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Showing posts with label potential. Show all posts
Showing posts with label potential. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

IWD 2023: Bridging digital gender divide essential for unleashing women’s potential in agriculture - NaijaAgroNet

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The trio of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and World Food Programme (WFP) have jointly pushed to enhance rural women and girls digital capacity to unleash women's potential in agriculture, reports NaijaAgroNet.
IWD 2023: Bridging digital gender divide essential for unleashing women’s potential in agriculture - NaijaAgroNet
In a joint statement available to NaijaAgroNet, they pledged to tackle the barriers women face to access technology to be equal contributors to our agrifood systems.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

FAO DG hails partnership potential with civil society -NaijaAgroNet

Multiple level partnerships have been described as critical to achieving a world without hunger, FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu said Saturday at a meeting with leading exponents of civil society and indigenous peoples representing small scale food producers and family farmers.
"We need all of civil society to play an active role", the Director-General said in wide-ranging remarks underscoring the need to improve global food systems. "FAO is here to help you."
He addressed the annual Forum of the Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples' Mechanism (CSM), a vehicle for the participation of non-governmental actors in policy formulation at the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), itself a multistakeholder platform. Today's event focused on how to strengthen commitments to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2, also known as Zero Hunger.
A cornerstone of effective action means making sure "family farmers are the final beneficiaries," Qu added, noting that the UN Decade of Family Farming  offers a great opportunity to implement and leverage ideas and recommendations made by CFS.
He emphasized the importance of learning and working together for concrete solutions with "interaction, brainstorming and open minds." In this context, digital solutions can play a decisive role in improving the livelihoods of small scale and vulnerable food producers, particularly in relation to the impacts of climate change, according to the Director-General.
Qu also emphasized that FAO would pioneer youth and women engagement initiatives at all levels and highlighted the positive way that FAO's Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) helps generate economic value, knowledge and rural-development solutions.
"We need to defeat hunger and poverty, which are inextricably linked," said CFS Chair Mario Arvelo. "We need to use every tool in the toolbox, as the Director-General said."
CFS itself needs to continually expand its inclusiveness, Arvelo said.
The CSM is a self-organized body designed to give smallholder family farmers, non-governmental organizations, Indigenous Peoples, fisherfolks, herders, youth, consumers and other global citizens a voice in the work of the upcoming session of CFS, which starts on 14 October and lasts throughout the week.
The CSM's main message to the upcoming CFS session, which starts on Monday 15 October, is that "the possibility of attaining zero hunger is becoming more and more unlikely" and that policy initiatives need not just to be accelerated but to change direction.
The group noted with approval CFS progress in thematic areas such youth employment in agriculture and food systems and reiterated its priorities in the ongoing process of developing Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition, an exercise expected to be completed in 2020.
Among the panelists alongside FAO's Director-General at Saturday's event were Silvia Dywilli from the World March of Women, Nettie Wiebe of La Via Campesina, Azra Sayeed of the International Women's Alliance and Musa Sowe of ROPPA, organizations representing a broad array of global regions.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Unlocking Africa’s earth observation potential @1st GMES Africa - NaijaAgroNet

The first Global Monitoring for Environment and Security and Africa (GMES and Africa) Forum of the GMES and Africa has kicked off in the Gabonese capital, Libreville, with some 400 delegates, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The delegates, NaijaAgroNet gathered were drawn from Africa, Europe and other parts of the world have gathered to discuss new and innovative Earth Observation technologies supporting Africa’s socio-economic development.

Organized jointly by the African Union Commission and the government of Gabon, the Forum is the first gathering of all stakeholders involved in the GMES and Africa programme. The programme was jointly launched in 2016 by the African Union and the European Union to strengthen Africa's capacity for the optimal exploitation of Earth Observation systems, data and technologies.

Africa has significant aptitude to utilize the opportunities provided by Earth Observation, through satellites and other applications that improve environmental management, agricultural productivity, climate change mitigation, food security, health, and disaster risk reduction, among many of its developmental priorities. Limited investments and a fragmented approach has constrained the continent’s ability to mobilize funding, develop local capacities, and provide the necessary infrastructure for a robust Earth Observation industry.

The African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, H.E Professor Sarah Anyang Agbor said the Forum will evoke the aspirations envisioned by the people of Africa in Agenda 2063 for a prosperous continent with the means to harness its resources to drive its own development on a sustainable basis. She pointed out the pressing imperative for Africa to invest in technological innovation and harness its existing human capital for better health, education and infrastructure systems.

The Head of the European Union delegation to Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tomé-et-Principe and CEEAC, H.E. Ambassador Helmut Rudolf KULITZ, stated that "GMES and Africa and its predecessor programmes represent more than 15 years of fruitful cooperation with Africa on Earth Observation and a European contribution of more than €100 million.

The 1st GMES and Africa Forum is centred on the theme “Unlocking the Potential of Earth Observation as a Key Driver of Africa’s Sustainable Development”, a reference to the existing imbalance between the continent’s potential and the actual benefits it derives from Earth Observation dividend. The theme addresses the means of harnessing opportunities offered by Earth Observation to leverage Africa’s socio-economic development.

‘By putting end users at the heart of product and service development, GMES and Africa has become a vision for the sustainable and efficient management of natural resources and security in Africa’, remarked Guy Bertrand Mapangou, Gabon’s Minister of Digital Economy, Communication and Post Office, who is also the government spokesperson.

Forum delegates comprise African end users of Earth Observation services, policy makers, scientists, businesses and academia, who will use the five-day conference to discuss the challenges undermining the growth and expansion of the sector in Africa. They will devise strategies for closer communication, collaboration and engagement among industry experts and users of Earth Observation services. They will further explore the building of stronger partnerships and the deeper involvement of players especially from the private sector and academic institutions.

The Global Monitoring for Environment and Security and Africa (GMES and Africa) is a flagship programme of the African Union under the African Space Policy and Strategy. It prescribes a pathway for the continent to be globally competitive in space activities, including Earth Observation, and to develop a viable continental space programme. With continent-wide coverage, the programme is implemented through grants to African institutions under the banners of regional consortia. 13 consortia representing a total of 72 African institutions have been awarded grants through open competitive bidding to implement projects in water, natural resources, marine and coastal areas management.

GMES and Africa is supported by the European Union through its Pan-African Programme. It is also supported by the European Commission (EC) "COPERNICUS" Earth Monitoring Programme, which provides satellite data and products from the services through the satellite EUMETCAST system of EUMETSAT. Today, more than 300 users in Africa can directly receive Sentinel 3 data and Global Land products. A collaboration arrangement was also signed in June 2018 between the AUC and the EC for Copernicus information and data exchange with Africa. GMES and Africa Programme is another example of the long-standing partnership between the European Union and the African Union.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Nigeria’s steady progress in agriculture, a potential history

Viewed from the historian’s perspective, a significant advance in a nation’s fortunes can seem to occur almost overnight and be driven by destiny. The reality of course is quite different.  Meaningful change is most often the long-term product of a series of small, connected, deliberate actions whose importance may not be immediately apparent.

One of those low-key events that one day could be endowed with historical significance took place in Nigeria last month, when senior officials from the national government and the African Union Commission, joined by agriculture experts from across the continent, gathered in Abuja to consolidate Nigeria’s National Agriculture Investment Plan (NAIP). Similar blueprints are being drawn-up across sub-Saharan Africa to ensure countries stay focused on the African Union’s Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and their commitments, re-enforced in the 2014 Malabo Declaration, to place African farmers and agriculture businesses at the center of the continent’s economic development. 

If there is anywhere in Africa where a surge of agriculture investments could change the fortunes of an entire country, it is here. Moreover, success in Nigeria would send a strong signal to the rest of the continent that agriculture offers our most promising path to sustainable and equitable economic growth.

Agriculture’s emergence as Nigeria’s number one economic opportunity comes as falling oil prices are taking their toll on this oil-rich country. Nigeria urgently needs a more stable foundation for providing income and employment for a fast growing population that, by 2050, is likely to be larger than that of the United States.

Agriculture already accounts for 70 per cent of employment in Nigeria, but only 40 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), an indicator that the sector is underperforming. Every year, Nigerians still spend billions of dollars on food imports, a huge economic opportunity forfeited to farmers and food companies outside of the country.

Part of the reason for the shortfall is that Nigeria has 84 million hectares of land suitable for farming, but less than half of this  area is planted with crops and most of the farming is accomplished with inefficient, outdated methods and without basic inputs. Irrigation, which is becoming more important as climate change disrupts rainfall patterns across the country, is available on only 220,000 hectares, when there are enough water resources in the country to supply three million.

But if the recent meeting is any indication, agriculture may finally be getting the attention it deserves in Nigeria. Under the leadership of Chief Audu Ogbeh and his predecessor, Dr.  Akinwumi Adesina, who went on to become president of the African Development Bank, over the last few years, Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has pushed through several ambitious initiatives.

For example, Nigeria is the world’s largest cassava producer. And there are now a number of new income opportunities for poor smallholder farmers and local agriculture entrepreneurs around producing and processing this hardy root crop. Cassava is now being processed into high quality flour that can be used as a substitute for expensive wheat imports. It’s providing a source of fish feed for Nigeria’s rapidly growing aquaculture industry. Cassava can also provide an industrial starch with surprising usefulness in areas like paperboard and plywood manufacturing.

Similar efforts are underway to bring jobs to rural areas by attracting investments in maize, rice, sorghum and livestock production. For example, the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) has generated US$273 million in loans for some 454 projects. They include a new rail-shipping venture that is connecting struggling livestock producers in the north to consumer markets in the south.

Despite the promising progress, agriculture in Nigeria still needs far more investment. For example, a lack of storage and processing options causes many poor farmers to lose nearly half of their harvest to rot or pests.  Also, while fertilizer usage is up and local seed production is rising, many farmers in Nigeria still lack access to improved crop varieties and basic inputs. 

That’s why it’s so critical to develop a new agriculture investment plan that shows Nigeria is committed to ensuring agriculture can flourish as a business. Numerous studies have shown that, along with increasing food security, economic growth driven by the agriculture sector is far more effective at pulling people out of poverty than growth in any other sector.

If Nigeria ultimately realizes its ambitions for agriculture, historians of the future may point to an investment meeting that occurred in Abuja in February of 2017 as the juncture when farming and food production became an engine of opportunity for Nigeria and helped rally similar efforts across the continent. And those falling oil prices that capture the headlines of today? Maybe they will be relegated to a footnote.

*Contributed by Kehinde Makinde is the country lead for Nigeria at the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

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Pix: Dr. Agnes Kalibata, AGRA president

Monday, February 13, 2017

Oil-producing communities, potential hubs for refineries - Osinbajo

Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has stressed the potentials to transform oil bearing communities in the Niger Delta into hubs for refining petrochemicals and related activities, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Speaking during his visit to the Bayelsa State, at the weekend as part of his consultative and confidence building tour of the Niger Delta states as mandated by President Muhammadu Buhari, Osinbajo said the Ministry of Petroleum Resources in collaboration with the oil companies are working on a 40-point agenda and other initiatives for the oil producing communities.

Osinbajo challenged youths of the region to set up a Niger Delta Chamber of Commerce and Entreprenuer Council to attract local and foreign partnerships, stressing that part of the agenda was to build modular refineries and acknowledged the need to make Bayelsa a hub for power generation as it is a nutural location of gas deposits.

In his remarks, Governor Seriake Dickson called for synergy between the state and federal governments on the development of critical infrastructure, such as the three senatorial roads, airport and other projects for rapid development to take place.

Governor Dickson, who aligned his administration's position with the 16 point agenda of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), reaffirmed his earlier call on the federal government and stakeholders of the region to embrace dialogue rather than confrontation in resolving issues.

Commending Prof Osinbajo for facilitating the meeting between the oil multinationals and the state government, the Governor urged the federal government to prevail on the oil companies to comply with the tax laws of the state.

In their separate presentations, the PANDEF and the Ijaw National Congress, urged the federal government to urgently address the evident socio-economic imbalances and inadequacies for the attainment of sustainable peace and development.

President of the Ijaw Youth Council, Comrade Udengs Eradiri highlighted some projects that could create massive job opportunities in the state to include,  Brass Fertilizer,  Brass LNG,  Agge deep sea port, Pipe Mill and power projects in Gbarain and urged the federal government to make them come on stream.

Speaking through its representative, King Frank Okoroakpor, the Traditional Rulers of Oil and Mineral Producing Communities of Nigeria, TROMPCON called for the speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill.

Others who made presentations at the town hall meeting include, Minister of State for Agriculture,  Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, Petroleum Resources Minister, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru Usani, Environmental Rights Action group, Host Communities of oil and gas, HOSTCOM.

Dignitaries, who attended the event include members of te National Assembly from the State, former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, former NDDC Managing Director, Chief Timi Alaibe, Alaowei Brodericks Bozimo, who represented Chief Edwin Clark, former Military Governor of old Bendel State, Gen. John Yeri and an elder ststesman, Prof. Ebiegberi Alagoa.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE
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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Youth in agriculture’ll Boost Mass Job Creation in Nigeria


With the recent focus on youths in agriculture, experts have agreed that the huge potential in agriculture will boost mass job creation in Nigeria, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This was the position of South West Regional Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) Dr Lekan Quadri at the three-day business training for young entrepreneurs in agriculture, held at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Ibadan.

Lekan who stood in for the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, made inferences to the links between youth unemployment and the opportunities of an agrarian economy, which he said, could provide the biggest potential for mass job creation, NaijaAgroNet learnt.

Over the years, he said, getting youths in Nigeria to engage in agriculture has been an uphill task. The reasons, NaijaAgroNet gathered, are obvious, stressing that farming, as it is practised in the country, has not been seen as an attractive venture, just as the condition of those who engage in it has been most discouraging.

“However, the tide is changing. It has become obvious that the youths must be given a pride of place if Nigeria and Africa want to create business opportunities for the unemployed,” he said.

NaijaAgroNet further gathered that over 60 youth from six countries across Africa attended the business training aimed at empowering agripreneurs on “Agripreneural and Business Management.”
Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE

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Sunday, January 5, 2014

C.A.R: FAO warns on potential food security crisis

The continuous security situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) is giving the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) some nightmares, hence it warned on the potential food security crisis in the country.

NaijaAgroNet reports that FAO says that despite security challenges in half of the prefectures, farmers in the Central African Republic are counting on the next agriculture season to restore their food production capacity to avoid risks of famine and malnutrition.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that since last year when they had to flee the violence, farming communities had to abandon their fields along the main roads to replant deep in the bush.

This disruption, experts say has led them to produce much less than previous years with a major impact on their food reserves that will last till February instead of July 2014.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that FAO of the United Nations is already working to provide farmers with seeds and tools for the next campaign however more funds are needed for the food security component of the 100-day response plan.

According to NaijaAgroNet, the initial assessments conducted in the past weeks indicated a deteriorating situation in terms of low food stocks, widespread disruption to village food markets and a lack of purchasing power overall among other issues.

Acting FAO Representative in the Central African Republic, Alexis Bonte, who recently visited Bossangoa revealed to NaijaAgroNet that the combination of food shortages and poor sanitary conditions in the camps and deep in the bush, as well as extreme poverty, risk triggering serious malnutrition.

The success of the next planting season Bonte noted is crucially hinging on the return of farming families to the fields, stressing that families who are unable to plant in March will have to wait one whole year before they could hope to harvest again.

“Failure to help these families will have dramatic consequences on the food security for a quarter of the Central African population. The low production perceived from the last harvest coupled with a prevailing situation of chronic country-wide malnutrition is setting the stage for a full scale food and nutrition security crisis should the next planting season fail, reports the Organization today,” FAO official said.

Ayo Omidele/GEE
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