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Senate passes bill to establish College of Crop Science and Food Technology

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Senate President Ahmed Lawan
Senate President Ahmad Lawan
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 …approves Federal University of Agriculture in Enugu State

 The Senate has passed a bill seeking to establish the Federal College of Crop Science and Food Technology Lere, Kaduna State.

This was even as the chamber gave its nod to four bills for concurrence from the House of Representatives.

Also passed was a bill seeking to establish the Federal University of Agriculture Mpu, Enugu State.

The passage of the bills to establish the Federal College of Crop Science and Federal University of Agriculture  was sequel to the consideration of two separate reports by the Committees on Agriculture and Rural Development; and Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND.

Presentations on the reports were made by Senator Abdullahi Adamu, who chairs the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development;  and Senator Tolulope Odebiyi, on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND, Senator Ahmad Babba-Kaita.

Senator Abdullahi, in his presentation, said the establishment of the Federal College of Crop Sciences and Food Technology, Lere, would provide full-time or part-time courses of in Crop Science and Food Technology, Applied Science, Commerce and Management.

He added that the Institution would also provide training to address the needs of Nigeria in the area of agricultural production, industrial distribution and research in the development and adaptation of technologies.

In a related development, the Senate on Wednesday passed four bills for concurrence from the House of Representatives.

The bills were sponsored by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi North).

The bills include: the National Biotechnology Development Agency (Establishment) Bill, 2022; and School of Mines and Geological Studies, Akoko Edo Local Government (Establishment) Bill, 2022.

Others are the Federal Medical Centre Igboho, Oyo State (Establishment) Bill, 2022; and Federal College of Education Keana, Nasarawa State (Establishment) Bill, 2022.

The four bills for concurrence were passed after a clause-by-clause consideration by the Committee of the Whole.

Meanwhile, a Bill For An Act to Amend the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) Act 2022, on Wednesday, scaled second reading.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Sadiq Suleiman Umar (Kwara North).

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, referred the bill after consideration to the Committee on Establishment and Public Service Matters for further legislative work.

The Committee was given four weeks to report back to the Senate in plenary.

 

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Agriculture

Agriculture: Soludo imports two million Malaysian palm oil seedlings, coconuts

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Anambra State Governor Chukwuma Soludo
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…… targets N160 billion yearly profit

Governor Charles Soludo says his government has begun importing one million palm oil seedlings and one million coconuts from Malaysia, hoping to make N160 billion annual revenue for Anambra.

Deputy Governor Onyekachi Ibezim disclosed this while inaugurating the 2023 farming season at Alex Ekwueme Square Awka.

Mr Ibezim, who represented the Anambra governor at the event, said, “We started importation of one million palm oil seedlings and one million coconuts from Malaysia last year. These species have three years maturity period.”

He added, “When this investment fully matures, the off-takers will be processing the fruits of these plants, and over N160 billion will be yearly income from this window.”

The Anambra deputy governor also revealed the state government’s plan to irrigate 10,000 hectares of land for rice farming at Ifite Ogwari community in Ayamelum LGA for rice cultivation, stressing that agriculture can create wealth and employment opportunities for thousands of people.

Mr Ibezim said that based on the abundant opportunities in the sector, the government listed agriculture among the priority areas of investment in the 50-years development plan of Anambra.

He called on farmers to commit to the sector as the government will always support them in their activities.

Foster Ihejiofor, the agric commissioner, said the state’s focus is on “biological farming,” not on producing food.

“It is about preserving our environment and ensuring the sustainability of our food system. Biological farming, aka zero budget, carbon farming or regen-Ag, launched in 2022 by Governor Chukwuma Soludo, is a sustainable agricultural system,” Mr Ihejiofor explained.

The commissioner urged farmers to embrace the new farming system, saying, “Biological farming is not just environmentally friendly, it is also economically beneficial to farmers as it reduces the cost of inputs while improving soil’s health, plants’ health, nutrients, among others.”

(NAN)

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Envoy says modern ranching will curb farmer-herder conflict in Nigeria

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Denmark and Nigeria Flags
Denmark and Nigeria Flags
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The Denmark Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Sune Krogstrup, has called for modern ranching as a way of curbing the perennial farmer-herder conflict and empowering local farmers in Nigeria.

The envoy disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja while unveiling plans for the inauguration of Arla farm, a Danish-designed state of the art commercial dairy farm in Kaduna state.

The ambassador said the Arla farm project which is a public-private partnership with the Kaduna State government will be officially inaugurated on May 25 in Kaduna state.

He noted that the project was part of efforts to deepen strategic bilateral relations between Nigeria and Denmark, thereby reinforcing shared values and mutual cooperation.

He reiterated Denmark’s commitment to strengthening collaboration with Nigeria in the area of agriculture and food safety standards through cutting-edge technology and international best practices.

“In terms of Food and Agriculture This is another important area of focus for for us.

” We have a very good cooperation with Nigerian authorities on improving food safety standards and we are also very proud to cooperate closely with Arla the Danish dairy producer.

” In fact, next week (Thursday), I will be attending the formal opening of the Arla state of the art commercial dairy farm in Kaduna state,” he said.

Krogstrup expressed optimism that the farm, first of it’s kind in Nigeria will go a long way in
boosting the local economy, empowering local herders and de-escalating tension between herders and farmers.

He therefore called for the establishment of such farm projects across the country by relevant stakeholders, due to its economic and security benefits.

“Now that farm (Arla) will have a tremendous impact on the local economy and economy in terms of direct and indirect jobs created.

“In addition, when herders setup to become milk farmers, it also reduces tensions over access to land between herders and farmers.

” So in my opinion we need many more projects like this one, he said.

NAN reports that Arla foods, the renowned Danish diary company (makers of Dano milk) recently took delivery of 216 Danish Holstein Heifers (a breed of cow) for its Kaduna dairy farm.

The farm project which started in 2019 as part of Arla’s plan to develop a sustainable dairy sector in Nigeria is set to create thousands of employment for farmers and locals, especially in the area.

NAN also reports that the Federal Government had in July, 2022 announced plans to increase milk production from the current 600,000 metric tonnes to 1.6 billion metric tonnes by 2024.

Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who gave the short-term target, said the government will provide the needed infrastructure to enhance milk aggregation and distribution and that the plan will reduce the 1.3 billion dairy importation bill.

 

(NAN)

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Agriculture

25 Million Nigerians May Face Food Crisis By August 2023 – FAO

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FAO
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Food and Agriculture Organization of the Nations (FAO) has estimated that 25.3 million Nigerians are in danger of experiencing food crisis between June and August 2023 unless urgent steps are taken to scale up and sustain livelihood and food assistance.

FAO said this was contained in its October 2022 Food and Nutrition Analysis.

The analysis reportedly indicates that about 17 million people including internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees in 25 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were in “crisis or worse level” through October 2022.

Of that number, three million are living in Borno, Adamwa and Yobe states, FAO said.

“Furthermore, an estimated 25.3 million people are projected to be in crisis or worse levels during the 2023 lean season (June – August) with 4.4 million in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, if immediate steps to scale up and sustain livelihood and food assistance are not taken,” it added in a statement.

The statement noted that the Government of the Royal Kingdom of Norway renewed its funding cooperation with FAO aimed at helping the most vulnerable populations in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe and Taraba states with a special focus on women-led households.

The three-year intervention will benefit 43,990 households (about 307,930 individuals), according to FAO, with at least 45 percent of them being women as direct beneficiaries receiving items such as agricultural inputs, livestock assets, and energy saving stoves.

The beneficiaries reportedly include IDPs, host communities and returnees of relocated households with special attention paid to women-headed households.

Speaking in Abuja at a signing ceremony to kick-start the project’s implementation, the Ambassador of the Royal Kingdom of Norway to Nigeria, Knut Eiliv Lein said his country remained committed to supporting the efforts to restore the conflict-affected livelihoods in the North-East.

“This project we are signing here today is part of Norway’s larger support to Nigeria in general, including humanitarian efforts specifically targeting those in need in the North-East region.

“We have partnered with many organisations in addressing a number of issues, including health, food security, democracy, gender equality and more,” Ambassador Lein said.

On his part, the FAO Representative in Nigeria and to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Fred Kafeero appreciated the support by Norway, describing it as another milestone in strengthening the commitment in the fight against poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition in Nigeria.

“The new project, whose agreement we are signing here today, marks the continuous and fruitful collaboration, and partnership that exists between the Government of the Royal Kingdom of Norway and FAO in Nigeria,” Mr. Kafeero said.

“Thanks to this collaboration for years now, the conflict-affected populations of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states have greatly benefited from the agricultural-based livelihoods support that has enabled them to improve their food security as well as build their resilience.”

The support aims at enhancing resilience to the humanitarian crisis, climate variability and change of vulnerable communities; and building resilient livelihoods in the BAY states against the negative effects of climate change, FAO said.

The beneficiaries, who will reportedly receive special training on animal husbandry, farming and agribusiness, are IDPs, host communities and returnees of relocated households with special attention paid to women-headed households.

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