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AGRICULTURE

FG records optimum growth in the year 2022 within the nation’s agricultural value chain

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Olaseinde Gbenga, Abuja

Year 2022 represents a milestone in the Agricultural industry of Nigeria, as the sector recorded a significant growth in Q1, Q2, and Q3 GDP report, as published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

According to NBS, it said, the industry developed by 3.16 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the first quarter of 2022, a decrease of 0.42 per cent points from the preceding quarter which recorded a growth rate of 3.58 per cent. The sector grew by 11.55 per cent year-on-year in nominal terms in Q1 2022, showing a fall of 3.59 per cent points from the same quarter of 2021 and contributed 22.36 per cent to overall GDP in real terms in Q1 2022, higher than the contribution in the first quarter of 2021 and lower than the fourth quarter.

It read further; Nigeria’s Agriculture sector grew by 1.20 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms for the second quarter of 2022, a decrease of 1.96 per cent points from the preceding quarter which recorded a growth rate of 3.16 per cent and also a decrease of 0.10 per cent points from the corresponding period of 2021.

The industry grew by 3.54 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the second quarter of 2022, showing an increase of 0.44 per cent points relative to 3.11 per cent in Q1 2022. It also grew by 13.83 per cent year-on-year in nominal terms in Q2 2022, showing an increase of 7.47 per cent points from the same quarter of 2021.

Also, in the 3rdquarter of 2022, there is an increase of 0.14 per cent points from the preceding quarter, which recorded a growth rate of 1.20 per cent as Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 2.25 per cent year-on-year in Q3 2022, marking the slowest growth since the COVID-19.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), in his keynote adddress at the opening ceremony of the 45th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development (NCARD) in Jos, said the Agriculture sector contributed 23 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first half of 2022. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development,

Dr Mohammad Abubakar, in his key note address at the opening ceremony of the 45th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development (NCARD) in Jos stated that the sector topped the chart in a survey of seven sectors identified to have contributed to Nigeria’s economy.

According to him, agriculture outperform six other sectors comprising trade, telecommunications, manufacturing, oil and gas, real estate as well as finance and insurance noting that the data reflects the impact of the implementation of programmes and projects in the Agricultural sector despite the security challenges in the country. The improve on performance also brought the strengthening of the linkage between research, agricultural and industry by intensifying our commodity value chain development process..

Speaking on it achievements, the Minister said about 3.6 million indirect jobs have been created from $1.113 billion (about N461.9billion) worth of externally funded projects being implemented by the Muhammadu Buhari-led government.

Mohammed Abubakar, disclosed this while featuring on the Ministerial Media Briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Minister said $538 million was approved for special agricultural processing zones to support inclusive and and sustainable agricultural development in Nigeria.

Abubakar further stated that another project worth $575 million is being implemented to improve rural access and agricultural marketing in participating states while strengthening the financing institutional base for effective development, maintenance and management of rural roads network.

He gave the participating states as Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Kwara, Kebbi, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Plateau and Sokoto.

In the year 2022, the Federal Government also established a panel to ensure the effective delivery of donor-funded agricultural projects across the country being implemented under the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

At the inauguration held in Abuja, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mahmood Abubakar, said the functions of the National Steering Committee on donor-funded projects would help to actualise the approval of the annual work plan and budget of the projects adding that the inauguration marked a significant milestone in the implementation of development partner support projects in the agricultural sector.

According to him, “Over the years, projects have been without steering committees, making it difficult to effectively track their performance especially, the approval and monitoring of Annual Workplan and Budget, which is the core responsibility of the steering committee as contained in the project appraisal document of all the projects.

Also, the Federal Government launched the National Strategic Documents for the Control of Transboundary Animal Diseases (TADs) to eradicate Animal and Zoonotic Diseases in a bid to address the challenges bedeviling the Livestock Sector.

Speaking during the event that took place at the Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja, recently, the Vice President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yomi Osinbajo, represented by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said that Transboundary Animal Diseases were among the most economically devastating Diseases of Livestock in the West and Central Africa Sub-Region.

He pointed out that it was responsible for more than N29 billion losses annually in the Livestock Sub-Sector, through mortality, morbidity and trade restrictions on Nigeria occasioned by the endemicity of some of these Diseases in Nigeria.

He stated that the Federal Government through Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with relevant stakeholders in other MDAs, were at the forefront of coordinating the fight against diseases that afflict animals.

In his words “Intensive surveillance, epidemiology and response are being conducted in the hotspot areas, to keep the rising profile of the diseases in check. We work also in collaboration with State Veterinary Services, particularly in frontline international borders. In addition, mass vaccinations against economically devastating diseases are carried out annually for millions of cattle, sheep, goats dogs, etc.”

However, in a bid to produce a new National Animal Feed Policy Document, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development also embarked on the review of the existing policy with a view to achieving the desired roadmap for animal feed and militate the challenges against animal feed sector in Nigeria.

While speaking at the event that took place at Agricultural and Rural Training Institute, ARMTI, Gudu, Abuja, recently, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe represented by the Director Special Duties, Mrs. Fausat Lawal said that the review was aimed at providing a draft document ahead of the forthcoming 2nd Animal Feed Summit.

He recalled that at the end of the 1st Animal Feed Summit that was held on the 23rd to 25th September, 2021 in Abuja, a draft Feed Policy document was developed.

Dr. Umakhihe stated that the Ministry had successfully conducted the 1st National Animal Feed Summit, with the theme “Developing a road map for Animal Feed Security in Nigeria”, adding that the summit attracted key stakeholders from policy, research and commerce arms of the feed industry and the broader livestock sub-sector.

He revealed that “critical issues were raised on the need to strategically develop a comprehensive feed sector database, harness crop residues to boost feed security and safeguard environment, Prioritize efforts and investment in harnessing alternative feed resources amongst others.”

Adding to it achievements in 2022, the Federal Government also collaborate with stakeholders to develop National Control Strategic plan on Transboundary Diseases in Livestock sub-sector.

Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar said that the Ministry in collaboration with the Relevant Stakeholders has developed a five years National Control Strategic Plans (NCSP), to curtail the spread of Transboundary Diseases in the Livestock Sub Sector in Nigeria.

Abubakar disclosed this at the Flag-Off Ceremony of the 2022 Nationwide Mass Vaccination Campaign against Transboundary Animal Diseases for the North-Central Zone in Abuja, recently.

He added that the plan would ensure improved animal production and productivity for sustainable livestock development in the Country.

Report also revealed that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) also throws support for local Production of organic fertilizer and as well sensitize farmers on provision of National Fertilizer Quality Control Act.

This advocacy came during a training workshop on Zonal Promotion of Organic Fertilizer and Use at the local level, using Eco-friendly Agricultural Technologies organised by the Department of Farm Inputs Support Services at Agric. Show Ground, Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, recently.

In his speech, the Director, Mr. Muhammad Kwaido represented by the Assistant Director, Organic Fertilizer Quality Control, Mrs. Afusatu Babalola stated that the programme would provide an ample opportunity for increased advocacy for the use /adoption of organic fertilizer in Nigeria and to halt the current rejection of Nigerian produce in the International market.

In his words, “Nigerian farmers i believe are well prepared to adopt the use of organic fertilizers as the country is blessed with abundant raw materials such as plant residues, poultry, livestock waste, biogas residue and agricultural by-products that are readily available locally.”

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AGRICULTURE

PAN advocates nationwide replication of Lagos goods discount market

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The Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) has called for the widespread adoption of the ‘Ounje Eko’ Lagos Food Discount Market model across the nation, particularly in South West states.

Speaking to journalists on Monday in Lagos, PAN’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Godwin Egbebe, emphasised the importance of replicating the successful initiative to ensure broader access to affordable food items.

The ‘Ounje Eko’ scheme, which was launched on March 17, spans across various locations in Lagos, including 27 in Ikeja, six on Lagos Island, nine in Ikorodu, five in Epe, and 10 in Badagry division.

Egbebe commended the Lagos State government for its food subsidy program, which operates exclusively on Sundays, and called on other states to follow suit by implementing similar initiatives to alleviate the burden of food insecurity among citizens.

The endorsement from the Poultry Association of Nigeria underscores the significance of government-led efforts to address food affordability and accessibility challenges, especially in the wake of economic uncertainties.

“As an association we want to express our profound gratitude to the governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his team, especially the commissioner for agriculture for the ‘Ounje Eko’ initiative.

“We have driven round all the food hubs across the local governments where they are situated, and the report is really encouraging,” he said.

He called on other governors across the country to replicate this initiative in their states to douse the tension over food inflation.

“We want, especially the governors in the South West geopolitical zone, to replicate the Ounje Eko template in their states.

“The positive impact of the Ounje Eko initiative is felt by both farmers and the consumers, but would have been better if other states emulated the initiative.

“Other state governments should take up the initiative and start their own food subsidy plans,” Egbebe said.

He also urged the Lagos State government to extend the period of the initiative as more residents of the state were still hungry.

“The initiative was meant to last for a period of three weeks, but an extension will really be beneficial.

“We want this initiative to be extended because the people are really hungry,” he said.

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AGRICULTURE

FG to host agriculture, food summit – Minister

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The Federal Government has announced plans to organise an agriculture and food security summit this year.

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Abubakar Kyari, disclosed this during a meeting with Dr Donal Brown, Associate Vice-President, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said the summit aimed to bring together a diverse community of organisational partners and strategic stakeholders representing the public, private and social sectors.

Kyari said stakeholders would be committed  to innovation and new technologies for Inclusive Agri-Food System Transformation and Smallholder farmers’ empowerment.

He commended IFAD for being a formidable force in addressing unprecedented challenges facing the global food system.

“Nigeria is committed to working closely with IFAD on Inclusive Agri-Food System Transformation and Smallholder farmers’ empowerment.

“Also, our commitment to partnership with IFAD on Innovative Finance for Food System is evident in our participation in the United Nations Food System Stocktaking moment in July, 2023,” he said.

He expressed confidence that promoting Inclusive Agri-food system transformation, smallholder farmers’s empowerment and innovative financing was the way to go.

The minister assured IFAD of the federal government’s strong commitment to their multilateral partnership.

Earlier, Brown reiterated IFAD’s continued support to the Federal Government.

He said that Nigeria was one of IFAD’s strongest partners, saying that one of his missions was to strengthen and deepen the partnership.

Brown said that some of the key projects which Nigeria had identified with have had significant impact at improving production.

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AGRICULTURE

Group calls on FG to subsidise farming implements for farmers

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By Aminu Garko, Kano

President of Dawanau International Grains Market, Kano State, Alhaji Muntaka Isa, has called on the Federal Government to provide subsidised farming implements to farmers, to ensure the production of assorted foodstuff  in the country.

Isa made the call while speaking with journalists in Kano on Wednesday.

According to him, the provision of enough and qualitative farm inputs to farmers at subsidised rates would give room for massive production of foodstuff.

He explained that Nigeria is blessed with vast land for farming, but high cost of farming inputs and inadequate utilisation of the vast available land were the major challenges bedeviling the development of agriculture.

“I strongly appeal to the Federal Government to urgently provide adequate and modern farm inputs at subsidised rates to farmers with the aim of ensuring food security.

“We are blessed with vast lands to produce assorted food crops for both local and export consumption but inability of farmers to access farming implements is affecting the growth of production.

“We believe if inputs are subsidised during the farming season it can still bring down the price of food commodities.

“Many farmers cannot access the tractors because they were given to some political farmers.

“Let the government make available modern farming implements to our rural farmers and see how many assorted tones of foodstuffs would be produced,” he said.

He noted that the association had taken bold steps in ensuring that the prices of commodities were slashed, to address the hike in commodity prices.

“The association’s decision to slash the prices was also to boost sales as dealers in the International market had been lamenting low patronage for some time now.

“If you go round the market now, you will notice that the prices of grains such as maize, guinea corn, millet and beans have been reduced compared to what was obtained here about two weeks ago.

“A bag of maize now sells for about N53,000, as against the old price of N60,000, while that of guinea corn now sells for N49,000, as against the former price of N55,000, depending on the quality.

“Also a bag of millet which used to sell for N60,000 now costs N53,000 and that of beans now costs between N85,000 and N90,000, as against the old price of between N95,000 and N100,000, depending on quality,” Muttaka said.

He also disclosed that a bag of soya beans now sells for N65,000 as against N68,000 before, while a bag of sesame seed which used to sell for N225,000 now costs N220,000.

He further said that a big bag of local rice which was hitherto sold for between N110,000 and N115,000 was now being sold for between N95,000 and N100,000 while that of wheat now sells for N60,000 as against N63,000.

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