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Sunday, June 30, 2013

CAADP framework to curb food insecurity - Bwalya

Head of the NEPAD Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Mr. Martin Bwalya, has said that CAADP framework was set up to curb food insecurity on the continent.

He made this assertion to a high-level meeting of African and International Leaders in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, recently tagged “Toward African Renaissance: Renewed Partnership for Unified Approach to End Hunger in Africa by 2025 within the CAADP Framework.”

NaijaAgroNet gathered that Bwalya told his audience that by design, NEPAD and CAADP are political response to the poverty and food insecurity challenge, noting that chronic food insecurity and hunger is critical hindrance to socio-economic growth and development of the continent and could amount to restlessness in the geopolitics call Africa.

He pointed that that it was the Compelling context that led to setting up of NEPAD and CAADP respectively.
As at 2000, Bwalya informed NaijaAgroNet that an estimated 40 per cent of people in the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) lived below the poverty line of less than a Dollar per day. While the income and human poverty saw to the rise of social and economic inequality, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report of 2002, which stated that Africa is the only continent that has its 1/3 of its entire population living in chronic hunger.
He also noted that between 1980 and year 2000, Africa need for food and delivery requirement tripled in food emergencies, thus, it was a compelling context that led to the emergence of NEPAD and CAADP, lamenting however, that by 2000, there was no African country in the high group of Human Development Index (HDI) measure.

“No African countries in the high HDI group, small number in the medium HDI group; and majority in the low HDI group,” he said, that is 32 out of 35 countries in Africa.

In order to sustain CAADP momentum, he said, less focus must be on the issue of public financing and hence development aid, decrying weak inter-ministerial and inter-sectorial coordination and multiplicity of initiatives.

Africa, Bwalya said, still have food insecure and high levels of hunger and malnutrition, stressing that low agric productivity has resulted in low rural incomes.

Remmy Nweke

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

DigitalSENSE News: World Record: 300,000 Nigerians to brush teeth wit...

Over 300,000 students to take part this record breaking event.

DigitalSENSE News: World Record: 300,000 Nigerians to brush teeth wit...: (L-R), Founder, HEIT Solutions and Project Head, Lagos World Record   Teeth brushing Challenge, Dr. Lawal Bakare; Category Manager...

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Avaaz community warns on disappearing Arctic ice


Avaaz, an online community has warned on the fast disappearance of Arctic ice.
Ricken Patel, a member of who raised this alarm, informed NaijaAgroNet that vast areas of Arctic ice have disappeared, beyond scientists’ worst expectations.
He quoted a scientist, Julienne Stroeve, who has studied Arctic ice for decades.
 “Every summer she travels north to measure how much ice has melted. She knows that climate change is melting the ice fast, but on her last trip, she couldn't believe what she saw,” Patel said.
According to him, experts thus warned that as the earth warms, it creates many "tipping points" that accelerate the warming out of control. 
Warming, Patel said, thaws the Arctic sea ice, destroying the giant white 'mirror' that reflects heat back into space, which massively heats up the ocean, and melts more ice, and so on.
“We spin out of control. Already this year -- storms, temperatures -- everything is off the charts,” Patel noted.

Maintaining that these could be stopped, if humanity acts very fast, adding that out of this extinction nightmare, humanity could pull one of the most inspiring futures for the  children and grandchildren. 
“A clean, green future in balance with the earth that gave birth to us,” he said, stressing that this is happening, just 30 months before the Paris Summit, the meeting that world leaders have decided will determine the fate of the efforts to fight climate change.
“It might seem like a long time - it's not. We have 30 months to get the right leaders in power, get them to that meeting, give them a plan, and hold them accountable. And it's us versus the oil companies, and fatalism. We can win, we must, but we need to blast out of the starting gate with pledges ...  until the summit; we'll only process the donations if we hit our goal. For the world we dream of, let's make it happen,” he urged.

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Adesina says Nigeria has potentials to play big in EU fresh produce market

L-r Massimo De Luca, First Secretary- Trade Counsellor Delegation of the

European Union to Nigeria, Dirk Verheyen, Ambassador of the Kingdom

 of Belgium, Patrick Fay, Ambassador of Ireland and Head of the EU to Nigeria,

Hon. Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, Tajuddeen Dantata,

President AFGEAN, Akin Sawyerr, Executive Secretary AFGEAN and Dr. (Mrs) 
Nike Olufolaji, Executive Director of the Nigerian Horticultural Research 
Institute (NIHORT), Ibadan.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina has expressed optimism about Nigeria’s ability to play big in the European Union (EU) fresh produce market.

Welcoming a delegation of EU and Agricultural Fresh Produce Growers and Exporters’ Association of Nigeria (AFGEAN) to his office in Abuja, Dr. Adesina said that the country has the potential to do this, requesting, however, that a national strategy and investment plan must be put in place to pave way for this to be achieved.

He noted that a multi-stakeholder approach is needed in putting the plan and strategy in place.

As said by him the need for a research and development service as well as an institutional arrangement comparable to what obtains in Kenya, which is now a major horticultural product exporter in Africa is necessary.

The minister further told NaijaAgroNet Nigeria is closer to Europe than Kenya and could compete better than Kenya in the European market, adding that fresh produce economy in Nigeria would require activities beyond his ministry alone.

He, therefore, promised that an inter-ministerial meeting would be convened to include relevant ministries, states, financial institutions, AFGEAN, NGOs and other concerned groups to discuss cross-cutting issues.

The Horticulture value chain group of his ministry, he said, would work with DFID and EU to identify experts to evolve a comprehensive and detailed strategy that would help move from words to action.
The minister disclosed that that $380,000 has been included for AFGEAN and another $4 million for the development of horticulture.

Belgian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Dirk Verheyen said, that they are concerned over promotion of exports from Nigeria.

“We are here because we want to promote not only the export from Belgium to Nigeria but also the opposite. We are here because there are airplanes coming from Belgium with freight. They are full when they are coming to Nigeria, but when they are going out of Nigeria, they are completely empty. So, I think there is a big opportunity for Nigeria to increase the export from Nigeria towards Europe,” he said.

The ambassador also spoke about agriculture in general, and also about fresh produce in particular, saying “there are concrete plans to develop and the Belgian Embassy and Belgian official institutions will try to support as much as possible.”

Decrying the lost opportunities in the past, President, Agricultural Fresh Produce Growers and Exporters’ Association of Nigeria (AFGEAN), Alhaji Tajudeen Aminu Dantata, said Nigeria is seriously lagging behind in the export of vegetables whereas other nations are making a headway.

Dantata, who was in company of AFGEAN executive secretary, Akin Sawyerr, noted there are socio-economic benefits that can accrue to Nigeria through production and export of fresh produce from Nigeria to Europe.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Nigeria ready to reclaim position on global cocoa industry

Dr Akin Adesina
Nigerian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akin Adesina, has expressed readiness of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration to reclaim its position on global cocoa industry.

Addressing participants at the 23rd partnership forum organised by the World Cocoa Foundation in Washington DC, United States of America, last Wednesday on theme “Meeting Tomorrow’s Demand: Productivity, Quality, and Farmers’ Livelihoods,” Dr. Adesina told stakeholders how Nigeria is “developing a sustainable vehicle built on a public-private partnership platform to coordinate the whole cocoa sector that will be public sector-enabled but private sector-driven with all stakeholders playing active role.”

To demonstrate the commitment of Nigeria in developing the cocoa industry, the minister disclosed the plans on rehabilitation of200,000 hectares over the next four years through an aggressive plan developed in partnership with private sector to provide employment for skilled professionals called ‘Professional Cocoa Doctors and Grafters’ over the next five years who would be able to deploy their skills to earn a decent living and rehabilitate at least 200,000 ha cocoa farms in Nigeria.”

According to the special assistant on media to the Minister, Dr. Oyeleye Olukayode in a press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet, Dr. Adesina was quoted as saying, “with the support of MARS Incorporated, some personnel were sent to Indonesia to study Indonesia’s impressive cocoa plantation rehabilitation strategy.”

He also said the Nigerian Cocoa Investment Plan aligns with the theme of this partnership meeting very important to consider how to improve productivity, quality and livelihood to meet the growing demand for cocoa products estimated to reach some 5.0 million MT in 2020, some additional 1.0 million MT to the current cocoa beans output. 

Adesina outlined major problems militating against progress in cocoa business in Nigeria, to include production: practices, productivity, environment, labour, youth engagement; poverty issue; access to credits; market exposures; price volatility; land tenure; environmental issue; social issues such as  labour and migration. 

As said by him, despite these challenges, Nigeria still see a great opportunity in the face of emerging realities of the global cocoa economy.

“That is why we have put in place a Cocoa Transformation Agenda (The CocTA PLAN) with a vision of ‘Growing Nigeria’s Share of the World Cocoa market,” he assured.

Team leader for the Nigerian cocoa transformation agenda, Mr. Peter Aikpokpodion, noted that entrepreneurship in cocoa programme, hitherto lacking in Nigeria, is now being emphasised, as government is working towards facilitating stakeholders to recognise agriculture and cocoa production as business.

For the chief executive officer, Cocoa Products (Ile Oluji) Ltd, Akin Olusuyi, said that the federal government has been doing a lot to improve the cocoa economy under the present administration.

“We need to create institutions within a legal framework, within an act of parliament. We need to re-orientate the players in a cocoa value chain. We cannot develop the cocoa economy if all we do is produce for export. Cocoa plantations need to be seen as business, going beyond members of family, to generate wealth,” he advised.

Also speaking, Richard Rogers of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, advised that “work in cocoa has to be government-enabled and private sector-driven. Various players have to figure out what our roles are, how to work together collaboratively and what the opportunities are for the smallholders.”

Remmy Nweke/NaijaAgroNet 
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