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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Abuja hosts fifth policy dialogue on SDGs

The fifth High Level Policy Dialogue on development planning begins in Abuja tomorrow with the theme ‘Mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals into National Development Plans’ reports NaijaAgroNet.

This three-day meeting, NaijaAgroNet reports, follows the endorsement of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development by African countries who are trying to domesticate the process, thus offering them an opportunity to align national visions and development strategies to the global SDGs.

The dialogue, NaijaAgroNet gathered gives participants an opportunity to discuss key issues for Africa’s transformation, sustainable development priorities and aspirations, in the light of the continent’s commitments to the SDGs as they continue to mainstream and domesticate the SDGs into national planning processes.

Top Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Nigerian government officials and other guests would be in attendance.

The High Level Policy Dialogue, NaijaAgroNet reports commences Wednesday, June 28, 2017 and would last till Friday, June 30, this year.

NaijaAgroNet further reports that Africa’s top policymakers will attend the meeting being hosted by ECA and the Nigerian Government. 

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Friday, June 23, 2017

Extreme drought hits Sri Lanka

Extreme drought has reported hit Sri Lanka following heavy rainfalls with large swaths of cropping areas, threatening the food security of some 900,000 people, NaijaAgroNet reports.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), while confirming this to NaijaAgroNet, saying that the joint Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission, showed that drought conditions in 2016 and early 2017 led to widespread crop failures, in particular for rice paddy - the country's staple food.

This NaijaAgroNet reported has resulted in a Total paddy production in 2017 worth forecast at 2.7 million tonnes, almost 40 per cent less than the last year's output and 35 percent lower than the average of the previous five years.

Other crops, including various pulses, chillies and onion, which rely mainly on rainwater, were also heavily damaged by the dry weather.

The situation was exacerbated by subsequent heavy rainfalls in May. Floods and landslides in the south-western parts of the country caused deaths, large population displacements and damage to infrastructure. The rains did not ease the water supply constraints in the drought-impacted north-central and eastern parts of the country.

Now, nearly 225,000 households (or about 900,000 people) face food insecurity. The most vulnerable groups are struggling to earn an income after losing their own crops and have fewer employment opportunities. In ten districts, a previous joint assessment showed that about one third of the drought-affected population had its regular income reduced by more than half, compared to the income generated from the 2015-2016 Maha season.

The situation may further deteriorate if the next cropping season fails. Due to a critical shortage of seeds and a lack of water for irrigation, the second 2017 paddy harvest - known as Yala, due to be harvested in August and September - is forecast at 1.2 million tonnes, 24 percent below last year's level.

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Backlash: Atiku goes to farm on Rolex watch, agbad...

Backlash: Atiku goes to farm on Rolex watch, agbad...: ITRealms : For attempted farming on Twitter, the former Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is now at the receiving end fo...

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Kabarak partners General Electric on healthcare, provide 500-beds

Nairobi-based Kabarak University Teaching Research and Referral Mission Hospital is partnering with General Electric (GE) Healthcare to develop a 500-bed, state-of-the-art, multi-disciplinary tertiary hospital to be located in Kabarak, Nakuru County, reports NaijaAgroNet.

GE Healthcare, NaijaAgroNet gathered would be the technology provider for the proposed Kabarak University Teaching Research & Referral Mission Hospital.

In addition, the project scope will comprise of a 250 bed Kabarak University Hospital Nairobi and modernization of 23 mission of hospitals under Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK).
The $450-Million medical campus, NaijaAgroNet reports is expected to commence operations in 2020.
NaijaAgroNet gathered that Kabarak University Teaching Research and Referral Mission Hospital’s mission is to build an economically sustainable, center of excellence hospital that will deliver internationally accredited standards of care and is set to become a catalyst for strengthening healthcare services in Kenya, as well as furthering advanced research in the region.

Using the US Green Building Council’s LEED certification programme, NaijaAgroNet reports that Kabarak University will design, build, maintain, operate an environmentally sustainable, cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings, while proclaiming its motto: We Treat with God’s love.

The project which will be set on 100 hectares of land will also develop medical tourism to Kenya leveraging the specialized treatment the hospital will offer.

GEHealthcare will assist the university with infrastructure development, technology transfer, education and capacity building to support a better health system and patient outcomes. The project will be financed by US based Private Equity Sygec international among other stakeholders.

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

SDGs: Civil society needs conducive environment to thrive

The Lagos State Coordinator of the Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development (CSCSD), Dr. Adeshina Bello has called on the government at all levels to create a sustainable and conducive environment for the coalition to thrive in carrying out its mandate to the society, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Speaking at a one-day coalition Sustainable Development Conference in Lagos, held at Justice, Peace and Development Centre (JDPC), Bello noted that the environment must be conducive for the members of the coalition including private sector, social sectors, academia, mass media and other stakeholders to ensure that sustainable development  goals are maximally achieved.

“I equally call on drivers of every sector of the economy to collaborate with the government to ensure rapid development today and forever,” he said.

Bello expressed optimism on the anticipated synergy emanating from the conference so as to drive rapid and lasting development not only in Lagos State, but in Nigeria and the world at large.

He pointed out that a conference like this is an indispensable platform or the state and national development and particularly at a period like this in the history of Nigeria.

“Hence, it is very vital for every stakeholder to identify the SDGs, streamline their activities toward maximally achieving the SDGs, identifying gaps, opportunities challenges and be ready to partner with other stakeholders to achieving abundant durable development in all spheres of life,” he urged.

The coordinator further listed the 17 items in the Sustainable Development Goals to include end poverty, end hunger, ensure good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, good jobs and economic growth.

Additionally, he listed industry, innovation and infrastructure; reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production;  climate change action, life below water; sustainable use of ecosystem, forest and combat desertification; access to justice for all; and revitalize global partnership.

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Ghana to play host to fertilizer, agribiz conference

The city of Accra is gearing up to host the West Africa Fertilizer Agribusiness conference being organised by CRU Events and the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) on 10-12 July at the Movenpick Hotel Accra, reports NaijaAgroNet.

CRU Events CEO Nicola Coslett, informed NaijaAgroNet that this comes at a time when the Ghanaian fertilizer and agribusiness sector is undergoing an incredible boost from the country’s new leadership, making it the perfect moment to explore the region's potential using the conference’s main themes of partnership, investment and innovation.

“The three-day conference and networking event will attract over 250 attendees and feature specialist workshops, keynote presentations, interactive panel discussions, break-out sessions and a site visit to the Nestle Tema factory,” Coslett said.

Chief Agribusiness Officer at AFAP, Pierre Brunache, said the sessions will explore critical issues such as how the cost of fertilizer for West African farmers and how supply chains of agricultural inputs can be improved, how local government and international suppliers of fertilizer can work in partnership to build strong agribusiness.

“The conference will also look into how innovation in areas of finance or communication can be used in West African agribusiness, financing tools to enable fertilizer trade and investment in the agribusiness value chain and how to encourage youth participation and support women in agribusiness,” Brunache said.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

GSK, MMV positive on single-dose tafenoquine reducing malaria risk

The GSK and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) has announced positive results from two phase III studies of tafenoquine, an investigational 8-aminoquinoline, for the prevention of relapse of Plasmodium vivax (P.vivax) malaria, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The headline results, presented today at the International Conference on Plasmodium vivax Research (ICPVR) in Manaus, Brazil, show that a single-dose of 300mg tafenoquine, when given with a 3-day blood-stage chloroquine treatment, reduced the risk of relapse in patients with P.vivax malaria significantly more than placebo when given with chloroquine.

P. vivax is one of several species of Plasmodium parasite known to cause malaria. After an infected mosquito bite, the parasite has the ability to lie dormant in the liver and periodically reactivate causing relapses of P. vivax malaria. These relapses can occur weeks or even years after the initial infection. The disease is estimated to cause around 8.5 million clinical infections every year. Each of these infections keeps a child or adult from school or work for at least 3 days.2 Studies have shown that beyond lost time, malaria can also have adverse effects on cognitive ability.

Since 2008, GSK and MMV have been working together to develop single-dose tafenoquine as an alternative to the existing standard of care, primaquine, which must be taken for 14 days for patients with the relapsing form of malaria. The two phase III randomised, double-blind studies, “DETECTIVE” and “GATHER”, were conducted in malaria-endemic countries covering South America, Asia, and Africa.

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Monday, June 12, 2017

World leaders unite for Polio one-step closer to eradication, raise $1.2bn

World health leaders gathered at the Rotary Convention in Atlanta to reaffirm their commitment to eradicating polio and pledged US$ 1.2 billion to finance efforts to end the disease, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Thirty years ago, NaijaAgroNet recalls, polio paralyzed more than 350,000 children each year in more than 125 countries around the world. But thanks to the extraordinary efforts of governments, health workers, donors and the partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), a public-private partnership dedicated to ending the disease, the highly contagious virus has now been eliminated in all but three countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. There have been only five cases to date in 2017.

However, children remain at risk everywhere until polio is completely stopped. To end the disease for good, government representatives and partners came together to renew their commitment to supporting crucial activities such as vaccination and disease monitoring, which will protect more than 450 million children from polio each year.

“Thanks to the incredible efforts of Rotarians, governments, health workers, partners and donors –  including those who have gathered at the Rotary Convention in Atlanta – we are closer than ever to making history,” said Chris Elias, Global Development President, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Chair of the GPEI Polio Oversight Board. “These new commitments will help ensure that we will finish the job.”

In a time of many global challenges and priorities, governments and partners have stepped forward to demonstrate their collective resolve to seeing the second human disease ever eradicated. Major pledges include: US$ 75 million from Canada, US$ 61.4 million from the European Commission, US$ 55 million from Japan, US$ 30 million from Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, US$ 30 million from the Dalio Foundation, US$ 25 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies, US$ 15 million from an anonymous donor, US$ 13.4 million from Australia, US$ 11.2 million from Germany, US$ 5 million from easyJet, US$ 5 million from Italy and US$ 4 million from the Republic of Korea.

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and John Germ, president of Rotary International, also announced an extension of their partnership in front of more than 20,000 Rotarians. Up to US$ 150 million in funds raised by Rotary members over the next three years will be matched 2:1 by the Gates Foundation, resulting in up to US$ 450 million in the next three years for the GPEI. The Gates Foundation pledged a total of US$ 450 million, including this matching agreement.

“The global eradication of polio has been Rotary’s top priority since 1985. Rotary members have been the driving force behind the fight to end polio since its inception,” said John Germ, President of Rotary International. “Their continued commitment to raising funds for eradication – coupled with today’s match by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – makes that impact even greater.”

Today’s funding helps address a US$1.5 billion funding need that will help ensure that the virus is eliminated from these remaining countries and prevented from regaining a foothold anywhere else in the world.

“Constant innovation has been key to improving vaccination coverage and reaching more children with the polio vaccine,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, Acting Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The unrelenting commitment and support of these global leaders will help us do just that—and ultimately end this disease for everyone and forever. CDC remains deeply committed to polio eradication and has contributed US$ 2.28 billion since the beginning of the initiative."

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@50: IITA expands investment, launches 205.5 ha research farm

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has launched a new research station in Ago-Owu in Osun state, Nigeria, as part of efforts to expand its research agenda and create impact at farm level as part of IITA's 50th anniversary, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Ago-Owu research station, NaijaAgroNet gathered is located in Ayedade Local Government Area, Osun state, and will primarily serve as a research and training facility that will backstop the state’s agricultural programs and offer training support to the youth in the area in particular and Nigeria in general.

NaijaAgroNet recalled that in 2015, Governor Rauf Aregbesola donated a piece of land measuring about 205.5 hectares to IITA as he sought to bring research closer to the people of the state with a view to creating transformational change in the agricultural sector of the state. 

IITA accepted the offer with the signing of a memorandum of understanding and began investment on the land with the development of roads and other infrastructure.

Governor Aregbesola said he was glad the MoU with IITA moved beyond paper to implementation. He commended IITA for its research efforts in the last 50 years, adding that the research facility will advance research in Osun state with a spinoff effect on other parts of the country.

“We believe that this research facility will train and empower our youth in modern agriculture,” he said.

The inauguration of the research facility also allowed researchers to make presentations on new findings from cassava weed management, breeding, banana breeding and multiplication, cassava processing, and aflasafe—a technology for controlling aflatoxins among others. 

There was a presentation of improved seeds of maize, cowpea, soybean, yam, plantain seedlings, and cassava stems for onward distribution to farmers in Osun state. IITA also gave the governor some quantities of Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) bags which provide simple, low-cost method of reducing post-harvest cowpea losses due to insects’ infestations.

The Director General, IITA, Dr Nteranya Sanginga said, IITA was happy to work with and in Osun state.

“This research facility is part of our strategy to take research closer to the people. Our plan is to make this station a one-stop shop where farmers’ needs will be addressed,” he said.
Under the refreshed IITA strategy, IITA plans to lift 11 million people out of poverty in sub-Saharan Africa by 2020 and to reclaim 7.5 million hectares of degraded land and put the land into sustainable use. Achieving this goal entails IITA expanding its partnership scope and strengthening old partnerships.

Dr Sanginga said the Ago-Owu research facility would primarily conduct research on cassava, maize, yam, soybean, banana/plantain and cowpea. “We will also be using the facility to train Nigerian youths in agribusiness,” he added.

The inauguration of Ago-Owo research station brings to six the number of such facilities in Nigeria. Others are located in Onne (Rivers State), Abuja, Mokwa (Niger state), Minjibir (Kano), and Ikene (Ogun State).

Dr Alfred Dixon, Director for Development and Delivery, IITA, said the inauguration of the research facility was a step in the right direction with the potential of bringing many benefits to the people of the state in particular, and the country in general.

He said the research facility would assist the state in accelerating its agricultural reform agenda whose particular focus is on increasing agricultural productivity and job creation.

Established in 1967, IITA is an international agricultural research institution that generates agricultural innovations to meet Africa’s most pressing challenges of hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and natural resource degradation. Working with various partners across sub-Saharan Africa, IITA improves livelihoods, enhance food and nutrition security, increase employment, and preserve natural resource integrity. The Institute operates in Nigeria and 13 research stations/hubs across sub-Saharan Africa.

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Climate change withdrawal: Trump is an outcast says Greenpeace

“The millions of people living on the African continent are on the frontlines of climate change, and it is critical that polluters are held accountable for the suffering and injustice global warming is already inflicting.”
NaijaAgroNet reports that the above was the declaration of the Greenpeace International, denouncing the recent President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the Paris Climate Agreement, arguing that the decision would cost the United States (US) its global leadership position and its share of the economic benefits of the clean energy transition.

For the Greenpeace Africa Executive Director, Njeri Kabeberi said, “Thursday, June 1st 2017 will be written in history as the day the US, under the administration of President Trump, turned its back on those who needed its leadership, ambition and compassion.

“The millions of people living on the African continent are on the frontlines of climate change, and it is critical that polluters are held accountable for the suffering and injustice global warming is already inflicting. Climate change impacts are already a daily reality, and action to stop catastrophic climate change cannot be delayed. Our global community will take action, and is already taking action, with or without the US government, and it is critical that major emitters like South Africa step up and take a leadership role.”

Equally, for the Greenpeace International Executive Director, Jennifer Morgan, “Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement will turn America from a global climate leader into a flat earth society of one. It is a morally-bankrupt decision that Trump will come to regret. Global climate action is not a legal or political debate; it is an inescapable obligation to protect people and the planet.

“Trump is surrendering US global leadership to real world leaders who are seizing the momentum to protect their country and the climate by transforming their economies to clean energy. We are witnessing a seismic shift in the global order as Europe, China and others lead the way forward.

“Almost 200 countries committed to climate action in Paris and only one has decided to withdraw. This is how far out of step Trump is with the rest of the world. It is the changing of the global guard - as the US bows out, world leaders, CEOs and people across the world can and are moving forward into the future.”

Additionally, the Greenpeace East Asia Senior Global Policy Officer, Li Shuo said “President Trump is taking his administration in the opposite direction to the rest of the world. While China cancels coal power plants, Trump cancels climate action.”

Insisting that Trump’s attempt to sabotage the global transition to a safer clean energy future would not succeed.

“It will only corner the US and present China with an opportunity to reap the economic benefits of America’s withdrawal,” Shuo said.

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Monday, June 5, 2017

World Environment Day 2017: Shell celebrates with tree planting

The Shell Nigeria and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo), Monday joined in the commemoration of the World Environment Day 2017, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The ceremony which held in Lagos, saw the management team of SNEPCo planting trees to commemorate the day.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that the Vice President Shell Nigeria and Gabon, Peter Costello and Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo), Bayo Ojulari, used the occasion to plant a tree at the Marina area of Lagos.

Further, NaijaAgroNet recalls that since the first celebration in 1974, the World Environment Day has helped the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to raise awareness and generate political momentum around growing concerns such as the depletion of the ozone layer, toxic chemicals, desertification and global warming.

The Day has developed into a global platform for taking action on urgent environmental issues. Millions of people have taken part over the years, helping drive change in our consumption habits, as well as in national and international environmental policy.

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Pix: From left: Vice President Shell Nigeria and Gabon, Peter Costello and Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo), Bayo Ojulari, plant a tree at the Marina area of Lagos in commemoration of World Environment Day on June 5.

Everyone has role in environment says Guterres

The office of the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, has declared that without a healthy environment, the world cannot be said to be working hard to end poverty or build prosperity, reports NaijaAgroNet.

In his message to mark the 2017 World Environment Day, Mr. Guterres said every human being has a role to play in protecting nature in all facet of life.

"Without a healthy environment we cannot end poverty or build prosperity. We all have a role to play in protecting our only home: we can use less plastics, drive less, waste less food and teach each other to care." Guterres asserted.

NaijaAgroNet, gathered that the theme for 2017, ‘Connecting People to Nature’, urges people to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and to think about how to be part of nature and how intimately people depend on it.

“It challenges us to find fun and exciting ways to experience and cherish this vital relationship,” the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) official statement enjoins.
Noting man is both creature and moulder of his environment, which gives him physical sustenance and affords him the opportunity for intellectual, moral, social and spiritual growth. In the long and tortuous evolution of the human race on this planet a stage has been reached when, through the rapid acceleration of science and technology, man has acquired the power to transform his environment in countless ways and on an unprecedented scale.
The United Nations, aware that the protection and improvement of the human environment is a major issue, which affects the well-being of peoples and economic development throughout the world, designated 5 June as the World Environment Day. The celebration of this day provides us with an opportunity to broaden the basis for an enlightened opinion and responsible conduct by individuals, enterprises and communities in preserving and enhancing the environment.

Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated all over the world, with every, a country is identified as the host of the theme with 2017 holds in Canada.
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FAO boss commends PSMA, says it’s a landmark treaty

An international treaty known as the Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA) to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing, has been commended by the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Mr. José Graziano da Silva, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The PSMA, NaijaAgroNet gathered, according to da Silva, would soon have 48 parties, counting all 28 members of the European Union as one - with Japan and Montenegro about to join after having deposited their instruments of adhesion.

“This gives the one-year-old treaty added heft,” Graziano da Silva declared, adding that he was very confident more countries will join in the near future.

Speaking at the first meeting of the Parties, hosted by the Government of Norway to hammer out details regarding the implementation of the PSMA, Graziano da Silva said, noting that FAO-brokered treaty which restricts port access to fishing vessels that fail to comply with a set of rules, including proof that they have proper operating licenses and transparent disclosure of the species and quantity of fish caught.

The PSMA represents the capstone of years of diplomatic effort to combat the scourge of IIU fishing, which amounts to up to 26 million tonnes, worth some $23 billion a year, and represents a huge threat to all efforts to bolster sustainable fishing in the world's oceans.

NaijaAgroNet notes that parties to the PSMA currently account for more than two-thirds of the global fish trade.

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Friday, June 2, 2017

FAO heads to Ocean Conference

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has concluded plans to take active role in the forthcoming Oceanconference slated for the city of New York, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The conference, NaijaAgroNet gathered, would afford FAO a key role to play given its work on the sustainable use of marine resources upon which millions of people around the world depend for food security and for livelihoods.

NaijaAgroNet also reports that FAO is supporting countries to develop and implement the Blue Growth agenda which aimed at eliminating harmful fishing practices and overfishing while fostering approaches that promote growth, improve conservation, and support adaptation to climate change.

In addition, NaijaAgroNet reports that FAO has been instrumental in brokering the  Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA), which went into force in June 2016.

The theme of the conference, NaijaAgroNet report, has been geared towards partnering for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14:: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

The Ocean conference is holding at the United Nations office in New York between June 5 and 9.

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Nestle reiterates commitment with Maggi making difference towards 2020

The Nestlé Central and West Africa has reiterated commitments towards 2020 to help people cook the difference with Maggi, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Business Executive Officer Culinary for Nestlé Central and West Africa, Mr. Dominique Allier, gave this reaffirmation on the company’s commitment at the recent Nutrition Forum in Dakar and attended by stakeholders from across West and Central Africa.

He disclosed that the iconic Maggi brand is on a mission to support home cooks with healthier and tastier choices, by simplifying ingredients lists, reducing salt and increasing micronutrient fortification.

“With 4600 food portions around the world prepared every second with Maggi, Nestle believes that these changes will have a positive impact,” he said.

He also pointed out that the company is committed to reshaping Maggi’s products to emphasize the use of familiar and common ingredients that people know and have at home.

‘’Consumer expectations are changing, they want products with common ingredients they know, minimal processing, natural or organic and ideally locally produced. Our company has a role to play in contributing to the needs of the society,’’ Allier said.

He stressed that Maggi is reorganizing its supply chain to privilege local sourcing of ingredients; even as a careful selection of each ingredient will uphold the quality of Maggi products and meet the homemade cooking standards of consumers around the world: trusted, tasty and good for consumers.

Nestlé is also continuing to lower salt in the Maggi range. This will contribute to help people in their efforts towards reducing their salt intake and meeting WHO recommendations on reducing risks associated with high blood pressure.

Fortification is a means Maggi uses to help prevent malnutrition in countries where daily consumption of essential micronutrients is lacking. In 2016, Nestlé provided 65 billion of fortified servings in Central and West Africa out of which Maggi delivered over 100 million iron fortified cubes daily to 78 million households in Central and West Africa.

He explained that in Central and West Africa, fortified Maggi stock cubes and other products are known as a staple for many households, Maggi “Simply Good” summarises the commitments of the iconic brand to help cook the difference.

In addition, to the strong commitments on improving ingredients, he said, Nestlé in Central and West Africa will highlight nutritional challenges by engaging with government authorities, civil society and consumers.

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Pix: Dominique Allier, Business Executive Officer Culinary for Nestlé Central and West Africa

ECOWAS gets $1bn Israeli solar energy boost

An Israeli renewable energy company, Energiya Global and the USAID Power Africa Initiative have collaborated to boost the electricity power supply in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) with some $1billion solar commitment, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This is coming as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed Friday between the State of Israel and ECOWAS, Israel’s leading solar developer to invest $1 billion over the next four years to advance green energy power projects across the 15 member states of the West African economic community.

“In honor of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s two terms in office, and Liberia’s friendship with the State of Israel, Energiya Global and our international partners will finance and build a commercial-scale solar field at the Roberts International Airport, which will supply 25 per cent of the country’s generation capacity,” says Yosef I. Abramowitz, CEO.  “We are prepared to finance and build the first National Demonstration Solar Projects in all ECOWAS-affiliated countries in order to promote political stability and social and economic development, as well as to advance knowledge transfer.”

Energiya Global and its associated companies developed the first commercial scale solar field in sub-Sahara Africa in Rwanda, which is supplying 6 per cent of the country’s power, and the group broke ground on a similar power plant in Burundi, which will supply 15 per cent of the country’s power by the end of the year.  The solar group has fields at various stages of development in ten African countries and expects to announce its full program at the Israel-Africa Summit in Togo at the end of October.

In an historic first, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is scheduled today to address the 15 West African heads of state of ECOWAS, as well as the head of the African Union. “Israel is coming back to Africa,” the Prime Minister will announce, and will outline the technological innovations in agriculture, water, green energy and more that can support economic development in West Africa. 

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Africa spends $818bn annually on dementia

Countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa are estimated to have been spending some $818 billion, about N257,2 trillion, annually on dementia, reports NaijaAgroNet.

According to the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) latest toolbox on Dementia, the number of people with dementia will continue to rise significantly in the next coming years.

The Toolbox, NaijaAgroNet reports, has a special section focusing on covering dementia in Sub-Saharan Africa, and because of a dramatic increase in the number of elderly people in the region, dementia will rise substantially in the coming years.

Also, NaijaAgroNet reports that dementia is one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide.

The Toolbox on Dementia, NaijaAgroNet further gathered was developed with the financial support of the World Dementia Council and the assistance of World Young Leaders Fund (WYLF) in Dementia Network.
NaijaAgroNet reports that the collaboration believes that in sub-Saharan, the chronic malnutrition, particularly in older people is often a big contributing factor leading to dementia.

The WFSJ says the Toolbox on Dementia for Journalists allows them to cover this mental illness with knowledge of the facts so that they can report reliable and truthful information to the public on a medical condition that could be stigmatizing and certainly life changing for patients, their families and caregivers.

NaijaAgroNet pointed out that the dementia is not just forgetfulness, but is an acquired complex of intellectual deterioration which affects at least two areas of cognitive function, such as being able to make a plan and carry it out; weigh information and make good decisions; initiate activities; able to gauge appropriate social behaviour.

People with dementia are often also affected by dramatic changes in personality with often experiencing changes in mood, judgement and personality as well as difficulty in communicating and increased difficulty coping with day-to-day tasks.

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