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1Friday, March 25, 2011

21

DAILY TRUST

Business/Agric

Fey to allocate 300 hedares of land for agric -Minister TH E FCf is to allocate 300 hectares ofland for agricultural development, the Minister, Sen. Bala Mohammed, said yesterday. Mohammed said in Ahuja tllat his administration was going into a partnership arrangement with the organised private sector. He said that under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, the land would be prepared for concessioning. He advocated for a sustainable green revolution that enables small-

holder farmers to Significantly boost their yields and incomes. He also said that the FCf was working to provide farmers with tools and opportunities to boost agncultual production. The minister said that the administration had commenced the distribution ofN2 billion as soft loans to farmers witllin the territory. The loan, he said, would help to improve their farming system m the areas of seed, soil healtll and inlproved access to various farm

inputs. On infrastructure, Mohammed said that the construction of Gwagwalada-Kuje-Gaube-Apo and Kirshi-Ara-Nassara\va roads were ongoing. He expressed the.hope that the roads would open up more farm lands for production and raise the standard of living of farming communities within FCf. "As my administration has commenced the provision of infrastructure and capacity building.

FCf famlers are gradually departing from the traditional subsistent metllOd to mechanized farming. "This will surely lift many out of poverty by increasing productivitf,' he said. He said tl,at numerous private sector investments in agriculture such as poultry, fisheries,livestocks and crop farms were rapidly emerg· ing in Ihe six area councils. On the National Food Security Programme, the minister said that ille vision and mission of the rCf

administration was to ensure sustainable availability, affordability and access of quality food for aIL It is furtiler committed to provision of raw materials to meet the needs of the expaneling industrial sector.

"Empha;is is also on the promotion of agricultural develop· ment and management of natu ral resources to achieve sw,lainable food security, enhance farme", income and reduce poverty; the minister said. (NAN)

Farmers to

benefit from climate based insurance scheme By Nasir Imam FARMERS III Nigena may soon have a climale based insurance policy m place to provide a hedge against risks associated with loss offarm produce and other lhreats to agnculture. A conference was organised by the International Centre for Energy, Environment and Devel · opment (ICEED), in partnership with the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, and the National Insurance Commission. The conference is coming on the heels of a baseline study to explore the opportunities and challenges of developmg a climate based agricultural insurance scheme for Nigeria and establi;hing a national mecha · nism for implementing the scheme. Ewah Otu Eleri of ICEED, said Nigeria has Significant experience in delivering tradi· tional agricultural insurance schemes through cooperati ves and government agencies. However, broadening the market for these risk management services are limited by factors including high transaction cost, regulation, product design and poor customer perception. He said Nigerian agricul. ture is particularly vulnerable to climate change variability as over 90% of crop production is dependent on rain- fed systems. "The agricultural sector contributes 42% of the country's GDP and employs about 70% of the total labour force."

FG to train 10,000 youths in agric TH E Federal Governmen t wi ll in the next one year, train 10, 000 youths on various aspects of agric ulture, a lOp government official said yesterday. Mrs. Fatima Bamidele, the Permanent Secretar y, Federal Ministry of Agricultu re and Rural Development, disclosed this in AbuJ3 in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). Bamidele said that the training was aimed at replacing

the ageing population of Nigerian farmers wi th young and able-bodied men and women. She said that the government was determined to make lhe youths interested in agriculture by making farming attrac ti ve. According to her, the government will invest

She said the decision of the governmen t to boost investment in agriculture was predicated on the fact that the sector remained the mainstay of the nation's economy. The permanent secretary noted that a sizable proportion of Nigerians reside in the rural areas

in

where infrastructure was poor.

infrastructure

areas of

through

the

"remunerative

in

rura1

creation economic

opportunities" for young people engaged in agriculture.

"Government's

basic

responsib ility to its people is to alleviate poverty and promote development and there is no other

way of achieving these than by diversifying the economy. "This is what informed government's determination to re-double efforts in agricultural development;' she added. She said the decision of the Federal Government to increase the capacity of the Na tional StrategiC Food Reserve from the present 300,000 tonne. to one million tannes was to meet the country's food security needs. (NAN)

NEPC, W/Bank to develop commercial agriculture By Sunday Williams THE Nigerian Export Promo· tion Council (NEPC) has agreed to work with the World Bank's Commercia l Agriculture Development Project (CADP) going on in five states of the federati on in order to stimulate the export and marketability of the targeted agricultural products. To this effect, NEPC yester· day in Abuja signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) wuh the five states that are par-

ticipating in the project. The stales are Lagos. Cross River, Enugu, Kano and Kaduna. Speaking, the Executive Director/CEO ofNEPC, David l. Adulugba said that the project has been structured in such a way that each participating stare will be targeted with support act ivities and expertise fashioned 10 enhance the capability a nd competence of farmers, processors and marketers to acllieve global competitiveness in selected va lue chains.

He said that the objective of the MoU is to ensure that fin ished products of the value chain selected for the project achieve tremendous success at domestic and international market. Under the project, Lagos State is specifically focusing on aquacu lture, poultry and rice value chains, while Enu gu is fOC USing on fruit trees (cashew and pineapples), poultry (eggs and birds) and maize value chains. Cross River State on its part is focusing on oil palm, cocoa and

rice value chains, Kad un a State is focusing on fruit trees. (citrus. mangoes and guava) dairy and staples (maize) value chains, while Kano State is fOCUSing on rice, dairy and staples (Maize) va lue chai ns.

Adulu gba said that the couo-ci l will pursue the successful execution of the MoU through organization and implemen· talion of tailored and capacity building programmes,domestic and foreign markets intell igence studies, selected study tours and

one-on -one mentoring etc. Speaking, the National Project Coordinator CADP, Dr. Aminu Baba ndi said that the issue of market is one sub component of the projec t which explained their collaboration with the NEPC. He urged the council not to only look at the export aspect of the market but to furnish them with the data base of Ihe location of domestic markets for different products in the project.

DAILY TRUST, 25 MARCH, 2011  

FCT to allocate 300 hedares of land for agric -Minister