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Friday, September 22, 2017

Nigerian media tasked on family planning uptake

The Associate Director, Family Planning and Reproductive Health at Pathfinder Nigeria, Dr. Habeeb Salami, has urged Nigerian media to ensure family planning uptake in the country, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Salami in his opening remarks at a one-day media parley on the 2017 fourth round survey of Performance, Monitoring and Accountability (PMA2020) as part of the Lagos Family Planning (FP) Advocacy Working group (PHSAI), and supported by Pathfinder International, said the objective of the session was to engage the media and provide participants with relevant information with regards to latest survey results.

This, he said, would avail media to better package their reportages toward advocating for improved family planning.

As said by him, the session would also encourage media to link the data from Performance, Monitoring and Accountability (PMA2020) to family planning with the anticipated outcome of reducing Maternal Mortality (MM).

He pointed out on the need to draw attention to poor understanding and the role of family planning in reducing maternal mortality.

Dr. Salami reiterated the call on the media to do everything possible professionally to make certain Nigeria continue to see increase in better family planning.

NaijaAgroNet notes that PMA2020 and media parley also had supports from the Federal Ministry of Health, National Population Commission, National Bureau of Statistics, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health (Johns Hopkins University) and was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Food technologists develop tools to prevent loss, waste

Food technologists at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have developed tools and methodologies for identifying losses, their causes and potential solutions along the entire food value chain, from production, storage and processing to distribution and consumption, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Obviously reacting to the latest United Nations disclosure that some 815 million hungry people are in the world, the majority lives in rural areas of developing countries and are family farmers, pastoralists or fishers, these experts cited South-East Asia, for example, noting that fruit and vegetable producers found that around 20 per cent of tomatoes were damaged during transportation because of the way they were packed in bulk.

According to DG, FAO, Mr. José Graziano da Silva, the initiatives will improve packaging practices, they said, with the participation of producers and other stakeholders, resulted in an impressive 90 per cent reduction of these losses.

NaijaAgroNet reports that in 2013, FAO launched a global initiative on food loss and waste called Save Food.

The platform, NaijaAgroNet gathered, includes a network of over 500 partners from international organizations, the private sector, civil society and others with the objective of promoting awareness and the exchange of ideas and best practices on preventing food waste and loss.


FAO also said, it has produced data and information so that decision-makers could better understand where and how food losses and waste occur, and the agency is working with partners to measure the impact of food loss and waste reductions on food security and nutrition.

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Africa ranks second in global hungry people with 243m victims

The African continent has been ranked second in the number of hungry people in the world which the United Nations (UN) said was 815 million, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The UN in its latest hunger and food security key numbers made available to NaijaAgroNet, which has overall number at 815 million, saw Asia continent with 520 million, over 100 per cent of African quota.

Also, NaijaAgroNet gathered that in the top three continents in the hungriest people in the world included Latin America and the Caribbean with 42 million.

The global hungry population as shared in percentage, NaijaAgroNet gathered showed that Asia has 11.7 per cent; Africa has 20 per cent with eastern Africa lone scoring 33.9 per cent, while Latin America and the Caribbean got 6.6 per cent.

NaijaAgroNet further gathered this was the first time that UNICEF and WHO join FAO, IFAD and WFP in preparing The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report. This change reflects the SDG agenda's broader view on hunger and all forms of malnutrition.

The UN Decade of Action on Nutrition, established by the General Assembly, is lending focus to this effort by motivating governments to set goals and invest in measures to address the multiple dimensions of malnutrition.


The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017 has been re-geared for the SDG era and includes enhanced metrics for quantifying and assessing hunger, including two indicators on food insecurity and six indicators on nutrition.

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Expert decries more women paying for family planning services in Lagos

Reproductive health expert has decried the rising charges on women seeking family planning in Lagos State, and called for more funding to health sector to help cushion the effect, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The co-Principal Investigator for the Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 (PMA2020), Dr. Funmi OlaOlorun, expressed her displeasure in Lagos, over the charges on women in need of family planning services, saying this has been on the rise as more women get involved.

Lagos, which has about 112 service delivery points, she said, change fees on family planning, with the points estimated at 65 public and 47 private facilities, which represents 26.2 and 10.6 per cents respectively in public and private clinics.

Family planning indicators, she said, must cut across, calling upon government and all well-meaning investors, to allocate more funds on consumables and logistics to ensure improved impact on family planning programmes, and reduce the charges even though its prevalent in both public and private clinical facilities.

Dr. Olaolorun while sharing the scorecard on the per cent of public and private clinical facilities alongside the offering and current in and out of stock by methods survey in Lagos, told NaijaAgroNet that government could also offer vouchers to the poorest women by using an equity approach and graded billing system.

Other Family Planning Indicators, she pointed out to include access, equity, quality and choice, just as out of the seven states sampled, consisting of 302 Enumeration Areas (EA), Lagos State had 52.

The programme, NaijaAgroNet recalls was supported by the Federal Ministry of Health, National Population Commission, National Bureau of Statistics, Lagos State Ministry of Health , Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health (Johns Hopkins University) as well as Pathfinder International and was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Zero tolerance for food loss, waste makes economic sense

The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Mr. José Graziano da Silva has joined calls for a renewed global commitment to zero tolerance for food loss and waste makes economic sense, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Graziano da Silva, made this call at a sideline event at the ongoing 72nd session of the UN General Assembly with focus on tackling food loss and waste as a pathway to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger, declaring that "Zero tolerance for food loss and waste makes economic sense.”

He buttressed his point, with recent report that every $1 invested in food loss and food waste policies brings $14 in return, Graziano da Silva stressed that "Investing in measures to prevent food loss and food waste also means making investments in pro-poor policies as it promotes sustainable food systems for a zero hunger world."

Noting that one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally each year. This loss and waste occurs throughout the supply chain, from farm to fork. Beyond food, it represents a waste of labour, water, energy, land and other inputs. If food loss and waste were a country, it would rank as the third highest national emitter of greenhouse gases.

Graziano da Silva joined Gilbert Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment of the United Arab Emirates, Josefa Correia Sacko, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union as well as representatives of the governments of Germany, the Netherlands and Angola in calling for greater cooperation by governments, business, development partners, farmers groups and others to address the problem.

Of the 815 million hungry people in the world, the majority lives in rural areas of developing countries and are family farmers, pastoralists or fishers. They have poor access to modern means of preventing food losses and waste, and often local food systems are subject to gaps in post-harvest handling, transportation, processing and refrigeration.


By reducing loss and waste along the food value chain, healthy food systems can contribute to promoting climate adaptation and mitigation, preserving natural resources, and reinforcing rural livelihoods.

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More children at risk as 815m people officially hungry globally

An estimated 815 million globally are hungry, thus risking millions of children at risk from malnutrition, says the United Nations latest findings, reports NaijaAgroNet.

According to UN, after steadily declining for over a decade, global hunger is on the rise again, affecting some 815 million people in 2016, or 11 per cent of the global population, says a new edition of the annual United Nations report on world food security and nutrition made available to NaijaAgroNet.

This is coming as UN said that at the same time, multiple forms of malnutrition are threatening the health of millions worldwide.

The increase - 38 million more people than the previous year - is largely due to the proliferation of violent conflicts and climate-related shocks, according to The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017.

Some 155 million children aged under five are stunted (too short for their age), the report says, while 52 million suffer from wasting, meaning their weight is too low for their height. An estimated 41 million children are now overweight. Anaemia among women and adult obesity are also cause for concern. These trends are a consequence not only of conflict and climate change but also of sweeping changes in dietary habits as well as economic slowdowns.

The report is the first UN global assessment on food security and nutrition to be released following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030 as a top international policy priority.

It singles out conflict - increasingly compounded by climate change - as one of the key drivers behind the resurgence of hunger and many forms of malnutrition.

"Over the past decade, conflicts have risen dramatically in number and become more complex and intractable in nature," the heads of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) said in their joint foreword to the report. They stressed that some of the highest proportions of food-insecure and malnourished children in the world are now concentrated in conflict zones.

"This has set off alarm bells we cannot afford to ignore: we will not end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030 unless we address all the factors that undermine food security and nutrition. Securing peaceful and inclusive societies is a necessary condition to that end," they said.

Famine struck in parts of South Sudan for several months in early 2017, and there is a high risk that it could reoccur there as well as appear in other conflict-affected places, namely northeast Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen, they noted.

But even in regions that are more peaceful droughts or floods linked in part to the El Niño weather phenomenon, as well as the global economic slowdown, have also seen food security and nutrition deteriorate, they added. 


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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

PMA2020: Olaolorun recommends more training for Nigerian family planning care providers

The co-Principal Investigator for the Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020, DrFunmi OlaOlorun has recommend more training support for the private health care providers in the provision of family planning in Nigeria, and particularly in Lagos, the commercial nerve centre of the country, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Speaking to  NaijaAgroNet during a media parley on the fourth round survey of Performance, Monitoring and Accountability 2017 in Lagos, Dr. Olaolorun said that support for more training for private healthcare providers will improve the provision of injectables, implants among others for the purpose of effective family planning for the country.

According to her, support increases supply of Long Acting Methods (LAM), greater choice and avails provides training and retraining opportunities in order to be up-standing to their call of duty.

Dr. OlaOlorun who doubles as a Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant at College of Medicine, University of Ibadan - ‎College of Medicine, University of Ibadan disclosed that the latest survey under PMA2020, witnessed in Lagos, more women obtaining method of choice and would return to providers in the nearest future, with likelihood of referring a friend.

She stressed that the survey noted increase in the use of long acting methods, especially implants, just as stockouts persist, especially in the private hospitals and clinics.

The PMA2017 cum Lagos-round four survey, she noted was conducted by the Centre for Research, Evaluation Resources and Development (CRERD) and Bayero University Kano (BUK).

The project, she said, was collected data from Anambra, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Nasarawa, Rivers and Taraba States.

With support from the Federal Ministry of Health, National Population Commission, National Bureau of Statistics, Lagos State Ministry of Health , Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health (Johns Hopkins University) and was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in addition to partnership with Pathfinder International.

The purpose of the survey, Dr. Olaolorun said, was to monitor family planning progress with a set of core indicators and was conducted between April and May this year.

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Climate Change, challenge for our generation – UN Deputy SecGen

The Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, has said that climate change is the utmost challenge for this generation, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Speaking at on Monday during the 9th Annual New York City Climate Week, Mrs. Mohammed, reiterating that climate change is a challenge “for our generation.”

She noted that the destruction wrought by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and the massive floods in India, Nepal and across South Asia reflect the growing vulnerability of people and economies to the growing intensity and frequency of extreme weather events.

“You know the challenge and you know the answer lies with you. I commend your efforts,” she said, adding that as the Secretary-General said in May, the sustainability train is moving.

“And you are providing the fuel – not the dirty fuel of the past, but the clean power of the future. The engine is no longer huffing and puffing smoke.  But it is not moving fast enough,” she said.

She lamented not everyone is on board yet, Mohammed canvassed for raising of ambition.
“We are ready to work with you, engage with you and support your efforts,” she said.

Further, she said,  the Paris Agreement was a monumental achievement, but agreements are just pieces of paper if those who need to implement them don’t follow through.


“You have the power to define the pace and extent of implementation. Your commitment to a low-carbon, resilient future is making a difference,” she declared.

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Gender access disparity widens in Africa

Gender access disparity widens in Africa: GenderICT@ITRealms : Internet access has continued to widen on the continent of Africa despite efforts to bridge the gap between all ge...

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Drop in prices, ends 3 months decline - FOA

The slight decline in the FAO Food Price Index by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in August 2017, has ended three months of consecutive increases, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Despite this, NaijaAgroNet reports that the Index, a trade-weighted index tracking international market prices for five key commodity groups remained 6 per cent above its value a year earlier.

NaijaAgroNet also reports that along with cereals, the FAO Meat Price Index dropped 1.2 per cent in the month, while the FAO Sugar Price Index slipped by 1.7 per cent was driven by favourable cane harvest prospects in leading producers Brazil, Thailand and India, as well as by weaker international demand in the wake of higher tariffs imposed by China and India.

But the FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index rose 2.5 percent, led by rising quotations for palm, soy, rapeseed and sunflower oils. And the FAO Dairy Price Index also rose 1.4 percent from July, led by greater demand for butterfat in Europe and North America.


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Pix: FAO Director-General da-Silva