The Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has disclosed the determination of the Federal Government in solving the challenge of nutrition in Nigeria.
Dr. Adesina made the disclosure at a high level policy dialogue meeting on Nutrition –Sensitive Agriculture in Nigeria, which held at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, on 17th March, 2015.
The minister, who expressed delight that the dialogue attracted several global leaders in the field of nutrition, development finance institutions and development partners across the world stated that access to nutrition food should be seen as a fundamental human right that all societies most ensure.
Dr. Adesina maintained that investment in nutrition is investing in the economy, adding that the greatest contributor to economic growth is not physical infrastructure but brain power, which he referred to as “grey matter infrastructure”.
The minister maintained that for Africa to succeed in lifting millions out of poverty and create a model of shared prosperity, it must focus on transforming agriculture. According to him, to address the challenge of malnutrition and stunting in Africa, there is an urgent need for Africa to produce more of its own food.
Dr. Adesina stated that Nigeria still has 37% of under -5 children that are stunted, claiming regional disparities exist with malnutrition and stunting. He said greater efforts are needed to drastically reduce the high levels of stunting.
The minister declared that access to food is important, but admitted that factors like low incomes, lack of access to clean water, sanitation and deworming and unbalanced diets worsen malnutrition and stunting, hence the need for an integrated approach and close partnerships across ministries of Agriculture, Health, Education and Women Affairs to solve the challenge of malnutrition.
Dr. Adesina assured Nigerians that government would not only produce more food but a lot more nutrition food and expand access to nutritious food to children. According to him, 80 million Nigerians would have access to bio-fortified cassava, maize and orange flesh sweet potatoes within the next four years.
The Minister revealed that Nigeria is partnering with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) to deliver through mobile phones, Micronutrient Power (MNP) to 10million children under the age of five in Nigeria. He however frowned at the situation where 90% of high –energy foods distributed in Africa are imported.
Dr. Adesina stated that the goal of government is for Nigeria to become the largest producer of high-energy foods in Africa. He said, “We have the solutions in our hands and a huge opportunity to build a stronger partnership with Africa’s agribusiness sector to solve Africa’s malnutrition challenge.”
The dialogue had in attendance Development Partner institution: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the European Union, USAID, DFID, IFAD, FAO, UNICEF, Save Children, GAIN, Harvest Plus and a host of others. SOURCE: FMARD
Ms Nnaemego Nkiruka, the coordinator, Fresh and Young Brains Development Initiative (FBIN), an NGO, has urged youths to engage in agricultural activities to address the nation’s unemployment challenges.
Nkiruka stated this in Abuja on Thursday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
She said the youth would do well in the production of food and livestock for local consumption and export.
The coordinator said that most Nigerian farmers were ageing and needed to be replaced with young and vibrant farming groups.
She explained that Nigerian youths were energetic, creative and strong enough to tap into the huge job opportunities in the agriculture sector.
“Available statistics show that the average age of the Nigerian farmer is from 47 years with an average life expectancy of 50 years.
“Although no precise figures are available, there can be no doubt that unemployment among young men and women in Nigeria has reached alarming levels.
“The agriculture finance strategy of government needs to be reinvigorated and made more effective and youth-friendly.
“The ever growing number of jobless youth, and the desperation that accompanies it, undermines development in the country,” she said.
She revealed that the main goal of the NGO was to involve youths in “a higher path of economic growth and entrepreneurship development.
“The NGO is partnering with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development and Africa Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC) to see that this dream become a reality.
“The project plans to establish and promote at least 10,000 youth-led farms and agribusinesses across Africa by 2020, as well as highlight the benefits of farming for youth development and sustainable livelihoods.“
She said that the NGO intended to eliminate hunger, create employment, and reduce poverty, food and nutrition insecurity to enable expansion of exports of agricultural commodities.
While explaining the benefits of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), Nkiruka said that opportunities were available in the various crop value chains.
She added that before ATA, the country had low productivity and was a net importer of food but its agriculture sector was now changing for the better.
“The entry of a large number of young entrepreneurs into the sector will accelerate the pace while a youth-friendly environment is needed to attract them into the sector, “ she said.
She urged the government to redouble its effort through the ATA with special focus on removing constraints related to access to credit, land, fertiliser and other inputs. (NAN)
Ms Nnaemego Nkiruka, the Coordinator, Fresh and Young Brains Development Initiative (FBIN) an NGO, on Wednesday urged youths to engage in agriculture as a means of helping the nation to curb unemployment.
Nkiruka made the call in Abuja during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
She said the nation’s future was threatened by the growing numbers of unemployed youths, even when they could be more useful to the society by taking to agriculture.
Nkiruka said there was the need to make concerted efforts to replace the nation’s aging farming population with young and vibrant farming groups.
She said the nation’s youths were energetic, creative and strong enough to tap into the huge job opportunities the agriculture sector could provide.
“Available statistics show that the average age of the Nigerian farmer is 47 years with an average life expectancy of 50 years.
“Although no precise figures are available, there can be no doubt that unemployment rate among young men and women in Nigeria has reached alarming levels.
“The agriculture finance strategy of government needs to be reinvigorated and made more effective and youth-friendly with population growth, recognising urbanisation, climate change and other supply factors.
“The ever-growing number of jobless youths and the desperation that accompanies job search undermines development in the country,” she said.
She explained that the main goal of the NGO was to involve youths in economic growth and entrepreneurship-led development.
“The NGO is partnering the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Africa Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC) to see that this dream becomes reality.
“The project aims to establish and promote at least 10,000 youth-led farms and agribusinesses across Africa by 2020.
“It also targets highlighting the benefits of farming for youth development and sustainable livelihoods,” she said.
She urged the Federal Government to redouble efforts its Agriculture Transformation Agenda by focusing on removing limitations to access to credit, land, fertiliser and other inputs. (NAN)
Instead of young graduates wasting an entire year doing next to nothing, the government should ensure that these youths get the needed training in both the operation and business of agriculture. By the time they finish the service year, you’ll discover that they would not head to the cities for white collar jobs that are simply not there, they are ready for business” he explained.
By Sonny T. Echono
To all Nigerians and business community at large and to the investors and stakeholders in the agricultural sector, I consider this article as one that should greatly assist in forming perspectives about the innovative interventions of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) where I serve as permanent secretary, supporting the reforms being led by the current administration. The interventiosn elucidated here are primed on transparency, innovation, proactive and problem-solving initiatives that would change the face of agriculture in Nigeria tremendously in the next couple of years.
Not very long ago, President Goodluck Jonathan flagged off the mechanisation component of the Agriculture Transformation Agenda (ATA) to enhance partnerships with the private sector to provide mechanisation services to all Nigerian farmers. I am pleased to report that, through this programme, a total of 590 tractors have been provided and delivered to all the Agricultural Equipment Hiring Enterprises (AEHEs) centres across the country.
The plan for mechanisation, which was conceived by the ministry, envisaged a number of expectations. First, we planned to create 800,000 additional jobs in the sector. Two, we want to bring 3.5 million hectares of additional land under cultivation. So, we want to expand or increase …read more
Source:: Daily Independent
President Goodluck Jonathan in a nationwide broadcast on Friday urged Nigerians to go out en masse and exercise their electoral franchise by voting for credible leaders.
Speaking in a 10-minute broadcast, Jonathan also urged Nigerians to exercise caution and be ready to accept the results of the elections.
The President said that the government would deploy all institutions of state to deal with anyone, who would attempted to upset the electoral process or foment trouble.
“In spite of the many challenges we have had to contend with since 1999, our present democratic dispensation continues to endure and grow stronger in keeping with the yearnings and aspirations of our people.
“We have all worked very hard to nurture and strengthen our democratic institutions and promote the good governance practices, which they were designed to deliver for the better wellbeing of our people.
“I believe I can say without fear of contradiction that we all clearly cherish the democracy we now have and will never willingly give it up for any other form of governance.
“This much cherished democracy of ours is about to be put to the test once again.
“I urge you all to troupe out en masse to peacefully …read more
Gov. Saidu Dakingari of Kebbi on Friday said that the state government procured 9, 900 tonnes of livestock feeds worth N126 million for cattle breeders and livestock producers.
Dakingari said this when he received leaders of Miyatti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in Birnin Kebbi.
He said a bag of livestock feed would be sold at N1,000 in the six designated selling points in Bagudo, Zuru, Argungu, Yauri, Birnin Kebbi and Gwandu Local Government Areas.
The governor directed the leaders of the association to coordinate and monitor the sales to ensure equity and justice.
Dakingari also advised livestock producers in the state to ensure that their animals receive the necessary vaccination.
“Efforts will be intensified to boost production of sufficient and hygienic livestock in the state,” he added.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the association, Alhaji Kiruwa Zuru, said the visit was to show their solidarity with the governor.
Zuru commended the state government for constructing 28 earth dams, 1,200 open wells and 12 Nomadic Primary Schools to promote the welfare and educational needs of their children. (NAN)
Food remains one of the basic needs of humans not just as a means to satisfying hunger but as a means to functioning properly in society. While many Nigerians eat to satisfy hunger less thought is given to nutrition. Ruth Tene Natsa writes on the need for more nutrition.
The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English defines nutrition as the process of giving or getting the right type of food for good health and growth.
This is what is also referred to as balanced diet.
The need to eat nutritious food cannot be over emphasised as the lack of it has been tied to stunted growth and brain damage in children as well low productivity and poor economic earnings across Nigeria.
Speaking at a High-level Policy Dialogue on Nutrition-sensitive Agriculture in Nigeria, held this week in Abuja, the country director, Save the Children International (SCI), Mr Ben Foot, represented by Ibrahim Oloriogbe, said, “As you are aware, more than half of the children in Northern Nigeria are stunted and about 37 per cent of Nigerian children are stunted.”
He said the implication was that the future of those children in terms of their abilities to be fully productive is affected. The assertion that …read more
Vegetable farmers on Thursday called for increased public awareness towards the use of medicinal plants as alternative to orthodox medicine.
Some of the farmers told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in separate interviews in Lagos, that the use of medicinal plants had become popular in developed countries, especially in Europe and Asia.
Mr David Iheanacho, a moringa farmer, said there were more than 6,000 medicinal plants, growing in different parts of Nigeria, which he said, were being under-utilised.
He observed that Nigerians had apathy towards the use of plants for medicinal purpose because they erroneously believe it is fetish.
“We have associated the use of medicinal plants to our native ‘voodoo or juju’ because we believe only herbalists use them.
“We have abandoned the resources bestowed on us by nature to help cure our ailments instead of using orthodox drugs that come with side-effects,” he said.
According to him, even though moringa oleifera plant originated from Asia, it is commonly cultivated in Nigeria today.
“The original moringa seeds were imported from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan but we now have it in abundant in Nigeria today.
“Our people are becoming aware of the medicinal uses of this plant and …read more
Poultry farmers in Plateau on Sunday cried out that bird flu remains a serious threat to the nation’s economy and called on the Federal Government to tackle it.
The farmers also called on government and other relevant authorities to expedite action on the payment of compensation to those whose farms were quarantined.
Alhaji Moshood Okanlawon, one of the poultry farmers, told the News Agency Nigeria (NAN) in Jos that the disease, which ravaged poultry farms recently, had resulted in unemployment.
He explained that the negative economic implications of bird flu on the nation’s economy had a wider impact on the lucrative poultry business.
”The incursion of bird flu has really affected the economy of Plateau and the nation at large because poultry business is very lucrative.
”I had 21 workers on my payroll, but I had to disengage them because the disease has left us with no option. I lost over 19, 800 birds.
”The implication of this on the economy has a wider impact because it has affected the farmers that provide us with the crops, the feeds millers and finally the poultry farmers,” …read more