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THISDAY, Vol. 16, No. 5839, Page 41

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

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B~u~ilJ@S$W0BlD agnc Fanners Demand 50% Representation in Agric Poli-cy oalitions of Civil Society under the Voice for Food Security campaign consonium have asked for 50% representation of smallscale farm holders in Agricultural policies in the country. The coalition who lamented that small scale farmers who provide 70% of the nation's food were poorly represented in critical decision malting in the sector. called for their full incorporation in the policy

C

making so as to achieve the

nation'S vision 202020. The National President Civil Society Coalition for Poverty Eradication (CIS COPE) Dr Dom Okoro who made the demand yesterday in Abuja during an "Agriculrural Budget Tracking Training Workshop for member of tlle Association of Smal l Scale Agro Producers in Nigeria (ASSAPIN) said low participation. of small farm holders has been a bane to food insecurity in the country.

Okoro maintained that the national budget in the sector had suffer setbacks because of poor implemenlation in addressing the real needs of the Nigerian farmers. adding that appropriati on to the sector

should not be quantity based rather it should be on quality, and to aid this, the government

From Yemi Akinsuyi

framework in the sector inconsistent, thereby baving a nega-

in Abuja

tive impact on the investment

should set up a monitoring and evaluation team so as to check-

mate problem regarding poor implementation. Lamenting that many rural farmers do not understand the intricacies of the budgetary allocation in the sector said that the workshop was aim at building the capacities of the farmers so as to give them room to fully participate in the government programs and policies affecting them. According to him "our concern is that the small scale farmers who produce all the food are not fully recognized in govemment policies and programs, so we want the government policies to address the desires of the rural farmers" . The program officer Ouam GB, Mr. Ayodeji Jaiyeoba who called for the need for the gov-

in the sector. He recommended that for the country to achieve it vision of being one of the 'largest economy by 2020, serving Mirtistem should monitor their policies so as to align with the vision of achieving lQ% GDP

growth rate. He said "there is no target of the agricultural growth rate, so resources appropriated to the sector are badly utilized without target adding that the counnies trade policies had contradict agricultural policies and this has made it difficult for farmers to channel their produce appropriately".

S'tating that Government policies are mostly in favour of large scale farmers, he called for a re-direction by putting the small-scale farmers on top priority, adding that if small scale farmers are given the chance, their would be increase in

labour productiviry in the country, and adequate provision of food.

However according to the Vice President ASSAPIN, Mr. Joshua

Mabinuore

who

blamed the problem of food security to lack of encouragement to (armers, called on the government to provide a ready

market for their farm produce, adding that they should be provide subsidy for their produce.

ernment to shift attention from

looking for food aid to food production, lamented the inconsistency of govemment in policy fonnulation and implementation framework. Jaiyeoba explai ned that

serving Ministers in the sector, had come and gone with their initiatives and policies stating tl,at this had made the policy

FAO, WFP Initiative Enhance Response t6Himger Crisis .

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ooordination at all levels and he United Nations food maximise our food assistance agencies - FAO and efforts," said WFP Depury Food the World Executive Director and Chief Programme (WFP) Operating Officer, Amir have launched a food securiAbdulla. ty platfonm to improve the Food security clusters are ooordination of food security already helping to ooordinate responses in humanitarian food security responses in crises . more than 25 countries The Food Security worldwide 'that have been Cluster- led by the two affected by large-scale natural organiultio ns - is based in disasters , conflicts or proRome. Its wode is speartrncted crises . The new Food headed by a small global Security Cluster provides an unit led by Grnltam Farmer, international platfonn for the newly appointed Global supporting these countryCluster Coordinator. The level food security initiatives. global suppon tearn includes From now on , countryFAO, WFP, non-governlevel food securi ty clusters mental organizations and their members will be (NGOs) and the able to draw upon support in International Red Cross and five crucial areas: tools and Red Crescent Movement and guidance on how to ooordiother humanitarian organizanate responses more effectivetions. ly; filling gaps in human "The support of the NGOs resources in acute emergency and the International Red situations; capacity building Cros.s/Red Crescent and training to build the Movement has been vital in ski lls of food securiry stakesetting up the Global Food holders in countries so that Security Cluster," said FAO they can coordinate more Deputy Director-General effectively; improVed infor(Operations), Changchui He. mation and knowledge-man"We share the oommon agement; and strengthened belief that woIking together and better ooordinaled advoat the intemational and councacy on food security try levels to better ooordinate responses in both countries food security responses in affected by emergencies and at cris is s ituations from the global level. food ass istance to support to The Humanitarian Aid food production and rebuild"' ''路.qepartment of the European ing agriculture-based liveliCommis~ion (ECHO) has hoods can effectively provided generous support to improve the lives of people enSUre the Food Security around the world affected by Cluster's start- up and timt disasters and emergencies," year of operations. he added . Additional funding for surge "Reaching hungry people support and capacity building wit h life-saving food in has been provided by the UK emergencies involves many Government's Department for partners woIki ng together International Development and the new Global Food (DFID) and for infonnation Security Cluster will be a management by tlte Ministry powerful tool to suppon of Foreign Affaim of Finland.

T

oL-R: Head, Consu/Jancy U1Iit, Illstihlle of Chartered Secrelilries and Admillistrators of Nigeria (ICSAN), Mr. KIIIIW Oglllrsola, PresidelltlClwimra1l of Council, ICSAN, Deacon Moses Dew Adeisa arrd RegistrariCEO, ICSAN, Mr. Dele Togurrde, durillg a press briefing by the on the commencement of isslling licenses 10 bonafide members in"Lagos ... recell/ly PI/uro: )'0111; Akinyele

'Low Fertilizer Use Drives Deforestation' The Guinean Rainforest (GRF) of West Africa, identified over 20 years ago as a global biodiversity hotspot, had reduced to 113,000 km2 at the start of the new millennium , which.was 18% of its original area, acrording to the report. The principal driver of this environmental change has been the expansion of low-input smallholder agricu lture that depends on environmentall y destructive practices like slash-and- bum and land clearing . Researchers at UTA found that increasing fertilizer use on cocoa-timber farm s would have spared roughly 2 million hectares of tropical forest from bei ng cleared or severely degraded. The study suggests that farmers could have achieved the same ou tputs without rampant deforestation through the intensified use of fertilizer and agrochemicals coupled with improved countries now accounting crop . husbandry. According for 70% of global cocoa , to !ITA, by doing so farmers supply. would have doubled their According to the study, incomes and helped to avoid cocoa production in West deforestation and degradaAfrica's Guinean Rainforest , tion on 2 . 1 mi Ilion hectares region doubled between and in the process, this 1987 and 2007 , but most of would have generated a value this increase was fueled .by of over 1,600 million dollars clearing forest areas resulting in large losses of biodi- .. on 1..3 billion .to路ns of-CO2 emissions that would not versity and high carbon have come from deforestaemissions.

L

ow-input farming for cocoa, cassava and oil palm has resulted in widespread deforestation and degredation of West Africa's tropical forest area, acrording to a new study by researchers at the International Institute for Tropical AgriCulture (UTA) the Center for and International Forestry Research (CIFOR). The study was published online this week in the peerreviewed journal Environmental Management. . Cocoa production in West Africa is an important commercial sector and a souroe of livelihoods for about two mjilion households in the region. For the last 20 years Cote d 'Ivoire has been the largest producer both in t<;mlS of output and numbers of producers, followed by Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon with these four

tion . TIle findings should be taken into consideration in discussions around efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation, say researchers. Instead of considering complicated strategies involving monetary or in-kind transfers to farmers or communities for altering their land use behavior, REDD funds could be used to incentivize and promote agricultural intensi fication efforts that would lead to higher rural incomes , greater food security, and avoided em'issions through the achievement of higher a"aricultural yields. The limited useofferti lizer in the GRF (less than 4 kg of total nutrients per hal may have been logical in 1960, when West African popUlations were only 25% of today's levels and forest land was still relatively abundant. That choi ce is no longer tenable in a context where only 15 to 20 percent of the GRF remains. There are no lo nger any frontier forests in Wes t Africa for future .generat ions to exploit. Strategies to reduce deforestat ion and conserve biodiversity in West Aliica must focus on transfonming agricu ltural practices from traditional to modem science based methods. "Felti lizers

for forest" techno logy to sustainabl y intensify production is available and has achieved impressive cocoa yield increases on a limited scale in parts of the GRF. According to the au thors, funding suppon for reducing carbon emissions due to deforestat io n and degradation (REDD) to mitigate climate change as discussed in the Copenhagen Accord offem the potential of significant new public resources for needed investments in agricultural research and extension and market infrastructure to s uppon the transfonmation of traditional agriCUlture in West Aliica. The estimated value of avoided C02 emissions is conservatively estimated at $565 per hectare for achieving the envisaged doubling of yields. A significant proportion of REDD+ funding should be used to increase the adoption and level offertilirer use in a "fertili zers for forest" mitigation program. 'There is a risk that if REDD interventions are only implemented wi thin the forestry sector, while extensive low input agri culture, the fundamental driver of deforestation in the region and the root cause of most rural poverty, gets neglected. Thi s would be a mistake," said Gockowski.


THISDAY, Vol.16 No.5839