25 Companies Sign MoU to Participate in Rice Programme

Twenty-five seed companies on Friday in Gwagwalada, FCT, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Seed Entrepreneurs Association of Nigeria (SEEDAN) to produce certified rice seeds for farmers in the country.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the MoU is under the recently launched ECOWAS Rice Seed Up-scaling Project, aimed at boosting local production of paddy rice.

It is being implemented by SEEDAN in collaboration with the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD) and other regional partners.

Nigeria, Norway to Deepen Cooperation on Fisheries Development

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja said Nigeria and Norway, a major fish exporting country, will work together to deepen their agricultural cooperation, particularly on fish farming and fisheries development.

Speaking at a farewell audience with the outgoing Ambassador of Norway to Nigeria, Ambassador Rolf Ree, President Buhari said his administration will continue to promote agriculture as an alternative revenue earner for the country.

Nigeria Imports ₦165b Fruit juice Annually, Says Manufacturers’ Association

Nigeria spends N165 billion annually to import fruit juice, the President of the Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (MAN), Dr Frank Jacobs, has said.

In a paper presented at a workshop organised by the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) in Owerri on Friday, Jacobs noted that in spite of the high rate of fruit production and a thriving juice market, the country imported fruits concentrates.

Nigeria to Tap Strategic Wheat Reserves to Rein in Food Prices

Nigeria will tap its strategic grain reserves to rein in food prices, President Muhammadu Buhari said, as Africa's biggest economy faces its worst economic crisis in decades fuelled by a collapse in crude oil prices.

Annual inflation in the continent's top oil exporter rose to a near four-year high of 12.8 percent in March from 11.4 percent in February, driven by a rise in food prices.

"President Buhari has ordered the release of 10,000 tons of grain from the National Strategic Grains Reserve to check food price increases," his office said in a tweet on Sunday.

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.