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Monday, August 31, 2015

Africa must close gap between gender

The Africa Development Bank (AfDB), Special Envoy on Gender, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, has said that the huge gap in wages and agricultural yields between men and women must be closed if Africa is to achieve full economic transformation, reports NaijaAgroNet.

"African women feed the continent and they can feed the world, too. But we must close the wide gap in wages and agricultural yields between men and women if Africa is to achieve full economic transformation," she disclosed.

Information obtained from the bank’s website revealed that the office of the Special Envoy on Gender (SEOG) and the Department for Agriculture and Agro-industry (OSAN) of the African Development Bank (AfDB),  launched a new report called "Economic Empowerment of African Women through Equitable Participation in Agricultural Value Chains"in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. The event which gathered high-level participants, including stakeholders from both the private and public sectors from the countries and sectors examined in the report, looked at cocoa, coffee, cotton and cassava sectors in Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and Nigeria, respectively.

"This report prepares the ground to empower women, to take a leading role in the business of farming and agricultural value chains, regionally and globally," said the immediate past President of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka.

Agriculture in Africa, NaijaAgroNet gathered, is poised to remain one of the most important economic sectors, accounting for around 25 per cent of the continent's GDP. Over 60 per cent of its citizens rely on agriculture for some form of income. To transform the sector, the economic empowerment of women through boosting their productivity and raising their participation in commercial and higher value-add activities in agriculture is central.

In some countries, such as Rwanda, Malawi and Burkina Faso, over 90 per cent of economically active women are involved in agriculture, NaijaAgroNet learnt.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Liberia to analyze food, nutrition security using Cadre Harmonise ‘e’

The Executive Director, food security and nutrition unit, Ministry of Agriculture, Liberia, Deroe A. Weeks, said Cadre Harmonise ‘e’ is meant to analyze food and nutrition security, NaijaAgroNet reports.

She said this recently at a week-long workshop in Monrovia, adding that the national workshop was intended to analyze food and nutrition security using the Cadre Harmonise ‘e’ as a regional tool even as Liberia has joined 14 other countries in the Sahel and West Africa to work towards the adoption of the tool to tackle food and nutrition insecurity.

According to Weeks, the tool will help Liberia in terms of data collection and the documentation of the country's food and nutrition security and insecurity situations.
She explained that Liberia does not have hands-on data in terms of reporting food and nutrition insecurity and that the application of the regional tool will only enable the country be on track and collect data that will not be unique to other regional countries that are already using the Cadre Harmonise ‘e’ tool.

ALL AFRICA.COM reports that the Cadre Harmonise implementation process in the Sahel and West Africa has been fully underway and creates the country's ownership and occupies a strategic position among the various regional tools and will be used in the CILSS-ECOWAS-UEMOA region as a trigger tool of regional food reserve.

Dr. Charles McClain who represented the Agriculture Minister,  ITRealms gathered, thanked the participants and said as lead institution, the MoA is interested in getting more analytical data as the process moves on.
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 Pix: Deroe A. Weeks,

IITA expert advocates youth connection to improved technology, agribusinesses

The Project Leader, Cassava Weed Management Project, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Alfred Dixon, has advocated youth connection to a source of improved technology and access to information of good agricultural businesses, NaijaAgroNet reports.

“Youth engagement in agric can be in the production aspect like crop production, tuber production and cassava stem production. It can be in the post harvest aspect by adding value to what is already produced or the consumption aspects which come after harvesting, it involves handling and packaging, transportation, distribution, retailing, marketing and warehousing,” he said. 

Dixon said this recently while delivering keynote at the Covenant Capital, a division of Covenant Christian Centre on the agricultural sector which has the theme “SME Opportunities in Nigeria’s Agribusiness Value Chain.”

The event which took place at the church auditorium in Iganmu, Lagos witnessed other  experts who noted that Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy is expected to double its current population by 2050 and that the future of the country’s economy is in the hands its teeming youth population.

They stressed that with the high rate of youth unemployment in the country, there is need for government to harness the potential in the agricultural sector by making it very attractive to the youths.

The Vice Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, Multi-Trex Integrated Foods Plc Oladimeji Owofemi said,  “In the logistic performance index Nigeria is ranked lower than South Africa which has a population of just 45 or 50 billion people. Government needs to provide good road infrastructure network to reduce production cost.”

While the CEO, X- Ray Farms, Afioluwa Mogaji, in his speech harped on the need for youths across the country to see the opportunities in the agricultural value chain because the opportunities are enormous.“With the massive opportunities in agriculture in the country, oil is supposed to be an alternative to agriculture,” he said.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE with additional report from Business Day

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Pix: Alfred Dixon

Monday, August 24, 2015

PICS bags reduce incidents of food poisoning

Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) bags have been designed for effective storage of grains even as they also have the capacity to reduce the incidents of food poisoning, reports NaijaAgroNet.

PICS  was designed by the Purdue University, United States of America to provide a simple, effective low-cost method of reducing post-harvest losses in cereal crops due to insect infestations in West and Central Africa.

NaijaAgroNet learnt through PICS media consultant in Ghana, David Babayara, who was interviewed by Daily Graphic, that using the PICS bags to store foodstuff also reduced the incidents of food poisoning.

“This is because PICS bags employ the hermetic system of storage, hence food stored in them does not need to be treated with chemicals before storage,” Mr Babayara stated.

Effective storage of grains such as maize, beans, cowpea, groundnuts and rice has always been a major challenge to smallholder farmers in the whole Africa. Grains are mostly destroyed by pests and insects within three months of storage due to the lack of proper storage methods for farmers and food dealers.

A PICS bag consists of two layers of polyethylene bags surrounded by a third layer of woven polypropylene. This oxygen-deprived environment proves fatal to insects and pests and therefore prevents them from causing harm to stored grains, NaijaAgroNet gathered.

PICS technology was developed in the late 1980s by Professor Larry Murdock of Purdue University with support from partners in Cameroon and funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

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Pix: David Babayara,

Sunday, August 23, 2015

ITREALMS: Oil exploration: IPPA excites Buhari on increased ...

 Oil exploration: IPPA excites Buhari on increased ...: ITRealms : The President, Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari was at the weekend excited over the resolve by Independent Petroleum Producers ...

ITREALMS ... everything news digitally!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Nigeria ranked 91st on food security index 2015

Nigeria has been ranked 91st on the world food security index which was released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Global Food Security Index which is based on the assessment of 109 countries, aims to rate the level of food sector development.

Nigeria emerged 91st with the average 37.1 index. However in the spheres of quality and safety and availability Nigeria is ranked the 72nd and the 87th.  The country also has 3 important strengths: nutritional standards, volatility of agricultural production and agricultural import tariffs. It should be noted that for the last 4 years Nigeria has improved its index by 3.2 points.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) website, “The Global Food Security Index (GFSI) considers the core issues of affordability, availabilty, and quality and safety across a set of 109 countries. The index is a dynamic quantitative benchmarking model, constructed from 28 unique indicators that measure these drivers of food security across both developing and developed countries.

Among Sub-Saharan African countries Nigeria is the 12th of 28. The country is followed by Sudan, Niger, Chad, Zambia and others.

The first place in the rating, NaijaAgroNet gathered, is held by the US with 89.0 total score. The second and the third places belong to Singapore and Ireland with 88.2 and 85.4 indexes respectively. Others are the Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, Germany, Australia, France, Norway and so on.

According to experts “Global food security has made a rapid improvement over the past year. We see this in the increased efficiency of food systems and improvements in the nutritional quality of the food to which populations have access.” 

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Adesina urges Oshiomhole to leverage on ADB

The former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina  has urged the Edo State Governor, Adams  Oshiomhole to play  politics well,  by leveraging on his  growing relevance at the continental level as the new head of the biggest development financial institution in Africa, NaijaAgroNet reports.

Adeshina said this while reacting to the Governor’s position that the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) of the immediate past administration was a big scam.
According to information from ministry of Agriculture’s website, Adesina who is currently the president of Africa Development Bank (AFDB), contended that Oshiomole’s claim was “lacking in depth, sound logic and was a calculated attempt to rubbish everything about Goodluck Jonathan’s administration under whose leadership, he was able to perform so creditably.”

His special assistant on media, Dr Olukayode Oyeleye, NaijaAgroNet gathered, said the former agriculture minister regretted that the claim was a bad public relations stunt, not expected from the governor, adding that it was even so when it is considered that Oshiomole’s comments detract from the ATA, a reform that was vigorously pursued and implemented by Dr Akin Adesina.

Oyeleye said it was “uncharitable and against the interest of Nigerian public to politicize issues of agriculture and food security as Governor Oshiomhole did in his criticisms of that sector.

“Nigerians know better and will not allow this governor’s attempt to reinvent the wheel or publicity stunt to derail what is perhaps the most ambitious and successful agricultural blueprint since Nigeria’s independence. He ought to have been asking, for instance, the erudite, resourceful and hardworking former minister, how he was able to achieve so much within so short a time.”

Adesina , NaijaAgroNet learnt, observed that at a time that the nation desperately needed to build upon his achievements as agriculture minister, Oshiomole could only do the Edo people some good by recognizing the fact that lending by commercial banks to agriculture increased from 0.07 per cent in 2011 to five per cent in 2014, while banks lent a total of N27.5 billion to fertilizer and seed companies.

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 Pix:Dr Akinwumi Adesina