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Friday, June 17,2011

AgricBusiness IFAD official gives recipe for increased food production INCREASED agricultural production is best achieved through a combination of improvtd seeds. input and th~ tight mix o f technology rath er than upanding land (or cultivation.

Farmers worry over fertilizer availability

Mr. Abdou! Barry, the Inte rnational Fund for Agricultural Developmen t ([fAD) Coun try Prog ramme Manager In Nige ri a, ga\'C' this reCipe w hile speaking with the News Agency o f N igeria (NAN) in Abuja

on Thursdar · Whal we wan llOlllloid really is txp;rnd. in g land to increase production. It's better to do it by improving productivity and there are scvC'r.U things that go into ii, using improved seeds for collo n, for cassava: it's ;also using input such as fertilisers, ~lic ldC's

and rome limrs insectid de and

iI's also in terms of using the right mix of l«h nology. Barry noted thaI the ~ of improved Sttds was minimal In African agricul ture in general, t'Vt'0 Ihough research had provided such seeds.. He laid th aI 10 encoura ge Ih e use of imp roved suds, the seeds should be mul· tiplied SO th at fumers could ha...-e acct'Ss 10 Ihem. - The use of impro\'cd seeds Is ve ry min Imale\'en tho ugh research has provided those imprO"ed seeds. -So what we need 10 do now is to mu ltiply Ihe seeds so Ih~t farm ers hal'e uceS! tothem. - The.rl" ue St'\"C.ral ways of doing iL The best way 10 do it would be eilher 10 h~\'e a group of farmers who are there 10 multi ply the seeds and also Ih ey beco me professional seed produceD. This isonegood way of dOing it. - Sut sometimes., we ~lso h~\"e seed co m pan ies. Sl"td compan ies have bee n doing il already. It is also good 10 take advan tage ofthem.Commentin g on famll~:rs' access 10 fertiliser, Barry noted that the meth od of subsidy adminbtralion app~red nei lher effi dent nor efft:Ctive. H I" suggested the · voucher 5yste m" of subSidy appUcation, w hich acco rd ing to him has been fo und to efft:Ctlve in the few states Ihat h3d experime nted on iL -As )'01.1 know, iscr is suluidised in thiscounlry. The way it hubeen done so fu, it looks like it 15 nol working well. -nle people who really need Ihe are not the ones havjng access 10 it: so we need 10 think about anot her system. - I have .s«n in sonl e countries where the' voucher system has bee n put in place, induding actuall y in Nigeria. This is some· thing that we "ill look into. to enable mrnli"rS to have acct'SS to inpuU.- (NAN)

B, rma A. Hassan FA RME RS h;\\"e already begun expressi ng fear Ih3t fert..i1iur rna}' nol ~ re~dlly ava ilable for Ihe farming season el"i"n 15 the "'ins are al~3d y here. "Some o f Ihe farmers w ho spoke to a tram of th e National Programme fo r Food S«urity (N PFS) visiting them in Gombe Stale, said they apprt:Clate th e financial support given to them by the NPFS but Ire not con· fident of getting fertilizer for th is seuon, especiall y from the Federal Government because they failed Ihem last yea r. C hairman of Lasale group o f farmen under the National Programme o n Food Security (NPFS) In Billirl Local Gove rn· ment Area of Go m be State, Mr. Simon Sanl said farmers in the area are al l won· dering if the Federal Go\-emment is real ly concerned about agricult ure at the villages because each farming seaso n, they only hear 00 radio thaI there would be fertilizer bu t il n('"\'ergetstothem excepl lheonet hey receive from th eir state gO\"i"rn menU. -You know as farmers. we are all Con' u rntd about the wellbeing of ou r crops so

WI" really need fertilizer because farming now is not as it wed to be In the past when the crops survive with little or no fertilizer. Our $lategovrrtunent has tried in pnniding us v.ith fertilizer but we don\ know what the Fedual Govmunrnt Is doing about it beca~ they always forget about us and (,"\"CI when they do mnember us, they send us ,-cry small quanlity and ther smd it lale,- he lammu Hesaid th e food 5I"Olrityprogramme has benefited most of the villages that are p:l.l' ticip~ting and brought aboul the enlightenment or farmers on some fanning practices Ihat are profitable an d cost effe<1 ive, thereby improving their standanis ortlvlng through increased and bet1er harvests.. Another fanner, Adamu bdiri. who has been provided ~ water well and hand pump byllle NPFS to praclice irrigation in his one hectare land, said I major constr.lin he faces in his swmcom farm isthe lacko{ access to fertiliUT to better his crop yield. According 10 him, th ec ropon lhe farm Is worth over N 100,000 if he sells it but he can mllk do uble the currrnl amount u he gets fertiliU:r and other farm inputs.. HI" said his customers are small busi·


ness women who buy and roast co m by the roadside and they hal"e been patronizing his iriigallon fann to buy maize duringlhe dry season farm hU\·rst. Olher particip~nts of th e N PFS pro· gramme who are reari ng improved variet) of cows Ind other IU1lIble crops said fertilizer programme the \\'1I.y the food sec urit")" pro· gramme is bring Implemented. Amos Strry is a beneficiary of 1M pro· gramme in La.rrka Billirl, who practices arable cropping and sheep rearing. H~ said the probIcmoffertilluris growing worseO\"e!" theyears; he aIled on aU concerned groups to pay more attention to agriculture and the sustenance of the food srcurit)' prugr.unme b«:a~ it has mill)' brought financ:W rdief to the poor Site managerofthe programme in Lasale. Sodia Isah said women have been encour· aged to jH-rticipate in the progl"llmme and most of them are into various smaU scale businesses as fish farming. rearing of small ruminants such as sheep among others. One of lhe farms visited by Ihe team Isa large sc.a1e fish farm with \'arlous sections for the fingerlings. gro\\"i"rs, adult and the hatchery.

Kogi earmarksNl bn for farm implements, loans Frum blaka Wakili, Lokoja

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T I·I E Kogi State go,·ern · ment has ~ml:Hked o\'er N I billion for the purchase "J"fi~.u ••\ .....h"'''''h . ,"nrl The state'sCommiuioner for 8udget and Planning. Alhaj i Sani.Adamu, who is also overseeing Ihe r.linistry of Agriculture and Natural Resources., disclosed th is at a workshop o n horticul tural crops and medicinal

plants organized by the stall" Agricultural De\'I"lopment Projecl (ADP). The com missioner. who was represented by the Permanent St:Cr~tary, Mr the inputs to be procured include low· bed machines, tractors and bulldozers. HI" expressed .satisfac· tio n with the performance of the management and Slaff of the stat e Ag ricul . tural Development Project,

sar ing that gO"emment would continue to pay its counterpart funds to boost food production in th e stall". Ea rlier in his welcome Oo-f:t.~VI

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Ameh Ono;a, said the workshop was o 10 encourage fa rm ers on trl"(' crop production in the Slate and advised them to embrace tl'e o pportunit y for Its e<onomlc benefits.