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Monday, March 4, 2013

Nigerian Adesina is guest speaker @ 30th Brussels Development Briefing

Dr. Adesina, Nigerian Agric Minister
The Nigerian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, would today address the 30th Brussels Development Briefings in Belgium, NaijaAgroNet can authoritatively reveal.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in conjunction with the European Commission, the European Economic and Social Committee, the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group, Concord and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) are the organisers of the 30th Brussels Development Briefings, which holds today, 4 March 2013.

The briefing under the theme, “Agricultural Resilience in the Face of Crises and Shocks” is expected to attract some 200 ACP-EU policy makers, representatives of EU Member States, civil society groups, researchers, development practitioners and media.

Confirming this, CTA  Director, Mr. Michael Hailu says that since its inception in 2007, the Brussels Development Briefing has been the premier event for sharing and debating up-to-date information on critical issues relating to food security and agricultural development in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

“It has also offered an excellent networking opportunity for development partners in Brussels. The session on agricultural resilience marks the 30th edition of this highly successful programme that CTA is proud to host on behalf its partners,” he said.

As disclosed by him, Nigerian Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, is the chief guest of this edition of the briefing and would give a keynote address on conducive policies in support of resilience.

Other speakers expected at the briefing, he said, would address key challenges to strengthening resilience, cutting across the capacity of agriculture to withstand or recover from stresses and shocks and bounce back to the previous level of growth.

Hailu stressed that experts would present proven successes on building resilience and decreasing the vulnerability of agricultural systems in the ACP region.

Remmy Nweke/NaijaAgroNet 
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FG to establish 774 agro ‘one-stop-shops’ by 2015, commissions Iseyin centre

The Federal Government has concluded plans to establish an agro ‘one-stop-shop’ centre in all 774 Local Governments (LGs) in the country by the year 2015, with the first phased commissioned at the weekend in Iseyin LG, Oyo State.
(L - R) Prince Fehintola Oyelade, Chairman, All Farmers' Association, Iseyin LGA,   
Mrs. Areola Aderibigbe, Association of Women Farmers of Nigeria (AWFAN), 
Oyo East, Princess Ayobami Temilade, State Secretary of AWFAN, Oyo State.

Disclosing this to NaijaAgroNet, at the official commissioning of the Iseyin centre, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote, said these centres will be constructed by the federal government for the purpose of ensuring the availability, accessibility and affordability of agricultural inputs such as fertiliser, agro-chemicals, quality seeds, livestock feeds, veterinary drugs, tractor hiring, primary processing and extension services and to serve as access warehouse facility for inputs for farmers.

She also said that the task of making food available, affordable and accessible to all Nigerians through promotion of food security programmes has been the major focus of the federal government in pursuance of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of Mr. President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

She said her ministry is very mindful of the serious impediment of inaccessibility of good quality agricultural inputs such as fertiliser, agro-chemicals, seeds and seedlings, livestock feeds, veterinary drugs, tractor hiring, primary processing and extension services by farmers in a bid to maximising aggregate production output for the nation.

This impediment as well as the federal government’s intention to withdraw from direct procurement and distribution of all agricultural inputs, she said, informed the decision of the ministry to establish at least one ‘one-stop-shop’ agro-input centre in each of the local government areas in the federation by the year 2015.

These centres, Mrs. Odusote said are established as part of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda in the agro-input sub-sector to strengthen the food security programme of the federal government.

“They are aimed at providing market information services, promote private sector investment in viable commercial agriculture and enhance food security,” she said.

Each of the centres, she revealed, has facilities for about 500 tonnage storage capacity for fertilisers, seeds and agro-chemicals as well as provides tractor hiring, primary processing and extension support services. The centre will also enhance the activities of the Growth Enhancement Supports (GES) programme of the federal government to a large extent.

“The first phase of 62 one-stop-shop agro-input centres was awarded in October 2010 for execution nationwide while the second phase of 18 was awarded in December 2011,” she disclosed.

She noted that three of these centres were being established at various locations in Oyo State, namely each at Iseyin, Fasola and Ago Amodu, in Iseyin, Oyo West and Saki East LGAs.

“The projects, after completion, are envisaged to be concessioned to private sector operators, through approved concessioning process in accordance with federal government Concessioning Act,” she said.

Presently, the Perm Sec pointed out that most of the centres in the first phase have been completed and ready for commissioning and utilisation.

“Within the constraint of time, one representative centre per geo-political zone of the country has been selected for official commissioning,” she said, emphasizing that the Iseyin commissioning symbolises inputs such as seeds, fertiliser, chemicals and tractors with attachable implements will be available for sale and hiring respectively.

“With the sales of these inputs, it is hoped that the productivity of the potential beneficiaries will be boosted,” she said.

Remmy Nweke/NaijaAgroNet
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Friday, March 1, 2013

AfDB Plans to spend N91, 160m for food security programme in horn of African

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has signed a N91,1660 million, about N ... loan agreement for the multinational Drought Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods Programme (DRSLP) in the Horn of Africa (HoA) with Kenyan government, reports The Tribune.
This brings to N3.04 billion the bank’s commitment in various areas of the country in the northern Africa, according to AfDB Regional Director for the East Africa Resource Centre, Mr. Gabriel Negatu.

The programme will be carried out in stages, with the first stage beginning in 2013 in Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenysaid.
He said the entire programme would cover eight countries in the horn of Africa over the next 15 years, including Eritrea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda, in addition to the three countries in the current stage.

“It is necessary to have all the countries in the programme, because if one country has better water, pasture and livestock services, the pastoralist will move there and this could lead to overgrazing, transmission of trans-boundary animal diseases and conflicts” he said.

A press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet quoted the Regional Director as saying “The next stage is expected to start as soon as funds are available for the remaining countries. This could be as early as the end of 2013”.

In Kenya, he said, the project will cover the counties of Baringo, Isiolo, Marsabit, Samburu, Turkana and West Pokot, as it seeks to provide assistance to improve drought resilience and improve sustainable livelihoods of the communities in the arid and semi-arid lands of the country.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that the Horn of Africa region is often affected by recurrent droughts and food insecurity as in 2011, the region faced the worst drought in decades that destroys crops and livestock and left over 12 million people, mainly the pastoralist communities, in total distress.



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