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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

2015 Yara Prize up for grabs, USD 60,000 @stake

The 2015 Yara Prize worth USD 60,000, about N11,943,000, is now up for grabs, according to the Chairman, Yara Prize Committee, Mr. Torgeir Kvidal, NaijaAgroNet reports.

A press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet, by Svein Flatebø of Yara Prize Committee Secretariat, quoted Mr. Kvidal, who doubles as President & CEO of Yara International as saying that Yara Prize was established in 2005 as a direct response to the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s call for a green revolution in Africa in 2004. 

The Yara Prize, NaijaAgroNet reports, recognizes food and nutrition security and sustainable agricultural initiatives with a transformative power. 

“It serves as inspiration for action to scale up the African Green Revolution,” Kvidal said. 

NaijaAgroNet also gathered that the Yara Prize winner receives USD 60,000, a trophy and a diploma which will be awarded in Africa in October 2015.

Kvidal, therefore, invite nominations that deserves recognition for achievements in combating hunger and poverty as well as enhancing food security and sustainable agricultural development on the continent. 

In 2015, the Yara Prize will have a special focus on youth, women and agribusiness, hence, the prize will also consider strongly those individuals who have contributed towards catalyzing transformational change in support of an African Green Revolution.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Nigerian farmers demand compensation for loss of birds

Poultry farmers in Plateau State are calling for government’s help to compensate them for the loss of birds and sales following recent avian influenza outbreaks, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Poultry farmers in Plateau State say that bird flu remains a serious threat to the nation’s economy and called on the Federal Government to tackle it, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The farmers also called on government and other relevant authorities to expedite action on the payment of compensation to those whose farms were quarantined. Alhaji Moshood Okanlawon, one of the poultry farmers, told NaijaAgroNet in Jos, Plateau State that the disease, which ravaged poultry farms recently, had resulted in unemployment.

Mr Okanlawon explained that the negative economic implications of bird flu on the nation’s economy had a wider impact on the lucrative poultry business.

Another farmer, Rebecca Okafor, NaijaAgroNet gathered said she had been into poultry farming in the last 18 years, describing it as a very “good business”. She said poultry farming has tremendous economic importance, adding that the avian influenza had destroyed the business. She explained that more than 700 of her birds were infected by the disease and her farm was quarantined.

“More than 75 crates of eggs and chickens being produced weekly had stopped and I cannot supply manure to local farmers,” she said.

Similarly, Alhaji Abdulazeez Qamarudeen said over 3,650 of his birds were infected with bird flu. He called on government to compensate farmers that were affected, saying poultry farming contributes largely to the GDP of the country due to generation of employment and business opportunities.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE

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Friday, March 20, 2015

2.5m Nigerians now have access to safe water in rural areas

Estimated 2.3 billion Nigerians now have access to enhanced drinking water since 1990, according to the United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) reports NaijaAgroNet

Also UNICEF said is coming as a result of the Millennium Development Goal (MGD) target of halving the percentage of the global population without access which is met in 2010. 

In the case of sanitation, nearly 2.5 billion people worldwide still do not have adequate toilets and among them, 1 billion defecate in the open. While some 70 million people without access to safe water and over 110 million people without access to improved sanitation, Nigeria is currently not on-track with regard to its attainment of Water and Sanitation targets. 

The poor bear the greatest brunt of this lack of access to water and sanitation. For women and girls, collecting water cuts into time they can spend caring for families and studying. In insecure areas, it also puts them at risk of violence and attack. UNICEF estimates that in Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year just walking to collect water.  For children, lack of access to safe water can be tragic. On average, nearly 1,000 of them die globally every day from diarrhoeal diseases linked to unsafe drinking water, poor sanitation, or poor hygiene. 

This year’s theme on World Water Day, which falls on 22nd March, is “Water and Sustainable Development”. The theme aptly encapsulates the overarching role of water in our lives, be it for human consumption, food production, for health, for power generation, for industry and for the sustenance of nature as a whole, without which life would not exist.

This year’s theme highlights the importance of water to our existence and emphasizes the need to look at the holistic development of the water sector, reduce water wastage and prevent contamination of this increasingly scarce resources. “Everyone, be it the government, the civil society, international development partners and the citizens including children have a critical role to play in ensuring that water is sustainably used and is available for generations to come” said Kannan Nadar, Chief, Water and Sanitation, UNICEF.

UNICEF has been working with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources as well as the state governments to promote use of sustainable approaches and technologies for water abstraction and use. In the last two years nearly 2.5 million people gained access to safe water in rural areas through UNICEF support that also included funding from EU and UKAid. UNICEF-supported ‘WASH in Schools’ programming has also brought safe water, sanitation and hygiene facilities to thousands of school children in Nigeria.

Isaac Oyima/GEE
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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sanitation: Restriction of movement in Lagos is illegal says High Court


A Federal High Court in Lagos State, Monday, March 16, 2015 declared the restriction of movement during the monthly sanitation exercise in Lagos State as illegal, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Delivering a judgment on a case brought before the court by Ebun-Olu Adegoroye, a lawyer and human right activist, presiding Justice Mohammed Idris held that restriction of movement, in the name of sanitation, amounted to a violation of the citizens’ right to personal liberty and freedom of movement as enshrined in sections 35 and 41 of the Nigerian constitution.

Justice Idris also held that the power of the Lagos State government to keep people indoors and its agent to arrest any citizen found moving between the hours of 7am and 10am every last Saturday of the month during the environmental sanitation exercise has no place in law.

He cited for instance, the 1999 Constitution, which grants freedom of movement to every citizen of Nigeria within its territory, maintained that freedom could not be taken away by executive declaration without any given law to that effect.

Justice Idris further said there was no regulation in force presently even in Lagos which authorised the restriction of movement of citizens on the last Saturdays of the month for the purpose of observing environmental sanitation, outside executive assertion.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that Adegoroye had taken the Lagos State government to court for restriction of movement whenever the exercise is to hold thereby confined citizens to their homes between 7am and 10am without any known legal basis.

In addition, he said it grossly violated Nigerians’ right of freedom of movement as guaranteed in the constitution.

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Monday, March 16, 2015

NAGGW endorsed by President Jonathan Administration

In a efforts at improvingagriculture and increase environmental sustainability in Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan has approve the upgrade of the great Green wall Programme implementation Unit (GGW/PIU) to become an independent agency reports NaijaAgroNet.

This is as a result to tackle the issue of Nigeria losing about 2,168qKM of its fertile land almost every year to desertification and putting the lives of many in jeopardy.
Desertification as gathered by NaijaAgroNet had radically affected the value of life in the northern part of Nigeria, and also had resulted in high levels of migration, instability, impacting negatively on the social fabric of the North and confining them to a future of small output, limited economic growth and marginalization.

Research by NaijaAgroNet showed that Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of cassava with an output of over 45 million metric tonnes in 2014 according to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Mr. Goni Ahmed who is an agricultural scientist and respected environmentalist, has called on stakeholders to support the Great Green Wall Programme thus to deliver dividends to Nigerians as the support and assistance from stakeholders would guarantee the desertification frightening the northern region was brought under control.

Chidozie Anibueze/GEE
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