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IFAD Supports 150 Rice Farmers With N50m Inputs

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The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Niger State said it assisted 150 rice farmers in the state to procure N50 million worth of inputs to increase their yields.
Dr Mathew Ahmed, the Programme Coordinator of IFAD Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) in Niger made this known on Saturday at the inauguration of funds support programme for small holder farmers in Katcha Local Government Area.
He said “we have supported 150 rice farmers from six different cooperative groups with a grant of N25 million to match the N25 million they contributed for this programme.
“Fifty hectares of land will be cultivated by the clusters of farmers, numbering 25 in each group.’’
Ahmed explained that the programme, aimed at enhancing rice and cassava value chains for sustainable agricultural transformation, would increase wealth for farmers.
He said that the grant was for farm inputs such as faro-57-fertilizer, herbicides and for insurance cover for the farms in case of destruction from natural disaster and diseases.
He added that part of the grant would be used to prepare the land, while IFAD would provide 25 tube wells to enable farmers to grow “three cycle yield’’ per season.
He said that the grant covers provision of threshing machines for the farmers to ensure that the rice was clean.
“We are expecting 400 tonnes of rice per cycle, meaning we will get 1,200 tonnes of rice per farming season under the fund’s regime,’’ he said.
Improved rice seedlings, according to him, are also given to beneficiaries by IFAD and the Niger State Agricultural and Mechanisation Development Authority (NAMDA).
Alhaji Mohammadu Ibrahim, the Permanent Secretary, Niger Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, urged the farmers to utilise the support for rice production toward ensuring success of the programme.
Ibrahim, who was represented by Alhaji Bala Maidugu, said the extension staff of the state’s ministry of agriculture would be on ground to give the farmers necessary support.
He said “IFAD is also partnering with Bida and Wushishi local government areas in our state on enhancing rice and cassava value chains for sustainable agricultural transformation.’’
Also, Alhaji Jibrin Yakubu, the Chairman, All Farmers Association (AFAN) in the Katcha Local Government Area, said many farmers were faced with the challenge of getting fertilizer at affordable rates.
Yakubu, who commended IFAD for the gesture, assured that AFAN would ensure the success of the programme.

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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