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DAILY TRUST Tuesday, March 1,2011

Business/Agric

Farmers present manifesto to political parties By Tina A. Hassan SMALL scale farmers across Nigeria have presented a nine point manifesto to all political parties as a part of their demand to empower small scale farmers in meeting agriculture development target by 2015 when they get elected into public offices. Under the umbrella of the Association of Small Agro pro-

ducers in Nigeria (ASSAPIN), Civil Society Coalition on Pov· erty Eradication (CISCOPE) and Voices for Food Security (VSF), the farmers are asking political parties to include a clear cut plan· showing how and at what rate they intend to grow. the sector when they get elected. Presenting the manifesto in Abuja yesterday, Chairman of the CISCOPE and investment

work\ng group of VFS, Dr. Dom Okoro, said the manifesto is a demand by farmers on authorities and stakeholder to move the sector forward by signing and endorsing the manifesto as one of its cardinal objectives. The VFS campaign' is- asking for sixty percent agriculture investment in budgets and the other facilities should be earmarked for small holder farmPIC: USMAN BELLO

ers and small scale agriculture in addition to setting up gender sensitive sub-committees on small scale agriculture. The group is also demanding for special consideration and inclusion of marginalized group of farmers such as women, in new agriculture policies and development plans among others. Representatives of the Republican Party of Nigeria and the

Political Alliance of Nigeria who were present at the launch of the manifesto have endorsed and signed it as part of their party's objective. A Coordinating Director with Oxfam Nigeria, Mr. Ayodeji AyodejiAjayeoba said the manifesto is a good initiative because it would strengthen small scale farmers to produce more food thereby ensuring food security.

FG to spend N 1Obn on fish farming From Femi Akinola, lagos

NI Assembly seeks biotech nology for agric revolution By Abdu~Rahman Abubakar MEMBERS of the !'iational Assembly have expressed support for the proposed agric"revolution through adoption of the biotechnology system for massive production ofvarious food crops in the country. The lawmakers have also pledged to accelerate the passage of the bio-safety bill to reguIate the sector in order to improve . lD3SSive~ produ!:tion:

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Spealifug during the Open fururn of agrIctilture and bID'. teclmology in Africa o~ by the National Biotechnology· :(>eveIoprtient Agency (NABDA}, Ch~an of the Ho~ of . R~ ComJnitiee on Agricu1ture, ~akaiijuolit~ , said proVision ofbiOtechnologr laboratory in the country will save abOut $4O.bil\ion spent on food impoJ:talion annually. .He said "The oi1lyway ror us to ensure food sul!iciencyand sustainablegrowth isbybiotechnology.lhavecometo realise that no amount ofappropriation in the area of agriculture can solve the problem. There is need fur technology development to solve the problem offood shortage. "We believe that it is only through technology that we can increase yield and tackle the problem of food crisi", N'.geria spends!JVl'1' N40 billion annually on importing all kinds offood items, but if we have this litw in plitce, we can develop our agriculture to such a level thatwe can produce all we want to eat and have so much left for export throogh biotechnology. In his presentation, Director General ofNABDA, Professor Barnidele Solomon said through biotechnology the country standsachanceofhecomjogamajorexporterofagrlcultureproduee within fewyears. Prof. Solomon said the absence of a bio-safety litw has hampered the activities of Research and Development(R&D) of genetically modified organisms in thecountrydenyingthe country of benefits from cutting edge technology practice.

they want or need and this will enhanced their own productivFEDERAL Government is to ity, so we are mindful that all the spend NIO billion on fisheries states should be assisted in the harbour terminal in Lagos to area of input, because it's in the boost, just as another N300 mil- adequacy of input that will bring lion will be spent on establish- the required outcome. ment offarmers market. "Recently; too, the FG The Minister of State for Agriawarded another contract, the culture and Rural Development, farmers market. The farmers Alhaji Najeem Awodele disclosed market which is to cost about this in Lagos, Thursday, when he N3 Million, is a combination of paid a courtesy call on Governor input and output where you can Babatunde Fashola. get agricultural products. This is He also attended a day what is obtainable in all advanced inspection of various agriculture countries. What we are doing is projects in the state during which an integration of intellectualism the Permanent Secretary in the because we want each area to state's ministry of agriculture and be developed, so that if you are cooperatives, Dr. Yakub Olajide talking about fisheries, yes you represented Governor Fashola. are responSible for developing Awodele said Lagos is too fisheries and if you do not have important to be left alone in the them as ministry you have them CATTLE dealers in Adamawa have appealed to economy of the country, espe- as department:' the government to establish a modern livestock cially in the area of agriculture He commended Lagos state market in the state. where the state itself is already government for blazing the trail They contended that the market would pro- doing well, noting that the era in agricultural development and mote the trade and encourage production of of mono cultural economy had assured that the FG was ready to gone, where oil was the main assist other statesincIuding Lagos quality livestock product~. Some cattle traders made the call in an focus, saying that there is no alter- to further take agriculture to the interview at Tirke livestock market in Mubi in native to generating ¢mployrnent . higher level in this present dis'. pdlsalion, other than agriculture: Adamwa. .". Awodelesaid:"'1'he "Federal . EarHer,. Dr. Olajide, while' '. < Aihajt AlhaS~ ~u, a cattledealerl '. iiaeltlbet, ¥Wg<\lrlatedCattlellealers Msocia- 'Government is ."e'1' keen abeut receivibg the minister and his ,'ion, slIid t)):i,a~stn<e of a modern cattle Q)lU'ket agnculf:ltte,~lopinent in Lagos . ento~eteeled outvatiousagri- .' wasneg~1Y idfeeting the. c o . . ~tate, especiiilly:1Yi.thirl the *b,. .-cuItni'li: mitiatives on cOU;l'se in ' • 'There are no roads, offices, toil"lsarid~­ sector 6fthes\~ !lPPellatloll as" thesii!¥Wllichare currentlygei1c .. mal sheds to provide the enabling envlronnient . aquatic splendOiit.,we arepuitittg', . et~t:mgempiayment for the teem.: for the trade ~d these have made things dif- on board Lagos fisheries harboUr ' ingpopUla<;i, even as he stressed . . ficult al the .matkei. terminal, a project that will gulp 'need fotFG collaboration with "It is desirable to establish a modern market overNIObillon. the state government to further designed with adequate facilities such as water "We are on the board with the boost agriculture in the state. He said: • We have over a thoupoints and veterinary clinics; Adamu said. dotting of Is and 'crossing !>f the Malam Ibrahim Musa, another cattle Ts with the Federal Ministry of sand viable agricultural cooperabreeder, urged the government to rehabili- Transportation so that the neces- tives, our traditional cash crop tate grazing lands and delineate cattle routes sary land will be released to COffi- is coconut. Agriculture is a very to encourage production of quality livestock mence the project." important tool of the administraproducts. He added that aside that, a tion in Lagos State. 60 per cent of Musa said lack of adequate cattle routes and contract was also awarded by Lagos is rural while .95 per cent grazing lands were the major obstacle militating FG for an input one slop shop at of the occupations of these peoagainst sustainable growth of livestock produc- lbeju Lekki saying that it is also pie in the rural area are agricultion in the state. on advanced stage of implemen- ture, thus when you look at these He said that the trend had resulted to scarcity tation which is aimed at develop- numbers you will see that in the of animal feeds and forced herdsmen to migrate ing inpul aspect. 18 million population of Lagos to wetlands in search of pasture. Awidele continued: "If we State, we have over 10 million , . The absence of an elaborate cattle routes have this, the farmers will not farmers in Lagos State who are and grazing lands often led to confrontation run helter, skelter because they directly or indirectly involved in will have a place to get whatever agriculture." between farmers and herdsmen. (NAN)

Cattle dealers call for establishment of modern livestock market

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DAILY TRUST, 01 MARCH, 2011  

N/Assembly seeks biotech nology for agric revolution

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