IN KANO: FG Flags-Off National Livestock Breed Improvement Programme (NALBIP), Says Effort will Curb Herders/Farmers Crop Conflicts.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has stated that the National Livestock Breed Improvement Programme (NALBIP) is one of the comprehensive and sustainable mechanism put in place by the ministry to address the development and transformation of the livestock value chain in the agricultural sectorHe said the programme will improve the genetic makeup of the indigenous breeds of animals, especially dairy cattle to achieve increased milk and meat yield of the nation’s national herd.

He also expressed optimism that the programme “will improve the livelihood of the pastoral communities and other livestock farmers and support the ministry in addressing the challenges in the livestock value chain particularly, the incessant Herder/ Crop Farmers conflict”. Speaking during the flag-off exercise held at the Janguru Primary/ Secondary School, Dawanau, Dawakin Tofa Local Government Area, Kano State venue of the event, today, Monday, I5th March 2021, the Minister disclosed that the programme is targeted at the “evolution of hybrid filial generations of dairy cows and other livestock with improved productivity potential and in the overall genetic improvement to the national herd”.

He explained that the programme will facilitate Artificial insemination services through training and the provision of essential tools and inputs to stakeholders.Nanono expressed regret that despite the great potential in the livestock sector, “we have not achieved much to ensure an adequate supply of animal protein, means of livelihood and increased income. Some of the key challenges like low level of investment, poor animal health services, poor access to market, poor fodder supply and livestock Management practices have continued to prevent the sector from reaching its full potential”. The Minister noted that “ inadequate investments due largely to under-funding from public and private sectors, absence of enabling government policies, suboptimal functioning institutional settings and linkages and regulatory gaps have led to our inability to achieve sustainable transformation in the livestock value chains.

This administration is poised to systematically address these challenges”. According to him, the flag-off exercise was coming on board “at a better time due to threats poised on the nation’s security heightened by frequent conflicts, banditry, and cattle rustling with resultant depletion of the national herd, creating fear and loss of sources of livelihood for Nigerians who depend on agriculture for their sustenance” In his goodwill message, the Executive Governor of Kano State, represented by the Kano State Commissioner of Local Government Affairs, Hon Murtala Sule Garo, expressed appreciation on the choice of Kano State for the pilot scheme of the programme, stating that the state has the comparative advantage in terms of its livestock population and vast arable land.

While noting that the Breed improvement programme for the sector will upgrade the existing indigenous breeds and increase productivity, the governor assured the Minister that the state government will continue to support the federal government in all its intervention efforts to the state. In her welcome address earlier, the Director, Animal husbandary Department in the Ministry, Mrs Winnie Lai- Solarin stated that the Programme is part of the National Livestock Transformation Plan of the Federal Government of Nigeria. According to her, “Animal Agriculture plays a significant role in the country’s agro-economy and contributes to the qualitative nutrition of the citizenry, job creation and food security status of our nation.

It also lends significantly to the socio-economic livelihoods of the populace particularly livestock value chain actors”.She said the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Department of Animal Husbandry Services is commencing the National Livestock Breed Improvement Program (NALBIP) – a strategy designed to speedily upgrade our indigenous breeds oflivestock by enhancing their genetic potential, increasing their milk yield and their efficiency generally.

Mrs Solarin pointed out that, “Nigeria’s population is growing at a faster rate than the increase in animals and animal products, this is critical for a country whose population is expected to reach about 402 million by the year 2050. Imperatively only improved breeds which are adequately cared for to reach optimal production levels can alleviate poverty, ensure food security and meet the protein requirements of a growing population such as ours”.She, therefore, enjoined all stakeholders, particularly the private sector to participate actively in the implementation of the NALBIP program to ensure efficiency, sustainability, job creation, improved breed, increased productivity, and income of smallholder livestock farmers.

FG Pledges to Revive Development of Cocoa and Continuous Support to Horticulture Industries in Nigeria.

The Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono, on behalf of Federal Government of Nigeria pledges to revive development of cocoa and continuous support to Horticulture Industry in Nigeria. The Minister disclosed this on Tuesday 15th December 2020 during the visit of the Cocoa and Plantain Farmers of Nigeria, under the leadership of the Coordinator and National President, Mr Ayodele Ojo.

In his speech, the National President of the Association, Mr Ayodele expresses his excitement under the auspices of Plantain and Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria to meet with the Honourable Minister and the entire Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for the all-important meeting.
In his words, we are here today to commend the laudable and deliberate efforts of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. We know that the Ministry has always collaborated with several other bodies at ensuring food security in Nigeria and creating an enabling environment for economic growth through agricultural and rural development programmes.

The agricultural interventions being supported by the Ministry are enormous and many crops and livestock enterprises have been included in the different programmes at different times. The anchor borrowers’ programme and CARES are some of the most recent of such agricultural intervention programmes being supported by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

It amazed us as an association of farmers that have been consistently working to produce plantain and cocoa in large quantities that we were left out of the anchor borrowers’ programme and CARES Project. Although cocoa has been considered under the anchor borrowers’ programme through our sister association and we appreciate you for this. We have well above 28,000 members in 20 states and the Federal Capital Territory. Presently we have more than 20,000 hectares of farm cultivated and a potential to cultivate more than 50,000 hectares if adequately supported (see the attached map).
History has it that before the discovery of oil in Nigeria, the nation depended on agricultural produce which included cocoa and plantain with other crops. The rise in population all over the world increases the demand for food and raw materials for industries.Honourable Minister Sir, plantain value chain, if well harnessed is capable of alleviating unemployment challenges in Nigeria significantly. Plantain has always contributed and is still contributing to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria.

Plantain is grown in Ondo, Taraba, Cross River, Osun, Kogi, Akwa Ibom, Ekiti, Ogun, Edo, Adamawa, Abia, Oyo, Delta, Kwara, Imo, Benue, Niger, FCT, Kaduna, Lagos and Plateau States. There is this peculiarity of plantain in food security, in that when other farm products are scarce due to one reason or the other, plantain is always available all year round.

However, it is very surprising that other commodities like maize, rice, cassava, cotton, vegetable, cocoa etc. received support under the Anchor Borrower’s Programme while the plantain commodity was excluded. It has also come to our notice that the CARES Project that is in the pipeline also excludes plantain and cocoa commodities. Plantain can serve dual purposes of food and cash crop and is capable to start earning returns on investment in one year just like cassava.

Moreover, many developed nations of the world source for raw materials from Africa and among the crops that attract the highest demand are plantain and cocoa. The farmers need support not only in the production but in expansion and enabling the farmers to meet the international market standards and forms of the crops when exported. There are infrastructure and technologies that are capital intensive and are beyond the reach of farmers, hence the need for the inclusion of the plantain farmers in the anchor borrowers’ programme.

The CARES project has been designed to be a kind of palliative programme. This programme will encourage farmers to return to the farm to guide against food shortages that might result from the adverse effects of COVID-19 pandemic in the nearest future.Therefore, Honourable Minister Sir, we crave for your kind gesture in the following ways:
(i) to recognize the Cocoa and Plantain Farmers Association of Nigeria as a body all over Nigeria.
(ii) making use of your good offices to ensure the inclusion of Plantain and Cocoa Farmers Association in the anchor borrowers’ programme;
(iii) ensuring that plantain and cocoa farmers are included among the beneficiaries of CARES Project and other ongoing palliative programmes;
(iv) render capacity-building support to plantain farmers be able to meet the international market standard in terms of post-harvest handling and packaging of plantain; and
(v) making sure that Cocoa and Plantain Farmers Association of Nigeria is not left out of all future interventions of the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The Minister his response thanked the visitors for their support for holding on to Cocoa Industry despite the neglect of the Government in the past due to the discovery of Crude Oil.

Alhaji Nanono charged the visitors to strengthen their association, be more proactive and enlighten their members. The Minister added that the Ministry will assist the association in various aspects including capacity development and confirmed that Cocoa and Plantain Farmers Association is recognized.

The Minister added that the delegates should structure their association to attract medium-term facilities for the development of Cocoa and production of palm oil, and in this regard, the Federal Government will come to assistance. Adding that the potential for export in the horticulture is very high and Nigeria has the resource base.

In his Conclusion, Alhaji Nanono promised to link the association with the Bank of Agriculture to see how the bank will be able to finance the association requests.
The Association Coordinator, Mr Ayodele thanked the Minister in anticipation of the favourable consideration of the requests and solicited for unflinching and perpetual support to the great network of farmers.

FMARD Repositions Its Agencies and Research Institutes for Sustainable Food Production and Diversification.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has stated that the ministry will continue to strengthen its partnership with its agencies and agricultural research institutes in order to collectively deliver on its mandate.

He said the collaboration would help to further strengthen sectoral linkages and promote import-substitution, enterprise development, value-added processing and economic diversification. The Minister made this statement during the One-Day Retreat for Chief Executives and Chairmen of Boards of Agencies and Parastatals of the Ministry held at Chida Hotel, Jabi –Abuja on Thursday,19th November 2020. Alhaji Sabo Nanono informed that ‘’ In line with the Ministry’s signed deliverables with the Presidency, the priority area for food security entails engagement with state and non-state actors to facilitate programmes to farmers on mechanization, extension delivery, commodity production, storage facilities, agro-processing, grazing reserves, livestock transformation and fisheries’’. 

The Minister noted that ‘’ at the moment, the Ministry took a pragmatic approach of repositioning the agricultural research system, securing 20,000 to 100,000 hectares of land per State for agricultural use, and promoting agro and agro-allied cluster activities nationwide’’. He pointed out that ‘’ expectations are to deploy improved varieties, expand the cultivable land area and support agribusiness undertakings in the country’’. 

Nanono emphasized that  ‘’ towards having a mutual commitment to growing the sector, we must comply with the established protocols of channelling policies, views and requests from the Executive Managements through the Governing Boards of Parastatals to the Authorities of the Ministry’’. He reiterated that ‘’ for the Ministry’s representatives on the Boards of Parastatals, you are to update your principals on vital issues resolved at Board Meetings while relaying the Ministry’s position on such issues to respective Parastatals Board and Management’’. 

The Minister Observed that ‘’ the provisions of Administrative Guidelines and Procedures on the relationship between Ministries and Parastatals, are to enable us to ensure orderliness, responsibility, transparency and consensus in the conceptualization and implementation of policies, programmes and projects’’. He also said that ‘’ We all need to recommit ourselves to the development of the sector by aligning progress, fine-tuning strategies, de-risking options, streamlining interventions, pooling resources and implementing projects.

Failure, ladies and gentlemen, is not an option’’. He assured that ‘’the Ministry under my leadership is open to constructive interface and will support any concept, initiative and strategy that can guide, facilitate and fast-track the implementation of policies, programmes and projects in the agricultural sector. In his remarks, the Hon. Minister of State, Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri stated the need for consensus in the handling of the policy, sectoral and personnel matters in a manner that will resolve them amicably and forestall misrepresentation, misconception and poor guidance.   

Hon. Baba Shehuri expressed the need to strengthen our service delivery mechanism since much is expected from the sector to enhance the country’s capacity on food security, employment generation and wealth creation. According to him ‘’ only then will we be able to address the impact of the global health emergency and the high expectation of present administration on the Agriculture sector’’. 

In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Abulkadir Mu’azu stated that ‘’ our responsibility is to align sectoral strategies with the goal of social inclusion, as well as economic diversification and livelihood expansion, and therewith, implement policies, programmes and projects for impactful development in the country’’. Dr Mu’azu noted that ‘’ our stakes, responsibilities and commitments are anchored on inclusiveness, transparency and accountability in the conceptualization of initiatives and interventions, through a strategic partnership with State Governments, Farmer Associations, Private Sector Organizations and Development Partners’’. 

The Chairman, House Committee on Agricultural Colleges, Institutions and Federal Universities of Agriculture, Hon Munir Danagundi in his goodwill message, stressed that there is need for performance chart for monitoring and evaluation of Agencies to ensure value money, accountability and transparency in the Agric sector towards achieving diversification policy of President Muhammadu Buhari. In his presentation titled ‘’ Strengthening the Relationship between Ministry and its Parastatals through Strategic Communication, the Director, Planning and Policy Coordination in the Ministry, Alhaji Zubairu Abdullahi stated that the outcome and the overall impacts of effective and efficient communication cannot be overemphasized as synergy among agencies is key to the attainment of the ministry’s mandate as well as the ministerial deliverables.  

Address by The Honourable Minister Of Agriculture & Rural Development, Alh. Mohammad Sabo Nanono

WELCOME ADDRESS by the Permanent Secetary

Leadership & Teamwork for Transformation MIN of Agric 2020 by Dr. Dan E. Aighewi

Strengthening The Relationship Between The Ministry and Its Parastatals Through Strategic Communication by Zubairu Abdullahi

We Need to Strengthen Our Service Delivery Mechanism to Address The Impact of The Global Health Emergency and The High Expectation of Present Administration on The Agriculture Sector – NANONO

Details soon

Address by The Honourable Minister Of Agriculture & Rural Development, Alh. Mohammad Sabo Nanono

WELCOME ADDRESS by the Permanent Secetary

Leadership & Teamwork for Transformation MIN of Agric 2020 by Dr. Dan E. Aighewi

Strengthening The Relationship Between The Ministry and Its Parastatals Through Strategic Communication by Zubairu Abdullahi

Effective Monitoring and Evaluation is Key to Agricultural Development- Nanono

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has said effective Monitoring and Evaluation of projects and programmes of the Ministry are imperative to attain Agricultural development in Nigeria. He said the Ministry of Agriculture must align itself with the priority projects and deliverables set by the present administration for all Miniseries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) including the Ministry of Agriculture saddled with the mandate of providing the enabling environment for the attainment of food security.

Nanono made the statement today during a Special Interactive Meeting on Monitoring and Evaluation of Projects and Programmes organized by the Ministry for States and Zonal Directors.

According to the Minister, ‘’there is need for an integrated approach among project Monitoring and Evaluation, Collaboration is necessary among projects and programmes Departments, Zonal and State Offices, as well as the Department of Policy and Planning Coordination, saddled with projects monitoring and evaluation in the ministry among others’. He added ‘’I observed that zonal directors and state coordinator are the foot soldiers of the ministry having a critical role to play in facilitating the realization of this mandate.’’

The Minister informed that the Ministry is focused on three major key areas such as Agricultural Mechanization, livestock Management and Extension Services. He, therefore, said that all hands must be on deck for the actualization of these Programmes to enhance food sufficiency and reduce unemployment in the country.

Nanono noted that the interactive meeting ‘’would provide the opportunity to take stock of the progress made in the implementation of the 2019 priority projects in line with current administration emphasis on implementation reports to enable us to commence the implementation of the 2020 capital projects.”

The Minister directed all the States and Regional Directors to take proper documentation of the Ministry’s unutilized assets across the country. He stressed that ‘’it is very important to know where there are and also know the status of the assets in there state” He said living them is like a misnomer.’’

In his address, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Dr Abdulkadir Mu’azu, called for synergy between the Headquarter, Zonal and State Offices as well as other stakeholders in the project implementation Programmes.

He also directed all the departments and units in the ministry to align its activities to the agriculture-specific 2019-2023 priority project, Programme and deliverables handed down as key mandate of the Ministry by Government the Federal Government.

In his goodwill message, Chairman House Committee on Agricultural Production and Services Hon. Muntari Danduste, said Monitoring and Evaluation is key to the success of any government affairs and appealed for the sustainability of the Programme to enable the ministry to articulate its milestones and challenges.

On his part, Chairman, House Committee on Agric Colleges/ Institutions, Hon Munir Dan Agundi commended the ministry for the meeting stating that it was imperative in the actualization of the ministry’s mandate. He called on the need for more synergy with the ministry ‘’so that we can be on the same page.’’ He also appealed to the Ministry to keep an eye on its agencies particularly the agricultural institutions.

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