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Friday, March 22, 2019

Conflict: Lack of safe water likely to kill more children than violence - NaijaAgroNet

Children under the age of 15 living in countries affected by protracted conflict are, on average, almost three times more likely to die from diarrhoeal diseases caused by a lack of safe water, sanitation and hygiene than by direct violence, UNICEF said in a new report today.

Water Under Fire looks at mortality rates in 16 countries going through prolonged conflicts and finds that, in most of them, children under the age of five are more than 20 times more likely to die from diarrheal-related deaths linked to lack of access to safe water and sanitation than direct violence.

“The odds are already stacked against children living through prolonged conflicts – with many unable to reach a safe water source,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “The reality is that there are more children who die from lack of access to safe water than by bullets."

“In Nigeria, conflict has created huge challenges for people living in the north-east of the country, where violence has affected their ability to access water and sanitation, leading to diseases such as cholera,” said Mohamed Fall, UNICEF Nigeria Representative.

“More than 3.6 million people are in need of water, sanitation and hygiene services – 1.1 million of these are internally displaced (IDPs), having fled their homes due to violence and conflict. Many of them are out-of-reach, in remote areas still impacted by conflict. About 800,000 people are in hard-to-reach areas and 79 percent of these are children and women,” said Mohamed Fall..

In north-east Nigeria, 5,365 people were affected by cholera, with 61 dying in 2017, while 12,643 people were affected and 175 died of cholera in 2018.

UNICEF is working to scale-up lifesaving responses, especially in IDP camps, to ensure quality and sustainability of WASH services and facilities, minimize the risk of WASH-related diseases, and to provide preventive measures against cholera and other water-borne diseases.

Without safe and effective water, sanitation and hygiene services, children are at risk of malnutrition and preventable diseases including diarrhoea, typhoid, cholera and polio. Girls are particularly affected: They are vulnerable to sexual violence as they collect water or venture out to use latrines. They deal with affronts to their dignity as they bathe and manage menstrual hygiene. And they miss classes during menstruation if their schools have no suitable water and sanitation facilities.

These threats are exacerbated during conflict when deliberate and indiscriminate attacks destroy infrastructure, injure personnel and cut off the power that keeps water, sanitation and hygiene systems running. Armed conflict also limits access to essential repair equipment and consumables such as fuel or chlorine – which can be depleted, rationed, diverted or blocked from delivery. Far too often, essential services are deliberately denied.

“Deliberate attacks on water and sanitation are attacks on vulnerable children,” said Fore. “Water is a basic right. It is a necessity for life.”

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Fayemi commiserates with rainstorm victims - NaijaAgroNet

…..Promises government support
The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi has commiserated with victims of Tuesday’s rainstorm which damaged some buildings in Ado-Ekiti and some parts of the state and pledged the support of the state government towards mitigating their losses, reports NaijaAgroNet.

He also directed the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to liaise with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to come up with the detailed record of affected areas and individuals for necessary support.

The Governor also appealed to the PHCN and BEDC to move round the affected areas and tidy up damaged electricity poles and cables so that power supply can be restored to the areas.

While government would do her beats in ensuring that support gets to the affected individuals and families, government is also appealing to well- meaning members of the public and philanthropists to come to the aid of the victims of the rainstorm in whatever way possible.

Government is of the view that effects of rainstorms or other natural disaster can be mitigated if individuals would take some precautionary measures. These measures include carrying out routine checks on individual buildings and structures; clearing of drainages and refraining from indiscriminate dumping refuse on rivers, roads, drainages and median.

The Governor has also directed that those who were affected by the rainstorm but who were yet to be visited by officials of the Ministry of Environment or SEMA should take photographs of their damaged buildings with other proofs and report at the office of the Agency for proper documentation.

Governor Fayemi says necessary measures would be put in place to ensure that the coming raining season does not bring havoc.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Friday, March 15, 2019

Gossipmill fear tunes Lagos youth off family planning - NaijaAgroNet

Lagos-based youths have expressed dismay over the attitude of some health care service providers, saying that the fear of becoming gossip mill tune them off family planning, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The youths, largely females, who speak with 
NaijaAgroNet under anonymity decried the attitude of some health care service providers, especially when they approach family planning centres for services or even to inquire.

They confirmed to NaijaAgroNet that in Lagos, for instance, they would not access family planning service in their immediate domain to avoid stigmatization afterwards.

Also, they noted that although Lagos State has some Hello Lagos, which is the life-planning centres for the youth, the bias evident at those centres discourages them.

The youth who spoke on the sideline of the 3-day capacity building workshop on investigative journalism organized by Pathfinder International Nigeria, told 
NaijaAgroNet they came from Ikotu, Alimosho and Agege.

They complained of being made to stand while interrogated during her visit, instead of being attended to or counselled based on their needs in the first instance.

According to one of them, 25-year old Halima and graduate of Business Admin, the service provider’s first question was on her age bracket and on learning she had three boy-friends at 25, the body language changed outside religious concerns and countenance, stressing that she was not even given an opportunity of seeing a condom or counselled properly on other options, hence she has to leave.

She alleged that her welcome was not warm as anticipated, wondering if it should have been better to have unplanned pregnant to receive required attention at family planning units of Public Healthcare Centre (PHC) despite being sexually active.

Another female youth, Helen, 22, who acknowledged being sexually active lamented that the health service provider, she accosted at the Hello Lagos Life planning centre, was visibly furious on noticing she is a Catholic, did not given her required attention and courtesy of offering her a seat or any attempt to make her to relax before supposed grilling.

Helen said that in the course of their tensed-discussion, she understood that both female and male condoms were available at the facility, but she was not given the female condom which she had demanded but a male condom was offered to her.

As said by her, she decided to take away the male condom roll-of-four because half-bread is better than none, stressing that she was concerned that at her back, she became subject of gossip.

For 20-year Ayoshe, who is a makeup artist, the PHC centre she visited was near her community and because of their prying foot-dragging responses to her questions as a teenager wanting to access family planning services, she had to switch role from personal inquiry to on errand for her mother.

She was not shown any options of family planning but told that for her to access any available service, must be during ovulation, which family planning experts, Mrs. Abiola Adekoya disagreed with, even though some pregnant women still ovulate whilst pregnant.

Adekoya, a retired nurse told NaijaAgroNet that these service providers in these cases were bad examples and opposite of what they should be, especially for these youths by counselling them and sharing available options with them and possibly allow them to make informed decision.

Mrs. Adekoya insisted that those service providers need to be trained in the right contemporary path to help the teeming youth who may come across them.

She posited that with the narratives aforementioned, these youngsters may not likely return to the centres again eventually even when they may be ready for family planning, describing it as a missed opportunities to win a soul for family planning and better equip the youth.

Chuks Egbune/Editor

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pic: country director, FP Dr Farouk Jeba

Jega says knowledgeable family planning service providers will make difference - NaijaAgroNet

The country director of the Pathfinder International Nigeria, Dr. Farouk Jega, has said that having a knowledgeable family planning service providers would make a lot of difference in the nation’s health care sector, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Chatting with NaijaAgroNet in Lagos at the ongoing 3-day capacity building workshop on investigative journalism organized by Pathfinder International Nigeria, Dr. Jega said well-informed service providers will bring about enormous change towards building trust in the adoption of family planning uptakes in the country.

“Having service providers who know their jobs will make a lot of difference,” he asserted.

NaijaAgroNet gathered there are several types of health services providers which range from medical doctors, obstetricians cum gynecologists, and physician assistants, to nurse practitioners, licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, and advanced practice nurses, to pharmacists, and specialists.

Also, Dr. Jega said that every woman, especially in developing economies like Nigeria deserves quality family planning information so as to make informed decision.

“Every woman deserves quality information on family planning,” he declared.

As said by him, every woman no matter the age has the right to know and assess quality family planning information.

Pathfinder International Nigeria, he told NaijaAgroNet believe so in provision of quality family planning information for families, and mostly women, insisting that there should be no coercion on the part of women as far as issues on family planning is concerned.

He advised women to have children at the appropriate time as it has some health implications both for them and child, lamenting “if born at the age nearing menopause.”

NaijaAgroNet gathered that menopause equally known as the climacteric, is the time in most women's lives when menstrual periods stop permanently, and they are no longer able to bear children.

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Pix: Dr Farouk Jega, CD, Pathfinder International Nigeria

Thursday, March 14, 2019

South-South tops in HIV prevalence - NaijaAgroNet

The 2018 Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) has revealed that the South-South zone has the highest HIV prevalence in the country with North West with the lowest, reports NaijaAgroNet .

NAIIS showcased this indicating the South-South zone has the highest HIV prevalence with 3.1 per cent and North West has the lowest 0.6 per cent. 

The latest NAIIS is a cross-sectional survey that will assess the prevalence of key human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related health indicators. This survey is a two-stage cluster survey of 88,775 randomly-selected households in Nigeria, sampled from among 3,551 nationally-representative sample clusters.

According to NAIISResult made available to NaijaAgroNet , showed that HIV prevalence in Nigeria in 1.4 per cent; there are 1.9 million people living with HIV in Nigeria. HIV prevalence is 1.9 per cent among females and 0.9 per cent among males.

The HIV prevalence in Nigerian prisons, NaijaAgroNet gathered was twice higher than in general population.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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Okolo urges Nigerian journalists to use data for family planning - NaijaAgroNet

 The chief executive officer of, Mr. Anselm Okolo has urged Nigerian journalists to be rationale in the use of data in building their news stories and features on family planning, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Speaking in Lagos at a three-day capacity building workshop on investigative journalism organized by Pathfinder International Nigeria, he said that data has become an indispensable part to achieving change in communication and behavior.

He also said that it would assist journalists investigating family planning issues to have a better and accurate planning outcome.

According to him, investigative journalism provides truth about people from government and information on what other entities such as Pathfinder among stakeholders are doing to fulfil their mandates.

This, he said, helps for accurate decision making for development, stressing that it serves as good feedback mechanism for programme review whilst it drives and refines decision making.

“Readers and listeners want to see news stories that evidence based,” he declared.

Earlier, welcoming participants to the workshop, the Communications Manager, Pathfinder International Nigeria, Mrs Somto Atuagha, told NaijaAgroNet that the workshop aims at strengthening the capacity of the Media Advocacy Working Group (MAWG) to complement family planning advocacy efforts in Lagos State towards the attainment of the FP2020 goals.

Atuagha who was accompanied by Programme Coordinator, Advocacy and Policy at Pathfinder, Ms Kosisochukwu Izundu, also named two-key objectives of the workshop include strengthening of capacity of participants on investigative journalism to develop more impactful family planning related media content for broadcast and publication.

In addition, she said it would orientate participants about youth access to family planning in Lagos State and would be hands-on driven.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

FAO calls for sustainability in date palm production - NaijaAgroNet

Investing in innovation and research is key to ensuring the sustainability of date palm production, a valuable food and livelihood resource for millions of people in the Near East and North Africa FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, reports NaijaAgroNet,

“The impacts of climate change are making water increasingly scarce, provoking droughts that are more severe and prolonged, and also contributing to the outbreak and spread of pests and diseases, such as the Red Palm Weevil,” José Graziano da Silva said at the 11th Session of the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation (KIADPAI).

“We urgently need to build resilience and promote the adaptation of agricultural sectors through climate-smart practices that can also preserve natural resources and biodiversity,” he stressed, noting the importance of the date palm, which is deeply rooted in the economies, cultures and diets of the people of the Near East and North Africa region.

He referred to the diverse range of tools and knowledge that science and innovation have made available to produce “more and better with less resources”.

These include, for example, hydroponic systems that produce high-quality food with no soil and only 10 percent of the water normally used in traditional systems, and the use of drones to help track pests and diseases, as well as the use of nanotechnology for water desalinization.

“The challenge is to seize all the opportunities to apply and develop innovative solutions,” Graziano da Silva said. “For that, we need to put in place innovative policies, investments and partnerships bringing together the public and private sectors, and look to pursuing long-term commitment.”

Last November, FAO organized the first International Symposium on Agricultural Innovation for Family Farmers, where participants recognized the importance of family farmers for agricultural innovation.

Graziano da Silva emphasized the need to strengthen the capacity of farmers to innovate and acknowledged the invaluable role the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation is playing in the promotion of innovative agricultural practices, especially in water scarce regions.

From “feeding” to “nourishing” people with healthy and nutritious food

The FAO Director-General highlighted the need to foster innovation “across the whole food system,” and not just in the agricultural sectors. “We need to reposition our food systems away from simply ‘feeding’ to ‘nourishing’ people with healthy and nutritious food,” he said. “This change is fundamental to tackle not only hunger but also all forms of malnutrition, particularly obesity.”

Globally, more than 2 billion people are overweight, including 670 million who are obese (accounting for about 13 percent of the world’s adult population).

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the proportion of obese adults in the Near East and North of Africa is of around 30 percent, reaching almost 40 percent in specific countries.

“The growing rate of obesity is happening at a huge socio-economic cost,” Graziano da Silva stressed. “Obesity is a risk factor for many non-communicable diseases such as stroke, diabetes and some types of cancer,” he added.

Estimates indicate that the global economic impact of obesity is about$2 trillion per year (2.8 percent of the global GDP). “This is equivalent to the global impacts of smoking or armed conflicts globally,” he warned.

The main reason behind the rise of obesity, he noted, is that current food systems have increased the availability and accessibility of highly processed food that is very caloric and energy-dense, high in fat, sugar and salt.

“This is particularly worrisome when countries have an excessive dependency on food imports, as is the case in the Near East and North Africa region,” Graziano da Silva said. He called for food trade regulations that address the imports of unhealthy food, and contribute to avoiding what he defined as the “globalization of obesity”.

The FAO Director-General said the upcoming Expo 2020 in Dubai, will provide a great opportunity for the international community to discuss innovative ideas and partnerships to tackle future challenges, including food insecurity and malnutrition.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

CAR, IFAD to promote smallholder farmers’ resilience to climate change - NaijaAgroNet

Nearly 30,000 vulnerable households will be better equipped to deal with the fragility created by past conflict and the impacts of climate change thanks to a US$29 million project announced today that aims to improve food and nutrition security in four sub-prefectures of the Central African Republic, reports NaijaAgroNet.

With support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a financing agreement for the Project to Revitalize Crop and Livestock Production in the Savannah (PREPAS) was signed earlier by Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD, and Félix Moloua, Minister of Planning, Economy and Cooperation of the Central African Republic.

Financing for the project includes a grant from IFAD ($12.4 million), as well as funding from the Government of Central African Republic ($0.9 million) and the beneficiaries themselves ($3 million). A financing gap of $12.6 million will be covered by future IFAD resource allocation cycles for Central African Republic.

In the Central African Republic, the livelihoods of 74 per cent of the population are dependent on the agropastoral sector, which also accounts for 52 per cent of the GDP. The humanitarian and security crisis between 2013-2015 and continued conflicts have had a devastating effect on the economy, impacting food security and increasing the country's fragility today. As a result, poverty affects about 67 per cent of the entire population.

The main causes of poverty include the poor performance of the agropastoral sector, the impact of the conflicts on the economy, lack of roads, infrastructure and public services in rural areas, vulnerability to climate change, floods and droughts, as well as scarce economic opportunities, especially for the young people.

PREPAS will target agricultural producers in the sub-prefectures of Baoro, Bossemptélé, Bouar and Yaloké, with possible expansion to Bozoum after the project's mid-term review. At least 50 per cent of the participants will be women, 30 per cent young people and 10 per cent heads of the most vulnerable households.

The project aims to strengthen the production, processing and marketing of maize, cassava, groundnut, red beans, poultry, goats, sheep and pigs. It will promote sustainable practices that help famers adapt to climate change conditions, particularly to droughts and floods. Household members will also be trained in good dietary practices, nutrition and hygiene. Increasing the availability of highly nutritious foods will be among project goals. In an attempt to reduce tensions and promote long-term sustainability, the project will also focus on encouraging dialogue between farmers growing crops and livestock producers. 

In addition, the project will establish 800 agricultural, agropastoral and market gardening groups while developing market gardens equipped with solar irrigation devices. Furthermore, 12 product warehouses and eight input storehouses will be constructed, and 450 young people will receive training in processing, marketing or services within the value chains of selected crops and livestock.

Since 1979, IFAD has financed eight rural development programmes and projects in Central African Republic at a total cost of $160.9 million, with an IFAD investment of $71.6 million. These projects and programmes have directly benefited 123,350 rural households.

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Friday, March 8, 2019

Unprecedented report reveals true cost of violence against children - NaijaAgroNet

Today, the high economic cost of violence against children in Nigeria was revealed in an unprecedented report, launched jointly by UNICEF and the Federal Government, under the leadership of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning and the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, reports NaijaAgroNet.

According to the report, the economic impact of the violence against children in Nigeria is estimated to be about USD$6.1 billion, which is equivalent to about 1.07 percent of the country’s GDP.

This financial loss is from the cumulative loss of earnings due to loss of productivity, stemming from suffering associated with different degrees of violence, over time.

“The cost of inaction is high, when it comes to violence against children,” said Mrs. Ifeoma Anagbogu, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development. “Violence affects children’s health, education, and productivity. It is clear that we need to eliminate any form of violence against children – both from a moral perspective and an economic perspective.”

The report revealed that about half of the Nigerian children surveyed experienced physical violence by parents, adult relatives, direct or indirect caregivers or community members, before they reached 18.

“The findings of this study point to the strong need for increased funding of interventions by government to reduce violence against children in Nigeria,” said Mr Olajide S. Odewale, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.

It was noted that the study may actually underestimate the economic burden of violence against children, as several serious consequences of such violence were not included, due to a current lack of data.

The evidence presented in the report indicates an urgent need to provide child protection services in Nigeria and prioritize the elimination of violence against children, which can ensure the country’s human capital has the mental, physical, and emotional stability needed to boost its social and economic development.

“This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, giving us an opportunity to join our collective efforts to protecting children from violence, abuse and neglect. This includes a re-commitment to increase investment in child protection services,” said Mohamed Malick Fall, UNICEF’s Country Representative in Nigeria.

The research on violence against children was led by the Government of Nigeria, in collaboration with UNICEF, and with funding from the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), through USAID, the EU and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

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Nigerian women are resilience, dogged says Senator Tinubu - NaijaAgroNet

The Senator representing the Lagos-Central. State, Lagos State in the red chamber fo the National Assembly, under the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Oluremi Tinubu has described Nigerian women as resilience, powerful and doggedness, reports NaijaAgroNet.
In her message to the celebration of the International Women's Day (IWD) 2019, Senator Tinubu declare she celebrates with Nigerian women all over the world on the occasion of the International Women’s day, 2019.
"Beyond the recognition of the struggles and achievements of womenfolk, it is a celebration of womanhood – her strength, resilience, power and doggedness," she declared.
Tinubu also said that this year, there are two themes in commemoration of International Women’s Day - ‘Balance for Better’ and 'Think equal, build smart, innovate for change.' 

She noted that while both themes may appear to be at variance, they are both pointers to the way forward in the quest for the protection of rights of women and a reminder that we must devise new strategies in the pursuit of gender equity and balance.

"It is apparent that to adequately entrench the rights of women, abrogate gender based violence and ensure equal opportunities for all, men have a role to play. Conscripting men into gender based discussions and actions will enable us address issues of gender disparity, equality in every strata of life, ensure gender balance in government, employment, remuneration of employees and wealth creation," she said.

Hence, she enjoined men to speak up in support of women, stressing that gender balance will benefit humanity and nationhood generally.

In addition, she said, women must rise up and equip themselves to fill gaps in politics, public office, and management. 

"This can only be done if we are all ready to make a difference, speak up for worthy causes and impact on our immediate communities, the type of change we wish to see," she said.
Senator Tinubu went on to congratulate women all over the world and Nigeria in particular, assuring of her unwavering commitment to the empowerment of Nigerian women.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Ghana to observe 2019 International School Meals Day with national campaign - NaijaAgroNet

The International School Meals Day on 14th March is a unique global campaign with the aim of raising awareness of good nutrition for all children regardless of their circumstances, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Since its launch in 2013, it has brought together teachers and students, policy makers, school cooks, chefs, food and nutrition professionals, schools and communities, charities, businesses and health professionals from around the world to talk about the importance of school meals and its impact on wellbeing and education.

The theme for 2019 is ‘Who makes my meal?’, encouraging young people to think about their favourite food; where it comes from and who provides it.

As ever, we’re looking forward to bringing together children and communities across Ghana sharing their experiences, stories and news.

Ghana for the first time will observe the day with a national campaign across schools in the country and a school feeding program at the Ashiedu Keteke School in Agbogbloshie.

The campaign will see schools share pictures of the foods they eat during lunch and the cooks or caterers who prepare them. Some selected international schools will fundraise to support the production of a national school meals recipes guide and the building of ten school kitchens for vulnerable schools across the country.

The School Feeding program on the day will have members of Chef with Purpose and partners cooking lunch and sharing to lower primary school children in Ashiedu Keteke district.

On 22nd March, 2019, there would be a forum to climax the celebration and reward schools and partners that participated in ensuring the success of the 2019 International School Meals Day. The funds raised will be used to designing a national schools meal recipe guide for schools and also build ten school kitchens across the country.

The 2019 International School Meals Day is organized by Food for All Africa in partnership with Chefs With Purpose,Ghana Education Service and the Department of social welfare.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

U.S, NGOs call for concerted action on marine wildlife conservation - NaijaAgroNet

In commemoration of 2019 World Wildlife Day, the United States Consulate General in Lagos on Tuesday held a program in collaboration with the International Climate Change Development Initiative (ICCDI) and Wildlife of Africa Conservation Initiative, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Delivering remarks at the event attended by leading environmental conservation activists, Public Affairs Officer of the U.S. Consulate General Lagos, Mr. Russell Brooks, urged Nigerians to treat the conservation of the oceans and aquatic wildlife as an individual responsibility, in order to preserve marine habitats for future generations.

Brooks, speaking on the theme of Life below Water, observed that as much as 40% of the world’s oceans are negatively affected by human activity, including overexploitation of marine species, loss of coastal habitats and pollution. He highlighted the crucial importance of the oceans and marine species to human development and emphasized the necessity for increased conservation education.

“Marine wildlife has sustained human civilization and development for over a thousand years, from providing food and nourishment, to providing material for handicrafts and construction. We cannot take their survival for granted.   We can reduce some of the negative effects of our activity on life under the water, by working hard to spread the message to reduce marine pollution.” Brooks said.

Delivering welcoming remarks earlier, the Communications Director at ICCDI, Mr. Abiodun Adekoya, noted that effective climate change mitigation in the country would require concerted action by governments and individuals, with an emphasis on conservation education, recycling programs and the creation of a legal framework for the nation’s policy on the environment.

World Wildlife Day is observed annually on March 3, following a proclamation by the United Nations General Assembly on 20 December 2013.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

2019 Elections: WANEP sensitizes stakeholders on farmers manifesto - NaijaAgroNet

Ahead of the 2019 General elections in Nigeria, the West Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP) has urged relevant stakeholders in the  socio-economic and political sphere of the country to mainstream agricultural sector as a means of addressing the emerging security challenges and agitations for sustainable development.

This was contained in a report made available on Wednesday by the Programme Manager, Conflict Prevention/Early Warning, WANEP, Ms. Osariemen Amas-Edobor, as the outcome of the sensitisation workshop on Farmers Manifesto conducted between 29-31, January 2019, in Bauchi State with the support of OXFAM.

A total of 312 participants: 117 female and 173 male (including 17 Political Party Aspirants) were represented at both the sensitization workshop on the Farmers Manifesto to Small Scale Farmers (SSFs) and Engagement with Political Parties in Bauchi State.

Edobor noted that it has been recognized that enhanced agricultural performance in the country is key to growth and poverty reduction through its direct impact on increasing job opportunities, especially for women and youth; food security and improved nutrition.

According to her, SSFs in Nigeria make up the greater number of the country’s workforce population and produce over 80 percent of the food consumed in the country. 

She stated: "The Nigerian agricultural sector is second largest contributor (about 24%) to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Nonetheless, these farmers appear to be the poorest constituency in Nigeria. As shown by statistics, smallholder farmers constitute over 75% of the electorates, thus making the constituency the largest voting population in Nigeria, so therefore it becomes imperative for the specific needs of smallholder farmers to be of priority to Policy makers. 

"It is in recognition of the challenges faced by SSFs in Nigeria that Small Holder Farmers Groups (SHFGs) now rises to organize and link up with relevant national platforms with a view to enhancing their voice and increasing their capacity to influence policies in and out of the agricultural sector resulting to the development of a MANIFESTO."

Edobor explained that Farmers’ MANIFESTO is a documentation of the specific needs of Nigerian farmers as a basis for a bargain between farmers and political office seekers, prior and after elections.

 In view of this, she said, WANEP-Nigeria with support from OXFAM conducted several activities in Bauchi State including; Advocacy/Courtesy visits to Traditional Rulers, Federal/State Ministry of Agriculture and the Private Sector; Sensitization workshop with SSF and Political Party aspirants in the State. 

With the aim to finding lasting solution to the challenges affecting the smooth operation of the local farmers, she said the Non-Governmental Organisation has expressed its readiness to boost production capacity of Small Scale Farmers in Bauchi State for food security in the country.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

RUFORUM aligns self to Agenda 2063 - NaijaAgroNet.

The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), has declare support for the continent's 2063 agenda, reports NaijaAgroNet.

RUFORUM, NaijaAgroNet gathered, was established in 2004 as a consortium of 46 African universities operating within 22 countries, spanning the African continent. 

Also, RUFORUM identified Science and Education Ministers from many African countries, over 85 Vice Chancellors from universities across Africa, as well as key scientists from across the World came together for the Sixth African Higher Education Week and the RUFORUM Biennial Conference. The conference was held from 22-26 October 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya.  

The main topic of discussion was: “Aligning African Universities to accelerate attainment of Africa’s Agenda 2063”. The meetings were hosted by the Kenyan Ministry of Education and 12 RUFORUM member universities in Kenya. 

Suchith Anand (GODAN) was invited to give a keynote speech on the topic of  “Harnessing the Digital Potential to Drive Higher Education Transformation in Africa”. GODAN looks forward to building more collaborations and synergies in capacity development with RUFORUM universities.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Monday, February 18, 2019

GROHE drives digital transformation in sanitary sector - NaijaAgroNet

From Germany GROHE the year 2018 was all about strategic partnerships and the digitization of water, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Michael Rauterkus, CEO of GROHE AG, noted that at the 2019 ISH, for the first time GROHE would present itself as one of the leading global brands for complete bathroom solutions, kitchen systems and intelligent water management.

GROHE, a leading global brand for kitchen faucets solutions, NaijaAgroNet reports, has continued on its road to success in 2019, considering evolvement from a mere hardware manufacturer into a driving force of the digital transformation within the sanitary industry, offering its own Internet of Things (IoT) products. 

"The intelligent water control system GROHE Sense Guard has now arrived in the world of smart homes," he said.

As said by Rauterkus, all GROHE products, innovations and activities are based on claim to be actively involved in handling water with a view to the future,

“It's about finding answers to the most pressing issues of our time. At this year's ISH, our big topic will be about which solutions we as GROHE can contribute in all areas of water management,” he said.

Equally, NaijaAgroNet gathered that strategic alliances with insurance companies such as Provinzial Rheinland or Gothaer Allgemeine in Europe and Munich Re's subsidiary, the HSB Group, in the US have opened up new sales channels for GROHE in 2018. 

Additionally, NaijaAgroNet reports that GROHE Sense water sensor could now be connected to Magenta SmartHome from Deutsche Telekom and GROHE Sense Guard to Nest home appliances. 

"Thanks to the partnership with IoT expert relayr, it will be even more flexible and faster to connect the intelligent water security system to other IT ecosystems and platforms. Further strategic alliances will follow in 2019," he said.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Friday, February 15, 2019

Family Planning: Expert laments Nigerians reluctance to long active methods - NaijaAgroNet

Family planning expert and a Co-Principal Investigator PMA2020 Nigeria, Dr. Funmilola OlaOlorun of Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, has lamented Nigerians’ reluctance to the use of Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARC), reports NaijaAgroNet.

Speaking at the round 5 of the Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 (PMA2020) survey presentation at a media briefing held recently in Lagos, by Pathfinders International, Dr. OlaOlorun also expressed dismay that many Nigerians are still very reluctant to the use of Long Active methods.

She equally told 
NaijaAgroNet the survey was facilitated by Johns Hopkins University and Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health.

Dr. OlaOlorun explained that the Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARC), are methods of birth control that provides effective contraception for an extended period without requiring user action.

Also, she said, LARC comprises injections, Intra-Uterine Devices (IUDs) and Subdermal-contraceptive implants to name a few.

“One in five women still have unintended pregnancy. People are still reluctant to use long active methods,” OlaOlorun said.

On Long Acting cum permanent methods among married women, she said, Lagos recorded 6.1 per cent in 2018, a slight drop from 6.3 in 2017

She urged for more participation and usage of long acting contraceptive methods will reduce frequency to health care centres.

The PMA2020 Lagos-R5 survey, she said, was conducted by the Centre for Research, Evaluation Resources and Development (CRERD) and Bayero University Kano (BUK), whereas the project also collected data from Anambra, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Nasarawa, Rivers and Taraba States.

She stressed that the survey equally had support from the Federal Ministry of Health, National Population Commission (NPC), National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Lagos State Ministry of Health, Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health (Johns Hopkins University).

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Rwandan choreographer, Sherrie Silver named IFAD advocate for rural youth - NaijaAgroNet

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) annual meeting of Member States, award-winning choreographer, dancer and actress Sherrie Silver issued an urgent call-to-action to heads-of-state, government ministers, and development leaders to listen and invest in rural youth, reports NaijaAgroNet.

“I am inviting you to come together and stand on the right side of history by investing more in young rural people, and the communities where they live,” Silver said just after being announced as the UN specialized agency’s Advocate for Rural Youth.

“It is with great delight that we welcome Sherrie Silver as our new Advocate for Rural Youth,” said Charlotte Salford, Associate Vice-President of External Relations and Governance Department at IFAD. “Dance and music are great unifiers. They help young people to express themselves and unites groups of people across cultures and countries.”

The appointment makes the 24-year-old IFAD's first-ever Advocate for Rural Youth.

Silver’s message kicked-off the 'Our Future is Here' youth-led movement that aims to capture the energy and creativity of young people to raise awareness on the importance of investing in agriculture at a time when world hunger is on the rise, driven by conflict and climate change.

Hunger, poverty, youth unemployment and forced migration all have deep roots in rural areas, however there remains a wide funding gap. To eliminate hunger it is estimated an annual investment of US$180 billion is needed for rural areas. Of this, two-thirds is required for agriculture alone.

“Imagine what would happen if governments and donors around the world spent as much on agriculture and rural people as they do on humanitarian aid,” she said. “There would be food security. There would be social stability. There would be less damage to the environment. There would be hope for our future.”

Born in Rwanda and educated in the United Kingdom, Silver was made world-famous by her choreography work in Childish Gambino’s culturally seismic video “This Is America,” which won the 'Best Choreography' category at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards and most recently at the 2019 Grammy Awards.

A social media influencer, Silver is passionate about helping young people thrive and educating the world about African cultures through the dance, while giving back to African countries through her philanthropy.

In her role as Advocate for Rural Youth, Silver will use her global platform to meet and connect with youth around the world and help campaign for the importance of reaching young people through investing in agriculture and rural communities.

More than half of the world’s youth population of 1.2 billion live in rural areas and struggle to find employment. In Africa, an estimated 11 million young people will enter the job market every year for the next decade -- the majority of them in rural areas, where agriculture is still the biggest source of livelihoods.

"Youth unemployment will be the defining challenge of this era alongside climate change, and I am committed to helping the UN as an IFAD Advocate for Rural Youth to do everything I can to provide a better future for young people everywhere," Silver said. “They need jobs and opportunities in agriculture to help feed a growing population while also building a safe and prosperous future right where they live.”

Silver added that “the only way we are going to solve complex challenges like ending extreme poverty, hunger and forced migration is by calling on governments to invest in a different way of going about development. Young people want to build a better world, but they can’t do it alone."

Prior to her appointment, Sherrie Silver visited an IFAD-supported project in southern Cameroon, where she met with young entrepreneurs from a remote farming community who have been able to earn more income and produce more food due to IFAD investments in agriculture and business training in their community.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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African OPS lead to rewrite healthcare narrative - NaijaAgroNet

A number of Organised Private Sector (OPS) on the continent has join forces to rewrite the heaalthcare narratives, reports c.

Some of these OPS include GBCHealth, Aliko Dangote Foundation and UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) collaborated on inaugural Africa Business: Health Forum 2019 which held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Thursday.

The OPS, NaijaAgroNet reports, jointly held the inaugural Africa Business: Health Forum on the margins of the 32nd African Union Summit. It brought together leaders from government and business with a strong appeal for greater collaboration between the private and the public sector on health outcomes. 

This garnered commitments from public sector leaders including the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed; the President of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi; and the President of Djibouti, Ismaïl Omar Guelleh as well as business leaders present, to change drastically health outcomes in Africa.

The Forum saw the launch of the African Business Coalition for Health (ABCHealth), a private sector led coalition of companies and philanthropists who will come together to positively transform health care for Africans growing population. Business and public sector leaders at the forum lauded this initiative as a timely game-changer to improve the health sector in Africa.

A vision of GBCHealth and the Aliko Dangote Foundation, ABCHealth will mobilise private sector champions committed to advancing health outcomes across Africa. Beyond the “usual suspects”, a reference used by Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede to qualify current health champions, ABCHealth will engage a new crop of African business leaders in the drive to change the reality of the average African as far as health is concerned.

Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, co-founder of ABCHealth, and co-chair, GBCHealth said, “Only partnerships will help solve the health challenges the continent faces. Healthcare in Africa is constrained by scarce public funding and limited donor support; out-of-pocket expenditure accounts for 36% of Africa’s total healthcare spend. Given our income levels, it is no surprise that healthcare spend in Africa is grossly inadequate to meet Africa’s needs leading to a financing gap of $66bn per annum.”

The private sector remains an underinvested stakeholder in the war to fix Africa’s health problems and this is why ABCHealth aims to bring the right parties to the table, and provide a focus for well-meaning individuals or companies who are committed to the health agenda, thus minimising mistakes in approach,” Aig-Imoukhuede added.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Thursday, February 7, 2019

African leaders for Nutrition to launch accountability scorecard - NaijaAgroNet

The African leaders will gather at a side event of the 32nd African Union Summit, to launch the African Leaders for Nutrition (ALN), the continental nutrition accountability scorecard, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The launch slated for Skylight Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, would hold on Monday, February 11, 2019.

NaijaAgroNet reports that the scorecare is to raise awareness and reinforce commitments by African governments to end malnutrition and promote healthy children on the continent.

Some of the confirmed the African Union high calibre members including His Majesty King Letsie III of the Kingdom of Lesotho, the African Development Bank, the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other partners, will launch the African Leaders For Nutrition (ALN) Continental Nutrition Accountability Scorecard.

The event, under the theme “A Call for Better Advocacy and Accountability for Nutrition Investments,” will be chaired by, His Majesty King Letsie III and African Development Bank President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina.

The Continental Nutrition Accountability Scorecard is the latest tool produced by ALN to raise awareness and reinforce commitments by African governments to end malnutrition and promote healthy children.

This data-based advocacy tool gives an overview of how African leaders are doing on their delivery of the main nutrition indicators. It is expected that the scorecard will increasingly be used to track Africa’s effort to halt malnutrition and its effects.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Group: Eliminate female genital mutilation by 2030 - NaijaAgroNet

Mary Oloiparuni was 13 when she was mutilated. Restrained in a doorway early one morning in her home, she was cut, bled profusely and experienced agonizing pain. The scarring she endured then continues to cause her pain today, 19 years later. It has made giving birth to each of her five children an excruciating and harrowing experience.
Mary is not alone. At least 200 million girls and women alive today have had their genitals mutilated  suffering one of the most inhuman acts of gender-based violence in the world.

On the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, we reaffirm our commitment to end this violation of human rights, so that the tens of millions of girls who are still at risk of being mutilated by 2030 do not experience the same suffering as Mary.

A joint statement available to ITREALMS by Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director, UNFPA, Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women, they noted that this effort is especially critical because female genital mutilation leads to long-term physical, psychological and social consequences.

"It violates women’s rights to sexual and reproductive health, physical integrity, non-discrimination and freedom from cruel or degrading treatment. It is also a violation of medical ethics: Female genital mutilation is never safe, no matter who carries it out or how clean the venue is," they decried.

Because female genital mutilation is a form of gender-based violence, we cannot address it in isolation from other forms of violence against women and girls, or other harmful practices such as early and forced marriages. To end female genital mutilation, we have to tackle the root causes of gender inequality and work for women’s social and economic empowerment.

In 2015, world leaders overwhelmingly backed the elimination of female genital mutilation as one of the targets in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This is an achievable goal, and we must act now to translate that political commitment into action.

At the national level, we need new policies and legislation protecting the rights of girls and women to live free from violence and discrimination. Governments in countries where female genital mutilation is prevalent should also develop national action plans to end the practice. To be effective, their plans must include budget lines dedicated to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health, education, social welfare and legal services.

At the regional level, we need institutions and economic communities to work together, preventing the movement of girls and women across borders when the purpose is to get them into countries with less restrictive female genital mutilation laws.

Locally, we need religious leaders to strike down myths that female genital mutilation has a basis in religion. Because societal pressures often drive the practice, individuals and families need more information about the benefits of abandoning it.

Public pledges to abandon female genital mutilation – particularly pledges by entire communities – are an effective model of collective commitment. But public pledges must be paired with comprehensive strategies for challenging the social norms, practices and behaviours that condone female genital mutilation. Testimonials by survivors like Mary also help to build understanding of the practice’s grim reality and long-lasting impact on women’s lives. Advocacy campaigns and social media can amplify the message that ending female genital mutilation saves and improves lives.

Thanks to the collective action of governments, civil society, communities and individuals, female genital mutilation is in decline. But we are not aiming for fewer cases of this practice. We are insisting on zero.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that the recent Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS 2016 -2017) shows some decline in the incidence of FGM in Nigeria, 18.4% of women aged 15-49 years now undergo FGM; a decrease from 27% in 2011.  UNICEF and partners’ interventions to ensure the elimination of FGM by 2030 has resulted in a break in the barrier against discussing FGM publicly. Religious leaders, community stakeholders and young people now speak out against this practice. 

Subsequently, last year, more than 309 communities publicly declared abandonment of the practice.
“Despite this decline, millions of girls and women are still faced with the scourge of genital mutilation every year in Nigeria. There is, therefore, an urgent need for decision makers and political leaders to take concrete action towards ending the harmful practice of FGM in Nigeria”, said Mohamed Fall, UNICEF Country representative.

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