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Showing posts with label sustainable. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sustainable. Show all posts

Friday, September 24, 2021

Brief history of Awba-Ofemili - NaijaAgroNet: ... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

NaijaAgroNet:

Awba-Ofemili is a town in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State, Nigeria. The town has an estimated population of 15,978 according to the 2006 Nigerian Census. Awba-Ofemili has eight villages, each of which made up small communities of kindreds.

The eight villages in Awba-Ofemili today include Umuokpe, Umuchibu, Ezike, Akpana, Enugwu-Agu, Umuosite, Enugwu, Umuezeavu.

HRH Igwe Ezekwesili Maduagwuna,
Ofemili 1 of Awba-Ofemili

Awba-Ofemili is about 30kilometers (km) from Awka, the capital city of Anambra State. Like most towns in Awka-North, Awba-Ofemili’s climate and soil conditions are favorable to farming, especially for rice mass production.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

US Consul-General launches HIV Treatment Surge Programme in Oyo - NaijaAgroNet: ... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

NaijaAgroNet:
The Consul-General, United States Embassy in Nigeria, Claire Pierangelo, has launched HIV Treatment Surge Programme in Oyo State, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The event held at the Theophilus Oladipo Ogunlesi Hall, Ibadan on Tuesday formed part of the courtesy visit of the Counsel General to the state.

Pierangelo also held bilateral talks with Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Cities are hubs for ideas, commerce, culture, science, productivity, social development and much more.

At their best, cities have enabled people to advance socially and economically.

However, many challenges exist to maintaining cities in a way that continues to create jobs and prosperity while not straining land and resources.

Common urban challenges include congestion, lack of funds to provide basic services, a shortage of adequate housing and declining infrastructure.

The challenges cities face can be overcome in ways that allow them to continue to thrive and grow, while improving resource use and reducing pollution and poverty. The future we want includes cities of opportunities for all, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation and more.

The United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, took place in Quito, Ecuador from 17-20 October 2016, and was the first UN global summit on urbanization since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Habitat III offered a unique opportunity to discuss the important challenges of how cities, towns, and village can be planned and managed, in order to fulfill their role as drivers of sustainable development, and how they can shape the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change.


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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) (www.CassavaMatters.org), 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.


Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Make rice value chain sustainable – IRRI, FOA

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) have called for making of rice value chains sustainable, reports NaijaAgroNet.

In a joint press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet gathered that in many countries around the world rice is a staple crop for food security and consumption trends are growing.

“At the same time rice production is vulnerable to the increasing impacts of climate change, including extreme weather events such as droughts and floods,” the press statement read.

NaijaAgroNet reports that both FAO and IRRI are actively promoting more sustainable rice practices throughout the value chain - production, marketing and consumption - to optimize its nutritional properties and as a means of improving livelihoods and tackling poverty, particularly in rural areas.  

FAO has developed the Regional Rice Initiative for Asia and Pacific which promotes enhanced crop resilience while increasing efficiency and farmers' income. In Africa and in Latin America the UN agency is engaged in scientific and technical cooperation including the sharing of technologies and best practices to increase production and productivity, including reduction of post-harvest losses and improved grain quality.

IRRI is engaged in strengthening capacities of all rice sector actors through its capacity development activities, including IRRI Education and the Sustainable Rice Platform.

The Sustainable Rice Platform is a global alliance to promote resource efficiency and sustainability in trade flows, production and consumption operations, and supply chains in the global rice sector. The Sustainable Rice Platform recently established the world's first standard for sustainable rice. Through the Sustainable Rice Platform, IRRI aims to use environmental and socio-economic benchmarks to maintain yields for rice smallholders, reduce the environmental footprint of rice cultivation and meet consumer needs for food safety and quality.


NaijaAgroNet noted that at the same time, IRRI Education works to build capacity through-out IRRI's extensive partnership network.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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Pix: Rice varities courtesy IRRI

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.

Conclusion:
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, October 5, 2015

FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries makes sector sustainable



NaijaAgroNet:
The Code of Conduct for responsible Fisheries has in the last two decades played a key role in making fisheries more sustainable, NaijaAgroNet reports.

The code made it possible by setting universal standards to guide governments and private actors in conserving and managing the world’s ocean resources.

NaijaAgroNet learnt that Fisheries ministers, experts and representatives of civil society groups and the private sector will gather in Vigo, Spain, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and discuss the state and future of global fisheries.

FAO is partnering with Spain’s Ministry for Agriculture, Food and Environment, and leading Spanish trade association Conxemar on a series of events at this year’s International Fisheries Stakeholders Forum taking place on October 8 to 9, 2015 where discussions will focus on the importance of responsible ocean governance for global food security.

Among other issues billed for discussion at the forum include: expanding role of fish farms, improving seafood safety and traceability, reducing food waste and illegal fishing, and sustainably harnessing marine resources for economic growth.

A press statement by FAO said session will explore ways to develop a global integrated approach to combat illegal fishing, including the role of surveillance systems and consumer awareness, global trends and trade regimes, along with issues of growth and sustainability, including food waste. 

Overview of world production in fisheries and aquaculture, implications for food security and nutrition, the role of scientific knowledge as tool for fisheries management for the future, are all part of a rolled out programme for the Forum, NaijaAgroNet.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE
 
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Saturday, May 9, 2015

Modern ideas key for improved jobs and income





Innovation, modern ideas have been identified as the only key to engender improved jobs and sustainable income as joblessness among young people is one of the most pressing social, economic and political challenges facing Africa in the 21st Century, NaijaAgroNet  reports.

African Development Bank's Special Envoy on Gender, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi stated this in Abidjan at a consultative workshop organised by the Bank's Agriculture and Agro-Industry Department in collaboration with the Office of the Special Envoy on Gender and the Human Development Department.

The workshop NaijaAgroNet gathered, was designed to deliberate on a proposed innovative programme titled “Empowering Novel Agri-Business-Led Employment for Youth in African Agriculture (ENABLE Youth)”.  The programme once developed, will be implemented in 20 Regional Member Countries of the Bank under the coordination of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).

The programme will be designed to reinforce the roles of disenfranchised young African adults through a comprehensive outreach approach involving providing information, life-skills education (effective and functional job training), proven technologies and opportunities to at least 800,000 youth in 20 RMCs.

“Over 10 million young people in Africa are entering the job market each year. Despite the strong growth performance of African economies over the recent years, the continent has failed to create the number of jobs needed to absorb these young people,” said Fraser-Moleketi.

NaijaAgroNet reliably learnt that the meeting was attended by key players in the agricultural sector such as the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), and West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development

Cyriacus Nnaji/ ED,OPs

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Geothermal energy saves cost for sustainable food production





Geothermal energy which is the heat energy radiating from the earth’s core  has been  discovered to provide  unique opportunities for cost efficient, sustainable food production and processing in developing countries,  according to  information released by FAO and made available to NaijaAgroNet .

According to Carlos da Silva, Senior Agribusiness Economist in FAO, “It’s an energy source that’s renewable, clean and low-cost once you’ve made the initial investment to harness it.”
Da Silva who works in FAO’s Rural Infrastructure and Agribusiness Division said that  “By using a clean energy source, you’re not only addressing cost but also the environmental impacts of food production and processing,” NaijaAgroNet reports.

Agriculture both consumes energy and emits greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Research suggests that using geothermal heating for greenhouses decreases fungus infections and cuts fuel costs by up to 80 per cent, providing significant savings to operating budgets.
In some developing economies, as much as half of all food produced is lost post-harvest – that's due in part to a lack of affordable energy for food processing, according to “Uses of Geothermal Energy in Food and Agriculture.”

“Geothermal energy for agriculture can be done even at small-scales and can significantly contribute to income generation, providing employment and improving food and nutrition security in developing countries,” adds Divine Njie, AGS Deputy Director and co-editor of the report.

Worldwide, 38 countries currently use geothermal energy for direct application in agricultural production and some 24 countries harness it to generate electricity, with Iceland, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Kenya, New Zealand and the Philippines deriving more than 10 per cent of their electricity needs from natural heat sources.

Cyriacus Nnaji/ GEE/ED (OPs)   

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