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Agriculture

Association Seeks Legislation On Fishing

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Fishermen, under the aegis of Fishermen Association of Nigeria (FAAN), Bonny/Andoni Zone in Rivers State have called for a legislation that would direct fishing activities of some fishermen, including fishing trawlers in the state.
Chairman of the Association, Mr. Raymond Dike made the call last Monday in a telephone interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the use of fish fingerlings net and some fishing gears had made sea fishing very difficult occupation to survive with, especially in Bonny-Andoni axis of the State.
Raymond, whose occupation is mainly for deep sea fishing said by making such legislation some of the fishing gears would be restricted to allow fish fingerlings to grow in the river.
He said the activities of some fishermen, especially fishing trawlers had caused serious hardship on fishermen in the area.
He also explained that fishing trawlers had no fishing limits, but collected anything aquatic creatures in the river.
The fishermen’s chairman said such activities need to be regulated for breeding of sea fishes.
The fisherman also lamented over the activities of illegal bunkering and sea piracy as some of the challenges confronting fishermen in the area.
He said oil spill and rampant distilling of crude oil by illegal bunkerers had made it very difficult for fishermen to carry out their daily fishing activities on the river.
“We also have challenges by illegal bunkering activities and sea piracy. Our rivers are all polluted by oil, even sea pirates on the other hand are also collecting our fishing gears, and engine-boats.
“Last year, over 20 engine boats were snatched daily from fishermen, mostly around Bonny and Andoni’s rivers,” he said.
The fishermen chairman called on the governments and security agencies to beef up security on the river, saying that unemployment in Rivers State would be increasing, if nothing is alone to maintain fishing occupation in the State.
He said the number of bunkerers was increasing daily as a results, many people are quitting fishing occupation to bunkering activities as alternative means of surviving, and called on government to do something reasonable to overcome the challenges in fishing occupation.

 

Enoch Epelle

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Agriculture

Nigeria Targets Massive Seed Export, Joins OECD

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The National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) has commenced a move to join the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which will give way for Nigeria to explore the global seed industry.
This move is also expected to allow more foreign seed companies to produce seeds in Nigeria and sell to other countries, having the backing of OECD.
At the end of Practical training of Seed Certification Officer in Abuja by NASC, in conjunction with OECD, the Director General of NASC, Dr Philip Ojo, told journalists that the training is an OECD seed scheme capacity building programme to train seed certification officers on the standard and certification scheme and inspection activities of OECD.
“The reason is that we in the industry must be part of the global structure, and the way to go is that the OECD scheme  seed companies here can participate in International seed trade, and there are rules and regulations concerning this, that is exactly what this training is all about”, Dr Ojo stated.
He said a total of thirty persons have been trained so far, adding that “we have many seed certification officers, this is train the trainer training”, he added
Director Seed Certification and Quality Control at NASC, Dr Ishaq Khalid, said the aim of the training is for Nigeria to take advantage of global seed trade.
He said Nigeria, today, has a restricted market in West Africa for seed trade due to a standard issue which is currently being addressed.
“We are principally targeting seed trade. If you observe our market, particularly the vegetable seeds, we hardly have made in Nigeria seeds. You will see all vegetable seeds standard and substandard from every part, making this place a dumping ground.
“Nigeria has to take its place in the global seed industry. It is a source to also earn foreign exchange. We encourage foreign investors to come and produce the seeds here and market in other countries because we want to create jobs.
“The question of substandard seeds will also phase out because if you are a member of OECD, if your seed is coming to Nigeria, it must not be below the minimum standard.
“Nigeria has started some level of international seed trade, particularly within the West African Sub Region. We were not able to go further because they do not believe in our standard.
“Now that we are aspiring to be member of the OECD, they will not be looking at our seed like Nigerian standard, rather as OECD standard.
“In Nigeria we already have some international seed companies, so they know that anywhere they go to trade these seeds, they will be OECD standard, our indigenous companies are not doing badly too, we want them to very used to this standard”, he noted.

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Agriculture

Sanwo-Olu Begins Africa’s Largest Food Logistics Park Construction 

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, kicked off the construction of Africa’s largest food logistics park in Ketu-Ereyun, Epe area of the State aimed at boosting food security in the state in particular, and Nigeria in general.
According to Sanwo-Olu during the groundbreaking ceremony, the project, “Lagos State Food Security Systems and Central Logistics Hub”, would be built on 1.2 million square metres of land, and would have various components.
Such components include aggregation/storage facilities, administrative offices, trading/brokering facilities, and packaging facilities.
It will also have processing facilities, cold chain/dry goods services, logistics services/trailer park, water treatment plant, health centre, fuel station/ Fire station and abattoir.
“The project will be implemented in two phases: the pilot phase, for which we are doing the groundbreaking; and the main phase.
“When completed, the hub will create wealth for more than 5 million people, feed more than 10 million Lagosians, guarantee food supplies for at least 90 days, provide storage facilities for more than 1,500 trucks per day, service the needs of thousands of operators per annum, and process large commercial transactions”, the Governor said.
He continued that the project would improve productivity, guarantee greater returns for farmers, by cutting out several layers of middlemen; facilitate improved access to modern processing and packaging services for farmers; and generate useful data for the use of government agencies, private sector players, and multilateral agencies.
Sanwo-Olu stated further that the hub would provide a better buying experience for consumers; help achieve a reduction in logistics costs, while guaranteeing the standardization of quantity and quality for agricultural products.
“I can boldly say that this is one of the most important agricultural interventions that Nigeria has ever seen. The fact that it is taking place in Lagos, the most populous and fastest growing subnational entity in the country, means that it is bound to have significant national, regional, and continental impact,” he assured.
While, reiterating the benefits of the project, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya, said, “the project’s enormity and scope will change the economic landscape of Epe and Lagos as a whole adding that the project which is the largest in Africa will lead to an influx of services in sectors such as: real estate sector, banking, logistics, hospitality sector among others”.

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Agriculture

‘Mainstreaming Local Farmers, Solution To Unemployment’

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Executive Director of the National Horticultural Research Institute, (NIHORT), Dr.Muhammed Lawal Attanda, has urged the Federal Government to bring farmers in the informal sector to the formal scene.
He said this would not only solve the problem of unemployment in the country, but also solve the economic crisis in the country.
Attanda stated this while speaking with journalists during the annual In-House Research Review and Planning Meeting with the theme “Innovative Horticultural Crop Research, Panacea to Sustainable Food and Nutrition, Security and Economic Empowerment,  which held recently at the National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), Jericho Reservation Area, Idi-Isin, Ibadan.
The In-House Research Review and Planning meeting was organised in respect to the innovations carried out by the researchers of the institution which includes various innovations.
Such innovations includes: “Tuna Trap Tray, Biopesticides (NIHORT Lyptol and NIHORT Ratkin), Herbal teas, Fabrication of Irvingia decorticator machine, Value added products, Musana Soaps, Fabrication of Horticultural Waste Shredder, Solar dryer and other research inventions”, he said.
According to him, the country is currently experiencing a great challenge in food productions, thus the need to carry out researches that could create solutions and sustainable food and nutrition, security, and economic empowerment for the masses at large.
”The need to integrate local farmers into the working system of Nigeria is of a great necessity. Majorly when we talk about unemployment, most times we refer to white collar jobs, but what about the numerous local farmers that we have in the country?
“The government can create a system whereby they would be employed formerly, provided with mordernised farming tools, and thus, creating more employment for many”, he stated.

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