ABP: Association begins N4bn loan recovery from cotton farmers

Prior to the disbursement of a N4 billion loan to farmers under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) across some cotton-producing states, the Cotton Producers and Merchants Association (COPMA) has said it is setting out to recover the loan from beneficiaries. The National President of COPMA, Alhaji Lawal Matazu, explained during the inauguration of the recovery committee that the programme was part of government’s policy to revamp the nation’s agricultural sector to enable farmers get economic freedom. Matazu stated that recovery of the loan…

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NASC: Gunning for quality seed economy

Recently, the hierarchy of the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) disclosed that about N1.1 billion would be required to execute its programmes under a five-year strategic blueprint to improve seed system in Nigeria. Taiwo Hassan reports   To make Nigeria’s food sufficiency programme a reality to guarantee sustainable food security and safety in the country, there is need for quality seed availability for farmers. However, it is regrettable that Nigeria is yet to possess quality seed in her agriculture space following widely adulterated or fake seeds in circulation. In a…

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Kebbi farmers: ‘Strange’ diseases destroying our onion farms

The National Association of Onions Farmers, in Kebbi State, has said that it has lost over N1 billion worth of onions to two strange diseases affecting farms and storage facilities in the state. The Chairman of the association, Bello Uba, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Birnin Kebbi on Wednesday that no fewer than 20,000 farmers were affected. “We have lost over N1 billion to two strange and unknown diseases that emerged and affected the seeds we used as well as the shells of the already ripened onions that…

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Malaysia to cut export duties for crude palm oil in 2020

Malaysia will reduce duties on exports of crude palm oil, its first review since the current tax rate was imposed in 2013, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said on Monday. Under the new tax regime, the export duty rate will be set at 3% when prices are between 2,250 ringgit ($538.54) and 2,400 ringgit per tonne, down from the current duty of 4.5%, reports Reuters. The export duty rate will go up to 4.5% at the next price tier of 2,401 ringgit to 2,550 ringgit, and rise at 0.5% increments…

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Border closure: Contending with spiraling prices of goods

Following the continued closure of land borders over smuggling of weapons and agricultural produce, the multiplier effects are already being felt by Nigerians in their daily lives, as prices of some food items have skyrocketed. Taiwo Hassan reports       As a matter of urgency, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament has urged the Federal Government to re-open its land borders around Seme, as it hampers the implementation of free trade movement within the ECOWAS sub-region. Already, the effect has crippled many business activities around the…

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Egypt won’t import rice this financial year – Minister

Egypt’s supply minister said on Sunday the country had enough strategic rice reserves to last until February 15 and there would be no need for imports in the current financial year. Egypt’s financial year 2019-2020 ends on June 30. Ali Moselhy told Reuters local rice production was sufficient to last until then and there would be no need for further imports. Once a rice exporter, Egypt reduced its rice cultivation in an effort to conserve Nile river resources as Ethiopia builds a $4 billion dam upstream that Cairo fears could…

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Egypt won’t import rice this financial year – Minister

Egypt’s supply minister said on Sunday the country had enough strategic rice reserves to last until February 15 and there would be no need for imports in the current financial year. Egypt’s financial year 2019-2020 ends on June 30. Ali Moselhy told Reuters local rice production was sufficient to last until then and there would be no need for further imports. Once a rice exporter, Egypt reduced its rice cultivation in an effort to conserve Nile river resources as Ethiopia builds a $4 billion dam upstream that Cairo fears could…

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Agric group announces merger, invests $12m

Farmcrowdy Group, Nigeria’s first digital agriculture platform, has disclosed that about $12 million have been invested in its agriculture value chain business to boost food security and availability in the country. The company also announced a unification merger of its sister companies in Farmgate Africa and Agricsquare as one entity in order to create a bigger Farmcrowdy in line with its business strategy.     Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Farmcrowdy, Onyeka Akumah, made these known while briefing journalists on major updates of the company’s activities in Lagos recently.…

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Pesticides control as catalyst for Nigeria’s cocoa boost

The Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) has released a list of pesticides that should not be used for cocoa production in a bid to accelerate the growth of Nigeria’s cocoa. Taiwo Hassan writes   The importance of applying pesticides and herbicides on planting crops has been there for ages in Nigeria because of infested diseases that feast on crops during harvests. Particularly, many farmers have acquainted themselves to the use of chemicals during planting of crops so as not to suffer post-harvests loss, which has caused huge losses to…

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AGRA: Towards sustaining Nigeria’s seed devt

Following the report by the International Seed Federation (ISF) that Nigeria’s seed sector is not yet viable in seed growth, the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has said that it will be committing about $2 million to fund the production of quality early generation seeds for farmers across the country. Taiwo Hassan looks at the merits     As the rain-fed farming season for this year begins, there is nothing very important to Nigerian farmers than having access to quality and right variety of seeds that will ensure…

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