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Nasarawa Government Launches Policy on Food, Nutrition

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Nasarawa state Governor Abdullahi Sule
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From Igba Kuza, Lafia

In other to attain optimal nutritional status for all citizens in Nasarawa state, the government has launched a policy on Food and Nutrition to enhance  malnutrition among children by 2023 and improve food security in the state.

State Deputy Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, while unveiling the two documents said government will leave no stone unturned in ensuring citizens are well nourished as this was being done through the implementation of impact driven policies aimed at ensuring food and nutrition security in the state.

He added that the Engr.

Abdullahi Sule’s administration was desirous of improving the wellbeing of the citizenry, saying the political will that would lead to the successful implementation of the multi -sectoral plan of action will be sustained to the latter.

Chairman of the state Committee on Food and Nutrition, Mr. Emmanuel Alidzi noted that the idea behind the two documents was to add value and strengthen synergy among sectors of government and development partners to achieve results, just as he appreciated the roles played by UNICEF, Civil Societies Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria, the academia, civil society organizations and MDAs in providing the framework for improving food and nutrition in the state.

See also  The Looming Food Crisis

In their separate remarks, Special Adviser to the Governor on NGOs and Development Partners, Munira Abdullahi and the Senior Special Assistant and Focal Person, Human Capital Development, Habiba Balarebe Suleiman enjoined stakeholders to be committed in the drive towards making Nasarawa state a zero hunger state, adding that the state will not take for granted any technical support rendered to actualize the multi – sectoral plan of action and state policy on nutrition.

Representatives of Civil Societies Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria, UNICEF Nutrition Specialist and that of Network for Health, Equity and Development all assured of their collaboration to implement all suggestions and recommendations of the documents, stressing also the need for stakeholders to look inward to harness resources for funding as Funds from development partners were winding up.

The ever featured presentation of the current nutrition situation in Nasarawa state by Dr Ibrahim Alhassan where the state nutrition performance indicators, the rate of decrease in severe malnutrition, rationale for the multi sectoral plan of action, challenges opportunities and recommendations were highlighted.

Agriculture

Agribusiness: Kebbi Govt. Disburses N126.7m Grant to 8 Cooperatives

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The Kebbi Government in collaboration with the United States African Development Foundation (USADF), have disbursed N126.7 million to eight cooperative associations, aimed at eradicating poverty in the state.

The State Commissioner for Agriculture and Mineral Resources, Alhaji Maigari Abdullahi-Dakingari, made this known while briefing newsmen on Thursday in Birnin Kebbi.

“Kebbi government in collaboration with USADF signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding of 500,000 dollars each, to provide seed capital and technical assistance to local agribusinesses.

“The partnership targets eight cooperative associations that add values to commodities.

“Kebbi State was the first to contribute its counterpart fund of 500,000 dollars and subsequently USADF gave its own part of the fund under the programme,” Abdullahi-Dakingari said.

He said that N126.7 million had been disbursed to the associations out of N319.4 million approved grant for the project.

“Five million dollars is going to be utilised for a period of five years and the disbursement has commenced already from the first approved grant of N319.4 million.

“Dankwalli Rice Farmers Association got approved grant of N41.2 million and was mobilised with N22.8 million. Gaskiya Diary Cooperative got approved grant of N41.6 million and was mobilised with N10.3 million.

“Also Sangara Cooperative got N36.2 million and was mobilised with N12.8 million.

See also  Flood Cuts-off Toto LG From Nasarawa State

“Birgin Jigawa Dairy Cooperative and Magajin Karaye Cooperative got approved grant of N40.3 million and N36.3 million and were mobilised with N10.3 million and N14.3 million respectively.

“Matan Fada Cooperative got N41.6 million and was mobilised with N15.1 million.

“Dawanau got N41.2 million and was mobilised with N18.7 million, while Tondi Gada got N40.6 million and was mobilised with N22.2 million,” Abdullahi-Dakingari
explained.

The Commissioner recalled that the staff of each of the cooperatives had received training on USADF accounting policies, procedures and reporting requirements to ensure effective and judicious management of the project funds.

He also revealed that the goal was to, first of all, encourage the participating farmer associations to view agriculture as a business rather than as a subsistence activity.

“The project is expected to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit in the beneficiaries.

“Overall, this is expected to engender an inclusive economic growth as more than 200,000 people are going to benefit from the project,” Abdullahi – Dakingari said.

The commissioner urged the beneficiaries of the project to abide by the laid down guidelines and policies of the project in order to actualise the objective it was meant to achieve. (NAN)

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Agriculture

Nigeria Develops Drought, Insect Resistant Maize Seed – NABDA

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Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, Director-General, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), said that indigenous scientists have successfully developed insect and drought resistant maize seeds in the country.

Mustapha stated this at the inauguration of a two-day retreat for the North East based journalists, farmers and agricultural extension agents, on Wednesday in Yola.He said that efforts were on to raise the maize variety for commercial purposes to enhance farmer access to the genetically modified seeds. According to him, the development of maize variety is to help smallholder farmer overcome the challenges associated with crop cultivation.
“Recall that Nigeria made history as the first country in Africa and the world at large to develop and release a cowpea variety that is resistant to the notorious Pod Borer.“Pod Borer has the capacity of destroying a whole beans farm and leaving the farmer helpless.“Many of you here have already planted the beans and looking forward to the benefits.“Also, efforts to commercially release a maize variety that is both drought tolerant and insect resistant are in place,” he said.Mustapha said that Nigeria would be the second country in Africa to make the breakthrough, adding that agricultural biotechnology became acceptable option to improve farming practices and productivity worldwide.The D-G said that the retreat was designed to properly prepare journalists and media outfits to be an integral part of the development processes.In her remarks, Dr Rose Maxwell, Deputy Director in the agency, said that the aim of the training was to provide accurate and up to date information about advances in the biotechnology sector since its adoption in the country.Maxwell said that the media has a critical role to play in creating awareness on biotechnology concept, and to address issues of misunderstanding in the face of opposition to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).“Among the objectives of the training is to bring journalists up to speed with development in biotechnology and how such changes can improve lives and general well being of Nigerians,” she said.Also, Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri, represented by his deputy, Mr Seth Crowther, said that Adamawa was set for complete economic transformation in its drive to reduce reliance on oil revenue and encourage diversification through agriculture.“The strategy to train the media alongside the farmers and extension agents is a right step in the right direction. “We are also happy that you chose to host this event for the North East in Adamawa, which is an agrarian state.“Adamawa is well known for cotton, soybeans, yam, sorghum, sugar cane, groundnut, rice, cowpea, and maize cultivation as well as animal husbandry,” he said. (NAN)

See also  COVID-19: Benue Residents to Receive Food Supplies – Commissioner
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Desert Locust Invasion can Disrupt Food Security- FAO

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The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has warned that the desert locust which is the world’s largest mitigatory crop pest is capable of leading millions of people into food insecurity if left unchecked.

It said the menace of diseases and pests in West Africa is clearly evident in the considerable annual losses of up to 25 per cent of animal production and as high as 40 per cent of plant production.

FAO Representative in Nigeria and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Fred Kafeero, stated this on Wednesday in Abuja.

He was speaking at the opening session of the capacity building workshop for competent authorities at National level on the best practices for the anticipation and control of desert locust invasion in West Africa and the Sahel Sub-Region.

Kafeero, who was represented by the Assistant FAO Representative programme, Abubakar Suleiman, said the FAO would ensure implementation of anticipatory and early actions, provide technical assistance to countries and strengthen regional coordination to check the menace of the pest.

According to him, FAO places importance on supporting government efforts at enhancing disaster risk reduction and resilience building in line with its country programing network.

See also  The Looming Food Crisis

He said FAO would fight against locusts by encouraging ”no regrets” investments to strengthen countries’ preparedness and anticipatory action to safeguard the livelihood of their people.

“This will contribute to saving the livelihoods of the affected populations and increasing their resilience to the desert locust invasion.

“It is in view of implementation of this anticipatory and early actions that a technical cooperation project titled “Capacity building of ECOWAS in prevention, surveillance and control of the desert locust.

“As well that the analysis of its impact on Food security and nutrition in the Sahel during the COVID-19 pandemic’ has been developed to be implemented with the support of FAO in collaboration with the Directorate of Agriculture and Rural Development, ECOWAS Commission.

“The project is to provide technical assistance and build and strengthen the locust surveillance and control capacity of targeted countries including Cameroon, Gambia and Nigeria in the area of preparedness and anticipatory actions to prevent the desert locust invasion,” he said.

In his remarks, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, said the need for Nigeria and its neighbours within the African continent to join efforts toward the survey and management of such pests was imperative.

Abubakar, who was represented by the Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria, Dr Olaniran Alabi, said the training would go a long way in strengthening the capacity of field staff in responding to invasion by any transboundary pests.(NAN)

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