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Showing posts with label production. Show all posts
Showing posts with label production. Show all posts

Monday, April 10, 2023

UN prospects raise in crop production, utilization, trade and stocks - NaijaAgroNet

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The United Nations (UN) is seeing prospects for crop production, utilisation, trade and stocks, especially in the area of cereal supplies, reports NaijaAgroNet.
UN prospects raise in crop production, utilization, trade and stocks - NaijaAgroNet
This was made known through its agency, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in its recent sectoral brief made available to NaijaAgroNet.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

COP27: African ministers explore ways to scale up food production, feed continent - NaijaAgroNet

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The African agriculture ministers attending the United Nations climate summit in Egypt reiterated a commitment to work with development partners to unlock the continent’s agriculture potential.
During the special ministerial session, there was a strong consensus that Africa can feed itself if supported with green financing and climate-smart technology to boost agriculture productivity, under the conference of party (COP27).

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Worldwide Cereal production now @2,640m tonnes

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has updated its forecast on the worldwide cereal production as at the end of 2017 to stand at 2,640 million tonnes, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This, NaijaAgroNet also discovered is 13 per cent higher than 2016 and an all-time record high.

The forecast, NaijaAgroNet gathered, has been raised by 13.5 million tonnes since December, with coarse grains driving the bulk of the increase, due largely to higher maize output expected in China, Mexico and the European Union.

Also, FAO raised its 2017 production forecasts for wheat, due to expectations of bigger harvests in Canada and the Russian Federation, and for rice, following an upward revision in China.

NaijaAgroNet reports that projected cereal utilization in the 2017/18 season was also raised, now up 1.4 per cent from 2016/17. Just as the upward revision includes a notable jump for coarse grains, whose use for livestock feed is forecast to reach an all-time high on the back of sizable increases projected for Brazil, China, the EU and Mexico.

As cereal output, NaijaAgroNet report, is seen expanding more than utilization, stocks are projected to rise above their already high opening levels, leading to a comfortable world stocks-to-use ratio of 27.7 percent, the highest since 2001/02.

In a related development the international trade volumes, are expected to contract slightly for all the major cereals except maize.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sustainable seed businesses to transform cassava production in Nigeria

Stakeholders have said that businesses selling improved varieties and high quality cassava stems for cultivation could help African farmers significantly raise their productivity, especially in Nigeria, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This, NaijaAgroNet gathered will mean more Naira from the same land, inputs and effort.

Stakeholders at the end of a national conference on cassava seed system organized by the project, “Building an Economically Sustainable Integrated Cassava Seed System” (BASICS) that was held at the Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) (, Ibadan last week Thursday.

“The benefits of this raised productivity will be enjoyed by all the stakeholders across the value chain in a sustainable way,” part of the resolution stated.

The meeting, which reflected on the experiences of BASICS in 2016 and refined the project plan for 2017 and beyond, brought together national and international researchers, academics, policymakers, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and farmers to a roundtable.

Making the case for urgent need for all the stakeholders to work towards a sustainable seed system in Nigeria, Hemant Nitturkar, Project Director for BASICS, reminded the participants that Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava in the world with a production of about 54 million tons, but its yield per hectare of cassava roots is about 8 tons, less than half of the realizable yields of more than 20 tons per hectare. Researchers say one of the factors responsible for the low yield of cassava is the low adoption of clean and healthy seeds of improved varieties of cassava by farmers.

“We have to start with the right planting material and nurture it with good agronomy and weed management practices. Each of these three components has the potential to raise the productivity of cassava by 30 percent. If we do not improve our practices in seed, weed and agronomy, we are incurring a lost opportunity of about 200 billion Naira annually from each of the three issues,” he explained.

BASICS is commercially piloting two distinct pathways of seed delivery. In one, called Village Seed Entrepreneur (VSE) model, in partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in Benue and with National Roots Crop Research Institute (NRCRI), in Abia, Imo, Cross Rivers and Akwa Ibom states, the project is helping develop a network of 130 community based seed enterprises. These VSEs will source certified stems of improved varieties of cassava from NRCRI and IITA to multiply and sell to the farmers in their vicinity. This way, the farmers will not have to go far to source quality stems for planting. In the second pilot called Processor Led Model (PLM), in partnership with Context Global Development, the project is working with large processors of cassava who will then make available quality stems to their outgrowers with a buy back arrangement for the roots produced.

Slow and low multiplication ratio has been a key constraint in cassava seed system. The project is piloting a new technology called Semi-Autotrophic Hydroponics (SAH) for vastly rapid seed multiplication. Once this technology from Argentina is adapted and perfected in Nigeria by the Project, it is expected to have a significant impact on the ability of early generation seed businesses to quickly bring suitable varieties within reach of farmers. The project is also working with National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) and Fera of UK to improve the quality certification system in Nigeria.

Lawrence Kent, a senior program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said the aim of the Project is to build an economically sustainable seed system that is profitable both to the sellers of quality stems and to the farmers who purchase and plant those stems. He encouraged all to create reusable bridges to continuously link technology developers with farmers through business oriented approaches, like the one being implemented under BASICS.

Graham Thiele, Director for the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas led by the International Potato Center (CIP); Alfred Dixon, IITA Director for Development and Delivery, and Project Leader for the Cassava Weed Management Project; Amin Babandi, Director of Agriculture, FMARD, represented by Segun Ayeni, Deputy Director, Roots and Tuber crops, FMARD; Folusho Olaniyan OON, CEO, Contact Consulting Nigeria and Program Director, AgraInnovate West Africa; Emmanuel Okogbenin, Director of Technical Operations, AATF and Robert Asiedu, Director R4D, IITA-West, all shared perspectives and added their voice for all stakeholders to jointly build a strong and sustainable seed system for cassava in Nigeria and wished all the stakeholders well.

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Anambra concludes plan to commercialise cassava production

The Anambra State government has concluded plans to commercialise cassava production by 2017, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This development, NaijaAgroNet gathered is being put together under the Fadama III additional financing, which is expected to go into value chain additional commercial production of cassava next year.

Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export, Mr. Afam Mbanefo, told participants at a meeting with agro dealers, Chester chairmen, micro finance banks, rice and cassava off-takers on how best to maximize implementation arrangements of the project, stressing that what had been achieved in commercial production of quality, stone free rice, would be replicated in quality production of various cassava products, so that cassava farmers could make more profits.

Mbanefo also said, Governor Willie Obiano was very much committed to taking all aspects of agricultural production in the state to enviable heights, noting that any farmer in the state who was not prepared to maximize and commercialize agriculture, should quit agriculture.

He warned against any form of dishonesty or politics towards the realization of the state’s agricultural revolution, noting that the sector was a sure way of boosting the state’s economy.

The State Project Coordinator for FADAMA, Mr. Patrick Egbueh, said that the forum was intended to bring both the project and the investors together to identify areas that were not working well and effect correction in line with the implementation arrangements of the project.

NaijaAgroNet further gathered that stakeholders in attendance assured on their readiness to collaborate with the farmers in terms of credit facilities, provided the farmers met their conditions.

Ozo Nweke Ozo in Awka/GEE
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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Nigerian Rice: Sustainable consumption versus production

As 22nd Conference of Parties (COP) comes to a close, REMMY NWEKE examines in this report the sustainability of Nigerian rice production as against its consumption and government efforts to balance it up so far.
Rice Import:
As we have entered ‘ember’ months since September, there is already anticipation of increase in rice consumption in Nigeria, especially towards the end of year which is full of festive activities. This consumption seems to be in variation to sustainability, mostly in local production and consumption versus import of foreign rice brands.

As at the last count, NaijaAgroNet gathered that some 571,000 metric tonnes of parboiled rice from Thailand have arrived Benin Republic, a neighbouring country sharing common border with Nigeria, which has left the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh saddened. His concern was that within a short period, these tonnes of rice will soon be transported to Nigeria. This is coming as another report has alleged that China produced fake rice, which is mixed with plastic for exportation to African countries and of course, Nigeria being most populous among them cannot be spared.

Chinese plastic rice on the prowl:
NaijaAgroNet also reports that China which has a history of making fake food products, now takes to fake rice phenomenon which has been there for a while, according to a reputable English-language newspaper in Korea, The Korea Times. As at January 2011, The paper reported that “This ‘plastic rice’ is made by forming potatoes and sweet potatoes into rice-like shape, then adding industrial synthetic resins,” said a food expert. “Since the rice is different from normal rice, it is hard like stone even when cooked. Moreover, the synthetic resin in it is very harmful to the human body.”

One Chinese restaurant association official had warned that eating three bowls of ‘plastic rice’ is the same as eating one bag of rice. He added that since the rice is very dangerous there would be strict investigation on the rice factory. Till date, no known factory has been closed in China due to this fake rice in plastic.

Goal 12 of 2030 Agenda:
Although President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Paris Agreement on September 22, 2016 at the sideline of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, which in effect, supports the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), precisely the number 12 of the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations; the global leaders under UN committed to making fundamental changes in the way societies produce and consume goods and services, in order to ensure more healthy human consumption and production patterns are sustainable.

For the purpose of insight, a travel analyst at Jumia Nigeria, Nkem Ndem, had noted that there are five ways Nigerians eat rice, including preparing and consuming it as Tuwo Shinkafa, Masa or Sinasir, Jollof Rice, Kunun Gyada as well as rice and stew cum sauce.

She described rice as one of the most common food in Nigeria with every single ethnic group having a local dish either made from or eaten with rice, attributing this factor to rice being commonly inexpensive thus, an average man’s meal and above all, easy to make. Ndem was emphatic on white rice which she depicted as classic, while recipes and sauce available to locals could be used or eaten with “brown rice or wild rice.”

By the way, there is what is now known as Awba-Ofemili rice and Anaku rice both in Anambra State, while Abakaliki rice comes from Ebonyi, just as there is Ofada rice from the south west to name a few.

Sustainable consumption:
Sustainable consumption, according to Dr. Rebecca Gillaspy of Health Science department at University of Phoenix, entails the use of products and services that have a minimal impact on the environment so future generations could meet their needs. She stressed that when practised to the letter, resources are used wisely and waste products and pollution minimized. The main way this is achieved, she said, is by doing more and better with less. Asserting, “we can find ways to meet our needs and desires without depleting our planet's finite natural resources.”

She also said, this may include carpooling, using renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind power, developing alternative fuel sources, such as biofuels, for our transportation needs and using environmentally friendly clean products. She maintained that practising sustainable consumption could ensure that the environment has resources available long into the future.

Conversely, she noted that in most industrialized and developed nations, consumption patterns are not sustainable, because, their products and services rely on too many natural resources and creation of too many harmful emissions when consumed. For example, most developed countries rely on non-renewable fossil fuels for their transportation needs. Underlining the fact that as more drivers hit the roads and more fuel is consumed, fossil fuel reserves are depleted, and because fossil fuels emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere when they are burned, more consumption means more pollution.

Is Tractor a sustainable rice production implement?
Locally, this could be applicable to the use of Tractors for rice production, which equally consumes fuel with some running on petrol and others on termed ‘gas.’ The most common use of the term "tractors" is known as vehicles used on farms for pulling or pushing agricultural machinery or trailers, for plowing, tilling, disking, harrowing, planting, and similar tasks. Also, there is a variety of farm tractors developed for specific uses to complement the efforts of John Fowler, who pioneered the application of steam power to agriculture in the 1850s. Nowadays, tractors are powered by gasoline.

Though gasoline is a North America term, and is defined as a transparent, petroleum-derived liquid that is used primarily as a fuel in internal combustion engines; consisting mostly of organic compounds obtained by the fractional distillation of petroleum, and enhanced with a variety of additives.

50,000 tractors for Nigeria farmers in 2016:
The owner of Agric Supper Market, Dr Bawa Garba, disclosed last December after meeting with Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) in Abuja, that Nigerian farmers required over 50,000 tractors to meet production demands. He said that because of current economic situation, his firm offered 10,000 tractors, worth some N70 billion. So they are working with RIFAN to meet the need for some 9,000 tractors and implements, which mean the 10,000 tractor will go to one association, but they have given them 4,250 tractors due to their membership which is about 12 million people.

Garba revealed that the meeting arrived at his company asking for only 10 per cent of the cost of the tractor as a down payment, after which they take delivery and stay two months before servicing of the payment by installment spread over 32 months.

Local efforts to feed Africa:
NaijaAgroNet recently reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in partnership with Anambra State government is exploring the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) to make the state become Africa’s food basket on rice production. Director, Development Finance Department at CBN, who represented the bank’s Awka controller, Mr. C.M. Sokari, assured the state and participants at ABP session in Awka, Anambra State capital that several interventions have been floated by the government.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that CBN in collaboration with the Federal Government (FG) is diversifying the nation’s economy from crude oil, hence the launch of the programme, he said, would reposition agriculture in the country.

“To fund the programme, the CBN had set aside N40 billion, from the N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund for farmers at a single-digit rate of nine per cent,” he said; adding Nigeria, is a known major rice producer with over 20 key rice producing states in the country most of which cultivate during both wet and dry seasons. Hence, rice is one crop in which the country has comparative advantage to easily become self-sufficient, given the huge potentials that exist. He enjoined Nigerians to embrace this programme, as this will ensure that in the next few years Nigeria will no longer be one of the world’s highest importers of rice, but a net exporter of the commodity.

The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export, Mr Afam Mbanefo, described Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State as an agro-friendly executive, who had supported all the innovations being put in place by his ministry. He disclosed further that the position of the government was to make sure there was a safe playing ground for the farmers in the state to participate in the programme, to retain the state brand and heritage, which is the Anambra State rice, to engage the youths and empower the farmers, even as he assured CBN of cooperation of the farmers and urged the apex bank to extend the ABP to other agriculture sectors.

Experts posit that while substantial environmental impacts from food occur in the production phase, namely agriculture and food processing; households influence these impacts through their dietary choices and habits, which consequently affect the environment through food-related energy consumption and waste generation. NaijaAgroNet gathered that 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year while almost 1 billion people go undernourished and another 1 billion hungry.

Nigerian Customs and battle for rice ban:
As the Nigerian Customs continue the battle to sustain the ban on rice importation, particularly through land borders, and canvassing total ban of imported rice into the country by 2017, it’s noteworthy that as at August 2016, Nigeria's rice imports reportedly dropped by 300,000 Metric Tonnes, according to the research by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), precisely rice imports from US. Just as NaijaAgroNet reports that in three years Nigeria spent $2.4bn on rice importation alone according to the CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who insisted that dwindling foreign reserve cannot afford continued rice import.

As the countdown continues to 2030, for our societies to produce and consume goods and services without literally harming others, the government of Nigeria along 192 member-states in the United Nations is enjoined to join forces with international organizations, business sector, non-state actors and individuals to contribute to changing unsustainable consumption and production patterns.

These, NaijaAgroNet reports, include through mobilization from all sources of financial and technical assistance to strengthen developing countries’ scientific, technological and innovative capacities to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production.

With the political leaders encouraging the implementation of the 10-year framework of programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production, beginning with all countries taking action, with developed countries leading, as well as taking into account the development and capabilities of developing countries, farmers need to take agriculture very seriously and to involve their children and youths in the venture because of the immense benefits, moreso with technology being part of the evolution, thereby making modern agriculture a money making sector.

And before the Chinese plastic rice overruns Nigeria in the name of foreign rice, the security agencies like Customs, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and NAFDAC must wake up to their avowed responsibilities and save their nations from fake rice.

Although the National Assembly had insisted hitherto on FG keeping to its ban on rice import, the over-sight function of relevant agencies at both borders and ports must be strengthened for common good, if Nigeria must keep to the goal 12 dream by 2030, in line with the tune of President Buhari’s message to world leaders at just concluded 22nd Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) tagged, COP-22 in Marrakech, Morocco.

He highlighted among others, key issues of Nigeria’s unwavering commitment to implementing the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and policy actions aimed at tackling climate change through environmental sustainable efforts.

Stakeholders look forward to seeing the words of Mr. President being matched with relevant action, only then can one say kudos to 2030 agenda.

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Monday, November 21, 2016

FAO, WFP lament Syria food production at all-time low

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) have raised alarm over the all-time low of food production in the war-torn Syria, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The duo in a joint press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet at the weekend, both FAO and WFP, said the food production in Syria has hit a record low as widespread insecurity and unfavourable weather conditions in parts of the country continued to hamper access to land, farming supplies and markets.

These, NaijaAgroNet gathered, have made it ever more difficult for farmers to maintain their livelihoods and feed the war-torn country.

According to the latest Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) conducted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) showed that after five years of conflict, many farmers have lost the ability to cope.

NaijaAgroNet also reports that rising prices and scarcity of essential inputs such as fertilizers and seeds mean they will have no other option than to abandon food production if they do not receive immediate support.

In addition, this, they said, will likely have grave consequences not only for the food security of farming households but also on food availability in the country, and may ultimately lead to further displacements.

Further, NaijaAgroNet reports that cereals top the list at an all-time low production in Syria, even as the area planted with cereals in the 2015-16 cropping season is the smallest ever, according to the report, based on field visits and surveys across the country.

Part of the reports read “Farmers planted an estimated 900,000 hectares of wheat in the last year, compared to 1.5 million hectares planted before the crisis. Production, meanwhile, shows an even more drastic decline, from an average 3.4 million tonnes of wheat harvested before the war to 1.5 million tonnes this year - a decrease of 55 percent.”

The FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa, Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, because the ongoing crisis and associated sanctions have disrupted trade and markets, access to quality seeds, fertilizers, machinery and fuel needed to operate pumps and tractors is limited.

“Those inputs that are available on local markets are frequently overpriced and of dubious quality,” he observed.

Stressing that poor rainfall and the destruction of valuable irrigation infrastructure has made matters worse for growers trying to continue to produce food under adverse circumstances. In some instances, this has led farmers to switch from cultivating valuable and nutritious crops to hardier but less nutritious ones.

He pointed out that at the same time, the assessment showed vast differences among the governorates in terms of access to land and agricultural inputs − a sign of possible opportunities to intensify support to producers in areas that are relatively accessible.

"Today, we see almost 80 per cent of households across Syria struggling with a lack of food or money to buy food - and the situation is only going to become worse if we fail to support farmers so they can maintain their lands and livelihoods. Agriculture was the main source of livelihood for rural households before the crisis and it is still producing to a certain extent, but it is stretched to the maximum and farmers have largely exhausted their capacity to cope," he declared.

For Muhannad Hadi, WFP Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and East Europe, the food security situation of millions of people inside Syria continues to deteriorate with more than seven million people classified as food insecure across the country having exhausted their life savings and no longer able to put food on the table for their families.

"WFP and FAO are working together to invest in more livelihood projects in agriculture as the most effective way to address food insecurity in the long term," he said.

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Monday, September 12, 2016

Rice production breaks new record with 496m tonnes

The rice production globally is expected to hit a new record this year at almost 496 million tonnes, reports NaijaAgroNet.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), this is owing to favourable weather conditions in much of Asia and on more United States (U.S.) farmers shifting to the crop as a result of its more attractive relative price.

NaijaAgroNet also reports that FAO did not materially change its forecast for world cereal utilization in the coming year, which is expected to grow by 1.6 per cent, led by maize - and to some extent lower-quality wheat supplies - used as animal feed.

The FAO trade forecast for cereals in 2016/17 has been scaled up by almost 9 million tonnes on the back of abundant export availabilities of wheat and coarse grains. 
On the coarse grain global output for 2016, NaijaAgroNet reports that estimated 1,329 million tonnes, 2.1 per cent higher than in 2015, buoyed by higher forecast maize output in several countries, in particular the U.S.

Further, NaijaAgroNet reports that the wheat output forecast was also raised to 741 million tonnes, driven by large upward revisions to projections for Australia, North America, India and the Russian Federation. Russia is poised to become the world's largest wheat exporter in 2016/17, overtaking the European Union, where wet weather has hampered this year's crops.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Rice production: Ebonyi pays N87.1m IFAD’s counterpart fund

The Ebonyi State government has paid N87.1million as one year counterpart fund to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to boost rice production in the state, NaijaAgroNet reports.

Affirming this, Sunday, the state Programme Coordinator of IFAD, Mr Sunday Ituma, disclosed this in Abakaliki, the state capital, at the conclusion of its national office assessment of some rice production and processing clusters across the state.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports, he said, the intervention, would also cover the production and processing of crops like cassava and yam as well as general agricultural enhancement.

He commended the government for the prompt release of fund and promised IFAD`s readiness to partner with the government to achieve its rice production and other objectives.

Ituma also told the visiting team that the state office had intensified its drive to reduce poverty among farmers through increase agricultural production in the state.

“We have strived to enhance income and food security of the poor and rural households engaged in production, processing and marketing of rice and cassava in targeted local government areas on a sustainable basis.

“The programme targets small-holder farmers engaged in rice and cassava value chain in the councils, as we provide them with improved seedlings, fertiliser and agro chemicals, among others at highly subsidised rates,’’ he said.

“Adequate enhancement would be made in creating awareness of IFAD’s intervention to farmers, especially on requirements from them and the intervention’s time frame.

“We, however, appeal to the national office to assist us with irrigation facilities to ensure all season farming and modalities to check flooding which submerge cultivated rice and other produce farmlands,’’ he said.

He said he led the IFAD team to assess rice clusters Ikwo, Izzi, Ezillo local government areas and the Abakaliki Rice Mill Company, among other areas.

Equally, Dr Samuel Eremie, Leader of the IFAD National Office team, commended the Ebonyi Office of the organisation for its efforts and outlined areas of defects, sustenance and overall improvement.
“It was observed that one of your greatest challenges is how to get water off the fields, especially rice farms during flooding but we assure you that the problem will be effectively tackled.

“You should, however, seek other ways of driving the rice production, processing and markets in the state and not depend entirely on the government to ensure stability.

Prof. Jones Nlemchi, another member of the team, also commended the Ebonyi IFAD Office but urged it to involve more women and youths in the various rice production and processing clusters.
“The beneficiaries should be adequately informed on the contents of IFAD interventions and what it requires of them for effective collaboration.

“You should also ensure adequate data reportage and collation so that documented data would be the same with information obtained from the fields,’’ he said.

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Nigeria, ready for nuclear energy –FG

The Minster of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has said Nigeria was ready to commence the production of nuclear energy, as she had secured the necessary certification from the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA), reports NaijaAgroNet.

Stating that Nigeria had started a nuclear program 17 years ago, he also said Nigeria has also “produced 25 graduates of master’s level under certification by the International Atomic Energy Agency. He also said that we (Nigeria) are at the stage of developing a design for financing, after which we would move to the design for construction.

“If all things go well, by quarter four of next year – that is the schedule that I met – we should have started construction, so that is what I meet“ he said.

Fashola said it was important for Nigeria to focus on the gains and safety of nuclear energy as obtained in other developed countries and since the whole world was moving toward a cleaner fuel and the use of more sustainable form of energy, Nigeria could be an exception.

The minister further said that diversifying the nation’s energy mix would lead to the utilisation of the various forms of renewable energy sources in the country but the developed countries could only share the technology with countries ready keep to the standards in the utilisation of the technology. This, according to him, will ultimately make electricity cheap in the country.

“What we are thinking about is long-term solution. We need a solution that will endure for generations to come.“When you design a power solution, design it so that the next coming generations can use it,” Fashola said.

Okoli Vincent/Vanguard/GEE


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Friday, May 6, 2016

Outlook for cereals output improves slightly

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in its latest Cereal Supply and Demand Brief, has raised the forecast for world cereal production in 2016 slightly to nearly 2,526 million tonnes, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This figure, NaijaAgroNet notes is virtually the same as in 2015 and potentially on course to be the second-largest global harvest ever.

According to FAO, the larger figure results almost entirely from improved prospects for wheat production, as winter weather conditions have been favourable for prospective yields in the European Union, the Russian Federation and Ukraine.

“At 717 million tonnes, the 2016 wheat output forecast remains 16 million tonnes short of last year's record,” experts at FAO said.

The Cereal Supply and Demand Brief made available to NaijaAgroNet, FAO says new production forecast for global coarse grains including barley, maize, millet, oats, rye and sorghum stands at 1,314 million tonnes, about one per cent below the 2015 output.

FAO, NaijaAgroNet gathered, left unchanged its worldwide rice production forecast at 495 million tonnes, about one per cent higher than the previous year, although the full impact of the El NiƱo weather phenomenon will not be clear for a few more months.

“World cereal utilization in the season ahead is expected to rise by only 1.1 percent due to slower growth in the use of cereals - especially wheat and barley - as livestock feed,” FAO said.

As a result, the world body also said that cereal stocks are likely to drop by 3.3 per cent or 21 million tonnes over the course of the new season, while stocks are forecast to drop most in Brazil, Thailand, India, China, Morocco, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Argentina and South Africa.

As said by FAO world trade in cereals is expected to decline slightly to 367 million tonnes with sharp drops in China's imports of barley and sorghum as well as EU imports of maize, more than offsetting soaring imports of maize by drought-stricken countries in southern Africa.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Experts reject GMOs, opts for other Technologies

Tanzanian experts have dismissed the much touted benefits of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in crop production saying there are better options, NaijaAgroNet reports.

The benefits of GMOs include creating plants that are resistant to weeds, pest and other diseases, bigger yields, less uses of herbicides and other pesticides, foods with better texture, flavour and nutritional value and a longer shelf life for easier shipping. GM is also claimed to possess an essential sustainable way to feed the world.

Speaking to newsmen on the issue of GMOs, a lecturer at the Open University of Tanzania (OUT), Dr Noorali Jiwaji, said that so far Tanzania had not fully put all existing technologies into practice.

“There are various technologies and methods developed by our local scientists, but we have not utilized them to the extent of deciding to shift to GMO,” he said. Jiwaji, NaijaAgroNet gathered, drew attention to the wealth of knowledge that abounds in the country that was hardly disseminated to farmers which, to a greater part, might have better results than GMO.

Another expert, the District Agriculture Irrigation and Cooperative Officer (DAICO) in Sumbawanga, Mr Kwileluye Habona, argued that scientists should be given a chance instead of politicians.

“So far no country has benefited from GMO, this is a sign that we don’t need it here in Tanzania as we can decide to opt for other technologies which our scientists have proved,” he said.

NaijaAgroNet also learnt that in East Africa, Kenya and Uganda have commenced field trials of GMOs, but Tanzania is still on laboratory trials due to lack of a science-based and cost-effective regulatory system.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE
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