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Saturday, January 12, 2019

IRENA launches ‘A New World’ on energy transformation - NaijaAgroNet

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has released its latest report on the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Tagged ‘A New World’ IRENA says that the political and business leaders from around the world outlined the far-reaching geopolitical implications of an energy transformation driven by the rapid growth of renewable energy in the new report.

The chair of IRENA and the former President of Iceland, Mr. Olafur Grimsson, said they were to share the Commission’s report, ‘A New World’, which suggests the geopolitical and socio-economic consequences of a new energy age may be as profound as those which accompanied the shift from biomass to fossil fuels two centuries ago.

“Those shifts include changes in the relative position of states, the emergence of new energy leaders, more diverse energy actors, changed trade relationships and the emergence of new alliances,” he said.

The Global Commission on the Geopolitics of the Energy Transformation, NaijaAgroNet recalls was established as an independent initiative by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in January 2018.

Grimsson also commended support by the governments of Germany, Norway and the United Arab Emirates, even as the Commission is made up of experienced leaders from the worlds of energy, politics, trade, environment and development. 

Chuks Egbune/HO

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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Kano attracts N3b from FG on healthcare delivery - NaijaAgroNet

The Kano State government, under Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, in the healthcare delivery services, under Save One Million Lives Programme, the federal government has attracted about Three Billion Naira (N3B) funding for more service delivery in the health sector, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Confirming this, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Kano State, Abba Anwar, told NaijaAgroNet that the cheque was given by President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by the Minister of Budget and Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, among other remaining 12 states that also excelled in the area.

"But Kano being the best in all the North West states, Ganduje received standing ovation when the state was called. Impression of satisfaction was clearly on guests' faces. He collected the cheque on behalf of his state," he said.

This, he also said, was as a result of the state unassuming performance in all the areas under the programme, last year, 2018. The sum of  $1m was given to each of the 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, as intervention in some selected areas of the health sector.

The areas were Immunization Coverage, Bed Net use by children under Five, Vitamin A Supplementation, Child Birth Spacing, HIV Testing during pregnancy and Skilled Birth Attendants for quantity and quality care.

"After the implementation of the programme by all the states last year, a survey was conducted and  all the states were ranked by performance. Kano became one of the 13 states that performed wonderfully well in the programme. The programme was an initiation of the federal government and the World Bank."

Appreciating the gesture Commissioner of Health Dr Kabiru Ibrahim Getso expressed satisfaction over the landmark achievements by Ganduje administration, adding that, "Kano is fast moving forward in the health sector. Just like all other sectors."

"The money given is to compliment state efforts in this area. In all the six identified areas of the programme, Kano excels beyond any comments. We are doing our possible best to see that all identified areas are given the much needed attention," Getso states.

Kano, according to the Commissioner excels in improving the infrastructural development for the sector. So also in the area of effective and efficient drug distribution in the state health facilities.

"Equipments are readily available in our facilities. This administration is not relenting in its effort in making sure that all sub-sectors under health are handled with utmost care. Because of the importance attached to it by our able governor. He attends all other sectors with similar care," he encouraged.

Getso, by way of justifying how Kano excels in the health sector, to the point that the state was given the above mentioned sum from the federal government, the health commissioner emphasises that, "For the first time in the history of the state, we have budgeted more than 15 percent in our budget, for the health sector.  This is a great achievement by all standard."

He also refers to the recently awarded contract for the establishment of Cancer Centre by the Kano state government, saying that, "This will be the first Cancer Centre established by the state government in Nigeria. All Cancer Centres we have in the country are established by the federal government."

The Save One Million Lives Programme aims at changing focus from "input based" to "result based" financing of health care "...intended to save the lives of mothers and children by increasing access to, and utilisation of evidence based, cost effective and high impact maternal, child and nutrition interventions in Nigeria and change the federal-state relationship to a Result-Based partnership."

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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Hate speech not good for our society says CHRDA - NaijaAgroNet

The Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa (“CHRDA”) ( is stunned by the trends of events in the Anglophone Northwest and0 Southwest Regions of Cameroon and by the degeneration of events tending to affect neighboring Francophone Region of the West Region.

Because of these, CHRDA alerts the government of an impending hate crime, retaliatory ethnic conflict, indoctrination and violent extremism as a result of cross-regional attacks from armed separatist groups and villagers of affected communities.

Over the weekends preceding Christmas day, news from media and individuals reported an arson attack allegedly led by hundreds of armed men (reportedly 300 in number) from Bangolan (in Babessi sub-division in the Northwest Region) targeting a village in Bangourain, a sub-division in the neighboring Noun Division, which led to the destruction of dozens of houses (reportedly at least 85 affecting over 100 families), the death of at least one person, wounding several others, abduction of at least 15 persons and causing heavy material and financial losses of other infrastructures.

On 26 December, the previous weekend attack saw retaliation (as alleged by several other sources) by residents of the affected neighborhood in Bangourain, where two persons suspected to be arsonists were apprehended, lynched, before being dragged on the ground attached to motor bikes with chains.

This hate rhetoric on both sides must come to an end as it reminds us of America in 1998 when James Byrd Jr was killed by lynching and dragged by three white supremacists through the State of Texas. The nation as a whole condemned this repugnant act and found a solution for hate crime. Cameroonians are called upon to exhibit togetherness and condemn these happenings as a nation, regardless of their ethnic, religious, political, ideological, cultural or economic denominations.

The scenes and stories are horrible and should appeal to government’s foresight to begin taking the Anglophone Crisis more seriously and engage in more genuine peace-building processes.

The government’s continuous military operations in the Northwest and Southwest Regions which may be the fuel to the inhuman crimes perpetrated by both the defense and security forces and the armed separatist groups needs to come to an immediate cease fire.

Francophones and Anglophones sharing similar boundaries in neighboring localities across Cameroon should exercise restraint and avoid involving themselves in actions that may further endanger human life, cause injuries, destroy private and public property, cause material and financial losses, and aggravate the already preoccupying tensions between the populace, government forces and separatist groups.

We hereby call on the government to initiate investigations into the happenings and seek justice where necessary, reparation, and reconciliation of parties to the conflicts.

Cameroonians of all persuasions believe it is time for the government to show compassion and put an end to military operations in both Anglophone Regions for fear that the remnants of the conflict may spread far beyond these Regions and affect a larger group of people.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2018

FAO, IPPC to jointly lead crusade on plant health - NaijaAgroNet

The UN General Assembly invited FAO, with the International Plant Protection Convention
(IPPC) Secretariat, to serve as the lead agency to spearhead activities related to International Year of Plant Health, and called on governments, civil society, and the private sector to engage at global, regional and national levels, reports NaijaAgroNet.

An International Plant Health Conference will be among thousands of plant health events to be held around the world during the course of 2020.

Finland first proposed the year to the governing body of the International Plant Protection Convention in 2015. In July 2017, the FAO Conference adopted a resolution in support of the proposal.

"Pests and diseases don't carry passports or observe immigration requirements and, therefore, the prevention of the spread of such organisms is very much an international undertaking that requires the collaboration of all countries. This is why Finland proposed to proclaim 2020 the International Year of Plant Health," Jari Leppä, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland said.

"Despite the increasing impact of plant pests and diseases, resources are scarce to address the problem," said Semedo. "We hope this new International Year of Plant Health will trigger greater global collaboration to support plant health policies at all levels which will contribute significantly to the Sustainable Development Agenda," she added.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Monday, December 24, 2018

UN sharpens focus on food safety, nutrition with observance day - NaijaAgroNet

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has applauded the United Nations decision by the United Nations to create two new international days and one entire year devoted to central issues in global food security and nutrition, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The UN General Assembly, NaijaAgroNet gathered, had on December 20, approved three new resolutions creating three awareness-raising initiatives, focused on plant health, food safety and pulses.

FAO and the International Plant Protection Convention Secretariat, based at FAO, welcomed the decision to proclaim 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health. With up to 40 percent of global food crops lost annually due to plant pests, the importance of fostering healthy plants is critical for public opinion and policy makers. In economic terms alone, plant diseases cost the global economy around $220 billion annually and invasive insects around $70 billion.

"The International Year of Plant Health is a key initiative to highlight the importance of plant health to enhance food security, protect the environment and biodiversity, and boost economic development," FAO Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo said.

Meanwhile, from now on, 10 February will mark World Pulses Day, keeping alive the positive momentum surrounding these healthy, nutritious, protein-rich, nitrogen-fixing legumes after FAO's successful 2016 International Year of Pulses Campaign. Growing pulses contributes to sustainable crop production.

And 7 June will be World Food Safety Day, paying tribute to an increasingly important issue in today's highly-interconnected food systems. FAO notes with satisfaction that the UN resolution expressly recognized that "there is no food security without food safety".

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Friday, December 14, 2018

Laser reduces bird damage by 90% - NaijaAgroNet

A new laser bird deterrent technology has been successfully used at South American crops. The technology is designed and manufactured by the Dutch fast growing company Bird Control Group. Agrilaser technology is proven to decrease crop losses by 70 to 90 per cent, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Pest birds like eared doves destroy each year between contribute to 5 per cent to 25 per cent of the crops at a farm in South America, resulting in enormous money losses to small farmers as well as large agricultural operations, especially in crops like sunflowers. A lot of bird damage also occurs in high yield orchards with fruits like cherries, table grapes and blueberries. Many of these fruit growers in Chile and Peru are suffering from great losses due the attacks of birds when the color of the fruit changes throughout their ripening process.

Bodega Catena Zapata Farm was one of the many Argentinian farms experiencing significant grape losses due to the local parrot flocks. In order to protect their grapes effectively, they decided to test the automated laser bird deterrent system Agrilaser Autonomic. This technology is inspired by nature and takes advantage of a bird’s natural instinct: birds perceive the approaching laser beam as a physical danger and disperse to seek safety. Due to the installation of Agrilaser Autonomic, Bodega Catena Zapata successfully reduced the presence of parrots by almost 100% and saved thousands of dollars on bird damage.

Also Agricola EU used the technology to avoid losses in the cherry farm in Chile. Germán González, the Operations Manager, decided to try Agrilaser after experiencing difficulties with choosing the right bird deterrent to protect the crops. With the installation of Agrilaser Autonomic he achieved immediate results and reduced the crop losses by 90%!

Positive results have been also observed at Syngenta, a global producer of agrochemicals and seeds. The Syngenta sunflower seed producer in Argentina was experiencing a problem with pigeons and parrots destroying sunflowers and eating the seeds. They tried bird watchers and fireworks but none of these methods gave long-lasting results. After the Autonomic was installed, bird presence has decreased by 80 per cent.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Pix: Audu Ogbe, Nigeria Agric Minister.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

UN global migration pact to avert suffering, chaos - NaijaAgroNet

The United Nations (UN) has commended the global adoption of migration pact, saying it will avert suffering, chaos, especially in developing countries, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Secretary General of UN, Mr. António Guterres, said this in reaction to the adoption of the pact in Marrakesh, Morocco on Monday, describing it as a “roadmap to prevent suffering and chaos”.

Addressing the opening intergovernmental session at the event, Mr. Guterres, said that the compact provides a platform for “humane, sensible, mutually beneficial action” resting on two “simple ideas”.

“Firstly, that migration has always been with us but should be managed and safe; second, that national policies are far more likely to succeed with international cooperation.”

The UN chief said that in recent months there had been “many falsehoods” uttered about the agreement and “the overall issue of migration”. In order to dispel the “myths”, he said that the Compact did not allow the UN to impose migration policies on the Member States, and neither was the pact a formal treaty.

“Moreover, it is not legally binding. It is a framework for international cooperation, rooted in an inter-governmental process of negotiation in good faith,” he told delegates in Marrakech.

The pact would not give migrants rights to go anywhere, reaffirming only the fundamental human rights, he said.

Acknowledging that some States decided not to take part in the conference, or adopt the Compact, the UN Chief expressed his wish that they will come to recognize its value for their societies and join in “this common venture.”

The United States did not endorse the Compact, and more than a dozen other countries either chose not to sign the accord or are still undecided.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Pix: Secretary General of UN, Mr. António Guterres

Thursday, December 6, 2018

E-waste, an emerging threat - ITREALMS

Electronic Waste (e-Waste) has been classified as an emerging threat by the United Nations (UN), reports NaijaAgroNet.

UN through its agency Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) at the occasion of World Soil Day 2018, informed NaijaAgroNet that some 50 million tones of electronic waste are generated every year.

This, they said, has made e-Waste one of the world's fastest growing pollution problems affecting the soils.

FAO also described the situation as one man's trash becoming another man's treasure in the case of electronic waste.
The agency also urged those using electronic devices to think before throwing away their old devices.

"You can donate them or recycle them," FAO experts said.

They further insisted that every man on earth could be the solution to soil pollution.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Increased soil contamination puts food safety @risk - NaijaAgroNet

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on Wednesday, marked the 2018 World Soil day with call for urgent action to reduce release of pollutants into soils, reports NaijaAgroNet.

FAO, NaijaAgroNet recalls, every 5 December 2018 in Rome commemorate the World Soil Day, saying that urgent action is needed to address soil pollution and contain the multiple threats it poses to global food safety and food security.

According to FAO, thousands of chemicals, which are commercially produced on a large scale, plastic and electronic waste, non-treated wastewater can all become a source of soil pollution, paving the way for the pollutants to enter the food chain with serious consequences for the health and wellbeing of people and planet.

"About 33 percent of all soils are degraded - and soils continue to deteriorate at an alarming rate," said Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo at the World Soil Day Ceremony at FAO's Rome headquarters. "Soil acts as a filter for contaminants. But when its buffering capacity is exceeded, contaminants can enter the environment and the food chain. This undermines food security by making crops risky and unsafe for consumption".

"Human activities are the main source of soil pollution. It is in our hands to adopt sustainable soil management practices," she added.

She called "for greater political support and significantly increased investment towards healthy soils". Maintaining healthy soils helps ensure safe and nutritious foods and is essential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and Zero Hunger.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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WSD 2018: Be the solution to soil pollution - NaijaAgroNet

Years of our actions and habits on soil have left a legacy of pollution worldwide. Soils have a great potential to be the solution to the increasing challenge of soil pollution. 

They act as a sponge that filters contaminants, degrading and attenuating their negative effects. But soil buffering capacity is limited. If exceeded, contaminants can seep into the environment and enter the food chain.
Growing food on uncontaminated soils provides safe food and helps fight hunger. Ninety-five percent of our food comes from soils: conserving and sustainably managing soils is critical in successfully feeding a growing world population. 

Simultaneously, it can restrain the risk soil pollution poses to agricultural productivity, human health and the health of all organisms on Earth.

On 5 December 2018, World Soil Day, focus your attention on being part of the solution... Small daily changes can have a significant impact on the health of our soils.

Happy World Soil Day!

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