FG Engages Stakeholders’ on Promotion and Development of Donkey Value Chain.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development, through her Department of Animal Husbandry Services, holds Stakeholder’s engagement on the Promotion and Development of Donkey Value Chain.

The objective of the meeting is to engage stakeholders to discuss and identify challenges facing donkey breeding, develop massive sustainable production of Donkeys, and identify interventions to support existing and prospective donkey farmers in the country.

In his address, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Abdulkadir Mu’azu, represented by the Director Special Duties of the Ministry, Mrs Fausat Lawal stated that donkeys have received little or no attention from the government compared to other classes of livestock despite the fact that they are essential to livelihood and resilience of many communities.

To address this concern, and avert possible extinction of donkeys in Nigeria, the 43rd Regular Meeting of the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development (NCARD) held April 2019, approved the establishment of Donkey Value Chain in the Department of Animal Husbandry Services. It is envisaged that this move will draw more attention from a wide range of stakeholders including Government, Development Partners and the Private sector towards research, development and investment in the breeding and multiplication of donkeys.

Mu’azu added that Donkeys are one of the ancient domesticated livestock valued in particular for their ability to survive under harsh conditions and also important for rural transportation and farming particularly in the northern part of the country.

They also support the livelihoods of the rural population in many domestic chores. Nigeria is one of the countries with a relatively large population of donkey estimated at about 974,499, which can be attributed to the cross border movements by the pastoral herdsmen from Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso, Mali and Cameroon.

This stakeholders’ engagement has become imperative due to the emergence of large-scale global trading in donkey skins, with estimates of a minimum of 1.8 million donkey skins being traded annually, especially in Africa, and 10 million per annum globally.

There is therefore urgent need to create awareness on the possible extinction of Donkey in Nigeria without matching production with increasing demands.

A thriving trade in donkey skins for export to China for the production of gelatine used in a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has become a serious threat to the donkey population in Nigeria and Africa which is tending towards extinction.

The Permanent Secretary assured that the engagement will lead to actionable resolutions for increased production, productivity and conservation to avert the extinction of Donkey in Nigeria.

In her remark, the Acting Director of the Department of Animal Husbandry Services, Mrs Winnie Lai-Solarin thanked the Permanent Secretary for his address and appreciated the Stakeholders for creating time out of their busy schedules to be part of the meeting.

Agric Minister Receives 2020 Wet Season Agricultural Performance Survey Report (APSR), Commends Committee.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has received the 2020 Wet Season Agricultural Performance Survey Report(APSR)and commended the Committee for a detailed report, adding that it will guide the ministry and farmers in planning and preparing ahead of the commencement of the dry season farming.


While receiving the report in his office over the weekend, Alhaji Sabo Nanono noted that the report was timely and apt especially in this era of the Covid -19 Pandemic, as such, he called on Nigerian farmers to intensify efforts and focus on achieving more successes during the dry season farming in order to cushion the loses occasioned by the pandemic.


The Minister assured that the Ministry would support the farmers with agricultural inputs and zero-interest loans through the Central Bank of Nigeria and other financial institutions to mitigate the effect of the COVID – 19 and the recent flooding, especially in Kebbi, Jigawa and Kano States.


In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, (ABU), Prof. Kabir Bala, stated that the institution has initiated the use of over 200 hectares of land in the University for direct crops, livestock and fisheries production, informing that, “this is our own way of contributing to the attainment of national food security goal’’.


During the presentation of the ASPR, the Executive Director, National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS) and the National Coordinator of the Survey report, Prof Mohammed Othman, disclosed that the survey was conducted between August 23 to September 30, 2020, by NAERLS in collaboration with other agricultural institutions.
The report recommended; evolving a definitive action plan on stemming insecurity as well as enhancing productivity through an effective input subsidization blueprint.


Additionally, the survey recommended investment in climate-smart agriculture and the development of a strategy to strengthen agricultural extension activities.

SYMPOSIUM-WORLD FOOD DAY 2020: Improved Commodity Value Chain in the Agric Sector to be Sustained- Sabo Nanono

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has reaffirmed the Federal Government’s commitment towards sustaining the improvement in the commodity value chain in the Sector by tackling the issue of land access, soil fertility, information, input access, production, among others.

He stated that the Green Alternative’s framework featured the first pillar on productivity enhancement for commodity value chain development, incorporation of private investments and institutional alignment.

The Minister, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Abdulkadir Mu’azu disclosed this during the Symposium/ Colloquium held on Wednesday 14, October 2020 at Chida International Hotel, in continuation of activities to mark the 2020 World Food Day which has the Theme: GROW, NOURISH, SUSTAIN.TOGETHER,’’ OUR ACTIONS ARE OUR FUTURE’’, The Minister stated that ‘’ this year’s theme is carefully selected by reorganizing the immediate need of current government’s effort to intensify production and processing across the value chain and meet domestic capacity in the shortest possible time with a focus on closing the demand-supply gaps in the agricultural sub-sector that if not critically addressed might contribute to the global food crisis currently affecting the human race’’.

Nanono further stated that ‘’ the Ministry will ensure sustainable access, availability and affordability of quality food for all Nigerians and to be a significant net provider of food to the global community and in production of raw materials to meet the needs of the expanding industrial sector’’.He added that ‘’this forum would provide ample opportunity to highlight the achievements of the Ministry along with the various sub-sector activities and the planned implementation road map for the various initiatives embarked upon by the present administration under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari’’.

The Minister further said that ‘’ policy direction is fashioned towards an increased agricultural output in the country, stressing the re-activation, and utilization of existing dams and irrigation facilities, strengthening agricultural extension services, implementing a private sector-driven mechanization Programme’’.

He pointed out that ‘’ streamlining the mandates and operations of research institutes and federal colleges in the sector, aligning the curricula of agricultural universities to the best technology and entrepreneurial practices, restructuring the bank of agriculture to promote agro-allied enterprises, collaborating with financial institutions to facilitate credits to agribusiness initiatives, mainstreaming youth and gender productivity ’’.

The Minister explained that the initiative would widen employment opportunities and sustain the contribution of agriculture to the country’s gross domestic product, aiding livelihood and achieve food security. He informed that ‘’the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) strategy would provide a disciplined approach to building an agribusiness ecosystem that would solve problems facing agriculture sector”, adding that “our primary focus in the agricultural sector is to ensure a virile foundation and from the implementation of the Green Alternative Policy’’.

The Minister lauded the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) immense contribution to agricultural development in Nigeria and other donor Agencies and NGOs particularly OXFAM, Action Aid Nigeria that has demonstrated commitment.

In his opening remarks, the FAO Country Representative in Nigeria, Mr Fred Kafeero, represented by Mr Abubakar Suleiman, said that the Organisation would continue to provide technical support for Nigeria’s government policies in the Agricultural sector. He disclosed the Organization’s intervention of farmers in Borno and Yobe states by providing quality fertilizer and agricultural inputs amongst several other interventions. In his Goodwill Message, the Chairman, the House of Representative, Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutes, Hon. Munir DanAgundi lauded President Muhammadu’s policies in the Agricultural sector which he observed has enhanced food sufficiency, job creation and economic growth.

He also pledged that the National Assembly would continue to support strong and robust laws for the betterment of Nigerians.In his lead paper presentation with the Theme: Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together. ‘’ our Action Our Future’’, the Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Nasarawa State University, Prof. Olumuyiwa James Jayeoba, stated that the various organs of government and stakeholders should meet the needs of vulnerable populations through emergency food assistance and improved, more accessible, social safety nets.

Prof. Jayeoba also emphasized the importance of establishing evidence-based policies and legal support for sustainable food systems, such as regulations on nutrition, decent employment, and land resources.

WORLD FOOD DAY 2020 (MINISTERIAL PRESS BRIEFING): FG Targets 5 Million Jobs to Enhance Agric Productivity – Sabo Nanono

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has revealed that the Agriculture for Food and Job Plan(AFJP) Programme would create Five Million Jobs to enhance Agricultural Productivity, Food Security, economic growth and also mitigate the negative impact of the COVID – 19 Pandemic on Nigeria Farmers.

Speaking during the Ministerial Press Briefing to commence activities to celebrate the 2020 World Food Day with the Theme: GROW, NOURISH, SUSTAIN, TOGETHER, #OUR ACTIONS ARE OUR FUTURE, held at the Minister’s Conference Hall in Abuja, TUESDAY 13, October 2020. THE Minister stated that the objective of the plan is to create Five million jobs in the agricultural sector by ensuring that farmers cultivate more land in each state, provide zero-interest loans to farmers and agricultural inputs among others. Alhaji Sabo Nanono stated that ‘’ out of the Five million planned beneficiaries for AFJP, the ministry has empowered 1,138,000 farmer-beneficiaries across the 36 states and the FCT under the first phase of implementation’’.

The Minister added that ‘’since the beginning of the 2020 farming season, the Ministry has distributed inputs in states across the country to boost food production. Nigeria last year recorded a boost in the production of her major staple crops’’. He further said, ‘’according to the data in the Ministry, maize and rice production rose from 12.8 and 12.3 to 13.94 and 14.28 million metric tonnes (MMT) respectively last year’’.

Nanono pointed out that ‘’ the same is obtainable for cassava with production increase from 58.47 MMT in 2018 to 73.91 – and even projected to rise to 93.6 by 2023. Growth has also been recorded for groundnut, tomatoes, and sorghum production. Cattle beef, milk and fish production also rose by 166%, 146% and 11% respectively between 2018 and 2019”. According to the Minister “as a nation, we consider the relevance of eradicating poverty and hunger and transforming our food production systems to ensure sustainable food security. Significant progress has therefore been made to improve agricultural productivity since the inception of the present administration”.

Speaking further, Nanono said, “to boost food security, Nigeria has curbed imports and has established a robust rice production programme to encourage more rice production at home. Efforts in this direction are starting to show results as Nigeria is now Africa’s largest producer of rice”. He added that “the country is also the largest producer of cassava in the world. A range of policies and initiatives to strengthen the rice and cassava value chains have been put in place.

The economic potentials of both livestock and fisheries are also being harnessed and respective value chains selected and targeted for development.”In an attempt to diversify the economy, the Minister explained that the “Federal Government has continued with its renewed focus on the agricultural sector.

The government has deepened the culture with the Anchor Borrowers programme initiative and ban on the importation of some agro-commodities”.He emphasized that ‘’ the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Bureau of Statistics report indicate that Nigeria’s National Agricultural Import Bill also reduced from 1.2 to 1.1 billion Naira’’.

The Minister informed that ‘’ the Federal Government through the Agro Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project (APPEALS) has set aside N600 billion as loan support to farmers across the country, No fewer than 2.4 million farmers are expected to benefit from the loan which has zero interest’’.He assured that ‘’ the support was to complement the Federal Government’s policy on agriculture, which include: promoting food security, improving farmers production and also increasing exportation’’.

The Minister also stated that ‘’ a comprehensive flood mitigation and resilience plan for the affected farming communities nationwide have been finalized by the Ministry for consideration and approval by the President”, adding that the Ministry has raised her national food reserve stock to 109,657 MT, a figure expected to be increased to 219,900 MT by the end of 2020.

The World Food Day is celebrated by over 150 member nations annually on the 16th October and nations including Nigeria line up activities to mark the day such as a symposium/colloquium, agric and roadshow. But this year’s celebration is Low keyed in compliance with the global Covid -19 pandemic.

Agric Minister Pledges Support for OGP Initiative.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has pledged the Ministry’s support for the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Initiative by the Federal Government, stating that the initiative would make governance more transparent, accountable and participatory.

The Minister, disclosed this when the National Coordinator, SERVICOM, Mrs Nnenna Akajemeli and her team paid an advocacy visit to his office in Abuja, today and dressed as a SERVICOM Champion.Alhaji Sabo Nanono said the Ministry will synergize with SERVICOM to drive the process to promote the good governance initiative of Mr President as also enshrined in the Executive Order 001.

In her presentation, Mrs Nnnenna Akajemeli stated that the initiative has presented a platform for co-operation, partnership and collaboration between the Government (State Actors), Civil Society and the Private sector (Non-State Actors) that will bring immense developmental benefits to the Nation.

Mrs Akajemeli further stated that with the full commitment by key public sector bureaucrats; there will be development, reviews and implementation of service standards at service windows that would help the initiative to fall in line with our national guidelines.

According to the National Coordinator, SERVICOM has strategized to working closely with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) through their Service Charters to drive continuous citizen-focused service improvements in Nigeria.

Akajemeli pointed out that the Federal government’s commitment to the initiative would foster openness, transparency, accountability, inclusiveness and co-operation in service delivered by the MDA’s, adding that the process will translate to good governance.

President Buhari Appoints Bashir Babajo, Executive Director, Operations (NAIC), Reappoints Philip I. Ashinze Executive Director, Finance And Administration (NAIC)

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Bashir Tijjani Babajo as Executive Director Operations, Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC), for a period of four (4) year term in the first instance with effect from 1st August 2020 and has also renewed the appointment of Philip Ashinze as Executive Director, Finance and Administration for a second and final four (4) year term with effect from 1st August 2020.
Mr. President’s approval was conveyed to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono in a letter with reference number, SH/COS/42/3/A/988, singed by the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.
Congratulating the Executive Directors on their appointments, the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanno called on the Executive Directors to bring their wealth of experience to bear and ensure the continuous implementation of NAIC’s mandate in accordance with extant laws and other subsisting rules and regulations.
Nanono further advised the EDs to justify the confidence reposed in them by working with all stakeholders to ensure harmony in the Agricultural sector and in support of Mr President’s Next Level Agenda.
The Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation is wholly – owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria, an insurance corporation company set up to specially provide agricultural risks insurance cover to Nigerian farmers.

PRESS STATEMENT

On behalf of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, I would like to state that the Ministry is not unmindful of the outstanding liabilities owed to contractors and to also affirm that the Honourable Ministers, the Permanent Secretary and the management team share in the agony of the contractors which has informed their agitations. The Ministers and Permanent Secretary inherited these liabilities and are in the process of compiling and verifying all outstanding contract liabilities. While this process is on-going, the Ministry is appealing for the patience, understanding and cooperation of the contractors to enable her complete this process and forward the outcome to Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning for further action.

Theodore Ogaziechi

Director Information

22nd May, 2020

PUBLIC NOTICE

Following the declaration of Monday 25th May 2020 as Public Holiday by the Federal Government, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development regrets to inform the general public that the new deadline for the closing/opening of Category C (expression of interest) will take place as follows:

Date: Wednesday, 27th May 2020
Venue: Conference Room B, Ministry’s Headquarters, Area 11, Garki – Abuja.

Opening time: Immediately after the closing of bids
Closing time: 12 noon prompt

Postscript: The Ministry also wishes to inform the General Public that Category D (Pre – Qualification) that was earlier advertised, has been stepped down by Management.

NOTE: To curtail the spread of Covid-19 Pandemic, Bidders are not invited to attend the bids opening exercise. However, credible observers have been invited to witness the bids opening exercise on Wednesday 27th May 2020 by 12 noon at the address mentioned above.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION AND UNDERSTANDING

Management.

FG Appoints Alwan Ali Hassan, Acting Managing Director for Bank of Agriculture.

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate dissolution of the Interim Management Team and the appointment of an Acting Managing Director for the Bank of Agriculture in the person of Mr Alwan Ali Hassan, a seasoned Banker with over two decades of experience in the banking industry.

The approval of Mr President was conveyed to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono via a letter dated May 5, 2020, with reference No. PRES/95/MARD/14.

Mr Hassan’s appointment is most apt and will expectedly turn the fortunes of the bank around considering his decades of experience in the banking sector He worked with Bank PHB, First Bank of Nigeria, African International Bank Limited, United Bank for Africa and the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Alwan Hassan hails from Kano State and holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. He has served on the Management Boards of Orient Bank, Uganda; Bank PHB in the Gambia and Platinum Capital and Trust Limited, Nigeria.

Alwan Hassan who until his appointment was Chairman/CEO Midrange Universal Biz Ltd., is a member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors among others. He also has thorough grooming of management prowess having attended trainings at the famous IMD Business School Luasanne, Switzerland and Intrados Business School, Washington DC, USA

The Bank of Agriculture is the nation’s apex agricultural and rural development finance institution, saddled with the responsibility of providing agricultural credit facilities in support of agricultural value chain activities, will benefit immensely from the vast banking experiences of Alwan Ali Hassan.

Mr Hassan is married with children.

 

COVID-19: FG Inaugurates Joint Task Team as Emergency Need Arises to Ease Movement of Food and Agricultural Inputs Across the Nation.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural
Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has inaugurated the joint technical
task team on emergency response to COVID-19. The Joint task team is to
facilitate the free and unhindered movement of food, livestock and agricultural
inputs and farmer’s movement across the nation during the lockdown and 2020
farming season to avoid food crises.

Speaking during the inauguration in
Abuja today, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono, charged the committee ‘’to facilitate
the free movement of food, livestock and agricultural inputs nationwide to
avoid food shortages and ensure minimal impact of COVID -19 on this year’s
farming season’’.

Nanono pointed out that ‘’numerous
reports have been received by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural
Development on the problem faced by transporters of food, livestock and
agricultural inputs in different parts of the country’’ as a result of the
unavoidable enforcement of restriction orders.

This he said have resulted in food
scarcity and negatively affected the nation’s agricultural production.

The Minister stated that an emergency
meeting with the Ministers of Defence, Interior and Police Affairs deliberated
and articulated a common agenda towards ensuring the minimal impact of COVID-19
on this year’s farming season in line with the directives of Mr. President and
has prompted the Joint Task Technical Team inaugurated today.

Responding on behalf of the Joint
Technical Task Team, the Committee Chairman, Assistant Inspector General of
Police, (Operations), Austin Agbonlahor, pledged the committee’s commitment to
the tasks ahead and promised to deliver on its mandate.

The Joint Technical Task Team is made
up of the following members; AIG Austin Agbonlahor, AIG P(Operations) –
Chairman, ACG Bunu Modu, Nigeria Security & Civil Defense Crops – Member,
Umar Farouk Mudi, National President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN)
– Member, Representative, Nigeria Army – Member, Mr. Chris Isizuzo, National
Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists(NUJ), Ibikunle Tajudeen Barruwa,
National President, NURTW – Member and Zubariu Abdullahi, Director, Planning
and Policy Coordination, FMARD – Secretary and it’s Terms of Reference are as
follows:

• to work with relevant agencies in
the States and Local Government Areas to develop a window that will facilitate the
free and unhindered movement of food, livestock and Agricultural inputs without
compromising the security and health of the nation.

• to issue out clear instruction to
all the security personnel in the three internal security outfits of police,
civil defence and the army on the need to allow the free and unhindered
movement of foodstuff, livestock and Agricultural inputs to all parts of
Nigeria.

• to work with the National Union of
Roads Transport Workers (NURTW), to adequately educate its members in ensuring
that vehicles conveying foodstuff, livestock and Agricultural inputs (excluding
passengers) are allowed to pass and

• to ensure that adequate information
clarifying the controlled movement of foodstuff, livestock and Agricultural
inputs is disseminated by the media to food transporters and security
personnel.

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