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.Agriculture Nestle partners UTA to increase crops' roductivity ~e Nestle PIc, Lagos, ~ leading

TIt has collaborated With the mternatlonal Institute for

nutriti.on company, says

Tropical Agriculture (llTA), Ibadan to increase crops ' productivity and guarantee food security. The company said in a statement on Monday in Lagos, that the partnership would also improve the incomes of farmers. It said the partnership agreement took place during the courtesy visit of Mr Jose Lopez, the Executive Vice~President (Operations and Globe), Nestle Swiizerland tolITA. The statement said the Nestle and ItrA collaboration was in tandem with the Nestle principle of creating shared value for business and society. 'The company invests in thos.e areas where the potential Jor joint value creation i$ the greatest and seeks collaborative action with relevant stakeholders such as IITA. 'The wellbeing of ~e qornmunities from-which Nestle draws her raw materials. and local labour is vital to the company's success," the !statement said. It stated that Nestle speilds"approximately CHF20.4 billion (about N3 trillion) on raw materials and works directly with . approximately 540,000 farmers to increase their productivity. The statement said that about 3.4 million people in developing countries earned their livelihood from Nestle supply chain. It quoted Mr Peter Hartmann, the IITA Director~General·, as saying that the collaboration was a welcome development, adding that IITA was willing to partner with the private sector. In the statel1lent he sald such ·would increase the yields

e -Workers mixing ferlili1.ers for application at one of the farm; in K wara

anil ensure food security in Africa.

Rice Millers urge government to' ban rice . . .impor.tation throu.gb . la~~boarders ,.. ' rice embers of the Rice Importers, Millers and M Distributors Association of Nig'er1!l have once again called on the Federal Government to ban the importation of rice through 'the country' s land boarders. Addressing members of the press recently in Lagos, the association .through its Albaji Muftau Gbadamosi, the members of RiMIDAN they as well as other government agencies like Nigerian ports and Terminal operators; Dock-workers, Transporters , Clearing agents and many more are losing considerable revenue, business and jobs due to importation of rice through the country' s land boarders. They wonder why any importer of rice would prefer to import parboiled rice first to Contonu before bringing it into Nigeria, with its attendant cost of double duty and tariff, "if there.is no hidden agenda as Benin Republic do not traditionally consume parboiled rice." They added "Ordinarily, the landing cost of bringing

through the land -boarder should have been costlier but what we have now is -the contrary as Cotonou rice land cheaper . by about N500 than the rice imported throdgh Nigerian seaports in spite of the ·involvement of. series of middle men and women. TIlls is so because they are taking ai:lvantage of the imperfection in the land border duty collection system." Alhaji Muftau Gbadamosi said that importation of parboiled rice through ' Cotomi, Benin R.epublic serves as a condujt pipe ·used to undermine Nigerian' s economy aM render useless ill economic . policy of Nigeria Government with regards to ever being self sufficient in rice production. He wonders why a country like Benin Republic that is a white rice consuming country will import over 600,000 metric tons of parboiled rice every year.

He explains that duty payable for 600,000 metric tons of rice at a bench mark of $640 and an exchange rate of 150/$ is about 18 billion naira. "This is the ex pected revenue that should have come from the

land borders if all things are equal . This further ·shows that for every bag that enters the country through this illegal means , the Federal Government losses NI,500 while t1ie smugglers make over NlOOO per bag. "The duty structure in Nigeria is 32% on a bench mark of $640 which implies that Nigerian importers pay $206 per ton while that in Cotonou is 32% on a bench mark of $100. This implies that the importers in Cotonou pay $30 per ton." Alhaji Muftau Gbadamosi said that the difference of . $76 · encourages these unscrupulous elements to smuggle the.commodity into Nigeria and make millions while the nation losses revenue aiJd jobs. When asked why they are not calling for ban on importation through the sea also, he explained that shipment of rice into. the country through the seaports can be~tracked for data and revenue. "Even when a fraudulent importer wants to conceal some quantities and under declare its volume and value, inspectio n agencies can always get the right figures . from the point of export. While trucks from Cotonou through different routes can

.

"Our scientists have heen ·working with Nestle for 'a long'time and we see this as another opportunity to forge ties ahead. "We have a lot to work in cornmon whether in the area of biological ris.k control, crop improvement and ·or nutrition," the statement quoted him as saying.

eWomenfarmers cultivating rice

always get away with under declaration at the land borders." The RiMIDAN chairman explained that his members who are into milling have invested so much money in trying to develop the country ' s agriculture as they have been patronizing and encouraging our local paddy farmers.

Olam Nig. Ltd., to mention But regretted that these but a few, is laying in waste." millers are now being forced While noting identified out of business by activities with Nigerian Government of those who import policy in rice production through Cotonou boarder with a view of making and other land boarders. "Millions of investment Nigeria self sufficient in rice made by our members in . production, he said if the smuggling continues, their terms of Milling Factories, bankers, foreign partners such as Veetee Nig Ltd, Churchgate Nig Ltd.,Stallion and their whole investment will be in problem. Group, Dana Group and

VANGUARD, 2 APRIL, 2010  

Nestle parners IITA to increase crops'productivity and guarantee food security