Nigeria will transform to Global Power House in Food Production – Nanono Inaugurates Governing Board of Veterinary Council of Nigeria.

The Federal Government has affirmed its commitment towards a radical transformation in the Agricultural sector, stating that Nigeria will soon turn into a Global powerhouse in food production and food security across various value chains in line with the mandate of the Green Alternative Policy and the Livestock Transformation Agenda of the Present Administration.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono, made this statement during the inauguration of the Governing Board of the Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN), in Abuja on Thursday 5th March 2020.

The Minister charged the members to regulate the standard of the profession in the country ‘’ it is expected that you will pursue the mandate of the Council which among others includes: regulating the standard of training and practice of the Veterinary Medicine in Nigeria in accordance with the provisions of the Enabling Act (Veterinary Surgeons Act) without rancor and conflict’’.

He further said that ‘’ it is apt to reiterate that you have the responsibility as the Board for policy making decision ,while the Council Secretariat’s Administrative and Operational activities are solely the responsibility of the Management, this should be clearly understood to ensure efficiency and effective implementation of the mandate of the VCN’’.

He tasked the board members to be stewards of the trust repose in them and also show responsibility towards the transformation of the Agricultural sector in accordance with the Green Alternative Policy and the Livestock transformation Agenda of the Federal Government.

Nanono stated there is need for collaboration among relevant stakeholders in the Agric Sector and livestock sub- sector towards achieving food sufficiency, job creation and increase internally generated revenue in the country.

In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Abdulkadir Mua’zu, represented by the Director, Federal Department of Agriculture, Mrs. Karima Babaginda said that the Council is very crucial in actualizing many of the activities of the veterinary profession especially its regulatory role. According to him, ‘’ this is a great call to national service and all hands must be on deck to contribute your respective quotas to the ministry’s efforts in ensuring both food and nutrition security.

Dr. Mua’zu stated the board comprised of members who have distinguished themselves in various aspects of the veterinary profession drawn from the public, private and the academia.

Speaking on behalf of the Governing Board, the Chairperson, Commissioner of Police, Dr (Mrs.) Aishatu Abubakar Baru, pledged that the Board would work assiduously towards achieving its Mandate

On the other hand, the Minister, Alhaji Sabo Nanono received in audience members of the Pan African Society for Agricultural Engineering and the Nigerian Institution of Agricultural Engineers (A Division Society of Engineers). He urged the Organisation to key in into the Mechanization policy of the Ministry which he said will revolutionize the agriculture sector and boost the nation’s economy.

The group led by the Chairman, Conference Organizing Committee, Prof. Michael Faborode were in his office to brief the Minister on the planned Conference scheduled for the third quarter of the year with the theme ‘’ Engineering Africa’s Agro- Industrial Transformation for Economic Prosperity and Sustainable Development’’

Agric minister receives delegates from Denmark Embassy in Nigeria

The Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alh Muhñammad Sabo Nanono earlier received in his office, delegates from the Embassy of Denmark in Abuja led by the Danish Ambassador, Amb Jesper Kamp.
The purpose of the meeting was to inform the Honourable Minister on the previous activities of the Mission in Nigeria as regards Agricultural Sector, and also to brief the Minister on the ongoing Milk Farm Project located in Kano State. The project is set to take off with 14,000 herds of cows that will produce up to 52 Million Litres of Milk, which will also provide about 40,000 job opportunities for citizens.
Amb Kamp further reiterated that the Embassy would replicate the project in the other Northern States.
In his remark, the Minister assured the Embassy of full support and collaborations from the ministry.

FG TARGETS INCREASED GDP FROM THE AGRIC SECTOR AS NANONO LAUNCHES NATIONAL FERTILIZER CONTROL ACT 2019

The Federal Government has launched the National Fertilizer Quality Control Act 2019 as a vital component of the Agricultural Policy of the present Administration and the bid to a repositioning of Nigeria economy from oil and gas to agribusiness. The Act will safeguard and protect the interest of the entire Fertilizer value chain players such as manufacturers, producers, blenders, importers, distributors and the end-user farmers in Nigeria. 
 
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono stated this in his public presentation of the ACT today in Abuja. Alhaji Sabo Nanono stated that the Agric sector contributes about 21.2% of the Gross Domestic Product(GDP) as at 2018, 88% of non- oil foreign exchange earnings, employs about 70% of the active labour and provides raw materials for the Agro-allied industrial sector.  
 
Nanono noted that the Act would provide an enabling environment for Fertilizer enterprises to grow including the protection of investment in the Agric sector and assured that farmers will get value for every kobo spent on buying Fertilizer for their farms. According to him, “the Act, therefore, seeks to ensure that maximum benefits are derived from each kilogram of Fertilizer bought and used by the farmers in terms of nutrients composition and levels “.
 
The Minister informed that ‘’the quick ascent to the fertilizer Act by Mr President goes to show the importance and commitment he attaches to the agricultural sector in general and his desire to help protect the investments of the Nigerian farmers, through the provision of this regulatory framework aimed at guaranteeing the supply and distribution of quality fertilizers and other farm inputs to farmers across the country at their doorsteps, at the right time, right place and right prices”.
 
He acknowledged the efforts of stakeholders including Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (NISS), International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Nigeria Agricultural Business Group (NABG), Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN), Nigeria Agro-Input Dealers Association (NAIDA) and other relevant stakeholders for their immeasurable support and inputs in ensuring the actualization of this age-long dream of establishing a fertilizer regulatory system for Nigeria.

The Minister stated that the Act is against activities such as: Operating or carrying on fertilizer business as a manufacturer, blender, importer or distributor in Nigeria with an expired permit or certificate of registration;  Selling any fertilizer supplement that contains destructive ingredients or properties harmful to plant growth when used according to the accompanying instructions or in accordance with the instructions contained on the label of the package in which the fertilizer or the fertilizer supplement is contained; also, engaging in the illegal sales, distribution, transportation of fertilizers, among others.
 
He further said that there is need to ensure that the country meets the required set standards in terms of quality by enforcing the following measures: Proper documentation and licensing of all the players in the fertilizer value chain from the manufacturers, producers, blenders, importers, distributors to the end-user farmers to ensure traceability and accountability in the fertilizer delivery process, Deployment and re-training of more Fertilizer Quality Control Inspectors, among others.
 
In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Abdulkadir Mua’zu said that the legal and regulatory framework for Fertilizer Quality Control would enable Fertilizer Inspectors of Farm Inputs Support services Department (FISSD) of the Ministry undertake periodic quality control and assessment to fertilizer production plants, ports of discharge and market outlets to ensure compliance. 
 
Dr Mua’zu pointed out that “this is important because the Federal Government has identified some violations in the sub-sector which includes plant nutrient deficiencies, adulteration, misbranding, underweight bagging, bagging quality, operating without a certificate of registration and sometimes with an expired certificate of registration”. 
 
He thanked all the stakeholders present and who have contributed in one way or the other in ensuring the passage of the bill into an Act especially, members of the National Assembly Committees on Agriculture for championing and actualizing the long-awaited Fertilizer Act, International Agencies such as IFDC, AGRA, NABG, who have been supporting and partnering with the Ministry to actualize the establishment of the Act.
 
In his goodwill message, Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Senator, Abdullahi Adamu noted that Nigerian farmers have suffered economic hardship based on the adulteration of fertilizer products over the years and he also appreciated President Muhammad Buhari for passing of the bill into law in October 2019.

NIGERIAN RICE CAN COMPETE FAVOURABLY IN THE GLOBAL MARKET SAYS AGRIC MINISTER AS HE LAUDS RICE FARMERS

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has lauded the effort of rice farmers in Nigeria, stating that it will help actualize Government’s agenda in the Agricultural sector being food sufficiency, job creation and economic growth.  

The Minister made this disclosure during a working visit to rice farms and mills of Stallion Group Limited, Popular Farms and Mill Limited – the producers of  Stallion rice in Kano, Kano State over the weekend.

Alhaji Sabo Nanono noted that the Nation’s land border closure had resulted in an accelerated and increased output by rice milling plants in Nigeria, adding the boost would reduce the high rate of unemployment. 

The Minister reiterated that with the improved production rate, Nigeria rice is bound to compete favourably in the global market the moment exportation begins, in his words, ” if we maintain this momentum in the next two years, we may export rice to other countries “.

He informed that the Ministry would convene a forum for all relevant stakeholders in the rice sub-sector to dialogue on how to improve on rice Seedlings, farm inputs among others. According to him, ” this meeting should take place in the next three to four weeks”.

The Minister further said  that “I see no reason why a 50kg bag of rice should be sold for N17,000, the same paddy rice is sold at N8,500 and maximum processing expense is N2,000 making a total of N10,500, it is unpatriotic to sell a bag more than N14,000 – N 15000.” 

He stated that the primary focus of the Ministry is Mechanization of the Agricultural sector, strengthening Research Institutions, Extension Agricultural Services and Livestock/Diary development.

The Minister lauded the Stallion Group for efforts towards improving rice production and creating jobs for Nigerians. He urged other investors to key into Agribusiness because of Its numerous financial benefits. 

Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Managing Director, Popular Farms and Mill Limited, Mr Amit Kumar Rai Stated that “Stallion Group Popular Farms and Mills Limited, has invested over the US $70m to boost production of Agric business, especially rice and sesame in Nigeria. It operates the biggest rice mill in Kano with an annual installed capacity of 430, 000 metric tons. It has a consolidated capacity of 1.7 Mn Metric tons”.

Mr Rai further said that “the group is investing also in additional milling facilities locally in order to obtain self-sufficiency in rice production. He highlighted some of the popular brands of the group include: Tomato King, Double Bull, People’s Princess and Super Champion”. 

He pointed out that the group organise training and distributes rice farming tools free to out growers across the rice producing states in Nigeria as part of its dedicated services in the rice value chain initiative.

He informed that ” About 20% of these beneficiaries are women who diligently work alongside their male counterparts in the fields to support their families. the group believes that focus on empowering communities leads to more progressive farmers and greater economic and social opportunities for households. It works through Public Private Partnership with  Federal Government ’s agriculture objectives to train small scale farmers”.

The  Minister  also visited the Premier Seed Nigeria Limited and Value Seeds Limited, in Zaria, Kaduna State. Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono reemphasised the overall goals of  the policy principles of the Agriculture Promotion Policy (APP) , stating that it would concentrate on providing an enabling environment for stakeholders at  the federal and state level to play their distinctive roles. 

FG SETS UP SAPZs -Targets Food Sufficiency, Employment and Revenue Generation.

The Federal Government has commenced the setting up of Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) as a major strategy in the economic diversification programme of the current administration and repositioning for sustainable economic growth and development. This was revealed today by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono as he declared open, the Inception Workshop in Abuja, marking the take-off of the project in the 6 (six) geopolitical zones of the country.

Nanono stated that the SAPZs aims at helping to develop competitive processing capacity through the promotion of private sector investment, enabled by investment in public goods, policy interventions and the provision of desirable support services and skills development.

The Minister noted that the SAPZs will boost value addition to agriculture, improve competitiveness and in effect, reduce food imports, assure food sufficiency, create jobs for teeming Nigerian youths and in turn grow the nation’s economy by generating revenue.

Nanono said that the plan is to develop the SAPZs within a period of three (3) years across the country in areas where core economic value can be unleashed for the benefit of the rural population. The Minister noted that agricultural mechanization will be the main vehicle for strategically implementing the SAPZ program on an intense scale.

The SAPZs which are to be built around Brownfields – areas with developed and existing infrastructure such as rails, roads, power and irrigation systems, is being developed with the support and collaboration of the African Development Bank (AFDB) and financiers like International Finance Corporation (IFC) and African Export-Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK).

The core implementing Agencies including the Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Corporation, the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), the Bank of Industry, and Bank of Agriculture among others broke into 4 cluster groups to appraise critical commodities in the value chain and proffer the way forward.

 To ensure the immediate take-off of the project, the Minister will on a later date inaugurate a SAPZ technical team that will drive the process.

The Ministers of Federal Capital Territory, Water Resources, Finance, Budget & National Planning and Industry, Trade & Investment and other relevant stakeholders were duly represented at the occasion.

FG REAFFIRMS COMMITMENT TO QUALITY SEEDS  FOR NIGERIAN FARMERS

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has stated that quality seed is a key input towards enhancing Agricultural productivity and ensuring food security, job creation and economic growth in Nigeria.

 Speaking during the National Seed Retreat organised by the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), at the IAR Conference Hall, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, today, 27/02/20, the Minister noted that seed is the carrier of the genetic potential of the crop plant that determines the upper limit of yield and the ultimate productivity of fertilizers, agro-chemicals and other inputs including types of machinery and farming techniques.

Nanono informed that the Ministry has the responsibility to provide a conducive policy environment of ensuring the sustenance of a virile National Seeds System and to enable a credible, dynamic, competitive and relevant industry which provides healthy and high-quality planting materials for Nigerian farmers and for export irrespective of their location. According to him,” This is the reason I have called this important meeting for us all to discuss the grey areas that need to be straightened for seed sector development”.

He emphasised that the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) in partnership with all relevant stakeholders is responsible for seed industry development and regulation in the country and has over the years been involved in various activities towards ensuring the development of the nation’s seed sector. 

He pointed out that the overall set of policy principles of the Agriculture Promotion Policy (APP) , would concentrate on providing an enabling environment for stakeholders at the federal and state level to play their distinctive roles. 

He also said that the policy would provide a conducive legislative and agricultural knowledge framework, macro-policies, security-enhancing physical infrastructure and institutional mechanisms for coordination, access to adequate inputs, finance, information on innovation, agricultural services and markets.

Alhaji Sabo Nanono tasked the Stakeholders on the need to render services for posterity, “Your presence here as stakeholders is simple but are service to posterity because with a growing population expected to reach above 400 million in a few years from now we must plan ahead. Recognize the importance of this sub-sector to the overall sustenance of national plan through agricultural productivity”.

 He further said, “we are all challenged today to identify, discuss determine the type of interventions needed (technological, regulatory and others) to make quality seeds available to farmers through sustainable systems and construct roadmap, with specific recommendations, to guide a sound and sustainable dissemination strategy for improved crops to resource-poor farmers in Nigeria in particular and West in general “.

In his remarks, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Senator Abdullahi Adamu stated that there is need to focus more on locally made seed because they have been tested and proven in the Seeds sub-sector and assured that the bills before both chambers of the National Assembly would soon be passed into laws.

During his goodwill message, the Chairman, House Committee on Agric. Production and Services,  Hon. Danduste Muntari said that quality Seed is vital in the process of achieving food sufficiency, job creation and would boost the internally generated revenue in the country. He also lauded President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda in the Agricultural sector which he said would change the narrative on the economy shifting from the oil sector to the Agricultural sector. 

In his welcome remarks, the Director-General, National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), Dr Philip Olusegun Ojo, informed that ” NASC has introduced/launch the National Seed Tracker, introduced the turn-key electronic Seed Authentication system, developed a Five (5) year strategic plan and up-graded the central seed testing laboratories to meet international Standards”.

Dr Philip Ojo stated that NASC has commenced effort towards the introduction of a Legislation for the Protection of New Varieties of Plant (PVP) in Nigeria as well as firming upon its membership of international organizations like the  Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), International Seed Federation (ISF)  International Seed Testing Association (ISTA). According to him, “all in a bid to promote our nation’s participation in the global trade of seeds and enhance our quality seed delivery capability while encouraging private sector participation in the Seeds sub-sector”.

He advocated for the quick passage of the PVP law to complement the existing Seed Act for the establishment and maintenance of strong legal protection for seed and plant products and its enforcement so as to deter those who engage in illegal seed practices.

GUINEAN GOVT SEEKS SUPPORT OF NIGERIA IN RICE PRODUCTION

The Federal Government has received  request from the Government of Guninea –BissauRead More

Minister Visits Farm, Pledges FG’s Support

As part of
activities of government to boost food production in Nigeria, the Hon. Minister
of State, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development yesterday
visited Nigeria Farmers’ Group and Cooperative Society Farm (NFGCS) at Gaate,
Kokona Local Government Area of Nassarawa State to inspect the facilities and
activities of the 3-year old farm. During the
visit, the Hon. Minister informed the management of NFGCS that he deemed
it fit to inspect the farm after a presentation made at the Ministry that was
too good to believe.

The Hon. Minister then toured the
farm and subsequently commended the youth who put their efforts together to
establish the fast growing farm. Hon. Mustapha Shehuri was impressed with the
attitude of these youth who have decided to up their own game by not venturing
into cybercrime nor seeking contract from the govt. They chose to go to the
forest and they are creating big wealth. They have employed hundreds of youth
they pay salaries as farmers, bricklayers, Engineers, Labourers, etc.

The NFGCS Farm
grows and processes varieties of farm produce which include rice, poultry,
livestock, crops, etc. According to reports, they supply to different companies
including hotels in faraway Lagos State.

The NFGCS farm
has a Unit where they fabricate farm equipment, part of which they use on their
farm.

However, the
management of NFGCS are appealing to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and
Rural Development to support the farm, especially with machines and chemicals.

In his response,
the minister invited the Management of the farm to the Ministry so as to
discuss areas the office can support them. “We will contribute our own quota as
a government to optimize their productivity. What i saw on the farm is the
definition of real Agriculture.”

The Minister,
further, commended the approach of NFGCS Farm Management to community issue as
a good way recommendable to solving Farmer/Herder clashes in Nigeria. Governors
who want to impact on their people are enjoined to go and study the farm and
borrow ideas.

Nigeria Joins International Consultative Cashew Council (CICC)

As part of efforts of Nigerian Government to improve the county’s foreign earnings and create jobs for the citizenry, Nigeria, being the 4th largest producer of Cashew in the world, has been successfully registered to the International Consultative Cashew Council.

This was completed at the 3rd session of the Council of Ministers of the International Consultative Cashew Council (CICC) where the Honourable Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri represented the country and performed the official signing.

Nigeria will benefit largely from the Council in terms OF added value, job creation and income generation.

Nigeria Submits Interest to Join Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries

Hoping that this congress will continue to provide the platform for global networking on the latest innovations and information sharing, foster closer relations and co-operation between all industry players in our pursuit to enhance the sustainable development of the palm oil industry and sustaining its competitiveness in the global oils and fats market, the Federal Government of Nigeria has expressed its readiness to join the council

The Hon. Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri, has led a Nigerian delegation to the Ministerial Meeting of the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries held at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to participate in the meeting and submit Nigeria’s proposal to join the Council.

The Council is a strategic global forum for thinkers and strategists to deliberate on technological breakthroughs and advancements in the oil palm sector as well as on the developments of the oils and fats industries.

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