Search NaijaAgroNet

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Herdsmen rampage on Nimbo: Ugwuanyi blames securit...

Herdsmen rampage on Nimbo: Ugwuanyi blames securit...: ITRealms : The Enugu State governor, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has blamed the security agencies for their failure to avert the suspected Fu...

ITREALMS ... everything news digitally!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

ASFRAD seeks to empower 500 fishery millionaires

The Anambra State Fisheries Revolution and Development (ASFRAD) programme is expanding partnership to empower 500 fishery millionaires, reports NaijaAgroNet.

ASFRAD, NaijaAgroNet gathered had recently embarked on a lot of research, trainings and youth empowerment programmes to achieve this goal.

Sources to close to the government of Anambra State confirmed to NaijaAgroNet that a youth empowerment and entrepreneurial initiative being managed by the Special Adviser to Governor Willie Obiano on Fisheries, Mr. Emeka Iloghalu, was held with the objective of making Anambra State Nigeria's number one in fish-farming.

NaijaAgroNet, equally gathered that recently, two major investors in the Fisheries sector, Chief Akai Egwuonwu of Stine Industries, Amichi and Chief Ben Egonu of Osummanu Fish Estate and Tourism Ltd, Ossomala, joined the Governor's programme of creating a minimum of 500 young millionaires from the fisheries sector in the next 1 year by sponsoring the training and empowerment of young fish farmers.

The first batch of 500 persons, NaijaAgroNet reports, are currently at the world-class Osummanu Fish Estate and Tourism Resort at Ossomala, Ogbaru Local Government Area (LGA) of Anambra State undergoing necessary training in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export.

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology
Pix by Emeka Iloghalu and Arinze Awogu

Sunday, April 24, 2016

'Ghost fishing’ technologies to reduce environmental damage

New technologies to facilitate easier recovery of lost fishing gear are giving a boost to efforts to reduce so-called "ghost fishing" and its harmful impacts on fish stocks and endangered species, reports NaijaAgroNet.

These technologies include, coded wire tags (CWTs), Satellite buoys with solar power, Active pingers, passive sonar reflectors and LED.

NaijaAgroNet reports that advances in marking technology are offering new possibilities for efficient tracking and recovery of lost gear and are changing the way the problem is being tackled, citing for instance, the Coded Wire Tags (CWTs) are being tested as a potential tool for reducing entanglements of marine mammals, turtles and other large marine animals. The nano-sized, laser-etched CTWs are implanted in fishing ropes with no effect on fishing performance but making them detectable to special sensors.

Also, NaijaAgroNet learnt that satellite buoys with solar power are now commonly used in industrial purse seine operations, providing unlimited range and extra-long operating time. While other sensors, like Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers, could be attached to a radio buoy and used to transmit data.

Acoustic technology is equally another add-on, which takes advantage of the sound transmission properties of seawater, also has applications in locating lost gear. Whereas the Active pingers emit sounds at certain frequencies once in the water, the passive sonar reflectors capture and reflect sound energy back to its source.

Just as the lights have long been an integral part of fishing gear markers for the night but today energy-efficient Light-Emitting Diode (LEDs) are being fitted with solar panels, amplifying their effectiveness.

This follows growing concern over this problem, coupled with the increasing availability of these technologies, NaijaAgroNet reports, led FAO to begin developing international guidelines on the effective tagging of fishing gear as a way to cut down levels of troublesome sea trash.

Known as the abandoned, lost and otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG), NaijaAgroNet reports that abandoned fishing gear makes up a significant portion of all marine debris, a growing problem in marine ecosystems.

Levels of ALDFG, NaijaAgroNet reports, have gone up significantly in recent decades as a result of increases in the scale of fishing operations and the extensive use of long-lasting synthetic materials. At present, it accounts for about one-tenth of all marine litter, translating into hundreds of thousands of tonnes annually.

This abandoned gear is one of the most problematic types of marine debris, since it can remain in the oceans for years, often continuing to carry out the capture process it was designed for, entangling fish and other marine animals in its nets and killing them - a phenomenon known as ghost fishing.

"The effective marking of fishing gear in busy multi-user sea areas is key to preventing its loss and protecting marine ecosystems," according to FAO Fishery Industry Officer Petri Suuronen. "Fishers can also benefit from the use of new gear tagging technologies which will allow them to minimise loss of potential catch and expensive equipment, and save time searching for lost gear," he said.

Abandoned and lost gears are also a hazard to safe navigation due to fouling of ship propulsion systems and propellers, and marking can help prevent accidents and fatalities.
It can also be a tool in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, allowing control authorities to monitor how fishing gear is being used in their waters and who is using it.

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Hackers invade FAO headquarters

Last Friday, a group of Italian and international hackers literally invaded headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome for a United States (US)- government-sponsored ‘Fishackathon’ reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Fishackathon, NaijaAgroNet reports, was aimed at cooking up high-tech solutions to problems that have long plagued fishing communities around the globe.

The Assistant Director-General of FAO's Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, Árni M. Mathiesen, said that working in teams in a marathon hacking session, the group of around 30 coders, technology students, developers and designers will be asked to harness FAO data to develop creative mobile applications, systems, and tools to help tackle key challenges facing sustainable fisheries.

Mathiesen also said that these range from illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, to overfishing and degradation of fishing grounds, to post harvest losses of catches.

Teams of 2-8 people joined forces to brainstorm solutions that responses to one of nine fisheries-related problem statements to be provided.

On Sunday, FAO experts would judge the submissions and one team will be chosen as the winner.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that the exercise now in its third year, the Fishackathon was first launched in 2014 by US Secretary of State John Kerry at the Our Oceans conference is an event taking place in 40 cities around the globe.

The winners of each, including this weekend's Italian edition, will move forward into a global contest whose final outcome will be announced by the US government on June 8 at World Oceans Day 2016.

Last year's Fishackathon winners included a game to teach children about sustainable fishing, an app to help consumers find and eat sustainable seafood, and a reporting tool for marine mammal protection.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Friday, April 22, 2016

Earth Day Special on eWaste: 75% of ‘Tokunbo’ electronics in Nigeria unusable

As the world celebrates the 2016 Earth Day, NaijaAgroNet reports exclusively that 75 per cent of used electronics devices also known in local parlance as ‘second hand’ or ‘Tokunbo’ electronics imported into Nigeria are unserviceable and unusable.

Confirming this, the assistant Secretary General of the Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN), Mr. John Oboro said that 75 per cent of these Tokunbo items are not usually functional and cannot even be fixed.

“I will tell you that we have greater percentage of those (second hand electronics) that cannot be used, than can be used. Honestly speaking, I can tell you that about 75% of these items are not usable,” Oboro declared.

Also speaking, the Director, Basel Convention, Regional Centre, Prof. Oladele Osibanjo decried that the burning of used electronic devices generally are very hazardous, and those working on this could be prone to cancer, especially in Nigeria.

This, he said, is because those set of workers could take-in components that are dangerous, so it cannot be distanced from the incidence of high cancer rate which is on the rise now in Nigeria.

Prof. Osibanjo insisted that most of these electronic items are not usable and warned on the impact of continuous exportation of used electronics to developing countries, which he said negates the global village theory of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

“We claim one global village, its important to ensure that countries from where these used electronics are being shipped from are cleaned up and the same goes to those importing nations, to ensure that eventually all sides are safe at the end of the day,” he advised.

NaijaAgroNet reports that exporters of these electronics, argued that Tokunbo devices extends the life span of these electronics and help in bridging the digital divide in the developing economies.

Further investigations by NaijaAgroNet revealed that large number of computers and electronics devices imported into Nigeria via Lagos, every month, are largely non-functional and non-repairable, hence they end up being stacked in private warehouses across the country, especially in the South-Western Nigeria.

Equally, NaijaAgroNet reports that very often these items are dumped in the residential areas at uncompleted buildings and invariably burnt, thereby realizing highly content pollutant into the atmosphere, air and water.

Meanwhile, NaijaAgroNet reports that over one billion people in 192 countries will take action to 
protect our shared environment; all across the globe, in big cities to small villages and everything in-between, people are organizing, demanding climate action, cleaning up their local communities, meeting with their elected officials, planting trees, and teaching their children to protect their planet.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that Earth Day’s legacy makes it the largest and most active citizen engagement campaign on Earth. This year's theme is "Trees for the Earth."

+Remmy Nweke +Naija AgroNet
... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Hilary Clinton petitions Congress over Zika virus funding

The United States presidential hopeful, Senator Hillary Clinton has petition the Congress over lack of adequate funding to check the spread of Zika virus across the world, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Clinton in a petition seeking some 500 signatories expressed worries about Zika virus, but lamented that despite the concerns expressed by global leaders including President Barrack Obama, the United Nations (UN), and every major health organization in the world. 

But Congress has taken no action to provide funding that could help us stave off this virus and ultimately find a cure,” she said.

According to her, over 2 billion people are at risk for Zika, which could cause serious health problems for pregnant women and babies, stressing that in the United States, estimated 800 cases have been documented so far, and in Puerto Rico, it’s possible that 1 in 5 people will be affected by the end of this year.

“… That’s why I’m sending members of my staff there this weekend to discuss what more we can do to mitigate this crisis,” Mrs. Clinton said.
NaijaAgroNet recalls that the World Health Organization has declared Zika a public health emergency, hence, Mrs. Clinton noted that the United States needs to step up and do more about it.
Also NaijaAgroNet reports that President Obama had requested emergency funding from Congress two months ago, but Congress has yet to give him the money. 

That’s just unacceptable and together, we can do something about it,” Clinton assured, stressing that there’s a lot the world is yet to know about Zika.

“How exactly it’s transmitted, how far mosquitoes carrying the disease can travel, and the full extent of the health risks involved. We need to move quickly on life-saving research to develop a diagnostic test, a vaccine, and a treatment,” she said.

Pointing out that nothing really could be done until Congress approves the needed funding, insisting that with Americans’ health at risk, she said, Congress must take action.

“I know petitions have been a powerful tool to influence Congress - petitions have helped prompt Congress to provide health care for firefighters who fight wildfires and families affected by contaminated water at a military base,” she submitted.

Clinton, therefore, urged people of good conscious to help by signing the petition so as to convince Congress to do the right thing to confront this dangerous virus.

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology
Pix: Hillary Clinton

Thursday, April 21, 2016

UNWTO saddened by tragic earthquake in Ecuador’s central coast

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has expressed its sympathy to the people of Ecuador, reports NaijaAgroNet.

UNWTO Media Officer Rut Gómez Sobrino, said they are deeply saddened by the tragic earthquake that struck Ecuador’s central coast on 16 April.

“On behalf of the international tourism community, UNWTO conveys its heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims, to the people and the government of Ecuador in this moment of distress,” Sobrino said.

The Secretary-General, UNWTO, Taleb Rifai, was quoted as conveying “I would like to convey to the families and friends of the victims, to the people and the government of Ecuador, our heartfelt condolences and solidarity in this tragic moment.”

Ecuador, Rifai said, is a tourism success story; a country where tourism supports many livelihoods. UNWTO stands ready to work alongside Ecuador in all the necessary measures to support the recovery of the sector in the affected areas in the aftermath of this tragedy.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Japanese assistance saving lives for victims of conflict in northeast Nigeria

Baby Zainab Mohammed, just twenty-five days old, is fussing and crying. She is with her mother in a health centre at the Dalori camp for people displaced by the conflict in northeast Nigeria. The baby has a slight fever and while her mother tries to comfort her, a nurse removes her clothing to help her cool down and counsels her mother to continue trying to breastfeed her.

It does not help that the outside temperature at the Dalori camp, where Zainab and her mother now live, has already reached 43 degrees centigrade.

Zainab is one of the twenty one babies in the ward for infants. All born into the conflict that has displaced more than two million people – more than half of them children – in Nigeria and surrounding countries since 2009. The Dalori camp, located some 15 kilometres outside the city of Maiduguri, is currently home to more than 30,000 of those uprooted by the violence.

Zainab’s mother Amina fled her town when insurgents attacked and took it over. She was pregnant at the time and was fortunate to find transport to bring her to the Dalori camp, although, she recalls, others were not so lucky. Several pregnant women gave birth on the long trek to the camp – and several others didn’t make it at all, succumbing to fatigue and ill health.

Thanks to a generous grant to UNICEF from the Government and people of Japan, the Dalori camp has a fully-functioning health facility and when her time came, Amina was able to give birth safely there. With Japanese funding last year, UNICEF and its partners were able to provide primary health care services in 108 health facilities in the parts of Nigeria most affected by the conflict.
UNICEF uses the funds to establish, equip and stock the health facilities – both in the formal camps for the displaced and in the local communities that also host hundreds of thousands of displaced people. 

There is a special antenatal and delivery room at the clinic in the Dalori camp and this is where 40 year-old Amina delivered Zainab.  “I see her as a kind of consolation for my grandfather and my brother, who were killed by Boko Haram,” she says, as Zainab finally calms and begins to take her mother’s milk.

Despite the temporary high temperature, which has almost returned to normal after a couple of hours, Zainab is a healthy baby, and has already had her first immunizations – also thanks to the Japanese funds. “I think a lot of people here in this camp are alive today because of these nurses,” says Amina. She would like her baby daughter to become a nurse when she grows up, she says, “Zainab should save lives too.”

The Government of Japan has just announced a further grant of US $ 4.5 million to UNICEF to provide life-saving emergency assistance for people who have been affected by the conflict in northeastern Nigeria.  The assistance will include water, sanitation and hygiene services, health and nutrition support, education and protection services for children.

Caption: Baby Zainab, resting after having recovered from her fever, sleeps as her mother Amina sits with her at the health clinic in Dalori camp for the displaced, near Maiduguri, northeastern Nigeria.

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology
Credit: ©UNICEF/Nigeria/ Esiebo 2015

Caption: Baby Zainab, resting after having recovered from her fever, sleeps as her mother Amina sits with her at the health clinic in Dalori camp for the displaced, near Maiduguri, northeastern Nigeria.

Natural births still possible after cesarean - Stu...

ITREALMS: Natural births still possible after cesarean - Stu...: ITRealms : A new study has shown that women who had a cesarean section in a previous pregnancy are much more likely to have a safer vag...

ITREALMS ... everything news digitally!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Nigeria: Improving access to safe, clean water

 In this report, Remmy Nweke underlines the importance of water to human life and dignity.
The efficacy of water in human development cannot be over-emphasised, hence it is not surprising as the economic reality dawn on Nigerians with the fall in oil prices, the cost of things consequently went up and one of those remarkable items that skyrocketed in the first week was a sachet water, otherwise known as ‘Pure Water’ in Nigeria, which apparently goes for N5 now going for upto N20; an estimated raise of 150 per cent, thereby making it extremely difficult and out of the reach of the common man.

So, every March 22, for some years now, Nigeria joins the rest of the world to celebrate the World Water Day and 2016. Nigeria, NaijaAgroNet report, has been reputed as the most inhabited country in Africa with a population of 162 million people and growing rapidly. Experts said, as the population increases, remote communities are further cut off and urban facilities become congested due to lack of sustainable deliberate policies to steam lack of water and its associated social amenities to match the growth.

Why a World Water Day?
The World Water Day, NaijaAgroNet reports is an international observance and an opportunity to learn more about water related issues, be inspired to tell others and take action to make a difference. Thus, World Water Day dates back to the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development where an international observance for water was recommended. The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day.

This day, NaijaAgroNet gathered has been held annually since then with each year, UN-Water, the entity that coordinates the UN’s work on water and sanitation sets a theme for World Water Day corresponding to a current or future challenge. The engagement campaign is coordinated by one or several of the UN-Water members with a related mandate.

Better water, better jobs:
This year, however, UN-Water says the theme is ‘Better water, better jobs’ stressing that nowadays, almost half of the world's workers, estimated at 1.5 billion people work in water related sectors and nearly all jobs depend on water and those that ensure its safe delivery.

Yet the millions of people who work in water are often not recognized or protected by basic labour rights, hence UN-Water said, the theme in 2016 of water and jobs focuses on how enough quantity and quality of water could change workers' lives and livelihoods - and even transform societies and economies.

Why Water?
For a lot of concerned portable water advocates, access to safe water is the first step to breaking the poverty cycle.

According to official of Nigeria’s Ministry of Water Resources, who sought for anonymous, “Water accounts for approximately two-thirds of the human body and is responsible for the proper functioning of many health systems needed for survival, including the brain.” Just as about 70 per cent of the earth is water but less than 1 per cent is drinkable, even as some 9 million people reportedly died last year from lack of access to clean water.
Our source, says that those alive today have the opportunity to help, especially the women and children, which have economic impacts.

Economic Impact of safe water:
Our source at the Ministry noted that every $1 invested in improved water supply and sanitation could yield $4 to $12 for the local economy, depending on the type of project, citing for instance that the walk in search of water that used to take three hours, now takes 15 minutes, which when translated in another words means that water is now safe to drink.

While the extra time and new water source, experts say could be used to start a vegetable garden to feed a family, sell of the extra food at the market, children spend more time in school instead of walking for water, even as once educated, children could become teachers, nurses and artisans and entrepreneurs. Even as there is no gain saying that health and sanitation will improve with anticipated reduction in death from disease as a result of improving water quality.

Investigations launched by NaijaAgroNet, showed that Sheri, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, also known as resettlement site, does not have portable water as the community still spend so much time in search of water, while any slit in fuel scarcity means local water suppliers may not get water to drink or use because the boreholes at a distance from Sheri may not be able to pump water into their tanks for sale.

Although, gratifying was the bill at the National Assembly by Senator Mao Ohuabunwa and co-sponsors: Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, Sen. Theodore Orji, Sen. Abu Ibrahim; for “Improvement of Access to Safe and Clean Water to Nigerian Citizens in Recognition of the 2016 World Water Day.”

This step, industry watchers say is a step in the right direction and a welcome development.

Water central to human survival:
In his message to the World Water Day 2016, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Ban Ki-moon urged for global action, asserting, "We can take bold action to address water inequity as part of our efforts to realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development." Even as UN-Water underscored the fact that 1 in 10 people lack access to safe water.

He said, nearly all jobs depend on the availability of freshwater and pointed out that despite the importance, water as a sector generally does not receive the attention it deserves. Water is central to human survival, the environment and the economy. Arguing that all workers could be harmed by poor water and sanitation, and noted that of 2 million work-related deaths every year, nearly one-in-five are caused by poor quality drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene. Also, Ban Ki-moon said, people with the least access to water and sanitation often also lack access to health care and stable jobs.

“This perpetuates the cycle of poverty. I am especially concerned by gaps between cities and the countryside, men and women, and rich and poor.  The basic provision of adequate water, sanitation and hygiene services at home, at school and in the workplace enables a robust economy by contributing to a healthy and productive population and workforce. We can take bold action to address water inequity as part of our efforts to realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Sustainable Development Goal 6, on ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, addresses the need for access.

“On this World Water Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to improve the quality, management and protection of water resources as part of our historic campaign to achieve a life of dignity for all people,” he urged.

For Head, Programme at Oxfam Nigeria, Mr. Constant Tchona, who was speaking at 2016 World Water Day session in Abuja, access to safe water and sanitation by Nigerians remains a key challenge, affecting mostly women.

Tchona also expressed concerned over looming water, sanitation and hygiene crisis in Nigeria, saying that about 3.5 million people die annually from water-related diseases, with about 1.7 million children under the ages of five among those who die annually from diarrheal disease.

The Oxfam official, said, it was time Nigeria realised that the world is in the midst of a global water, sanitation and hygiene crisis considering that nearly 800 million people globally have no access to water. He decried that Nigeria, even as the most populous country in Africa, still has about 39 per cent (63 million people) of her population still lacking access to safe or clean water sources, while nearly 112 million people are without access to improved sanitation, pointed out that water and sanitation coverage rate in the country is still amongst the lowest in the world.
“The water and sanitation challenge
s in Nigeria go beyond questions of access.  Young  girls are forced to drop out of school due to a lack of sanitation facilities, and women are harassed, or assaulted as they trek long distances through the bush paths to collect and  carry water home, or when going to the bush to defecate due the lack of access to a public toilet,” he said, whereas blaming the level of development on poor governance, weak policies and poor management that have affected the provision of clean and safe water to Nigerians.

Impact of dirty water in Nigeria:
Country Representative, WaterAid Nigeria, Mr. Michael Ojo, recently said that the impact of dirty water and unsafe sanitation is having high impact on the lives of African and Nigeria is not an exception.
This, he said, has claimed the lives of nearly half a million Africans every year, with attendant economic cost estimated at $50 billion annually, blaming lack of access to clean drinking water, basic sanitation and hygiene services.
According to him, the latest figures showed that a third of Africans are still drinking water from unsafe sources, with over 1 in 10 from surface water, but staggering 70 per cent of Africans lack access to basic sanitation and nearly a quarter are practicing open defecation.
In Nigeria, he said, the statistics showed how far the country still has to go because there are about 36 per cent without clean drinking water and 72 per cent are lacking access to basic sanitation.

The Abuja-based international organization, Water Aid Nigeria also informed NaijaAgroNet that 57 million people in the country do not have access to clean and safe water, leaving in its wake, huge effects which include that over 130 million people don't have access to adequate sanitation in Nigeria, two thirds of the population, while over 25,000 children were reported dead every year from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation in Nigeria.

As the World Water Day is commemorated this year, the Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Water Resources needs some calibration beginning with their website which has absolute obsolete information at this era, let alone feed Nigerians both home and abroad what the activities of the ministry is, especially on this all important day, to the extent that it was last updated in 2015 with former Minister still in office.
The enlightenment on how to better use water, especially by the working class resonates more at the work place where even the little water available are allowed to waste due to inability of government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to fix their taps, after all as some observers had said, government business is no one’s business, but forgetting soon that charity begins at home.
Though it was disheartening that Sheri, a resettlement centre near the FCT cannot have portable water for its community in the last 16 years of democratic rule in Nigeria. Using this scenario, confirms why we could have many Africans and Nigerians lack water and dying of water related diseases, where it do exist artificially.
Good news, however is that the like of Senators aforementioned are picking interest on improving access to safe and clean water to Nigerian citizens. Only time shall tell what becomes of the proposed bill by these array of distinguished Senators.

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Nigeria, Arla Foods in talks to develop dairy sector

As part of the follow up to the recent meeting between the Prime Minister of Denmark, Mr. Lars Loekke Rasmussen and President Muhammadu Buhari, a high-powered Nigerian delegation from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Wednesday held talks in Denmark with Arla Foods on the development of the dairy sector in Nigeria, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Arla Foods, NaijaAgroNet notes, is one of the world’s largest dairy companies. The visit is Arla’s second milestone in its declared commitment to invest in local production in Nigeria and help create a more sustainable local dairy industry, following the presentation of it's signed letter of intent to Nigeria’s Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh. Arla's Letter of Intent was presented in February 2016 at the same meeting where Denmark’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kristian Jensen signed a letter of Intent with the Nigerian Minister of Agriculture to cooperate on the development of the local agriculture sector in Nigeria.

The Nigerian delegation was made up of the key line departments responsible for the dairy development comprising Dr. Gideon Mshelbwala, Director, Veterinary Services and Pest Control; Dr. Mrs. Egejuru Eze, Director. Animal Production and Husbandry as well as Senior Technical Adviser to the Minister, Dr. Andrew Kwasari and Hon. Saleh Hassan, Member, House of Representatives’ Committee on Agriculture.

Welcoming the delegation to one of Arla’s dairy farms, Steen Hadsbjerg, Senior Vice President and Head of Arla Foods for Sub-Saharan Africa, stated that, Nigeria is key to Arla’s ability to sell its farmer owners’ milk in West Africa in the future. 

Hadsbejerg declared, “we understand that developing the Nigerian local dairy industry to create a sustainable value chain that contributes to food security, local jobs and prosperity are important issues for the government. The Nigerian government welcomes companies and initiative that will help this development.”

"The purpose of this visit is for Arla to understand the challenges in developing a sustainable dairy sector in Nigeria and how Arla can most effectively contribute to the solution. It is also for Arla to share our knowledge and experience about how our farmer owners have organised and developed their value chain. The result will benefit Arla’s opportunities whilst ensuring the good development of the dairy market in Nigeria for the benefit of all parties,” Hadsbjerg further said.

Senior Technical Adviser to the Minister, Dr. Andrew Kwasari, said, “this visit has been an eye opener for me. Arla is an organised cooperative that has done very well and work in a sustainable manner. Arla is run by the farmers themselves and to protect the interest of their farmer colleagues and ensure better returns on their milk, they set a higher standard for their milk quality than expected by the government.”

“We hope for a partnership with Arla and knowledge sharing that will help us empower Nigerian farmers who face multiple challenges with logistics, infrastructure, organisation, quality and productivity. We could definitely see Arla as a partner to help build a sustainable dairy industry in Nigeria from the very beginning based on its globally proven concept of 'Dairy enterprise of the farmers, for the farmers by the farmers,” he said.

Speaking during a tour of the Arla facility in Copehangen, Member, House of Representatives’ Committee on Agriculture, Hon. Hassan Saleh, commended Arla Foods for its high production standard saying, “Arla Foods has demonstrated it is a very organised company and their processes are impeccable resulting in high quality products. I am very impressed with what I have seen and I believe that Arla will be a good partner to help us improve our milk production and make it more sustainable.” 

Saleh also said, “Nigeria will need both local farmers and imported products, so there will be a market for both in the future and I see a strong future for Arla in Nigeria. We will not be self-sufficient for some years to come.”

In continuation of their visit to Denmark, members of the Nigerian delegation also attended round table discussions with Arla and Danish food and agriculture companies where they shared knowledge about farm and dairy technology solutions and discussed potential partnerships to help develop the Nigerian dairy industry.

Nigeria spends $1.3b dollars on dairy imports. The Nigerian government’s target is to double the milk production over the next three to four years so as to meet up with domestic consumption and export. 

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Pix: L-R: Mr. Kasper Thormod Nielson,  Director, Trade Policy, Arla Foods, Mr.Steen Hadsberg, Head of Sub-Saharan Africa, Arla International, Dr. Andrew Kwasari, Senior Technical Assistant to the Minister for Agriculture and Mrs. Heather Akanni,Technical Assistant to the Minister, Quality Control and Standardization during a visit of the Federal government delegation to Arla Foods' Slagelse Dairy farm in Denmark on Wednesday 13, April 2016.

Constituency Projects: Melaye rewards 100 communities with boreholes in Kogi West

The chairman Senate committee on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Dino Melaye, has rewarded some 100 communities in his senatorial zone with construction and rehabilitation of over 100 boreholes in the seven Local Government Areas of Kogi West Senatorial District, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Melaye in a statement issued by his media Aide, Mr. Gideon Ayodele, said it was
 a way to ameliorate the suffering of the people of the constituency in getting assess to portable water supply. 

Melaye said, "Generally, the level of water supply in our communities is poor. The situation is pathetic in the rural areas where water is either scarce or costly when it is available. Many people trek several kilometres every morning and evening in search of water, while others depend on polluted water from ponds, streams, rainwater and floods for domestic use, thereby increasing health hazard."

He further observed that safe water and sanitation remain the essential indicators of sustainable development. 

According to him, the United Nations General Assembly, at its Millennium Meeting in 2000, established eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with targets to be achieved by 2015, with the aim of speeding up poverty alleviation and socio-
economic development. 

The MDGs, he said, were elaborated and endorsed by the intergovernmental community at the World Summit on Sustainable Development. 

He said, "It is strongly believed that water quality management contributes both directly and indirectly to achieving the targets set out in all eight MDGs, although it is most closely tied to specific targets of the goal No. 7 which is to ensure environmental sustainability.

"Adequate water supply is synonymous with development whether it is urban or rural. In the rural areas or in the city peripheries water is either scarce or costly when it is available."

While saying all these informed his determination to work in this direction, Melaye assured the people of Kogi West of his determination to deliver dividends of democracy to their doorsteps.

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Opinion: Grazing Bill An Insult To Nigerians


The National Assembly is about to pass a Bill that is set to kill whatever is left of our so-called over-centralised federal System. The bill if passed will be the greatest rape on our democracy and the biggest insult on our collective sensitivity as a people and as a country.

“The Fulani National Grazing Reserve” is presently before the National Assembly. The bill has successfully scaled through second reading in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. For it to become law it is to pass through the third reading.

The bill seeks to provide for the establishment of national grazing reserves and stock routes. It is sponsored by Senator Zainab Kure.

The Bill proposes to establish a National Grazing Reserve Commission (NGRC) for the country. The NGRC will be charged with the responsibility of using funds received from the Federal Government to forcefully acquire farmlands from Nigerians in all the 36 States of the country, develop same at government expense through the provision of bore holes, water reservoirs, etc; for the exclusive use of nomadic cattle rearers.

The issue here is very clear. Fulani herdsmen are cattle farmers. They could as well keep their cattle in ranches. They could devise whatever means like their counterparts in Argentina, Australiaand the rest of the civilised world to do their animal husbandry. The men and boys roaming the streets, roads and bushes driving cattle are not the owners of these animals. They are just employees, labourers, attendants or whatever name they are called.

The owners of these cows like Generals Obasanjo, Nyako, Abdulsalami Abubakar and our president Buhari are big time farmers. They are businessmen. It is immoral to ask tax payers to finance the operations of these businesses. Cattle owners must provide capital through bank loans or whatever means to create their grazing lands in their localities. The cows are not owned by the Federal Government.

Just as the Federal Government is not creating farm lands for cocoa and kolanut farmers in Sokoto or Katsina, or creating farm lands for Agatu yam farmers in Enugu or Maiduguri, or creating special areas for fish farming in Zungeru, it cannot for any reason ever consider creating special lands for herdsmen for grazing. Let the herdsmen run their business without encroaching on the lands of other people. Let the cattle owners buy into the Fodder technology and other modern methods of providing feeds for their animals without roaming the streets and plundering other people’s farms.

To ever dream of this perverted bill is to step on the toes of other Nigerians and step on sore foot, and by so doing create a dangerous precedent.

Nobody should play ethnic game here. This is not an issue directed against any ethnic nationality in Nigeria. The simple matter is to let those who trade in cattle fund their business like all other businesses, including farming, in Nigeria.
The bill must not see the light of the day. The sponsors want to create serious problem in the polity and their design must be nipped in the bud.

The Nigeria Bar Association, the Coalition of Civil Societies, and all those who care about the continued existence of this troubled country must rise up to strongly oppose and kill this obnoxious and self serving bill. It beats my imagination that members of the National Assembly did not see the serious danger posed by this corrosive Bill.

In a reaction to the threats posed by this obnoxious Bill, the National Co-ordinator of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Otunba Gani Adams, says: “Without any doubt, this is a very dangerous proposal for Nigeria. We all have seen how the Fulani herdsmen kill and maim members of the community where they graze their cattle without the backing of any law. I am sure that we can only imagine what their attitudes would be if the supposed grazing reserves are forcefully taken over by government and handed over to the herdsmen.”

Nigeria has enough problems on her hand right now; we should not provoke new and potentially more dangerous ones.

•Chief Tola Adeniyi, a former Managing Director, Daily Times of Nigeria, is Executive Chairman, TheKnowledge Plaza and Founder Global Intelligentsia for Buhari. (
... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Africa must collectively innovate to industrialise agriculture – CAADP CEO

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NEPAD Agency, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, has called on African stakeholders to collectively innovate so as to ensure necessary impacts are made in agriculture investment, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Speaking at the 12th Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Partnership Platform (CAADP PP) meeting convened by the African Union Commission in collaboration with the NEPAD Agency in Ghana, Dr. Mayaki Africa can only make progress if the actors collectively innovate and agree to account for the resources injected, results and impact that may ensue.

“Indeed, as a continent, with a community of destiny, we cannot afford to invest into our agriculture the same way we have been doing thus far,” he said

The meeting brought together over 300 participants.  High level African leadership included the former President of Ghana John Kufour; former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr Agnes Kalibata, President of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa.  Also present were Regional Economic Communities, government ministries, farmers’ organisations, the private sector, civil society and development partners.  

In her opening remarks at the CAADP PP meeting, H.E Ms Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission said, the only way to sustainably deliver on African agricultural commitments is to mobilize our own continental human and financial resources. “We need to build strong partnerships for an accountable and efficient implementation of the CAADP Agenda since investment in agriculture makes good economic sense,” she said.

The Ghanaian Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan declared that CAADP is the most ambitious agricultural reform agenda ever undertaken on the continent, as an African-led and owned development framework.  Innovative financing for agriculture in Africa is also critical for rural transformation.

In keeping with the theme of the meeting on Innovative Financing and Renewed Partnership to Accelerate Implementation of CAADP, Dr Mayaki reiterated that Africa must innovate because we need to design new and fit-for-purpose instruments that are able to help deal with the emerging trends, challenges and opportunities.

“The issue of Risk Management is a typical example of where we need to propose innovative instruments that meet the needs of the countries. The remedies and solutions of the past may not work with the ever more complex issues of today,” Dr Mayaki said.

Concurring with the fact that farmers are at the heart of transforming the agricultural sector, Philip Kiriro, President of the Eastern Africa Farmers Federation expressed satisfaction with the progress made in CAADP thus far.

Christoph Rauh, Deputy Director of BMZ, sub-Saharan Africa, stated that young people need to be involved, as agriculture needs to provide good business and employment for the youth.  “It is time to talk less and do more in order for results and impact to be achieved,” he said.

Agricultural transformation will be realised when industrialisation of the sector is finally achieved. This was the consensus from the different representatives.

It is expected that the 12th CAADP PP meeting will generate a number of key actionable activities to speed up implementation through financial innovation and partnerships to deliver the Malabo Declaration and the Africa Union “Agenda 2063” - a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years. 

+Remmy Nweke +Naija AgroNet
... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology