Category : Agriculture

Other News / Agriculture - 2 weeks ago

Combating post-harvest losses

Post-harvest management is closely related to United Nations Sustainable goal of ending hunger by 2030. The World Food programme has implemented a strategy to help Nigerian farmers reduce post-harvest loss, DANIEL ESSIET writes. A third of the global food wastage happens during post-harvest according to international reports. According to figures by the Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Nigeria loses some $9 billion yearly due to poor post-harvest management. More than 30 per cent of staple food grains, such as maize, sorghum, millet, are lost due to poor storage, while 60 percent of vegetables perish. For this reason, there have been worldwide efforts to reduce post-harvest losses against the backdrop of an increasing world population. One goal of the World Food Programme (WFP) is to support a post-harvest system in Nigeria that ensures farmers take delivery of a crop from the farm, at harvest, with minimum loss, maximum efficiency and returns for all involved. For instance, WFP has played a key role in minimising post-harvest loss of cowpea and increasing supply.  Training carried out in Yobe State has improved methods of food storage after the harvest season. WFP, in collaboration with the Agricultural Development Project (ADP) and...

Other News / Agriculture - 3 weeks ago

Farmcrowdy merges subsidiaries

Farmcrowdy, the country’s first digital agriculture firm, has merged its subsidiaries – Farmgate Africa and Agricsquare. The firms will now be referred to as Farmcrowdy. In a statement, company said sponsorships available in  the subsidiaries’platforms would reflect on the Farmcrowdy platform. It explained that sponsorship options, such as beef processing, ginger farms, cattle farms, and poultry farms previously only available via Farmgate Africa and Farmcrowdy will now be open to sponsorship on the Farmcrowdy platform. The statement, noted, that Agricsquare will, however, continue to be run as a product of Farmcrowdy – the largest community of agriculture enthusiasts in the country with over 20,000 people engaging daily to discuss agriculture-related topics. In addition, the statement added that the Managing Director, Farmgate Africa, Kenneth Obiajulu, would oversee the trading aspect of the new entity and Temitope Omotolani, Chief Operations Officer for Farmcrowdy, would continue to oversee the production segment (Crop production, feedlot production, etc) of the company. According to Farmcrowdy Founder and CEO, Onyeka Akumah, this process had been in the plan to attract more talents, expand the company’s reach in the agriculture value chain and provide more options...

Other News / Agriculture - 3 weeks ago

Experts seek ways to stop produce rejection

A Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) consultant, Prof. Funso Sonaiya, has called for concerted efforts to stem  the rejection of the country’s agricultural produce abroad. Speaking with The Nation, Sonaiya stressed the need for improved post-harvest handling and packaging to meet standards set for export to regional and international markets. He explained that European Union (EU) expects countries wishing to export to the region to set up a similar system of food safety controls to ensure that European consumers have the same level of confidence in the safety of imported food products as they do with those from the EU. He said the measures must protect exports from diseases, pests, or contaminants. This is to ensure that importing countries can rely on Nigeria’s food safety system and that food imported from here  is safe, the dons said. Sonaiya said the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has set standards, which farmers must follow to avoid rejection if they are to tap into wider markets. Besides experts, such as the Executive Secretary/CEO, Institute of Export Operations and Management, (IEOM) Mr. Ofon Udofia, are canvassing investment in laboratories; sensitisation of farmers on good practices of production and post-harvest handling using extension services. They also sa...

Other News / Agriculture - 3 weeks ago

US records $308.1m agro exports to Nigeria

The United States (U.S) Department of Agriculture said its agro exports to Nigeria stood at $308.1 million last year. In a statement, the USDA said agri- export produce to Nigeria constituted 11 per cent of its share of the country market share in West Africa. Top  exports prospect for US producers, included condiments and sauces, corn, prepared foods, soybeans, wheat, wine and beer . To improve relationship, USDA will lead a trade mission to Accra, Ghana, October 28 through 31, seeking to unlock new export opportunities in several West African countries where strong economic growth is driving demand for imported food and farm products. According to the statement, the mission is to support the Administration’s Prosper Africa initiative, which seeks to strengthen the United States’ commercial ties and foster fair and reciprocal trade with countries in Africa. Local workers from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service will arrange meetings between trade mission delegates and potential customers from Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Senegal, and The Gambia, helping lay the foundation for long-lasting business relationships. In addition, in-depth economic and policy briefings and local site visits will help participants better understand the opportunities and challenges of exporting to...

Other News / Agriculture - 4 weeks ago

Stakeholders seek support for livestock production

Stakeholders have urged the government to support the expansion of the dairy industry. They said the livestock sector is facing many challenges from disease outbreaks to environmental and resource constraints. They spoke at the 2019 Development Icon Forum (DIF), a policy-research-practice (PoReP) platform of the Development Practice Academy (DEPRA), which held at the University of Ibadan International Conference Centre, Ibadan, Oyo State. It focused on the industry and its challenges. With the theme: The path of dairy enterprise to sustainable development, the forum  was attended by over 200 participants with expertise in research, academics, animal husbandry, dairy farming and processing, civil societies, policy makers and development practitioners, among others, across the dairy value chain. Participants demonstrated the industry’s commitment to sustainable beef production and sourcing, and also recognised the country’s role and responsibility in the promotion of sustainable livestock. According to them, the  development of the dairy industry calls for responsibility and know-how, adding that sustainable solutions are crucial for the industry to remain on a steady growth path without any setback. To address food safety concern and productivity, stakeholders urged  the governmen...

Other News / Agriculture - 4 weeks ago

Boosting rural entrepreneurship

The Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI), Ilorin, Kwara State has partnered the Federal Government to empower rural women and youth with Village Alive Development Initiative (VADI). It aims to ensure capacity development, farmers’ access to productive resources and knowledge exchange, DANIEL ESSIET writes. With more than 75 per cent of its people under the age of 35, Nigeria boasts of one of the world’s youngest populations. Giving women and youths  in the rural areas opportunities and reducing irregular migration are among the country’s most pressing priorities. To address these concerns, the Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI) launched the Village Alive Development Initiative (VADI) project to enable economic opportunities for people in rural areas. ARMTI’s Executive Director Dr Olufemi Oladunni said: “What we are doing in the VADI project is simple. We are demonstrating the simple fact that our dear country has everything we need for the effective diversification of the Nigerian economy through agribusiness, by involving our rural stakeholders/actors in the different agricultural value chains where each community has comparative advantage. We believe that soon enough, every state government and other stakeholders would partner...

Other News / Agriculture - 1 month ago

Institute harps on partnerships in cropping

THE Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, Oyo State is increasing breeding and agronomy to boost productivity  and cropping. It is championing research on production practices and technologies for managing cropping systems. It is determined to help Nigerians shift to developing viable enterprises for farm products. IAR&T Executive Director Prof Veronica Obatolu said these at a seminar for the institute’s workers  in Ibadan. The seminar had as theme “A paradigm shift in IAR$T’s agriculture for food and nutrition security.” With more research, she said, crops could contribute significantly to food and nutrition security, agricultural sustainability, and reduced climate change risks. This, however, according to her, could only be achieved in a research community with strong cooperation and partnerships across academic, government, and private sector research systems. She explained that interactions among geneticists, pathologists, breeders, agronomists, environmental scientists, and social scientists are essential to developing better cropping systems that better manage diseases and pests, optimise fertiliser use, and build agro biodiversity. Obatolu said the institute would bring together scientists, producers, food industry, policy makers with a...

Other News / Agriculture - 1 month ago

ARMTI seeks enhanced agro exports

THE Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI) has called for increased export of agri-products. It made the call at a workshop held at the ARMTI Regional Training Centre in Abuja. It had as theme ‘’Smallholders and rural agro producers’ inclusion in exportation’’. At the event were major stakeholders in the agro export sub-sector who identified challenges facing in the sector. A communique signed by the institute’s Executive Director, Dr Olufemi Oladunni, noted that quality and competitiveness of agricultural products, though improved, were  still low. This is because the sector is facing  some difficulties and challenges, including global fiercer competition and stricter quarantine regulations of plants, food safety and quality,  it said. According to the communique,   farmers still apply old production customs and pesticides. The workshop observed that farmers were   ill equipped to take advantage of the opportunities in agritrade. Also, they were unaware of the maximum residue level (MRL) regulated in various markets, resulting in violation of import regulations and causing economic losses. The experts recommended selecting good varieties and developing post-harvest, preserving, and processing technologies to increase the values of farm produce while enhanci...

Other News / Agriculture - 1 month ago

Empowering youths in agric

The British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN) Foundation and the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on a new project to create jobs and promote youth agriculture, DANIEL ESSIET reports. MOST youths do not like agriculture. They prefer white collar jobs. To stop them from running away from the farms, the British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN) Foundation and the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Lagos. The programme entitled: Wealth is Here is aimed at attracting and empowering the youth in rural areas. It will cover both the youth with some land holding and those without land. Speaking at the signing of the MoU in Lagos, BATNF Executive Director, Ms Abimbola  Okoya said rural transformation could not be accomplished in Nigeria  without encouraging and empowering the youth in agriculture and value chains and entrepreneurship. She  noted that investing in the future of the youth and encouraging them to grow their own businesses was key in dealing with the unemployment situation. She underscored the need for motivation through linkage to financial services that do not require collaterals the youth cannot provide, rural infrastructure and services to facilitate market linkages and enterprise development a...

Other News / Agriculture - 1 month ago

‘Ban tomato paste’

The Federal Government has been urged to ban some products, particularly tomato paste, because some imported pastes contain about 50 per cent starch before dilution in Nigeria where an additional 15 per cent starch is often added. A Professor of Horticulture and Landscape Management at the Federal University of Agriculture (FUNAAB), Abeokuta, Ogun State, Prof. Goke Bodunde, made the call at the 59th Inaugural Lecture of the institution. Bodunde, who delivered the inaugural lecture entitled: “Unveiling the beauty of an unforbidden fruit”, condemned substandard tomato paste import and the consumption of rotten tomato fruits called Esha  in the Southwest, which he attributed to poor tomato yield. According to him, although tomato is vital to nutrition, Nigeria has the poorest production in the world with about five tonnes per hectare (ha), compared to Egypt that records a yield of 39.7t/ha and South Africa’s 78.7t/ha. Bodunde attributed the low tomato  productivity to environmental and managerial factors. The don stated that because of the low production and the dietary compulsion of tomato in culinary use, some abuses had been observed. “This is the story of some of the tomato paste and puree imported into Nigeria, 91.1 per cent  of which, according to the National Agency for Food...

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