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Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 2012-


Business ~ Agric: New biodiversity project to improve nutrition, food security BY O M O H GAB RI EL. BusIn ess Edilor 9IOb~1 conference 01 food bas Said thlt undervalued but nutritious food can make the dUferencc II I e.fforts to secure food secunty acr~ss conUnen\' offidais attending the 2012 World NulnUon Congress In RIo Degenno said that -PlaCing ,.mewed emphasis on sustaIning tte natural vanety of crops and amrn))s contributing to agnculture, including neglected yet nutritious radlUonal (oods, can Improve (ocd secunty and address growmg gicbal concerru over poor nutrition a Id its negaUve health


between biodiversity and good feeding the world populatIOn of nutribon, the diversl1y of crops and around mne billion by 2050, we need thelt wtld relatives, trees, animals. to consider not only sustainably microbes and other species producmg suffiCient food but also contributing to food productIon worlong towards diversified nutrition. known as agncultural biodiversity wluch means providing a healthydJet can counter these trends, for aiL Agncultural blodlversity plays Speaking also Brauho Dlas, a central role in meeting this Execubve Secretary, Secretariat of the challengeConvention on B~C:A.I DIversity -Dl~ Global Envltonmenl FaClhty (CBO) satd -To meet the cballengeor-.{GEF), the world's largest public

source 01 fund10g of IOtemaltonal environmental projects, IS supporting the multt-COllntry project led by BraZll. Kenya, Sn lanka and Thrkey. Bioversity Internallonal 15 coordinating the project With Implementallon support from the United Nations Envlronment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Orgaruzabon of the Uruted Nations (FAO)


The confen~ scud "TIle Blodiversily

to~!~ ~_d N~:'~bon_P~J~-,~~ people's di~s, With nutritionally-poor process€"d (oods dominating the dinner tablE . This trend has led to a raft of healll1Ssues worldwide . One thud of the "orld's population suffers from hunger and micronutrient malnutriUol .• while Obesity and dielrelated chrc me illness ha\:e reached cnbcal level; Attordmg to Emtle FruOH, Director General of 3ioverslty International, WhiCh 15 co Irdmating the project to further te§& reh and promote tbe links

LCCI uI'ges CBN to compel banks to invest In SMEs

From le ft: Lere Oduso/e. IIlS1d Business De.'elopmenl. (Jando Gas and Power; TiJOIiq 1ij M }. Lagos S lille Durunissioner for Energy and MineriJl Reso urces and Sam Amildi, Erecu/i""e Chairman 01 the N igerian Electricily ReguJalory CommissIon during a panel dis cussIon on 'PowerSuJJJciency for Lagos' ii/the ugos Econ om Jc: Summil. Ehingbeti 2 102, in Lagos

I:hamber of Commerce L and lndustry (LCCI) on Monday Experts attribute rising inflation to low adVlSed tbe Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to compe1 banks to invest in thedeveJop-nent o( small businesses . productivity in real sector TIle rector-General, Muda AGOS



Yusuf. mad .. the plea in an interview on the sidelines of a workshop in Lagos . The workshop. organised by a Non-Gove.rnmental Organisation based in South Africa, was on the; " Impact of Investment Climate Refonns on Growth and Development ofSMEs- . ~The CBN should make it a deliberate P'Jlicy forbanks to dedicate certarn pertentages of then credits to the develoJ.1ment of SMEs," Yusuf s41d. lie slud that banks would not lOvest in Ule sector as long as the banks were allowed to manage thea credtts the way they wanted. "Most small business operators cannot access funds in the regular commerCial banis. They have to go to finance houses or micro finance banks where they borrow al high lOterest rate of 10 per cent per month They may nol have beautiful offices, but we need to reckon with them end bring them on board,he s41d. Yu~uf said that SMEll were the IDillIl dnvers in the distributive trade seclo r of the economy and accounted fo r about 15 per cent oflheGross Domestic Product (GOP).

OME financial experts have attributed the rising InOailon rate in the country to low activities in the real sectors, They told newsmen in Lagos on Monday lhat the rising infiation rate would retard the growth of the economy, The National Bureau o( Statisltcs has reported that the inflation rate increased (rom 11 .9 per cent in February to 12 . 1 per centln March. Mr Victor Ogiemwonyi. Chief Executive Officer of the Partnership Investment, saJd that the rising inflation rate was not favourable to economic growth. He advised the Central Bank of Nigeria to strive to achieve and maintain single digit inflation rate. Mr Ayodeji Fagbenle, Gene ral Manager of Cash Craft Assets Manag ement, said that t he low productiVIty lO the agncultura! sector was a factor for the rising inOation rate. }-Iesaid that m05toftheconsumer goods in tbe country were imported; adding tbat Nigerians' pencbant (or foreign goods was responsible (or the inflationary trend . FagbenJe advised


the Federal Government to encourage agro-allied ind ustnes to p roduce mo re good s to boost t he gross d omestic product. "The ability of the Federal Government to stimulate agro·allied industries and introduce appropriate econOmlC poliCles will bnng down the inOatlon rate," he Said. He sald that more Jobs will also be created by reactivating tbe agro-allied industries . Mr Eddie Osarenkhoe. a former President of Finance Houses AssocialJon of Nigeria (F HAN), Identified t he partial removal of subsidy on petrol as another factor that bad led to higber mOaUon. He said that the removal of the subsidy had led higher cost of transporting food items from the rural areas . "T he apex b~n k. should continue 1'0 monitor inDation rate and a d opt policies that will bring down the rate," be said . H e advised the Federal Government to mortitor its spending and reactiva te the real sector. M r Samuel Nzekwe, a former PresIdent of Association of National Accountants of Nigeria. told NAN

that high inllatlon rale would persist as long as the manufacturing sector was do rmant



VANGUARD, 02 MAY, 2012  

Agric: New biodiversity project to improve nutrition, food security