EU Commits €12m to Improving Quality of Nigerian Agric Produce

‎The European Union (EU) says it has earmarked 12 million euros (N2.5 billion) to support and improve the standard and quality of four Nigerian agricultural products.

Mr Filippo Amato, the Counselor and Head of Trade and Economics Section of EU, disclosed this at a National workshop on the Development of Standards and Engagement of the Private Sector, in Abuja on Thursday.

Heineken has Strong Start to Year, Cautious on Nigeria

Heineken NV, the world's third-largest brewer, sold far more beer than expected in the first quarter of the year, helped by growth in Vietnam, the Chinese New Year and an earlier Easter boosting sales in Europe and the Americas.

The brewer of Heineken, Europe's top lager, Tiger and Sol retained its full-year forecast, but said currency developments continued to weigh on results and warned of difficulties in Nigeria due to the lower oil price.

‘Osun to Become Hub of Cocoa Production in Nigeria’

Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of Osun on Thursday said the state would soon become the hub of cocoa production in Nigeria with the revival of the moribund Osun Cocoa Production Industry.

The governor made the remarks in Ede during a facility tour of the resuscitated Cocoa Production Industry in partnership with Chinese Company, Golden Monkey of China.

The partnership between Osun Government and the Chinese Company to revive the cocoa production after 15 years is based on 70 and 30 percent equity respectively.

Belarus Partners Abuja Chamber on Agriculture

The Republic of Belarus says its collaboration with the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) is designed to enhance trade relations in agricultural production between it and Nigeria.

This is contained in a statement by the President of ACCI, Mr Tony Ejikonye, issued in Abuja on Sunday.

The statement said the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Belarus, Mr Valentin Rybakov, made this known at a business forum between the embassy of Belarus in Nigeria and members of ACCI.

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.