The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Shehuri, has said the recently launched National Rice Development Strategy II (NRDS II) Nigeria is aimed at increasing the rice area under irrigation from less than 1 million hectares to 2.7 million hectares, particularly areas under supplementary water supply to attain 2 cropping per year.
Shehuri said this while launching NRDS II in Abuja recently, noting that the rice value chain has been identified as being strategic to achieving food and nutrition security.
According to Shehuri, the document presented at the launching showed that cultivable land in the country is estimated at 4.234 million hectares, made up of rain-fed uplands at 30 percent, rain-fed lowland at 52 percent, irrigated lowlands at 17 percent and mangrove at 1 percent
He stated that the new Strategy also targets to build the capacity of 84,000 extension agents and 12 million farmers on Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) and Sustainable Rice Production (SRP).
“Part of its goal is to increase on a sustainable basis the volume of rice paddy produced, stored-up and marketed in Nigeria to meet the widening annual national demand and surpluses for export in the long run, and to improve the livelihoods of rice-dependent households in the country.
“The document further noted that the objectives of the new Strategy is to bring more of Nigeria’s potential rice areas into cultivation through land development and make more rice land available.
“Enhance the productivity of existing cultivated areas through increased adoption of GAP for sustainable rice production and closing the yield gaps existing between farmers;
“Promote the adoption and use of climate-smart technologies and practices that reduce greenhouse gas emission from rice fields and increase the resilience or adaptation to climate change impact
“To promote the adoption of SRP standards to mitigate the negative impact on the biophysical and social environment of rice production. Enhance farmer’s access to quality agro-inputs and their optimal use at a realistic cost”, he stated.
The new Rice Strategy also aims at increasing average yield to 4.0 tons per hectare for rain-fed upland, 6.0 tons per hectare for rain-fed lowland and 7.5 tons per hectare for irrigated ecology through the introduction of new high-yielding climate-smart rice varieties.
According to report, “NRDS II document is a ten-year plan which seeks to provide direction for the development of the rice subsector to achieve government’s goals of self-sufficiency in rice production, food and nutrition security, employment creation and production of surplus for export”.
SMEDAN Begins 2023 Registration For Loans, Grants, Others
Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigerian (SMEDAN) has commenced the 2023 registration for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to make them eligible for a range of benefits, including loans, grants, government assistance, and other resources for the year.
The opportunity was made known through the Director General of SMEDAN Mr Olawale Fasanya in their website.
Fasanya said the opportunity would help to grow small businesses and also provide access to benefits that will support them, as well as make resources available to help SMEs succeed.
“Loans can provide a small business with the necessary capital to start or expand operations. Loans can be customised to meet the specific needs and goals of a business.
“Making timely loan payments can help a business improve its credit score, which can be useful when seeking a loan or future investment.
“With access to capital, businesses may be able to pursue new opportunities for growth and expansion”, he said.
He advised small and medium enterprises to take advantage of the SMEDAN support by becoming more competitive in their respective markets.
“It can help small businesses access resources, such as funding and training, that may not be available to them.
“It can provide opportunities for small business owners to connect with other businesses and industry experts, resulting in valuable partnerships and collaborations”, he said.
According to the SMEDAN DG, the specific requirements and procedures for registering a small or medium business with SMEDAN vary, depending on the nature of one’s business and its location in Nigeria.
Plays a vital role in supporting the development of small and medium enterprises in nigeria. through its various programmes, it can provide businesses with access to capital, resources and expertise that can help them grow and succeed.
“SMEDAN’s efforts benefit both the private and government sectors, as small and medium enterprises are important drivers of economic growth and job creation”, Fasanya said, “SMEDAN.
By: Lilian Peters
FG Boosts Farming In Bauchi With New Dam
The Federal Government has constructed an earth dam and provided inputs to farmers in Bauchi State.
This is in a bid to curb clashes among farmers and herders in the area.
The government also embarked on land clearing activities to boost agricultural production in the state and its environs.
Disclosing this in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday, the Executive Secretary, National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), Paul Ikonne, said the dam and inputs were provided to farmers in Azare Local Government Area of Bauchi State.
He said the dam would cater for the water needs of over 10,000 animals, and serve as irrigation facility for more than three villages in the area, adding that NALDA would provide solar-powered pumping machines to pump water to neighbouring farms.
In the statement, NALDA said tractors and site workers were currently ensuring that the dam was completed within the stipulated time frame of two weeks.
It read in part, “In an interaction with farmers from the area in Gamawa, the Executive Secretary of NALDA, Paul Ikonne, said the project is aimed at ensuring availability of water for irrigation and animal husbandry in order to curb farmers and herders clashes across the country.”
It stated further that the representative of the District Head of Gamawa, Mohammed Babayo, who spoke on behalf of the farmers, appreciated the government for the dam.
Babayo, however, called on NALDA to further support farmers in the area with inputs such as improved seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides and access roads.
He said the farmers were willing to provide more land for clearing and were ready for more partnership with NALDA, stressing that it was the first time the villages would feel the presence of the Federal Government.
Babayo told the NALDA team that all agricultural activities in the area were based on collective efforts of the farmers.
Akeredolu Flags-Off Farm Inputs Distribution To Flood Victims
As part efforts to encourage and boost food security in the state, the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has flagged off the distribution of farm inputs to the farmers affected by flood in the state.
Speaking while flagging off the distribution recently in Akure, the Ondo state capital, Akeredolu said the distribution of the farm inputs was to encourage food security and employment generation.
The Governor, who was represented at the event by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Forestry, Olayato Aribo, said “about 50 graduate incubatees who were victims of flood disaster, would be supported to mitigate their losses.
“The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has provided 5000 day old chicks, 280 bags of broiler starter, 280 bags of fish feeds of various sizes and 84 bags of NPK 15:15:15 fertilizer for distribution to the affected beneficiaries.
“All these are to ensure that the affected beneficiaries do not lose interest in their various chosen enterprises and also to encourage food security and employment generation. Ondo State government sincerely appreciates IFAD/ Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises Project for the Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) LIFE-ND.”
He implored all the beneficiaries of the palliative to make judicious use of the inputs so that the effort of the donor agency would be handsomely rewarded.
The coordinator, IFAD/LIFE-ND Project in Ondo State, Olawale Ademola, in his address, said the essence of the farm inputs distribution was to give succour to the victims of flood across the state in order for them not to lose interest in their various enterprises.
Ademola said, “IFAD/LIFE-ND Project decided to procure the inputs through the project named Livelihood Improvement Enterprises in the Niger Delta to support, the flood victims in the state. We need to give them the support, the palliative so that they will have interest to continue farming.”
He urged the beneficiaries to use the farm inputs genuinely for the development of agriculture in the state
Also speaking, the Technical Assistant to the National Project Coordinator, Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises Project for the Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) project, Bunmi Ogunleye, said the essence of the event was to ensure that inputs and palliatives that were bought to support the flood victims are properly giving to the affected beneficiaries in Ondo state.
“With these inputs we are giving them, they will be able to sustain their businesses and no less than 50 people benefited from the palliatives,” he said.
Ogunleye, however, advised the beneficiaries to ensure that they make use of the farm inputs genuinely.
One of the beneficiaries, Samuel Tinubu, commended the IFAD/LIFE-ND Project for the gesture and promised on behalf of his co-beneficiaries that they will make good use of the inputs.
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