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THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 15,2012

AGRO-BUSINESS

Expert advocates mega food parks in Lagos RMEn Chauman, Poultry As50cillinn of Nigeria.

M

gas Chapter. Mr Lanre Bello. his iltlvo~lt:d the establishment of the .,arb to boost food productn:.n.

SpOking willi lilt Nahon. Bello said the par~ would add iI new dim~ion to the stalll!' govemmenl's e(~ort.to develop food pro<:e5lng unlls Aciurding Ic' lI bn, settIng up !he parks will pm"".le ~lIer infra!Structure to rettue" waste. An estimated to per ('t~ 1 ;)( fruit and vegetilble rroduction is wllsll"d ~ca~o IIKk;0fsttomg~.coldchain

;rnd transport IOfla.!tructure. The goveTnmml he said needed to give the much required boo!!t and-support to the food chain right

By Daniel e..,let, '-Ode: Corr.'pend.nt from the producer to the ~t:atl oUIlet '"This i5 by developmg mega food parks, lopstiaand cord chilWl transpomtion. 6sheril!S. sra food,. anlmlli/roduce. melli, dairy. cereal an ready-tCH'!31 produce~.he gid. With mega food parks in .select areu, the phenometal food waste an br curbed,BelIo said. He Iisl~ challenges faced by farm~ to include tflio unresolved issue o f the lAnd Use Act. lack of colhlt~ral by most farm~rs lind lack of good storag~ fadlitiH. Despite agriculture being the largest employer of labour lind lICcounting for aboul 4S per cent of

the Gros;s Domestic Product (GOP), he lamented thai bimb allocate only 1.05 per cett of their loan portfolio to agnCI.Ilture. Bello, the Chalnnan of Crown Chicken Nigeria Umited. urged the government to increMe lending to farmers . For fumers to ma.t' long-Ienn, income-general109 investments on land Ihey muSI hav~ access to credit. &110 said . On the U!Ie of land all a collateral, he 5i'Iid the law allows farmers to u&e lheir rights 10 fanning and residmtial land aJI collateral for 1000ns He. however, added that farmers are required to pr6ent, nol only Ihe cvIificate of occupancy(C of 0), bul abo Ihe governor's consent if they are 10 use land as a

collateral. Untn the issue of the Land Use Act is resolYed, farmers will continue to lace c:haIIengesaccessmg agricultural financing. he .said_ On the dforls_oIthe Bank of Agriculture, he said the maximum loan limit the bank can granl a farmer without colla teral j-5 N250,OOO. This amount, Bello said, was not enough to meet the basic ~s of farmen.

w~~~~t,S~~!ho'd;~~~:

to raise the level of food pr0ces5ing ;rnd boost production. He implored the government to fashion policies for raising food procn.s1I1g and generating fann level employment

300,000 Bauchi farmers for e-Wallet fertiliser

o fewer than JOO,OCKI fanners from Baudti Stale hayeso far registered for the e-wallet fertiliser di;Stribubon system introduced by the ~eral Govem· mulL The CommlS"iorlf/'r of Agn-

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cul~T1lSIuMuhamfl'l.o'ldmadeiJus

known at

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·F... m I"ft Din'cto (;"n"....1. In t..,.".tlGnal 1IUIlliu le or Trvpiul Agticullu", IIITA). Or. Nte ..." y. S."pnp and 0Y" Siale CovfmoT S,, '. aIG' Ablob AJimobl during S."Singa'• .,1,1t to Ih" governor In Tbad .... Oye Slat"

11 bnefing on the acbviof hiS mmlStry He5iLld thestak!.!;among the lint

tH5

~tb~b~Ii~~~~~~b:::'

ers directly . Arrangement had been concluded for the sales of fertiliser in the rema1l1ing local govnnment areas aller the bunch at Gwa.ram ,·iIIage in A1kaleri L0cal Government by Governor [sa Yuguda The commissioner said pest cont rol chemicals worth N22million were procured for the control of pesl$, such 115 graMhop-: pers. army worms elc. AI" added that over 1,000 cotton fanners are eXpKted to culbvate oyer 1,000 hectares dunng thiS years'farmlng season. He added that 52 agncul~ tural workers were trained at Sabere farms In Yola for colton

produ~T!I

The gOyernmenl, he said. has aproyed the purchase of22 new trac-

ors, refurblslung of 28 serviCeable r.tr/lctors and servicing of 16 funcbonal C!TIeS at N2S9m 111' satd to ensure that fa.nners have access to low Interest credits for f.rmlng op~~!~':dNtrb~lfi~yneio,;:nr~~!S tahc; Central Bank of NlgeT1a (CBN) for on-lending to farmers through cooperative SOCIeties TllSlusaid.!lC,far.the~ha<l-

s.x mi1JiOfl applicabms &om inll!n5leJ farmers that want 10 benefit from the NlbillicKl CBN Io1re. ""th 0Yf'r fwr rni1fia. 8O'I'Jt'J1I!d b ~ faciI-

1laII-ro CPIo"er

ityFa tlus famung!6W;l'\, he said, 5,(0) metric lImnI50f umI howe been procured at NSEnniIlOI and 1:aJ mrtnc tcnes of

Nl'K bIerded by 8in.dIi ~ BImdir@pmt.Th:&sGo UladdJtOl.lo ~ 14,8:0

metnckJTleSdre-tihser Yal~ ",t Nt 628billion allocaled to the ~t~te b ... the Federal Government make'~ which the rertiliser Will be sold to Ihe farmers at 50 per ('I'.Il1 subsidy using e-wallet system. he sud

Segun Adew unmi is the Chairma n of the Nigeria Cassava Growers Association (NCGA).ln this interview with G BENGA A D ERANTI, he speaks on how the group hopes to ro!'1olutionise cassava farming; the tra nsformation agenda and why the government should drop farm se ttlements.

~Why

we supporfcassava transformation plan'

P

RESID ENl Good l uck . ·f on.th, n is ur villssing use of cU..'GlIV' "ru,J. how- realis tic is this? Cassava brend ..... Just one of tht> small uses of C¥'<IY", We have the ethanol wkich mMl<et is IimitleM, we ha~ G\S5II1·a IndU5trial stilrW We've not been ai-Ie 10 product' 10 per cenl of Ihf' ca' ,",va slilrrh that we have. Cas!I'Iya bread 1$ a good innovation. it '!C' lealisbc_ It i5 1I very good !hlllg. If t happens because in the ~t i,lact', it has been

t,

ro~he;!l~~h!~~i: ~oh~~eisw~~'7 There ""&5 a (on5' )Lacy agalnsl II and thai wa5wh)' (hi' Ho~ speed· Ily passed the sill i ~assava bread is a welcome il1ea '0 us as farme~ Can as5iI!Y;I be tqlOrted7 Cassa" cannot he exported fronl this country untill1e\l year or year after The rea50ll h lhal the: cost of production of (aNSi1ya here is 50 high comparJ'd 'vlth the world market. Evm w~ are dLSCussing with trnnsfmDlah"n leam now on how our caSSIn-a I mduct can penetrate the worl·1 m Ir tel We are not tlunldng of elq'ort-ng lhts year. We are thinlangof u..""'1$ what we have to meet the dOme"b ' demand. We are practJcal p"0r.1e, we are inlo it 11iere b U5u~1 y lhreoe year glut This year c.s~a' I " plenty and

avaiiable.No one will plant because the pnce at which you are gOing 10 sell will not bf' more than ihe C06I of uprooting and transporblbon. Most people will leaye It to rot. Then the following r,ear, there will bf'scardly and peep eWIII rush to f.rm, all these have been arrested by the programme of the NCGA. We are thinking about meeting the dornestK demands. After that. we will e:!ililblish mechanised farms to product' chRp CMSava, so that we can compete m the world markel _ WhIle j:(}me farmers art' getting I'.Ight lormes ITom one hedare of land here, hrmers in Soulh Africa are getting 50 lonnes from the same one heo;,re, the C06tof production is much less thitt IS what we are w('lrking upon. fl ow do you hope to compete ,t the intemilltion;ll muket7 We the cassan growers usoci.;Ilion have two progr;lmmes a prognnnme for peasant h~ in wh~ case, we InSist they turn all the UJlj:Old cassaYa into gn,j and 51"11 them into the refugee camps in Af-

rica.

Secondly, we are now lhlnking of

mecharused farms; the government hu come 10 our ajd willi the reduction of the cost of fertiliser next year That means we can begin 10

think about Illdustriai cassava We have mad~ arrangement (or committen to .see about pre:setValion of deriv.tiyes from c:a5Slva; things such .u gam; fufu and all those thmgs We can use cassava to prodl1~ vitriehe5 that can be sold 10 yarious: 5u~arkets. Ilow- ;lfe 101.1 going to bring 10ge ther milhons of Nigeri.1ln fumers to key into your revoluti on ? We intend to start by employing five extension officers per local government You know we have n4 loc:al governments In Nigeria now; that will translate into 3.870 people being employed and trained in extension .services Under these extension officers, we will group the hnners; may be 50 hrml'T!I per extension olftttr, who will supervise all theJt input operation and everything 50 that, they can comply with the Dest practict' of agronomy_ We want to first of all mobili5e 1000 farmers in every local government. We have acquired land We are still acquiring lilIld We will dlslribute. demllrcate them mlo blocks, five hectares, 10 hectares and give them 10 farmers. We want to dust~r Ihe farms around proposed factories: and plan according to sequence usage. We are regislering f.nmers now. Any

farmer that goes to Union Bank and asks to be regl."llered will bf' registered The 6ank will gIve them forms and do the ~SlratJon righlthere. After being reg!.!;tered, IOU go str.ught to tlui nearest of~ of UuslYa Growers Association_ We have them all oyer the platt You will go and submit your reg!.!;tration form The Federal Goyernment guarilntees 75 per cent of the loan, In puts such as chemicals, ferhhser, aR subsidised 50 J>e! cent by the Federal G<wernment These are f;ldlities our membe-s are enjoymg.

~O:::d,,~:,,~lt\~~~~th~~~

ern practict' of agriculture. COllllidering Ute filel thai mmL The yu r fumen ,re iUitef;1les, do you think they will be rec:eptive to this prognomme o f YOUts? Very, very rKeptlYe. Most or their c::hildren are literate and 5eCondly, il is not difficult to teach, most of the operlllions will be done by the exJ!'.'fts. The pari the farmer will do i5 just the phySical work. All the extension officers are s.iyen bikes 50 they can reach the 1Il1erior whether in the rainy seilSOll (W dry season. Evny fann will bf' measUred out and numbered. The purpose we are paying through the banlr. ill because we want every-

' Sell"n "d"w.nmi

body to ha"e an identity number Ilow do you intend t oadd res~ the problems of preserv'tlon of assava and the end product57 I'm happy With the way ~ f«Ieral Strategii:-,- Grain and FOod Resen·e works bec3use I did 811m for them for a Ioog time ard thej wOllkl provide polylhene bags, sealer anil olher things, which would ass!.!;t ~o~ serve the grrrTI. ll1e gam slil for three yeaBand wII.'!MiU very II.'! if it was prodUC'ed yeslerdily. 1believe same thing could happen to 01Mr food deriv!!d &om C!I.Sl!IilYL With this we will be able 10 put them UlSUpermarket! and export ~ 01 them. I know thr:y ha~ ~tion that is the area we should (ocus on.


THE NATION, 15 JUNE, 2012