A growing problem: Nigerian rice farmers fall short after borders close

Thomas Tyavwva Maji is planting rice on more of his land in Nigeria’s Benue State than ever to take advantage of a surge in prices since the country shut its land borders in August.

But he says he cannot go much further. With no machinery or irrigation, limited manual labour and no spare cash for fertilizers, the 45-year-old is not expecting any dramatic change in his fortunes.

“We work until we get exhausted, manually we get exhausted,” said Maji, as a woman nearby beat hand-harvested stalks on the ground to separate the grains from the chaff.

Borders closure: Young farmers seek FG, State’s support

Nigerian Young Farmers Network (NYFN) has urged government at all levels to support youth in businesses to grow the economy following the recent borders closure.

Mr Promise Amahah, the national coordinator of NYFN, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Monday.

NYFN is a network that brings together young people in Nigeria to engage actively in the Agribusiness value chain and value added services, to bring about shared prosperity and sociology-economic growth such as food security and wealth creation.

CBN boosts palm-oil production with ₦30b

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has committed about N30 billion to enhance Oil-palm production in the country.

The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this in a meeting with some state Governors in Abuja.

Emefiele explained that the fund was disbursed through deposit money banks to six oil palm companies to support their expansion programmes.

He said that the companies were PZ Wimar, Biase Oil Company Ltd, Eyop, Okomu Oil Company, Presco Oil Company and SIAT Ltd, adding that application for Ada Palm Imo state, was being expected.

Nigeria spends $1.2b importing fish annually

The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele says about 1.2 billion dollars worth of fish is imported into the country annually.

Emefiele disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday while briefing some state Governors and the media on the feat recorded so far in agriculture for economic growth.

He explained that current fish production stood at 0.8 million tons while the demand was 2.7 million tons, giving a deficit of 1.9 million tons.

African countries import $50b worth of food annually –AfDB

The African Development Bank (AfDB) says African countries import nearly 50 billion dollars net of food annually.

The bank’s Vice-President for Agriculture, Human, and Social Development, Jennifer Blanke, said this at a panel discussion at the 7th Tokyo International Conference in Japan, according to a statement by AfDB’s Communication and External Relations Department.

The conference which began on August 28 in Tokyo ended on August 30, news agency Voice of Nigeria reports.

AfDB identifies sites for Agro-Industrial Processing Zones in Nigeria

The African Development Bank (AfDB) says it has identified 14 sites for the proposed Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) in Nigeria.

Prof. Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Special Adviser on Industrialisation to AfDB’s President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday.

The bank had met with investors in agricultural products and processing in April to take stock of their current assets with a view to get support from AfDB where necessary.

Cotton can contribute 15% to GDP

The President, National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN), Mr Anibe Achimugu, says cotton has capacity to contribute not less than 15 per cent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP) if properly harnessed.

Achimugu, who made this known in an interview with News Agency if Nigeria (NAN), in Abuja, said as a cash crop, cultivated in most states of the Federation, cotton could help turn the country’s fortune around as it did before the oil boom.

Cashew association calls for policies to promote industry

The newly elected president of the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) Mr Ojo Ajanaku, wants the Federal Government to enact policies that would promote the cashew industry.

Ajanaku made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, on Monday.

He said: “At the moment there is no law to guide the import and export of cashew as a raw material from Nigeria.’’

He added that it was important for the country to have policies regulating the cashew industry in order to save it from exploitation by foreigners.

Nigerians now consume local rice worth ₦1.2b daily –RIFAN

The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) says Nigerians now consume rice worth N1.2 billion daily.

The President of the Association, Aminu Goronyo, disclosed this while addressing newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja.

Goronyo explained that from 2015 till date, there was no official exchange of currencies for rice importation in to the country as it was in the past.

Palm Oil, a leading Foreign Exchange

The National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria (NPPAN) says the country will benefit a lot from Crude Palm oil (CPO) as a leading foreign exchange earner with its price now 500 dollars per tonne against 426 dollars of crude oil.

The association disclosed this in a statement signed by its National President, Henry Olatujoye, in Ibadan.

NPPAN said, “The current domestic market value of palm oil is about N400 per litre, while that of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise called petrol remains N145, just as diesel is N210 and kerosene is N250.