G7 countries commit $382m to avert looming famine in Nigeria’s N’ East –envoy
By Gistflash News
July 9, 2021
G7 Countries have made commitments of $382 million US dollars to immediately avert the looming famine in Nigeria’s North East and to tackle its root causes, according to Catriona Laing, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria.
Laing disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja as she welcomed partners from the Nigerian government and diplomatic mission to the launch of the G7 Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Compact.
This was also as representatives of the G7 countries in Nigeria stressed the need for effective and collaborative approach to respond to Nigeria’s humanitarian crises and avert the looming famine.
Speaking at the launch, Laing noted the concern about the humanitarian situation in Nigeria’s North-East and the G7 countries’ commitment to act immediately to avert further crises with $382 million US dollars.
“We are deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation in the North East where 8.7 million people need assistance, and 1.9 million people have been displaced because of the conflict, with another 300,000 having fled to neighboring countries.
“As a result of the conflict, we continue to see alarming rates of malnutrition and elevated risks of famine across parts of the North East.
“Through the G7, our countries have committed to act now to avert further crisis. This landmark commitment agreed in May by the G7 is critical to the needs and tackling the root cause of famine.
“This is not only about money, it is also about diplomatic actions, smarter financing and more effective approaches to crises.
“The G7 has agreed to urgently provide an initial $7 billion US dollars in humanitarian assistance. This includes $382 million US dollars desperately needed in Nigeria’s North East.
“In 2016, 2017, international engagements responded to food insecurity alerts and averted a famine in the North East. With conditions returning to similar levels today, we must act early with no regrets to save lives and tackle the drivers of acute food insecurity.
“We will continue to support governments to address crises and tackle conflicts. This includes working in close partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria and the state Governors of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.
“As well as humanitarian and development partners to respond to urgent needs and find solutions to the crises in the North East,” Laing said.
Hajia Sadiya Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, appreciated the G7 countries for their support and assistance to Nigeria in addressing its humanitarian crises.
Farouq who was represented by Mr Umar Bindir, National Coordinator, National Social Investment Programme in the ministry, said that the ministry had been working up to its mandate in coordinating responses in the North East.
“To see that you are going to spend nearly $400 million US dollars in the North East, most importantly to build capacities and technical support and strengthen the people and the government, for the purpose of forging and delivering humanitarian assistance and for the 1 million people that cannot be reached is highly appreciated.
“On behalf of the government, we will partner with you as an arm of government.
“We are already working closely with all the governors in the North East and all the governors in Nigeria,” Farouq said.
Ms Kathleen FitzGibbon, U.S Deputy Chief of Mission to Nigeria, also stressed the need for a comprehensive and collaborative approach, especially with the military to avoid the worst of the situation.
“I will like to echo what the British High Commissioner said that money alone won’t solve the problem.
“What is very important and we, as key donors, are working closely with the governors in the North East and other parts of the country, is to make sure that on the ground, in those areas, we have really good collaboration.
“And communication with the military authorities, the state government authorities and the non-governmental organisations that are working there.
“Everybody has to be on the same page and take a victim-centered approach in taking care of the people who are at risk of famine and we cannot under estimate what the situation is going to be,” FlitzGibbon 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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