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Covid-19: FG Distributes Agric Inputs To Small Scale Farmers In Taraba



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The Federal Government has distributed free agricultural inputs to Small Holder Farmers in Taraba as part of an intervention to mitigate the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on farmers.

Alhaji Muhammed Mahmoud, Minister for State Agriculture and Rural Development made the declaration on Friday during the Special Intervention Programme for the distribution of the Agricultural Inputs to Small Holder Farmers in Jalingo.

Mahmood said that the federal government through the ministry having carefully assessed the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, designed a support program targeted at Small Holder Farmers to increase income, create jobs, and generate wealth.

Represented by the Director, Federal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Garba Abubakar, the Minister noted that the distribution was part of the ministry’s efforts to intervene in the sufferings of the smallholder farmers occasioned by insecurity and the Covid-19 pandemic on agricultural production in the Country,

He also said that the intervention was aimed at averting food scarcity in the country.

The minister said that 35% of the inputs were targeted at women farmers which is in line with the target set in the National Gender Plan and Policy aimed at ensuring increased opportunities for women.

He said that 15% were targeted at farmers with special needs.

The Minister pointed out that before President Buhari’s administration, many Nigerians were doubtful of the capacity of the country to feed itself.

He said that this notion, fuelled the agitation for greater allocation of foreign exchange to finance food imports ranging from rice, dairy, sugar, and oil among others.

Mahmood however, recalled that during the Covid-19 pandemic, the agricultural sector became one of the major contributors to the nation’s economy that is contributing about 25% to the GDP with smallholder farmers accounting for about 79% of national food production.

He said that the initiative was achieved through the implementation of strategic policies such as the Agriculture for Food and Jobs Plan (AFJP), the Green Imperative Agricultural Promotion Policy, as well as the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) among others.

In his remark, Alhaji Yusufu Usman, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in the state commended the Federal government for its intervention in food production for smallholder farmers in the state.

Usman however, advised beneficiaries against selling inputs after collection.
He gave assurance that the beneficiaries would judiciously utilize the inputs.

Some of the beneficiaries in an interview commended the federal government for the intervention.

Jumai Ayuba, one of the beneficiaries said that the intervention would go a long way in boosting their agricultural production, and described the support as timely.

Mr. Denis Adura, another beneficiary assured of judicious use of the inputs for the purpose they were meant for.

NAN reports that the farm inputs distributed include a variety of seeds, oil palm seedlings, vines of orange, sweet potatoes, one node vine cuttings of yam and beniseed, sprayers, and herbicides among many others.

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CBN, ANAACOP Launch Agro E-Naira Wallet For Farmers In Northern States




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By Muhammad B. Muhammad

The Association of Northern Agricultural and Allied Commodities Practitioners (ANAACOP) has unveiled Farmers Programmable Money tagged “Agro E-Naira Engagement” for farmers in northern Nigeria.

The initiative in collaboration with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) targets one million farmers across the northern states for the first year of the 2023 dry and wet season and four million farmers for the 2024 season.

Under the intervention farmers will create eNaira wallet accounts with a sub-wallet account specifically for the programmable intervention and submit their information to enable them access soft loans.

The event which held at ANAACOP Aggregation Centre by Yola International Airport on Thursday, drew 50 farmers from Ribadu Cluster to test the programme for onward progression.

The Chief Launcher and CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele lauded the ANAACOP for the initiative, describing it as the first of its kind geared to assisting local farmers with farm implements through their eNaira wallet.

Mr Emefiele represented by Hajiya Rakiya Mohammed, Director Information and Communication Technology (ICT) of the CBN observed that the digital currency of the apex bank is the first in Africa and second in the world.

He added that the programmable money will no doubt teremendously transform agric sector and increase in productivity and efficiency as farmers would henceforth get support without experiencing glitches.

The National President of ANAACOP, Alhaji Sadiq Umar Daware who is the Dan Lawan Adamawa said the programme has identified agro dealers, processors and the CBN to find easy way of disbursement of funds to farmers.

“We have identified agro dealers processors and CBN to leverage on the innovation and make this programme easy and find easy way of disbursement of funds to farmers, said Daware.

He added that the scheme would provide small holders farmers the platform to get loans with no hitches leveraging on their E-Naira wallet, assuring that it will remove glitches hitherto experienced by farmers when accessing support.

In his vote of thanks on behalf of the beneficiaries, Malam Mijinyawa Mahmud
called for more assistance to farmers so as to attain sustainable food security and make the country net exporter of raw materials.

Highlight of the event was a demonstration of eNaira wallet engagement with some farmers.

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Institute Of Soil Science Introduces Upgraded Agro-Version Application For Farmers




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The Nigerian Institute of Soil Science (NISS) has announced the use of the upgraded NISS-AGRO version 2.0 Mobile Application for Extension Agents and Farmers in the Northeast zone in the institute’s efforts to up build their capacities towards boosting food production.

The Northeast zonal coordinator of the institute, Prof. Saminu Abdulrahman Ibrahim at the institute’s train-the-trainers capacity building in Bauchi yesterday, stressed the need for participants to step down the knowledge they would acquire when the go back to their respective states.

He therefore urged participants of the training to not only carefully listen, but also actively participate in the discussions with a view to assimilate whatever is being discussed or taught during the training so as to effectively step it down to extension workers and farmers across the zone.

Recall that on June 27 the Nigerian Institute of Soil Science (NISS) launched first new Agro Mobile Application to help the farmers to know their soil status and to promote the agricultural production in northeast and Nigeria at large.

Saminu said “Our hope is that the people that are going to undergo this training, because it is going to be a step-down training, would listen properly and assimilate whatever is being discussed. And not only sit-down and listen, but also participate because where we are now, was as a result of their intervention and contributions from the last meeting which was what helped to upgrade this new version”.

Prof. Ibrahim who was a one-time vice chancellor of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi said that their participation in the training would enable them bring inputs that is going to lead to new better version that could be called in the future for its application.

“It needs to be transmitted down to their colleagues in the industry of extension, it is very important for them to coordinate and get them this opportunity. And also to tell them how to download this application (2.0) so that they could understand it”.

He stressed the need for the participants to also make their own inputs towards the improvement of the later version that would be coming up, and help the farmers benefit from the current application, revealing that the application has English and three other Nigerian languages for easy interactions.

Professor Saminu Abdulrahman Ibrahim disclosed that the NISS-Agro Software as an application in the google store that could be downloaded, saying the innovation is very good that can benefit scientists, farmers, policy makers, marketers, and so forth, describing it as multi-purpose application.

He said that one of the mandates of the institute is the promotion of agriculture generally through the provision of services.

Speaking earlier, the Program Manager of the Bauchi State Agricultural Development Programme (BASADP), Ja’afar Abubakar Ilelah said that his organization is in need of the mobile application to assist the ADP in disseminating agricultural information to the farmers, and getting some issues from the farmers back to the research institute.

He explained that the BASDP serves as a link between the farmers and the research institute, adding “The World is changing, we going digital, so we equally have to change. So our extension agents would be using the application in doing our mandate as extension service delivery agents, so it is very important to the implementation of our mandate”.

Alhaji Ja’afar Ilelah expressed confidence on the ability of the extension agents in stepping down new technologies to the understanding of farmers, and appreciated the NISS for not only building the capacity of extension agents and farmers, but also for supporting the ADPs in the Northeast zone.

Ilelah commended, “I don’t think if there is any institute that is organizing series of capacity building than Nigerian Institute of Soil Science.

He expressed the belief that using the new application would solve the vacancy existing between farmer extension ratio in all the states of the federation, and commended NISS for the efforts for coming up with the new application geared to promote agricultural production and marketing.

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Aisha Buhari Distributes Food Items To Women, Other Groups In Adamawa




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By Muhammad B. Muhammad

The Nigerian First Lady, Hajiya Aisha Muhammadu Buhari has distributed food items to 27 women, youths and vulnerable groups across Adamawa State.

They groups are Chiristian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Women In Da’awa, Actualization Group, Jamatul Nasrul Islam, Haske Group, and persons living with disability among others.

The Programme championed by the Pet Project of the First Lady, ‘Future Assured’ was held at Shagari Digital Hall in Yola on Tuesday amidst cheers and praises by the beneficiaries.

The State Coordinator Future Assured, Hajiya Zainab Tukur Zumo said the gesture was indeed to help the needy and empower women, youths and other vulnerable groups.

Represented by Captain Muhammad Bamanga Bello, the Coordinator pleaded with the benefitting groups to ensure fair distribution process in order reach out the target beneficiaries.

She enumerated some of the Humanitarian gesture of the First Lady to include payment of Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations to Indigent students, and empowering women and youths in various skills.

“Today’s distribution is targeted to youths and women, the vulnerable and destitude. She trained and registered out of school children for private WAEC and most of them now are in Universities and colleges.

“40 students were also being sponsored for public speaking, event management and planning in order to enhance their speaking ability. Some of them are now working in various media organisations in Adamawa state,” said the Coordinator.

The State Coordinator of Actualization Group, Alhaji Yau Umar Babayi aplauded the efforts of Aisha Buhari for her humanitarian activities and charged the beneficiaries to make good use of what they received.

In his remarks, the State Chairman of CAN, Bishop Stephen Dami Mamza, representated by Reverend Philip Shehu commended the First Lady for touching the lives of the people and called on wealth to do in the society to emulate.

“We want to thank God Almighty. We are asking God Almighty to continue to bless her and empower her more with all the resources that she need to help those who are in need,” he said.

In their separate remarks on behalf of the benefitting groups, the State Coordinator Women in Da’awa, Hajiya Hannatu Usman and State Secretary Widows Group, Mrs Sarah Apaku, expressed their joy over the gesture and pledged to rally the First Lady.

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