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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

FAO introduces long-term actions to assist South Sudan

 The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has concluded plans to provide series of emergency based on long-term actions to assist South Sudan state of Jonglei to feed itself.
As revealed to NaijaAgroNet in a press statement by FAO, the UN agency is supporting the affected areas with the supply and distribution of livestock vaccines, fishing gear, vegetable seeds and tools.
The supplies, FAO said is necessary for cereal production in the world's newest nation, an indication that it’s currently about 19 per cent lower than the previous year and 25 per cent below the average for the last five years.
NaijaAgroNet also gathered that the supplies and distributions have moved towards long-term development and capacity building in South Sudan, even as the deficit in cereal for 2012 is estimated at more than 470,000 tonnes, which is about 50 per cent of the country's total consumption requirement for the year,
FAO said it intends to give vaccines and antibiotics to prevent the spread of animal disease and to treat up to 100 000 animals over the course of about a month, according to the FAO Livestock Officer, Nimaya Mogga, noted that South Sudanese are pastoralists or herders, hence cattle are their livelihood, "Without them, they are nothing."
Mogga stated that South Sudan is the sixth largest cattle economy in Africa, adding "Cattle are seen as wealth in South Sudan."
Another agricultural sector where the FAO is helping South Sudan is fishing which is being hampered by lack of fishing gear.
To this effect, FAO is making available 20,000 pieces of fishing gear to Boma and two other towns that were affected, in addition to helping local communities in the planting of vegetable gardens along river banks.
 'Yinka Awosanya
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CGFS to resolve pressing issues on food security

The Center for Global Food Security (CGFS) established last year at Pordue is working towards tackling global food insecurity by tapping into the campus population, PurdueExponent reports.
The Centre as explained by the Managing Director, Gary Burniske has an overarching objective to tap into the knowledge and expertise within Purdue and to utilize the knowledge to resolve the pressing issues with food security globally.
NaijaAgroNet gathered that the Center also planned to use grants to send graduate students to developing countries in places such as Africa and Latin America to conduct researches on how locals there handle the issue of food security.
“There are probably 200 definitions of food security,” he said.
The term “food security” covers areas such as agriculture, livestock, veterinary sciences, water management and nutrition. According to Burniske, that’s only the beginning. Read more
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Monday, February 27, 2012

West African reps discuss food crisis

Representatives from 15 West African countries gathered in Ghana for a special meeting to discuss approaches within the medium term to tackle food crisis in the region, reports TheAfricaReport.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that there has been low and erratic rainfall coupled with insect infestations in Niger, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Burkina Faso which led to poor harvests and lack of pasture in the affected countries.

It is also noted that the International Federation of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent Societies released over £500,000, about N122.6 million to assist 70,000 people pending the full assessments of the affected countries.
The meeting in Accra, Ghana also reviewed emerging challenges in funding, food availability, accessibility and other agricultural issues as well as the issue of climate change. Read more
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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Scientists call for GDP replacement

Top scientists has called on the government globally  to replace the Gross Domestic Products (GDPs) as a measure of wealth with metrics for natural, built, human and social capital.
The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in a press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet informed that 20 past winners of the Noble Prize for environment, the Blue Planet Prize made this call on Sunday.
They also called for an elimination of subsidies in sectors such as energy, transport and agriculture that create environmental and social cost, which currently go unpaid.
Governments, they also urged, to tackle over-consumption and address population pressure by empowering women, improving education and making contraception accessible to all.
The past Blue Planet Prize winners, NaijaAgroNet gathered presented a joint paper to government ministries from around the world at the United Nations Environment Programme's governing council meeting in Nairobi, Kenya.
They highlighted in their position presented by a United Kingdom's Chief Scientific Advisor, Bob Watson noted that the current system is broken.
"It is driving humanity to a future that is 3-5°C warmer than our species has ever known, and is eliminating the ecology that we depend on for our health, wealth and senses of self" he said.
Watson equally said there is need to apply human solutions that decision makers must be bold and forward in their thinking to seize them as there is no assurance that technological fixes will come fast enough.
The paper further called for the conservation and placing of high value on biodiversity and ecosystem services, as well as the creation of markets for them that could form the basis of green economies.
IIED Director, Camilla Toulmin, pointed out that sustainable development is not a pipe dream.
“It is the destination the world’s accumulated knowledge points us towards, the fair future that will enable us to live with security, peace and opportunities for all," she said.
'Yinka Awosanya
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AgroCredit Scheme gets N151 billion from CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has voted the sum of N151.015 billion to 170 beneficiaries under the auspices of the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme, reports ThisDay.
According to the apex bank, the beneficiaries of the funds include 163 private promoters and 27 state governments with each states accessing N1 billion each while the Federal Capital Territory gets only N16 million.
NaijaAgroNet gathered that 16 banks participated in the project and the analysis of the number of project financed under CACS by value chain revealed that production accounted for 44 per cent of the 163 CACS private sector sponsored projects.
The bankers’ committee revealed recently that agriculture lending increased by N212.64 billion as at October last year, representing a 37.6 percent increase over the 2010 figure. Read more
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Monday, February 20, 2012

Malnutrition affects one in every four children - Save the Children

Almost half a billion children are at the verge of high risk permanent damage despite global efforts to address food insecurity and chronic childhood malnutrition.
Save the Children, a leading independent organization that creates lasting change for children in need worldwide, said malnutrition as a largely hidden crisis affects one in every four children around the world.
A press release made available to NaijaAgroNet revealed that malnutrition weakens young children's immune systems which leave them more likely of childhood diseases like diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria, according to Carolyn Miles, the President and CEO of Save the Children.
“It wreaks lifelong damage and is a major killer of children. Every hour of every day, 300 children die because of malnutrition,” she said.
NaijaAgroNet also gathered that the present drought in the Sahel of Africa left children more vulnerable to extreme suffering and death.
Save the Children also made known that malnutrition underlies 2.6million child deaths every year, or one third of all child deaths.
Ms Miles said the world could no longer afford to wait until visibly emaciated children grab headlines to inspire the action these children need and deserve.
“Unfortunately, for millions of the world’s chronically malnourished children, permanent damage to their physical and intellectual development is not as obvious, and so it’s too often overlooked,” she said.
The world leaders, she noted, are searching for ways to strengthen their economies over the long term, hence she advised that through helping children get the healthy start they deserve may boost this agenda.

'Yinka Awosanya/LS
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UN urges assistance for drought-prone Sahel region

Following the looming drought in the Sahel region of West Africa, delegates at a United Nations meeting have called for a comprehensive and rapid assistance to the affected, reports UNNewsCentre.

The meeting NaijaAgroNet gathered was convened by the United Nations and has in attendance Leaders of UN agencies, government representatives of the affected countries and donors.

Delegates at the meeting emphasized the need for a combination of relief, early recovery and longer-term development programmes.

They also agreed to work together in order to meet immediate food security and nutritional needs of the affected people.

Part of the resolution reached at the end of the meeting was to support programmes that will address the causes of the problems and strengthen the resilience of communities living in areas affected by chronic drought.

It was also stressed that there is need for regional organizations to strengthen their capacity to address the structural causes of the recurring food crisis in the region and a continued support to the affected countries. Read more
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Saturday, February 18, 2012

FAO to boost Afghanistan's traditional irrigation

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations is working towards the boosting of technical support for the rehabilitation of Afghanistan's dilapidated traditional systems.
The organization in a press statement available to NaijaAgroNet, FAO revealed that dilapidated irrigation system is attributable to the decades of war and migration away from rural areas, and has left many farmers without sufficient water for their farmland.
The degraded irrigation system, FAO noted, had also led to the country's Ministry of Energy and Water to place a priority on water resources development within its National Development Strategy.
The UN agency also signed a $27.7 million, about N4.36 billion agreements with the Afghan Ministry of Energy and Water to provide the needed technical assistance.
The agreement further covers expertise and training for implementation of the Irrigation Restoration and Development Project (IRDP).
Information available to NaijaAgroNet indicated that FAO is equally working to use the initiative to help Afghan by training personnel and assisting in the use of modern design and management methods.
“There will also be training for farmers in improved water management practices, and operation and maintenance of irrigation systems,” part of the statement read.
Pasquale Steduto, the Unit Head, Water Development and Management at FAO, affirmed that the irrigation systems has suffered over the past three decades as people moved away from the rural areas and this could not be attributed to lack of investment.
The migration, he said, left the maintenance of the traditional irrigation systems to younger generation.
“So, farmers in rural areas were not able to get enough water to cultivate their fields. As a result, they produced fewer crops," said Pasquale Steduto.
The project is primarily supported by a grant from the World Bank with an additional contribution from the government of Afghanistan.'Yinka Awosanya
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