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Friday, December 14, 2018

Laser reduces bird damage by 90% - NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet:
A new laser bird deterrent technology has been successfully used at South American crops. The technology is designed and manufactured by the Dutch fast growing company Bird Control Group. Agrilaser technology is proven to decrease crop losses by 70 to 90 per cent, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Pest birds like eared doves destroy each year between contribute to 5 per cent to 25 per cent of the crops at a farm in South America, resulting in enormous money losses to small farmers as well as large agricultural operations, especially in crops like sunflowers. A lot of bird damage also occurs in high yield orchards with fruits like cherries, table grapes and blueberries. Many of these fruit growers in Chile and Peru are suffering from great losses due the attacks of birds when the color of the fruit changes throughout their ripening process.

Bodega Catena Zapata Farm was one of the many Argentinian farms experiencing significant grape losses due to the local parrot flocks. In order to protect their grapes effectively, they decided to test the automated laser bird deterrent system Agrilaser Autonomic. This technology is inspired by nature and takes advantage of a bird’s natural instinct: birds perceive the approaching laser beam as a physical danger and disperse to seek safety. Due to the installation of Agrilaser Autonomic, Bodega Catena Zapata successfully reduced the presence of parrots by almost 100% and saved thousands of dollars on bird damage.

Also Agricola EU used the technology to avoid losses in the cherry farm in Chile. Germán González, the Operations Manager, decided to try Agrilaser after experiencing difficulties with choosing the right bird deterrent to protect the crops. With the installation of Agrilaser Autonomic he achieved immediate results and reduced the crop losses by 90%!

Positive results have been also observed at Syngenta, a global producer of agrochemicals and seeds. The Syngenta sunflower seed producer in Argentina was experiencing a problem with pigeons and parrots destroying sunflowers and eating the seeds. They tried bird watchers and fireworks but none of these methods gave long-lasting results. After the Autonomic was installed, bird presence has decreased by 80 per cent.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE


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Pix: Audu Ogbe, Nigeria Agric Minister.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

UN global migration pact to avert suffering, chaos - NaijaAgroNet

The United Nations (UN) has commended the global adoption of migration pact, saying it will avert suffering, chaos, especially in developing countries, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Secretary General of UN, Mr. António Guterres, said this in reaction to the adoption of the pact in Marrakesh, Morocco on Monday, describing it as a “roadmap to prevent suffering and chaos”.

Addressing the opening intergovernmental session at the event, Mr. Guterres, said that the compact provides a platform for “humane, sensible, mutually beneficial action” resting on two “simple ideas”.

“Firstly, that migration has always been with us but should be managed and safe; second, that national policies are far more likely to succeed with international cooperation.”

The UN chief said that in recent months there had been “many falsehoods” uttered about the agreement and “the overall issue of migration”. In order to dispel the “myths”, he said that the Compact did not allow the UN to impose migration policies on the Member States, and neither was the pact a formal treaty.

“Moreover, it is not legally binding. It is a framework for international cooperation, rooted in an inter-governmental process of negotiation in good faith,” he told delegates in Marrakech.

The pact would not give migrants rights to go anywhere, reaffirming only the fundamental human rights, he said.

Acknowledging that some States decided not to take part in the conference, or adopt the Compact, the UN Chief expressed his wish that they will come to recognize its value for their societies and join in “this common venture.”

The United States did not endorse the Compact, and more than a dozen other countries either chose not to sign the accord or are still undecided.

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Pix: Secretary General of UN, Mr. António Guterres

Thursday, December 6, 2018

E-waste, an emerging threat - ITREALMS

NaijaAgroNet:
Electronic Waste (e-Waste) has been classified as an emerging threat by the United Nations (UN), reports NaijaAgroNet.

UN through its agency Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) at the occasion of World Soil Day 2018, informed NaijaAgroNet that some 50 million tones of electronic waste are generated every year.

This, they said, has made e-Waste one of the world's fastest growing pollution problems affecting the soils.

FAO also described the situation as one man's trash becoming another man's treasure in the case of electronic waste.
The agency also urged those using electronic devices to think before throwing away their old devices.

"You can donate them or recycle them," FAO experts said.

They further insisted that every man on earth could be the solution to soil pollution.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Increased soil contamination puts food safety @risk - NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet:
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on Wednesday, marked the 2018 World Soil day with call for urgent action to reduce release of pollutants into soils, reports NaijaAgroNet.

FAO, NaijaAgroNet recalls, every 5 December 2018 in Rome commemorate the World Soil Day, saying that urgent action is needed to address soil pollution and contain the multiple threats it poses to global food safety and food security.

According to FAO, thousands of chemicals, which are commercially produced on a large scale, plastic and electronic waste, non-treated wastewater can all become a source of soil pollution, paving the way for the pollutants to enter the food chain with serious consequences for the health and wellbeing of people and planet.

"About 33 percent of all soils are degraded - and soils continue to deteriorate at an alarming rate," said Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo at the World Soil Day Ceremony at FAO's Rome headquarters. "Soil acts as a filter for contaminants. But when its buffering capacity is exceeded, contaminants can enter the environment and the food chain. This undermines food security by making crops risky and unsafe for consumption".

"Human activities are the main source of soil pollution. It is in our hands to adopt sustainable soil management practices," she added.

She called "for greater political support and significantly increased investment towards healthy soils". Maintaining healthy soils helps ensure safe and nutritious foods and is essential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and Zero Hunger.

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WSD 2018: Be the solution to soil pollution - NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet:
Years of our actions and habits on soil have left a legacy of pollution worldwide. Soils have a great potential to be the solution to the increasing challenge of soil pollution. 

They act as a sponge that filters contaminants, degrading and attenuating their negative effects. But soil buffering capacity is limited. If exceeded, contaminants can seep into the environment and enter the food chain.
Growing food on uncontaminated soils provides safe food and helps fight hunger. Ninety-five percent of our food comes from soils: conserving and sustainably managing soils is critical in successfully feeding a growing world population. 

Simultaneously, it can restrain the risk soil pollution poses to agricultural productivity, human health and the health of all organisms on Earth.

On 5 December 2018, World Soil Day, focus your attention on being part of the solution... Small daily changes can have a significant impact on the health of our soils.

Happy World Soil Day!

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Monday, December 3, 2018

Shell signs gas supply deal with GPAL, GACN - NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet:
The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) and its joint partners have signed a gas supply and aggregation agreement that will support the 140 Megawatts Aba Integrated Power Project in Abia State. The agreement, signed on Friday in Abuja, was between SPDC, Geometric Power Aba Limited (GPAL); and Gas Aggregation Company of Nigeria (GACN), reports NaijaAgroNet.

By the agreement, NaijaAgroNet gathered that SPDC will supply gas from the SPDC joint venture gas plant in Imo River traversing Abia and Rivers States to the power producer, Geometric Power Aba Limited (GPAL) via a gas pipeline network which is already installed.

“This is a further demonstration of our commitment to supporting Nigeria’s industrialisation through gas,” said the Managing Director of SPDC and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor.

Okunbor, who was represented by SPDC’s General Manager, Business and Government Relations, Bashir Bello, noted: “For more than 50 years, Shell has been in the forefront of the campaign to develop and monetise Nigeria's huge gas resources and it is good to see more players joining the fray to grow the gas market and help improve lives and the earnings in Nigeria.”

Speaking at the agreement-signing ceremony, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, described the Aba Independent Power Project as a potential catalyst for opening up the Aba market for economic growth.

Represented by his Special Adviser on Fiscal Strategy, Dr. Tim Okon, the minister said the government was determined to ensure commercial sustainability of any such project with the potential to grow the gas market.

Chief Executive Officer of GAPL, Prof. Bath Nnaji said the project was structured to incentivise gas suppliers to invest in gas production for the domestic market, adding: “We are confident that the structure will serve as a model for other gas-to-power-projects in Nigeria.”

The Managing Director of GACN, Morgan Okwoche, who signed on behalf of the company described the project as the foremost private off-grid gas supply and aggregation agreement that would enhance industrial growth and economic development.

Those who witnessed the signing ceremony included the General Manager Petroleum Engineering of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Muazu Awaisu, who represented the Group Managing Director of NNPC; and the General Manager Gas Portfolio of SPDC, Yemi Famori.

The SPDC JV owns the 650MW Afam VI power plant in Afam, River State which in 2017 supplied 15% of Nigeria’s grid-connected electricity.

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L-R: Manager, Upstream and Commercial Negotiation, Nigeria Agip Oil Company Limited, Pius-Milverton Ogunjiofor; Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Geometric Power, Bart Nnaji; Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Gas Aggregation Company Nigeria Limited, Morgan Okwoche; General Manager, Gas Portfolio, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), Yemi Famori; and SPDC’s General Manager Business and Government Relations, Bashir Bello; at the signing of the Gas Supply and Aggregation Agreement for the Aba Integrated Power Project in Abuja, at weekend.

Farmers grappling with drought, urgently need seed - NaijaAgroNet

A new drought response plan will help estimated 1.4 million of the most vulnerable drought-affected people in Afghanistan during the coming winter season and into April next year, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) announced today on the sidelines of the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Around 10.6 million people, or close to half of the country’s rural population, are severely food insecure. This level of hunger has many causes, including years of civil unrest, but it has been made worse by a damaging drought triggered by low snowfall last winter followed by rainfall of up to 70 per cent less than normal in some places. Many families have resorted to desperate coping measures including skipping meals, selling off their livestock or moving to makeshift displacement camps.

FAO is working with partner organizations to provide vulnerable farmers in 22 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces – particularly households headed by women or people with disabilities – with urgently-needed wheat seeds and fertilizers in time for the winter planting season, when much-needed rains are forecast to finally arrive.

Livestock protection measures, including concentrated livestock feed, fodder crop seed, and animal health services are also being provided. Livestock are a key source of food and livelihoods for the majority of rural Afghans; keeping livestock healthy through the harsh winter is therefore essential for rural food security, preserves breeding stocks and sustains rural livelihoods for the coming years.

FAO’s drought response plan is also intended to help people stay at their places of origin and reduce drought-induced displacements.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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