Category : Agriculture

Other News / Agriculture - 1 day ago

Farmers begin dry season rice farming

Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN)  has   kicked off its multi-billion naira dry season rice farming. Its President, Aminu Goroyo said, during the flag off in Abuja, that the project was being executed under the Central Bank on Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers programme (ABP). The president, however, said the group was working out the modalities for the fund disbursement with the bank. He said planting would start simultaneously in the 774 local government areas of the 36 states of the federation and Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Goroyo said each state and the FCT would distribute high-breed seeds and farm input to over 700,000  farmers that were expected to cultivate 570,000 hectares. “To this end, for easy cultivation and good harvesting, 52 registered input suppliers, 20 service providers and 450 private extension officers will be involved. “The programme, being a technology-driven process, will ensure that all aspects of the farming are involved. “This dry season farming is in strict compliance with the use of only irrigable land with adequate irrigation facilities under the supervision of extension agents,” he said. Goroyo said the CBN had expressed its willingness to continue to assist RIFAN because of its success in rice production. He said most farmers are enthu...

Other News / Agriculture - 1 day ago

Farming without soil

Farmers are growing crops without soil. They are on a national campaign to promote this type of agriculture, DANIEL ESSIET writes. In a room in Anifowoshe, Ikeja, Lagos, kale, romaine, lettuce, oregano, thyme, arugula  and basil  are grown in trays under energy bulbs. The seeds are cultivated without soil. You are greeted by the pleasant sight of rows of young maize leaves growing out of pipes filled with water and saw dust –no soil. Though they are growing in a protected environment, the leaves are thick, lush green, and free of dust particles, giving them a clean and healthy look. BIC Farms Concept Chief Executive, Pastor Debo Onafowora, believes hydroponics – growing plants without soil – is the best way to go. Hydroponics, he explained, involves growing plants without soil. An Associate Pastor with Living Faith Church (aka Winners’ Chapel), Ota in Ogun State, Onafowora grows crops hydroponically. The most common are tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and maize. The seeds are placed  in trays and watered several times daily with a nutrient solution. Onafowora added that hydroponics is better than conventional farming. He emphasised that a plant only need  some nutrients, water, and sunlight to grow. He listed the advanges of hydroponics as high quality products, less spa...

Other News / Agriculture - 1 week ago

‘Urgent action needed on meat sector operating costs’

Intervention is urgently required to safeguard the future of the nation’s dairy as it deals with operating costs which are dramatically higher than key global competitors, an expert, Udeme Etuk, has said. Etuk, Managing Director of Chanan Elo’a  Integrated Farms Limited, who spoke in Lagos, made a strong case   for enhancing the livestock value chains to reduce poverty levels among rural households, most of whom are small and marginal farmers. He said the   red meat sector is a really important link in the agribusiness supply chain, adding that it was vital that industry and government are on the same page when it comes to boosting competitiveness and bringing operating costs under control. Etuk, said the dairy industry is challenged by poorly developed cold chain infrastructure; unavailability of veterinary health services; inadequate availability of fodder in all seasons; lack of use of scientific practices in milching; poor quality of fodder and inadequate transportation facilities. He said stakeholders in the dairy sub-sector are advocating for zero per cent import duty on all processing equipment. Etuk said the three billion dollars business had not experienced any huge development in value addition as a result of lack of processing equipment, especially in the powdered milk...

Other News / Agriculture - 3 weeks ago

Wanted: A low cost dairy industry

Nigeria spends about $1.3 billion yearly on the importation of dairy products. Stakeholders believe the situation can change if efforts are made to improve the local production system, DANIEL ESSIET reports. In Nigeria’s quest for a diversified economy, one question stakeholders have shown concern about, is  the country’s   share of the global  $442 billion dairy business. For the larger part, Nigeria is not involved in the more productive aspects of the industry. At the moment, the value of Nigeria’s dairy business is about $1.5 billion, with over 90 per cent of that amount accounting for importation, packaging and distribution of milk  to consumers. This  was not   a cherry  news  for  Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar. She didn’t hide it when she   inaugurated  a stakeholders committee for the development of policy framework to boost the dairy industry. Nigeria spends about $1.3 billion yearly on the importation of dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese and other milk derivatives. Abubarkar said the dairy industry has huge potential, such as the creation of millions of jobs and the generation of about N300 billion monthly for the country. She lamented that 85 per cent of Nigeria’s 19.5 million cattle,are own...

Other News / Agriculture - 3 weeks ago

Maize farmers eye 25m tonnes production

The Maize Farmers Association of Nigeria (MAAN) says it hopes to produce about 25 million metric tonnes of maize during the 2019 harvest season following promising federal government and stakeholders’ support. The National President of the association, Alhaji Bello Abubakar, said this in an interview in Abuja. “Our target for this year’s production for maize is 25 million metric tonnes because of the additional manpower and other support that we are getting from different organisations, especially from the Federal Government. “Last year, we produced 20 million metric tonnes in spite of some challenges that we were faced with and this year, we hope we will not experience those challenges. “Some of the challenges included late supply of input to us. “There was also the challenge in mechanisation and extension services. “We are planning to start everything at the right time this year. “We have already provided some tractors and other implements to our farmers so that we can tackle the problem of late mechanisation or land preparation for the wet season. “Other implements like planter and harvesters have been provided to our farmers so that we will start our planting at the right time. “With elimination of these challenges, we are hoping that we will experience improved maize product...

Other News / Agriculture - 3 weeks ago

‘Agric can stimulate growth’

FEderal College of Agriculture (FECA), Provost, Dr. Samson Adeola Odedina  said Nigeria needs   agriculture  to achieve the ambitious goal of  a functional food system. Odedina, who was  guest lecturer at the 20th Annual Lecture Series of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta,  (FUNAAB) Alumni Convention, said:  “’Business as usual’ is no longer an option for the sector, adding  that change is vital to  ensure the future of agricultural growth, and that it  better meets the expectations and aspirations of Nigerians. The theme was: Agriculture and national development:scaling agricultural solution for stutainable national development. Odedina stressed the importance of scaling up agriculture as a compulsory vehicle to drive economic diversification of Nigeria’. He said more innovation was needed to generate new drivers for growth to ensure macroeconomic stability. Such an ambitious agenda can be achieved only if the sector embraces agricultural innovation. He said Nigerians require access to safe, quality food than ever before  and to  achieve  this, efforts  have to be made  to  increase the competitiveness of farmers as well as ensure the future investment in innovation. He said high quality training and education will ensure that farmers continue to produce safe, affo...

Other News / Agriculture - 3 weeks ago

Cocoa price rises

Cocoa price is on the rise signaling a positive year for farmers. On 18 Jan the price  of cocoa stood at $1687.33. The bullish stance on prices, according to the international Cocoa Organisation (ICCO)  was  observed during the first month of   the year. Also,  analysts said the price of cocoa increased by more than 50 per cent from January to May last  year. The main driver of the surge was high demand at relatively low prices. Analysts  said  cocoa beans were able to grow well thanks to favorable weather conditions. According to analysis provided by the Financial Times,         cocoa prices  last  year hit 19-month high on strong European demand. Cocoa continued its ascent, rallying as much as 5.6 per cent to a 19-month high after strong European demand figures spurred buying. The key ingredient for chocolate has been rising on the back of excess rains in the Ivory Coast, the world’s largest producer. However, first quarter figures from the European Cocoa Association showed a 5.5 per cent year-on-year increase in cocoa “grindings” or the amount of beans being processed. This was due to high cocoa processing margins, which rose to a ten-year high, according to analysts at Commerzbank. Forecasts of higher demand in Asia also supported prices, which were trading at $2,781 a tonne...

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