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SUNPAY PUNCH

56

Agric - Economy

SEPTEMBER 25.201 1

Value addition is key to cassava revolution 0l\10BOLAJ I SOLAGBADE ........... ~l FFORTS to add valu e to oops ---1 such as ca§Silva ,'e q ui re more ..-e!latlenlion than before transfOlm Nigerill's ;,gricult\lrlll sector. the Dire<tor General. International Institu te of Tropical Agriculture Dr. Peter Harlma nn, has St"4id. Apart from improving far me ls' inc'l m'!S. va lue addi tion has thl: lIbiJity 10 address I h~ increasing !evel of unemployment in Nigeria, ilCcording 1 0' H lI rlmann who WlIS 1"?presented by Dr. G bassey Tarawali. a scientist with IITA, at a stakeholder fo rum 10 mark th·~ e nd of Ihe CFC-funded Ca!.;ava Value Chai n Project in Niger ia. Impleme nted by IITA and its n'lOO!l('1 partners. Hartmann Slid the establishme nt (,f cassava processing Ct nters in t-lasaka. Lafia and Kuje fo r the produc tio n d garl. fulu.

,,,,,,

10

in Nigeria -

cassava fl our ~nd starch is producing positive ml.I lts by offering new streaJ!l5 of incomes to the benefiting communities. Wilhanan nualproduclion

of about 44 million tons 01 cassava. Nigeria is Itxlay the

IAIOrkfsleaderolcassaVi'l. bul the country is yel 10 hamess Ihe maximum benefit from cassava due to inadequate

IITA.

processing facili ties. This. subjects lhe oop 10 seasonal glut. "This is en area Ihal needs urgent aUention.- Harlmann said.

The PermanentSecrelary, Ministry of Trade and hweslmenl. Dr. Abubakar Abdullahi also said value addition to cas.sava would help lurn around the forlunes

According 10 '" AN findings.

of the fanre~ in some ru!'lll seU\ementsOll lheou t!kirts

most

or Bauchl metropn \wre not ~Ii!;ned \Yilh thf distribution method being ildlpled by the slate gowmment In sep.)rate In' l!I'Vieo.\'5 with lamlfTS In t ~ settlements. tI~, told NAN trlat Ihey see the channels ttu ough which the commodity \\<';5 being distributed as unr>!llabie ··Whereas gavemmenl is doing its !Jest. the channels through which tho! commodily is being dl5lributed are not ,eliable:· some 0 1 the farmers who spoke to NA"II lamented. They poinled out thollt the yeal 2011 ~ as been the \\~rs\. In com['<lli5on wilh the problems experienced in previous yellrs. Malam Baba;i ' akubu. a 56i-'eat·oId mai;:.e fanner in

1HE

T

N~m

Comm unity in Anam.>ra West Loci'll Gove rn men t Areil of Anllmbra State hlls moo, available a 10 kiJometll:"sq Jail! of land (abou t 2.590 heetares) 10 the Fedeli'll Gu 'ernmen l 10 1 the local Ion of a univeTsil!!-' of ag ' icul ture "n:l ot her agmallied venlures. Addressi ng IU!I.Y5men on Thursdlly In Aw (3 . the Nzam Community·s i\':okesmlln. Dr Chfnedu Ani!lc h Jna. said the

AbduUahi

said,

benefit immensely from this

great crop if concerted efforts

· L·R: Depuay Gooernor of Cra," River S ' oae, Mr. Cobhoms ~ok j Gove rnor Llvel Im oke; ond C ille! Execll ilve DDker. H. Pierson Assoclcrl.e5 Llmlled, Mrs. Eileen Shalyen, durillg tile slate c.'(ecutive rearen l, In C(IIabor... rece ntly

Inki! village. bLamed lack of fertiliser fat the poor halW5l on hIS farms this yellr. "I had to use decomfX$!d ~rb&ge In place of fertm50 and I thank God tltllt I Ciln nO\II boast 01 something But the output should have been lar mOfe than Ihis.. ~ he slated. MuhlInm~ Muldar of SlIbon·LayiviIlage. noted that the situation !hould have been better "in spile of lhe problelTl5 ofl'aillfall. "Although, the cessation of rainfall also contributed 10 the probkm of poor harvest Ulis year. but Ihings \\IOlI1d have been beller if ferllliseT was <l.Wlil ll ble. "I \\IllS able to buy one me<l5U!e of lertili5er ",.. hith I supplemented with manure. but thai Wi'IS nol enough to meet the needs of Ul(! maize and sorghum I planted:' he

said. Two other farmers in lhe village, I!.'I Audu. a main! farmer. and 'rusuf lisman, a

-.

rice fllnner. told NAN tMt the

problem ofinadequate fertiliser had become a recurring

They said Ulis had lom!d ~ift to planting crops which do not demand much fertiliser. KFrom experience over the years. il \yj1 be diIHcul! to liE'CU~ the JellSl qwntily for use in the farm . Even if one is lucky. the little that comes to you is ahWlyS late. MIand several other larmers therefOOi! decided to shift to crops liM groundnut and beallS thai can survive withou l fertiliser:' Audu said. In his accoun\. LIsman said wtille Il(! cultivated sbc bags of rice in 2010. he was not certain of gelting more thun 1\1.'0 bags this year in view of the pm.'2Iiling situation. "I do not haw the mellns to buy feltiliser In the market and you need somebody to stand for you before you get the one sold by government.

some larmers to

"That

hM been my predicament and lhat 01 several olher rural farmers~ . he said. In l iuum village. anolher farmer. Mohammed Sani, said farmers in ttl(! area \wre lI!ked to pay money by offtda15 of the state government and IIl(!n lIVoait the commodity's supply. ~ But M it is now \ve haw ended up getting nothing. I never got a single bag of fertiliser. In fad. I had to 5trumJe to get my money refunded," he said, The farmer then advised govemmenllobewaryol those to be given lhe responsibility of distributing lhe fertiliser in the future. "My advice candid

conveYllnce 0 1 Ihe la nd litle had been forwarded to the FedeT1lI Government already. He 5alid the leiter to President Goodluck J onllthan 5tating the intention of the ccmmunity was duly signed by the traditional ruler of Nzam. Igwe Paul N Okolo. the Presidenl General of N~am Town Union. Chief u.wrence Egwuatu, and the Ezeudo of Ogbe. C hief Emma Akubueze. The community said the condit ion for giving out the land WllS for il lo be used for a ullive!$ity of agriculture.

that it had explaining sufr.clent land for extension. farm settlement and exlension services Anachuna said the land WlIS given to the Federal Government as a special app~dat ion to President Dr Goodluck J onathan. He noted U...,I the donalioo by the Nzam com munity INlI5 unpreceden ted in th e South East as some oommun il~ would easily resist the a cqui!ition o f Iheir.lands for development pu rposes. He appealed to the FedeT1lI Government to acknO\lIledge

government is thai. henceforth. those to be vesled wit h thl! responsibility 0 1 dislributing fertiliser a(the n lral areas should be screen~ thoroughly before being assigned such responsibility. ~ he ~id, IsaAhmaduofKajituv1llage tokl NAN he 1Iiso cultil..ated miDet and groundnu t liS ag<l inst hi'! popula r choice of maize after using decomposed refuse as ferU!iser. ~ It is eit her you pay refuse collectors 10 d ump decomposed glI..wge in your farm in CKl,vance. lIS an i1Iternlltive to ferlitiser, or you move away Irom crops demanding an enonnous use oFfertiliser.~ he said, 10

weTI! mooe il l harnessing its numerous potentials, lei me C<\U on nil key players in the cassava industry and pfOspective inve:slors to lake a cue from the cassava prolo~'Pf,! projects with a view 10 putting in place sta ndard processing plants 10 utilize the volume of cassava produced in the coun try as a sour~ of income. ~ The Nigeria· s Projecl Coordinator. Ms Omololu Ope-eo.ve said that the IIpprooch used in the project was 10 strengthe n farmers. processors and mal keters

~:;;~~,;~":O:::~ of '" am glad to inform you

~':,:::r"~~:::;r;:o;:.

si tes. AlllheplojectsitesweTl! giwn various inteTwnlion meC'l!iures including building structurt'S,c.assavaprocessing equipment and packttging malerillis. nle products from the sites v.oere approved by NAfDAC.~ she said, The IITA-C FC Regional Coordinator Pta!. lateef Sanni. called on the beneficiaries to make the most of t h~ processing centers. He urged policymakers ill1d the private seelor 10 lake advanlage o f the untapped opportunities available in the cassava sedor especia lly processing.

Edo disburses N48m to farmers HE Edo State Govern ment on Thursday disbu~ N48m to 175 fanners in

T

Community donates 2,590,000 hectares of land to varsity EMMANUEL oJBE

viabilily and improve its competitiveness particularly in the non-oil sector.

Dr.

Or.IE "Ifai farmers in lkuclTi slate

I~b.

"'r.

"Nigeria as the largest work! producer of cassaVl'l can

Bauchi rural farmers demand review of fertiliser distribution system

want a ,evie\\I of the lertii~ distribution ~'5tem in the slate. !he News 1¥1lC': of Nigeria

of farmers. Represented by J ulius Apanisile. the Permanent Secrernrysaidcassava o ffered tremendous opportunities that woukl furlher broaden the country's econom ic

the letter of donation by Nzam community and sialt work o n the land as it would serve as a way o f opening up the com munity. He noted that 1I sketch plan showing the parcel 01 land in allotment A 10 square miles. II(!'rged red unsealed a l the moment was enclosed in the letter dispa lched lor their peru~l.

An achuna fur ther commended Governor Peter O bi for remembering the people of Anambra Norlh with developmenlal projects silKe creation of the state.

the state under the Fadama II! project, Governor. Adams Oshiom hole. while presen ting chequn to the beneficiaries. gOlleTnment's reiterated co mm ilment to agri culture. saying the Fadamll pro}ccl would be used 10 drive th e economy of the ruli'll areas. Accord ing to Oshiomhole, without the peasant farmers the count1Y would have had lots o f seCU rity challenges. ad ding that his governmen t would 500n come out wilh e blue print aimed lit revamping the sedor. He said.. ~Governmenl 1I10ne «lnno t provide Ihe newed employmenl for the teeming UOE'IlI[)klyfti youths bu t with agriculture, jobs can be Ot!ated . ~We undersland the youths· refusal to go into

farm ing. the present living conditi on of OUI farmers will cerlainly discou lage Ina\. MFor 100 loog, ou r fa nners have been lIbandoned. They have worked so hard wi thout any supporl from th e govefllment but we are looking at WlIYS o f Improvi ng Uleir quality of life. ~ The state commission!'r for Agriculture. ,.'r, Adbu l Droh said agricultu re would be used 10 drive the e(o nomy and also tackle poverty in the rural areas, The disbursemenl was the slate·s second tranche of disbursemenl under Ihe Fadama III project. Edo State. which lh e projei;:1 InauguTilted projed in 2008. has 1. 192 Fadama User G roups and 149 f-adama Commu nity Association legistered.


THE PUNCH, 25 SEPTEMBER, 2011