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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Farmers send SOS to Obi, FERMA over downpour

Heavy downpour may have forced farmers in Nawgu, Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State, in South East Nigeria, to send Save Our Soul (SOS) message to the state governor, Mr. Peter Obi and the Federal Emergency Rehabilitation Management Agency (FERMA), reports NewsExpress.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that there was a heavy downpour in the area which resulted in damaging of crops and properties.

The report also quoted the spokesman of the farmers in the community, Mr. Sunday Nwozo as saying that the heavy downpour swept away their already planted crops for this year as well as creating ditches in their farm lands.

The community, therefore, solicited the assistance of the Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, and FERMA to urgently come to their aid, in order to allow them cultivate again before the season for that runs off and eventually have food to survive.

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British American Tobacco offer contracts to 140,000 farmers

The British American Tobacco (BAT) has revealed having contracts offer with some 140,000 farmers as part of its fair treatment and prices policies for farmers globally.

Group Head, Corporate and Regulatory Affairs at BAT, Kingsley Wheaton, made this revelation in response to the World No Tobacco Day 2013 made available to NaijaAgroNet and entitled “What would a world with no legal tobacco industry really look like?”

He said that the company has direct relationships with farmers and helps them to provide consistent revenue and fair prices.

“We also provide advice regarding sustainable agricultural practices and crop rotation,” he said, stressing that the reality is that people will continue to smoke.
He argued that instead of buying legal taxed cigarettes, made by legitimate tobacco companies and sold by reputable retailers, people, whenever there is no legal tobacco industry, people are likely to turn to black market sources to get what they want.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that the World No Tobacco Day 2013, BAT believes the world may not after-all be as exciting as some people are painting, in the event the legal tobacco industry is forced out of existence.

Wheaton, pointed out that the tobacco industry is highly regulated, sells a legal product and has a legitimate business.

“We conduct our business in a professional and responsible way, abiding by the laws in all the countries we operate in, often going above and beyond our legal obligations,” he submitted.

Remmy Nweke/NaijaAgroNet
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Monday, May 27, 2013

Nigerians must eat what we produce to create wealth - Adesina

r-l chairman of the occasion, Olakunle  K. Bello watching as guest speaker,
Dr. Adesina represented by Mrs. Ibukun Odusote being congratulated
by special adviser on regional integration, who represented  Gov. Babs Fashola, 
 after her address at Wilson Badejo Foundation annual lecture 2013.
To change the increasing unemployment rate in the country, Nigerians must eat food produced locally, in order to create jobs for the youths whose figure has continued to grow, according to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr. Akinwumi Adesina.

Speaking as a special guest at the annual lecture of Wilson Badejo Foundation in Lagos, entitled ‘Unlocking wealth for Nigerian farmers’ Adesina, who was represented at the occasion by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote, told NaijaAgroNet that for this to change and add the creation of jobs for teeming youths in the country, Nigerians must eat what is produced by local farmers.

“We must produce what we eat and eat what we produce,” he declared.

Adesina also said at the occasion chaired by Deacon Olatunji K. Bello of Multiplex Limited, that his mission in the ministry of Agriculture is not to manage or maintain poverty in the rural areas, but to create wealth, lamenting that millions of Nigerian farmers, who for decades have toiled in hope but have been unable to get out of crushing poverty traps, hence he sees agriculture as a tool for creating wealth for millions of poor farmers.

He reiterated that creating wealth is what is at the heart of a major revolution underway in agriculture in Nigeria and in harnessing the power of the private sector, government needs to get out of certain aspects of agriculture and turn this over to the private sector in order to improve efficiency. 

“We need to focus on agricultural value chains and not just on increasing production,” he advised, wondering what will happen to the increase if there are no markets and no agro processing firms that will help mop up the increased yields?

Nigerian agriculture sector, Adesina said, has potential, but no one can eat potential except if transformed into food supply to deliver nutritious food and wealth to the growing population.

To reverse this trend, Adesina urged Nigerians to buy into the current government’s vision to make Nigeria an agriculturally industrialized economy; to create wealth, jobs and markets for farmers, and revive the rural economy.

“We plan to grow the size of the agricultural sector from the present level of $99 billion per year today to about $300 billion per year by 2030. We envision a Nigeria without oil. For nobody drinks oil and nobody smokes gas,” he said.

The minister further commended the leadership of Wilson Badejo Foundation (WBF) for sustained effort in engaging the youths and offering them the opportunity to become better enlightened and second chance to contribute to the society at large.

In her remarks, the Executive Secretary, WBF, Dr. Mrs. Kenny Kemabonta, commended those who have supported the foundation in past and urged for more support because the foundation has identified more societal challenges to tackle including how to rehabilitate the so-called ‘area boys’ who now have a kingdom of their own.

Key to achieving this, she said, is more investment in youth’s development via educational scholarship, which has risen over the years, even as the foundation needs more partnership.
So far, she said about 40 indigent students have been assisted with tuition fees for this year alone.

Welcoming guest to the event, the chairman, Deacon Olatunji K. Bello of Multiplex Ltd shared his experience on investing in agriculture, which created job for over 50 youths and urged more Nigerians to invest in agriculture.

“I want to encourage us to invest in agriculture to create more jobs, especially for the youths,” he said, citing investment in trees for instance, Bello noted that yes, it may take a while to grow, but it create jobs eventually.

Nigerian agriculture graduates, he said, do have degrees, but not work experience, because there is no place conducive enough for them to work, insisting that the youth must be assisted if the Nigerian society must be a better one.

 Remmy Nweke/NaijaAgroNe
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Saturday, May 18, 2013

GEF Looking Forward tackles ‘Managing the Planet’

George Mason University and the Woodrow Wilson Center’s of Brazil Institute and Environmental Change and Security Programme have teamed up for a dialogue on “Managing the Planet” on “The GEF Looking Forward.”

NaijaAgroNet gathered that the event slated for Monday, May 20th, 2013 at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 6th Floor Auditorium would have an introductory remarks: Blair Ruble, Director, Global Sustainability and Resilience Programme, Wilson Center

Also the dialogue would feature Naoko Ishii, the CEO and chairperson, Global Environment Facility, while the moderator would be Prof. Thomas E. Lovejoy, Professor of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University, member of the Brazil Institute Advisory Board, and Chair of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the GEF.

The largest funder of biodiversity and climate change related projects, the Global Environmental Facility was created to assist developing countries to meet obligations under global environmental agreements initiated at the 1992 Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, including the (U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPS).

The GEF is the largest funder of projects in developing countries to protect the global environment. Since 1991, the GEF has provided $11.5 billion in grants to 3,215 projects in 165 countries, leveraging an additional $57 billion in co-financing.

Dr. Naoko Ishii, who was appointed as the new GEF CEO and Chairperson over the summer, will share her thoughts on where the GEF is headed under her leadership. Before taking over the GEF, Dr. Ishii was Japan’s Deputy Vice Minister of Finance and the Executive Assistant to the Prime Minister for Global Environmental Finance. Dr. Ishii will bring new ideas and approaches to international development.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that the “Managing the Planet” seminar series – developed jointly by George Mason University and the Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute and Environmental Change and Security Programme – addresses planetary-scale problems and solutions.

Remmy Nweke/NaijaAgroNet
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