Agriculture

Yelutide: Customs seizes N591m worth of contraband, appeals for payment of duties

Appeal

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Yelutide: Customs seizes N591mn worth of contraband, appeals for payment of duties

Appeal

Owerri, Dec. 14, 2018 (NNN) The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘C’ of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Owerri has appealed to Nigerians to engage in credible businesses, desist from importing contraband and pay their duties as required by law.

The Unit Controller, Compt. Kayode Olusemire, made the appeal at its Benin office on Friday while showing newsmen bullet proof vehicles and other contraband seized by the officers.

He said the appeal was necessary as the agency was more determined and equipped to arrest smugglers or business people who failed to pay duties on imported goods.

“The eagle eye of customs officers are sharper and more focused to ensure that no smuggler or lawbreaker escapes their watchful eyes, but must be brought to book,” he said.

Olusemire said that 22 brand new cars including five bullet-proof and 625 bags of 50kg foreign rice with a total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N591 million were confiscated by Benin Patrol Team, while six suspects were arrested in connection with the smuggled items.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) reports that Olusemire gave the breakdown of the seized items to include a Mack Truck conveying 350 bags of 50kg foreign rice concealed with food packs, a Toyota Hiace Bus with 25 bags of 50kg foreign rice, all with DPV of N21.61 million.

Also confiscated were an amoured Range Rover 2017 model with DPV of N10.27 million, Armoured Toyota Hilux (2018) with DPV of N95.65 million and armoured Toyota Land Cruiser (2017) valued at N81.70 million.

A Toyota Hiace Bus 2008 Model with DPV of N10.54 million, Toyota (2012) worth N7.11 million, Toyota Camry (2018) valued at N10.14 million, a Range Rover Evoque (2015) with DPV of N16.77 million, Mercedes Benz ML550 (2013) valued at N13.35 million and a Toyota 4Runner (2016) with DPV of N17.86 million were also seized.

Others are Honda Pilot (2016) with dpv of N14.84 million, Mercedes Benz (2014) worth N14.48 million and a Mercedes Benz CLA (2014) with DPV of N12.35 million.

The unit controller said it was worrisome that some people would use millions of naira to buy armoured cars or exotic cars and find it difficult to pay duties on them.

He urged importers to go to Customs’ website or offices close to them to get necessary information on what it would take and the expectation of the Customs from importers before they embarked on such businesses.

He said that non-payment of duties on imported items amounted to sabotaging efforts of government to  grow the nation’s economy and huge loss to the smugglers who would forfeit their goods if confiscated.

“Smugglers’ activities are inimical and a sabotage to the nation’s economy.

“People should stop wasting their money on buying exotic cars that would be seized. They should go and pay their duties to customs offices close to them. It is high time we started doing the right things in this country,” he said.

On foriegn rice, Olusemire said that the Federal Government was doing all that was necessary to encourage local production and added that the local rice were even more nutritious.

“I always wonder at the desperation in bringing in foreign rice when we can patronise our people buy buying Abakilike rice, Ofada rice and other local rice in the country,” he said. (NNN)

CEO/TA

Edited by Chidi Opara/Tajudeen Atitebi

https://nnn.ng/yelutide-customs-seizes-n591m-worth-of-contraband-appeals-for-payment-of-duties/

Agriculture

LASG supports mechanised farming to achieve food security — Ag. Commissioner

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The Lagos State Government on Wednesday restated its commitment to mechanised agriculture to ensure food security in the state.


The state’s Acting Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya, said this during an inspection of 550 hectares of rice farm under the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project in Badagry

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Olusanya was accompanied by the Coordinator of APPEALS, Mrs Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo and Dr Olayiwole Onasanya, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture.

NAN reports that the team visited Blessed Farm, Gayingbo, a 250-hectares of Ofada rice farm and Gberefun Rice Production Cluster Farm, a 300-hectares rice farm, both in Badagry.

Other farms visited were Ashdod Commercial Fish Farmers Cooperative Agricultural Multipurpose, Adowo and Wheviyon Fish Farm Cooperative Agricultural Multipurpose Society, an Earthen pond in Torikoh, Badagry.

Olusanya also inspected rice and aquaculture value chain equipment provided such as fertilisers, mechanised transplanter, harvester, agro-chemicals, motorised sprayer, Ripper, ferteliser applicator, thresher, plough as well as fish and feeds for aquaculture provided for farmers by the state.

The acting commissioner expressed satisfaction with the farms visited and assured that the World Bank, Federal and Lagos state government would continue to support the farmers to ensure food security in the state.

According to her, agriculture of the future is not about hoes and cutlasses, but about tractorisation and mechanisation as well as other inputs that will make life easier for farmers.

“The ministry of agriculture has also carried out training for rice farmers just to ensure that upon completion of the Imota rice mill, we will have access to paddy from Badagry and other locations in the state.

“We want to ensure that the rice we are consuming in our state is actually planted in Lagos,” she said.

The acting commissioner urged the participants not to see themselves as ordinary farmers but as businessmen and women operating in the agric sector.

”We want you to start thinking of startegy to improve your production level, food supply and pricing,” the acting commissioner said.

Olusanya noted that part of the agenda of APPEALS was to enhance productivity, improve livelihoods and support women and youths.

“I am very happy that majority of the farmers here are youths and women. Everything is in line with what we want to achieve.

“I want to assure you that the ministry of agriculture is fully behind you, fully in support of you and we’re working on everything you are asking for around tractorisation, even up to swamp buggy,” Olusanya said.

Mrs Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo, State Project Coordinator, Lagos APPEALS, said that the project had supported five cluster groups in rice production; each cluster consisted of 10 members.

She said the APPEALS project was set up to address challenges confronting farmers in the three value chains of rice, poultry and aquaculture.

She said the farmers in Gayingbo were trained in Ibadan on rice farming techniques and the outcome was implemented by the beneficiaries.

Sagoe-Oviebo said the project supported the farming cluster groups with rice seeds, fertilisers, mechanised transplanter, harvester, agro-chemicals, motorised sprayer, Ripper, ferteliser applicator, Thresher, plough, as well as finance for mechanised farming and alliance.

She said the project had also supported rice off taker with a colour sorter machine, the first of its kind in Lagos to help in sorting the rice.

“Our target is to take Lagos rice out of Nigeria and not just within Nigeria.

“We have already selected a pure strain of Ofada rice that will give us shining grain and we are going to use the colour sorter to give us premium rice at the end of the day.

”We will support our farmers from production to processing and marketing. Some farmers are presently undertaking training with NAFDAC and other food organisation on how to obtain certification for premium quality rice.

“We will do whatever we can to make life easier for our farmers,” she said.

Mr Samuel Obitunde, Head of Gayingbo cluster group, commended the APPEALS project for its numerous support to the farmers.

“In the whole of Lagos State, you cannot talk about rice without mentioning Gayingbo as a stakeholder.

“We thank the Lagos State government both past and present have really demonstrated their passion for rice cultivation in the state.

APPEALS project has supported us with 600 bags of fertilisers for 100-hectares of land, five tons of viable Ofada rice seeds, 1,000 liters of agro-chemicals, three Threshers and fertiliser applicator and many more.

“We want to assure the government that we will support the Imota rice mill project whenever it commences operations.

“We urge the government to provide tractor and swamp buggy machine and roads to open-up more farmlands,” he said.

Also, Mr Segun Atho, Deputy National President, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), commended the APPEALS project and the Lagos state government for their support towards the realisation of rice cultivation in the state.

Atho said that the project supported the farmers with farrow 44 rice seeds, adding that the farmers would not disappoint the government.

According to him, Badagry area has comparative advantage in rice cultivation due to access to water.

FIFAN official assured that over 300 Gberefun rice farms in Badagry would produce about 30 per cent of the paddy needed at the Imota rice mill.

“We thank the state government for all the equipment donated to us, the chemicals, fertilisers, nets, harvesting machine, transplanter, motorised sprayer and many more.

“We still want government to open more land for us so that we can expand our rice farm.

“We need bulldozers to open up the vast land we have here and other locations with Badagry,” he said.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Wale Ojetimi
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/lasg-supports-mechanised-farming-to-achieve-food-security-ag-commissioner/
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Agriculture

Aquaculture: Lagos APPEALS Project trains youths in new technology

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The Lagos Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project, a World Bank -assisted programme – is training youths in new technology in acquaculture to develop its export potential.


The Project Coordinator, Mrs Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo, made the disclosure during a tour of the Wheviyon Fish Farm Cooperative Agricultural Multipurpose Society in Badagry on Wednesday.

According to her, the training is to add value to aquaculture in the state and create export opportunities in it.

Sagoe-Oviebo said that the technology was to process fish-to-fish fillet, fish burger and fish crackers, hoping that youths would embrace it because of its export potential.

She said that the APPEALS Project observed that there were many youths in agriculture and was taking steps to identify them and adopting technologies that would suit them.

“We have observed that we have a lot of youths in agriculture, and we are taking deliberate steps to identify these youths and look for technologies they will adopt easily.

“One of the things we have done in APPEALS Project is to add value to fish products beyond smoking.

“Our vision is to ensure that in every supermarket, you will only find made-in Nigeria fish crackers,” she said.

Sagoe-Oviebo said that the cluster group being trained was made up of graduates of fisheries from various tertiary institutions in Lagos.

She said that the technology would make them more productive, noting that the market was huge.

“I can tell you that this cluster that is made up of 12 youths, all graduates of fisheries, are the first set of people to adopt the technology.

“If you go inside the production room, you will see what they are producing; in fact, they cannot meet the market demands.

“This is a technology they can easily identify with because it is new; you must be innovative to attract youths, that is what the project is all about, it is innovation all the way.

APPEALS Project is all about enhancing the productivity of small and medium scale farmers across three value chains, poultry, rice and aquaculture, in Lagos State,” she said.

The official said that the objective was to enhance productivity, increase process output and improve livelihood.

“One of the things the project is looking at is ensuring food security and promoting nutrition and export potential.

“One of the areas APPEALS is looking at is empowering existing farmers, women and youths,” she added.

She described the enthusiasm of the youths as wonderful, adding that with more support, they would do more.

The official said that capacity building was needed to empower the youth.

“They must know the principles guiding a lot of the things that they want to do, and these are the things that will propel them, the project is ready to support them in the adoption of processes.”

A beneficiary, Mr Jubril Kazeem, a graduate of Fisheries Technology, Lagos State Polytechnic, said that his passion for agriculture made him to apply to study the course.

Kazeem said agriculture was lucrative and interesting.

“I love agric and decided to study it.

It is stressful, but I enjoy doing it. I was introduced to aquaculture project by my boss for about 10 years now.

“I have been stocking mine until the APPEALS project came to empower me and my colleagues.

“We are 12 in number and all youths and graduates. We are being empowered with fish and feeds, which are the main inputs one needs to start with.

“In the next four months, I will harvest and sell the fish,” he said.

He urged Nigerian youths to start doing something no matter how little, and then seek support.

Another beneficiary, Miss Mosunmola Ayeola, commended the APPEALS Project for support given to youths in agriculture.

Ayeola, a graduate of Fisheries, Lagos State University, Ojo, said the project had brought much innovation to attract and empower the youth.

“I am into fish processing, l process it into fillet, fish crackers and fish burger.

“You can use fish in your burger and it is very filling, tasty and nutritious.

“Our fish crackers too are highly nutritious and tasty.

“These are the benefits that we get from APPEALS Project. I have been in fish business for 10 years and it has been awesome.

APPEALS project has made it better,” she said.

She urged Nigerian youths to engage in agriculture and continue to build on it.

“Help will come one day.”

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Ijeoma Popoola
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/aquaculture-lagos-appeals-project-trains-youths-in-new-technology/
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Agriculture

LASG tasks APPEALS project beneficiaries on agricultural products exportation

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The Lagos State Government has advised beneficiaries of Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Support (APPEALS) project, to contribute to the growth of the nation’s economy through export of agricultural products.


Dr Olayiwole Onasanya, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, gave the advice on Tuesday at a three-day training programme organised by the APPEALS project for farmers in the state.

Onasanya said part of the mandates of APPEALS project was to develop the export potential of the beneficiaries and to ensure successful linkage to international markets.

He said the meeting with the certification and regulatory agencies was one of the strategic ways in achieving the feat.

The permanent secretary congratulated the beneficiaries for being part of the APPEALS project.

Also, Mrs Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo, state Coordinator of APPEALS Project, urged farmers to work toward standardising production and processing of aquaculture, rice and poultry for export and high earned market.

Sagoe-Oviebo said the goal of the training tagged: “Meeting of Certification and Regulatory Agencies with APPEALS project beneficiaries”, was to increase export potential of the project’s beneficiaries.

She called for urgent need for farmers to begin to contribute toward the foreign coffers of the Nigerian economy through export of locally produced products.

The coordinator said farmers should be abreast of the standard that would earn their products premium prices.

Sagoe-Oviebo said: “We are training our farmers on best practices that will ensure that they get certification from relevant agencies, and to ensure that they are getting premium prices for whatever they are selling.

“This training is part of the activities to support our beneficiaries.

“This training will enlighten them in the certification and to understand the regulations so as to increase their export potential.

“A lot of our beneficiaries are encouraging us with the pace at which they are adopting the technologies we have demonstrated to them.

“As at the last quarter, we had over 70 beneficiaries of Lagos APPEALS Project that had adopted the technologies we demonstrated to them.

“Many of them are ready to run with what we have taught them, because it is not enough to provide grants, but to teach them how to put it to good use.”

The coordinator also said that the project had acquired a rice colour sorter machine, to further improve quality of rice and enhance the productivity of rice farmers.

She said that five thousand farmers had been trained and 720 beneficiaries supported with grant for technology adoption so far in the three value chains of rice, aquaculture and poultry.

Also, Dr Sadiq Yunus, Deputy Director, Export Division, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), said the training was necessary for better understanding of export procedures.

Yunus said it would help cushion effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on farmers.

He said that NAFDAC was ready to propel Medium-Small Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) through facilitations at no cost.

“All our processes for product registration are automated and online. You can sit at the comfort of your office and upload your documents for whatever licences you want.

“Local products that are exported with NAFDAC licence have more value in the host country.

“There are processes to certify a product satisfactory to issue health certificate for that product.

“This training is to teach them what to do to ensure that their products are considered safe and of good quality, not only for the local markets, but also the international market,” Yunus said.

In her remarks, Mrs Olanike Oladosu, the representative, Federal Department of Fisheries (FDF), said farmers should identify potential customers to meet standards of the importing country and to achieve competitive pricing.

Oladosu spoke on “Standardising Production and Processing of Aquaculture Products for Export Market and High Earned Market.”

She highlighted reasons why farmers should target high earned market, high class point of sale and presentation and product packaging.

According to her, the basic strategy of APPEALS project is to increase productivity, production and improve processing and marketing of the targeted value chains.

“The value chains are expected to foster jobs creation along the priority value chains, develop export potential of beneficiaries and improve livelihood of project participants,” she said.

Edited By: Folasade Adeniran/Olagoke Olatoye
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/lasg-tasks-appeals-project-beneficiaries-on-agricultural-products-exportation/
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Economy

World Bank trains beneficiaries on certification for export potential

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The Lagos State Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Support (APPEALS) project of the World Bank and the Federal Government on Monday  trained its beneficiaries on certification and regulations.


Mrs Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo, the Lagos State Project Coordinator of APPEALS, said the training was to increase export potential of the project’s beneficiaries.

The theme was: “Meeting of Certification and Regulatory Agencies with APPEALS Beneficiaries.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that APPEALS Project is a six-year project developed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) in collaboration with the World Bank and other stakeholders.

Sagoe-Oviebo said there was urgent need for farmers to begin to contribute to the foreign coffers of the Nigerian economy through export of locally produced products.

According to her, farmers should be abreast of the standard that will earn their products premium prices.

“We are training our farmers on best practices that will ensure that they get certification from relevant agencies and to ensure that they are getting premium prices for whatever they are selling.

“This training is part of the activities to support our beneficiaries.

“This training will enlighten them in the certification and to understand the regulations so as to increase their export potential.

“A lot of our beneficiaries are encouraging us with the pace at which they are adopting the technologies we have demonstrated to them.

“As at the last quarter, we had over 70 that had adopted.

“Many of them are ready to run with what we have taught them, because it is not enough to provide grants, but to teach them how to put it to good use,” she said.

Sagoe-Oviebo said that the project had acquired a rice colour sorter machine to further prove the quality of rice and enhance the productivity of rice farmers in the state.

The coordinator also revealed that five thousand farmers had been trained in the three value chains of the project (rice, aquaculture and poultry).

Also, Dr Sadiq Yunus, a Deputy Director, Export Division, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), said that the training was necessary for better understanding of export procedures to help cushion effects of COVID-19 pandemic on farmers.

Yunus said that NAFDAC was ready to propel Medium Small Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) through facilitations at no cost.

“All our processes for product registration are automated and online.

“You can sit at the comfort of your office and upload your documents for whatever licences you want.

“Local products that are exported with NAFDAC licence have more value in the host country. There are processes to certify a product satisfactory to issue health certificate for that product.

“This training is to teach them what to do to ensure that their products are considered safe and of good quality, not only for the local markets, but also the international market,” he said.

Commenting, Mrs Oladosu Olanike, an expert on standardisation,  spoke on Standardising Production and Processing of Aquaculture Products for Export Market and High Earned Market.

Olanike said farmers should identify potential customers, meet the standards of the importing country and ensure to achieve competitive pricing.

She highlighted reasons why farmers should target high earned market, high class point of sale and presentation and product packaging.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/ Olagoke Olatoye
Source: NAN

 

https://nnn.ng/world-bank-trains-beneficiaries-on-certification-for-export-potential/
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