Food Security: FG partners Brazil on Agric Mechanisation
June 18, 2021
The Federal Government has entered into partnership with Brazil to drive its Agriculture Mechanisation Programme and ensure food sufficiency.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammad Nanono, disclosed this at the 44th meeting of the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development in Abuja on Thursday.
Nanono said that the partnership had yielded an Agricultural Mechanisation loan to the tune of nine hundred and ninety five million euros(€995m).
” Agricultural productivity can only improve through mechanisation of production activities.
” In our effort to improve the agricultural production profile of the country, we have entered into a partnership with the government of Brazil through one of their foremost technology transfer institutions, the Fundacao Getulio Vargas (FGV).
” This partnership has yielded an Agricultural Mechanisation loan to the tune of nine hundred and ninety five million euros(€995m).
” This shall be granted to Nigerian entrepreneurs to establish Service Centres across all the 774 Local Governments of the country, selling services to all categories of farmers and thereby helping to improve their productivity.
” The service centres shall be of either a Type 1, supporting production activities; or a Type 2, supporting processing and packaging activities.
” We also have the target to improve on the export front and to this end, necessary support is being given for increase in the export of Agricultural commodities like Sesame, Hibiscus, Cotton and Sorghum,” he said.
Nanono said the National Livestock Transformation Plan, (NLTP), had been adjudged worldwide to be a well-conceived project which s to sought to transform the nation’s livestock sector from nomadic-dependence into organised ranching, of which 22 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, had registered with the NLTP Office.
” We are all aware of the troubles that our nation is going through with respect to the farmers-herders clashes which have often produced violent and expensive consequences.
” This administration is more committed than ever to resolve this problem on a more permanent solution.
” To this end, 22 State and the Federal Capital Territory have registered with the NLTP Office, out of which 10 States have created their own teams which have been trained by the Federal Office.
” Seven of these 10 states have also earmarked about 19 Grazing Reserves for the implementation of the NLTP, with a total land size of approximately 400,000 hectares.
” It is, therefore, safe to say that the NLTP, when fully implemented will bring an end to the incessant clashes between the farmers and herdsmen.
” A bigger impact on Nigeria’s economy will be made when we are able to spend less on importation of dairy and beef products which currently constitute a significant percentage of Nigeria’s food import.
” A Dutch consortium which is partnering with the Federal Government for the implementation of the first pilot state was able to attract a grant from their home country of Netherlands for the start-up of the National Livestock Transformation Plan pilot in Nasarawa State.
” This pilot site will serve as a hub for knowledge and skills transfer to the pastoralist community, who will be encouraged and hand-held to adopt ranching, to practice what they have learnt.
” The necessary incentives shall also be given to the participating pastoralists.
” We keep receiving offers for participation in the scheme from within the country and the world at large and this has further strengthened the resolve of this administration to provide such an enabling environment capable of attracting investments into the sector,” he said.
Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State
By Gistflash News
Sept 13, 2021
NASRDA harps on space technology for precision agriculture
By Gistflash News
Sept 13, 2021
The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) says it is engaging space science technology to boost agricultural products for food security in the country.
Dr Rakiya Babamaaji, the Head, Natural Resources Management Division of NASRDA, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Babamaaji explained that space science technology could be deployed into agriculture through the application of Geospatial technology that involved Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System application.
She said that geospatial technology could be used to map and monitor the location of natural resources, take inventory of vegetation and for smart agriculture and water resources management among others.
She further said the Agency had in May, commenced a Space-Based Smart Agriculture for Food Security in Nigeria.
Babamaaji said that the programme was in line with government’s mandate to ensure food security and enable the country achieve Sustainable Development Goal Two, aimed at ending hunger and increasing availability of food.
“We are trying to use space technology in agriculture and we have a programme called Space Base Smart Agriculture for Food Security in Nigeria which will address food availability.
“Under the programme, there is the Crop Watch project, a platform used to monitor agricultural activities across the country using geospatial technology.
“Under this project, we are going to gather all the spatial data available with restrictions to agriculture, so that farmers can know what is happening in their farms, from the cropping to monitoring the farmland.
“The project will provide the farmers with the climate data, letting them know when to plant, when to apply fertilizer, different soil type in terms of fertility,’’ she said.
“We want to achieve this by engaging farmers on their phones, use of jingles in the radio which could possibly be transmitted in the three major languages and English to reach rural farmers.”
The official said they were working with relevant stakeholders in the country, including the China Academy of Science and China Remote Sensing Centre as technical partners towards achieving the Crop Watch project.
Babamaaji also said the programme would be addressing the Value Supply Chain, whereby challenges faced by farmers from the beginning of the farming season to harvest time would be reviewed.
“We are trying to look at the challenges that prevent them from achieving maximum production in their farming activities and we have chosen a farm in Kuje and in Nasarawa to start this assessment.’’
Babamaaji, however, decried the dearth of data, funding to support the project and lack of awareness among farmers on the importance of space technology to farming.
She recalled that the management of the agency has been advocating for new and advanced satellites that would aid provision of data and help to plan better towards enhanced precision agriculture.
“Most of the farmers don’t know the importance of using satellite or geospatial technology in agriculture, so there is need for us to create more awareness on that.’’
She said that the agency was taking seriously the deployment of space science technology in other sectors to advance good governance and the socio-economic development of the nation.
VON D-G urges South-East to embrace FG’s Farm Estate Project
By Gistflash News
Sept 12, 2021
The Director-General, Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr Osita Okechukwu, has urged the people of South-East, especially Enugu State communities, to embrace the Federal Government’s ongoing nationwide Integrated Farm Estate Project.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Federal Government recently announced that it would establish Integrated Farm Estates across the 109 senatorial districts of the country.
However, the government’s plan had been faced with mixed feelings, as some people wrongly feel it is an indirect way of reintroducing the controversial Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) project.
Okechukwu, on Sunday, urged the people of the zone and communities in Enugu State in particular to participate fully in the project as it would be community-based and managed by the communities themselves.
He said that the Federal Government’s programme, meant for the 109 Senatorial districts in the country, was a presidential mandate to close bandits’ market, provide employment and food security.
He explained that the appeal had become necessary “because our people are embarrassingly missing billions of naira budgets from the Anchor Borrowers Programme, one of the key projects in the Buhari’s Agrarian Revolution Value Chain”.
The VON boss said: “One with a progressive mind should subscribe to this people-oriented and laudable back-to-land project.
“It is clearly community-based aimed at generating mass employment, as the creation of employment is the best way to close banditry, kidnappings and terrorism in our land. For an idle mind is the devil’s workshop”.
Okechukwu said that it was regrettable that some people’s past-time has become stock-pilling hatred against the central government as if President Muhammadu Buhari was going to preside over Nigeria for life.
“We should not gloss over the truism that the central government remains the only common shelter, which shelters us all.
“In no distant future, Nigeria will take her destined status as the giant of Africa. Therefore, it is not pragmatic to cut our nose to spite Buhari’s face,” he said.
According to him, South-Easterner should not reject humanitarian projects which ignite employment, close bandits’ market, reduce poverty and provide food security all because of sentiments.
Okechukwu further said that he was happy that the Executive Secretary of the National Land Development Authority (NALDA), Prince Paul Ikonne, a South-Easterner had clarified the concept of the programme.
According to him, the true position is that the national integrated farm estate is designed to accommodate the youth from that community in order to engage them in the entire agricultural value chain.
“And it depends on what the community is interested in going into, some states are getting into poultry like in the north, in the south like Abia they’re doing fishery and rabbit rearing.
“In Oyo, the people are into rabbit rearing and crop farming and in Ekiti they are opting for crop farming.
“It is not another or anything that has to do with Rural Grazing Area (RUGA); what we have is poultry, fishery, piggery and any farming model of the choice of the community,“ he said.
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