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How Farmcrowdy Tech Drives Investor, Farmers’ Income
April 17, 2018
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Farmcrowdy: Technological changes have been the major driving force for increasing agricultural productivity and development around the world.

In the past, the choice of technologies and their adoption was to increase production, productivity and farm incomes.

Agriculture has a rich tradition of embracing technology to improve crop production, revolutionise how farmers run their business, and change the face of rural communities, just as Farmcrowdy is currently doing in Nigeria through its technological innovations.

It is on record that innovations such as the invention of the plow, refrigerated railcars, and the internet all have played pivotal roles in helping farmers become very productive in the advanced countries like US. This is exactly what Farmcrowdy is trying to replicate in Nigeria to boost food security.

Just as innovations in digital farming technology are helping smallholder farmers around the world produce more crops and feed their community, this technology has also bridged the financial difficulties, as farmers are now linked up with farm sponsors who have interest to invest in agriculture and get returns at the end of harvest.Farmcrowdy

Agriculture is becoming more integrated in the agro-food chain and the global market, investors can now run a farm remotely with the aid of technological innovation in the agricultural space.

In Nigeria, as populations continue to expand and consumers become more discerning, the race is on to develop agricultural technology that will help farmers produce more food to feed the ever-increasing population.

Presently, thousands of investors and small-scale farmers are making decent incomes as a result of Farmcrowdy technology model where investors can now run a farm remotely with this new platform. With the regular updates, images and farm videos, investors won’t find a better way to appreciate farming without soiling their hands with Farmcrowdy app tech.

The digital agriculture platform is offering a new way for Nigerians to participate in agriculture using online technology and making decent profit. Farmcrowdy’s service is not difficult but very simple. Nigerians can commit an agreed sum to own a minimum farm space, start and complete a farming cycle and make decent profit.

On how it works, farm sponsors can choose to sponsor a variety of farm types including cassava, maize, rice, soybeans and poultry (broiler chickens for meat); with cycles lasting between three to nine months depending on the farm. Farm sponsorships start from N96,000, and Farmcrowdy coordinates pre-arranged buyers to sell the farm harvest when the cycle is complete. The farm profit from the harvest is then split between the sponsors who receive 40 per cent of the harvest profits plus their original sponsorship, while the farmers receive returns of 40 per cent and Farmcrowdy gains 20 per cent of the profits.

However, investigation by Daily Sun shows that more than 80 per cent of farmers in Nigeria operate on a small-scale level and it is currently estimated that 38 million of them are unbankable. But Farmcrowdy, through pairing farmers with sponsors to effectively manage the farming cycle with training in smart farming techniques, supply of equipment and technical support has, over the last few months, ushered close to 3,000 small-scale farmers into the financial ecosystem, making them financially inclusive.

Speaking with Daily Sun, Co-Founder and CEO, Farmcrowdy, Onyeka Akumah, said there are so many problems in the agriculture value chain, which is an opportunity for people to take advantage of it. He said today, the opportunity seen by Farmcrowdy is financing the farmer to produce more food and helping them to sell the food they produce.

He hinted that the idea behind the system is to connect the sponsors and people that want to invest in agriculture with small-scale farmers, saying that Farmcrowdy would have provided everything a farmer needs to go full cycle such as seeds, fertiliser, labour, tractor services and whatever a farmer needs to go into full cycle.Free trade area

He added: “We price into units to allow farm sponsors to come and sponsor those units. In sponsoring those units, they provide capital for the farmer to go full cycle until harvest. We also provide the farmers the technical field specialists. In addition to that, we also partner friends who provided technical field socialisation because now we are able to aggregate large pool of farmers to work with. Then, we also get the market, sell the farm produce; this is how we are able to determine the price we pay our sponsors back in terms of return after harvest.”

He maintained that after going through a full farm cycle, the tech firm then splits the profit between the farmers, the sponsors and Farmcrowdy, adding that the farmers get the 40 per cent of the profit from the farm, the sponsors get 40 per cent of the profit from the farm with their initial capital and Farmcrowdy gets 20 per cent.

Citing an example on how the whole system works, he explained: “For instance, may be if you sponsor a farmer that needs N100,000 to work on one acre of maize. This is just an example. With N100,000, if a farmer should go a full cycle and is able to get three tonnes of maize and you sell each tonne for N50,000; it’s still an example not the exact figures. So with N50,000, we get three tonnes on one acre. At the end of the day, out the N100,000, we make N50,000 profit. We then apply 40, 40, 20 rule where we pay back the sponsor the N100,000, then the farmer gets 40 per cent of the N50,000, which is 20,000, the sponsor gets 40 per cent, which is also N20,000 and Farmcrowdy gets N10,000.

“But the farmer on this hand, is expanding on his capacity. For instance, if a farmer has three hectares of farmland but every season, he’s only able to work on one hectare per season because that’s all his capacity can take, then Farmcrowdy comes in, leases the remaining two hectares and makes it available online.

In doing so, the farmer now is able to make money from the income he gets from the lease, he’s able to make money from being part of the labour that works on the farm. In addition to that, 40 per cent of income that comes from these two extra hectares the farmer has always goes back to the farmer. In that way, we have been able to grow the farmer’s income by average of 80 per cent.”

He said the organisation has been able to work with 3,000 farmers in the last 16 months as against one farmer when it started operations in September 2016. He said the company has done about 500,000 acres of maize, 200,000 acres of rice and 125,000 acres of soybeans with farmers.

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Oyo Rice Farmers Receive Farm Inputs Worth N17.8 Million From CBN
April 17, 2018
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Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) in Oyo State says it has received farm inputs worth N17.8 million from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the Bank of Agriculture (BOA).

The state Chairman of RIFAN, Mr Victor Korede, said this in an interview with newsmen on Monday in Ibadan.

He said that no fewer than 59 rice farmers had received farm inputs for dry season farming, while about 100 rice farmers were similarly expected to get inputs for wet season farming.

rice farmers, rice production

“Other services include farm mapping, extension services and aggregation of harvested produce and insurance by Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Company (NAIC).

“The RIFAN/CBN model is a strategic partnership between the CBN and RIFAN to increase domestic rice production, in support of the Federal Government’s agenda to ban rice importation in 2018.

“The partnership came right on time, as it will surely boost our protection and make our members to sell their produce in a profitable and ready market,” he said.

Korede also noted that the scheme would enhance the ability of the farmers to engage in dry-season and wet-season rice cultivation.

He urged the beneficiaries to resist the temptation of selling the products, saying that they should use the facilities judiciously so as to enable them to enjoy other agricultural development programmes of the Federal Government.

He pledged the readiness of the rice farmers to increase rice production in the state.

Inadequate Govt Support, Environment Hamper Small Scale Agric

articipants at a workshop on ‘Agriculture Budget Monitoring, Tracking and Advocacy’ organized by Action Aid Nigeria (AAN) have identified lack of adequate support from government, policy inconsistencies and environmental factors as some of the factors militating against agricultural development and food production especially among small scale women farmers.

They also said that oil spillage, farmers/herders conflicts, lack of access to land, credit facilities, market, information and the non-involvement in policy formulation of small scale farmers by government at all levels must be addressed to ensure food security in the country.

A gender and economic empowerment expert, Boyowa Roberts, said it is time for the government to come up with policies that will encourage farmers, especially the small-scale farmers, who constitute more than 70 percent of the Nigerian population.

She recalled that the 2005 Maputo Declaration mandated countries to allocate 10 percent of their annual budget to agriculture and wondered why the Federal Government was only allocating two percent to the sector in the 2018 budget.

An ActionAid partner and the executive director, Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID), Gift Omoniwa, said community sponsorship of ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) is channeled towards helping the poorest of the poor who live in excluded communities across Nigeria to raise their standard of living.

 

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Rice City To Be Ready In Few Weeks -Ayade, As Installation Of Equipment Commence
April 16, 2018
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The ultra modern Cross River rice seedling centre will be ready in a matter of few weeks, Governor Ben Ayade has disclosed.

The centre which is presently installing equipment from China, is expected produce rice seedlings to support the ongoing rice revolution in the country.

The plant is expected to supply rice farmers with high yield vitaminized rice seedlings for. cultivation

 

African Development Bank and Portuguese Government plan to unlock growth opportunities in Africa’s Lusophone countries

To help unlock economic growth, the African Development Bank is coordinating the implementation of an integrated development strategy for Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa.

In preparation for the rollout of this initiative, the Bank and the Government of Portugal have signed an agreement to provide language training to African Development Bank staff interested in learning Portuguese, as well as professional conference translation services.

The language-learning cooperation agreement, signed by the Institute for Cooperation and the Portuguese Language (Camões – Instituto da Cooperação e da Língua, I.P.) and the Bank at the African Development Bank headquarters in Abidjan, also provides conditions for the translation and dissemination of the Bank’s standard project procurement and financial management documents into Portuguese.

“The Lusophone countries are not one contiguous group. What we are talking about here has a cultural, linguistic, political and economic perspective. I believe Portugal will play a key role in bringing about greater integration,” Bank President Akinwumi Adesina told the visiting Portuguese delegation led by Teresa Ribeiro, Portugal’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

“As a Bank, we are committed to this. We are also delighted about the Portuguese training agreement we have signed,” Adesina said.

Teresa Ribeiro commended President Adesina for his vision and the Bank’s support to Lusophone countries. She welcomed the possibility of a compact that could respond to challenges facing the Portuguese-speaking countries.

“What we want to achieve with the African Development Bank is a very ambitious programme that responds to critical issues. The countries need the compact to enable investors,” she said.

As part of the Bank’s catalytic role, it is relying on the historical, cultural and language bonds that unite Africa’s Portuguese-speaking countries with Portugal and Brazil, to help stimulate greater economic ties, private-sector business growth and trade opportunities.

The Bank has also initiated a Compact for Development for the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) with the Government of Portugal to help unlock growth opportunities, develop the potential of untapped natural resources and create local capacity to design and manage projects.

The compact is expected to be signed at the Bank’s Annual Meetings, taking place from May 21-25, 2018 in Busan, Korea.

President Adesina spoke about the planned introduction of de-risking instruments to help attract private investors to Portuguese-speaking African countries. He thanked the Government of Portugal for its support and for the deposit of its paid subscriptions to the African Development Fund, the Bank’s concessional window.

The President stressed the crucial role the private sector could play in enhancing growth, and described the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) as the Bank’s strategy to leverage capital, global pension funds, and capital funds to invest in Africa in a very smart way.

The Bank is planning to have a special session for Lusophone investors at the inaugural Africa Investment Forum, scheduled for November 7-9, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Adesina underscored the importance of the Portuguese Technical Cooperation Fund, which Portugal has put in place for the Bank’s use. The Fund, he said, has been instrumental in enabling the Bank to provide technical support to Lusophone countries on the continent.

The Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) of Africa include Angola, Cabo Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe.

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Dangote Flour, Others Boost Wheat Production, Donate Threshing Machines To Farmers
April 16, 2018
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As part of measures to boost the country’s self-sufficiency in wheat production, Flour Milling Association of Nigeria (FMAN), comprising Dangote Flour Mills, Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN), Honeywell Flour, Dufil, and Life Flour, has donated 50 units of multi-crop thresher machine worth N70 million to wheat farmers in the country.

Speaking at the presentation of the machines in Lagos, the Group Managing Director of Dangote Flour Mills, Mr. Thabo Mabe, said the equipment would deepen mechanised farming in wheat production, increase volume of wheat produced and reduce cost of wheat in the market.

He, however, lamented that 70 per cent of wheat used by flour millers is imported despite the huge potential of the country’s wheat sector, adding that the multi-crop threshers would enhance yield, empower more farmers and save foreign exchange.

“The important thing on our engagement is to try to assist Nigeria start developing wheat farming in large quantity and to ensure sustainability in terms of wheat farming,” he said.

Also, the Chairman of FMAN, Mr. John Coumantaros, who was represented by Group Managing Director, FMN Plc, Mr. Paul Gbededo, said the presentation was a demonstration of the association’s commitment to continuously support wheat farmers and Federal Government’s agriculture promotion agenda.

“There is no gainsaying that self-sufficiency in wheat production in Nigeria will have an unprecedented impact on the Nigerian economy through attainment of food security, poverty reduction and of course save the much needed foreign exchange,” he said.

He said FMAN signed an MoU with Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria (WFAN) in 2016 to purchase all available wheat grain produced by farmers in line with agreed quality parameters and prevailing market prices.

“In 2017, FMAN fulfilled its promise by purchasing over 2,400 metric tonnes of wheat valued at N469 million and in 2018. Even before the start of harvest, we have purchased over 1600 metric tonnes of wheat valued at N237 million.

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Kaduna State Unveils $200m Tractor Assembly Plant
April 16, 2018
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With the commissioning of the $200million Ramindra Tractors Assembly Plant, at Industrial Estate Kaduna, a joint investment of the Springfield Agro Ltd and the Ramindra Tractors Manufacturing Corporation of India, Kaduna state government has stamped its feet as a destination of choice for foreign direct investment.

The plant is expected to provide additional over 200 jobs to the residents when the Mahindra Tractors Assembly Plant is fully in operation.

At the unveiling of the plant, an elated Governor Nazir El-Rufai while extolling the dogged belief and strides of the Kewalram Chanrai Ltd said the initiative is aimed at improving Nigeria’s economy, especially the agro allied and industrial sectors.

To this end, Mallam El-Rufai therefore urged the teeming other prospective investors to genuinely explore the state’s numerous opportunities to actualise their mission and projection for a greater improved secured nation of vibrant economy, coupled with such warm hospitality of the people and other peace loving residents of Kaduna State and by extension, Nigeria nation at large.

Governor El-Rufai while saluting the genuine Kewalram Chanrai determined transparent efforts in Kaduna State and the nation’s economy, assured them and other prospective investors who want to emulate such strides to improve the living standard of the people, not to relent in such regard.

Echoing similar sentiments, the State Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Dr. Manzo Maigari and the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Abdulkadir Kassim, extolled the conglomerate’s sterling virtues, especially its commitment to improve the nation’s economy.tractors assembly plant

Speaking earlier, the Springfield Agro Ltd CEO, Mr. Tarun K. Das, expressed his establishments’ profound gratitude to the Kaduna State government and the host community, especially their tireless love, hospitality and peace loving goodness to its establishments, which constantly spurs them on.

He informed the audience on the high quality and durability and pocket friendly price with the cheap maintenance of the Mahindra Tractors which had proved the very best in the Agriculture Mechanized Sector, to fast track the much needed profit margin of the farm outputs, with such quality globally, that had necessitated the joint cooperation with its India Corporation Headquarters.

The Assembly Plant Manager, Engr. Mohammed Yussuf Kabir, Engr. Saliu Mohammed Dadah, both members of Coren with 30 years and 26 years in service respectively, along with Queen Alheri Ehigiator, a Sales Executive with Abuja Branch, elated the sterling virtues of its God fearing, hardworking personnel of the establishment to duly appreciate the dignity of labour and the effective Nigerianisation of its policy to translate such and accelerate it to reality, through which a regular improvement and the expansion of its conglomerate.

In his remark at the event, Mr. Manoj Ramakrishinan, Head, Business, Agric Mechanisation, Springfield Agric Ltd, Mr. Drassadsane, CEO Mahindra West Africa Ltd, respectively expressed their unflinching support to the meaningful, positive and gainful growth and expansion of Nigeria’s economy, in spite of the ongoing challenges which they strongly believe will surely drastically improve, especially with the numerous economy policies and the effective transaction to its growth and expansion.

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FG To Adopt Digital Technology For Small Scale Farmers
April 13, 2018
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Digital Technology : The Federal Government has concluded plans to adopt phygital technology for farmers across the country.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Bukar Hassan, speaking during the presentation of the phygital smallholder value chains technology, yesterday, in Abuja, underscored the need to provide extension services for small-scale farmers.

He said: “If we want small-scale farmers to find their footing in the agriculture sector, we must do exactly what we are saying here.

Digital Technology
Digital Technology
We must provide farmers with extension services and the knowledge needed to evolve his skills from subsistence to commercial farming. And I believe this technology would help us solve so many problems.”

The Director, Research and Development Digital Agriculture Manobi, Pierre Sibery Traore, explained that the initiative is divided into two phases of agcelerant and phygital technology, noting that agcelerant is the value chain orchestration platform that helps link farmers to financial services.

He said the essence of the project is to ensure the safe inclusion of small-scale farmers to the World Food Market. He said that because of the size of Nigeria’s economy, the country could be a major supplier of food to the world in the coming decade.

He said there is need to set in motion the phygital infrastructure to make it happen.

Traore further explained that the organisation is also launching the Nurturing Africa Digital Revolution for Agriculture (NADIRA), to embed in phygital agriculture the use of advanced satellite technology.

Why We Must Revive Cotton Farming In Nigeria – DG, RMRDC

Cotton Farming: Dr. Hussaini Doko Ibrahim is the director-general and chief executive officer of Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC). In this interview, he spoke on the Federal Government’s efforts to bring back the glory of textile industry in Nigeria.

What are the major mandates of your Council?
The major mandates of the Council are to promote the development and optimal utilisation of locally available raw materials by the manufacturing sector of the economy. The Council is also to ensure the development of process equipment or adaptation of existing ones for use by the sector.

You seem to have an uncommon passion for the cotton, textiles and garments sector of the economy.

I studied Textiles Engineering up to PhD level. When I was growing up, the sector was one of the major industrial sectors the country had serious pride in. Its influence pervaded the whole of Africa and beyond, both in terms of employment generation and contribution to national GDP.

I am always baffled by the travails of this sector and I believe that through multidisciplinary approach, the problems can be resolved.

As a result, I am always deeply concerned and ready to correct any problem of the sector that is within the mandates of the Council.

Our textile industry used to be robust one in the olden days, where many households usually depended on for their livelihood.  It is on record that the northern Nigeria textile industry experienced an unprecedented growth in the history of Africa. By 1911, Kano was producing more than two million rolls of cloth per year.

The textile manufacturers were distributed all over the territory and export of local textiles to West African countries became intensified. During the 19th Century, the Kano textile industry reached extraordinary production levels.

Kano’s popularity as a market was due to a series of commercial incentives and greater regulation of market transaction. Likewise in southern Nigeria, the British Cotton Growers Association was operating three large ginneries at Ibadan, Lafenwa near Abeokuta and Lokoja.

The Nigerian textile industry spread considerably, and by 1987, the industry had grown to be the third largest in Africa, attracting investment from China and India, with over 170 urban textile mills and about 600,000 skilled and unskilled labour earning their living through it.

The sector, in the 1980s, made annual turnover of $8.95 billion and generated 25per cent of the manufacturing Gross Domestic Product. It accounted for not less than 10per cent of the corporate income taxes.

With about 1.3 million cotton farmers in the country’s cotton production belt and a dependency ratio of one farmer to eight dependants, an estimated 17.2 million people derived their livelihood from the sector.

What went wrong; and how is the government trying to put things in order for the sector?

From the 1990s, the fortune of the textile industry dipped and the number of textile mills dropped considerably. The industry that was producing at over 63per cent capacity utilisation dropped to a very low capacity utilisation ebb.

The textile mills in operation dropped to 25 with about 24,000 workers and projected dependant level of less than 250,000 people.

But in direct response to your question, the Federal Government, in realisation of the sector’s importance in job creation, proposed a N70billion lifeline that was eventually raised to N100 billion for the sector.

The textile industrial revival scheme was also based on the belief that the cotton, textile and garment industry stands out as a potential growth area of the economy that could propel the country towards achieving vision 20:2020 and the Millennium Development Goals.

Despite the efforts of the government, although many ginneries and textile mills were reactivated, cotton farmers did not benefit to any significant extent.

Today, many of the ginneries that benefitted are handicapped in repaying the facilities, principally because of low cotton production levels and other challenges.

As a result, there has not been any significant improvement as analysts put the growth rate in the sector at less than 1per cent in the last two years, with little or no significant impact on the nation’s GDP or noticeable boost in the sector’s employment ratio.

Presently in Nigeria, cotton lint is the most important single apparel fibre. Although other raw materials, such as kenaf, bamboo, dissolving pulp from hardwoods exist, cotton is the basic raw material in the Nigerian textile industry.

Thus, the domestic availability of cotton is the essential factor for the establishment of the industry in the country.
But despite the importance of cotton to textile industry revival, its production locally has not been quite impressive.

The peak period of cotton production in Nigeria was as far back as 1976/77 when about 453,126 bales (183.43kg/bale) were produced. Thereafter, production started to decline due to price flunctuation, pest infestation and other related problems.

By 1983/84, only 69,000 bales was produced, while the demand was about 531,000 bales, which might have been satisfied through importation.Dr. Hussaini Doko

Production in Nigeria is mainly from three cotton zones, namely, the northern zone (60%), eastern zone (30%) and southwest zone (10%) respectively.

Production is dominated by small scale farmers; with farm sizes ranging from 3-5 ha all under rain fed ecologies. Seed cotton yield range from 0.6 – 1.5 tons per ha, and about 98per cent of the cotton grown locally belongs to Gossypium hirsutum species with G barbadense, making the balance of 2per cent.

Other causes of poor crop yield in Nigeria have been attributed to late planting, adverse weather condition, finance and high cost of production.

As a raw material research organisation, what are you doing to improve the growth of cotton in the country?

While cotton production is practised as small scale activities in Nigeria, cotton production in most parts of the world is regarded as a high yielding and investment activity.

While some of the problems of cotton development in Nigeria require radical approach through direct intervention by the government, a number of them are being solved through multi-institutional and multidisciplinary approach.

For instance, the Council had been collaborating with relevant research institutes to provide the necessary impetus for the rejuvenation and reinvigoration of the sector. One approach the Council adopted was to co-fund the development and official release of three three improved long staple cotton varieties in collaboration with the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR/ABU), Zaria.

The primary objective of the collaboration was to develop improved varieties of cotton that would be acceptable to the farmers. This effort has led to the release of Samcot 11, 12 and 13 varieties that produce better quality textile products.

The Council has been supplying farmers with these varieties so as to increase production and expand the hectarage under cultivation.

In 2015, the Council presented 5.82 tonnes of improved cotton seeds (SAMCOT 8’ 9’ 10’ 11’ 12 & 13’) to all cotton farmers under the umbrella of the National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN). Similarly, about 4.3 tonnes of the same varieties of cotton were also distributed to the cotton farmers in June 2016. Also, in June 2017, about 4.0 tonnes of the same cotton seeds were distributed to the cotton farmers for 2017 planting season across the country.

To ensure adherence to best practice principles, the Council embarked on capacity building training for cotton farmers on the best agronomics practices for cotton production in the various cotton growing zones in Nigeria.

In 2015, about 292 cotton farmers and ADP staff were trained across the four geo-political zones where cotton is grown. Also, in September 2017, over 400 cotton farmers were trained by experts from the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Zaria. The Council equally provided training manual for all the farmers that attended the training programmes.

An assessment of the production capacity of the cotton farmers in the four cotton growing zones carried out in 2016 showed that yield increased in 2016 as a result of the impacted knowledge. The spraying and picking of the seed cotton by farmers are now done by adopting best practices without allowing stain and trashes, resulting in very white lint.

In November 2016, the Council, in collaboration with Crown Natures, organised entrepreneurship training on industrial garment production for local and international markets. Over 200 participants were trained in garment production.

To further the development of this sector, the Council, in collaboration with the National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NARICT), developed an automated rapier weaving machine for the commercial production of aso-oke fabrics.

The machine is made up of 112 units, comprising of about 397 components, most of which are made of mild steel and cast iron.
The weaving machine, when fully commercialised, will remove drudgery associated with local weaving methods, increase productivity and profitability of weavers.

The weaving loom is faster, more efficient and appropriate for large scale economic production.

The Council, in 2017, also looked at the possibility of using bamboo and kenaf for production of textile fibres.

It is our belief that one of the ways capacity utilisation can be boosted is to introduce bamboo as an alternative or complimentary raw material for textiles production locally as bamboo fibre consists of 99.51per cent cellulose, 0.25per cent ash and 0.24per cent wax.

Likewise, in order to have a holistic data on all the possible raw materials for textiles production in the country, the Council constituted a committee of experts to study the production of dissolving pulp from indigenous hardwoods. Dissolving pulp has a high cellulose content (90%).

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How to build, maintain soil fertility
April 12, 2018
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Soil forms the bedrock upon which plants grow, but the effects of climate change and other destructive land practices like deforestation contribute to depletion of soil nutrients which inorganic fertilisers alone cannot substitute, thus significantly resulting to decline in yield of crops.

It is key to maintain a fertile and healthy soil in order to avoid the catastrophic consequences of crop failure.

Farmers to own 30% shares in Bank of Agric – Ogbeh

Farmers to own 30% shares in Bank of Agric – Ogbeh

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has said the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) is restructuring the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) which will allow farmers to own 30 per cent shares of the bank.

The minister stated this during the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between SunTrust Bank and the Bank of Agriculture on Monday in Abuja.

Chief Ogbeh described the partnership between SunTrust and BOA as a welcome development since most commercial banks had been very allergic to lending to farmers, adding that agriculture in the last 30 years had suffered neglect.

Ogbeh noted that the high interest rates of 27 per cent being charged by some commercial banks made farming uninviting to many Nigerians.

He stressed that effort was underway to reduce interest rates of seven per cent, and that the ultimate goal was to reach five per cent, which was below global average of three per cent.

With the partnership, farmers across the country are to start enjoying better financial services through accessing agricultural loans from BOA through SunTrust Bank that will provide farmers with e-wallet and Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards.

The minister recalled that farmers had been enjoying the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP), while noting that the CBN could not act as a commercial bank for long.

The Managing Director of BOA, Mr. Kabiru Adamu, said the partnership had become necessary because the law restricted them from operating as a commercial bank, adding that they could not issue cheque books and ATM cards in their drive to changing the narrative of farmers who suffered because they did not have access to financial services.

“Farmers should be able to do business without any challenges. This is the era of e-business, so farmers with e-wallets and ATM cards can access our products,” he said.

 

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How To Start An Organic Farm
April 12, 2018
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Organic farming is the concept of growing crops without using artificial fertilisers, synthetic pesticides, and other synthetic treatments for plants.

It requires great deal of dedication and resilience to be able to achieve the desired results.

Becoming an organic farmer may be hectic because of the several certifications, rules and standards one needs to adhere to. However, it comes with numerous environmental benefits.

According to expert views, finding the right location is key to starting an organic farm. The first step to a successful organic farm is finding land with fertile soil, good quality water and good drainage.

As a requirement, a farmland needs to be free of fertiliser and pesticide residues for at least three years.

According to quora.com, the key elements that constitute organic farming include:

• Living soil which comprise of beneficial microorganisms and macro organisms

• Second, is soil enrichment using natural amendments only such as compost, green manure, vermicomposting and lime

• Then multi-cropping, that is, planting different seasonal crops simultaneously on the same farmland to maintain plant diversity.

Organic farming
Organic farming

• Since synthetic chemicals are not to be used, crop rotation becomes necessary in organic farming to break disease cycle peculiar to certain crop specie

• Local sourcing of crops that are indigenous to the region or produced locally is also another key point of organic farming, it reduces environmental footprints

• Also, seed propagation should be a standard practice to be able to get seeds free of chemical treatment. Chemically treated seeds need to be washed thoroughly before planting

• For natural pest control, organic farmers may use mixture of natural ingredients like neem and other natural bio-pesticides

• Mulching is also a common practice in organic farming

• Mechanisation and the use of heavy machinery for farming operations is highly discouraged in organic agriculture.

FG To Adopt Digital Technology For Small Scale Farmers

Digital Technology : The Federal Government has concluded plans to adopt phygital technology for farmers across the country.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Bukar Hassan, speaking during the presentation of the phygital smallholder value chains technology, yesterday, in Abuja, underscored the need to provide extension services for small-scale farmers.

He said: “If we want small-scale farmers to find their footing in the agriculture sector, we must do exactly what we are saying here.

Digital Technology
Digital Technology
We must provide farmers with extension services and the knowledge needed to evolve his skills from subsistence to commercial farming. And I believe this technology would help us solve so many problems.”

The Director, Research and Development Digital Agriculture Manobi, Pierre Sibery Traore, explained that the initiative is divided into two phases of agcelerant and phygital technology, noting that agcelerant is the value chain orchestration platform that helps link farmers to financial services.

He said the essence of the project is to ensure the safe inclusion of small-scale farmers to the World Food Market. He said that because of the size of Nigeria’s economy, the country could be a major supplier of food to the world in the coming decade.

He said there is need to set in motion the phygital infrastructure to make it happen.

Traore further explained that the organisation is also launching the Nurturing Africa Digital Revolution for Agriculture (NADIRA), to embed in phygital agriculture the use of advanced satellite technology.

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How To Produce Plantain Chips
April 12, 2018
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General Introduction to Plantain Chips Business in Nigeria

Plantain Chips are crunchy Nigerian snacks made with either ripe or unripe plantains. Plantain Chips which is made with unripe plantains are bright yellow while those made with ripe plantains are deep yellow in colour.

It is also known as sweet banana chips it is great and healthy for all ages. You can take for Launch or Give it for your Children as a welcome Market gift for parents.

Plantain chips production is one of the easiest businesses you can start in Nigeria if you want to generate quick cash within a short space of time of starting. We deem it necessary to post this Training just to properly welcome you to this year 2016, so take this opportunity by venturing into this Business after learning what it take in starting it.

WHY THIS BUSINESS IS LUCRATIVE

The reasons why plantain chips production business is easy to set up is because plantain chips is a snacks widely eaten by all.

The startup capital requirement is low, and you don’t need to rent a shop to start and plantain is readily available in the country, especially in Lagos, South/Middle belt regions of Nigeria.

With an initial startup capital of around #13,000, you can generate an income of at least #80,000 per day when you are able to produce about 1,000 packets of plantain chips on daily basis.

READ MORE: How To Register Small Agri-Businesses

You can hardly lose your money if you invest in plantain chips production, starting a plantain chips business will not be a bad ideal, it is a good source of income. You can hardly lose money if you invest in plantain chips business

READ MORE: Top 10 Agriculture Opportunities In Nigeria

MAJOR INGREDIENT IN STARTING UP PLANTAIN CHIP PRODUCTION BUSINESS IN NIGERIA

How To Produce Plantain ChipsIf you dream and want to venture into this business, here are the basic requirement you must have at hand.

1. Recipe for Making Plantain Chips
2.Plaintain (ripe and unripe)
3.Vegetable Oil for frying
4.Salt to taste
5.Grinded Ginger (Optional)
6.Grinded Garlic (Optional)
7.Grinded Pepper (Optional)

Basic Preparations To Follow
Below we have stated the Basic steps you must take to done this business in a proper way
Wash and peel the plantain.

• Slice the Plantain into a bowl of water. It is advisable to use a vegetable slicer to it will be equal, the water helps prevent the plantain slices from changing colour.

• Add Salt to taste and Stir
Transfer the plantain slices to a sieve to drain the water.
Add the grinded pepper, ginger and garlic if necessary
Switch on your Gas cooker or Stove
Put your vegetable oil into a frying pan make it hot
Then start frying don’t make it too brownish in colour.

• Market Strategy

You can make yours very tasty by adding some other ingredients apart form the normal chips seen on the streets, add a little ginger,galic and pepper to it, this will make your customers ask for more and it will bring a lots of turnover at the end of the month.

• Start Advertising It
You can start by telling your neighbors, collegue in the office showing a sample of your chips. Print a label on your chips with your company name it, social medias like facebook, twitter, whatsapp is also another good place to market your business.

OTTER TACTICS TO IMPLEMENT

Have Appealing Business Name

Business Name is the name you want to give your business, it is the name you want to be known, some companies like Gala, Chi Limited, Cakes and Creams e.t.c are names that are popular, unique and appealing.

The Unique Selling Proposition

We would recommend Strongly that you find out what your unique selling point are and your real strength You must allow your target customers know your unique selling proposition in selling that product to them. Let them know the value in paying for the premium of your product.

Coca Cola has a taste that no other beverage has in the world, and that makes it unique and sells everyday.
With the steps above We believe this would help achieving your dreams in chips production should incase you are planning to start it. Happy new month and new year to All Naira Wealth Members and Fan.

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Oyo To Partner Foreign, Local Investors On Livestock Farming
April 12, 2018
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The Oyo State Government has reiterated its readiness to partner with more foreign and local investors to further promote large scale livestock farming for the economic development of the state.

Mr. Olalekan Alli, Secretary to the State Government, representing Governor Abiola Ajimobi, stated this while declaring open the Nigeria Poultry and Livestock Expo held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan recently.

He disclosed that the state government has taken some giant steps in promoting agriculture, especially in the livestock and fishery industries that indigenous farmers in the state have benefitted from immensely.

Alli, who led a government delegation including Commissioner for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development and his counterpart in Information, Culture and Tourism as well as the Special Adviser on Agriculture to Governor Ajimobi, said that the current administration in the state has created a conducive environment for farmers and investors to operate.

He said that this has ensured growth in business and economic development of the state.

The SSG said, “Our efforts have attracted many investors to the state which include GLOBUS, a major player in the Poultry and fisheries industry, WAMCO/SAHEL, a dairy product processing Plant.livestock farming

“The state government, in collaboration with the Federal Government and a private company, WAMCO Friesland, established five milk collection centres in various parts of the State.

“The centres are at Fasola, Maya, Alaga, Iseyin and Saki. This is in order to improve our cattle farmers and empower the women in the state,” he stressed.

Mr. Alli further revealed that the state government has partnered with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on a programme tagged CBN/OYSG Loan Scheme for farmers at 5 percent interest rate to boost agriculture in the state, noting that interested farmers could source for the loan at the Ministry of Trade, Investment and Cooperatives.

He explained that the state government has created Free Trade Zone, Industrial Park, Agriculture Zone, stressing that there was an ongoing rehabilitation of farm settlements across the state to ensure that Oyo State remained not just the food basket of the South West but also of the Nigerian nation.

He therefore enjoined participants at the international exhibition to explore the latest technology in poultry, dairy, livestock and fishery farming, saying that this would solve the problems facing the livestock industry.

Earlier in his remarks, the Keynote Speaker, Dr. Oyedele Oyediji commended the state government for improving livestock industry standards in the state, appealing that the state government should put more efforts into making livestock farming profitable to local farmers.

Also, Ms. Rike Akinbamo, the LOC Chairperson, noted that the conference was organised for networking between local livestock farmers, international organisations and foreign investors in of livestock farming.

In his words, an exhibitor at the NIPOLI, Dr. Shashikant Teltumbade, noted that the exhibition would further strengthen bilateral relationship between foreign and local farmers in the state as well as boost the agricultural sector.

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