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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Smallholder farmers need agribusiness skills to succeed–Nnaemego

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO)/Founder, Fresh Young Brain Development Initiative, Barr.Nkiruka Nnaemego, has said rural women and smallholder farmers need agribusiness skills and transformative leadership to succeed in the sector, NaijaAgroNet reports.

Nnaemego who was speaking at the Rural Women Farmers Forum (RWFF) General Assembly held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, said leadership is a process of directing and influencing another individual or group of individuals to accomplish a goal;an art and ability of inspiring, guiding, and directing people so that they ardently desire to do what the leader wishes.
NaijaAgroNet also reports that the training was organised to help women and smallholder farmers have access to additional skills and knowledge to enable them to move from a 'farm' to a'firm (business)’.
Nnaemego enumerated ways to build good customer relation in agribusiness to include keeping customers details (names, phone numbers and other relevant information), which would help for easy contact of clients especially when “you’ve not seen them for a while.”

Listening, she said, is just as important as telling, stressing the importance of talking with your clients often that apart from business purpose, the farmer should build informal relationship by calling them often to show them “you care.”

NaijaAgroNet also reports that Nnaemego encouraged farmers to set and manage realistic expectations,adding that as much as customers want their problems to be fixed, farmers should try as much as possible not to disappoint them.

“It is better to always be truthful and realistic than disappointing them,” she cautioned, pointing out that reward is a very simple form of saying 'thank you.' This could be verbally or in action through discounts or free products.

On customer segmentation, she said, the farmer could group customers according to their common needs, common behaviours or other  afford them to answer the question:Are they willing to pay for your product or service?Who are they?  Are they old, young, and from where, rural or urban?

Customer relationship, she told the women farmers, is a way an agropreneur communicates and deals with existing and future customers in other to retain and gain more client, solidify relation with existing ones and loyalty which increases profitability.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE
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Monday, October 26, 2015

Polio: Rotary donates N1.37b to sustain immunization in Nigeria

Rotary Club International has donated an additional US$6.9 million, about N1.37 billion to support immunization activities and surveillance in Nigeria, NaijaAgroNet reports.

This was coming on the heels of historic success against polio in Nigeria and across the continent of Africa even as the battle  against polio is being spearheaded by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

This was the year when three became two, with the World Health Organization removing Nigeria from the list of polio-endemic countries, leaving just Afghanistan and Pakistan remaining. With no case of wild poliovirus (WPV) reported since 24 July 2014, more than a year has passed with no samples testing positive for WPV across the entire country. This achievement is a tribute to the hard work of countless health care workers, traditional leaders, over 400,000 volunteers and the government who managed to turn the programme in Nigeria around by reaching over 45 million children repeatedly with polio vaccines.

Polio is on track to become the second human disease ever to be eliminated from the world (smallpox is the first). To date, Rotary has helped 194 countries stop the transmission of polio through the mass immunization of children. Rotary’s new funding commitment, announced in advance of the Oct. 24 observance of World Polio Day 2015, targets countries where children remain at risk of contracting this incurable, but vaccine-preventable, disease.

The Chairman of Rotary's Nigeria National Polio Plus Committee, Tunji Funsho said, “No child is safe from the polio virus until no more polio virus exists on this planet. As we celebrate world polio day in a time when we have been removed from the list of polio endemic countries we must remain vigilant and ensure that all children are immunised.”

Rotary is contributing  $26.8 million to African countries to ensure the disease never returns to the continent: Burkina Faso ($1.6 million), Cameroon ($2.7 million), Chad ($2.6 million), Democratic Republic of Congo ($499,579), Equatorial Guinea ($685,000), Kenya ($750,102), Madagascar ($562,820), Mali ($1.5 million), Niger ($3 million), Nigeria ($6.9 million), Somalia ($4.9 million) and South Sudan ($1.5 million) In total, Rotary gives $40.4 million to end polio worldwide.

Rotary provides grant funding to polio eradication initiative partners UNICEF and the World Health Organization, which work with the governments and Rotary members in polio-affected and high-risk countries to plan and carry out immunization activities.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE
... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

India seeks Africa’s support for WTO ministerial meeting in Nairobi.

India has sought support for its food security programme from the visiting African trade ministers as the next World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial meeting is slated to be held in Nairobi, reports NaijaAgroNet.

"We discussed WTO issues with African trade ministers. India sees Africa as a natural partner and together we can have a positive influence on the future global economic order," said commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman after the India-Africa trade ministers' meeting.

Sitharaman was speaking at a joint press conference at the meeting of trade ministers and officials in Delhi which was attended by 29 African nations, including Egypt, Algeria, Angola, Zimbabwe, Tunisia and South Africa, and eight regional economic councils, according to an official release.

New Delhi is trying to garner support for its demand that the Nairobi ministerial in December should come up with a permanent solution with respect to subsidies given under the public procurement programmes for food, NaijaAgroNet learnt.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE
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Sunday, October 25, 2015

CNC contributed actively in Malabo declaration, urges RWFF to join

The Comprehensive African Agriculture Programme (CAADP) Non State Actors Coalition (CNC) has said it contributed actively in the Malabo declaration, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This was made known by one of the leading light of anchors of CNC and Livelihoods Thematic Manager at a member organization, the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development (ACORD), Ms Fatou Mbaye at the general assembly of the Rural Women Farmers Forum (RWFF) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

She said that so far, CNC has five strategy and 18 months action plans in place.

CNC, she also said has a joint work-plan between Africa Lead II and CNC which is being finalized, even as they held an official launch of CNC which was inaugurated by African Union Commission (AUC) leadership led.

Mbaye further said that the coalition has developed Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) between the AUC and CNCs and another one for the CNC membership. 

These, she said, still waiting for AUC feedback as it is undergoing some internal processes.

She explained that CAADP aims to achieve an agriculture-led socio-economic growth that will create wealth, tackle poverty and reduce hunger which requires broad and inclusive coalitions committed to acting in concert to improve the sector’s policies, programming and institutions.

Equally, Mbaye said, CAADP recognizes the need to transform African agriculture as imperative to building broad and inclusive coalitions of state and non-state actors.

The Non-State Actors (NSAs), she said, are actors outside of the government, who share the vision and objectives of CAADP.

Some of the NSAs, she listed to include, the private sector, farmer organizations, associations and networks, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), women organisations, academic and research organizations, faith-based organizations, Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), media, labour unions and youth organisations.

She therefore urged aforementioned stakeholders to join forces with CNC and particularly, the Rural Women Farmers Forum (RWFF) to key into the benefits and objectives of CNC to promote agriculture and specifically farming on the continent as it concerns women in rural areas.

“Join the CNC for inclusive agriculture, food policies and more actions to end hunger and malnutrition in Africa by 2025,” she said, enjoining them to contact another CNC top notch, Ms Constance Okeke of ActionAid International who is in-charge of membership.

+ITRealms DSA @NaijaAgroNet #RWFF2015

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Access to food, a fundamental right says Adeshina

The president of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina has stated that access to food in quantity and quality is a fundamental human right, NaijaAgroNet reports.

He emphasised the importance of agriculture and food security to the growth and development of Africa. “People eat food. Access to food in quantity and quality is a fundamental human right. Just few weeks ago at the United Nations General Assembly, the world took a bold decision to approve the Sustainable Development Goals. In my meeting with the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, he told me: ‘The SDGs must succeed in Africa. If they do not succeed there, they cannot be said to have succeeded’.

Adeshina, NaijaAgroNet  gathered, was speaking at a high level conference on agricultural transformation themed ‘Feeding Africa.’ He said nothing is more important than food, adding that while Africa had risen on the back of new discoveries of oil and gas fields, in reality, no one eats oil or gas.

“The other side of the trajectory, which we must face, is that the growth process is highly unequal. Africa has today, one of the highest inequalities in the world. Over 400 million live on less than one dollar per day.

“While poverty rates have fallen in Africa, the absolute number of the poor has increased, and Africa is the only region where the absolute number of the poor increased in the world,” he said.
He maintained that Africa must rise up and unlock its full agricultural potential, adding that with all its bright sunshine, abundant water resources and cheap labour, Africa should be a global powerhouse in food and agriculture, NaijaAgroNet learnt.

“Africa cannot eat potential and there is no market for selling potential. In Nigeria, we unlocked that potential when I was minister of agriculture. This convinces me that agricultural transformation can occur in a very short period of time. The Agricultural Transformation Agenda which implemented wide-ranging reforms with sharp focus on the private sector-led input delivery systems, value chain development and financing systems, led to an increase of 21 million metric tonnes in food production within three years. The food import bill in the country fell from an all-time high of $11 billion, about N2.18 trillion in 2009 to $3.2 billion, about N636. 96 billion by 2014,” he added.

Cyriacus Nnaji with additional report from Leadership/GEE
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