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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Food insecurity looms in South Sudan


The World Food Programme (WFP), an agency of the United Nations Organization, has alerted the world that South Sudan  is under the threat  of the worst levels of food insecurity  because of a combination of conflict, high food prices and a worsening economic crisis, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis, released recently, confirmed fears that ceaseless conflict and the onset of the lean season are intensifying alarming levels of hunger both in conflict-affected areas and in other parts of the country, NaijaAgroNet gathered..

Joyce Luma, WFP’s Representative and Country Director in South Sudan said, “millions of people in South Sudan are trapped by a terrible mix of brutal conflict, rising hunger and a deepening economic crisis.

A staggering number of people are hungry. This analysis is a chilling reminder to the world that South Sudan cannot be forgotten,” Luma said in a statement issued in Nairobi..

NaijaAgroNet also learnt that the IPC result indicates that about 4.6 million people, or 40 per cent of South Sudan’s estimated population, face acute hunger in the next three months and will require urgent lifesaving food or livelihood assistance.

WFP also fears that lack of funding and shrinking humanitarian access are compromising relief agencies’ ability to meet South Sudan’s escalating needs, NaijaAgroNet gathered.

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Agribusiness solutions make ‘farming cool’ for Kenyans

A British multinational, Balton CP, is offering advanced agricultural solutions, which seek to change the youth mindset towards agribusiness, while empowering them with the technology: knoMaking farming 'cool' for Kenyan youthledge, skills, support and financing, to engage in modern agribusiness, reports NaijaAgroNet.
The agribusiness inclined company has been around as a major driving force in the agricultural sectors of many countries throughout Africa for over 25 years. They can be credited with being the first to introduce drip irrigation technology in several African countries in the late 1970s, greatly boosting the sector.
The group's 'Farming is Cool' campaign was launched in Kenya in 2011 by its subsidiary Amiran Kenya and following several years of activity, became its pan-African 'Farming is Cool Africa' Initiative. Over the last few years, NaijaAgroNet gathered, the campaign has allowed Amiran Kenya and its partners including the government, donors, NGO communities and private sector to place the Amiran Farmers Kit in over 1,000 primary and secondary schools throughout Kenya and in more than 300 youth polytechnics in the country.

NaijaAgroNet also learnt that AFK is an award winning, modern agribusiness unit anchored on a holistic approach that offers the farmer the tools, training and support required to engage in successful, sustainable agribusiness.
This unit has allowed over three million Kenyan children and youth to be exposed and willingly take up modern agribusiness using the most advanced, cutting edge technologies and methods available in the market tody.
In Kenya  and indeed  most  African communities, NaijaAgroNet  learnt, youth view agriculture as an unbefitting occupation often practised by older people in retirement or by those in 'shags' (rural areas) who have to farm to survive. More so, many schools often use agriculture as a form of punishment for deviant behavior.
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Jonathan signs Tobacco Control bill, five others into law

President Goodluck Jonathan, Wednesday, signed the Tobacco Control Bill along five others into law reports ITRealms.

Spokesman to the president, Dr. Reuben Abati in a state house press release confirmed this development.

According to him, “Other bills signed into law include the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency Act 2015; Equipment and Leasing Bill 2015; AMCON (Amendment) Bill 2015; Standards Organisation of Nigeria Bill 2015 and the National Sugar Development (Amendment) Bill 2015.”

The Tobacco Control Act 2015, he said, is meant to ensure effective regulation and control of production, sales, labelling, advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco and tobacco products in the country.

Abati also said that the bill will ensure balance between economic consideration and health implications of tobacco production, and use as well as exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, among other things.

It repeals the Tobacco Smoking (Control) Act, Cap.t6, LFN 2004 enacted in 1990 and amended years later.

The Equipment and Leasing Bill 2015 will regulate the business of equipment leasing in Nigeria, sanitise the practice of leasing in Nigeria, and protect the lessees (users) and the lessors (owners).

Having been signed into law, the affected bills take immediate effect.
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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Breaking News: CTA’s ARDYIS project wins ‪WSIS 2015 prize on e-Agriculture

The Centre for Technical Agriculture (CTA) has emerged winner in the youth category of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) 2015 prize on e-Agriculture, reports NaijaAgroNet.
Reports reaching NNaijaAgroNet newsroom affirmed that the award was presented in Geneva.
"We are delighted and proud to announce that the ARDYIS project has won the 2015 WSIS Project Prize in the e-Agriculture category at the award ceremony in Geneva during the WSIS Forum 2015," a press statement from CTA made available to NaijaAgroNet read.
ARDYIS, NaijaAgroNet recalled was among the three projects that received the most votes from the public, and the project was selected as the winner in its category after a review by an expert group.

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Monday, May 25, 2015

South-West youths set Power, agriculture as agenda for Buhari


The Youth Alliance Movement of Nigeria (YAMON) South –West zone, has called on the incoming administration led by General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) to give priority attention to provision of electricity and infrastructural development to boost economic prosperity of the country, NaijaAgroNet reports.

Comrade Akanni Michael, the national president of the group, outlined areas they hope could transform the country if well harnessed in a press briefing held at the weekend in Lagos. He said that the incoming administration must revamp the power and agricultural sectors as well as encourage industrialization.

In his words, NaijaAgroNet gathered,  “Generate, transmit and distribute from current 5,000 – 6,000 MW to, at least, 15,000 MW of electricity by 2020 and increasing to 50,000MW by 2025 with a view to achieving uninterrupted power supply by 2025 whilst simultaneously ensuring development of sustainable, renewable energy.”

“A cue could be taken from the Food Corporation of India, which has played a significant role in transforming the Indian food economy. It operates through a country- wide network of institutions and infrastructures at the zonal, regional and district level. Nigerians should consider only those leaders who pay special attention to the following aspects of agricultural development.”

“This can be achieved by application of modern and indigenous technologies; price assurance for farm produce; special incentives for private sector involvement; local government involvement; construction of feeder roads; development of crop sub-sector.

 He insists that “government will need to modernize the sector and change Nigeria from being a country of selfsubsistence farmers to that of a medium, commercial scale farming nation/producer,  
NaijaAgroNet reports.

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Green economy solution for Africa’s development

A green economy offers considerable opportunities for mobilizing resources towards an economic growth pathway that is low-emission in terms of carbon-dioxide and greenhouse gases released in the atmosphere during economic production activities, NaijaAgroNet learnt.

According to research, NaijaAgroNet gathered, green economy also builds a culture of resource efficiency in economic activities and of sustainable consumption among the population as well as climate-resilient housing, infrastructure and other economic installations, while at the same time adapting to different approaches to promote, among others, resilient agricultural production, diversification into off-farm livelihoods and other diversification innovations for the local and export markets.

 Mr.Achim Steiner, an expert in environmental issues and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, NaijaAgroNet learnt, once said that inclusive green economy has the potential to improve human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.

African countries, NaijaAgroNet also gathered, are at a critical stage in their developmental life coupled with challenges of poverty, unemployment, environmental degradation which include deforestation, soil erosion, desertification, and loss of biodiversity.

However, the combination of tackling poverty, accelerating growth and development, and addressing climate change, is likely to involve trade-offs and policy choices between mutually supportive, but equally important priorities toward the improvement of welfare and quality of life for Africa's citizens.

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Defective supply chain behind food waste in Africa


The food security challenges facing Africa has been attributed to defective supply chain as produce raised on some fertile cropland, the shortest route to the richest urban markets runs through another country, NaijaAgroNet reports.

Stephanie Gallatova, who cited the continent’s bad roads, insanitary conditions and poor food stock management as major problems, NaijaAgroNet gathered, said "The food losses occurring in Africa are due to limitations in the various technological and logistical factors in the food chain,"

Gallatova is an agro-industries officer with the FAO Regional Office for Africa, which conducts anti-food loss projects in more than a dozen West African countries. "We are looking at the whole value chain and seeing what investments can be made to reduce losses in a sustainable manner."

This geographic reality, with its multiple logistical hurdles, illustrates the food security challenges facing Senegal, for instance, and the wider West African region. 

The trouble with feeding people here is not so much the availability of food but its accessibility, adding, NaijaAgroNet learnt, that the difficulties arise not just in agricultural production but also in inefficient food delivery systems – in harvesting, storage, processing and transport.

In their 2014 Agricultural outlook report, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warned that food waste and losses represent a major threat to global food security over the next ten years.

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