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Kogi, LNRBDA produce 7,000 tonnes of rice

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From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja

Over 7,000 tonnes of rice were produced this year as a result of the partnership with the Kogi Government and the Lower Niger River Basin Development Authority (LNRBDA).

Managing Director of LNRBDA, Dr Adeniyi Saheed Aremu, who disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Ilorin, stated that the authority has extended various gestures to rice farmers in various parts of Kwara State with positive results.

This is as Kwara State Rice Farmers Association assumed the second-largest producer of rice in the just-concluded rice pyramid in Abuja.

Aremu also noted that LNRBDA has been able to deliver one of its key services by the development of irrigated agriculture through the acquisition of more arable land.

‘For instance, 500 hectares of farmland were purchased from customary landowners along Malete – Alapa road through the Kwara State Government for farming activities.

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‘The project, when fully implemented is expected to open up the area for accelerated development, provide jobs and boost food sufficiency in Kwara State.

‘Equally, the authority signed MOU with Kogi State Government and released over 5,000 hectares of its farmland to the state government. Specifically, at the Ejiba area office in Kogi State, the partnership with the state government yielded about 7,170 tons of paddy rice from several farmers,’ the MD, noted.

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The production of the 7000 tonnes of grains is expected to complement the release of 40,000 metric tonnes of various grains from the Strategic Grains Reserve (SGR) to cushion the effect of high food prices in the country.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Abubakar, said that the president, Muhammadu Buhari who gave the directive also directed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to handle the distribution.

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Actionaid proffers solutions to Nigeria’s food crisis

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Sequel to food insufficiency in the country, Actionaid Nigeria, has advised the three tiers of government to commit 10% of their annual budget to agriculture, focus on strategic areas of extension services, and to provide credit for women.

The organization also advised government to provide labour-saving technologies, inputs, post-harvest losses reduction supports like training, market access, processing and storage facilities.

Its Country Director, Ene Obi, gave the counseling at the National Dialogue and Dissemination on Nigeria’s Performance at the 3rd Biennial Review Exercise on the Implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development (CAADP), yesterday in Abuja.

She said: “For Nigeria to be on track in meeting the 2014 Malabo Declaration Commitments, going forward, we hope that the three tiers of government would commit 10% of their annual budget to the agriculture sector required to support at least 6% growth rate for the sector as postulated in the CAADP framework.

“And investments should focus on strategic areas of extension services, access to credit, women in agriculture, youth in agriculture, appropriate labour-saving technologies, inputs, post-harvest losses reduction supports (processing facilities, storage facilities, trainings, market access, etc.), Climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture (CRSA)/Agroecology, Research and Development, Monitoring and Evaluation, as well as Coordination.”

Obi pointed out that Actionaid conducted a research and the data through the VABKIT reflected the realities of smallholder women farmers across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) which “shows that nationwide, smallholder women farmers currently have only 18% access to processing facilities, 16.60% access to storage facilities, 13.50% access to off-takers/access to markets, 9.60% access to transportation for agricultural produce, and 42.30% access to trainings.

“On Extension Services, smallholder women farmers have access to only 5.26% farm demonstrations and 19.47% farmers field schools.

“On agricultural credit, they have access to less than 23% of existing credit facilities, and only 4.77% access to agricultural insurance.

“On access to and control over land, about 59% of them have access to land, 29.77% have control, while only 11.23% are engaged in land governance discussions.”

Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ernest Umakhine, said the ministry has begun the process of strengthening evidence based data for effective policy formulation and tracking of performance.

Represented by the Director, Agric Land and Climate Change Management Service, Oshatidiya Olanikun, he said: “In the Ministry, evidence based data for effective policy formulation and tracking of performance is being strengthened with the concept of the National Agricultural Data Management Information System (NADMIS).

“It is to facilitate quality data collection, analysis, harmonization and storage for overall planning, monitoring, evaluating and reporting initiatives, programmes and projects at the global, continental, regional and national levels.”

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Insecurity: Advocacy group condemns renewed attack in Kaduna

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From Okwe Obi, Abuja

An advocacy group, Southern Kaduna Peace Practitioners Network (SOKIPEP) has deplored a renewed attack in Gora Gan Community of Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State, by bandits.

The group noted that the inhumane act was carried out disrupt the level of peace achieved by internal military outfit, Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) in the area.

SOKIPEP National President, Dauda Fadia, in a statement, yesterday sympathized with families of the deceased, the people of Southern Kaduna, and Kaduna State Government over the development.

Fadia charged security agencies to remain resolute and go all out in fishing out the culprits and their sponsors with a view to facing the law.

Aside calling on the people to remain calm with the assurance that security agencies were capable of unraveling the culprits, he appealed for immediate deployment of relief materials to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

“As a peace advocacy group working with both security agencies and stakeholders in Southern Kaduna to bring lasting peace to our area, we note with concern the latest attack on Gora Gan Community of Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

“We condemn in the strongest terms yet another attack by some mindless and senseless criminals in Gora Gan village which claimed the lives of six persons.

“This attack by some suspected cattle rustlers whose mission was to steal some bulls being used by the locals for farming is unfortunate and must be condemned by all.

We condole with the government and people of Southern Kaduna over the lost of six in the attack, our heart is with them,” he said.

The cleric, however, commended the leadership of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), for the prompt and effective intervention of the situation from escalating.

“We wish to acknowledge the prompt response of OPSH in quelling the Gora Gan village attack.

“Worthy of commendation is the timely and quick response of the men of Operation Safe Haven who gave the attackers hot chase  and as a result killed  four of the attackers who invaded the community.

“We are full of thanks to God Almighty and officers and men of Operation Safe Haven for their responsive actions not only in the Gora Gan village attack but also the various others in the entire Southern Kaduna in the past in general.

“But for the prompt response of the gallant security men, our community would have been completely brought down considering the intimidating number of the attackers and sophistication.

“This gallantry of the security men has given us more grounds to continue to support the special military outfit and other security agencies working in Southern Kaduna to restore peace.

In addition, he called for support from both authorities and the stakeholders for the military outfit.

“All that is needed for them (OPSH) to succeed and return Southern kaduna to part of peace and progress is for all stakeholders to come together and speak truth to ourselves by calling a spade a spade, criminals for criminals rather than unjustly acting the script of some desperate people working against the efforts of OPSH and its Commander to restore peace in our area,just all for their selfish gain,” he added.

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