said that the country might face food crisis should the present security challenges be left unresolved Also Chief Dunlop Okoro the South East Coordinator of AFAN said that agriculture was the mainstay of the country s economy before and immediately after independence Okoro told NAN in Umuahia that the independence struggle by the country s nationalists was funded with resources from agriculture He regretted that successive administrations in the country had continued to evolve different agricultural policies that made little or no appreciable impact He blamed the development on the lack of continuity in policies and their implementation Okoro said that after independence the regional governments developed their respective agricultural sectors in a competitive manner especially in the areas they had comparative advantage He said that the regions made remittances to the Federal Government s coffers from the agricultural boom According to him the east was famous in oil palm production while the West and North were known for cocoa and groundnut pyramid respectively among other agricultural products He regretted that the discovery of oil led to the neglect of the agriculture sector making the country a mono economy There is always a change of policies by successive administrations in the country and this is not good for agriculture Every administration wants to have their own roadmap for agriculture because they know money will be released for it They do not want to follow up on the existing policies which the farmers are already used to Okoro said He argued that the disruptions in policy implementation had hampered sustainable growth in the sector The respondents therefore urged the Federal Government to develop long term agricultural development plan that can continue to run even after the life of an administration NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Nigeria @ 62: Stakeholders identify policy inconsistency as impediment to agricultural
     Some farmers in the South East geopolitical zone have identified policy inconsistency as the major impediment to sustainable growth in the country s agricultural sector The stakeholders operating under the aegis of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria AFAN said that agriculture had experienced some ups and downs under different policy frameworks in the post independence era They spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria on how agriculture has fared in terms of its prospects and challenges in the past 62 years The Chairman of AFAN in Imo Dr Vitus Enwerem said that the country had performed considerably well in agriculture since it gained independence on Oct 1 1960 We cannot say that we have not done well because we have recorded some successes in rice and cassava production and other value chain programmes Enwerem said He however argued that the progressive trajectory in the sector had suffered a major setback due to policy inconsistencies and insecurity He said that the situation where people sit down in Abuja to initiate policies on agriculture and impose them on farmers at the state and local government levels had not yielded the much expected gains Nigeria started with Operation Feed the Nation and Green Revolution amongst other beautiful programmes but did not succeed because the farmers were not part of the policy formulation But if we adopt a bottom top approach where farmers are involved from policy conception and formulation to implementation things would be better Any policy that does not put the interest of the rural farmer into consideration does not appeeciate the farmer as the driver of the policy hence it would not be easy to implement he said Enwerem also said that the rising security challenges in different parts of the country had seriously hampered growth in the agricultural sector Enwerem said Even here in Imo I usually pray before I go to my farm to avert any impending danger on the way He said that the country might face food crisis should the present security challenges be left unresolved Also Chief Dunlop Okoro the South East Coordinator of AFAN said that agriculture was the mainstay of the country s economy before and immediately after independence Okoro told NAN in Umuahia that the independence struggle by the country s nationalists was funded with resources from agriculture He regretted that successive administrations in the country had continued to evolve different agricultural policies that made little or no appreciable impact He blamed the development on the lack of continuity in policies and their implementation Okoro said that after independence the regional governments developed their respective agricultural sectors in a competitive manner especially in the areas they had comparative advantage He said that the regions made remittances to the Federal Government s coffers from the agricultural boom According to him the east was famous in oil palm production while the West and North were known for cocoa and groundnut pyramid respectively among other agricultural products He regretted that the discovery of oil led to the neglect of the agriculture sector making the country a mono economy There is always a change of policies by successive administrations in the country and this is not good for agriculture Every administration wants to have their own roadmap for agriculture because they know money will be released for it They do not want to follow up on the existing policies which the farmers are already used to Okoro said He argued that the disruptions in policy implementation had hampered sustainable growth in the sector The respondents therefore urged the Federal Government to develop long term agricultural development plan that can continue to run even after the life of an administration NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Nigeria @ 62: Stakeholders identify policy inconsistency as impediment to agricultural
    General news3 hours ago

    Nigeria @ 62: Stakeholders identify policy inconsistency as impediment to agricultural

    Some farmers in the South-East geopolitical zone have identified policy inconsistency as the major impediment to sustainable growth in the country’s agricultural sector.

    The stakeholders, operating under the aegis of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), said that agriculture had experienced some ups and downs under different policy frameworks in the post-independence era.

    They spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria on how agriculture has fared in terms of its prospects and challenges in the past 62 years.

    The Chairman of AFAN in Imo, Dr Vitus Enwerem, said that the country had performed considerably well in agriculture since it gained independence on Oct. 1, 1960. “We cannot say that we have not done well because we have recorded some successes in rice and cassava production and other value chain programmes,” Enwerem said.

    He, however, argued that the progressive trajectory in the sector had suffered a major setback due to policy inconsistencies and insecurity.

    He said that the situation where people sit down in Abuja to initiate policies on agriculture and impose them on farmers at the state and local government levels had not yielded the much expected gains.

    “Nigeria started with Operation Feed the Nation and Green Revolution, amongst other beautiful programmes, but did not succeed because the farmers were not part of the policy formulation.

    “But, if we adopt a bottom-top approach, where farmers are involved from policy conception and formulation to implementation, things would be better.

    “Any policy that does not put the interest of the rural farmer into consideration does not appeeciate the farmer as the driver of the policy, hence it would not be easy to implement,” he said.

    Enwerem also said that the rising security challenges in different parts of the country had seriously hampered growth in the agricultural sector.

    Enwerem said, “Even here in Imo, I usually pray before I go to my farm to avert any impending danger on the way.

    ” He said that the country might face food crisis should the present security challenges be left unresolved.

    Also, Chief Dunlop Okoro, the South-East Coordinator of AFAN, said that agriculture was the mainstay of the country’s economy before and immediately after independence.

    Okoro told NAN in Umuahia that the independence struggle by the country’s nationalists was funded with resources from agriculture.

    He regretted that successive administrations in the country had continued to evolve different agricultural policies that made little or no appreciable impact.

    He blamed the development on the lack of continuity in policies and their implementation.

    Okoro said that after independence, the regional governments developed their respective agricultural sectors in a competitive manner, especially in the areas they had comparative advantage.

    He said that the regions made remittances to the Federal Government’s coffers from the agricultural boom.

    According to him, the east was famous in oil palm production, while the West and North were known for cocoa and groundnut pyramid, respectively, among other agricultural products.

    He regretted that the discovery of oil led to the neglect of the agriculture sector, making the country a mono-economy.

    “There is always a change of policies by successive administrations in the country and this is not good for agriculture.

    “Every administration wants to have their own roadmap for agriculture because they know money will be released for it.

    “They do not want to follow up on the existing policies which the farmers are already used to,” Okoro said.

    He argued that the disruptions in policy implementation had hampered sustainable growth in the sector.

    The respondents, therefore, urged the Federal Government to develop long term agricultural development plan that can continue to run even after the life of an administration.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Stakeholders in the nation s economy have expressed divergent views on the state of economy in the last 62 years of the country s independence They spoke separately in interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan and Abeokuta on Saturday on the nation s independence anniversary Commenting Mr Sola Famakinwa a Financial Expert said Nigeria at 62 from an economic point of view is still far from where it was supposed to be Our nation has been characterised by economic depression due to inflation More than half of the population still live below the poverty line despite all the resources that we are endowed with Corruption on the part of our leaders has made our economy worse Lack of good policies and injustice There is no respect for Rules of Law Lack of security has not allowed the environment for small businesses to thrive Over reliance on crude oil as the only source of revenue for our government is inhibiting our progress because other areas like agriculture industry commerce science and technology and tourism are neglected These other areas would have helped our nation to develop like other Western nations Meanwhile there s still hope for us if our future leaders will look into these directions Famakinwa said Another financial expert Mrs Lolade Adesola who works with L A Consult said that Nigeria s economic growth had been very disappointing adding over the years we have had bad managers managing our economy We have so many sad stories of inequalities unemployment currency devaluation and a host of others that caused heartbreak But the solution to this is for the government to have sincerity of heart You can t say you are going to curb corruption and then when corruption bites back you are surprised What we really need is managers of the economy that are there to curb the excesses Adesola said She decried the high cost of governance in Nigeria urging government to ensure that excesses and wastage of resources were eradicated because of its impact on the economy Adesola called for diversification of the Nigerian economy urging the government to take it serious Managing mineral resources and all other things that can generate income for the country and we can work on improving revenue Also we need to manage the debt profile of the country because as it is now it is ridiculous Though they say it is not as high as the benchmark we don t have the revenue as debt servicing is taking more than the revenue generated Let s say you generated N100 and the interest on your loan is N120 and you are still saying that the percentage of your loan is very low that is a deceitful way of handling statistics because you do not have the revenue to repay Debt servicing alone is more than your whole revenue and so we must really look at the monster of debt burden and find the solution by increasing the revenue sources she said Adesola said that increase in Value Added Tax VAT would surely drive inflation because VAT is paid by the end users Anybody who produces will just add it on top of the price and that will increase the cost of the end product she said Another Financial Consultant Mr Tunji Adepeju said that money should be more in circulation in 2022 adding it is a prelude to the election year But one wonders where the money is kept considering the amount of money that exchanged hands during the parties primaries We learnt some gave out dollars some naira and all the rest but where do they put the money they got from their delegates because it has not really had any effect on the people Ordinarily one would have thought that the society would be awashed with some of those funds he said Adepeju said that there was scarcity of funds in the country which was vividly manifested during the last Sallah celebration He said Nigerians were experiencing hard times hoping that the nation s economic situation would improve if the country could stop importation of refined petroleum products and two of the nation s refineries were put to work plus the one being built by Dangote This may put less pressure on the naira against the dollar because it is having an effect on the cost of production and this will keep driving up the prices of goods and services And if we minimise the pressure of dollars on naira and we put away subsidies on petroleum products a lot of things will change But it will take the joint resolve of each and everyone of us to do the needful Adepeju said In her views the Iyaloja of Kuto Market in Abeokuta Alhaja Samirat Ibrahim expressed concern that at 62 the nation could still not feed itself Ibrahim noted that the country had continued to be a consuming nation while paying less attention to productivity She explained that the situation had resulted in high prices of goods in various markets while many market men and women had been forced out of business We have not enjoyed the dividends of democracy that they promised us so I don t see the need for us to celebrate Rather government should look for ways to ease the pains of the common man on the streets The way prices of commodities skyrocket on a daily basis is sickening and needs urgent attention local manufacturers should be given a chance to thrive Ibrahim said Also Alhaji Kamaldeen Akintunde the Secretary General of Ogun State Muslim Council OMC described Nigeria s journey through independence as a tale of mixed feelings Akintunde said over the years Nigeria had experienced the good and the ugly adding that the former outweighed the later According to him it is not a gain saying that the country has generally increased in terms of infrastructure and social amenities for its citizens In all sectors be it education health aviation agriculture communication tourism sports and others there has been astronomical increase in the number of facilities The country now has more Airports schools hospitals stadia while Mobile communication network has enhanced interpersonal communication and corporate engagement The country has not fared bad in food production though much is still to be achieved Moreover our democracy has grown from being nascent to fast growing democracy However Nigerians quest for materialism which has resulted in grid or graft has remained the bane of our development The insecurity in the country has continued to undermine good governance that should enhanced our development Energy provision is still a mirage in Nigerian and worsening and has affected all facets of the economy Akintunde said that since in every problem lies the seed of its solution the three tiers of government must be alive to their responsibilities by being committed to improving people s life The war against corruption must be fought and won to help in advancing the provision of infrastructure and social amenities for the people Nigerians themselves must stop cutting corners and be law abiding in order to enjoy the dividends of democracy In his reactions Mr Olusegun Dasaolu the Deputy National President All Farmers Association of Nigeria AFAN stressed the need for Nigerians to appreciate God for the height that the nation had attained Dasaolu said though Nigeria had not yet to actualise its potential it had nevertheless surmounted many challenges including the civil war that were capable of destroying its existence He said that mismanagement of natural and human resources had slowed Nigeria down in its quest to develop over the years Dasaolu called for a national rebirth to return to the golden days of the nation The problem of the country is not about leadership alone all of us must renew our senses of belonging in this country and own our challenges while we collectively strive to address them All that we need is for us to re appraise ourselves We need to think deep so as to ensure that every citizen has a sense of belonging while nobody feels inferior in this country Nigeria should secure her future by investing in its youths in the areas of education and capacity building which will enhance their creative ingenuity and employability Our agriculture should be put in its rightful place as we adopt modern technology in production We cannot afford to continue with rainfall agricultural system Due to climate change rain is no longer regular Therefore we need to adopt another system in securing food on a regular basis to enable farmers to be busy throughout the year We also need to block all loopholes and leakages in our system through which our Commonwealth is being siphoned to enable us to actualise our potential he said Commenting the Speaker Ogun House of Assembly Olakunle Oluomo commended President Muhammadu Buhari led administration for its re building agenda Oluomo a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress APC said that the Federal Government has been doing a lot in the areas of security and the economy He said that efforts were being made daily to address the challenges of the nation which had developed over the years No government is idle Every government needs to continue to put in its best The best may not be enough for now but it is not that nothing is being done We are making efforts everyday to improve the living situation of our people just as we make conscious efforts on the security of lives and property of our people he added NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Stakeholders express divergent views on state of nation’s economy
     Stakeholders in the nation s economy have expressed divergent views on the state of economy in the last 62 years of the country s independence They spoke separately in interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan and Abeokuta on Saturday on the nation s independence anniversary Commenting Mr Sola Famakinwa a Financial Expert said Nigeria at 62 from an economic point of view is still far from where it was supposed to be Our nation has been characterised by economic depression due to inflation More than half of the population still live below the poverty line despite all the resources that we are endowed with Corruption on the part of our leaders has made our economy worse Lack of good policies and injustice There is no respect for Rules of Law Lack of security has not allowed the environment for small businesses to thrive Over reliance on crude oil as the only source of revenue for our government is inhibiting our progress because other areas like agriculture industry commerce science and technology and tourism are neglected These other areas would have helped our nation to develop like other Western nations Meanwhile there s still hope for us if our future leaders will look into these directions Famakinwa said Another financial expert Mrs Lolade Adesola who works with L A Consult said that Nigeria s economic growth had been very disappointing adding over the years we have had bad managers managing our economy We have so many sad stories of inequalities unemployment currency devaluation and a host of others that caused heartbreak But the solution to this is for the government to have sincerity of heart You can t say you are going to curb corruption and then when corruption bites back you are surprised What we really need is managers of the economy that are there to curb the excesses Adesola said She decried the high cost of governance in Nigeria urging government to ensure that excesses and wastage of resources were eradicated because of its impact on the economy Adesola called for diversification of the Nigerian economy urging the government to take it serious Managing mineral resources and all other things that can generate income for the country and we can work on improving revenue Also we need to manage the debt profile of the country because as it is now it is ridiculous Though they say it is not as high as the benchmark we don t have the revenue as debt servicing is taking more than the revenue generated Let s say you generated N100 and the interest on your loan is N120 and you are still saying that the percentage of your loan is very low that is a deceitful way of handling statistics because you do not have the revenue to repay Debt servicing alone is more than your whole revenue and so we must really look at the monster of debt burden and find the solution by increasing the revenue sources she said Adesola said that increase in Value Added Tax VAT would surely drive inflation because VAT is paid by the end users Anybody who produces will just add it on top of the price and that will increase the cost of the end product she said Another Financial Consultant Mr Tunji Adepeju said that money should be more in circulation in 2022 adding it is a prelude to the election year But one wonders where the money is kept considering the amount of money that exchanged hands during the parties primaries We learnt some gave out dollars some naira and all the rest but where do they put the money they got from their delegates because it has not really had any effect on the people Ordinarily one would have thought that the society would be awashed with some of those funds he said Adepeju said that there was scarcity of funds in the country which was vividly manifested during the last Sallah celebration He said Nigerians were experiencing hard times hoping that the nation s economic situation would improve if the country could stop importation of refined petroleum products and two of the nation s refineries were put to work plus the one being built by Dangote This may put less pressure on the naira against the dollar because it is having an effect on the cost of production and this will keep driving up the prices of goods and services And if we minimise the pressure of dollars on naira and we put away subsidies on petroleum products a lot of things will change But it will take the joint resolve of each and everyone of us to do the needful Adepeju said In her views the Iyaloja of Kuto Market in Abeokuta Alhaja Samirat Ibrahim expressed concern that at 62 the nation could still not feed itself Ibrahim noted that the country had continued to be a consuming nation while paying less attention to productivity She explained that the situation had resulted in high prices of goods in various markets while many market men and women had been forced out of business We have not enjoyed the dividends of democracy that they promised us so I don t see the need for us to celebrate Rather government should look for ways to ease the pains of the common man on the streets The way prices of commodities skyrocket on a daily basis is sickening and needs urgent attention local manufacturers should be given a chance to thrive Ibrahim said Also Alhaji Kamaldeen Akintunde the Secretary General of Ogun State Muslim Council OMC described Nigeria s journey through independence as a tale of mixed feelings Akintunde said over the years Nigeria had experienced the good and the ugly adding that the former outweighed the later According to him it is not a gain saying that the country has generally increased in terms of infrastructure and social amenities for its citizens In all sectors be it education health aviation agriculture communication tourism sports and others there has been astronomical increase in the number of facilities The country now has more Airports schools hospitals stadia while Mobile communication network has enhanced interpersonal communication and corporate engagement The country has not fared bad in food production though much is still to be achieved Moreover our democracy has grown from being nascent to fast growing democracy However Nigerians quest for materialism which has resulted in grid or graft has remained the bane of our development The insecurity in the country has continued to undermine good governance that should enhanced our development Energy provision is still a mirage in Nigerian and worsening and has affected all facets of the economy Akintunde said that since in every problem lies the seed of its solution the three tiers of government must be alive to their responsibilities by being committed to improving people s life The war against corruption must be fought and won to help in advancing the provision of infrastructure and social amenities for the people Nigerians themselves must stop cutting corners and be law abiding in order to enjoy the dividends of democracy In his reactions Mr Olusegun Dasaolu the Deputy National President All Farmers Association of Nigeria AFAN stressed the need for Nigerians to appreciate God for the height that the nation had attained Dasaolu said though Nigeria had not yet to actualise its potential it had nevertheless surmounted many challenges including the civil war that were capable of destroying its existence He said that mismanagement of natural and human resources had slowed Nigeria down in its quest to develop over the years Dasaolu called for a national rebirth to return to the golden days of the nation The problem of the country is not about leadership alone all of us must renew our senses of belonging in this country and own our challenges while we collectively strive to address them All that we need is for us to re appraise ourselves We need to think deep so as to ensure that every citizen has a sense of belonging while nobody feels inferior in this country Nigeria should secure her future by investing in its youths in the areas of education and capacity building which will enhance their creative ingenuity and employability Our agriculture should be put in its rightful place as we adopt modern technology in production We cannot afford to continue with rainfall agricultural system Due to climate change rain is no longer regular Therefore we need to adopt another system in securing food on a regular basis to enable farmers to be busy throughout the year We also need to block all loopholes and leakages in our system through which our Commonwealth is being siphoned to enable us to actualise our potential he said Commenting the Speaker Ogun House of Assembly Olakunle Oluomo commended President Muhammadu Buhari led administration for its re building agenda Oluomo a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress APC said that the Federal Government has been doing a lot in the areas of security and the economy He said that efforts were being made daily to address the challenges of the nation which had developed over the years No government is idle Every government needs to continue to put in its best The best may not be enough for now but it is not that nothing is being done We are making efforts everyday to improve the living situation of our people just as we make conscious efforts on the security of lives and property of our people he added NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Stakeholders express divergent views on state of nation’s economy
    Economy2 days ago

    Stakeholders express divergent views on state of nation’s economy

    Stakeholders in the nation’s economy have expressed divergent views on the state of economy in the last 62 years of the country’s independence.

    They spoke separately in interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan and Abeokuta on Saturday on the nation’s independence anniversary.

    Commenting, Mr Sola Famakinwa, a Financial Expert, said Nigeria at 62, from an economic point of view, is still far from where it was supposed to be.

    “Our nation has been characterised by economic depression due to inflation.

    “More than half of the population still live below the poverty line, despite all the resources that we are endowed with.

    “Corruption on the part of our leaders has made our economy worse.

    Lack of good policies and injustice.

    “There is no respect for Rules of Law. Lack of security has not allowed the environment for small businesses to thrive.

    “Over reliance on crude oil as the only source of revenue for our government is inhibiting our progress, because other areas like agriculture, industry, commerce, science and technology and tourism are neglected.

    “These other areas would have helped our nation to develop like other Western nations.

    Meanwhile, there’s still hope for us, if our future leaders will look into these directions,” Famakinwa said.

    Another financial expert, Mrs Lolade Adesola, who works with L.

    A Consult, said that Nigeria’s economic growth had been very disappointing, adding, “over the years, we have had bad managers managing our economy”.

    “We have so many sad stories of inequalities, unemployment, currency devaluation and a host of others that caused heartbreak.

    “But, the solution to this is for the government to have sincerity of heart.

    “You can’t say you are going to curb corruption and then, when corruption bites back, you are surprised.

    “What we really need is managers of the economy that are there to curb the excesses,” Adesola said.

    She decried the high cost of governance in Nigeria, urging government to ensure that excesses and wastage of resources were eradicated because of its impact on the economy.

    Adesola called for diversification of the Nigerian economy, urging the government to take it serious.

    “Managing mineral resources and all other things that can generate income for the country and we can work on improving revenue.

    “Also, we need to manage the debt profile of the country, because, as it is now, it is ridiculous.

    “Though, they say it is not as high as the benchmark, we don’t have the revenue, as debt servicing is taking more than the revenue generated.

    “Let’s say you generated N100 and the interest on your loan is N120 and you are still saying that the percentage of your loan is very low, that is a deceitful way of handling statistics, because you do not have the revenue to repay.

    “Debt servicing alone is more than your whole revenue and so we must really look at the monster of debt burden and find the solution by increasing the revenue sources,” she said.

    Adesola said that increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) would surely drive inflation, because “VAT is paid by the end users.

    “Anybody, who produces, will just add it on top of the price and that will increase the cost of the end product,” she said.

    Another Financial Consultant, Mr Tunji Adepeju, said that money should be more in circulation in 2022, adding it is a prelude to the election year.

    “But, one wonders where the money is kept, considering the amount of money that exchanged hands during the parties’ primaries.

    “We learnt some gave out dollars, some naira and all the rest, but where do they put the money they got from their delegates, because it has not really had any effect on the people.

    “Ordinarily, one would have thought that the society would be awashed with some of those funds,” he said.

    Adepeju said that there was scarcity of funds in the country, which was vividly manifested during the last Sallah celebration.

    He said Nigerians were experiencing hard times, hoping that the nation’s economic situation would improve, if the country could stop importation of refined petroleum products and two of the nation’s refineries were put to work plus the one being built by Dangote.

    “This may put less pressure on the naira against the dollar, because it is having an effect on the cost of production and this will keep driving up the prices of goods and services.

    “And, if we minimise the pressure of dollars on naira and we put away subsidies on petroleum products, a lot of things will change.

    “But, it will take the joint resolve of each and everyone of us to do the needful,” Adepeju said.

    In her views, the Iyaloja of Kuto Market in Abeokuta, Alhaja Samirat Ibrahim, expressed concern that at 62, the nation could still not feed itself.

    Ibrahim noted that the country had continued to be a consuming nation, while paying less attention to productivity.

    She explained that the situation had resulted in high prices of goods in various markets, while many market men and women had been forced out of business.

    “We have not enjoyed the dividends of democracy that they promised us; so, I don’t see the need for us to celebrate.

    “Rather, government should look for ways to ease the pains of the common man on the streets.

    “The way prices of commodities skyrocket on a daily basis is sickening and needs urgent attention; local manufacturers should be given a chance to thrive,” Ibrahim said.

    Also, Alhaji Kamaldeen Akintunde, the Secretary- General of Ogun State Muslim Council (OMC), described Nigeria’s journey through independence as “a tale of mixed feelings”.

    Akintunde said over the years, Nigeria had experienced the good and the ugly, adding that the former outweighed the later.

    According to him, it is not a gain saying that the country has generally increased in terms of infrastructure and social amenities for its citizens.

    “In all sectors, be it education, health, aviation, agriculture, communication, tourism, sports and others, there has been astronomical increase in the number of facilities.

    “The country now has more Airports, schools, hospitals, stadia, while Mobile communication network has enhanced interpersonal communication and corporate engagement.

    “The country has not fared bad in food production, though, much is still to be achieved.

    “Moreover, our democracy has grown from being nascent to fast growing democracy.

    “However, Nigerians quest for materialism, which has resulted in grid or graft has remained the bane of our development.

    “The insecurity in the country has continued to undermine good governance that should enhanced our development.

    “Energy provision is still a mirage in Nigerian and worsening and has affected all facets of the economy.

    ” Akintunde said that since in every problem lies the seed of its solution, the three tiers of government must be alive to their responsibilities by being committed to improving people’s life.

    “The war against corruption must be fought and won to help in advancing the provision of infrastructure and social amenities for the people.

    “Nigerians themselves must stop cutting corners and be law abiding in order to enjoy the dividends of democracy.

    In his reactions, Mr Olusegun Dasaolu, the Deputy National President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), stressed the need for Nigerians to appreciate God for the height that the nation had attained.

    Dasaolu, said though, Nigeria had not yet to actualise its potential, it had, nevertheless, surmounted many challenges, including the civil war that were capable of destroying its existence.

    He said that mismanagement of natural and human resources had slowed Nigeria down in its quest to develop over the years.

    Dasaolu called for a national rebirth to return to the golden days of the nation.

    “The problem of the country is not about leadership alone, all of us must renew our senses of belonging in this country and own our challenges, while we collectively strive to address them.

    “All that we need is for us to re-appraise ourselves.

    We need to think deep so as to ensure that every citizen has a sense of belonging, while nobody feels inferior in this country.

    “Nigeria should secure her future by investing in its youths in the areas of education and capacity building, which will enhance their creative ingenuity and employability.

    “Our agriculture should be put in its rightful place, as we adopt modern technology in production.

    “We cannot afford to continue with rainfall agricultural system.

    Due to climate change, rain is no longer regular.

    “Therefore, we need to adopt another system in securing food on a regular basis to enable farmers to be busy throughout the year.

    “We also need to block all loopholes and leakages in our system through which our Commonwealth is being siphoned to enable us to actualise our potential,” he said.

    Commenting, the Speaker, Ogun House of Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo, commended President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for its re-building agenda.

    Oluomo, a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said that the Federal Government has been doing a lot in the areas of security and the economy.

    He said that efforts were being made daily to address the challenges of the nation which had developed over the years.

    “No government is idle.

    Every government needs to continue to put in its best.

    The best may not be enough for now, but it is not that nothing is being done.

    “We are making efforts everyday to improve the living situation of our people, just as we make conscious efforts on the security of lives and property of our people,” he added.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  The Benue Chairman All Farmers Association of Nigeria AFAN Mr Aondongu Saaku has said women contribute 80 per cent to agricultural production particularly in Nigeria Saaku stated this at a Food Security Town Hall meeting organised by Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation of Nigeria SWOFON on Thursday in Makurdi He said that women were the back bone of agricultural production in the country stressing that sadly they were still using crude farm implements The AFAN chairman sued for support from both government and other agriculture based organisations to enable them to produce enough food for the country The Director Agricultural Services state Ministry of Agriculture Mr Thomas Unongo said that the ministry was giving women adequate and preferential treatment to encourage them to continue to produce food for the nation Unongo said that the ministry was gender sensitive and was always ready to address issues relating to women We have directed the agricultural officers in the 23 Agriculture Redemption Centres across the state to give priority to women during inputs distribution Unongo said Unongo promised that the ministry would continue to support women by making inputs available to them on time Also the Chairman of Oju Local Government Area of the state Mrs Evelyn Okwe lamented that women were denied access to farm lands stressing that such development was hampering agricultural activities Okwe called for a change of attitude by men who were responsible for the trend adding that women should be allowed to inherit lands She pledged that she would join forces with the other eight female chairmen in the state to support women in the sector nannnews NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Women contribute 80 per cent of agric. production–AFAN Chairman
     The Benue Chairman All Farmers Association of Nigeria AFAN Mr Aondongu Saaku has said women contribute 80 per cent to agricultural production particularly in Nigeria Saaku stated this at a Food Security Town Hall meeting organised by Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation of Nigeria SWOFON on Thursday in Makurdi He said that women were the back bone of agricultural production in the country stressing that sadly they were still using crude farm implements The AFAN chairman sued for support from both government and other agriculture based organisations to enable them to produce enough food for the country The Director Agricultural Services state Ministry of Agriculture Mr Thomas Unongo said that the ministry was giving women adequate and preferential treatment to encourage them to continue to produce food for the nation Unongo said that the ministry was gender sensitive and was always ready to address issues relating to women We have directed the agricultural officers in the 23 Agriculture Redemption Centres across the state to give priority to women during inputs distribution Unongo said Unongo promised that the ministry would continue to support women by making inputs available to them on time Also the Chairman of Oju Local Government Area of the state Mrs Evelyn Okwe lamented that women were denied access to farm lands stressing that such development was hampering agricultural activities Okwe called for a change of attitude by men who were responsible for the trend adding that women should be allowed to inherit lands She pledged that she would join forces with the other eight female chairmen in the state to support women in the sector nannnews NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Women contribute 80 per cent of agric. production–AFAN Chairman
    General news2 weeks ago

    Women contribute 80 per cent of agric. production–AFAN Chairman

    The Benue Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Mr Aondongu Saaku, has said women contribute 80 per cent to agricultural production, particularly in Nigeria.

    Saaku stated this at a Food Security Town Hall meeting organised by Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation of Nigeria (SWOFON) on Thursday in Makurdi.

    He said that women were the back-bone of agricultural production in the country, stressing that sadly, they were still using crude farm implements.

    The AFAN chairman sued for support from both government and other agriculture-based organisations to enable them to produce enough food for the country.

    The Director, Agricultural Services, state Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Thomas Unongo, said that the ministry was giving women adequate and preferential treatment to encourage them to continue to produce food for the nation.

    Unongo said that the ministry was gender-sensitive and was always ready to address issues relating to women.

    “We have directed the agricultural officers in the 23 Agriculture Redemption Centres across the state to give priority to women during inputs distribution,” Unongo said.

    Unongo promised that the ministry would continue to support women by making inputs available to them on time.

    Also, the Chairman of Oju Local Government Area of the state, Mrs Evelyn Okwe, lamented that women were denied access to farm lands, stressing that such development was hampering agricultural activities.

    Okwe called for a change of attitude by men who were responsible for the trend, adding that women should be allowed to inherit lands.

    She pledged that she would join forces with the other eight female chairmen in the state to support women in the sector.

    nannnews.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Some farmers and experts in agriculture in the South West zone have identified post harvest losses as a major factor militating against food security in Nigeria The farmers and agricultural experts who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Oyo Ondo Ogun Osun Ekiti and Kwara states called for urgent actions to address the food scarcity currently ravaging the country Mr Segun Dasaolu Deputy National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria AFAN told NAN in Abeokuta that the National Food Reserve Agency NFRA needed to be resuscitated This he said would further re invigorate the food system and speed up the attainment of food security in the country Dasaolu also called on the Federal Government to restore grain reserves and set up additional silos particularly in the food producing local government areas across the six geo political zones According to him this will check post harvest losses and wastages and thus help to salvage the current food crisis before it got out of hands Dasaolu who noted that losses could occur at various stages of agricultural chain including harvest drying transportation storage and market stages urged government to address the various stages in order to reduce post harvest losses According to him government should also recover all the leased silos mop up available crops add value and store adequately to arrest future food shortages Prof Kolawole Adebayo of Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development of Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta FUNNAB decried what he called abandonment of food reserves in the country He said that it was imperative for the country to revive food reserves in form of silos and other storage facilities Only when this is put in place can the country enjoy adequate food security he said The professor of agricultural extension also advised government to put in place a mechanism where buyers could get commodities directly from farmers during harvest and store the remaining to prevent post harvest losses Every commodity has a harvesting period during which the products are always available in excess One of the best strategies we can adopt as a nation is to have an arrangement where we can buy up all the excesses during the harvest and process them for storage After the period of harvest we can then begin to release them gradually from the reserves and this is where the concept of food reserves comes from Over the years we as a nation have abandoned our food reserves and I think this is the time to revive those reserves for every commodity that is produced in this country he said Corroborating Adebauoyo s views Secretary of AFAN Ogun chapter Mr Abiodun Ogunjimi stressed the need for food reserves in the agricultural sector adding that the few available reserves had been taken over by the private sector and therefore not beneficial to farmers He noted that most farmers did not have access to the few available storage facilities constructed by the federal government as they had been concession to private operators The private investors are only out to maximise profit and as such farmers cannot gain much from partnering with them he said Ogunjimi urged government to provide silos at designated areas close to farmers and revive the few ones that had become moribund The Vice Chairman Rice Farmers Association RIFAN Ogun chapter Alhaji Monsuru Adebayo also opined that food reserves needed to be revitalised in the country According to him farmers need silos close to them to store excess produce so as to prevent post harvest wastages Farmers don t need too big silos but the available ones should be located near them Unfortunately most of the existing ones are very far from the farmers and the roads are bad thereby making transportation difficult To minimise post harvest losses governm should revive all the strategic food reserves across the country because most of them are presently not functional he added An Economic Analyst Mr Bright Oleka blamed Nigeria s current food crisis on the security challenge currently facing the country He warned that if the security challenge was not addressed it would be difficult to attain food security and improve the economy Oleka noted that most of the grains were produced from the northern part of the country where the insecurity was most pronounced Before food can be stored in strategic silos they have to be harvested from the farms and evacuated to the sites where they are to be stored A situation where the farms and the roads have been taken over by hoodlums will make effective harvest and proper storage difficult to achieve the economic analyst said The AFAN Chairman in Oyo State Mr John Olateru urged the government to strategically beef up food reserves by getting back all the silos that had been sub leased to private investors stressing this is one of the reasons for food scarcity in the country He noted that some of the silos leased to some private firm were not being used for the desired purpose All those companies do is to mop up all they want to buy They don t care about the prices or other things they only use their activities to disrupt the market Government must of necessity get all its silos back so as to use them to ensure food reserves he said Olateru who lauded the government for inaugurating a committee saddled with the responsibilities of purchasing food produce from farmers towards ensuring food reserves urged the committee to involve farmers associations in order to be effective This is a welcome idea because it is during the harvesting period that prices crash due to low demands If the committee can do the mop up then that will help farmers a lot It will also help in stabilising the prices and encourage farmers to continue their business he said An Ilorin based commercial farmer Mr Tope Abolade said that crops storage and preservation as a precaution against food scarcity and post harvest wastages was a good method to sustain food security He advised Nigerians to willingly get involved in farming with the mindset that the consuming population was high Abolade decried situations where farming was still perceived as an occupation for people of low class or the unemployed History has shown that in a typical traditional society food security used to be at the family level although it was also seen as a collective responsibility by the community It is believed that the colonial administration introduced the idea of state food security to replace the traditional food security system At independence government took over the responsibility of feeding the nation to ensure that there was enough food in state granaries to avert hunger he said Abolade listed other factors undermining the agricultural sector to include political instability unfavorable policies challenges of land tenure system poor credit facilities bad roads as well as absence of technical know how farming equipment and storage facilities Government must make up for the past and deal with the present without forgetting the future We must however appreciate the federal government for improving the face of agriculture in Nigeria and its efforts at sustaining agricultural processes especially for commercial farmers We particularly appreciate the loans the subsidies the improved farming methods and produces as well as the off takers scheme but we still do not have enough storage facilities and enough industries that process farm produces into preserved state It will interest you to know that as much as we have hunger in the country today there are still lots of wastages in the agricultural chain So there is the need for government to push out funds for farmers to make storage facilities shelters as well as pesticides and preservatives available at subsidised rate Abolade said According to Prof Olubunmi Omotesho of Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management University of Ilorin Nigeria loses between 30 per cent and 70 per cent of cowpea agricultural yield to post harvest due to absence of efficient storage system Research he said had shown that Nigerian farmers were faced with the challenges of production management techniques as well as the extension needs He further noted that the adoption of improved technology was a key factor in raising crop productivity According to him research on cowpea production by farmers in Kwara showed that majority of farmers still use the traditional storage techniques with only a few of them using the improved modern practices such as cribs and silos Omotesho also identified inadequate credit facilities high cost of and poor access to improved storage facilities as constraints to efficient storage practices in the country He emphasised the importance of small scale farming in the country describing it as a system of farming characterised by low asset base low fixed capital investment labour intensive practices and small family sizes The agricultural expert identified small scale farming as driver of the rural economy and enhancer of local development while asserting the multi dimensional roles of the farmers He called for favourable agricultural policy intervention for small scale farmers in order to produce stable quantity of food for the nation The don also advised governments at all levels to help small scale farmers in providing adequate capital access to markets information and avoiding spoilage resulting from poor storage system and high cost of transportation for agricultural produce Dr Patricia Pessu the Executive Director of Nigeria Stored Products Research Institute NSPRI Ilorin said that the institute had developed several technologies that fits into the scheme adding that the technology needed to be deployed with a national strategy Storage technologies for crops can be provided in strategic locations where the communities have comparative advantage These appropriate technologies if deployed with a national strategy will go a long way in mitigating post harvest food losses in various communities across the country and providing a reliable buffer for the national food reserve Consequently this will ensure regular availability of food year round and eliminate incessant price hikes which is a common experience in Nigeria the executive director said According to her the experience with the government s response to the impact of COVID 19 pandemic in providing food as palliatives has shown clearly that the national strategic food reserve is grossly inadequate She said that recent reports by National Bureau of Statistics showed that the country had experienced a very serious hike in food prices in the last six months thus significantly affecting the livelihoods of many families The situation is likely going to be exacerbated by the war in Ukraine due to the dependence of many African countries on grains from that part of the world This calls for urgent steps to mitigate fool losses at every point of the food value chain Pessu said Dr Ola Ajila of Faculty of Agriculture Obafemi Awolowo University OAU Ile Ife called for collaboration between government and agricultural engineering sector to curb post harvest losses across in the country Ajila said that agricultural engineering sector must be strengthened to develop intermediate storage and processing technology that would be affordable to individual farmers and groups To prevent food wastages she said that there must be an effective storage especially food bank for preservation of farm produce The don recommended establishment of a farm produce marketing centre in each of geo political zone where government could purchase farm produce from farmers for storage during surplus Government can process or preserve the farm produce for the off season when they will be selling to the public from the food bank Aside storage farm produce can be processed so as to add value while government can also strengthen the agricultural extension advisory agency for effective dissemination of technologies to farmers This is the major organisation that works directly with farmers at the grassroots The research institute should also be motivated for effective performance Most importantly the linkage between extension and research need to be strengthened monitored and well coordinated she said Ajila also said that courses in agriculture must be strengthened at all levels of education and made compulsory Students must also be taught more attractive ways of making agriculture course technology driven instead of manually driven as we have in the schools today If agriculture is practised with the appropriate technology and marketing system the youth will be further encouraged she said Ajila advised Nigerians to change what he called their negative attitude toward agriculture Mrs Jumoke Bakare a Deputy Director in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Ondo State said it was important for the federal government to beef up strategic food reserves for food to be available and affordable all year round As the country is fighting insecurity all over food security is also important for the nation to survive and for economy to grow she said The director said provision of efficient and affordable food reserves would help in reducing post harvest loses in the food storage process She also said hand held machines and simple farm equipment such as dehydrators could be made available to farmers to preserve some perishable foods such as vegetables and would still retain its nutritional value Bakare urged the government to provide enabling environment for private investors to invest in food reserves She also called on the federal government to make policies that would favour the private sector as it cannot do it alone Chairman of AFAN in Ekiti Mr Adebola Adeniran blamed incessant increase in prices of food on lack of preservation of farm produce and grains after harvest Other stakeholders in the agricultural sector in the state also pointed out that proper handling and secure post harvest system were crucial to achieving food security in the country According to them lots of human and material resources are being wasted annually due to non secure post harvest system Mr Oluwashina Damilare a cash crop farmer said that failure to safeguard crops after harvest could lead to major losses and wasted efforts during the growing and harvest seasons He said that in severe cases of post harvest food losses it could cause business failures and loss of income especially for small scale business holders Damilare noted that one third of the produced foods for human consumption were lost during post harvest adding that this required urgent government attention According to him lack of secure storage facilities remained one of the contributory factors to post harvest losses even as he decries dependence of many small holder farmers on traditional storage practices which damaged their harvests He urged the country s agricultural research institutes to find lasting solutions to post harvest induced losses Messrs Benjamin Adeoye Oluropo Dada and Olatunji Ayegbusi both AFAN chiefs in Ekiti called for collaboration among the three tiers of government in expanding the nation s food reserve mechanism for future benefits With such collaboration relevant government agencies can work together to ensure that we have enough food reserve for any emergency he said An Agricultural expert Mr Babajide Oso appealed to the federal government to intensify efforts at subsidising more food preservatives and processing equipment for farmers Oso who commended government for subsidising farm inputs called for more efforts to curb wastage of farm produce especially during the harvest season He was of the opinion that many farmers especially those in rural areas lacked enough education and awareness on preservation methods Oso called for siting of food processing firms in rural areas which should be accompanied with provision of good roads for easy access to raw materials com NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Experts, farmers identify ways of stemming food scarcity in Nigeria 
     Some farmers and experts in agriculture in the South West zone have identified post harvest losses as a major factor militating against food security in Nigeria The farmers and agricultural experts who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Oyo Ondo Ogun Osun Ekiti and Kwara states called for urgent actions to address the food scarcity currently ravaging the country Mr Segun Dasaolu Deputy National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria AFAN told NAN in Abeokuta that the National Food Reserve Agency NFRA needed to be resuscitated This he said would further re invigorate the food system and speed up the attainment of food security in the country Dasaolu also called on the Federal Government to restore grain reserves and set up additional silos particularly in the food producing local government areas across the six geo political zones According to him this will check post harvest losses and wastages and thus help to salvage the current food crisis before it got out of hands Dasaolu who noted that losses could occur at various stages of agricultural chain including harvest drying transportation storage and market stages urged government to address the various stages in order to reduce post harvest losses According to him government should also recover all the leased silos mop up available crops add value and store adequately to arrest future food shortages Prof Kolawole Adebayo of Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development of Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta FUNNAB decried what he called abandonment of food reserves in the country He said that it was imperative for the country to revive food reserves in form of silos and other storage facilities Only when this is put in place can the country enjoy adequate food security he said The professor of agricultural extension also advised government to put in place a mechanism where buyers could get commodities directly from farmers during harvest and store the remaining to prevent post harvest losses Every commodity has a harvesting period during which the products are always available in excess One of the best strategies we can adopt as a nation is to have an arrangement where we can buy up all the excesses during the harvest and process them for storage After the period of harvest we can then begin to release them gradually from the reserves and this is where the concept of food reserves comes from Over the years we as a nation have abandoned our food reserves and I think this is the time to revive those reserves for every commodity that is produced in this country he said Corroborating Adebauoyo s views Secretary of AFAN Ogun chapter Mr Abiodun Ogunjimi stressed the need for food reserves in the agricultural sector adding that the few available reserves had been taken over by the private sector and therefore not beneficial to farmers He noted that most farmers did not have access to the few available storage facilities constructed by the federal government as they had been concession to private operators The private investors are only out to maximise profit and as such farmers cannot gain much from partnering with them he said Ogunjimi urged government to provide silos at designated areas close to farmers and revive the few ones that had become moribund The Vice Chairman Rice Farmers Association RIFAN Ogun chapter Alhaji Monsuru Adebayo also opined that food reserves needed to be revitalised in the country According to him farmers need silos close to them to store excess produce so as to prevent post harvest wastages Farmers don t need too big silos but the available ones should be located near them Unfortunately most of the existing ones are very far from the farmers and the roads are bad thereby making transportation difficult To minimise post harvest losses governm should revive all the strategic food reserves across the country because most of them are presently not functional he added An Economic Analyst Mr Bright Oleka blamed Nigeria s current food crisis on the security challenge currently facing the country He warned that if the security challenge was not addressed it would be difficult to attain food security and improve the economy Oleka noted that most of the grains were produced from the northern part of the country where the insecurity was most pronounced Before food can be stored in strategic silos they have to be harvested from the farms and evacuated to the sites where they are to be stored A situation where the farms and the roads have been taken over by hoodlums will make effective harvest and proper storage difficult to achieve the economic analyst said The AFAN Chairman in Oyo State Mr John Olateru urged the government to strategically beef up food reserves by getting back all the silos that had been sub leased to private investors stressing this is one of the reasons for food scarcity in the country He noted that some of the silos leased to some private firm were not being used for the desired purpose All those companies do is to mop up all they want to buy They don t care about the prices or other things they only use their activities to disrupt the market Government must of necessity get all its silos back so as to use them to ensure food reserves he said Olateru who lauded the government for inaugurating a committee saddled with the responsibilities of purchasing food produce from farmers towards ensuring food reserves urged the committee to involve farmers associations in order to be effective This is a welcome idea because it is during the harvesting period that prices crash due to low demands If the committee can do the mop up then that will help farmers a lot It will also help in stabilising the prices and encourage farmers to continue their business he said An Ilorin based commercial farmer Mr Tope Abolade said that crops storage and preservation as a precaution against food scarcity and post harvest wastages was a good method to sustain food security He advised Nigerians to willingly get involved in farming with the mindset that the consuming population was high Abolade decried situations where farming was still perceived as an occupation for people of low class or the unemployed History has shown that in a typical traditional society food security used to be at the family level although it was also seen as a collective responsibility by the community It is believed that the colonial administration introduced the idea of state food security to replace the traditional food security system At independence government took over the responsibility of feeding the nation to ensure that there was enough food in state granaries to avert hunger he said Abolade listed other factors undermining the agricultural sector to include political instability unfavorable policies challenges of land tenure system poor credit facilities bad roads as well as absence of technical know how farming equipment and storage facilities Government must make up for the past and deal with the present without forgetting the future We must however appreciate the federal government for improving the face of agriculture in Nigeria and its efforts at sustaining agricultural processes especially for commercial farmers We particularly appreciate the loans the subsidies the improved farming methods and produces as well as the off takers scheme but we still do not have enough storage facilities and enough industries that process farm produces into preserved state It will interest you to know that as much as we have hunger in the country today there are still lots of wastages in the agricultural chain So there is the need for government to push out funds for farmers to make storage facilities shelters as well as pesticides and preservatives available at subsidised rate Abolade said According to Prof Olubunmi Omotesho of Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management University of Ilorin Nigeria loses between 30 per cent and 70 per cent of cowpea agricultural yield to post harvest due to absence of efficient storage system Research he said had shown that Nigerian farmers were faced with the challenges of production management techniques as well as the extension needs He further noted that the adoption of improved technology was a key factor in raising crop productivity According to him research on cowpea production by farmers in Kwara showed that majority of farmers still use the traditional storage techniques with only a few of them using the improved modern practices such as cribs and silos Omotesho also identified inadequate credit facilities high cost of and poor access to improved storage facilities as constraints to efficient storage practices in the country He emphasised the importance of small scale farming in the country describing it as a system of farming characterised by low asset base low fixed capital investment labour intensive practices and small family sizes The agricultural expert identified small scale farming as driver of the rural economy and enhancer of local development while asserting the multi dimensional roles of the farmers He called for favourable agricultural policy intervention for small scale farmers in order to produce stable quantity of food for the nation The don also advised governments at all levels to help small scale farmers in providing adequate capital access to markets information and avoiding spoilage resulting from poor storage system and high cost of transportation for agricultural produce Dr Patricia Pessu the Executive Director of Nigeria Stored Products Research Institute NSPRI Ilorin said that the institute had developed several technologies that fits into the scheme adding that the technology needed to be deployed with a national strategy Storage technologies for crops can be provided in strategic locations where the communities have comparative advantage These appropriate technologies if deployed with a national strategy will go a long way in mitigating post harvest food losses in various communities across the country and providing a reliable buffer for the national food reserve Consequently this will ensure regular availability of food year round and eliminate incessant price hikes which is a common experience in Nigeria the executive director said According to her the experience with the government s response to the impact of COVID 19 pandemic in providing food as palliatives has shown clearly that the national strategic food reserve is grossly inadequate She said that recent reports by National Bureau of Statistics showed that the country had experienced a very serious hike in food prices in the last six months thus significantly affecting the livelihoods of many families The situation is likely going to be exacerbated by the war in Ukraine due to the dependence of many African countries on grains from that part of the world This calls for urgent steps to mitigate fool losses at every point of the food value chain Pessu said Dr Ola Ajila of Faculty of Agriculture Obafemi Awolowo University OAU Ile Ife called for collaboration between government and agricultural engineering sector to curb post harvest losses across in the country Ajila said that agricultural engineering sector must be strengthened to develop intermediate storage and processing technology that would be affordable to individual farmers and groups To prevent food wastages she said that there must be an effective storage especially food bank for preservation of farm produce The don recommended establishment of a farm produce marketing centre in each of geo political zone where government could purchase farm produce from farmers for storage during surplus Government can process or preserve the farm produce for the off season when they will be selling to the public from the food bank Aside storage farm produce can be processed so as to add value while government can also strengthen the agricultural extension advisory agency for effective dissemination of technologies to farmers This is the major organisation that works directly with farmers at the grassroots The research institute should also be motivated for effective performance Most importantly the linkage between extension and research need to be strengthened monitored and well coordinated she said Ajila also said that courses in agriculture must be strengthened at all levels of education and made compulsory Students must also be taught more attractive ways of making agriculture course technology driven instead of manually driven as we have in the schools today If agriculture is practised with the appropriate technology and marketing system the youth will be further encouraged she said Ajila advised Nigerians to change what he called their negative attitude toward agriculture Mrs Jumoke Bakare a Deputy Director in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Ondo State said it was important for the federal government to beef up strategic food reserves for food to be available and affordable all year round As the country is fighting insecurity all over food security is also important for the nation to survive and for economy to grow she said The director said provision of efficient and affordable food reserves would help in reducing post harvest loses in the food storage process She also said hand held machines and simple farm equipment such as dehydrators could be made available to farmers to preserve some perishable foods such as vegetables and would still retain its nutritional value Bakare urged the government to provide enabling environment for private investors to invest in food reserves She also called on the federal government to make policies that would favour the private sector as it cannot do it alone Chairman of AFAN in Ekiti Mr Adebola Adeniran blamed incessant increase in prices of food on lack of preservation of farm produce and grains after harvest Other stakeholders in the agricultural sector in the state also pointed out that proper handling and secure post harvest system were crucial to achieving food security in the country According to them lots of human and material resources are being wasted annually due to non secure post harvest system Mr Oluwashina Damilare a cash crop farmer said that failure to safeguard crops after harvest could lead to major losses and wasted efforts during the growing and harvest seasons He said that in severe cases of post harvest food losses it could cause business failures and loss of income especially for small scale business holders Damilare noted that one third of the produced foods for human consumption were lost during post harvest adding that this required urgent government attention According to him lack of secure storage facilities remained one of the contributory factors to post harvest losses even as he decries dependence of many small holder farmers on traditional storage practices which damaged their harvests He urged the country s agricultural research institutes to find lasting solutions to post harvest induced losses Messrs Benjamin Adeoye Oluropo Dada and Olatunji Ayegbusi both AFAN chiefs in Ekiti called for collaboration among the three tiers of government in expanding the nation s food reserve mechanism for future benefits With such collaboration relevant government agencies can work together to ensure that we have enough food reserve for any emergency he said An Agricultural expert Mr Babajide Oso appealed to the federal government to intensify efforts at subsidising more food preservatives and processing equipment for farmers Oso who commended government for subsidising farm inputs called for more efforts to curb wastage of farm produce especially during the harvest season He was of the opinion that many farmers especially those in rural areas lacked enough education and awareness on preservation methods Oso called for siting of food processing firms in rural areas which should be accompanied with provision of good roads for easy access to raw materials com NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Experts, farmers identify ways of stemming food scarcity in Nigeria 
    General news2 weeks ago

    Experts, farmers identify ways of stemming food scarcity in Nigeria 

    Some farmers and experts in agriculture in the South-West zone have identified post-harvest losses as a major factor militating against food security in Nigeria.  

    The farmers and agricultural experts, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Oyo, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti and Kwara states, called for urgent actions to address the food scarcity currently ravaging the country.  

    Mr Segun Dasaolu, Deputy National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), told NAN in Abeokuta that the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) needed to be resuscitated.  

    This, he said, would further re-invigorate the food system and speed up the attainment of food security in the country.  

    Dasaolu also called on the Federal Government to restore grain reserves and set up additional silos, particularly in the food producing local government areas across the six geo-political zones.  

    According to him, this will check post-harvest losses and wastages and thus help to salvage the current food crisis before it got out of hands.  

    Dasaolu who noted that losses could occur at various stages of agricultural chain, including harvest, drying, transportation, storage and market stages, urged government to address the various stages in order to reduce post-harvest losses.  

    According to him, government should also recover all the leased silos, mop up available crops, add value and store adequately to arrest future food shortages.  

    Prof. Kolawole Adebayo of Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development of Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNNAB), decried what he called abandonment of food reserves in the country.  

    He said that it was imperative for the country to revive food reserves in form of silos and other storage facilities.  

    “Only when this is put in place can the country enjoy adequate food security,” he said.  

    The professor of agricultural extension also advised government to put in place a mechanism where buyers could get commodities directly from farmers during harvest and store the remaining to prevent post-harvest losses.  

    “Every commodity has a harvesting period during which the products are always available in excess.  

    “One of the best strategies we can adopt as a nation is to have an arrangement where we can buy up all the excesses during the harvest and process them for storage.  

    “After the period of harvest, we can then begin to release them gradually from the reserves and this is where the concept of food reserves comes from.  

    “Over the years, we, as a nation, have abandoned our food reserves and I think this is the time to revive those reserves for every commodity that is produced in this country,” he said.  

    Corroborating Adebauoyo’s views, Secretary of AFAN, Ogun chapter, Mr Abiodun Ogunjimi, stressed the need for food reserves in the agricultural sector, adding that the few available reserves had been taken over by the private sector and therefore, not beneficial to farmers.  

    He noted that most farmers did not have access to the few available storage facilities constructed by the federal government, as they had been concession to private operators.  

    “The private investors are only out to maximise profit and as such, farmers cannot gain much from partnering with them,” he said.  

    Ogunjimi urged government to provide silos at designated areas close to farmers and revive the few ones that had become moribund.  

    The Vice Chairman, Rice Farmers’ Association (RIFAN), Ogun chapter, Alhaji Monsuru Adebayo, also opined that food reserves needed to be revitalised in the country.  

    According to him, farmers need silos close to them to store excess produce so as to prevent post-harvest wastages.  

    “Farmers don’t need too big silos, but the available ones should be located near them.

    Unfortunately, most of the existing ones are very far from the farmers and the roads are bad, thereby making transportation difficult.  

    “To minimise post-harvest losses, governm should revive all the strategic food reserves across the country because most of them are presently not functional,” he added.

    An Economic Analyst, Mr Bright Oleka, blamed Nigeria’s current food crisis on the security challenge currently facing the country.  

    He warned that if the security challenge was not addressed, it would be difficult to attain food security and improve the economy.  

    Oleka noted that most of the grains were produced from the northern part of the country where the insecurity was most pronounced.  

    “Before food can be stored in strategic silos, they have to be harvested from the farms and evacuated to the sites where they are to be stored.  

    “A situation where the farms and the roads have been taken over by hoodlums will make effective harvest and proper storage difficult to achieve,” the economic analyst said.  

    The AFAN Chairman in Oyo State, Mr John Olateru, urged the government to strategically beef up food reserves by getting back all the silos that had been sub-leased to private investors, stressing: “this is one of the reasons for food scarcity in the country.

    ”   He noted that some of the silos leased to some private firm were not being used for the desired purpose.  

    “All those companies do is to mop up all they want to buy.

    They don’t care about the prices or other things; they only use their activities to disrupt the market.  

    “Government must, of necessity, get all its silos back so as to use them to ensure food reserves,” he said.  

    Olateru, who lauded the government for inaugurating a committee saddled with the responsibilities of purchasing food produce from farmers towards ensuring food reserves, urged the committee to involve farmers’ associations in order to be effective.  

    “This is a welcome idea because it is during the harvesting period that prices crash due to low demands.

    If the committee can do the mop up then, that will help farmers a lot.  

    “It will also help in stabilising the prices and encourage farmers to continue their business,” he said.  

    An Ilorin-based commercial farmer, Mr Tope Abolade, said that crops storage and preservation, as a precaution against food scarcity and post-harvest wastages, was a good method to sustain food security.

    He advised Nigerians to willingly get involved in farming, with the mindset that the consuming population was high.  

    Abolade decried situations where farming was still perceived as an occupation for people of low class or the unemployed.  

    “History has shown that in a typical traditional society, food security used to be at the family level, although it was also seen as a collective responsibility by the community.  

    “It is believed that the colonial administration introduced the idea of state food security to replace the traditional food security system.  

    “At independence, government took over the responsibility of feeding the nation to ensure that there was enough food in state granaries to avert hunger”, he said.  

    Abolade listed other factors undermining the agricultural sector to include: political instability, unfavorable policies, challenges of land tenure system, poor credit facilities, bad roads as well as absence of technical know-how, farming equipment and storage facilities.  

    “Government must make up for the past and deal with the present, without forgetting the future.  

    “We must, however, appreciate the federal government for improving the face of agriculture in Nigeria and its efforts at sustaining agricultural processes, especially for commercial farmers.  

    “We particularly appreciate the loans, the subsidies, the improved farming methods and produces as well as the off-takers scheme, but we still do not have enough storage facilities and enough industries that process farm produces into preserved state.  

    “It will interest you to know that as much as we have hunger in the country today, there are still lots of wastages in the agricultural chain.  

    “So, there is the need for government to push out funds for farmers to make storage facilities, shelters as well as pesticides and preservatives available at subsidised rate,” Abolade said.  

    According to Prof. Olubunmi Omotesho of Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, University of Ilorin, Nigeria loses between 30 per cent and 70 per cent of cowpea agricultural yield to post-harvest due to absence of efficient storage system.

    Research, he said, had shown that Nigerian farmers were faced with the challenges of production management techniques as well as the extension needs.  

    He further noted that the adoption of improved technology was a key factor in raising crop productivity.  

    According to him, research on cowpea production by farmers in Kwara showed that majority of farmers still use the traditional storage techniques, with only a few of them using the improved modern practices, such as cribs and silos.  

    Omotesho also identified inadequate credit facilities, high cost of and poor access to improved storage facilities as constraints to efficient storage practices in the country.  

    He emphasised the importance of small-scale farming in the country, describing it as a system of farming characterised by low asset-base, low fixed capital investment, labour intensive practices and small family sizes.  

    The agricultural expert identified small-scale farming as driver of the rural economy and enhancer of local development, while asserting the multi-dimensional roles of the farmers.  

    He called for favourable agricultural policy intervention for small-scale farmers in order to produce stable quantity of food for the nation.  

    The don also advised governments at all levels to help small-scale farmers in providing adequate capital, access to markets information and avoiding spoilage resulting from poor storage system and high cost of transportation for agricultural produce.  

    Dr Patricia Pessu, the Executive Director of Nigeria Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI), Ilorin, said that the institute had developed several technologies that fits into the scheme, adding that the technology needed to be deployed with a national strategy.  

    ”Storage technologies for crops can be provided in strategic locations where the communities have comparative advantage.  

    ”These appropriate technologies, if deployed with a national strategy, will go a long way in mitigating post-harvest food losses in various communities across the country and providing a reliable buffer for the national food reserve.  

    ”Consequently, this will ensure regular availability of food year-round and eliminate incessant price hikes, which is a common experience in Nigeria,” the executive director said.  

    According to her, the experience with the government’s response to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in providing food as palliatives has shown clearly that the national strategic food reserve is grossly inadequate.  

    She said that recent reports by National Bureau of Statistics showed that the country had experienced a very serious hike in food prices in the last six months, thus significantly affecting the livelihoods of many families.  

    ”The situation is likely going to be exacerbated by the war in Ukraine due to the dependence of many African countries on grains from that part of the world.  

    “This calls for urgent steps to mitigate fool losses at every point of the food value chain,” Pessu said.  

    Dr Ola Ajila, of Faculty of Agriculture, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, called for collaboration between government and agricultural engineering sector to curb post-harvest losses across in the country.  

    Ajila said that agricultural engineering sector must be strengthened to develop intermediate storage and processing technology that would be affordable to individual farmers and groups.  

    To prevent food wastages, she said that there must be an effective storage, especially food bank, for preservation of farm produce.  

    The don recommended establishment of a farm produce marketing centre in each of geo-political zone, where government could purchase farm produce from farmers for storage during surplus.  

    “Government can process or preserve the farm produce for the off-season, when they will be selling to the public from the food bank.  

    “Aside storage, farm produce can be processed so as to add value, while government can also strengthen the agricultural extension advisory agency for effective dissemination of technologies to farmers.  

    “This is the major organisation that works directly with farmers at the grassroots.

    The research institute should also be motivated for effective performance.  

    “Most importantly, the linkage between extension and research need to be strengthened, monitored and well-coordinated,” she said.

    Ajila also said that courses in agriculture must be strengthened at all levels of education and made compulsory.  

    “Students must also be taught more attractive ways of making agriculture course technology-driven, instead of manually-driven as we have in the schools today.  

    “If agriculture is practised with the appropriate technology and marketing system, the youth will be further encouraged,” she said.  

    Ajila advised Nigerians to change what he called their negative attitude toward agriculture   Mrs Jumoke Bakare, a Deputy Director in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ondo State, said it was important for the federal government to beef up strategic food reserves for food to be available and affordable all- year round.  

    “As the country is fighting insecurity all over, food security is also important for the nation to survive and for economy to grow,” she said.  

    The director said provision of efficient and affordable food reserves would help in reducing post-harvest loses in the food storage process.

    She also said hand-held machines and simple farm equipment, such as dehydrators, could be made available to farmers to preserve some perishable foods, such as vegetables, and would still retain its nutritional value.  

    Bakare urged the government to provide enabling environment for private investors to invest in food reserves.  

    She also called on the federal government to make policies that would favour the private sector, as it cannot do it alone.  

    Chairman of AFAN in Ekiti, Mr Adebola Adeniran, blamed incessant increase in prices of food on lack of preservation of farm produce and grains after harvest.  

    Other stakeholders in the agricultural sector in the state also pointed out that proper handling and secure post-harvest system were crucial to achieving food security in the country.  

    According to them, lots of human and material resources are being wasted annually due to non-secure post-harvest system.  

    Mr Oluwashina Damilare, a cash crop farmer, said that failure to safeguard crops after harvest could lead to major losses and wasted efforts during the growing and harvest seasons.

    He said that in severe cases of post-harvest food losses, it could cause business failures and loss of income, especially for small-scale business holders.  

    Damilare noted that one-third of the produced foods for human consumption were lost during post-harvest, adding that this required urgent government attention.  

    According to him, lack of secure storage facilities remained one of the contributory factors to post-harvest losses, even as he decries dependence of many small- holder farmers on traditional storage practices which damaged their harvests.  

    He urged the country’s agricultural research institutes to find lasting solutions to post-harvest-induced losses.  

    Messrs Benjamin Adeoye, Oluropo Dada and Olatunji Ayegbusi, both AFAN chiefs in Ekiti, called for collaboration among the three tiers of government in expanding the nation’s food reserve mechanism for future benefits.  

    “With such collaboration, relevant government agencies can work together to ensure that we have enough food reserve for any emergency,” he said.

    An Agricultural expert, Mr Babajide Oso, appealed to the federal government to intensify efforts at subsidising more food preservatives and processing equipment for farmers.  

    Oso, who commended government for subsidising farm inputs, called for more efforts to curb wastage of farm produce, especially during the harvest season.  

    He was of the opinion that many farmers, especially those in rural areas, lacked enough education and awareness on preservation methods.  

    Oso called for siting of food processing firms in rural areas, which should be accompanied with provision of good roads, for easy access to raw materials.

    com)
    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development FMARD Dr Mohammad Abubakar on Thursday said the agriculture sector contributed 23 per cent to the nation s Gross Domestic Products GDP in first half of 2022 Abubakar stated this in his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 45th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development NCARD in Jos The minister said the figure was from National Bureau of Statistics recent report According to him the report indicated that the sector topped the chart in a survey of seven sectors identified to have contributed to Nigeria s economy in the second quarter of 2022 He emphasised that agriculture out performed six other sectors comprising trade telecommunications manufacturing oil and gas real estate as well as finance and insurance The chart revealed that agriculture alone contributed 23 3 per cent to GDP Half Year 2022 which supports the positive trend of the previous years performance of 25 88 per cent 2021 26 21 per cent 2020 25 16 per cent 2019 25 13 per cent 2018 25 08 per cent 2017 24 45 per cent 2016 and 23 11 per cent 2015 The data also reflects the impact of the implementation of programmes and projects in the agricultural sector despite the security challenges in the country To further improve on performance we are strengthening the linkage between research agriculture and industry by intensifying our commodity value chain development process he said The minister noted that the process was guided by the new framework of the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy NATIP 2022 2027 launched in August According to him NATIP seeks to modernise the agriculture sector in line with changing global food systems and supply chains Actually NATIP is the ministry s response to the present administration agenda of diversifying the nation s economy from petroleum oil based to agriculture and solid minerals The document serves as successor policy of the Agricultural Promotion Policy APP 2016 2020 he added The Minister of State for Agriculture Mr Mustapha Shehuri said government was intensifying efforts on commodity value chain development process to grow agriculture and diversify the economy Shehuri stated that such efforts would ensure food security and empower the citizenry through public private partnership The minister of state further said that government would use infrastructure technology and entrepreneurship as veritable tools for exploring agricultural potential He added that government also intended to use infrastracture and technology in strengthening inter and intra sectoral linkages and improving socio economic development in the country The President All Farmers Association AFAN Dr Rabiu Mudi commended the FMARD for taking its pride of place in Nigeria However he said that though there was hunger in the land there was urgent need to strategise to boost agriculture and reduce the hunger The News Agency of Nigeria reports that commissioners permanent secretaries and directors of agriculture attended the meeting Abdulrahman NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Agriculture contributes 23% to GDP in 2022 – Minister  
     The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development FMARD Dr Mohammad Abubakar on Thursday said the agriculture sector contributed 23 per cent to the nation s Gross Domestic Products GDP in first half of 2022 Abubakar stated this in his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 45th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development NCARD in Jos The minister said the figure was from National Bureau of Statistics recent report According to him the report indicated that the sector topped the chart in a survey of seven sectors identified to have contributed to Nigeria s economy in the second quarter of 2022 He emphasised that agriculture out performed six other sectors comprising trade telecommunications manufacturing oil and gas real estate as well as finance and insurance The chart revealed that agriculture alone contributed 23 3 per cent to GDP Half Year 2022 which supports the positive trend of the previous years performance of 25 88 per cent 2021 26 21 per cent 2020 25 16 per cent 2019 25 13 per cent 2018 25 08 per cent 2017 24 45 per cent 2016 and 23 11 per cent 2015 The data also reflects the impact of the implementation of programmes and projects in the agricultural sector despite the security challenges in the country To further improve on performance we are strengthening the linkage between research agriculture and industry by intensifying our commodity value chain development process he said The minister noted that the process was guided by the new framework of the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy NATIP 2022 2027 launched in August According to him NATIP seeks to modernise the agriculture sector in line with changing global food systems and supply chains Actually NATIP is the ministry s response to the present administration agenda of diversifying the nation s economy from petroleum oil based to agriculture and solid minerals The document serves as successor policy of the Agricultural Promotion Policy APP 2016 2020 he added The Minister of State for Agriculture Mr Mustapha Shehuri said government was intensifying efforts on commodity value chain development process to grow agriculture and diversify the economy Shehuri stated that such efforts would ensure food security and empower the citizenry through public private partnership The minister of state further said that government would use infrastructure technology and entrepreneurship as veritable tools for exploring agricultural potential He added that government also intended to use infrastracture and technology in strengthening inter and intra sectoral linkages and improving socio economic development in the country The President All Farmers Association AFAN Dr Rabiu Mudi commended the FMARD for taking its pride of place in Nigeria However he said that though there was hunger in the land there was urgent need to strategise to boost agriculture and reduce the hunger The News Agency of Nigeria reports that commissioners permanent secretaries and directors of agriculture attended the meeting Abdulrahman NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Agriculture contributes 23% to GDP in 2022 – Minister  
    General news3 weeks ago

    Agriculture contributes 23% to GDP in 2022 – Minister  

    The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Dr Mohammad Abubakar, on Thursday said the agriculture sector contributed 23 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) in first half of 2022.    Abubakar stated this in his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 45th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development (NCARD) in JosThe minister said the figure was from National Bureau of Statistics recent report.

    According to him, the report indicated that the sector topped the chart in a survey of seven sectors identified to have contributed to Nigeria’s economy in the second quarter of 2022.He emphasised that agriculture out-performed six other sectors comprising trade, telecommunications, manufacturing, oil and gas, real estate as well as finance and insurance.

    “The chart revealed that agriculture alone contributed 23.3 per cent to GDP (Half Year 2022), which supports the positive trend of the previous years’ performance of 25.88 per cent  (2021); 26.21 per cent (2020); 25.16 per cent (2019); 25.13 per cent (2018); 25.08 per cent (2017); 24.45 per cent (2016) and 23.11 per cent (2015).

    “The data also reflects the impact of the implementation of programmes and projects in the agricultural sector despite the security challenges in the country.

    “To further improve on performance, we are strengthening the linkage between research, agriculture and industry by intensifying our commodity value chain development process,” he said.

    The minister noted that the process was guided by the new framework of the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy (NATIP), 2022-2027, launched in August.

    According to him,  NATIP seeks to modernise the agriculture sector in line with changing global food systems and supply chains.

    “Actually, NATIP is the ministry’s response to the present administration agenda of diversifying the nation’s economy from petroleum oil-based to agriculture and solid minerals.

    “The document serves as successor policy of the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP), 2016-2020,”he added.

    The Minister of State for Agriculture, Mr Mustapha  Shehuri, said government was intensifying efforts on commodity value chain development process to grow agriculture and diversify the economy.

    Shehuri stated that such efforts would ensure food security and empower the citizenry through public-private-partnership.

    The minister of state further said that government would use infrastructure, technology and entrepreneurship as veritable tools for exploring agricultural potential.

    He added that government also intended to use infrastracture and technology in strengthening inter-and intra-sectoral linkages and improving socio-economic development in the country.

    The President, All Farmers Association (AFAN), Dr Rabiu Mudi, commended the FMARD for taking its pride of place in Nigeria.

    However, he said that though, there was hunger in the land, there was urgent need to strategise, to boost agriculture and reduce the hunger.

    The News Agency of Nigeria reports that commissioners, permanent secretaries and directors of agriculture attended the meeting.  

    Abdulrahman
    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Stakeholders in agriculture in the South East have proferred long term solutions to the perennial deficits in the nation s strategic food reserves A cross section of the people who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria identified insecurity and knowledge gap as the major challenges that should be urgently addressed In Enugu respondents say the onus lies on the Federal Government to take drastic measures to end the lingering farmers herders clashes in agrarian communities in different parts of the country They further argued that the nation had the capacity to produce suffient food to feed its citizens all year round but hinged the deficit on huge post harvest losses They also called for Federal Government s deliberate policy that could sufficiently address the knowledge gap on how to permanently checkmate the post harvest losses and boost the nation s strategic food reserves A renowned farmer Mr Vincent Akama said that post harvest losses could be checked if farmers could be taught the best agronomy practices including the cultivation of pest resistant seedlings According to Akama the good agronomy practices will teach farmers to plant more of organic crops in addition to the ways to preserve the farm produce in the best post harvest method without depending on harmful chemicals Also a farmer and produce marketer in Enugu Mr Innocent Nweke urged government at all levels to encourage produce off takers with loans to ensure that they buy off produce from rural farmers to avoid post harvest losses arising from poor sales Produce off takers should be supported to own trucks that will go into the hinterlands to collect farm produce and pay farmers reasonably to sustain their farming business Nweke said Mr Eddy Ugwu a senior official of the Enugu State Ministry of Agriculture opined that insecurity remained the bane of the nation s perennial food crisis Ugwu also a practicing farmer said that many farmers were now scared to either go to cultivate or harvest at the end of the farming season due to the incessant farmers herders clashes He argued that the delays in going to harvest in due season because of the activities of herders in rural communities leave the produce to perish He said I believe if the issue of insecurity is dealt with the post harvest losses will definitely reduce Again more people will go into farming if only to feed their immediate families following the high cost of food items in the market In Abia some stakeholders urged State Governments to build silos in Local Government Areas to adequately address the issue of post harvest losses which has become an annual experience They said that the initiative would help to strengthen Federal Government s efforts to boost food security in the country The Southeast Coordinator of All Farmers Association of Nigeria AFAN Chief Dunlop Okoro said that food reserves play a vital role in preventing food shortage in every economy Okoro said that the war between Ukraine and Russia had affected the supply of grains across the world adding that the Federal Government should intensify efforts to boost its food reserves State Governments can target to have their own food reserves in every local government area The Federal Government can also assist by having its own food reserves built across the states of the federation There should also be some intervention to boost agriculture for increased production of food for the reserves he said Okoro further advised the government to create a fool proof system that would ensure its intervention in agriculture is safely delivered to the real farmers He said that having strategic food reserves across the country required an all inclusive effort by all the statekeholders Another farmer Mr Charles Agbara said that building strategic food reserves in the hinterlands would be more beneficial given that they would be more accessible to farmers Agbara proposed that the facilities when built should be handed over to Farmers Cooperative Societies to manage in the rural areas especially to source for farm produce for the food reserves Another farmer Mr Imeremba Imeremba said that the amount of loss recorded during post harvest season was enormous and could be prevented if the government builds food reserves in every locality Imeremba said that it was essential for the government to set up an off taking mechanism to ensure that such food reserves would be deployed to their full capacity Also stakeholders in Imo called on the Federal Government to provide more farm inputs for farmers to help boost food production The state Chairman of AFAN Dr Vitus Enwerem said that Nigeria s strategic food reserves were largely depleted during the COVID 19 pandemic hence the need to restock them against the rainy day According to Enwerem inputs such as fertilizer chemicals and seeds when made available would enhance food production for consumption and storage He said Farmers need farm inputs to meet the increasing demand in food for both consumption and storage During the pandemic when farmers could no longer go to their farms we fell back to our reserves If anything happens now that would require going to our reserves there will be catastrophe because the reserves have yet to be replenished Imo received six trailer loads of grains during the pandemic other states received theirs too so there is need to restock what had been used up Food stuffs are expensive and farmers need assistance to boost production for consumption and strategic storage In Ebonyi stakeholders in the agricultural sector underscored the need for the Federal and State Governments to upgrade the silos in states to beef up food reserves in the country They said that making the silos more functional would go a long way in minimising post harvest losses of farm produce They also recommended the establishment of farm settlements and possible ways to encourage local storage among rural farmers Mr Jonah Eke said there was a need for government to create an enabling environment to grow modern agriculture practices in the country Eke said that modern farms should have regular power water and other social amenities He also said that there should be government intervention for prospective farmers to acquire farmlands with ease He further called for the provision of irrigation system for an all season farming to guarantee food sufficiency He also advocated for the provision of improved seedlings loans fertilisers and other agro allied inputs Mrs Apolonia Aligwe advised that existing agricultural facilities should be regularly maintained for optimal performance Modern farming techniques should be installed to effectively preserve seedlings crops and farm produce Aligwe said Mr Magnus Nwedu also advised government at all levels to set up supervisory and monitoring units to take charge of the food reserves in the country In Anambra the story about post harvest losses in farm produce was positively different A NAN investigation showed that the state recorded minimal losses due to the prevailing value chain on rice and cassava The state also has a deliberate policy in place for the engagement of off takers in farm produce The development makes it imperative for government to provide more storage tanks to meet the need of farmers Mr Chidozie Obi Head of Engineering Department Ministry of Agriculture said that more tractors silos and irrigation system were needed to encourage bumper harvest at the end of the farming season The only silo built by the Federal Government is being managed by Coscharis Farms The state has been recording less post harvest losses so far due to our approach in the engagement of off takers Obi said He also said that the State Government would soon set up coconut and palm oil industries as part of its policy on industrialisation in the agricultural sector Mr Chris Okoli the Programme Manager of Sasakawa Global and agro allied company called on farmers to turn to organic fertilizers for better yields rather than the inorganic fertilizers The truth is that for our post harvest crops to enhance our bodies and be accepted internationally we should cultivate our crops with organic fertilizers We teach farmers the way to practice regenerative agriculture nutritional sensitive agriculture and market oriented agriculture which makes post harvest produce waste minimal Okoli said Reporters NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Stakeholders in S’East profer solutions to deficit in strategic food reserves – NAN Survey
     Stakeholders in agriculture in the South East have proferred long term solutions to the perennial deficits in the nation s strategic food reserves A cross section of the people who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria identified insecurity and knowledge gap as the major challenges that should be urgently addressed In Enugu respondents say the onus lies on the Federal Government to take drastic measures to end the lingering farmers herders clashes in agrarian communities in different parts of the country They further argued that the nation had the capacity to produce suffient food to feed its citizens all year round but hinged the deficit on huge post harvest losses They also called for Federal Government s deliberate policy that could sufficiently address the knowledge gap on how to permanently checkmate the post harvest losses and boost the nation s strategic food reserves A renowned farmer Mr Vincent Akama said that post harvest losses could be checked if farmers could be taught the best agronomy practices including the cultivation of pest resistant seedlings According to Akama the good agronomy practices will teach farmers to plant more of organic crops in addition to the ways to preserve the farm produce in the best post harvest method without depending on harmful chemicals Also a farmer and produce marketer in Enugu Mr Innocent Nweke urged government at all levels to encourage produce off takers with loans to ensure that they buy off produce from rural farmers to avoid post harvest losses arising from poor sales Produce off takers should be supported to own trucks that will go into the hinterlands to collect farm produce and pay farmers reasonably to sustain their farming business Nweke said Mr Eddy Ugwu a senior official of the Enugu State Ministry of Agriculture opined that insecurity remained the bane of the nation s perennial food crisis Ugwu also a practicing farmer said that many farmers were now scared to either go to cultivate or harvest at the end of the farming season due to the incessant farmers herders clashes He argued that the delays in going to harvest in due season because of the activities of herders in rural communities leave the produce to perish He said I believe if the issue of insecurity is dealt with the post harvest losses will definitely reduce Again more people will go into farming if only to feed their immediate families following the high cost of food items in the market In Abia some stakeholders urged State Governments to build silos in Local Government Areas to adequately address the issue of post harvest losses which has become an annual experience They said that the initiative would help to strengthen Federal Government s efforts to boost food security in the country The Southeast Coordinator of All Farmers Association of Nigeria AFAN Chief Dunlop Okoro said that food reserves play a vital role in preventing food shortage in every economy Okoro said that the war between Ukraine and Russia had affected the supply of grains across the world adding that the Federal Government should intensify efforts to boost its food reserves State Governments can target to have their own food reserves in every local government area The Federal Government can also assist by having its own food reserves built across the states of the federation There should also be some intervention to boost agriculture for increased production of food for the reserves he said Okoro further advised the government to create a fool proof system that would ensure its intervention in agriculture is safely delivered to the real farmers He said that having strategic food reserves across the country required an all inclusive effort by all the statekeholders Another farmer Mr Charles Agbara said that building strategic food reserves in the hinterlands would be more beneficial given that they would be more accessible to farmers Agbara proposed that the facilities when built should be handed over to Farmers Cooperative Societies to manage in the rural areas especially to source for farm produce for the food reserves Another farmer Mr Imeremba Imeremba said that the amount of loss recorded during post harvest season was enormous and could be prevented if the government builds food reserves in every locality Imeremba said that it was essential for the government to set up an off taking mechanism to ensure that such food reserves would be deployed to their full capacity Also stakeholders in Imo called on the Federal Government to provide more farm inputs for farmers to help boost food production The state Chairman of AFAN Dr Vitus Enwerem said that Nigeria s strategic food reserves were largely depleted during the COVID 19 pandemic hence the need to restock them against the rainy day According to Enwerem inputs such as fertilizer chemicals and seeds when made available would enhance food production for consumption and storage He said Farmers need farm inputs to meet the increasing demand in food for both consumption and storage During the pandemic when farmers could no longer go to their farms we fell back to our reserves If anything happens now that would require going to our reserves there will be catastrophe because the reserves have yet to be replenished Imo received six trailer loads of grains during the pandemic other states received theirs too so there is need to restock what had been used up Food stuffs are expensive and farmers need assistance to boost production for consumption and strategic storage In Ebonyi stakeholders in the agricultural sector underscored the need for the Federal and State Governments to upgrade the silos in states to beef up food reserves in the country They said that making the silos more functional would go a long way in minimising post harvest losses of farm produce They also recommended the establishment of farm settlements and possible ways to encourage local storage among rural farmers Mr Jonah Eke said there was a need for government to create an enabling environment to grow modern agriculture practices in the country Eke said that modern farms should have regular power water and other social amenities He also said that there should be government intervention for prospective farmers to acquire farmlands with ease He further called for the provision of irrigation system for an all season farming to guarantee food sufficiency He also advocated for the provision of improved seedlings loans fertilisers and other agro allied inputs Mrs Apolonia Aligwe advised that existing agricultural facilities should be regularly maintained for optimal performance Modern farming techniques should be installed to effectively preserve seedlings crops and farm produce Aligwe said Mr Magnus Nwedu also advised government at all levels to set up supervisory and monitoring units to take charge of the food reserves in the country In Anambra the story about post harvest losses in farm produce was positively different A NAN investigation showed that the state recorded minimal losses due to the prevailing value chain on rice and cassava The state also has a deliberate policy in place for the engagement of off takers in farm produce The development makes it imperative for government to provide more storage tanks to meet the need of farmers Mr Chidozie Obi Head of Engineering Department Ministry of Agriculture said that more tractors silos and irrigation system were needed to encourage bumper harvest at the end of the farming season The only silo built by the Federal Government is being managed by Coscharis Farms The state has been recording less post harvest losses so far due to our approach in the engagement of off takers Obi said He also said that the State Government would soon set up coconut and palm oil industries as part of its policy on industrialisation in the agricultural sector Mr Chris Okoli the Programme Manager of Sasakawa Global and agro allied company called on farmers to turn to organic fertilizers for better yields rather than the inorganic fertilizers The truth is that for our post harvest crops to enhance our bodies and be accepted internationally we should cultivate our crops with organic fertilizers We teach farmers the way to practice regenerative agriculture nutritional sensitive agriculture and market oriented agriculture which makes post harvest produce waste minimal Okoli said Reporters NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Stakeholders in S’East profer solutions to deficit in strategic food reserves – NAN Survey
    General news3 weeks ago

    Stakeholders in S’East profer solutions to deficit in strategic food reserves – NAN Survey

    Stakeholders in agriculture in the South-East have proferred long-term solutions to the perennial deficits in the nation’s strategic food reserves.

    A cross-section of the people, who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria , identified insecurity and knowledge gap as the major challenges that should be urgently addressed.

    In Enugu, respondents say the onus lies on the Federal Government to take drastic measures to end the lingering farmers-herders clashes in agrarian communities in different parts of the country.

    They further argued that the nation had the capacity to produce suffient food to feed its citizens all-year-round but hinged the deficit on huge post-harvest losses.

    They also called for Federal Government’s deliberate policy that could sufficiently address the knowledge gap on how to permanently checkmate the post-harvest losses and boost the nation’s strategic food reserves.

    A renowned farmer, Mr Vincent Akama, said that post-harvest losses could be checked, if farmers could be taught the best agronomy practices, including the cultivation of pest-resistant seedlings.

    According to Akama, the good agronomy practices will teach farmers to plant more of organic crops, in addition to the ways to preserve the farm produce in the best post-harvest method, without depending on harmful chemicals.

    Also, a farmer and produce marketer in Enugu, Mr Innocent Nweke, urged government at all levels to encourage produce off-takers with loans to ensure that they buy off produce from rural farmers to avoid post-harvest losses arising from poor sales.

    “Produce off-takers should be supported to own trucks that will go into the hinterlands to collect farm produce and pay farmers reasonably to sustain their farming business,” Nweke said.

    Mr Eddy Ugwu, a senior official of the Enugu State Ministry of Agriculture, opined that insecurity remained the bane of the nation’s perennial food crisis.

    Ugwu, also a practicing farmer, said that many farmers were now scared to either go to cultivate or harvest at the end of the farming season due to the incessant farmers-herders clashes.

    He argued that the delays in going to harvest in due season because of the activities of herders in rural communities leave the produce to perish.

    He said: “I believe if the issue of insecurity is dealt with, the post-harvest losses will definitely reduce.

    “Again, more people will go into farming, if only to feed their immediate families, following the high cost of food items in the market.

    ” In Abia, some stakeholders urged State Governments to build silos in Local Government Areas to adequately address the issue of post-harvest losses, which has become an annual experience.

    They said that the initiative would help to strengthen Federal Government’s efforts to boost food security in the country.

    The Southeast Coordinator of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Chief Dunlop Okoro, said that food reserves play a vital role in preventing food shortage in every economy.

    Okoro said that the war between Ukraine and Russia had affected the supply of grains across the world, adding that the Federal Government should intensify efforts to boost its food reserves.

    “State Governments can target to have their own food reserves in every local government area.

    “The Federal Government can also assist by having its own food reserves built across the states of the federation.

    “There should also be some intervention to boost agriculture for increased production of food for the reserves,” he said.

    Okoro further advised the government to create a fool proof system that would ensure its intervention in agriculture is safely delivered to the real farmers.

    He said that having strategic food reserves across the country required an all-inclusive effort by all the statekeholders.

    Another farmer, Mr Charles Agbara, said that building strategic food reserves in the hinterlands would be more beneficial, given that they would be more accessible to farmers.

    Agbara proposed that the facilities, when built, should be handed over to Farmers’ Cooperative Societies to manage in the rural areas, especially to source for farm produce for the food reserves Another farmer, Mr Imeremba Imeremba, said that the amount of loss recorded during post-harvest season was enormous and could be prevented “if the government builds food reserves in every locality”.

    Imeremba said that it was essential for the government to set up an off-taking mechanism to ensure that such food reserves would be deployed to their full capacity.

    Also, stakeholders in Imo called on the Federal Government to provide more farm inputs for farmers to help boost food production.

    The state Chairman of AFAN, Dr Vitus Enwerem, said that Nigeria’s strategic food reserves were largely depleted during the COVID-19 pandemic, hence the need to restock them against the rainy day.

    According to Enwerem, inputs, such as fertilizer, chemicals and seeds, when made available, would enhance food production for consumption and storage.

    He said: “Farmers need farm inputs to meet the increasing demand in food for both consumption and storage.

    “During the pandemic, when farmers could no longer go to their farms, we fell back to our reserves.

    “If anything happens now that would require going to our reserves, there will be catastrophe because the reserves have yet to be replenished.

    “Imo received six trailer loads of grains during the pandemic, other states received theirs too, so there is need to restock what had been used up.

    “Food stuffs are expensive and farmers need assistance to boost production for consumption and strategic storage.

    ” In Ebonyi, stakeholders in the agricultural sector underscored the need for the Federal and State Governments to upgrade the silos in states to beef up food reserves in the country.

    They said that making the silos more functional would go a long way in minimising post-harvest losses of farm produce.

    They also recommended the establishment of farm settlements and possible ways to encourage local storage among rural farmers.

    Mr Jonah Eke said there was a need for government to create an enabling environment to grow modern agriculture practices in the country.

    Eke said that modern farms should have regular power, water and other social amenities.

    He also said that there should be government intervention for prospective farmers to acquire farmlands with ease.

    He further called for the provision of irrigation system for an all-season farming to guarantee food sufficiency.

    He also advocated for the provision of improved seedlings, loans, fertilisers and other agro-allied inputs.

    Mrs Apolonia Aligwe advised that existing agricultural facilities should be regularly maintained for optimal performance.

    “Modern farming techniques should be installed to effectively preserve seedlings, crops and farm produce,” Aligwe said.

    Mr Magnus Nwedu also advised government at all levels to set up supervisory and monitoring units to take charge of the food reserves in the country.

    In Anambra, the story about post-harvest losses in farm produce was positively different.

    A NAN investigation showed that the state recorded minimal losses due to the prevailing value chain on rice and cassava.

    The state also has a deliberate policy in place for the engagement of off-takers in farm produce.

    The development makes it imperative for government to provide more storage tanks to meet the need of farmers.

    Mr Chidozie Obi, Head of Engineering Department, Ministry of Agriculture, said that more tractors, silos and irrigation system were needed to encourage bumper harvest at the end of the farming season.

    “The only silo built by the Federal Government is being managed by Coscharis Farms.

    “The state has been recording less post-harvest losses so far due to our approach in the engagement of off-takers,” Obi said.

    He also said that the State Government would soon set up coconut and palm oil industries, as part of its policy on industrialisation in the agricultural sector.

    Mr Chris Okoli, the Programme Manager of Sasakawa Global, and agro-allied company, called on farmers to turn to organic fertilizers for better yields rather than the inorganic fertilizers.

    “The truth is that for our post-harvest crops to enhance our bodies and be accepted internationally, we should cultivate our crops with organic fertilizers.

    “We teach farmers the way to practice regenerative agriculture, nutritional sensitive agriculture and market- oriented agriculture, which makes post-harvest produce waste minimal,” Okoli said.

    Reporters
    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  A group of concerned football stakeholders has announced the formation of an Association of Football Administrators in Nigeria AFAN to help set a standard for football administration in the country This is contained in a statement by Godwin Bamigboye Chairman Grassroots Sports and Marketing GSM Ltd and made available to newsmen on Saturday in Abuja Bamigboye who doubles as the interim National Coordinator of AFAN said the association was borne out of the need to set a standard for football administration in Nigeria AFAN is an independent body that will be made up of football administrators at all levels There is the need to set a standard for football administration in Nigeria and evolve a template for leadership recruitment into the Nigeria Football Federation NFF and States Football Associations I have consulted with a number of football administrators and still reaching out to others in my capacity as interim national coordinator of the association he said He expressed optimism that the formation of the association would serve as antidote to the rather poor football administration in the country adding that it would unveil more of its plans in due course NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Group forms association to set standard for football administration in Nigeria
     A group of concerned football stakeholders has announced the formation of an Association of Football Administrators in Nigeria AFAN to help set a standard for football administration in the country This is contained in a statement by Godwin Bamigboye Chairman Grassroots Sports and Marketing GSM Ltd and made available to newsmen on Saturday in Abuja Bamigboye who doubles as the interim National Coordinator of AFAN said the association was borne out of the need to set a standard for football administration in Nigeria AFAN is an independent body that will be made up of football administrators at all levels There is the need to set a standard for football administration in Nigeria and evolve a template for leadership recruitment into the Nigeria Football Federation NFF and States Football Associations I have consulted with a number of football administrators and still reaching out to others in my capacity as interim national coordinator of the association he said He expressed optimism that the formation of the association would serve as antidote to the rather poor football administration in the country adding that it would unveil more of its plans in due course NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Group forms association to set standard for football administration in Nigeria
    General news3 weeks ago

    Group forms association to set standard for football administration in Nigeria

    A group of concerned football stakeholders, has announced the formation of an Association of Football Administrators in Nigeria (AFAN) to help set a standard for football administration in the country.

    This is contained in a statement by Godwin Bamigboye, Chairman, Grassroots Sports and Marketing (GSM) Ltd and  made available to newsmen on Saturday in Abuja.

    Bamigboye, who doubles as the interim National Coordinator of AFAN, said the association was borne out of the need to set a standard for football administration in Nigeria.

    “AFAN is an independent body that will be made up of football administrators at all levels.

    “There is the need to set a standard for football administration in Nigeria and evolve a template for leadership recruitment into the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and States’ Football Associations.

    “I have consulted with a number of football administrators and still reaching out to others in my capacity as interim national coordinator of the association, ” he said.

    He expressed optimism that the formation of the association would serve as antidote to the rather poor football administration in the country, adding that it would unveil more of its plans in due course.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Some stakeholders in Biosafety Sector on Wednesday kicked against the amendment to the National Biosafety Management Agency Act NABDA The stakeholders expressed their reservations on the bill at a public hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Environment The bill was sponsored Sen Yahaya Abdullahi PDP Kebbi Abdullahi had in the proposed amendment sought for strict regulation on foods that are genetically modified and perceived as health hazards He had specifically sought for labelling of Genetically Modified Foods GMF in the country for consumers to understand the difference between the GMF and natural ones He had recommended sanctions against violation of the proposed law However at the public hearing virtually all the stakeholders in the biosafety sector rejected the proposed legislation in separate submissions The Director General of National Bio Technology Development Agency NABDA Prof Abdullahi Mustapha said the proposed amendment of the act was unnecessary According to him NABDA and other relevant agencies have been carrying out the regulation being sought for in preventing consumption of toxic chemicals by Nigerians There is no reason there is no justification for the proposed legislation as NABDA has made significant achievements on agriculture and vaccines production towards checkmating consumption of toxic chemicals from modified foods and addressing the problem of insecurity It is on this achievement that President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the bill now Act making NABDA to embark on wide range of research work and accessing international grants for its scientifically and technologically driven bio technology development he said The President of All Farmers Association in Nigeria AFAN Mr Kabiru Ibrahim also rejected the bill saying that Nigerian farmers were up to the responsibility of providing food sufficiency in the country The Executive Director Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights Mr Frank Tiete said accepting the proposal would amount to violation of treaty entered into by Nigeria through the existing Act with 173 other countries across the globe The 173 countries have ratified the protocol that had been domesticated as law in Nigeria There is absolutely no need for the amendment of this law The are calls for amendment is simply open doors for confusion open doors of vexations and frivolous gold digging litigation An amendment in law and practice is as a result of where there is a mischief Our submission is that the entirety of the proposed amendment is needless it is inadvertently going to cause confusion excite gold digging litigations It will discourage scientists from innovation biotechnology has helped the whole world he said Some members of the committee and Vice Chairman Senators Hassan Hadeijia Nnachi Michael among others also kicked against the bill NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Stakeholders in Biosafety sector reject proposed amendment to NABDA Act
     Some stakeholders in Biosafety Sector on Wednesday kicked against the amendment to the National Biosafety Management Agency Act NABDA The stakeholders expressed their reservations on the bill at a public hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Environment The bill was sponsored Sen Yahaya Abdullahi PDP Kebbi Abdullahi had in the proposed amendment sought for strict regulation on foods that are genetically modified and perceived as health hazards He had specifically sought for labelling of Genetically Modified Foods GMF in the country for consumers to understand the difference between the GMF and natural ones He had recommended sanctions against violation of the proposed law However at the public hearing virtually all the stakeholders in the biosafety sector rejected the proposed legislation in separate submissions The Director General of National Bio Technology Development Agency NABDA Prof Abdullahi Mustapha said the proposed amendment of the act was unnecessary According to him NABDA and other relevant agencies have been carrying out the regulation being sought for in preventing consumption of toxic chemicals by Nigerians There is no reason there is no justification for the proposed legislation as NABDA has made significant achievements on agriculture and vaccines production towards checkmating consumption of toxic chemicals from modified foods and addressing the problem of insecurity It is on this achievement that President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the bill now Act making NABDA to embark on wide range of research work and accessing international grants for its scientifically and technologically driven bio technology development he said The President of All Farmers Association in Nigeria AFAN Mr Kabiru Ibrahim also rejected the bill saying that Nigerian farmers were up to the responsibility of providing food sufficiency in the country The Executive Director Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights Mr Frank Tiete said accepting the proposal would amount to violation of treaty entered into by Nigeria through the existing Act with 173 other countries across the globe The 173 countries have ratified the protocol that had been domesticated as law in Nigeria There is absolutely no need for the amendment of this law The are calls for amendment is simply open doors for confusion open doors of vexations and frivolous gold digging litigation An amendment in law and practice is as a result of where there is a mischief Our submission is that the entirety of the proposed amendment is needless it is inadvertently going to cause confusion excite gold digging litigations It will discourage scientists from innovation biotechnology has helped the whole world he said Some members of the committee and Vice Chairman Senators Hassan Hadeijia Nnachi Michael among others also kicked against the bill NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Stakeholders in Biosafety sector reject proposed amendment to NABDA Act
    General news1 month ago

    Stakeholders in Biosafety sector reject proposed amendment to NABDA Act

    Some stakeholders in Biosafety Sector on Wednesday kicked against the amendment to the National Biosafety Management Agency Act ( NABDA), The stakeholders expressed their reservations on the bill at a public hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Environment.

    The bill was sponsored Sen.Yahaya Abdullahi.

    (PDP- Kebbi).

    Abdullahi had in the proposed amendment sought for strict regulation on foods that are genetically modified and perceived as health hazards .

    He had specifically sought for labelling of Genetically Modified Foods (GMF) in the country for consumers to understand the difference between the GMF and natural ones.

    He had recommended sanctions against violation of the proposed law.

    However, at the public hearing, virtually all the stakeholders in the biosafety sector rejected the proposed legislation in separate submissions.

    The Director’General of National Bio – Technology Development Agency ( NABDA), Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha said the proposed amendment of the act was unnecessary .

    According to him , NABDA and other relevant agencies have been carrying out the regulation being sought for in preventing consumption of toxic chemicals by Nigerians .

    ” There is no reason; there is no justification for the proposed legislation as NABDA has made significant achievements on agriculture and vaccines production towards checkmating consumption of toxic chemicals from modified foods and addressing the problem of insecurity .

    ” It is on this achievement that President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the bill now Act, making NABDA to embark on wide range of research work and accessing international grants for its scientifically and technologically driven bio – technology development ” he said .

    The President of All Farmers Association in Nigeria ( AFAN) ,Mr Kabiru Ibrahim also rejected the bill, saying that Nigerian farmers were up to the responsibility of providing food sufficiency in the country .

    The Executive Director, Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights, Mr. Frank Tiete , said accepting the proposal would amount to violation of treaty entered into by Nigeria through the existing Act with 173 other countries across the globe .

    “The 173 countries have ratified the protocol that had been domesticated as law in Nigeria.

    “There is absolutely no need for the amendment of this law.

    “The are calls for amendment is simply open doors for confusion, open doors of vexations and frivolous gold digging litigation.

    “An amendment in law and practice is as a result of where there is a mischief.

    “Our submission is that the entirety of the proposed amendment is needless, it is inadvertently going to cause confusion, excite gold digging litigations.

    “It will discourage scientists from innovation, biotechnology has helped the whole world,” he said.

    Some members of the committee and Vice Chairman, Senators Hassan Hadeijia, Nnachi Michael among others also kicked against the bill.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Stakeholders in the agricultural sector across the South West zone have expressed concern over the rising cost of fertilisers with its attendant low crop yield per hectare and shortage of food in Nigeria They spoke separately with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday appealing to the three tiers of governments to take over direct supply and distribution of the product from private individuals and corporate groups In a survey conducted in Ibadan Ado Ekiti Akure Abeokuta Osogbo and Ilorin the respondents said that the situation if not urgently checked could lead to low usage of fertilisers with low productivity of crops as a dire consequence In Ibadan the capital of Oyo State a Crop farmer Mr Olusayo Fadipe described the situation of fertilisers getting out of reach of the farmers as worrisome Fadipe said that without the use of fertilisers the expected crop yield would drop resulting in reduced revenue for farmers According to him any farmer who manages to buy fertilisers at high cost will have to build the increase into his selling price thus making farm produce unaffordable for consumers both individuals and corporate organisations Fadipe therefore called on fertiliser manufacturers in the country to work toward producing at maximum capacity Governments especially at the Federal and State levels should subsidise the cost of fertilisers for the sake of affordability to farmers Farmers cooperative societies should also be encouraged to establish fertiliser selling units close to the farms as logistics support for fertiliser distribution he said Another farmer Prince David Ogundele said that increase in the prices of fertilisers would lead to decrease in the harvest of crops and shortage of food for both human and animal consumption Ogundele said there would also be shortage of raw materials for industries thereby resulting in unemployment and difficulty in refunding bank loans for farmers He encouraged the use of organic fertilisers while calling on the Federal Government to take up the production and distribution of fertilisers without involvement of the middlemen With fertiliser plants not in perfect working condition the Federal Government should intervene in the interest of the farmers and of the country because nobody can do without food he said Commenting Mr Bode RajI the Permanent Secretary Oyo State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources said that the state government has a provision of 25 per cent subsidy on fertilisers for genuine farmers in the state According to Raji fertiliser market has been deregulated in the country implying that government is not directly involved in the distribution of the product However the state government is coming in to give assistance in the area of subsidy provision he said The permanent secretary acknowledged fertilisers as very critical to agriculture without which he said farm activities would not run well He said that the subsidy was to enable the farmers to access the product even at exorbitant prices The state government he said through the ministry s sister agency Oyo State Agriculture Business Development Agency already has genuine data of farmers in the state According to him the ministry has also partnered with various farmers associations to make it easy to identify genuine farmers in every local government area Raji however appealed to farmers to be sincere with the government advising them against reselling the subsidised fertilisers whenever they were supplied to them Also an Agriculturist Matilda Oyewole identified fertiliser as one of the key inputs in agriculture especially in Nigeria So there is a direct proportional increase in the cost of farm produce as prices of fertilisers increase This is because it affects the cost of production in agriculture The more the cost of production goes up the more the selling price goes up And most times fertilisers are difficult to get as they don t get to the grassroots farmers easily When they eventually get to them they are too expensive to bear b Fertilisers are being sold between N25 000 and N45 000 depending on the type of fertiliser you purchased Oyewole said Also Mr John Olateru the Chairman All Farmers Association of Nigeria AFAN Oyo State chapter attributed the increasing cost of fertilisers to the high exchange rate of foreign currencies This has caused a lot of instability in the prices of fertilisers because everything is following the trend of the exchange rate This is an unfortunate situation Furthermore the cost of diesel is not helping matters at all Olateru said Commenting Dr Kola Farinloye an Associate Professor of Agriculture and Forestry at the Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Ondo State said a premium has yet to be paid on how farmers could gain access to fertilisers on time All efforts must be made to ensure that fertilisers are available to our farmers The situation is harsh due to high cost of importation as Nigeria imports 60 to 70 per cent of fertilisers available in the market The exchange rate as well as other factors are reasons why fertilisers are very expensive and beyond the reach of an average farmers Definitely high cost of fertilisers or scarcity of it will lead to high cost of farm produce Farinloye said In Ado Ekiti stakeholders wondered about the nonexistent of at least a fertiliser plant in any part of Ekiti They said that with the agrarian nature of the state and the fact that most of its residents are into either subsistence or market farming the state should have a fertiliser plant According to them having such a plant in the state will ensure ready availability of the product and reduce its cost which is currently staggering A peasant farmer Mr Joel Akanbi said that the state had left its farmers to the mercy of fertiliser merchants who engage in shrouded deals This he said could affect food security as farmers would have to run at losses Another farmer Mrs Folakemi Kayode urged the government to in the alternative guarantee large supplies at cheaper price so as to checkmate activities of those hiking price indiscriminately A raw food seller and farmer Mrs Kemi Oluwaleke said that an urgent intervention from the government was needed in all matters relating to fertilisers if bumper harvest especially during the current rainy season could be achieved According to her fertiliser is the main problem of farmers as a chunk of the profit made from planting and harvesting is taken away by too much of hard labour and the process of seeking alternative means Contributing Mr Oluropo Dada the Chairman AFAN in Ido Osi Local Government area also called for the establishment of at least one fertiliser plant in any part of the state to make it accessible and affordable Dada said that farmers were no longer finding it comfortable to buy the commodity at an open markets and stalls due to its exorbitant price The chairman regretted that many farmers had either abandoned their farms or abandoned the use of fertilisers to source for alternatives such as cow dug and goat faeces among others We no longer buy fertilisers for our farms because they are too expensive for us to afford For example when a fertiliser that is meant to be given to us at subsidised price is being sold for almost N30 000 is to say the least unfair We also do not want the Federal Government to give out fertilisers through government officials or intermediaries anymore Farmers from their respective state and local governments have registered their names at the national level so the fertilisers should be given to us directly at reduced cost he said In his remarks Mr Olatunji Ayegbusi Chairman Farmers Association in Ikole Local Government area urged the government to focus more on the issue of fertilisers and ensure that it was not politicised Commenting the Ekiti Coordinator Federal Ministry of Agriculture Mr Daramola Adeyemi identified the nation s policy issue on fertilisers and the market fall as the major reasons for high cost of the commodity Adeyemi said that initially before the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of former President Goodluck Jonathan and former Minister of Agriculture Mr Akinwumi Adesina government was involved in the procurement and distribution of fertilisers but later the policy changed He explained that after the administration President Muhammadu Buhari led administration after studying the programme and discovered that certain things were not working well and that the policy was not sustainable it suspended it Adeyemi said under a new arrangement government pegged its price at a particular rate According to him the problem now is the agro dealers handling purchase and distribution who came up with production cost different from state to state Not all states have blending machines hence the disparity in the prices of fertilisers in spite of the fact that the price is pegged at a reasonable amount by the Federal Government The states that have blending machines procured cheaper fertilisers than states without any of the machines For instance Ekiti does not have a blending machine they took the produce to Kaduna for blending and by the time it is blended and transported back here the cost of transportation will be added which makes for the high cost he said Adeyemi also identified the War as another contributing factor to the rise in the prices of fertilisers But having realised this the ministry still supports farmers in term of inputs at subsidised rate under some special programmes as inaugurated by the government The Federal Government is no longer involved in the procurement and distribution the only thing government does for farmers is to provide special interventions and supports This is where the issue of middlemen came in because some rich men mopped up to resell at exorbitant prices he said Another agriculture expert Mr James Ibitoye said that government needed to initiate a bottom up approach by further registering and selling to farmers Ibitoye urged the government to organise seminars for farmers and make use of registered extension agents and facilities getting and analysing feedback from the farmers According to him there are paper farmers who take advantage of the subsidised fertilisers to resell them to the real farmers at exorbitant prices On the way out he called for price control and regulatory agencies branding of the government s subsidised fertilisers and the creation of designated payment units In his reactions Olabode Adetoyi the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security in Ekiti said that the present administration in the state would do everything possible to return agriculture to the front burner According to Adetoyi the drive to regain the status of the state as a food basket of the nation made the government to adopt agriculture as one of its five pillars With this in mind he said the state government had always been protecting farmers interest at all times promising that Gov Kayode Fayemi led administration would not relent in this regard Adetoyi however advised famers to step up patronage of the government s agro outlets where they could buy at controlled prices This he said was to avoid falling into the hands of those sabotaging the government s efforts Meanwhile in Akure capital of Ondo State an Agronomist Mr Clement Emiju told NAN that the few available fertilisers were not affordable to an average farmers Emiju said a bag of fertiliser now costs between N23 000 and N25 000 which is much higher than what we used to have in recent past He said it was worrisome that there was no longer subsidy on fertilisers by the government You know you can t create land and to be able to use the little land you have used repeatedly you need fertilisers When you cultivate a piece of land repeatedly there will be depletion of the soil nutrients and you start looking for fertilisers here and there and when you eventually see it the cost is exorbitant he said Emiju who specialises in cassava yam and maize said he had however shifted his cultivation to groundnut and cowpea due to the inadequacy or non availability of fertilisers in the state I moved to groundnut and cowpea to complement my main area of agriculture because they don t require much fertilisers like others With cowpea and groundnut apart from the fact that they don t require much fertilisers you can plough them back to the soil for soil nutrients he said Emiju therefore appealed to the government to find means of making fertilisers available and at affordable prices in order to ensure food security We will only appeal and advise government to subsidise fertilisers and make them available to farmers since we cannot create land and we can only use the little we have to make more yields for food to be available and to make agriculture profitable As it is no poor or peasant farmer can afford the cost of the available fertiliser he said The agronomist also advised farmers not to depend all the time on inorganic fertilisers saying Though they have faster results they are not environmental friendly like organic fertilisers An organic fertiliser requires large quantity in the soil but its efficiency in the soil is much pronounced Organic fertiliser stabilises soil temperature and it is richer It contains major and minor nutrients he said In Abeokuta Prof Jimoh Olanite of the Department of Pasture and Range Management Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta FUNNAB said that cropping activities would be almost impossible particularly in the Northern part of the country without fertiliser In the Southern part of the country one can still get some yield even without applying fertilisers especially if the soil has not been overused because the soil compared to the Northern part is rich However there is need for use of fertiliser across the nation because research has shown that the more fertiliser you apply up to a certain point the more yield of crop you are likely to get especially for crops like maize and other cereals which require fertilisers like Nitrogen he said The lecturer noted with concern that Nigeria had continued to rank among the countries with low use of fertilisers in the African continent According to him the average use of fertilisers per hectare ranges between 100kg and 200kg per hectare in some African countries while the average use of the product on land in Nigeria is about 50kg per hectare Olanite said there were about 10 fertilisers producing companies in Nigeria adding that majority of them were not operating optimally Our problem is not lack of fertiliser producing firms because we have about 10 of them Nigeria s projected fertiliser need has been put at between five and seven million metric tonnes annually which the companies should be able to produce for the country s consumption and also have excess for export The problem however is that many of these firms don t produce up to half of their installed capacities The newly established Dangote factory in Lagos with a capacity for three million metric tonnes per annum for instance is reported to be producing about half of that figure he said Olanite also said that Nigeria had continued to depend on importation of raw materials to produce its fertiliser blends Noting that Nigeria had comparative advantage in Nitrogen and Limestone he said the country was still largely depending on importation of raw materials like phospate and potash He said that various government s interventions like subsidising the price of fertilisers for farmers had often been hijacked by political farmers Olanite therefore called on the FG to come up with an effective monioring mechanism to ensure that the subsidised fertilisers get to the real farmers for increased productivity In his comments Mr Olusegun Dasaolu the Deputy National President of AFAN noted that the situation had continued to hinder the productive capacity of farmers across the nation The resultant effect of the high cost of fertiliser is food scarcity because farmers have no access to fertilisers that could assist them in planting and making their crops grow well Fertiliser is one key product that assists farmers in growing their produce particularly in the Northern part of the country where they are producing most of the foods In the Southern part of the country our soil is richer and the quantity of the product needed is comparatively low But in the North much is needed because that is where the bulk of the food is grown Unfortunately the prices have continued to soar as a 50kg bag of NPK mostly used by Nigerian small holder farmers is currently about N22 000 while a bag of urea fertiliser is about N19 000 As far as we are concerned as a body of farmers the high cost of available fertiliser in the market now is not palatable and it is not good for a viable business as far as agricultural business is concerned The situation has forced many farmers out of business and the entire country is suffering for it he said Dasaolu however expressed hope that prices of fertilisers might be forced down by the time the newly established Dangote factory finally began to operate in its full capacity He called on the Federal Government to come up with policies directly targeted at making fertilisers available to farmers at affordable prices Contributing Mr Samuel Adeogun the Ogun Programme Coordinator of the Value Chain Development Programme VCDP said that the rising prices of fertiliser was a reflection of the increased cost of its production Adeogun said Once there is an increase in the price of fertiliser it means that the cost of production has gone up Once the cost of production goes up that automatically translates to increase in prices of farm produce because farmers since they are into business must have to recover their cost He said that there had been a global surge in fertiliser prices due to the Russia Ukraine war According to him it is inevitable that the prices of fertilisers will rise in Nigeria since the country depends on importation of raw materials for the production of fertilisers Meanwhile the Chairman of AFAN in Osun Alhaji Sulaiman Araokanmi said that farmers in the state were buying fertilisers at exorbitant prices which in turn had affected the selling price of their farm produce Araokanmi said that the government s subsidised fertilisers were not getting to the farmers In the four years I have been AFAN Chairman in Osun we have never seen or got fertilisers supplied to farmers in the state from the Federal Government At a point I went to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to solicit assistance for farmers in Osun but I was told that fertilisers were not available he said The AFAN chairman said that the Dangote fertilisers promised farmers were also not available in the market Araokanmi said that the fertilisers which farmers were using for their crops were bought from the private business owners in the open market and sold to them at very exorbitant prices Also Mr Folarin Akanni a farm input dealer in Osogbo linked the high cost of the commodity to the high dollar exchange rate and the fact that most fertilisers were being imported Akanni said that in addition to the dollar exchange getting fertilisers supply was also becoming very difficult because of the ongoing war He said that at the moment only urea fertiliser was still available in the market at the rate of N25 000 upwards According to him the most popular and best used fertiliser NPK Golden which is no longer available in the market was last sold between N26 000 and N27 000 Akanni said the production of Dangote fertilisers had been halted for a while adding that it was not available anywhere in the Nigerian market Similarly Chief Julius Akinwande the AFAN Chairman in Ife Central Local Government said that increase in prices of the product had affected farm produce in the country Akinwande said that before now farmers bought fertilisers directly from the goverment at cheaper rates but there was nothing like that again The government s subsidised fertiliser is no longer within the reach of the farmers he said Akinwande called on government to make it available for farmers at the grassroots at subsidised rate with other insecticides for adequate food production In Ilorin Malam Ahmed Shaba of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria Kwara chapter said that some farmers due to the rising costs of normal fertilisers had started using fake fertilisers Shaba said that the fake ones cost as low as N9 000 while original fertiliser cost N25 000 per bag According to him many fraudulent individuals have taken advantage of the fertiliser scarcity to blend and package different substances into sacks as fertilisers These substances he said would later turn into sand after some time We appeal to the Federal Government to come to the aid of farmers so that we can get access to fertilisers for our farms This will in turn help food security across the country he said He warned that application of fake and substandard fertilisers on farmlands could destroy the soil and reduce crop yield as well as affect human health negatively Shaba therefore advised the government to urgently intervene to save the nation from imminent food shortage Also Malam Ahmed Saliu the Zonal Chairman of Amana Farmers and Grain Supply Association of Nigeria said that non availability of the product had affected the output of many farmers Saliu added that non availabiliy of fertilisers would affect the production of many commodities in the country He urged government at all tiers to assist farmers in making fertilisers and other farm inputs available and affordable to enable them produce food in large quantities NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Stakeholders decry rising cost of fertilisers, its attendant low crops yield
     Stakeholders in the agricultural sector across the South West zone have expressed concern over the rising cost of fertilisers with its attendant low crop yield per hectare and shortage of food in Nigeria They spoke separately with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday appealing to the three tiers of governments to take over direct supply and distribution of the product from private individuals and corporate groups In a survey conducted in Ibadan Ado Ekiti Akure Abeokuta Osogbo and Ilorin the respondents said that the situation if not urgently checked could lead to low usage of fertilisers with low productivity of crops as a dire consequence In Ibadan the capital of Oyo State a Crop farmer Mr Olusayo Fadipe described the situation of fertilisers getting out of reach of the farmers as worrisome Fadipe said that without the use of fertilisers the expected crop yield would drop resulting in reduced revenue for farmers According to him any farmer who manages to buy fertilisers at high cost will have to build the increase into his selling price thus making farm produce unaffordable for consumers both individuals and corporate organisations Fadipe therefore called on fertiliser manufacturers in the country to work toward producing at maximum capacity Governments especially at the Federal and State levels should subsidise the cost of fertilisers for the sake of affordability to farmers Farmers cooperative societies should also be encouraged to establish fertiliser selling units close to the farms as logistics support for fertiliser distribution he said Another farmer Prince David Ogundele said that increase in the prices of fertilisers would lead to decrease in the harvest of crops and shortage of food for both human and animal consumption Ogundele said there would also be shortage of raw materials for industries thereby resulting in unemployment and difficulty in refunding bank loans for farmers He encouraged the use of organic fertilisers while calling on the Federal Government to take up the production and distribution of fertilisers without involvement of the middlemen With fertiliser plants not in perfect working condition the Federal Government should intervene in the interest of the farmers and of the country because nobody can do without food he said Commenting Mr Bode RajI the Permanent Secretary Oyo State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources said that the state government has a provision of 25 per cent subsidy on fertilisers for genuine farmers in the state According to Raji fertiliser market has been deregulated in the country implying that government is not directly involved in the distribution of the product However the state government is coming in to give assistance in the area of subsidy provision he said The permanent secretary acknowledged fertilisers as very critical to agriculture without which he said farm activities would not run well He said that the subsidy was to enable the farmers to access the product even at exorbitant prices The state government he said through the ministry s sister agency Oyo State Agriculture Business Development Agency already has genuine data of farmers in the state According to him the ministry has also partnered with various farmers associations to make it easy to identify genuine farmers in every local government area Raji however appealed to farmers to be sincere with the government advising them against reselling the subsidised fertilisers whenever they were supplied to them Also an Agriculturist Matilda Oyewole identified fertiliser as one of the key inputs in agriculture especially in Nigeria So there is a direct proportional increase in the cost of farm produce as prices of fertilisers increase This is because it affects the cost of production in agriculture The more the cost of production goes up the more the selling price goes up And most times fertilisers are difficult to get as they don t get to the grassroots farmers easily When they eventually get to them they are too expensive to bear b Fertilisers are being sold between N25 000 and N45 000 depending on the type of fertiliser you purchased Oyewole said Also Mr John Olateru the Chairman All Farmers Association of Nigeria AFAN Oyo State chapter attributed the increasing cost of fertilisers to the high exchange rate of foreign currencies This has caused a lot of instability in the prices of fertilisers because everything is following the trend of the exchange rate This is an unfortunate situation Furthermore the cost of diesel is not helping matters at all Olateru said Commenting Dr Kola Farinloye an Associate Professor of Agriculture and Forestry at the Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Ondo State said a premium has yet to be paid on how farmers could gain access to fertilisers on time All efforts must be made to ensure that fertilisers are available to our farmers The situation is harsh due to high cost of importation as Nigeria imports 60 to 70 per cent of fertilisers available in the market The exchange rate as well as other factors are reasons why fertilisers are very expensive and beyond the reach of an average farmers Definitely high cost of fertilisers or scarcity of it will lead to high cost of farm produce Farinloye said In Ado Ekiti stakeholders wondered about the nonexistent of at least a fertiliser plant in any part of Ekiti They said that with the agrarian nature of the state and the fact that most of its residents are into either subsistence or market farming the state should have a fertiliser plant According to them having such a plant in the state will ensure ready availability of the product and reduce its cost which is currently staggering A peasant farmer Mr Joel Akanbi said that the state had left its farmers to the mercy of fertiliser merchants who engage in shrouded deals This he said could affect food security as farmers would have to run at losses Another farmer Mrs Folakemi Kayode urged the government to in the alternative guarantee large supplies at cheaper price so as to checkmate activities of those hiking price indiscriminately A raw food seller and farmer Mrs Kemi Oluwaleke said that an urgent intervention from the government was needed in all matters relating to fertilisers if bumper harvest especially during the current rainy season could be achieved According to her fertiliser is the main problem of farmers as a chunk of the profit made from planting and harvesting is taken away by too much of hard labour and the process of seeking alternative means Contributing Mr Oluropo Dada the Chairman AFAN in Ido Osi Local Government area also called for the establishment of at least one fertiliser plant in any part of the state to make it accessible and affordable Dada said that farmers were no longer finding it comfortable to buy the commodity at an open markets and stalls due to its exorbitant price The chairman regretted that many farmers had either abandoned their farms or abandoned the use of fertilisers to source for alternatives such as cow dug and goat faeces among others We no longer buy fertilisers for our farms because they are too expensive for us to afford For example when a fertiliser that is meant to be given to us at subsidised price is being sold for almost N30 000 is to say the least unfair We also do not want the Federal Government to give out fertilisers through government officials or intermediaries anymore Farmers from their respective state and local governments have registered their names at the national level so the fertilisers should be given to us directly at reduced cost he said In his remarks Mr Olatunji Ayegbusi Chairman Farmers Association in Ikole Local Government area urged the government to focus more on the issue of fertilisers and ensure that it was not politicised Commenting the Ekiti Coordinator Federal Ministry of Agriculture Mr Daramola Adeyemi identified the nation s policy issue on fertilisers and the market fall as the major reasons for high cost of the commodity Adeyemi said that initially before the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of former President Goodluck Jonathan and former Minister of Agriculture Mr Akinwumi Adesina government was involved in the procurement and distribution of fertilisers but later the policy changed He explained that after the administration President Muhammadu Buhari led administration after studying the programme and discovered that certain things were not working well and that the policy was not sustainable it suspended it Adeyemi said under a new arrangement government pegged its price at a particular rate According to him the problem now is the agro dealers handling purchase and distribution who came up with production cost different from state to state Not all states have blending machines hence the disparity in the prices of fertilisers in spite of the fact that the price is pegged at a reasonable amount by the Federal Government The states that have blending machines procured cheaper fertilisers than states without any of the machines For instance Ekiti does not have a blending machine they took the produce to Kaduna for blending and by the time it is blended and transported back here the cost of transportation will be added which makes for the high cost he said Adeyemi also identified the War as another contributing factor to the rise in the prices of fertilisers But having realised this the ministry still supports farmers in term of inputs at subsidised rate under some special programmes as inaugurated by the government The Federal Government is no longer involved in the procurement and distribution the only thing government does for farmers is to provide special interventions and supports This is where the issue of middlemen came in because some rich men mopped up to resell at exorbitant prices he said Another agriculture expert Mr James Ibitoye said that government needed to initiate a bottom up approach by further registering and selling to farmers Ibitoye urged the government to organise seminars for farmers and make use of registered extension agents and facilities getting and analysing feedback from the farmers According to him there are paper farmers who take advantage of the subsidised fertilisers to resell them to the real farmers at exorbitant prices On the way out he called for price control and regulatory agencies branding of the government s subsidised fertilisers and the creation of designated payment units In his reactions Olabode Adetoyi the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security in Ekiti said that the present administration in the state would do everything possible to return agriculture to the front burner According to Adetoyi the drive to regain the status of the state as a food basket of the nation made the government to adopt agriculture as one of its five pillars With this in mind he said the state government had always been protecting farmers interest at all times promising that Gov Kayode Fayemi led administration would not relent in this regard Adetoyi however advised famers to step up patronage of the government s agro outlets where they could buy at controlled prices This he said was to avoid falling into the hands of those sabotaging the government s efforts Meanwhile in Akure capital of Ondo State an Agronomist Mr Clement Emiju told NAN that the few available fertilisers were not affordable to an average farmers Emiju said a bag of fertiliser now costs between N23 000 and N25 000 which is much higher than what we used to have in recent past He said it was worrisome that there was no longer subsidy on fertilisers by the government You know you can t create land and to be able to use the little land you have used repeatedly you need fertilisers When you cultivate a piece of land repeatedly there will be depletion of the soil nutrients and you start looking for fertilisers here and there and when you eventually see it the cost is exorbitant he said Emiju who specialises in cassava yam and maize said he had however shifted his cultivation to groundnut and cowpea due to the inadequacy or non availability of fertilisers in the state I moved to groundnut and cowpea to complement my main area of agriculture because they don t require much fertilisers like others With cowpea and groundnut apart from the fact that they don t require much fertilisers you can plough them back to the soil for soil nutrients he said Emiju therefore appealed to the government to find means of making fertilisers available and at affordable prices in order to ensure food security We will only appeal and advise government to subsidise fertilisers and make them available to farmers since we cannot create land and we can only use the little we have to make more yields for food to be available and to make agriculture profitable As it is no poor or peasant farmer can afford the cost of the available fertiliser he said The agronomist also advised farmers not to depend all the time on inorganic fertilisers saying Though they have faster results they are not environmental friendly like organic fertilisers An organic fertiliser requires large quantity in the soil but its efficiency in the soil is much pronounced Organic fertiliser stabilises soil temperature and it is richer It contains major and minor nutrients he said In Abeokuta Prof Jimoh Olanite of the Department of Pasture and Range Management Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta FUNNAB said that cropping activities would be almost impossible particularly in the Northern part of the country without fertiliser In the Southern part of the country one can still get some yield even without applying fertilisers especially if the soil has not been overused because the soil compared to the Northern part is rich However there is need for use of fertiliser across the nation because research has shown that the more fertiliser you apply up to a certain point the more yield of crop you are likely to get especially for crops like maize and other cereals which require fertilisers like Nitrogen he said The lecturer noted with concern that Nigeria had continued to rank among the countries with low use of fertilisers in the African continent According to him the average use of fertilisers per hectare ranges between 100kg and 200kg per hectare in some African countries while the average use of the product on land in Nigeria is about 50kg per hectare Olanite said there were about 10 fertilisers producing companies in Nigeria adding that majority of them were not operating optimally Our problem is not lack of fertiliser producing firms because we have about 10 of them Nigeria s projected fertiliser need has been put at between five and seven million metric tonnes annually which the companies should be able to produce for the country s consumption and also have excess for export The problem however is that many of these firms don t produce up to half of their installed capacities The newly established Dangote factory in Lagos with a capacity for three million metric tonnes per annum for instance is reported to be producing about half of that figure he said Olanite also said that Nigeria had continued to depend on importation of raw materials to produce its fertiliser blends Noting that Nigeria had comparative advantage in Nitrogen and Limestone he said the country was still largely depending on importation of raw materials like phospate and potash He said that various government s interventions like subsidising the price of fertilisers for farmers had often been hijacked by political farmers Olanite therefore called on the FG to come up with an effective monioring mechanism to ensure that the subsidised fertilisers get to the real farmers for increased productivity In his comments Mr Olusegun Dasaolu the Deputy National President of AFAN noted that the situation had continued to hinder the productive capacity of farmers across the nation The resultant effect of the high cost of fertiliser is food scarcity because farmers have no access to fertilisers that could assist them in planting and making their crops grow well Fertiliser is one key product that assists farmers in growing their produce particularly in the Northern part of the country where they are producing most of the foods In the Southern part of the country our soil is richer and the quantity of the product needed is comparatively low But in the North much is needed because that is where the bulk of the food is grown Unfortunately the prices have continued to soar as a 50kg bag of NPK mostly used by Nigerian small holder farmers is currently about N22 000 while a bag of urea fertiliser is about N19 000 As far as we are concerned as a body of farmers the high cost of available fertiliser in the market now is not palatable and it is not good for a viable business as far as agricultural business is concerned The situation has forced many farmers out of business and the entire country is suffering for it he said Dasaolu however expressed hope that prices of fertilisers might be forced down by the time the newly established Dangote factory finally began to operate in its full capacity He called on the Federal Government to come up with policies directly targeted at making fertilisers available to farmers at affordable prices Contributing Mr Samuel Adeogun the Ogun Programme Coordinator of the Value Chain Development Programme VCDP said that the rising prices of fertiliser was a reflection of the increased cost of its production Adeogun said Once there is an increase in the price of fertiliser it means that the cost of production has gone up Once the cost of production goes up that automatically translates to increase in prices of farm produce because farmers since they are into business must have to recover their cost He said that there had been a global surge in fertiliser prices due to the Russia Ukraine war According to him it is inevitable that the prices of fertilisers will rise in Nigeria since the country depends on importation of raw materials for the production of fertilisers Meanwhile the Chairman of AFAN in Osun Alhaji Sulaiman Araokanmi said that farmers in the state were buying fertilisers at exorbitant prices which in turn had affected the selling price of their farm produce Araokanmi said that the government s subsidised fertilisers were not getting to the farmers In the four years I have been AFAN Chairman in Osun we have never seen or got fertilisers supplied to farmers in the state from the Federal Government At a point I went to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to solicit assistance for farmers in Osun but I was told that fertilisers were not available he said The AFAN chairman said that the Dangote fertilisers promised farmers were also not available in the market Araokanmi said that the fertilisers which farmers were using for their crops were bought from the private business owners in the open market and sold to them at very exorbitant prices Also Mr Folarin Akanni a farm input dealer in Osogbo linked the high cost of the commodity to the high dollar exchange rate and the fact that most fertilisers were being imported Akanni said that in addition to the dollar exchange getting fertilisers supply was also becoming very difficult because of the ongoing war He said that at the moment only urea fertiliser was still available in the market at the rate of N25 000 upwards According to him the most popular and best used fertiliser NPK Golden which is no longer available in the market was last sold between N26 000 and N27 000 Akanni said the production of Dangote fertilisers had been halted for a while adding that it was not available anywhere in the Nigerian market Similarly Chief Julius Akinwande the AFAN Chairman in Ife Central Local Government said that increase in prices of the product had affected farm produce in the country Akinwande said that before now farmers bought fertilisers directly from the goverment at cheaper rates but there was nothing like that again The government s subsidised fertiliser is no longer within the reach of the farmers he said Akinwande called on government to make it available for farmers at the grassroots at subsidised rate with other insecticides for adequate food production In Ilorin Malam Ahmed Shaba of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria Kwara chapter said that some farmers due to the rising costs of normal fertilisers had started using fake fertilisers Shaba said that the fake ones cost as low as N9 000 while original fertiliser cost N25 000 per bag According to him many fraudulent individuals have taken advantage of the fertiliser scarcity to blend and package different substances into sacks as fertilisers These substances he said would later turn into sand after some time We appeal to the Federal Government to come to the aid of farmers so that we can get access to fertilisers for our farms This will in turn help food security across the country he said He warned that application of fake and substandard fertilisers on farmlands could destroy the soil and reduce crop yield as well as affect human health negatively Shaba therefore advised the government to urgently intervene to save the nation from imminent food shortage Also Malam Ahmed Saliu the Zonal Chairman of Amana Farmers and Grain Supply Association of Nigeria said that non availability of the product had affected the output of many farmers Saliu added that non availabiliy of fertilisers would affect the production of many commodities in the country He urged government at all tiers to assist farmers in making fertilisers and other farm inputs available and affordable to enable them produce food in large quantities NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Stakeholders decry rising cost of fertilisers, its attendant low crops yield
    General news1 month ago

    Stakeholders decry rising cost of fertilisers, its attendant low crops yield

    Stakeholders in the agricultural sector across the South-West zone have expressed concern over the rising cost of fertilisers with its attendant low crop yield per hectare and shortage of food in Nigeria.

    They spoke separately with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday, appealing to the three tiers of governments to take over direct supply and distribution of the product from private individuals and corporate groups.

    In a survey conducted in Ibadan, Ado-Ekiti, Akure, Abeokuta, Osogbo and Ilorin, the respondents said that the situation, if not urgently checked, could lead to low usage of fertilisers, with low productivity of crops as a dire consequence.

    In Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State, a Crop farmer, Mr Olusayo Fadipe, described the situation of fertilisers, getting out of reach of the farmers, as worrisome.

    Fadipe said that without the use of fertilisers, the expected crop yield would drop, resulting in reduced revenue for farmers.

    According to him, any farmer, who manages to buy fertilisers at high cost, will have to build the increase into his selling price, thus making farm produce unaffordable for consumers, both individuals and corporate organisations.

    Fadipe, therefore, called on fertiliser manufacturers in the country to work toward producing at maximum capacity.

    “Governments, especially at the Federal and State levels, should subsidise the cost of fertilisers for the sake of affordability to farmers.

    “Farmers’ cooperative societies should also be encouraged to establish fertiliser selling units, close to the farms, as logistics support for fertiliser distribution,” he said.

    Another farmer, Prince David Ogundele, said that increase in the prices of fertilisers would lead to decrease in the harvest of crops and shortage of food for both human and animal consumption.

    Ogundele said there would also be shortage of raw materials for industries, thereby resulting in unemployment and difficulty in refunding bank loans for farmers.

    He encouraged the use of organic fertilisers, while calling on the Federal Government to take up the production and distribution of fertilisers without involvement of the middlemen.

    “With fertiliser plants not in perfect working condition, the Federal Government should intervene in the interest of the farmers and of the country, because nobody can do without food,” he said.

    Commenting, Mr Bode RajI, the Permanent Secretary, Oyo State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, said that the state government has a provision of 25 per cent subsidy on fertilisers for genuine farmers in the state.

    According to Raji, fertiliser market has been deregulated in the country, implying that government is not directly involved in the distribution of the product.

    “However, the state government is coming in to give assistance in the area of subsidy provision,” he said.

    The permanent secretary acknowledged fertilisers as very critical to agriculture, without which, he said farm activities would not run well.

    He said that the subsidy was to enable the farmers to access the product, even at exorbitant prices.

    The state government, he said, through the ministry’s sister agency, Oyo State Agriculture Business Development Agency, already has genuine data of farmers in the state.

    According to him, the ministry has also partnered with various farmers’ associations to make it easy to identify genuine farmers in every local government area.

    Raji, however, appealed to farmers to be sincere with the government, advising them against reselling the subsidised fertilisers whenever they were supplied to them.

    Also, an Agriculturist, Matilda Oyewole, identified fertiliser as one of the key inputs in agriculture, especially in Nigeria.

    “So, there is a direct proportional increase in the cost of farm produce as prices of fertilisers increase.

    “This is because it affects the cost of production in agriculture.

    The more the cost of production goes up, the more the selling price goes up.

    “And most times, fertilisers are difficult to get, as they don’t get to the grassroots farmers easily.

    When they, eventually get to them, they are too expensive to bear b.

    “Fertilisers are being sold between N25,000 and N45,000, depending on the type of fertiliser you purchased,” Oyewole said.

    Also, Mr John Olateru, the Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Oyo State chapter, attributed the increasing cost of fertilisers to the high exchange rate of foreign currencies.

    “This has caused a lot of instability in the prices of fertilisers; because everything is following the trend of the exchange rate. 

    This is an unfortunate situation.

    “Furthermore, the cost of diesel is not helping matters at all,” Olateru said.

    Commenting, Dr Kola Farinloye, an Associate Professor of Agriculture and Forestry at the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Ondo State, said a premium has yet to be paid on how farmers could gain access to fertilisers on time.

    “All efforts must be made to ensure that fertilisers are available to our farmers.

    “The situation is harsh due to high cost of importation, as Nigeria imports 60 to 70 per cent of fertilisers available in the market.

    “The exchange rate, as well as other factors, are reasons why fertilisers are very expensive and beyond the reach of an average farmers.

    “Definitely, high cost of fertilisers or scarcity of it, will lead to high cost of farm produce,” Farinloye said.

    In Ado-Ekiti, stakeholders wondered about the nonexistent of, at least, a fertiliser plant in any part of Ekiti.

    They said that with the agrarian nature of the state and the fact that most of its residents are into, either subsistence or market farming, the state should have a fertiliser plant.

    According to them, having such a plant in the state will ensure ready availability of the product and reduce its cost, which is currently staggering.

    A peasant farmer, Mr Joel Akanbi, said that the state had left its farmers to the mercy of fertiliser merchants, who engage in shrouded deals.

    This, he said, could affect food security, as farmers would have to run at losses.

    Another farmer, Mrs Folakemi Kayode, urged the government to, in the alternative, guarantee large supplies at cheaper price, so as to checkmate activities of those hiking price indiscriminately.

    A raw food seller and farmer, Mrs Kemi Oluwaleke, said that an urgent intervention from the government was needed in all matters relating to fertilisers, if bumper harvest, especially during the current rainy season, could be achieved.

    According to her, fertiliser is the main problem of farmers, as a chunk of the profit made from planting and harvesting, is taken away by too much of hard labour and the process of seeking alternative means.

    Contributing, Mr Oluropo Dada, the Chairman, AFAN in Ido-Osi Local Government area, also called for the establishment of, at least, one fertiliser plant in any part of the state to make it accessible and affordable.

    Dada said that farmers were no longer finding it comfortable to buy the commodity at an open markets and stalls, due to its exorbitant price.

    The chairman regretted that many farmers had, either abandoned their farms or abandoned the use of fertilisers to source for alternatives such as cow dug and goat faeces, among others.

    “We no longer buy fertilisers for our farms, because they are too expensive for us to afford.

    “For example, when a fertiliser that is meant to be given to us at subsidised price, is being sold for almost N30,000, is to say the least, unfair.

    “We also do not want the Federal Government to give out fertilisers through government officials or intermediaries anymore.

    “Farmers from their respective state and local governments have registered their names at the national level, so the fertilisers should be given to us directly at reduced cost,” he said.

    In his remarks, Mr Olatunji Ayegbusi, Chairman, Farmers Association in Ikole Local Government area, urged the government to focus more on the issue of fertilisers and ensure that it was not politicised.

    Commenting, the Ekiti Coordinator, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Daramola Adeyemi, identified the nation’s policy issue on fertilisers and the market fall as the major reasons for high cost of the commodity.

    Adeyemi said that initially, before the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of former President Goodluck Jonathan and former Minister of Agriculture, Mr Akinwumi Adesina, government was involved in the procurement and distribution of fertilisers, but later the policy changed.

    He explained that after the administration, President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, after studying the programme and discovered that certain things were not working well and that the policy was not sustainable, it suspended it.

    Adeyemi said under a new arrangement, government pegged its price at a particular rate.

    According to him, the problem now is the agro dealers handling purchase and distribution, who came up with production cost, different from state to state.

    “Not all states have blending machines, hence, the disparity in the prices of fertilisers, in spite of the fact that the price is pegged at a reasonable amount by the Federal Government.

    “The states that have blending machines procured cheaper fertilisers than states without any of the machines.

    “For instance, Ekiti does not have a blending machine; they took the produce to Kaduna for blending and by the time it is blended and transported back here, the cost of transportation will be added, which makes for the high cost,” he said.

    Adeyemi also identified the War as another contributing factor to the rise in the prices of fertilisers.

    “But, having realised this, the ministry still supports farmers in term of inputs at subsidised rate, under some special programmes, as inaugurated by the government.

    “The Federal Government is no longer involved in the procurement and distribution; the only thing government does for farmers is to provide special interventions and supports.

    “This is where the issue of middlemen came in; because some rich men mopped up to resell at exorbitant prices,” he said.

    Another agriculture expert, Mr James Ibitoye, said that government needed to initiate a bottom-up approach by further registering and selling to farmers.

    Ibitoye urged the government to organise seminars for farmers and make use of registered extension agents and facilities, getting and analysing feedback from the farmers.

    According to him, there are paper farmers, who take advantage of the subsidised fertilisers to resell them to the real farmers at exorbitant prices.

    On the way out, he called for price control and regulatory agencies, branding of the government’s subsidised fertilisers and the creation of designated payment units.

    In his reactions, Olabode Adetoyi, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security in Ekiti, said that the present administration in the state would do everything possible to return agriculture to the front burner.

    According to Adetoyi, the drive to regain the status of the state as a food basket of the nation, made the government to adopt agriculture as one of its five pillars.

    With this in mind, he said, the state government had always been protecting farmers’ interest at all times, promising that Gov. Kayode Fayemi-led administration would not relent in this regard.

    Adetoyi, however, advised famers to step up patronage of the government’s agro outlets, where they could buy at controlled prices.

    This, he said, was to avoid falling into the hands of those sabotaging the government’s efforts.

    Meanwhile, in Akure, capital of Ondo State, an Agronomist, Mr Clement Emiju, told NAN that the few available fertilisers were not affordable to an average farmers.

    Emiju said, “a bag of fertiliser now costs between N23,000 and N25,000, which is much higher than what we used to have in recent past.

    ” He said it was worrisome that there was no longer subsidy on fertilisers by the government.

    “You know you can’t create land and to be able to use the little land you have used repeatedly, you need fertilisers.

    “When you cultivate a piece of land repeatedly, there will be depletion of the soil nutrients and you start looking for fertilisers here and there and when you eventually see it, the cost is exorbitant,” he said.

    Emiju, who specialises in cassava, yam and maize, said he had, however, shifted his cultivation to groundnut and cowpea due to the inadequacy or non-availability of fertilisers in the state.

    “I moved to groundnut and cowpea to complement my main area of agriculture, because they don’t require much fertilisers like others.

    “With cowpea and groundnut, apart from the fact that they don’t require much fertilisers, you can plough them back to the soil for soil nutrients,” he said.

    Emiju, therefore, appealed to the government to find means of making fertilisers available and at affordable prices, in order to ensure food security.

    “We will only appeal and advise government to subsidise fertilisers and make them available to farmers since we cannot create land and we can only use the little we have to make more yields for food to be available and to make agriculture profitable.

    “As it is, no poor or peasant farmer can afford the cost of the available fertiliser,” he said.

    The agronomist also advised farmers not to depend all the time on inorganic fertilisers, saying: “Though, they have faster results, they are not environmental friendly like organic fertilisers.

    “An organic fertiliser requires large quantity in the soil, but its efficiency in the soil is much pronounced.

    “Organic fertiliser stabilises soil temperature and it is richer.

    It contains major and minor nutrients,” he said.

    In Abeokuta, Prof. Jimoh Olanite of the Department of Pasture and Range Management, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNNAB), said that cropping activities would be almost impossible, particularly, in the Northern part of the country without fertiliser.

    “In the Southern part of the country, one can still get some yield, even without applying fertilisers, especially if the soil has not been overused, because the soil, compared to the Northern part, is rich.

    “However, there is need for use of fertiliser across the nation, because research has shown that the more fertiliser you apply, up to a certain point, the more yield of crop you are likely to get, especially for crops like maize and other cereals, which require fertilisers like Nitrogen,” he said.

    The lecturer noted with concern that Nigeria had continued to rank among the countries with low use of fertilisers in the African continent.

    According to him, the average use of fertilisers per hectare ranges between 100kg and 200kg per hectare in some African countries, while the average use of the product on land in Nigeria is about 50kg per hectare.

    Olanite said there were about 10 fertilisers producing companies in Nigeria, adding that majority of them were not operating optimally.

    “Our problem is not lack of fertiliser producing firms, because we have about 10 of them.

    “Nigeria’s projected fertiliser need has been put at between five and seven million metric tonnes annually, which the companies should be able to produce for the country’s consumption and also have excess for export.

    “The problem, however, is that many of these firms don’t produce up to half of their installed capacities.

    “The newly established Dangote factory in Lagos, with a capacity for three million metric tonnes per annum, for instance, is reported to be producing about half of that figure,” he said.

    Olanite also said that Nigeria had continued to depend on importation of raw materials to produce its fertiliser blends.

    Noting that Nigeria had comparative advantage in Nitrogen and Limestone, he said the country was still largely depending on importation of raw materials like phospate and potash.

    He said that various government’s interventions, like subsidising the price of fertilisers for farmers, had often been hijacked by “political farmers” .

    Olanite, therefore, called on the FG to come up with an effective monioring mechanism to ensure that the subsidised fertilisers get to the real farmers for increased productivity.

    In his comments,Mr Olusegun Dasaolu, the Deputy National President of AFAN, noted that the situation had continued to hinder the productive capacity of farmers across the nation.

    “The resultant effect of the high cost of fertiliser is food scarcity, because farmers have no access to fertilisers that could  assist them in planting and making their crops grow well.

    “Fertiliser is one key product that assists farmers in growing their produce, particularly, in the Northern part of the country, where they are producing most of the foods.

    “In the Southern part of the country, our soil is richer and the quantity of the product needed is comparatively low.

    “But, in the North, much is needed, because that is where the bulk of the food is grown.

    “Unfortunately, the prices have continued to soar, as a 50kg bag of NPK, mostly used by Nigerian small holder farmers, is currently about N22,000, while a bag of urea fertiliser is about N19,000. “As far as we are concerned, as a body of farmers, the high cost of available fertiliser in the market now is not palatable and it is not good for a viable business, as far as agricultural business is concerned.

    “The situation has forced many farmers out of business and the entire country is suffering for it,” he said.

    Dasaolu, however, expressed hope that prices of fertilisers might be forced down by the time the newly established Dangote factory finally began to operate in its full capacity.

    He called on the Federal Government to come up with policies, directly targeted at making fertilisers available to farmers at affordable prices.

    Contributing, Mr Samuel Adeogun, the Ogun Programme Coordinator of the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), said that the rising prices of fertiliser was a reflection of the increased cost of its production.

    Adeogun said: “Once there is an increase in the price of  fertiliser, it means that the cost of production has gone up.

    “Once the cost of production goes up, that automatically translates to increase in prices of farm produce, because farmers, since they are into business, must have to recover their cost.

    ” He said that there had been a global surge in fertiliser prices due to the Russia-Ukraine war.

    According to him, it is inevitable that the prices of fertilisers will rise in Nigeria since the country depends on importation of raw materials for the production of fertilisers.

    Meanwhile, the Chairman of AFAN in Osun, Alhaji Sulaiman Araokanmi, said that farmers in the state were buying fertilisers at exorbitant prices, which in turn had affected the selling price of their farm produce.

    Araokanmi said that the government’s subsidised fertilisers were not getting to the farmers.

    “In the four years, I have been AFAN Chairman in Osun, we have never seen or got fertilisers supplied to farmers in the state from the Federal Government.

    “At a point, I went to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to solicit assistance for farmers in Osun, but I was told that fertilisers were not available,” he said.

    The AFAN chairman said that the Dangote fertilisers, promised farmers, were also not available in the market.

    Araokanmi said that the fertilisers, which farmers were using for their crops, were bought from the private business owners in the open market and sold to them at very exorbitant prices.

    Also, Mr Folarin Akanni, a farm input dealer in Osogbo, linked the high cost of the commodity to the high dollar exchange rate and the fact that most fertilisers were being imported.

    Akanni said that in addition to the dollar exchange, getting fertilisers supply was also becoming very difficult because of the ongoing war.

    He said that at the moment, only urea fertiliser was still available in the market at the rate of N25,000 upwards.

    According to him, the most popular and best used fertiliser, NPK Golden, which is no longer available in the market, was last sold between N26,000 and N27,000. Akanni said the production of Dangote fertilisers had been halted for a while, adding that it was not available anywhere in the Nigerian market.

    Similarly, Chief Julius Akinwande, the AFAN Chairman in Ife Central Local Government, said that increase in prices of the product had affected farm produce in the country.

    Akinwande said that before now, farmers bought fertilisers directly from the goverment at cheaper rates, but there was nothing like that again.

    “The government’s subsidised fertiliser is no longer within the reach of the farmers,” he said.

    Akinwande called on government to make it available for farmers at the grassroots at subsidised rate with other insecticides, for adequate food production.

    In Ilorin, Malam Ahmed Shaba of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, Kwara chapter, said that some farmers, due to the rising costs of normal fertilisers, had started using fake fertilisers.

    Shaba said that the fake ones, cost as low as N9,000, while original fertiliser cost N25,000 per bag.

    According to him, many fraudulent individuals have taken advantage of the fertiliser scarcity to blend and package different substances into sacks as fertilisers.

    These substances, he said, would later turn into sand after some time.

    “We appeal to the Federal Government to come to the aid of farmers, so that we can get access to fertilisers for our farms.

    “This will, in turn, help food security across the country,” he said.

    He warned that application of fake and substandard fertilisers on farmlands could destroy the soil and reduce crop yield, as well as affect human health negatively.

    Shaba, therefore, advised the government to urgently intervene to save the nation from imminent food shortage.

    Also, Malam Ahmed Saliu, the Zonal Chairman of Amana Farmers and Grain Supply Association of Nigeria, said that non availability of the product had affected the output of many farmers.

    Saliu added that non-availabiliy of fertilisers would affect the production of many commodities in the country.

    He urged government at all tiers to assist farmers in making fertilisers and other farm inputs available and affordable to enable them produce food in large quantities.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  The All Farmers Association of Nigeria AFAN has resolved to settle the crisis rocking the Edo chapter of the association At a meeting convened in Benin on Tuesday Mr Harrison Okpamen Chairman of the Ad hoc committee set up to midwife the conciliation appealed to all aggrieved parties to sheathe their swords and allow peace to reign Okpamen urged all factions in the chapter to come together and form a formidable force that would benefit the members Many opportunities he said had been lost by members as a result of the lingering rancour AFAN is a big association and we cannot allow it to be destroyed AFAN Edo cannot afford to lose benefits again Welfare of members should be our priority as we definitely need support from government and donor agencies to improve farming To achieve this we will need to jettison our ego and remain selfless in our services he said The chairman of the reconciliatory committee said the committee had a limited time to settle the dispute and put in place a new executive council that would work for all Mr Peter Aikhumobhogbe thenPermanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security advised the committee to engage leaders of all factions in their reconciliatory move AFAN the permanent secretary said must be strong or else members would remain to loose many things He noted that no matter the settlement members would still need to tolerate one another for there was nobody without weakness NewsSourceCredit NAN
    AFAN moves to resolve crisis in Edo
     The All Farmers Association of Nigeria AFAN has resolved to settle the crisis rocking the Edo chapter of the association At a meeting convened in Benin on Tuesday Mr Harrison Okpamen Chairman of the Ad hoc committee set up to midwife the conciliation appealed to all aggrieved parties to sheathe their swords and allow peace to reign Okpamen urged all factions in the chapter to come together and form a formidable force that would benefit the members Many opportunities he said had been lost by members as a result of the lingering rancour AFAN is a big association and we cannot allow it to be destroyed AFAN Edo cannot afford to lose benefits again Welfare of members should be our priority as we definitely need support from government and donor agencies to improve farming To achieve this we will need to jettison our ego and remain selfless in our services he said The chairman of the reconciliatory committee said the committee had a limited time to settle the dispute and put in place a new executive council that would work for all Mr Peter Aikhumobhogbe thenPermanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security advised the committee to engage leaders of all factions in their reconciliatory move AFAN the permanent secretary said must be strong or else members would remain to loose many things He noted that no matter the settlement members would still need to tolerate one another for there was nobody without weakness NewsSourceCredit NAN
    AFAN moves to resolve crisis in Edo
    General news1 month ago

    AFAN moves to resolve crisis in Edo

    The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has resolved to settle the crisis rocking the Edo chapter of the association.

    At a meeting convened in Benin on Tuesday, Mr Harrison Okpamen, Chairman of the Ad hoc committee set up to midwife the conciliation, appealed to all aggrieved parties to sheathe their swords and allow peace to reign.

    Okpamen urged all factions in the chapter to come together and form a formidable force that would benefit the members.

    Many opportunities, he said, had been lost by members as a result of the lingering rancour.

    “AFAN is a big association and we cannot allow it to be destroyed.

    AFAN Edo cannot afford to lose benefits again.

    “Welfare of members should be our priority as we definitely need support from government and donor agencies to improve farming.

    “To achieve this, we will need to jettison our ego and remain selfless in our services,” he said.

    The chairman of the reconciliatory committee said the committee had a limited time to settle the dispute and put in place a new executive council that would work for all.

    Mr Peter Aikhumobhogbe, thenPermanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, advised the committee to engage leaders of all factions in their reconciliatory move.

    AFAN, the permanent secretary, said must be strong or else members would remain to loose many things.

    He noted that no matter the settlement, members would still need to tolerate one another for there was nobody without weakness.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN