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Showing posts with label farming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label farming. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Promote healthy diets says expert - NaijaAgroNet

Agronomists and Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, Mr. Graziano da Silva, has appealed to Portuguese-speaking countries under the auspices of Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP)reports NaijaAgroNet.

Da Silva also urged them to address the rising rates of obesity, which he described as “alarming” in develop and developing countries alike.

In 2017, he explained, almost two billion adults were overweight in the world, of whom around 700 million are obese.

"Excessive consumption of processed foods rich in salt and sugars is the main factor behind the increase in obesity,” he said. “Countries must face this situation by encouraging healthy diets through public policies that allow consumers to know the benefits and harms of what they are eating," he said.


Tackling the problem requires redoubling efforts in nutrition education, especially for mothers and children, and improving the information available to consumers through the regulation of food labeling and advertising, he added

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

'Support family farming, rural women with public policies' - NaijaAgroNet

The Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, Mr. Graziano da Silva, has highlighted the crucial importance of supporting family farming through public policies and intersectoral programmes, reports NaijaAgroNet.

He additionally noted the need to empower rural women across developing countries, especially in the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) in order to achieve sustainable development.

FAO’s Director-General also warned that the strategy of increasing food production at any price has not been enough to eradicate hunger nor to avoid the global epidemic of obesity and overweight, and that it has had an enormous environmental cost due to the intensive use of chemicals and natural resources.

"Soil, forests, water, air quality and biodiversity continue to deteriorate. We must promote a transformative change in the way we produce and consume food. We have to put forward sustainable food systems that offer healthy and nutritious food, and also preserve the environment,” he said.


He also encouraged the adaptation of agricultural and food systems to the impact of climate change, especially s floods and droughts will become more frequent, as is already the case in Cape Verde.

Uj. N. Dominic/ED, Ops

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Northeast: FAO seeks $10m funding to assist 385,000 Nigerians with farming support

The Food and Agriculture Organisaiton (FAO) has said its seeking funding to the tune of $10 million to provide emergency agricultural support to internally displaced people and host families, reports NaijaAgroNet.

FAO told NaijaAgroNet that urgent action is needed to provide farming and livelihood support to 385,000 people in parts of Nigeria's northeast where food insecurity is rampant.

As said by FAO in a press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet, the resumption of agricultural activities in these areas is of utmost priority to ensure that people can produce enough food for themselves.

FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa, Bukar Tijani, said “This includes those who have been internally displaced by the conflict as well as communities who have been hosting them.”

These populations, Tijani noted, need urgent assistance to recover their livelihoods, which are mostly based on crop farming, artisanal fisheries and aquaculture and livestock production, stressing that for the last three to four years this has not been possible due to the conflict.

As at press time, over 3 million people are affected by acute food insecurity in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States.

The FAO's Emergency and Response Manager in Nigeria, Tim Vaessen, revealed that FAO has launched a full-scale corporate response to the ongoing crisis and urgently requires $10 million to supply seeds, fertilizers and irrigation equipment for the upcoming irrigated dry season.

Meanwhile, he said, FAO is preparing its response for the main agricultural season for which even more resources are required.

"This year, significant territory previously controlled by Boko Haram has been rendered accessible to humanitarian assistance so we have a critical opportunity to tackle the alarming levels of food insecurity in northeast Nigeria," Vaessen said.

He explained that with funds received to-date, FAO has reached over 123,000 people to improve their food security by enabling them to grow their own food during the ongoing rain-fed season.


While this assistance is crucial, FAO said it reached just a fraction of those in need of support and now is seeking funds to support irrigated crop production, livestock restocking and animal health treatment, including disease control and supplementary feed, in the newly liberated areas. ##

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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Pix: FAO/Sonia Nguyen … A displaced farmer preparing land for planting in Kukarata, northeastern Nigeria.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Save & Grow adoption encourages ecosystem-based farming



A new book from the stables of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has shown that eco-system-based farming has come of age, through the adoption of Save and Grow initiative, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The new FAO book launched Wednesday in Rome, takes a close look at how the world's major cereals maize, rice and wheat - which together account for an estimated 42.5 per cent of human calories and 37 per cent of our protein - can be grown in ways that respect and even leverage natural ecosystems. 

Drawing on case studies from around the planet, the new book illustrates how the "Save and Grow" approach to agriculture advocated by FAO is already being successfully employed to produce staple grains, pointing the way to a more sustainable future for farming and offering practical guidance on how the world can pursue its new sustainable development agenda.

"International commitments to eradicate poverty and tackle climate change require a paradigm shift towards a more sustainable and inclusive agriculture able to produce higher yields over the longer term," said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.

The two recent landmark global agreements, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - which require eradicating hunger and putting terrestrial ecosystems on a sound footing by 2030 - and the Paris Climate Change Agreement (COP21), only underscore the need for inclusive innovation in food systems, he adds. 

While the world's cereal harvests may be at record levels today, their productive base is increasingly precarious amid signs of groundwater depletion, environmental pollution, loss of biodiversity and other woes marking the end of the Green Revolution model. Meanwhile, global food production will need to grow by 60 percent - mostly on existing arable land and in the face of climate change  - to feed the future population in 2050,  making it all the more urgent for the smallholders who grow the majority of the world's crops to be enabled to do so more efficiently and in ways that don't further increase humanity's ecological debt.

Save and Grow is a broad-based approach to environmentally friendly, sustainable agriculture aimed at intensifying production, protecting and enhancing agriculture's natural resource base and reducing reliance on chemical inputs by tapping into the Earth's natural ecosystem processes, and to increase farmers' gross income. As such it is an approach intrinsically crafted to contribute to the SDGs and foster resilience to climate change.

Viable Save and Grow practices range from growing shade trees that shed their leaves when  adjacent maize crops most need sunlight, as tried with success in Malawi and Zambia, to scrapping tillage and leaving crop residues as soil surface mulch, a method applied on a massive scale by wheat farmers on the Kazakhstani steppe and increasingly by innovative slash-and-mulch practices adopted by farmers in the highlands of Central and South America

The time has now come for ideas that have proven themselves in farmers' fields to be upscaled in more ambitious national programmes, FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva says in the foreword to Save and Grow in Practice in Practice: A Guide to Sustainable Cereal Production, a book he described as "a contribution to creating the world we want."  

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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Sunday, June 21, 2015

New Zealand loses 100,000 hectares to dairy expansion


Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association, New Zealand has allayed fears that dairying boom expansion is eating into forest blocks and threatens wood security, as it claims to have lost 100,000 hectares of forest land in the last few years to dairy farming, reports NaijaAgroNet.
The Board Chairman of the Association, Brian Stanley, in a forum of over 40 industry experts and community representatives at the Trailways Hotel, lamented that forestry and wood products producers were in a far tougher market than the agricultural sector, stating that it's not a wall of wood any more, but a hedge.
Expressing his dismay, Stanley established that although the nations wood industry offers a solution to the dairying's carbon emission problem but its being hurt by the dairying's expansion and stressed optimism that wood processing and manufacturing - the country’s third largest export sector at $2.5 billion a year, stands to risk its position.
Nationally the industry, as gathered by NaijaAgroNet, produces 70 per cent of its energy needs by burning waste wood, saving $1.1 billion annually, and Landscapers has estimated a $12 billion  "environmental value" of  forests made up of components such erosion control, nutrient recycling and soil formation.
Though the industry sees itself as the answer to dairying's need to offset carbon production and a solution to climate change; the association frowns at the level of government support regional producers get compared to other regional primary industries that didn't provide similar numbers of jobs. 
"Nor do they provide the same level of water quality or climate change control that the forest growing and wood processing industries are renowned for." Stanley stated.
Simultaneously, Association Chief Executive, Jon Tanner, also pointed out that the competition internationally, against governments owning 85 per cent of the world's forests and associated processing and setting their own rules, puts the organization on a tough unbalanced scale in the agricultural market.
Tanner submitted that the industry has a highly productive and efficient workforce, and a great opportunity as a solution to climate change, but faced major supply problems caused by logs being exported to China, and dairy conversions swallowing forest land. 
"We are an incredible industry building economic, social and environmental capital simultaneously. Trees are the pollution solution." He said.
The association NaijaAgroNet learnt was formed through a merger of the Pine Manufacturers' and Wood Processors' Associations and is holding a series of gatherings around New Zealand to tell what it says is a fantastic story of innovative and sustainable production providing thousands of jobs in the regions.
Daniel Nsolibe/GEE
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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Agribusiness solutions make ‘farming cool’ for Kenyans



A British multinational, Balton CP, is offering advanced agricultural solutions, which seek to change the youth mindset towards agribusiness, while empowering them with the technology: knoMaking farming 'cool' for Kenyan youthledge, skills, support and financing, to engage in modern agribusiness, reports NaijaAgroNet.
The agribusiness inclined company has been around as a major driving force in the agricultural sectors of many countries throughout Africa for over 25 years. They can be credited with being the first to introduce drip irrigation technology in several African countries in the late 1970s, greatly boosting the sector.
The group's 'Farming is Cool' campaign was launched in Kenya in 2011 by its subsidiary Amiran Kenya and following several years of activity, became its pan-African 'Farming is Cool Africa' Initiative. Over the last few years, NaijaAgroNet gathered, the campaign has allowed Amiran Kenya and its partners including the government, donors, NGO communities and private sector to place the Amiran Farmers Kit in over 1,000 primary and secondary schools throughout Kenya and in more than 300 youth polytechnics in the country.

NaijaAgroNet also learnt that AFK is an award winning, modern agribusiness unit anchored on a holistic approach that offers the farmer the tools, training and support required to engage in successful, sustainable agribusiness.
This unit has allowed over three million Kenyan children and youth to be exposed and willingly take up modern agribusiness using the most advanced, cutting edge technologies and methods available in the market tody.
In Kenya  and indeed  most  African communities, NaijaAgroNet  learnt, youth view agriculture as an unbefitting occupation often practised by older people in retirement or by those in 'shags' (rural areas) who have to farm to survive. More so, many schools often use agriculture as a form of punishment for deviant behavior.
Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE
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Saturday, May 2, 2015

AU, Harvest Plus sets to promote farming technologies


African Union commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Tumuslime Rhoda Peace, has said that the union would partner with lead research-based agriculture institution, Harvest Plus, to promote farming and consumption of boi-fortified crops, through the use of farming technologies, especially among poor farming and urban communities, to boost Agriculture in the African continent. NaijaAgroNet, reports.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that Tumuslime appreciated the role of the institute in lifting the rural poor communities in Africa out of poverty and stressed that in order to improve market access, the use of farming technology needs propagation at higher policy making levels so that farmers can adopt it and sellers can buy the micro nutrient-added to produce in good quantities.

Director Harvest Plus, Dr. Howarth Bouis and Harvest Plus, Head of Africa Strategic Alliances, Dr. Anna-Marie Ball NaijaAgroNet learnt, briefed the commissioner on its accomplishments in breeding and production of bio-fortified food crops and distribution bio-fortified seed varieties as well as improved cultivars, thereby empowering rural communities.

Dr. Bouis said, “The organisation also helps add value to locally produced agricultural crops in countries where the organization is working in Africa.” She added that “we have released a number of bio-fortified crops including: iron beans, iron pearl millet, vitamin A cassava, vitamin A maize, vitamin A sweet potatoes, Zinc rice and Zinc wheat.”

NaijaAgroNet gathered that the Harvard Plus has executed countless programmes in Africa, especially the rapid expansion in production and consumption of yellow cassava in Nigeria.

Harvest Plus as NaijaAgroNet learnt, is a lead research-based, agriculture technology institution that was established to respond to the problem of ‘hidden hunger’ which is caused by the lack of essential vitamins and minerals in the diet, such as vitamin A, zinc, and iron, thus reinforcing agriculture’s pivotal role in improving the quality of diet and increasing micro-nutrient consumption. 

Nsolibe Daniel/Ed, Ops.
 

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