The Ibadan GO Organic Multipurpose Cooperative Society, in collaboration with Nigeria Go Organic Project is training agricultural officers, extension officers, producers, among others on the principles and practice and entrepreneurship in organic agriculture.
Dr Olugbenga AdeOluwa, the Country Coordinator of Ecological Organic Agriculture in Nigeria, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday.
AdeOluwa said the training mode consisted of the first phase, July 20 to July 31, a -two week intensive virtual class work with field trip, while the second phase was four months practical work.
He said the training firs phase of the training emphasised on livestock, while the second phase would last for four months, August to November.
According to him, the virtual training is also meant to improve profitable organic agriculture business drive.
“It is also intended to boost production capacity of organic agricultural producers, handlers and middlemen toward domestic and export market,’’ he said.
The training tagged: Training of Trainers(ToT), AdeOluwa said that the goal of the training was to train participants on the principles and practices of organic agriculture in an entrepreneurial way to enable them to train others.
“At the end of the training, participants are expected to have a good understanding of organic agriculture and the concept.
“They should be able to know how to run successful organic agriculture enterprises,’’ he said.
The EOA Coordinator was positive that trainees should be able to provide basic extension assistance to other practitioners within the value chain of organic agriculture.
AdeOluwa said the the training was important due to the increasing global market for economic development.
“The training is due to the misconceptions surrounding organic agriculture, emerging global health challenges, global change issues, and opportunity for diversification of income, among others.”
According to him, knowledge is the fulcrum of sustainable development.
“The exponential development of the global organic agriculture sector is based on adequate knowledge of the organic sector by practitioners.”
Edited By: Grace Yussuf (NAN)
The Labour/Civil Society Situation Room on COVID-19 in Enugu State has expressed fears over another possible lockdown due to the rising cases of coronavirus in the state.
The group stated this on Friday in Enugu North Local Government area during its ongoing awareness visits to all the 17 council areas in the state
The Chairman, Technical Committee of the group, Mr Ezekiel Omeh, expressed worries over the increasing cases of COVID-19 in the state, saying that it could trigger another lockdown.
Omeh, who is the chairman of National Association of Nurses and Midwives in the state, said that residents of the state seemed to have taken the ease of the lockdown for granted.
He appealed to the people of the state to take responsibility for their actions and keep to all the safety protocols recommended by the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC).
“There is great danger with the way the virus is spreading in the state, and there are chances that COVID-19 will stay with us longer than expected, if we continue the way we are going.
“We are now witnessing community transmission in the state and everybody is a suspect. We should avoid another round of lockdown by keeping safe.
“We are going round to encourage our leaders in the local government areas to take responsibility because the problem we have is non-compliance with safety guidelines,” Omeh said.
The Primary Health Care (PHC) Coordinator in the council, Mr Callistus Eneh, however, said that health workers in the various councils were not motivated due to non-payment of their hazard allowance.
Eneh said that while their colleagues at the state level had received their allowances, theirs had yet to be paid.
He said that as part of the frontline workers in the COVID-19 regime, it was unfair not to give them their dues.
Eneh said that the ‘ill-treatment’ had killed the morale of PHC workers in the local government councils.
According to him, the PHC workers had been moving round the rural communities in the state to create awareness about the scourge.
Responding, the Deputy Chairman, Enugu North Local Government council, Mr Ambrose Ozougwu, said that the council had been doing its best to contain the spread of the scourge.
Ozougwu said that the state government had been helpful by providing them with the needed assistance, including palliatives.
He said that the council had set up a COVID-19 taskforce to ensure compliance with safety regulations.
Chief Kenneth Ugwueze, the President, Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Enugu chapter, said that government had already initiated the process that would lead to the payment of hazard allowances to the PHC workers.
Edited By: Bola Akingbehin and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq
An Enugu-based Non-governmental Organisation (NGO), People for Good Leadership and Accountability, has raised concern over the decay of infrastructure in the South East region.
The National Legal Adviser of the NGO, Mr Celestine Iloh, raised the concern on Thursday during a courtesy call on the Enugu Zonal Office of the News Agency of Nigeria .
Iloh said that the various state governments in the zone had not done enough to attract the type of infrastructure that would support quality life in the area.
He said that the type of infrastructure on ground in the area was a mockery of the huge Federal Allocations and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), that accrued to the states in the zone.
“The time for our people to demand for good governance and accountability is now because there is much decay in this zone.
“We are the ones victimizing ourselves in this country. The politicians are not listening to us,“ he said.
The legal adviser said that it was unthinkable that there was no potable water in Enugu State and the educational sector was deteriorating.
“If the roads are good and the hospitals in good shape, nobody will complain,” Iloh said.
Also, the Board Chairman of the NGO, Mr Chris Okoye, said that the group had set out to monitor the execution of constituency projects in the area.
Okoye said that they would galvanise the people of the area, including other NGOs to demand for accountability from political leaders.
He said that government must be seen to be working for the people by justifying all monetary receipts they held in trust for the people.
He called for the collaboration of NAN in their tasks, adding that the media was indispensable in enthroning good governance and in the crusade against corruption.
Responding, the NAN Southeast Zonal Manager, Mrs Maureen Atuonwu, said that it was sad that most political leaders were not passionate in working for their people.
Atuonwu said that such situation was the result of the decay of infrastructure across the zone.
She however, blamed the rot on the masses, whom she said had remained docile in the face of glaring maladministration.
“The problem with bad leadership rests squarely on the masses because we have failed to hold our leaders accountable. We aid and abate their poor performance,” she said.
The zonal manager said that it was time the people started resisting leadership imposition through the ballot.
“What you are doing is commendable. We need to come together to demand for accountability,” Atuonwu said.
Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)
Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State on Friday inaugurated the maiden rice seed multiplication farm, a brainchild of Enugu State Graduate Farmers (ESGF) group.
Ugwuanyi during the event said that the presence of a rice seed multiplication firm to serve thousands of rice farmers in the state was overdue.
The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Matthew Idu, described the ESGF seed company as a certified firm.
He said that with the presence of the company, “there will be no need to ask companies outside to send rice seedlings to the state.”
He appealed to rice farmers in the state to always plant with improved seedlings for better yield.
Ugwuanyi said that his administration’s intervention in rice value chain had led to the production of rice in commercial quantity in the state.
Mr Kingsley Ukpe, a Seed Certification Officer, National Agricultural Seeds Council said that the success of every farmer depended on the quality of seeds used in their farms.
Ukpe said that the surest way to achieve food security was to increase yield per unit area.
“The best way to achieve this is when all our farmers have access to quality seeds that are produced in our state at an affordable price.
“However, if the genetic purity of our parent materials are not preserved in the nearest future, most of the materials/varieties we loved, may go extinct.
“Therefore, the genetic purity of all varieties must be maintained and this can only be possible if the process and phases of certification are fully observed by all parties involved in the production of seeds.
“In line with the Seed Act of 1972 as amended in June 2019, all fake seed dealers are liable to be sentenced to prison for five years with an option of bail in the sum of N5 million or both,” Ukpe said.
Earlier, the Leader of ESGF, Mr Patrick Mbah said the group was made up of selected graduates from the 17 local government areas of the state.
Mbah said the state government under former governor, Mr Sullivan Chime had in 2010 trained members of the group in all agricultural value chain.
“The major objective was for us to drive commercial agriculture in the state and provide agricultural extension services.
“Although the good plans of the then administration did not materialise due to circumstances beyond its control, we did not relent in our goal of promoting agriculture in the state.
“I am happy that today, we are actualising that tall order,” he said.
Mbah said that the challenges faced by farmers in sourcing for improved seedlings made them to venture into the business.
He said that they had secured 250 hectares of land and bought over eight tonnes of Foundation Seed Breeder from Ebonyi for rice seed production.
“Beside the seed production, we have over 500 hectares of paddy rice farm and three functional rice mills,” he said.
The leader of the group said they started the process by pooling together their personal savings to ensure full time sustainable agribusiness.
Mbah said that the group needed economic stimulus package and palliatives in order to thrive.
“We request the state government to support us materially and also patronise us by buying up our certified seeds to supply to farmers in the state,” Mbah said.
Edited By: Folasade Adeniran/Grace Yussuf (NAN)
A humanitarian group, Victims Support Fund (VSF) on Wednesday in Enugu donated food items and medical supplies worth N120 million to Enugu State Government.
Akerele-Ogunsiji said that the food items which were for onward delivery to 20, 000 vulnerable households in the state were meant to cushion the effect of the lockdown arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said that each household would receive 10kg rice, 10kg beans, 10kg Garri, 2kg salt and four litres of vegetable oil.
She appealed to the state government to ensure the distribution of the reached the most vulnerable households in the state.
Akerele-Ogunsiji said that the medical supplies included 30, 000 bottles of hand sanitisers, 50, 000 pieces of facemasks, safety boots and goggles for healthcare workers as well as coveralls.
She said that the Federal Government had on June 30 inaugurated the Presidential Committee on the Victims of Terrorism Support Fund.
According to her, the initiative under the chairmanship of Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd.) was inaugurated as a national response strategy.
She said that the focus of the support fund specifically targeted victims of terrorism and insurgency in the North East region.
“But we are aware that COVID-19 is a national disaster that is happening all over the country and we cannot sit down and watch it without doing anything.
“Our chairman the March 30, 2020, set up a taskforce on COVID-19 to help to ease the effect of the pandemic by fashioning out interventions and support to the government and peoples of Nigeria,” she said.
Akerele-Ogunsiji described VSF as the first private sector led humanitarian initiative in Nigeria, adding that their intervention had been the best since the pandemic began.
Akerele-Ogunsiji said that VSF had earlier intervened in Abuja, Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Taraba, Ogun, Lagos and Edo.
She disclosed that Ebonyi would be the other South East state that would benefit in the current second phase of the intervention.
Responding,the Ebonyi deputy governor, Mrs Cecelia Ezeilo commended the VSF for the massive intervention.
The deputy governor also solicited the support of the fund in the education and health sectors of the state.
Benson Iziama edited
A three-year-old coronavirus (COVID-19) patient in Enugu has recovered after testing negative to the virus.
The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Emmanuel Ikechukwu, revealed this in a statement on Sunday in Enugu.
Ikechukwu said that the three-year-old was one of two patients in the treatment and isolation centre in the state who tested negative to COVID-19.
He said that the second case that returned negative was a 13-year-old patient.
The commissioner said that the two persons were part of the 10 COVID-19 patients undergoing treatment in the state.
He said that the state government was assessing the possibility of discharging them from the isolation centre in Enugu.
“The two cases are the three-year-old and 13-year old contacts of the 3rd COVID-19 case in the state,” he said.
He said that the staff of the ministry had continued to work tirelessly to identify, isolate and treat COVID-19 cases in the state.
He appealed to residents of the state to continue to comply with government’s directives aimed at keeping them safe.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)
The National Orientation Agency (NOA), Enugu State Directorate, says it has sensitised no fewer than 170 communities in the state on the dangers and precutionary measures against Coronavirus (COVID-19).
In a statement on Wednesday in Enugu, the Head, Media and Protocol of the Directorate, Mr McDonald Odenigbo, said that the campaign was done in partnership with UNICEF, Enugu Field Office.
Odenigbo said that the campaign which was in its first phase involved mobile messaging and distribution of literature on COVID-19.
He said that subsequent phases would cover the rest of the communities in the state.
According to him, the mobile messaging campaign is intended to educate members of the public, especially those in rural communities on the myths, facts and reality of the pandemic.
“By so doing, we intend to mobilise citizens to imbibe and adhere to the hygiene protocols of regular hand washing with soap under running water or the use of alcohol-based sanitiser.
“We equally want them to practise social distancing and to stay at home in order to remain safe,” Odenigbo said.
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Ejike Obeta (NAN)
A coalition of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) under the aegis of South East Human Rights Situations Room, wants state governments in the zone to maintain border closure amidst the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a statement in Enugu on Sunday by the Coalition which is made up of 43 groups, said that the restriction of interstate movements was one of the major ways to contain the spread of the virus.
The coalition, however, said that the only exception should be for vehicles/personnel carrying essential goods, including food and medical supplies.
It said that most people in the zone were observing the lockdown without foods on their tables, medicare and other services, adding that the prevailing circumstance had led to some traumatic experiences.
“We advise governments across the zone to step up awareness campaign on the prevention and avoidance of total lockdown given the precarious socio-economic status of our people,” the group said.
The coalition said that farmers needed to be encouraged to continue farm work, while maintaining social distancing and other safety guidelines to avoid food crisis.
“We encourage the state governors to ensure close collaboration with National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), to improve testing capacity in the zone for early detection, isolation and treatment.
“Health facilities must be strengthened in readiness for any eventualities.
“Awareness should be created among communities to avoid stigmatisation and discrimination of victims and survivors of the virus,” the statement said.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo and Isaac Ukpoju (NAN)
The Senate Committee on Works has called for improved funding of road projects undertaken by the Federal Government in the South East region.
The Chairman of the committee, Sen. Adamu Aliero made the call on Thursday in Enugu while addressing newsmen after the inspection of some ongoing projects in the state.
Aliero said the committee was impressed by the pace of work in some of the sites but added that more funding was needed to meet the delivery dates of the projects.
He said that the 19 project sites so far inspected by the committee were in dire need of funding.
“If we do not source for fund, only God knows when these projects will be delivered.
“If we go by the current mode of funding, it will take us more than 10 years to complete these projects,” he said.
On the 72km 9th Mile–Orokam Road being undertaken by Reynolds Construction Company (RCC), the senator expressed excitement that the work was progressing even with limited funding.
He assured the RCC project manager that the committee would ensure that more funds were released by the Federal Ministry of Work to support the project.
“We have seen seriousness even when you are owed. We shall look at the possibility of getting additional funding for you.
“This is an important road leading to Benue and Northeast,” Aliero said.
Earlier, the Project Manager of RCC, Mr Harel Vaknin, said that lack of adequate funding was their major challenge on the 9th Mile–Orokam Road.
Vaknin said that the company had the capacity to do more but needed to be motivated.
The project manager said that the company had only received N1.2 billion but had generated a certificate of over N8 billion.
Vaknin said that they were owed about N6 billion.
Also, the Federal Controller of Works in Enugu, Mr Olufemi Oyekanmi commended RCC for the good job they were doing on the project sites.
Oyekanmi said that out of the 58km awarded to RCC on the Enugu axis of the road, they had completed 18km.
He said that the federal government had recently awarded additional 15 km of the road.
Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Maureen Atuonwu
The Senate Committee on Works has given Nigercat Construction Company one week to return to its project site on the Enugu -Onitsha Expressway or get the contract revoked.
The Chairman of the committee, Sen. Adamu Aliero disclosed this on Thursday in Enugu while inspecting ongoing rehabilitation work on the road.
Aliero said that it was wrong for the company to abandon the job several years after it won the bid to rehabilitate the road.
He said the committee was not satisfied with the pace of work by the company handling 22km of the road on the Enugu axis.
The senator rated the work as the most laid-back of the 18 projects they had inspected.
He said that if the contractor failed to return to site within one week, the committee would recommend the termination of the project.
“We are surprised that you have not done anything after collecting mobilisation fee. We find you to be technically incompetent.
`If you fail to return to site within one week, we shall recommend to the ministry to revoke the contract,” he said.
Aliero said it was wrong for the contractor to be asking for variation when they had not done anything.
Responding, the Managing Director of Nigercat Construction Company, Mr Ghamlan Ghorayeb, said the contract was given to them in 2009.
Ghorayeb however, said that they had requested for variation from the Federal Government to enable them do the job.
He said that the request for variation was submitted in 2018, adding that there had not been any response from the government.
Earlier, the Federal Controller of Works in Enugu, Mr Olufemi Oyekanmi, said that the Nigercat Construction Company workers were last seen on site in 2008.
Oyekanmi said that they abandoned the site only to be requesting for variation.
He said that the contractor had not shown enough commitment to do the job.
Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Maureen Atuonwu