From Nicholas Dekera, Kaduna
Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, has assured the Ginger farmers, whose farmlands and produce were affected by the strange fungal disease in Kaduna recently of the Federal Government’s intervention.
The Federal Government assurance for succour came after few weeks that over two hundred Ginger farmlands and produce worth N10billion were destroyed in Southern part of Kaduna state.
The Minister, who was represented by the Assistant Chief Agric Officer; Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Mrs.Rita Agbogo made the assurance of the Minister’s quick intervention during a visit to the affected farmlands in Southern Kaduna on Friday.
The representative of the Minister, who was the leader of a five-man delegation to Southern Kaduna reiterated the commitment of the Ministry towards finding a lasting solution to prevent further re-occurrence of the disaster, and to ensuring that the affected farmers were provided with adequate support.
” We are already feeling the pains of our dear Ginger farmers, and that is why we are here on the mission damage assessment. With our visit to some of these farmlands, we have seen to what extent the damage was. We are going to recommend to the Ministry on what is the best way to help the affected farmers out of the present situation,” Mrs. Agbogo explained.
When asked, what could be the cause of the fungal disease, she said “we are yet to know the cause of the damage, and that is why we are here with other relevant organisations. We will make research and continue to liaise with these organisations in order to know the cause and prevent future re-occurrence.
” The cause could be the type of seeds, soil, source of the seeds, and it could be any other factor but, for now, we can not say what really happened,” she stated.
While fielding questions from journalists, the National President of the National Ginger Association of Nigeria, Nuhu Daudu commended the Minister for his quick response towards finding long-term measures to prevent further damage to the crop .
Daudu further explained that the damage will impact negatively on the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
FG Urges States to Provide Land for Irrigation Projects
The Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utsev has appealed to state governments and communities to provide land that would encourage farmers to practice irrigated farming.
Utsev in a statement on Friday said this was necessary in line with President Bola Tinubu’s directive to cultivate 500,000 hectares of irrigable agriculture across the twelve River Basins to boost national food production.
The statement quotes the minister as saying this when he paid a visit to Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State at the Government House Benin City.
The minister said his visit was to officially launch the 2023 Dry Season farming through the Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority.
He announced the commencement of nationwide dry season farming to meet the National food production targets.
He sought the state government’s approval of Title Deeds for acquired lands from communities in the state to facilitate the proposed partial commercialisation of River Basin Development Authorities.
This, he added would encourage Public Private Partnerships in key projects for the benefit of the public.
Utsev highlighted the ministry’s intervention projects in water supply, irrigation, dams, erosion control structures, and sanitation facilities within the Benin Owena River Basin Development Authority catchment areas.
The river Basin covers Edo, Ekiti, Ondo States, and Delta North Senatorial District.
In his response, Gov. Godwin Obaseki, while welcoming the team to the state, stressed the need for synergy between states and the federal government.
He commended the minister’s dedication and urged him to bring fresh perspectives to achieve shared goals.
The governor emphasised collaboration on efficient water use, also urged the Federal Government to consider state water agencies, highlighting the economic potentials of water resources across the country.
The statement quotes both parties expressing commitment to collaborate in areas of irrigation, water supply, dams, and programmes like Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene and Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Sanitation and Hygiene.
Obaseki presented the Alaghodaro Summit Souvenir to the Minister, recognising his visit during the ongoing Edo Economic Summit. (NAN)
Ebonyi Rice Millers Assure of Surplus Rice Supply for Christmas
The Abakaliki Rice Mill Owners Association has announced that there will be a surplus supply of products in the market during the Christmas period due to the bumper harvest experienced from 2023 planting.
Chairman of the Association, Linus Nkwuda told newsmen on Thursday in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, adding that the year’s rice production yielded good fruits.
According to him, the production in 2023 was better than 2022 because there was no flooding.
“We are experiencing bumper harvest; so, we expect more rice in the market for consumers this season.’’
On the price of rice, Nkwuda said the higher production would definitely push down the cost, making the product much more affordable for the people.
“We hope to have good supply to the market; we cannot predict the cost for tomorrow, right now, the prices are fluctuating on a daily basis.
“Currently, a bag of 25kg of the highest grade is sold between N17, 000 and N19, 500; we had a reduction in price in the month of October because it was sold between N18, 000 and N17, 000.
“A 50kg bag is sold between N38 and 32 depending on the grade; there are different species of rice in the market, we have Mass, CP, R8 among others.’’
Nkwuda explained that the price was also determined by the demand, adding that having an influx of customers in the market would make the price increase, but with high supply, the price would go down.
According to him, the market forces always determine the cost, especially during celebration periods like Christmas.
“But I hope there will be surplus supply to the market this year, 2023,” the Chairman said.
Plateau ‘ill Soon Become Nigeria’s Agricultural Hub – Mutfwang
Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State has reiterated his administration’s commitment to revamp the agricultural sector toward boosting the economy of the state.
Mutfwang said this on Sunday at the 37th Reunion Service of the Gindiri Old Students Association (GOSA), on Sunday in Gindiri.
GOSA is made up of old students of both Boys and Girls Secondary Schools, Gindiri.
The governor, a member of GOSA, acknowledged the critical role of the agricultural sector in revamping the state`s economy and promised to adopt a multi sectoral approach to resuscitate key agricultural programmes in the state.
He promised to achieve the feat through stronger and sustained partnership with relevant institutions in the state.
“My administration will place more emphasis on agriculture in order to boost the economy of the state, “ he said.
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