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FG Partnering Ogun State to Grow Fisheries – Lokpobiri

The Federal Government has identified Ogun State as one of the key partners in the growth of fisheries in Nigeria.

 

Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri who made this assertion when he commissioned four projects built by his ministry in Eriwe, Ijebu-Ode, said Government is particularly interested in Ogun State because, “If agriculture succeeds in Ogun, agriculture has succeeded in Nigeria.”

 

The four projects, which were commissioned by the minister last week for the Eriwe fishing farm estate are a feed mill, cold room, fish market and the processing unit.

 

The projects are all intended to make the estate a real fish farming cluster where the farmers will fully appropriate all the advantages of fish farming value chain.

 

The Eriwe fish farms, which has over 3,000 fish ponds scattered over an estimated 156 hectares of land area, with an average fish farming production turnover of about 2,500 metric tonnes annually and income generation of about N2 billion annually, is the biggest fish farming estate in Africa.

 

At the commissioning of the projects in Eriwe community, which had in attendance, members of the board of trustees of Ijebu Development Initiative on Poverty Reduction (IDIPR), board of directors, traditional rulers and members of the community Lokpobiri eugolized the people for their self-help efforts and commitment to consciously work themselves out of poverty.

 

The minister particularly appreciated the efforts of the Eriwe community in fish farming, which he noted, has assisted the Government grow the fishery sector in Nigeria. He revealed that when the present administration came to power, the local production of fish was only about 600,000 metric tonnes, but with the support of the likes of the Eriwe community, that figure has been increased to about 1.1 million metric tonnes, which represents almost 100 per cent increment.

 

According to Lokpobiri, there is still a lot to be done because our national demand is about 3.5 million metric tonnes and we are producing only about 1.1 million metric tonnes, which means that we are only producing about one third of our national demand.

 

The uniqueness and success of the fish farming project is that it is a community-based initiative, run and managed by a community-based Non-Government Organisation (NGO) of the people, the IDIPR and targeted at lifting the people of the community out of poverty.

 

Besides its commitment to the Eriwe fish farm project, the Federal Government, according to Lokpobikri is also intervening in some other areas in Ogun State, like the construction of rural roads to enable easy evacuation of farm produce, rehabilitation of some moribund farms in the state, establishment of cocoa and rubber plantations among others.

 

With the successes recorded in fishing, the people of Eriwe community have begun to diversify into other agricultural projects, like, poultry farming; piggery and presently, they have also acquired land outside the estate to do cocoa farming and plantation.

 

The Eriwe community also has another project principally for rubber. They have entered into agreement with Michelin who will supply the seedlings and will also buy back the end product.

 

George Oji

SA, Media to the Hon. Minister of State

 

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Smuggling, Threat to FG’s Efforts in Agriculure – Lokpobiri

Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri has expressed concerns that Federal Government’s efforts and successes in the agricultural sector of the economy would be frustrated unless urgent measures are put in place to address the issue of smuggling of foreign foods into the country.

 

Lokpobiri further cautioned that social problems will continue to fester in the country if the problem is not promptly nipped in the bud because all the efforts that Government has made in the area of job creation through agriculture will be reversed.

 

The minister however commended President Muhammadu Buhari for taking steps to combat the challenge and also urged states living in the border areas of the country to take measures to complement the efforts of the Federal Government in this regard.

 

Speaking recently while on a courtesy visit to the Ogun State Governor, Senator Adekunle Amosun in his office in Abeokuta, Lokpobiri identified Ogun State as one of the areas that is badly affected by this issue of smuggling and appealed to the governor to do everything within his efforts to address the issue.

 

According to the minister, “The Federal Government has a challenge of smuggling. All the efforts and achievements recorded, both in the fishery sector and in the rice sector, which we are doing excellently well will be reversed if we do not combat the issue of smuggling.”

 

He identified Ogun State as “One of the areas that is badly affected by this issue of smuggling,” stressing that, “It has a whole lot of problems; it affects our daily existence as a country because today we have been able to create a lot of jobs through agriculture and if smuggling is allowed to continue, the likelihood is that that will be reversed, there will be lot more of social problems.”

 

The minister revealed that one of the measures put in place by the Federal Government to combat smuggling was the setting up of the committee headed by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, which he said is working round the clock to ensure that we combat this issue of smuggling.

 

Besides, Lokpobiri stated that the Federal Government is doing everything humanly possible to ensure that we collaborate with the Republic of Benin, Niger and Chad to check this problem, stressing that, ”That is why the President of Benin visited the President of Nigeria a few weeks ago.”

 

Ogun State governor in his response also shared his concerns with the minister on the issue of smuggling, noting that, “We are not unaware of those challenges that smuggling poses to our agriculture and that is why we are insisting that all our porous borders should be closed.”

 

Amosun regretted that his state has the highest number of unmanned borders in the country and disclosed that he was already discussing with the Minister of interior minister and the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration as well as the Nigerian Customs Controller on ways of mitigating the impact of the problem both in the short and long term basis.

 

George Oji

SA Media to the Hon. Minister of State

HMA Katsina

PRESS RELEASE: Audu Ogbeh Flags Off IFAD-CASP Rural Development Projects for 7 States

The Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh on Monday 8th August, 2018 at Makasauro village in Katsina State performed the flagg- off Ceremony of erosion prone, farm connected market roads and rehabilitation of degraded rangeland, cutting across 7 states in the Savannah Belt of the country.

 

 

The benefiting communities of the project being implemented under the IFAD- Climate Change Adaptation and Agribusiness Support Programme (CASP) are spread across the 7 States of the country namely: Borno, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara states.

 

 

The project which will be completed this year will undertake the rehabilitation of 22 rural roads with support structures such as drainages, culverts, rails and drifts covering a distance of 59.09km across the participating states.

 

 

Speaking at the occasion, an elated Chief Ogbeh declared that the Federal Government is deliberately giving impetus to rural development because of the critical role that rural infrastructures play in unlocking of the vast and enormous potentials of the rural areas.

 

 

“What we are witnessing today, is part of a series of rural infrastructure build-up across the country under the present administration. Rural development such as this one is critical to the productivity of the rural people.” The Minister said.

 

 

The Minister further enjoined the people to own the project once completed in order not to allow the projects deteriorate, suffer disrepair or experience short life span. “the road requires maintenance in order to extend its life span. In this connection, I will strongly urge the benefitting communities to form a road maintenance group which will assist in simple repairs such as filling of potholes, cleaning of drainages and other small repairs.”

 

 

The Minister announced that his Ministry under the CASP Programme will develop a total of 4,000 hectares of Rangeland to cater for at least 3,000 herdsmen and carry out a total of 243km earthen roads targeted at 7 million rural dwellers beneficiaries across the participating States.

 

The intervention also include  provision of 997 solar-powered boreholes; apart from water harvesting, soil and water conservation infrastructure and establishment of 3,000ha of community woodlots, shelter belt and afforestation meant to stem the fast depleting vegetation in the participating states and touch the lives of about 30,000 vulnerable women and men.

 

Highlights of the Minister’s visit apart from the official flag off the programme is the distribution of Contract Award Letters to Contractors and the broadcast planting of improved fodder seeds in Madobi village, a development to be replicated in the 7 participating states as well as  concrete initiative of developing pasture for cattle thereby reducing farmers/herders clashes.

 

 

The Minister during the visit paid courtesy visits to the Governor of the state – Hon. Bello Masari and the Emirs of Daura and Katsina respectively.

 

 

 

Governor Masari who commended the efforts of the Federal Government on agriculture disclosed that farmers in the state who have keyed into the Rice Revolution of the government are doing well to the extent that more than 80℅ of those who performed this year’s Hajj are self-sponsored farmers unlike before.

 

 

 

The Emir of Daura made a request for citing of a rice mill in the state, development of more dams for irrigation and extension of subsidised mechanised facilities to farmers in the State which the Minister promised to look into.

 

 

The Emir of Katsina urged the government to do more on security and urged leaders at all levels to show more commitment and sincerity to the course of national development, discipline and be tolerant of alternative views.

 

 

 

Tolu Makinde

Director Information

 

PUBLIC NOTICE: Update On FADAMA – GUYS Programme Implementation

It would be recalled that Fadama III AF Project, in line with its development objective and the current Government’s Agricultural Promotion Policy, had earlier invited interested but unemployed youth and women to express interest in becoming agro-preneurs and to apply through an online platform that was transparent and competitive.

 

 

Primarily, the idea is to introduce a pool of unemployed graduate youth and women to new agribusiness ideas thereby leveraging their energy, motivation, and innovation to strengthen the drive for the diversification of the economy and social change, and enhancing national food security.

 

 

Intensive training has been organized for 5,916 successful candidates from 23 satisfactory states that emerged through an open but keen competition, while provision of starter packs is undergoing processing.

 

 

The Fadama III project has continued to update all successful candidates that have undergone requisite training, with regular information on the status of the disbursement of funds, through our web portal and text messages.

 

 

We assure all participants and the general public that the project is very much on course and that everything is being done to conclude necessary processes pertaining to the disbursement of funds to eligible candidates.

 

 

Signed

FADAMA III National Project Coordinator

Disclaimer - Copy

DISCLAIMER: The attention of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development FMARD has been drawn to the activities of some fake organisations that are making huge financial demands on unsuspecting jobless youth under the pretext of organising Youth Empowerment Programmes on Agriculture with purported authority, permission or collaboration with FMARD.

The attention of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development FMARD has been drawn to the activities of some fake organisations that are making huge financial demands on unsuspecting jobless youth under the pretext of organising Youth Empowerment Programmes on Agriculture with purported authority, permission or collaboration with FMARD.

For the avoidance of doubt, the Ministry wishes to alert the general public that it has neither mandated any organisation nor working in partnership with any group on any Youth Empowerment Programme of which prospective participants are being asked to make financial commitment of varying guises through bank accounts of a third party.

Members of the public are therefore reminded that the Official Website of the Ministry www.fmard.gov.ng and our social media handles: Facebook (Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nigeria); Twitter and Instagram: @FmardNg remain our official source of information online about programmes and information on the Ministry.

This Disclaimer is being made in the interest of unsuspecting members of the public so as not to fall prey to antics of fake organisations bent on duping people.

Whoever does business with such fake organisation does so at his or her own risk. Please be warned!

 

Dr. Bukar Hassan

Permanent Secretary

ANNOUNCER

For more information, please contact 08035925822, 08167805627

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FG To Collaborate With China On Enhanced Rice Production

The Federal Government of Nigeria has expressed its readiness to partner with the Province of Hunan of the People’s Republic of China on rice production.

The Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh (OFR) made this known on Wednesday in his office during a courtesy call on him by Mr. Xu Da Zhe, the Governor of the Provincial Peoples Government of Hunan.

Chief Audu Ogbeh while appreciating China’s growth in the last 35 years in the areas of agriculture, technological development, and machineries’ production, welcomed china’s partnership; believing that China possesses rich experience and expertise in agriculture which Nigeria can tap to enhance its quest for improved seed development, mechanization and tissue culture development.

He observed that China has made tremendous achievements in rice research and therefore called for assistance in thse areas. The Minister particularly made a case for requisite training of young people and rural farmers to aid cultivation of over 45 million  hectares of land for enhanced food production.

The acting Permanent Secretary, Mr. Idris Mamman thanked the Chinese government for partnering with Nigeria at this point in time when the Federal Government is looking for avenues to grow the sector.

He noted that the agriculture sector contributes 25% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country and cited the vital role which the agricultural sector played in bringing the country out of recession in 2017.

Earlier, the visiting Governor of the People’s Republic of Hunan Province, had explained that the main objective of his visit to Nigeria is to develop partnership agreement with the country on agriculture and deepen friendship between the two friendly countries.

The Governor also informed the Minister that the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRT) programme initiated by the President of China Mr. Xi Jinping, is on course as an instrument to foster, contribute to the development of Africa and further deepen bilateral relations with people and governments in Africa.

He said the BRT Initiative is also a development strategy aimed at enhancing cooperation and connectivity in order to play a bigger role in global affairs.

The Kano and Jigawa State Governments which have embraced the Rice Initiative yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China in Abuja.

.

Osagie Jacobs Julie

For: Director, Information

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PRESS RELEASE: FG Establishes Agricultural Equipment Hiring Enterprises Across The Country

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with John Deere/NAMEL Tractors Manufacturing Company for the deployment of 10,000 Units of tractors under a special hiring scheme.

 

In addition, the Federal Government is also poised to establish Agricultural Equipment Hiring Enterprises (AEHEs) across the 774 Local Government Areas of the country.

 

Speaking at the occasion, the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Chief Audu Ogheh said, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture ”sees this scheme as solution to the challenges of mechanization in Nigerian Agricultural sector;” observing that there is no country in Africa that has perfected agriculture and solve farming challenges without adopting of Mechanization in its farming production.

 

The Minister who was full of praise for the tractor manufacturers for investing their hope in the future of the country said in the next 10 to 15 years, the country should be aiming at deployment of a million tractors in the country.

 

According to the Minister, the short term goals of the establishment of the AEHEs in the next five years is to help deploy a minimum of 10,000 units of tractors and over 40,000 other mechanized equipment for land preparation, planting, weeding, harvest/threshing, farm transportation and other simple irrigation activities across the country.

 

He also made it known that aside from targeting mechanization of 9.450million hectares of land, the country hopes to attain additional 37.8million MT of food production, and also create additional 150,000 indirect jobs through liberal mechanization activities annually.

 

Chief Audu Ogbeh also explained that ultimately the goal is to ensure that small holder farmers have access to available, accessible and affordable farm gate mechanization services for optimum yield per hectare.

 

In a related development, Chief Audu Ogbeh also disclosed that agricultural exports from Nigeria has risen by 180% since 2015 leading to earning of over N500bn in the last three years.

 

He further observed that this agricultural feat was made possible through improved mechanized farming in the country. He opined that this partnership with the private sector will revolutionalise mechanization and check rural urban migration, create wealth and ultimately eradicate poverty, which he described as “crime against humanity”.

 

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Bukar Hassan remarked that the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the three parties signifies another landmark for the country in its efforts at involving the private sector to drive the new agricultural initiative and reduce drastically the country’s continued reliance on oil.

 

The Acting Director General of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) Engr. Chidi K.C Izwah announced that his Commission has issued provisional license to FMARD to drive this initiative with other partners under public-private partnership; believing that this will improve mechanization of agriculture in Nigeria.

 

The Director of Agricultural Extension of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Mrs Karima Babangida in her vote of thanks described the partnership with John Deere/ NAMEL as first of its kind by the Ministry; and appealed that women farmers that constitute about 60 per cent of farmers population are deliberately targeted to benefit from this laudable programme. She praised the Hon. Minister and the Permanent Secretary for their tireless supports to ensure that expectation of Nigeria farmers come to reality.

 

Tolu Makinde

Director Information.

 

Statement On US-Nigeria Investment Summit By Emir Sanusi As It Affects FMARD

The attention of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), has been drawn to the statement credited to His Royal Highness, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Lamido Sanusi, widely reported in the Press and Social Media, to the effect that some serving Ministers in this government, including the Hon Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development FMARD, Chief Audu Ogbeh failed to attend the recently held Nigeria-US Investment Summit in Washington DC. The inference is NOT correct.

 

The fact is that the Hon. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development was not invited to the meeting by the Organisers; as such, there was no way he could have attended the Summit in question; which explains why he did not seek the usual clearance from the Presidency to enable him travel to attend.

 

It is worth reiterating that Chief Ogbeh was right at home attending to his official duties and did not travel to Washington DC with the Federal Government Delegation; as he is not one of the government officials that statutorily attend International Monetary Fund IMF meetings.

 

This explanation is necessary to reiterate the determination of the Ministry not to relent in its efforts to attract foreign investment into the Nigerian agricultural sector in order to attain our national agricultural objectives; as well as correct any wrong impression of tardiness, lack of seriousness or dereliction of duty that the said story is capable of creating in the minds of the public.

 

Tolu Makinde
Director of Information
23/04/2018

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Audu Ogbeh Honoured With Zik Price 2017 Leadership Award For Outstanding Public Service

PRESS RELEASE

The Hon. Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development – Chief Audu Ogbeh OFR was on Sunday honoured with the Public Service Outstanding Award along with 9 other notable Nigerians by the Public Research and Analysis Center – the body that institutionalised the Zik Leadership Award to recognize, appreciate and encourage distinguished Nigerians who have made significant contributions to the development of the nation.


The momentous event which is part of the Zik Prize in Leadership, took place at the Civic Centre, Uzoh Mbadiwe street, Victoria Island .
In the citation read at a colourful event attended by  a la cream of Nigeria’s VIP’s from different works of life,  Chief Ogbeh was described as the farmers’ farmer noted for his unimpeachable integrity, whose appointment was largely hailed as representing the most square- pegged appointment in recent times.

The Minister was also credited with the feat of upturning the country’s craze for rice importation, stimulates unprecedented Nigeria’s local rice revolution; thus making the country the largest producer of rice in West Africa. He also got commendation for ensuring availability and accessibility of agro-inputs like seeds, fertilizers and agrochemicals to farmers at the right time and reasonable cost.

Other forward looking policies of the Minister that have not escaped the attention of the organizers include the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises Programme (LIFE) and the procurement and distribution of agricultural processing equipment to rural households, farmers, processors and cooperative societies across the country as well as the introduction of Agro-Rangers security guards to protect large scale farmers and ward off criminals attacking farmers.

Chief Ogbeh also received kudos for being the brain behind the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative which saw Nigeria’s partnership with the Government of Morocco for the supply of phosphates – a development that has resulted in the revitalization of eleven fertilizer blending plants and introduction of a robust quality seeds assurance scheme.

The Award Plaque to the Minister was jointly presented by  Chairman of  the All Progressive Congress APC – Chief John Oyegun and Nigeria’s former Senate President Senator Ken Nnamani.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and his Katsina State counterpart also bagged the Good Governance Award while an APC chieftain and former Governor of Osun State – Chief Adebisi Akande was honoured with Political Leadership Award.

Others that were honoured include Mr Ernest Ebi – Chairman Fidelity Bank and Dr Makanti Kacalla Baru, Group Managing Director NNPC, honoured with (Professional Leadership) and Dr Adedeji Adeleke (Business Leadership). W
ives of two State Governors – Chief Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano and Hajia Hadiza Abubakar of Anambra and Bauchi States also got Awards for Humanitarian Services for their poverty alleviation initiatives through the Caring Family Enhancement Initiative CAFE and Bauchi Sustainable Women Economic Empowerment & Peace Initiative (B-SWEEP) respectively.
Tolu Makinde
Director of Information
April 16, 2018
AGRIC 1A

BOA and SunTrust Bank Ltd Sign MoU To Provide Better Deals For Farmers

The Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh has described the partnership between SunTrust Ltd and the BOA as a welcome development since most commercial banks are weary to offer loans to farmers. He also explained that farming has remained unattractive to prospective farmers because of high interest rates being charged by commercial banks.

 

The Minister made this observation during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between SunTrust Bank Ltd and the Bank of Agriculture at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, on 9th April, 2018.

 

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

 

Expressing his confidence in the ability of managements of the banks to deliver on this initiative, the Minister announced that efforts are on to reduce interest rates being offered by commercial banks to 5% from the initial 7%.

 

The Minister recalled that farmers have been enjoying the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the Anchors Borrowers Programme, while noting that the CBN cannot act as a commercial bank for long. He also made it known that the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) is being restructured to favour farmers. He assured that after the restructuring, 30% of the shares of Bank of Agriculture will be divested to farmers.

 

The Chief Executive Officer of SunTrust Ltd Mr. Muhammad Jibrin explained that with this partnership, more customers will be attracted to their banks, projecting that by Year 2020, about two million (2million) customers would have been attracted to the bank.

 

The Managing Director Bank of Agriculture, Mr. Kabiru Adamu said his bank is interested in changing the narrative of farmers who suffer because they do not have access to financial services. According to him, “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 their banks strongly identify with the Federal Government on its effort to diversify the economy through agriculture and assured the public that farmers would henceforth have easy access to finance at reasonable terms through this partnership.

 

Osagie Jacobs Julie (Mrs.)

For: Director Information.