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Friday, August 31, 2018

PINNS designed to reset Nigeria’s nutrition system - NaijaAgroNet

The Partnership for Improving Nigeria Nutrition Systems (PINNS) has been described as a design to reset the nation’s nutrition system for good, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Executive Secretary, Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), Mrs. Beatrice Eluaka, gave this insight in Lagos at the media engagement on PINNS and related issues.

She said, PINNS, is a product of consultations between a donor/CS-SUNN targeted at strengthening the Nigeria nutrition systems to be more Result-driven, Effective, Serviceable, Efficient and Transparent (RESET) in delivering on its mandate.

“It is also aimed at holding government accountable on commitments made to allocate, release and use transparently funds for implementation of high impact Nutrition interventions in Nigeria through evidence-based advocacy,” Eluaka said.

This project, she continued, will also contribute to a reduction in malnutrition particularly among women and children in Nigeria.

She emphasized the fact that with focus on strengthening governance, policy implementation, effective coordination, financing, building the capacity of state actors, generation and effective communication of evidence as promoting accountability, the nutrition story would have retuned.

Eluka pointed out that this media engagement, on PINNS issues will be based on multisector plan of action, research findings, progress and call to action.

NaijaAgroNet also reports that during the event, CS-SUNN project officer, Mary Ajakaye, while an overview of the INNS project, payers and asks were presented by the Communications Officer, Mrs. Lilian Ajah-mong accompanied by the Project Manager at CS-SUNN, Mr. Sunday Okoronkwo.

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Thursday, August 30, 2018

CS-SUNN boss tasks media to step-up nutrition reportage - NaijaAgroNet

The Executive Secretary of the Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), Mrs. Beatrice Eluaka, has tasked media especially in Lagos to step-up nutrition reportage, NaijaAgroNet reports.

In her address at the launch of Partnership for Improving Nigeria Nutrition System (PINNS) which includes research findings, progress and call to action, CS-SUNN boss, urged the media to step up reportage of nutrition issues to inform and spur policy makers and concerned stakeholders, to take the right steps that will curb malnutrition in Nigeria, participation in Lagos State.

She also said, this media engagement on PINNS issues focuses on research findings, progress and call to action, is aimed at informing Lagos media, generally, about PINNS project, issues and prayers.

In addition, she said, the essence of this engagement is to establish media role or responsibilities for increased visibility of PINNS cum nutrition issues in Lagos State.

“To secure buy-in of media for smooth implementation of PINNS in Lagos; Increase salience of PINNS and nutrition issues among media in Lagos State,” she said.

CS-SUNN, she assured would continue to equip members of the press with useful and relevant information that would help and enable them step up thorough and factual reportage of Nutrition.

“We look forward to a most successful engagement with members of the press,” she said.

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Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference goes to Singapore - NaijaAgroNet

The fourth edition of the International Off-grid Renewable Energy Conference and Exhibition (IOREC) will take place in Singapore, on 31 October - 1 November 2018, as a co-located event with the Asia Clean Energy Summit, during Singapore International Energy Week, reports NaijaAgroNet.

IOREC, organised by the International Renewable Energy Agency, is the global platform for sharing experience and best practices on design and implementation of enabling policies, tailored financing schemes, innovative business models and technology applications for stand-alone and mini-grid systems.

IOREC 2018 will present a key opportunity to discuss the measures necessary to accelerate off-grid systems deployment, and highlight their role in meeting several Sustainable Development Goals.

In parallel with the Conference, the Alliance for Rural Electrification will organise the Exhibition offering private sector companies the opportunity to present their products and projects, while showcasing the technologies and expertise at the forefront of off-grid renewables.
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Food prices post sharp decline in July - NaijaAgroNet


Global agricultural food commodity prices fell sharply in July, as all the major traded items posted notable declines, led by dairy and sugar, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The FAO Food Price Index averaged 168.8 points, 3.7 percent below their June level, the biggest monthly drop since late last year. The index had been steadily rising in 2018 until June.

The FAO Food Price Index is a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of commodities.

The FAO Dairy Price Index led the slide, declining 6.6 percent, with butter and cheese quotations dropping faster than those for whole and skim milk powders.

The FAO Sugar Price Index fell 6 percent to a nearly three-year low, largely driven by improved production prospects in India and Thailand, both important sugar-producing countries. Expectations of lower output in Brazil, the world's largest producer and exporter, limited the fall in international sugar prices.

The FAO Cereal Price Index declined 3.6 percent from June and is now below its year-ago level. Export quotations for wheat, maize and rice all declined, although wheat and maize values edged higher towards the end of July.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index was 2.9 percent lower, its sixth consecutive monthly decline, and is now at its lowest level since January 2016. Part of the July slide was driven by spill-over weakness from the soybean market, which is affected by the trade dispute between China and the United States of America. Rapeseed oil values trended upwards, however, buoyed by improved demand from biodiesel producers and negative crop prospects in the European Union.

The FAO Meat Price Index declined 1.9 percent from its June value, which was revised up in the wake of higher beef export prices from Brazil due to a truck drivers' strike.

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IFAD supports G20 initiatives to promote nutritious foods - NaijaAgroNet

The Group of Twenty (G20) Ministers of Agriculture Meeting was recently supported by the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), to increase the sustainable production of nutritious foods, reports NaijaAgroNet.

President, IFAD, Gilbert F. Houngbo, said that sustainably feeding a growing population will take collective action and IFAD stands ready to partner with the G20 to achieve this.

Also, Houngbo said “With small family farms supplying up to 80 per cent of the food produced in developing countries, it has never been more critical to invest in these farmers, providing the tools for them to better manage their land and ensure the health and productivity of their soil in the face of a changing climate.”

While the main theme of the meeting is sustainable soil management, the group will also discuss a proposal by Argentina to boost rural youth employment through access to technology and engagement with the private sector through global events.

A study by IFAD and the World Bank for the G20 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting last year describes how, with youth abandoning rural areas because of lack of decent employment opportunities, the future of agriculture is at stake.

"At IFAD we believe young people today – the largest population the world as ever seen – are central to our work in transforming rural communities and eradicating poverty and hunger,” said Houngbo. “If we are to foster a generation of ‘agripreneurs’ we must answer their call for better access to the resources they need to grow our rural areas into vibrant places that can feed generations to come.”

Since he took office last year, IFAD has prioritized youth-centric development across all of its programmes and projects to provide training and support to create rural employment and enterprise options that are appropriate for young people, in both the farm and the non-farm sector.

Another important focus of the Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting is the G20's contribution to reduce the estimated one third of all food that is lost or wasted.

"Food loss and waste constitute is a luxury humanity cannot afford. I salute the G20's efforts to tackle this problem," Houngbo said. "IFAD supports small-scale farmers to improve their ability to process and store their crops thereby minimizing food loss. IFAD stands ready to offer its expertise to help mitigate this phenomenon.”

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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Nutrition: CS-SUNN worried over waste rate in Lagos, calls for more actions - NaijaAgroNet

The Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) has expressed worry over the rate of malnutrition waste in Lagos State, just as the group called for more actions, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Speaking through its Executive Secretary, Mrs Beatrice Eluaka, Wednesday in Lagos during the unveiling of Partnership for Improving Nigeria Nutrition System (PINNS) which includes research findings, progress and call to action, CS-SUNN expressed concern over the malnutrition waste rate of Lagos, which means affected children may die.

Moderate malnutrition (MM) according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) defined as a weight-for-age between -3 and -2 z-scores below the median of the WHO child growth standards. This can be due to a low weight-for-height (wasting) or a low height-for-age (stunting) or to a combination of both.

As said by Mrs. Eluaka, the 2017 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) for Lagos had put the stunting rate at 11.4 per cent, waiting rate also at 11.4 per cent and underweight at 14.5 per cent.

She revealed that the 2014 National Nutrition and Health Survey (NNHS) had put Exclusive Breastfeeding (EBF) rate in Nigeria at 25 per cent.

Also, she said, the 2017 MICS putted stunting rate at 43.6 per cent as against 32.9 per cent in 2015, wasting in 2017 at 10.8 per cent as against 7.2 per cent in 2015 and Underweight at 31.5 per cent in 2017 as against 19.4 per cent in 2015.

So, the rising trend calls for concern unless we take deliberate steps to checkmate the cause, such as EBF.

CS-SUNN, she said, equally commended Lagos State for leading on six months maternity leave for mothers and urged other states to take a queue from the centre of excellence.

“Despite these negative indices, we however must not fail to commend the Lagos State government for extending maternity leave for female civil servants to 6 months and introducing a 10-day paternity leave for fathers,” she noted.

Eluka pointed out that EBF ensures optimal physical growth and brain development of children, engenders them to thrive well and live up to their full potentials at adulthood.

“It also prevents malnutrition” the Executive Secretary said and called for more action to improve EBF.

“We are therefore calling on other state governments in Nigeria to emulate the Lagos State Government as this will contribute to encouraging the practice of Exclusive Breastfeeding especially among working mothers thereby boosting Nigeria’s EBF rate and contributing to a reduction in malnutrition in the country,” she said.

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AfDB, FAO sign deal to end hunger, malnutrition - NaijaAgroNet

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and Food and AgricultureOrganisation (FAO) have signed deal aimed at catalysing agriculture sector investments in Africa to end hunger and malnutrition and increase prosperity throughout the continent, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The agreement, NaijaAgroNet gathered comprised that AfDB and FAO are committed to raise up to $100 million over five years, to support joint partnership activities.

The new alliance precisely seeks to enhance the quality and impact of investment in food security, nutrition, social protection, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and rural development.

AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina and FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva signed the agreement, which builds on a longstanding collaboration between their organizations, at the UN agency's Rome headquarters.

"FAO and the AfDB are deepening and broadening our partnership to assist African countries achieve the sustainable development goals. Leveraging investments in agriculture, including from the private sector, is key to lift millions of people from hunger and poverty in Africa and to ensure that enough food is produced and that enough rural jobs are created for the continent's growing population," said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.

AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina said: "The signing of this supplementary agreement is a milestone moment in the relationship between the African Development Bank and FAO. It signals our joint commitment to accelerate the delivery of high quality programs and increased investment for public-private-partnerships in Africa's agriculture sector. This will help us achieve the vision of making agriculture a business, as enshrined in the Bank's Feed Africa strategy."

The Bank's Feed Africa strategy, launched in 2015, targets to invest $24 billion into African agriculture over a ten-year period. The aim is that of improving agricultural policies, markets, infrastructure and institutions to ensure that agricultural value chains are well developed and that improved technologies are made available to reach several millions farmers.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Companies deliberately procuring renewable electricity - NaijaAgroNet

Since the mid-2000s, companies have begun to deliberately power their operations with renewable based electricity, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Increasingly, NaijaAgroNet gathered that companies in different industries and sectors are committing to ambitious renewable energy targets.

The latest edition of IRENA Quarterly, a publication of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) which is an intergovernmental organisation supporting countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future.

Globally, NaijaAgroNet also gathered that in 2017, companies sourced approximately 465 terrawatt-hours (TWh) of renewables.

Production for self-consumption accounted for most of this (165 TWh), followed by unbundled energy attribute certificates (130 TWh), corporate power purchase agreements, or PPAs (114 TWh), and finally “green procurement” by utilities (34 TWh).

The trend is widespread and dynamic. By volume, renewable electricity was mostly consumed in heavy industries like mining, pulp and paper, chemicals and other materials production (over 160 TWh). This mainly happens through companies generating their own hydropower, but increasingly also through “self-generated” wind and solar power.

Yet the highest shares of renewable electricity consumption are found in the financial (24%) and information technology (12 per cent) sectors. Companies like Bank of America, Google, IKEA, Intel and Microsoft are among the major consumers and self-generators of renewable electricity outside the materials sector.

Companies in at least 75 countries are known to have procured renewable electricity as a deliberate choice. While North America and Europe account for most of those companies, the practice is spreading to other regions.

India and South Africa are among the top ten markets actively sourcing renewable electricity. Other developing markets, like China, Mexico and Ghana, are also experiencing significant growth in active corporate sourcing.

Most governments have not yet considered the potential of corporate sourcing in their energy strategies. Yet they recognise renewables as a way to attract new investment, meet energy needs, achieve compliance with national and international climate targets, and boost job creation.

Out of 2 410 companies analysed by IRENA, over half source renewable electricity, although only 17% indicated having a target in place. More than 200 companies source over half of their energy demand through renewables.

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Monday, August 27, 2018

170 drivers benefit from Shell Nigeria Gas Medicare - NaijaAgroNet

No fewer than 170 public transport drivers benefited from general medical consultation and screening services organised by Shell Nigeria Gas (SNG) as part of the activities marking the 20th anniversary of the gas distribution company, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The one-day programme held recently in Ota, headquarters of Ado Odo/Ota Local Government area of Ogun State, saw the drivers screened for blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), blood sugar, cholesterol, malaria parasite, and HIV. There were also eye checks, prescription lenses, dental care, pharmaceutical services and distribution of insecticide-treated nets.

Speaking at the opening session, the Managing Director of SNG, Ed Ubong, represented by the company’s Operations Manager, Niyi Salami,described  the health programme as part of the many community-focused initiatives of Shell Companies in Nigeria to support efforts by government at all levels to make life better for the people.

“The health and safety of the people are critical and we see our company as continuing to play a role in supporting the efforts of government to take promotive, preventive and curative healthcare to the people where they work and where they live,” Ubong said. “By ensuring quality state of health of public transport drivers including their sight, safety standard on our roads will be enhanced and this will help to reduce health-associated carnages on our roads.”

The programme was held in collaboration with Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government; Ogun State Ministry of Health; and the state’s Primary Health Care Board (PHCB).

The Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye, commended SNG for the health programme among its many other supports to the host community in Ogun State. He also praised another Shell company, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, for its robust medical outreach programme in Ogijo, also in Ogun State.

Shell’s Regional Community Health Manager, Dr. Akinwumi Fajola, who led the medical team advised the drivers not to ignore early signs of health challenge which he said could help in prompt and effective management of hidden medical conditions by medical officers.

In attendance at the programme were the representatives from the state’s Primary Health Care Board, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps, Ado Odo/Ota Local Government and Community Development Associations.


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Pix: L – R: Operations Manager, Shell Nigeria Gas, Niyi Salami; Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye; and Shell’s Regional Community Health Manager, Dr. Akin Fajola, during the Community Care Programme at Ansar-Ud-Deen Practicing School, Ota, Ogun State recently.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Nigeria accedes to Int'l Cocoa deal - NaijaAgroNet

The Federal Government (FG) has finally assented to the International Cocoa Agreement, 2010, following the approval granted by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) reports NaijaAgroNet.

President Muhammadu Buhari, NaijaAgroNet reported on Monday, at the State House, Abuja, signed the Instrument of Accession to the International Cocoa Agreement, 2010, on behalf of the Federal Government.
Confirming this, the Senior Special Assistant to the President, (Media & Publicity), Mr. Garba Shehu on Monday said that following the execution of the instrument of accession, Nigeria undertakes “faithfully to abide by all the stipulations therein contained” in the Agreement.
Among other benefits, he said, the agreement is expected to strengthen cooperation between exporting and importing member countries; improve their cocoa economies through active and better focused project development and strategies for capacity-building.
NaijaAgroNet recollects that the 2010 Agreement is also expected to build on the successes of the 2001 Agreement by “implementing measures leading to an increase in the income of cocoa farmers and by supporting cocoa producers in improving the functioning of their cocoa economies.”
For Shehu, it will also “deliver cocoa of better quality, take effective account of food-safety issues and help establish social, economic and environmental sustainability, so that farmers are rewarded for producing cocoa that meets ethical and environmental considerations.”
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Boko Haram: UNICEF applauds release of 24 children from administrative custody - NaijaAgroNet

UNICEF has welcomed the release of 24 children aged 12 to 17 from Nigerian Army administrative custody after they were cleared of suspected ties with armed groups, especially the Boko Haram, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This brings the number of children released this year to 207.

“For these children, the long journey towards reuniting with their families, reintegrating with their communities and fulfilling their dreams starts today. We must support these children to fulfil their hopes and aspirations,” said UNICEF Nigeria acting Representative Pernille Ironside.

“UNICEF will continue to work with military and the authorities to support the reintegration of all children released, until there are no more children in administrative custody.”

As part of these efforts, UNICEF works with the Borno State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and partners to provide the children with medical attention and psychosocial support, before the process begins of reuniting them with their families and reintegrating them into society.

Since 2017, UNICEF has supported the social and economic reintegration of more than 8,700 children previously associated with non-state actors in north-east Nigeria, helping trace their families, returning them to their communities, and offering them psychosocial support, education, vocational training and informal apprenticeships, and opportunities to improve their livelihoods.

However, the resources available to support children affected by the conflict in north-east Nigeria are limited, with just under half of the required resources available,limiting UNICEF’s ability to deliver an integrated package of protection, WASH, nutrition and health services for the survival and development of vulnerable children in conflict affected areas.

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Monday, August 20, 2018

Clean-up in Aghoro, Odimodi gains momentum says Shell - NaijaAgroNet

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has recovered over 95 per cent of spilled oil from the recent spill incidents  on  sections of the Trans Ramos Pipeline (TRP) in Aghoro community, Bayelsa State, and in Odimodi community in Delta State, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The pipeline, which has remained shut-in since the incidents, supplies crude to the SPDC Joint Venture-owned Forcados Oil Terminal in western Niger Delta for export.

In a statement,  a spokesperson for SPDC acknowledged the spills as very regrettable, adding that in line with the standard operating procedures of SPDC, the TRP was shut down immediately the incidents were reported and the Oil Spill Response and the Emergency Response teams were activated to manage the incidents and prevent further spillage.

“As soon as clean-up and site assessment are completed, we are committed to starting the immediate remediation of the impacted areas in Aghoro and Odimodi,” the spokesperson said.

According to the spokesperson, details of the cause and impact of the spills will be captured in the Joint Investigation Visits (JIV) reports, which will be released after sign-off by all parties.

“The JIV is a multi-party exercise involving the regulators, the community, representatives of the state government, security agencies, and representatives of SPDC. The outcome is then signed off by the stakeholders to authenticate the findings,” the spokesperson explained.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

NEPAD names Yvonne Chaka Chaka nutrition goodwill ambassador - NaijaAgroNet

The Princess of Africa, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, internationally-renowned singer and humanitarian has been appointed as the NEPAD Agency’s Goodwill Ambassador for TB and nutrition, reports NaijaAgroNet.

“I am pleased to confirm your appointment as NEPAD Agency Goodwill Ambassador with effect from 1 August 2018. Your commitment to supporting the NEPAD Agency through advocacy and communicating to a broad public will undoubtedly raise the profile of our continental projects,” Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, NEPAD Agency’s CEO stated in his message to Yvonne Chaka Chaka.

Considered a role model throughout the African continent, Yvonne has demonstrated compassion for others throughout her career. She has promoted literacy, women and children’s rights, and is also a champion in the fight against malaria.

Yvonne established the Princess of Africa Foundation in 2006 to complement her humanitarian work. Through this non-profit organisation, she has continued to advocate for various causes and mobilise resources towards projects for people in need.

As the implementing body of the African Union, the NEPAD Agency’s strategic impact areas are industrialisation and wealth-creation; shared prosperity and transformed livelihoods; human capital development and transformed institutions; and environmental sustainability. Given Yvonne’s strong commitment to the values and principles of the NEPAD Agency, she will be an excellent and eloquent advocate of the continent’s development agenda.

As Goodwill Ambassador for the NEPAD Agency, Yvonne Chaka Chaka’s public policy advocacy focus will especially be the promotion of food security and good nutrition as key response components in the fight against TB, as well as public awareness on the challenges and solutions to ending TB in Africa.

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1.6m children to experience severe acute malnutrition @Sahel - NaijaAgroNet

An estimated 1.6 million children are expected to experience severe acute malnutrition in the Sahel region of Africa, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has said that the Sahel is on lean season which ran from June to August, 2018 nears its close, latest estimates showed that nearly 6 million people will have been severely food insecure in this period.

“Of these, almost half – or 2.7 million people – are pastoralists or agropastoralists. Up to 1.6 million children are expected to experience severe acute malnutrition,” official FAO press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet read.

Today, the three UN agency heads, whose organizations are working in partnership within the UN system-wide support to the Sahel, will underscore joint efforts aimed at addressing poverty, underdevelopment, the impacts of extreme weather events and migration - factors that have all contributed to the region’s critical humanitarian and security situation.

These heads of the Food and Agriculture Organization of theUnited Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development(IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) are on official working visit to Niger on a three-day working visit between 15-18 August 2018, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This visit, NaijaAgroNet gathered will see these chiefs highlighting regional efforts to address the critical food and nutrition security situation in the Sahel.

The trio including FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, IFAD President Gilbert F. Houngbo, and WFP Executive Director David Beasley, will meet Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou as well as Prime Minister Brigi Rafini and other members of the country’s government.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Sahel’s hunger attracts UN Food chiefs head to Niger in support - NaijaAgroNet

Three heads of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) are headed to Niger on a three-day working visit between 15-18 August 2018, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This visit, NaijaAgroNet gathered will see these chiefs highlighting regional efforts to address the critical food and nutrition security situation in the Sahel.

The trio including FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, IFAD President Gilbert F. Houngbo, and WFP Executive Director David Beasley, will meet Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou as well as Prime Minister Brigi Rafini and other members of the country’s government.

They will also visit several projects where collaboration among FAO, IFAD  WFP, the Government of Niger and other partners, is providing people with new opportunities to feed their families, earn an income and build more resilient livelihoods through agricultural activities.

These initiatives illustrate the need to closely link humanitarian and development assistance within the context of building peace in the region. Similarly, FAO, IFAD and WFP are supporting the Government of Niger’s “les nigériens nourissent les nigériens” (Nigeriens feed Nigieriens) initiative which aims to reduce poverty and build resilience to food crises.

In Niger, as in many parts of the Sahel, climate shocks have resulted in recurring droughts with devastating impacts on the region’s already vulnerable populations, particularly those relying on crop and livestock production for their livelihoods and survival.

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Pix: FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva

Workshop participants confirm capacity gaps on cassava, maize, rice and cattle farmers - NaijaAgroNet

Participants at a three-day workshop by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) rose affirm that there are capacity gaps on cassava, maize, rice and cattle farmers, reports NaijaAgroNet.

They also reaffirmed FARA readiness to leverage Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) programme to support the African Development Bank and the Regional Agricultural Transformation Programmes supported by the World Bank, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This is in addition to partnership mapping of FARA’s Holistic Empowerment for Livelihood Programme (HELP), describing it as an opportunity matrix on available partnerships and training opportunities in Brazil, Cuba, Egypt & India, will be used to develop HELP country-based approach capacity building and innovation network that feed into the larger initiatives.

Speaking at the workshop, the Executive Director of FARA, Dr Yemi Akinbamijo, declared that the march towards a food secure Africa and meeting the overarching developmental targets requires holistic capacity development approach to strengthen individual, organizational and systemic capacities.

FARA he said, recognizes the South-South collaboration framework as an important vehicle, stressing that the philosophy behind HELP is the promotion of triangular collaboration involving the private sector, universities/research centres and policy makers among African countries and their counter parts in the so-called South, based on solidarity that breaks the traditional donor-recipient relationship, under a win-win situation.

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Monday, August 13, 2018

FARA, NEPAD in high level joint advocacy for nutrition in Africa - NaijaAgroNet

As part of efforts to promote Food and Nutrition Security for Sustainable Agriculture on the continent, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), have joined forces in a high level advocacy for nutrition in Africa, reports NaijaAgroNet.

They jointly organised a one-day high level advocacy event during the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) in in Cairo, Egypt, which saw notice on increased efforts and support from governments and stakeholders to improve nutrition and food systems are still needed.

The FARA Executive Director, Dr Abdulrazak Ibrahim noted that African governments and stakeholders have over the years been implementing several strategic interventions, among which include food fortification, dietary diversification, vitamin and mineral supplementation, public health interventions such as deworming and of late, biofortification.

He also said embracing food-based approaches should encompass biofortification in national and regional agriculture and nutrition policies, strategies, programmes and investment plans,’ was the theme of this event.

Chairperson of the PAP Committee on Agriculture, H.E Hon Kone Gognon, opened the meeting, saying that the theme for the meeting was pertinent, with a focus on ensuring food and nutrition security, pointing out that biofortification was already flagged as crucial in Africa.

Further, Dr. Ibrahim disclosed that FARA recognised the debilitating effects of hidden hunger, and highlighted FARA’s efforts, over the last years, in mainstreaming FNSSA within the National Agricultural and Innovation System (NAIS).

This was echoed by Dr Rose Omari, from FARA’s Building Nutritious Food Basket project, who elucidated the fact that micronutrient deficiency and its consequences are not widely known, as this is ‘hidden hunger.’

“Therefore, enhancing micronutrients content of staple crops during production is a critical intervention,” Dr Omari said.

Senior Advisor on Nutrition, Ms Bibi Giyose, who spoke on behalf of the NEPAD Agency’s CEO, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, brought to the fore the fact that nutrition should not be viewed as a technical issue, as it also has political, structural and numerous other dimensions that dictate the need to find multi-sectorial solutions.

Prof Francis Zotor from the University of Health and Allied Sciences and African Nutrition Society, expressed a similar sentiment with a call to strengthen synergies in moving the nutrition agenda forward on the continent.

Present at the event were legislators from the following countries: Central African Republic; Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Niger, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia.

The meeting concluded that while hidden hunger is real, reversing it is also possible to increase micronutrient content of commonly consumed foods through biofortification, especially to improve nutritional status of low income households will go a long way in redressing hidden hunger.

African Parliamentarians were called upon to follow up on declarations made by governments to ensure their implementation.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

RecyclePoints makes top 10 @Zambezi Prize 2018 - NaijaAgroNet

Nigerian startup, RecyclePoints, is in the top 10 finalist in the MIT Legatum Center and Mastercard Foundation finalists of the 2018 Zambezi Prize for Innovation in Financial Inclusion, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation, have announced the finalists of the 2018 edition of the Zambezi Prize for Innovation in Financial Inclusion, including RecyclePoints.

The Grand Prize Winner and  Runners-Up, NaijaAgroNet gathered, will be announced during the Open Mic Africa Summit in Nairobi on August 29th, 2018.

RecyclePoints  pride itself as a waste recycling and social benefit venture which commenced its beta edition in Lagos, operating an incentive-based scheme which collects recyclable materials from post consumers and in turn rewards them with “Points” which they could accumulate and use to redeem/shop for household items offered through our iRecycle store.

The prestigious competition, awarding a total of $200,000 in prizes, was established in 2015 to discover Africa’s most promising and innovative early-stage start-ups that promote and advance financial inclusion on the continent.

The selected companies are Apollo Agriculture (Kenya), Bidhaa Sasa (Kenya), FarmDrive (Kenya), Farmerline (Ghana), LanteOTC (South Africa)(, MaTontine (Senegal) (, OZE (Ghana)(, RecyclePoints (Nigeria), Tulaa (Kenya)(, and Wala (South Africa) (

“We are pleased to welcome the 2018 finalists into the MIT Zambezi family”, said Georgina Campbell Flatter, the Executive Director of the MIT Legatum Center. “They represent some of the world’s most innovative change agents.”

“The finalists demonstrated strong leadership and innovation in the way they are solving financial inclusion challenges”, said Ali Diallo, the Global Programs Manager of the MIT Legatum Center. “We also want to thank the hundreds of great startups that applied to this competition and shared with us their inspiring ventures, visions, and insights for advancing financial inclusion. We hope to keep them all engaged through our upcoming initiatives”.

The finalists will join leaders from the MIT and African tech ecosystems on August 28th and 29th at the 2018 MIT Open Mic Africa Summit in Nairobi, Kenya. The two-day event will include a VIP reception followed by the award ceremony at Strathmore University where the Grand Prize Winner will be awarded $100,000. Two runners-up will each receive $30,000 while the seven remaining finalists will each receive $5,000 in cash prizes. Additionally, the Legatum Center will award $5,000 to an African entrepreneur who demonstrated great leadership qualities to unify Africa’s tech ecosystem. All finalists will participate in cohort-building and mentoring activities with MIT leaders and Zambezi alumni companies during the event.

The winners will be invited to attend the Zambezi boot camp during the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC) ( gala on the MIT campus in Boston on November 5th-9th, 2018. They also will be fast-tracked to the IIC global grand prize with up to $1 million available in funding for the winner. The IIC event is part of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy( and, along with the MIT Legatum Center’s initiatives, exemplifies MIT’s global commitment to the future of work(

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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