Nigerian 2015/16 Cocoa Output Seen Rising Up to 350,000 Tonnes –Institute

Nigeria is expected to boost cocoa output to up to 350,000 tonnes in the 2015/16 season, according to an official at the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), which advises the government.

In February, the head of the country's cocoa association, Sayina Riman, told Reuters output would be 260,000 tonnes, down from an initial forecast of 295,000 tonnes, after dry weather caused a poor harvest.

The official at the institute said farmers had since invested in fertilizers and pesticides, which explained the difference in the forecasts.

'We've Invested ₦30B in Agriculture'

Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno has said that the state government had invested about N30 billion to promote agricultural production in the state.

Shettima, who disclosed this while conducting the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Fatma Samoura, round some of the ranches at the Government House in Maiduguri, decried Nigeria’s continued dependence on importation.

The governor explained that agriculture held the key to job creation, and it was the solution to the Boko Haram insurgency in the area.

Using Weather Information to Boost Food Production

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) states that the effect of climate change is affecting crop yields in Nigeria.

In a report entitled: ``Effects of Global Climate Change on Nigerian Agriculture: An Empirical Analysis’’, it says weather-sensitive agricultural productions systems are vulnerable to climate change.

``This vulnerability has been demonstrated by the devastating effects of recent flooding in the Niger Delta region of the country and the various prolonged droughts that are currently witnessed in some parts of northern region.

Customs Service Bans Importation of Rice Through Land Borders

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) generated N1.69 billion in the last two months.

The Public Relations Officer of the service, Mr Wale Adeniyi, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday.

According to him, this is much lower than the revenue projected.

``We have observed low level of compliance with implementation of importation of rice through the land borders.

Farmers’ Association Targets Production of 1m Tonnes of Rice Annually

Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) in Kebbi says it targets production of one million metric tonnes of rice annually on the platform of Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Programme.

The Chairman of the Association in Kebbi, Sahabi Augie, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Birnin Kebbi yesterday.

He said more than 70,000 farmers nationwide would participate in the programme to achieve the targeted quantity.

‘We’ll Replace Famous Groundnut Pyramids with Rice Pyramids’

Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State says the government is making concerted efforts to replace the famous groundnut pyramids with rice pyramids.

According to the governor, it is for this reason the state government is providing the environment that will encourage the massive production of rice, wheat, and tomatoes.

Ganduje stated this on Friday while answering State House correspondents’ questions after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Food Production –Nigeria to Vigorously Implement Policies to Achieving Self-sufficiency

President Muhammadu Buhari said Thursday in Abuja that his administration will vigorously implement policies that will revive Nigeria’s agricultural sector and reposition it as the mainstay of the national economy.

Speaking at an audience with the new Bulgarian Ambassador to Nigeria,  Mr. Vesselin Blagoer Delcher, President Buhari said that his administration will evolve and implement policies that will help Nigeria become self-sufficient in food production because continued importation of food could expose the country to more external shocks.

Nigeria Inflation at Almost 3-1/2 Year High in Feb.

Nigeria's annual consumer inflation rate rose 11.4 percent in February, 176 basis points higher than in January, to near a three-and-a-half year high, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Tuesday.

Africa's biggest economy is facing its worst economic crisis in decades fuelled by the collapse in crude prices, which has slashed government revenues, weakened the currency and caused growth to slow. The economy grew 2.8 percent last year, its slowest pace in decades.

Farmers’ Associations Laud FG’s Single Digit Interest Rate on Loan

Some farmers associations on Friday in Lagos lauded Federal Government’s single digit interest rate on farmers’ loan through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as the country’s economy tilts toward non-oil development.

The presidents of the associations in separate interviews told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that it was a laudable step toward improving commercialisation, processing and self-sufficiency in the agriculture sector.

‘We’ll Urgently Develop Agriculture Sector, Others’

President Muhammadu Buhari said late Tuesday in Riyadh that his administration was fully committed to increasing the productivity of Nigeria’s agriculture and solid minerals sectors to save the nation from the harsh effects of lower crude oil prices.

Speaking at a meeting with leading members of the Council of Saudi Arabia’s Chambers of Commerce and Industry, President Buhari said that with declining revenues from crude oil exports, Nigeria’s hopes of economic resurgence now lie in the rapid development of its immense agricultural and solid mineral resources.