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DAILY TRUST

Friday, March 11, 2011

BUSINESS

25

BUSINESS/AGRIC

CBN introduces new agric scheme THE Central Bank ofNigeria (CBN) said it has introduced a new financing framework called Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) to boost agricultural production. A statement from the apex bank said that the new model was differ-

ent in many ways from the old model that had not yielded the desired impact of making adequate credit available in the sector. "The model will adopt a value chain approach to lending and banks would be free to choose which part of the chain they would be interested in

lending. NIRSAL is a demand driven credit facility rather than the current supply driven funding. It will build the capacity of banks to engage and deliver loans by providing technical assistance and reduce counterpart

risks faCing banks through innovative crop insurance products;'the

statement said'

other investor funds and transfer

It added: "It will also reward performanceinagriculturallendingand will be managed with performance based incentives~ It said that NIRSAL would pool the current resources in the CBNs agricultural financing schemes and

them into the different components of the programme. "In other words, our existing

agricultural financing and insurance scheme would be assessed, modified and integrated into NIRSAL;' the statement said.

Food security team to develop curriculum on technology transfer By Tma A. Hassan THE National Programme for Food Security in collaboration with a Chinese technical team in Ahuja is to develop a curriculum for the transfer of technology in the Federal College of Technology Dadin kowa, Gombe State. During an inspection visit to the college to verify its readiness to adopt such trainings, leader of the team Mr. A.N Atanda said the curriculum would include programmes like fish hatchery technology, cage fish culture and the establishment of a Green House.

Work on silos to be completed -Minister CONSTRUCTION work on silos projects in various parts of the country will soon be completed, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Naj:\,em Awodele, has assured. Awodele gave the assurance in I1esa, Osun state, when he inspected the N1.5 billion silo-project under construction in the town. He reiterated thecommitmentof

the Federal Government to develop agriculture, adding that construction of silos was an integral part of the ongoing efforts. "The Federal Government is committed to the development of

agriculture and we cannot say we want to develop the sector without having where to store our food reserve,"the minister said. He said the I1esa silo has the capacity to store 25,000 tonnes of grains and commended Mr PI amen Tudorov, the Managing Director of Secura Nigeria Ltd, the company handling the project, for doing a good job. "I have visited other silos sites but the Ilesasilos isan exception to what we have seen;' he said, adding that the project had reached 60.9 per cent completion. Earlier in his remakrs, Todorov who complained of non-payment of his contract fees, appealed to the

minister to intervene, to enbale him complete the job on schedule. Meanwhile, Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of Osun has advised the Federal Government to adhere to the

tenets of true federalism to enable the country achieve food security. Aregbesola gave the advice when Awodele paid him a courtesy visit. He said that the Federal Government should restrict itself to the provision of goidelines for achieving food security and allow the federating units the job of agricultural production. He informed the minister that about 75,000 tonnes of grains would be produced during this planting season in the statt

The governor said his administration had sought and gained the consent of various communities

across the state to cultivate 30,000 hectares ofland with maize. He said the state was determined to become self-sufficient in mod production.

He advised the minister to ensure that ail projects initiated by the Federal government were effectively monitored so that the target goals could be achieved The governor decried the "huge" amount of money expended annually on fertiliser procurement, and alleged that some people were feeding fat on such funds. (NAN).

... as Minister threatens silo's contractor in Ekiti the capacity to store 100,000 metric tonnes of grains is also the biggest in the Soutil-west, added that the MINISTER of State for Agriculture, Alhaji Federal Government led by President Goodluck Najeem Awodele, has threatened to order Jonathan was very committed to developing agriculthe officials of the Economic and Financial ture to make it another foreign exchange earner for Crimes Commission (EPCC) to arrest the the nation. From Doyin Adebusuyi, Ado-Ekiti

are offendingthewholecountryyeamingfordevelopment." But we have ways of checking this and that is why government has various agencies that can wade in to see how this type of situation can be addressed It is good to encourage indigenous contractors but I

am not happy with the silo here.

The minister said that the construction company .. If appeal does not yield positive result there are the building of grain storage facility in Ado- was a bad representative of indigenous companies in agencies that we can involve to ask you questions and

owner of a construction company handling

the country. He stated that it was good to encourage indigenotlscontractors but he added that they would have to justify the patronage. He said that it was unfortunate that the company which had abandoned work 'on Ekiti silo is also theone handling the silo in Bayelsa Stote. He said, " This project is dear to my-heart but had abandoned work on the site despite that the this company is denying the people of the effect the project is supposed to have on the economy. You are ministry had paid. Awodele, whn said tht: ... Hn III Lkitl ~tate has not only offending yourself and your familr but you

Ekiti, Ekiti State. Speaking during an inspection of tile project on TueSday, the minister who also repeated the threat during a courtesy visit to Governor Kayode Favemi in his office said that the UBA Constrtlcti~n Limited which is handling the project

retrieve back the money. That we are thinking of callingthe EFCC at the point is a bad thing fCf),ourcompany, but if you think that nothing will be done you will be surprised:' The minister who later solicited for the assistance of the Ekiti State Government to monitor the project said that officials of the ministry would bcvisiting the site regularly to ensure that the job is completed ,dthout further delay.

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He said the green house would be broken down into smaller components so that farmers can easily adopt the technology they prefer. ' A statement from the institution signed by its Public relations Officer, A1iyu Mikhail said the team also inspected the college's fish ponds, ornamental plants, date ['alms and other fann sites. Provost of the school, Dr. Umar Gurarna said the college is ready to establish a Green House micro project site with the expertise and information provided by the Chinese technical team. He assured the team of adequate assistance and commitment especially in the selection ofsuitable areas for the different micro projects as well as the trainings.

ECOWAS calls for improved quality of agro路based products By Romoke W. Ahmad ECOWAS Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Ousseini Salifou, has stressed the need for ECOWAS member states to improve on the quality of their agro-based products with the aim of increasing national and intraCommunity trade. He said this while addreSSing participants at the opening of a six-day sensitization workshop on the crea-

tion and strengfhening of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards (SPS) Committees and training of trainers. The workshop according to ECOWAS commission seeks to raise awareness on the PAN-SPSO project and the issue of participation of African countries at international stand-

ards-setting meetings. PAN-SPSO is a three-year col路 laboration project between the European Union, African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Secretariat, the African Union Commission and the regional

economic communities (RECs).


DAILY TRUST, 11 MARCH, 2011