Clash Between Farmers And Herdsmen Not Tribal- Abubakar Bagudu

The Governor of Kebbi state has blamed the media for blowing things out of proportion in respect to farmers and herdsmen clash across the country.

Governor Abubakar Bagudu while hosting the Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed with a team of journalists has said that the clashes between farmers and herdsmen across the country are not tribal but consequences of climate change.

The governor who said that the clashes were misunderstood in many quarters, challenged the media to carry out investigation to ascertain the truth and veracity of his claims.

He advised the minister to lead newsmen to some prone areas to interview the pastoralists and other concerned stakeholders in order to find out the truth and educate Nigerians.

“It is environmental challenge caused by climate change. The occupational practice of pastoralists and even the fishermen are threatened.

“The water resources and grasses are not available and the pastoralists are forced to move toward the South,’ he said.

The Minister led the journalists to Kebbi for on-hand assessment of the agriculture revolution in the state.

Bagudu called for the understanding of the plight of the pastoralists and the need to gradually introduce the modern trend of ranches to them.

He said that the average herders were not literate and because of the nature of what they were doing, they were prone to crime.

“In Kebbi, the predominant prisoners in custody are the Fulanis; they are prone to crime because of lack of Education.

“On the other hand, they are also victims of cattle rustlers who attack them and take away their animals,” he said.

The governor said that the state was working with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture to revive the Argungu fishing festival.

He thanked the minister for the initiative of leading newsmen to Kebbi to showcase the agriculture revolution in the state with partnership with the Federal Government.

The Minister said the visit was necessary to let the world know what the government was doing to transform the agriculture sector was real and yielding fruits.

“We are here to tell Nigerians and the world of the giant strides of Kebbi in the agriculture sector.

“The story of Agriculture revolution in Nigeria will be incomplete without Kebbi.

“The state has turned around the narrative in the agriculture sector to the extent that everyone wants to engage in agriculture in the state,” he said.

The minister reiterated the federal government’s commitment to supporting the farmers to boost food production in the country.

 

Kebbi State Delivers Rice Affordable To The Public

In a bid to reduce and subsequently stop rice importation, various states have set up different programmes to boost the rice production and the agricultural sector as a whole.

It has been disclosed by Gov. Abubakar Bagudu that Kebbi state will deliver rice for as low as N10,000. To achieve this the state is to work together with farmers and millers under the Federal Government’ Anchor Borrower Programme.

The governor gave the assurances Sunday night in Birnin Kebbi at a dinner hosted in honour of the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

The minister is on a two-day working visit to Kebbi with a team of journalists to showcase and assess the government agricultural revolution.

Bagudu who commended the President Muhammadu Buhari led Government policy on rice called for more investments by the public and private sector.

The governor said that the mobilisation of 70,000 farmers and N11 billion spent on the pilot scheme had yielded so much dividends and attracted national and global attention to the state.

He said in addition to the two major rice milling factories – Labana and Walcot – , there were so many small and medium scale millers springing up in the state.

Bagudu disclosed that Labana and Walcot rice milling factoriies had N55 billion demand for paddy.

 

Thailand Accuses Nigeria Over Rice Mill Collapse

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh says Thailand has accused President Muhammadu Buhari’s government of being responsible for the collapse of its seven rice mills as rice importation from Nigeria fell drastically.

The minister made this known at a meeting of the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) and leadership of the Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers of Nigeria (FEPSAN) held at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Friday.

The meeting was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Ogbeh said Thailand’s Ambassador to Nigeria made the “accusation’’ when he visited him in February.

According to the minister, the ambassador lamented that the collapse of the rice mills has increased the unemployment rate in his country from 1.2 per cent to 4 per cent.

“Just like two weeks ago, the Ambassador of Thailand came to my office and said to me that we have really dealt with them.

“But I asked what did we do wrong and he said unemployment in Thailand was one of the lowest in the world, 1.2 per cent, it has gone up to four per cent because seven giant rice mills have shut down because Nigeria’s import has fallen by 95 per cent on rice alone.

“So, Mr President we thank you for the support and we thank all the agencies and those of you in the private sector for your resilience,’’ he said.

The minister, however, alerted the nation on what he described as alarming smuggling of fake fertiliser and rice along the western borders of the country.

He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to take drastic measures to check the trend as all previous diplomatic measures had failed to address the menace.

“But one last request Mr President, we have to take one strong measure against our neighbour to the West. The smuggling is really compromising our capacity on our result.

“Too much rice, too much fake fertilizer is still coming across the borders into this country in spite of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) we have with them they are not listening.

“Maybe if the Federal Government takes one tough action, they will come and renegotiate the terms because good neighbourliness means reciprocity.

“We can’t be allowing them to survive at our own expense and I believe that we will do something about it,’’ he said.

Ogbeh appealed to FEPSAN to adjust their blending formula using little more micro nutrients for some crops like cocoa, cashew, plantain, banana and others that would soon be revived by his ministry.

The minister noted that the agricultural sector had created millions of jobs for Nigerians in the last two years.

He said: “People may say what they like about jobs. Recently I heard that we lost four million jobs. Nobody has calculated the millions and millions of jobs created on the farms.

“So, this programme as it grows can only make us stronger.

“As soon as more dams and lakes are put in place, you begin to sell fertilizer all year round and not wait for the rainy season alone.’’

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Agriculture, Key To Nigeria Development

 

My country, Nigeria is filled with diverse mineral resources and we have grossly enjoyed the proceeds from the sale of crude oil being one of our major revenue. However, Nigeria has continued to make little or no progress in many areas and it has become the dream of the younger generation of the present Nigeria to be part of the nation building in no small measure. I desire that this great country will not continue to live in the midst of plenty and yet suffer from penury. The economy of any country is the base of its development and yet the country has not got it straight on this crucial matter.

Economic issues are real life issues and without increased strength to attain the status of developed or real developing nations, we may continue to live in poverty. What saddens the heart is that many Nigerians are living below one dollar per day and the currency has lost it values. My dream in this regard is to see to the balance of trade that is required for any developing economy. When the imports keep increasing and there is only one major commodity to export we are far from the Nigeria of our dream.

I would encourage the teeming youth to see agriculture as a great ladder towards economic independence because as it stands, Nigeria is yet to be financially liberated.

In addition to the above, industrial development will go a long way to reduce unemployment, encourage entrepreneurship and reduce importation of foreign products.

Massive Fertilizer Fraud Occured Under Previous Administrations – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari again on Friday took a swipe at his predecessors, saying trucks conveying fertilizers disappeared “miraculously” in transit under previous governments.

Buhari spoke while granting audience to members of the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He expressed delight that contrary to what happened under previous governments, none of the 3,333 trucks that participated in the fertilizer programme of his administration in 2017 got missing.

He promised that his administration would continue to provide adequate security in order to sustain the programme.

The President said, “Unlike in previous governments where trucks conveying fertiliser would miraculously disappear in transit, in 2017, none of the 3,333 trucks that participated in this programme went missing.

“I want to assure all participants of the PFI that, we will continue to provide adequate security so that this programme, and its positive impact on Nigeria, is sustained.

While acknowledging the partnership among the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and state governors to ensure Nigeria feeds itself, Buhari urged them to continue on the track.

He urged stakeholders to continue to support programmes like the PFI and work together to ensure that the country never returns to the dark days of import dependence.

He added, “The rains are upon us. Farmers in the Southern part of the country will be planting soon. We must all do our bit to ensure fertiliser is readily available.

“Therefore, the Ministry of Finance and Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority should immediately engage the Governors Forum to conclude their orders.

 

“The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should conclude the planning for all government programmes for the 2018 season to ensure synergy. “

Osun Govt To Begin Allocation Of Farm Settlement To 500 Small Farmers

The state Government of Osun has commenced allocation of farmland in the New Ago-Owu Farm Settlement to 500 small holdings farmers in the state.

Head, Corporate and Commercial Services, Osun Agricultural Land Holding and Development Authority, Mr Wole Ajewole, in a press release on Tuesday, explained that the list of the successful beneficiaries of the farmland had been released.

Ajewole maintained that the provision of farmland to the farmers and agric entrepreneurs in the state is in fulfillment of the government’s efforts to promote food security and wealth creation.

He added that the project is in tandem with the determination of the government to use agriculture as a catalyst to grow the economy of the state.

The release reads in part: “The Osun Agricultural Land Holding and Development Authority has released the list of the successful beneficiaries of farmland allocation of 500 small holdings located within the precinct of the IITA Research and Training Farm at New Ago-Owu Farm Settlement.”

According to Ajewole, the allocation of farmland would be done on first come first serve basis, urging the farmers that applied for the farmland to check their names at the agency’s office at government secretariat, Abere.

This is coming against the insinuation by members of the opposition party that the state government had mortgaged farm settlements in the state for loans.

CBN’s N55billion In Agricultural Sector Provides One Million Jobs

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s implementation of the Anchors Borrowers Programme has allegedly created over a million jobs in country.

According to reports, this was achieved in two years with the disbursement of N55.53 billion.

Besides, the programme, which is in partnership with state governments and several private sector groups, aided the disbursements to over 250,000 farmers, who cultivated almost 300,000 hectares of farmland for rice, wheat, maize, cotton, soybeans, cassava, among others.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who made the disclosure when he performed the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of  Greenfield  Integrated Poultry Facility, alongside Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, in Emure-Ile, said the current attention to agriculture is by no means a bad strategy.

Meanwhile, Emefiele while showing gratitude for awards won over the weekend said;

“Agriculture can still be used as a key catalyst for creating jobs, reducing unemployment and driving growth in Nigeria”‘ adding that in 2003, when importation of chickens was banned, with the exception of day old chickens, the policy served as a major fillip for the poultry industry.He said that ABP is designed to support smallholder farmers by providing them with the requisite training, tools and funds at single digit interest rates, to improve cultivation of key agricultural items such as maize, soybeans, rice, cotton and wheat.

The programme also provides a ready market for farmers by linking them with credible off takers and processors of their produce.  “With the commencement of the Greenfield Integrated Poultry Facility, we expect that the implementation of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme in the State will be tremendously expanded. This will surely go a long way in providing needed inputs for the facility.

“Today, some analysts have put the Nigerian poultry industry to be worth about N1.2 trillion, comprising about 165 million birds, which produces over 650,000Metric Tonnes of eggs… making Nigeria the largest producer of eggs in Africa.

“Despite this huge success in the sub-sector, statistics from Eurostat, however highlight that between 2009 and 2011, over three million Metric Tonnes of poultry products were imported into the Republic of Benin, and eventually smuggled into Nigeria.

“This means that despite the huge domestic production, we are still far behind meeting our local consumption needs for poultry products. It is no wonder that Greenfield Assets Limited and ONDIPA have decided to fill this gap with the investment we are witnessing today,” he said.
The state Governor, Akeredolu, said his leadership will remain a beacon of hope to many of its citizens, as efforts are well on track towards being a major food basket in Nigeria, as well as fulfill its promises.He also raised the hope of continuing to provide the enabling environment towards attracting increased investment in the state, a drive that has made it possible for the current investment by Greenfield.

The Chief Executive Officer of Greenfield Limited, Dr. Paul Obanua, explained that the facility comprises a pasteurised liquid and powder egg processing plants; 200,000 Commercial Rearing Capacity; 600,000 Commercial Layers; Egg Grading and Packing Centre; a state of the art Feed Mill; and modern Broiler Processing Operation. He assured that the completion of the first phase construction will be due in just one year, marking the take off of the production.

Sokoto Introduces Tractor Hire Scheme

The Sokoto state government said it will start a tractor hire scheme to boost mechanization in farms and assist farmers to enhance their production capacity.

Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal stated this in Kware LGA when he inspected agricultural processing machines to be distributed to farmers under the state’s FADAMA III additional funding scheme.

“We are starting with 30 tractors, with each of the three senatorial districts to have 10 tractors each. This initiative will be implemented with the collaboration of the FADAMA III coordinating office, the state ministry of agriculture and the state investment company which will provide the tractors,” the Governor stated.
He said a strict vetting process will be implemented for those to benefit from the gesture.
“We want to ensure that both the small and large scale farmers have access to the tractors and other machinaries.

“We hope to expand the scheme to ensure we have enough tractors to help our farmers have access to modern farm tools at affordable prices,” he added.

Tambuwal said 127 farmer Processing Groups, made up of 1,385 small-holder farmers, have benefitted from the agricultural processing machines and equipment distributed to farmers across the state by the FADAMA III office in Sokoto.

According to him, in addition to the creation of two agricultural produce aggregation centres in the state, eleven tomato production net houses have been established at various locations in the state.

“This gesture is part of our collective efforts towards modernizing our farming techniques so as to improve yield and income of our farmers,” he stated.

The Governor further revealed that 243 unemployed youths have been trained to embrace agriculture, saying this was done with a view to exploring the agribusiness sector and instilling in the youths and women the technical and practical skills that could enhance their competitiveness in agri-prenueship.

Farmers Commend FG For Support In Borno

The Federal Government has been commended for their support Programme for farmers displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency by the Women farmers in Zabarmari community in Jere Local Government Area of Borno.

According to NAN, The government, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) supported 270, 000 displaced farmers during the rain-fed and ongoing dry season farming activities in the state.

The farmers were provided with fertilisers, seeds, chemicals, tube wells, water pumps and other inputs.

Mrs Maryam Abubakar described the gesture as commendable, noting that it would boost agricultural productivity as well as provide them with sustainable means of livelihood.

Abubakar said that the women were supported in the cultivation of tomatoes, onions, Okro, cabbage and other vegetables.

She noted that her involvement in farming in the past one year had enhanced her socio-economic status.

Ms Fatime Musa, the Head of the Women Farm Cluster in the area, said that no fewer than 61 women were registered in the cluster.

She said that the women were allocated land by the government and the development organisations.

“We are 61 in number, including widows and divorcees, working on the farm. We received fertilisers, inputs and farming implements, in addition to tube wells and water pumps, provided in the farm.

“We preserve some of the produce for our household consumption and sell some, to meet our financial needs,” she said.

Hafsatu Yahaya, however, called on the state government to provide access road to open up the area, to ensure easy transportation of farm produce to the urban centres.

Yahaya noted that the people of the area relied on Ox Cart for transportation, due to lack of access road.

“Besides, the difficulties associated with the movement of farm produce, it is also difficult to take sick persons to the hospital in Maiduguri due to lack of access road.”

Zabarmari is one of the farming communities liberated from the Boko Haram insurgents by the military.

Also, the community is one of the major rice producing areas of the state.

Other produce cultivated by the farmers in the area include maize, beans, millet, sorghum and perishable produce.

 

Food Price Drops By 15% After Harvest

There has been a decrease in the past three months following the harvest recorded by farmers. Traders and farmers have recorded a 15% decrease in price in the space of three months.

A 50 kilogramme bag of local variety of rice was sold for N13, 000; as against its previous price of N15,000, while a measure of the produce was sold at N650.

Refined rice had also indicated similar decrease in prices, as a 50 kilogramme bag sold between N15,000 and N15,500; as against its old price of N17,000, depending on its quality.

Prices of other produce had dropped significantly in the past months; as a measure of maize sold at N280 and millet N350, as against its previous prices of N350 and N500 respectively.

A measure of cooking oil was sold at N380 as against its old price of N500; while perishable produce such as tomatoes and onions showed similar decrease in prices.

A measure of tomatoes was sold at N200 and onions N120.

Traders at the markets attributed the drop in prices to improvement in the supply of food items to the market.

 

Aregbesola Calls On Nigerians To Intensify Efforts On Food Production

Nigerians have been charged on attitudinal change towards ensuring that the country is self sufficient in food production with a view to banishing hunger across the nation.

This charge was made by Governor of the state of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on Tuesday during the foundation laying ceremony of “Sanrot Agro-Allied Rice mill and Fertilizer Blending Plant” in Ijebu-Jesa owned by a business mogul, Chief Rotimi Obeisun.

Ogbeni Aregbesola also joined Chief Rotimi Obeisun to commission other projects under the Timsed group of companies which include: hotel and holiday centre, civic centre and cinema, food and confectionery section, water and beverage bottling plant and Timsed radio and television broadcasting service to mark his 60th birthday celebrations.

He stressed the need for the country to stop exporting raw materials and importing finished items, a situation which the governor said is contributing to the dwindling economic fortunes of the nation.

He explained that the rice mill which has the capacity to produce ten million tons of rice per annum will go a long way in providing a ready market for rice farmers in Osun and environs.

The Governor also commended the fertilizer blending plant saying it will be a major boost to the state’s economy as it will be able to produce about one hundred thousand metric tons of fertilizer when fully operational.