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Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Nigerian cocoa farmers upbeat on main crop outlook COCOA farmcu 1" Nigeria art hope(ullhe 20 11 / 12 main croll wiU bc:bumpc ra ftt r lhc just·concluded mid-cror was hll by;l short· age of pestici de:< tu cu rb d isease OUlbrcak. growers and 2nal) ~ ts !aitl ycslI~rday. The: lII;!in crop officially statU In Octo-

ber and rons I"mugh to March, but this YCU'$ harvl:!t bcg~ in August thanks to a good mb of rain rail and sunshine: in th e:

western and =Sl'!rn growi ng region. th e: Cocoa As,\ociatio'l ofNigcria (CAN) In id. -1111: m~in croD started lut month, and Qu q )U\ $0 (;lr is g; Ul. We IIrc c::t pectlng a bumper harvcst if th ings contin ue: like:

11115,- CAN'~ national dcputychairman Paul

Ojeng told Reuters by telcp hone from th e: southeastern cocoa hub of Iko m in Cross Rh'u Sta te:. Nigeria, th c:worlds fourth larstlt cocoa producer, Is looking to lK>ost its ou tput as many fanncrs have been encouraged by the record high commodity prict$ to adopt modern tedmiqu es and also tcnd thei r ramlS more closely. You nger prople who had pre\';ously shunned the sector arc nowbeillg attracled back, indu5tr)' expe rts said. ~ nlOugh \"e are not in th c big Ie:ague: of th e: millions re t, we ClI:pect a significant Incr~SI: thi s rrar (201 1/ 12) If til e: weathe:r

stays the way it I ~; one analyst said. He ad ded lhat p roductio n could rise by 10- 15 pe rce nt. There arc no credible figures for Nigeria's cocoa output, but es ti mates nnge from 280,()()()--4SO,OOO tonnes

a )"I:;I t , Induslr)' v:perts said the mid crop also kno ..... n as the light crop, was hamptrcd by a sllortage o( chemicals pa rtl y caused by an internatio nal ban o n som e: pesticides, includ ing sonle of the mo~t popular In Nigeria. 1Mb me;lnt fam ler ....-as un able: to tackle an o ut breakoCthe fungal black pod disease, w hich affecu 30- ,10 percent o f annua l out ·

put. The innow oC pesticides h as si nce impro\'ed and many growers hive b«TIlb1c to procure the Input to spray their farms against black pod, improvi ng the chaliCes of a robust han'est, they said. ~ fI."ain crop o utlook Is "ery ro bust because crop production prod ucL~ have come In now, so farm ers ....-ould be usi ng them to Increase prod uclio n ,~ Robo Adhu%C, a tornmoditytonsul tant, who also wo rks for CAN, told Reuters by tt'l eph une (rom Ihe S(luthwestt'f11 tOWII of Akul'e, capi . ta! o fNi gt'ria's cocoa main grolYing slale of Ondo. (Rtl/ltn)

Food security solution to Nigeria'sinsecurity - Minister From ba Saidu,. Kaduna

Conon farmers decry poor patronage, migrate to other crops COTTON fanll !rs In l1iu, Bo rn o State, ha\'t' attributed tht d ecline In cotton tuillvatio"l to low patronage and poor p ridn;, forcing th em to migrate to oth er rrops. The Ne ws Age ncy o f Nigeria (NAN) ~Us that du ri ng th e tolo· nial and post ;Il(!epcndente er.!, Biu wu the hub of culton production in th etountry. Malam Ibrahim Mod u, a famler, told NAN In 5 i'.! "n ""ondaY lhatcotton production 1'11$ ~a \'C rygood busll1 e5S~ from tht' l' I6Os to 19805 b efore its productio n dt1lined due 10 ~c hrulge in gOI"ern mell t pu lity.He saJd he ICI'mt how 10 cultivate cotton from his hie fal her at an ea rly

age. - , started cult ivating cotton w hen I was bardy 1 5-}'l~an-old , ~CIU Se my late fumer was a big producer of the cror· When I grev up, I also went Into t otton prod ucticn. In fact, I married III)' first wife, AS:lbc, willi th e money (rom th e ,ale of collon. ft ln th ose da) -~. the colton bOill'd

IYU respo nsible fo r buying all th e t otIon p roduct<! by farTILt'r5. "As soo n as It was hln"est time, o ffi cials ohhe board moved rou ll d to buy totton fro m famlef5 righ t In Ille Cann ,· Modu recalled. At cording to him, th e abolition of the colton board left farmCfs at the mtrcyof colton merchants, whom he said, bought th e tonullodlty I t rock bottom price from farmen. Mallam Ishaka Usman. anOlh er co tt on farlller in the area, torrobo· rated Modu's clai m, sayi ng Ihat cotton merchallts discouraged (armers from produti ng the trop with their style of business. -All what theywan tcd was to mu · Imbe thei r profit to the detrimen t o ( thefamlen. ~ I stopped tollon production In the laSI dgh t yeaJ'$ btcau~ it was no longer profi table; Usman told NAN. Malam Vmaru Waju, who also cuitiva les the crop, howeve r, uld that th e: situation had Impro\'Cd lately as bu yers nolY offered reaso nable price fo r cott o.,.

~ Th e sl wallon h as Imp roved, but fa rmers arc sull finding it tliffi cult to make a break throu gh [n toUon production. ~ I spt:' nt about NI.500 to culth"illte totton last yrar, but made a meagre profit ofN200 althe end,- he said. Waju aplai m:d th at the situat ion had compcUed SC\"C.ral COtlon farmers to revert to the prod uction o f other cror s they tonsiderc:d more viablt to tott on. Albajl Yusuf Ad amu, the Ch ai rman, (Jlu Local Government Council Caretake r Committee, adm itted Ihat Ihe :lrea had In Ihe pasl been th e nervt centre of cotton produttion in the count ry. He also torrobonted the \'iews of colton Carmt rs th at poor patronage had Icd to the decli ne of the crop. "We realised that fannen arc no longer Interested In p rodu d ng cotton, so we entoura ged th em 10 culti v.l.te other trops by providint fertUber and other inpnts 10 them, Ada mu said. (NAN)

THEmlnisterofstatefor agricultu~, Dr. BukarTIJi anlsald at the .....eekend that the only solution to the present Insc:curlly in th t country Is for NIgeria to attain food sccurit)' through the transfo rm~t\on of agricultural sector. Dr. TIjjanl made this known d uring a familiarisalion visi t to \-anous agricultural research institutes in 7..aria. describIng agriC\Jltural research Institutes as ncc~' ingredients toward achieving President Goodludt lona than$ agricultural tnns(omlation agenda. The minister explained that :til tht th rtt institu tes he visited .....ere of equal InlPOrtarKc to agricultural grD\\1h and devclopmenl, hence t.he need for the Federal ()oo.'Cmment to acrord spedal 81\ention to th on. Ro:scuch and de\"c:lopmttlt, according to him, arc funda mental paths thaI ma de oth er tOWltriCS to devclo p. add ing that it is time for Nigc:ria to avail itself ofth e0l'portu nily. He: said gO\'ernme nl iJ cOlmn lued to hringinghack the lost glory of rcscan:h institutes 10 prol't rty rcvi\'C agriculture. 111e minbter stressed the need for collaboration of prh'ate sectors with govCfnment to actualisc the min ion I nd vision of the pn:sc:nt ad ministration. He ailed for nlass production or rice, cas.<.al-a, cocoa an.\ ground nullS .....ell 115 re· uwigoration of COIt OIl in Northem Nigeria IYhilecalUngon farmers 10 IIIO\'C from sub~lstmce to commercial agrictlltu~ ~ I n the same \"dn, g'Jvcrnlllenl is looking Into li vestock stt\.or, whkh ISl lsoof rqual Importance. Hide arld skin (rom Sokoto ....-ould lie gh"C.ll attentio n bccauseofthe a\'ailability o( red goat In that am. Rcrlgoatsproducegood qU;l.Utyhide and ski n," D r1ijJa ni said.

ECOWAStrains287 youthson agric entrepreneurship By Romokr W. AhmJd TWO hu nd red and eighly seven youth s have completed a month -long training 01 1 \'a rious asp«ts of agricullural prod Utlion allh e Songhai Cen tre In Porto No\"o, capi tal o f Benin, IS p~rl of In ECOWAS t ;ipacity building p rogn mnl e to encourage an d empower Community you lh for self employment. The train ing w hich wu launched n yC years ago was organlxed by Ihe O uagadougo u. b ased ECOWAS Youth and Sporu Development Centre, ln collaboration with tht Songhll Centre, One of lhe regional ce ntres o f excell ence recognized by ECOWAS for youlh development. Attordlng 10 the co mmissio n in Ahuja, t he e~ l'eri ­ mental programme o f th e tni ning d rew 15 tnlnecs from th e IS ECOWAS Membl'r Slatl'5 toenable )'oulhs contrib· ute to regiollal food secu rlty, sayi ng ils sucten ellt Ollragt'd ECOWAS to spOllso r six trainees from each of th e 12 putitipa lin g coun tries (or the fifth edition.