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2.2m Farmers to Receive N12.3bn as Agric Subsidy

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2.2m Farmers to Receive N12.3bn as Agric Subsidy

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The Federal Government is set to support no fewer than 2.2 million farmers with N12.3 billion as agricultural subsidy.

President Buhari had earlier approved N6.15 billion agricultural subsidy for the first batch of 1.2 million farmers.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Agriculture, Andrew Kwasari, disclosed this to newsmen over the weekend.

Kwasari noted that the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) had validated the first batch of beneficiaries.

According to him, 1.2 million farmers would soon receive the support, in addition to another batch of over one million beneficiaries who will receive agricultural subsidy valued at N6.15 billion.

“The President has approved subsidies for 1.2 million farmers in Batch A and the NIBSS has validated their bank accounts and BVN (Bank Verification Numbers) as farmers.

“We have another batch of over one million and NIPSS has also validated their details and it will be sent to Mr President for approval.

“NIBSS validates every BVN tied to any account and can tell you the owner of such accounts in this country,” Kwasari stated.

He, however, expressed that the funds would come in batches of about N6.15bn each, with respect to the total amount of subsidy to be given to the farmers.

 “The first batch is N6.15 billion and we are preparing Batch B and it may be up to that amount also.

“The file has moved from my office right now and it is with the Accountant-General of the Federation and NIBSS for payment.”

The Special Assistant indicated that the government had captured over six million farmers across the country, adding that direct subsidies will be given to the registered farmers.

Kwasari further urged the farmers to deploy the funds judiciously for agricultural purposes when they start receiving the subsidies and pointed out that the government would monitor their activities.

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Agric/Environment

Egypt, Sudan politicising Renaissance Dam construction – Ethiopian Diplomat

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Egypt, Sudan politicising Renaissance Dam construction – Ethiopian Diplomat

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Ethiopian Ambassador to Russia, Alemayehu Tegenu, says Egypt and Sudan are politicising the issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) construction on the Blue Nile.

Tegenu said in an interview with Sputnik that the two countries were trying to get other countries involved in their dispute over the dam just to solve their internal problems, while the dam in fact carries no environmental risks.

“There is no single drop of water reduction for the downstream countries.“Egypt and Sudan internationalise and politicise the dam to solve their internal affairs.

“The dam has no significant harm (for Egypt and Sudan),” Tegenu said.

The dam is designed in a way to prevent damage for the downstream countries and to secure a “win-win, equitable” utilisation of resources, the ambassador emphasised.

There is no reason for the two countries (to be) standing against the dam.

“Simply, to tackle their internal affairs, they use the dam aspect.

“They are trying to politicise the dam issue, the dam issue is purely technical.

“If there are technical issues, engineers could discuss and settle the issues.

“In this case, we see no technical issues,” Tegenu added.

Recently, the tensions among Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia over the dam have escalated.

Tensions escalated particularly after Ethiopia announced that it had started filling the GERD’s reservoir, an action contrary to Egypt’s mandate that the dam not be filled without a legally binding agreement over the equitable allocation of the Nile’s waters.

Egypt has also escalated its call to the international community to get involved. Already, the United States has threatened to withhold development aid to Ethiopia if the conflict is not resolved and an agreement reached.

The dispute over the dam is part of a long-standing feud between Egypt and Sudan — the downstream states — on the one hand, and Ethiopia and the upstream riparians on the other over access to the Nile’s waters, which are considered a lifeline for millions of people living in Egypt and Sudan.

Despite the intense disagreements, though, Ethiopia continues to move forward with the dam, arguing that the hydroelectric project will significantly improve livelihoods in the region more broadly.

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Animal healthcare: Minister inaugurates FCT Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory  

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Animal healthcare: Minister inaugurates FCT Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory  

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As part of efforts geared towards delivering quality animal health care services and strengthening the capacity of the Administration to respond swiftly to the prevention of emerging infectious diseases, the Federal Capital Territory FCT Administration has inaugurated Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

During the inaugural ceremony held in Nyanya, FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, noted that the livestock sub-sector provides enormous business and commercial opportunities that could help facilitate job creation and poverty reduction as well as the attainment of food security and improved livelihood for the citizenry.

Anti-rabies vaccination
The Minister who used the occasion to flag-off the free anti-rabies vaccination campaign and distribution of inputs to livestock farmers in the Federal Capital Territory, also lamented that the economic and social viability of the livestock sector was threatened by the increasing outbreak of animal diseases particularly those that are highly communicable and zoonotic by nature.

According to her; “studies have shown that the majority of diseases that afflict animals are zoonotic, capable of causing not only huge fatalities in both animals and humans but economic losses as well.  

“In Nigeria, we have witnessed notable zoonosis such as Anthrax, Monkeypox and Ebola and other contagious diseases such as Rabies, Lassa fever, Avian Influenza, Rinderpest, Peste des Petits Ruminants amongst others”.  

Aliyu, however, pledged that the FCT Administration was leaving no stone unturned to ensure the sustenance of the sector through the implementation of innovative strategies to boost productivity and help enhance systemic capacity and preparedness to combat emerging and infectious animal diseases even before they occur.

She revealed that the Administration has concluded plans in establishing a Special Livestock Industrial Processing Zone in the Paikon-Kore grazing reserve, aimed at boosting the livestock production and processing, while promoting peaceful, mutually-beneficial economic partnerships between herders and pastoralists, creating jobs, and enhancing food security.

The minister commended all those that have contributed to the success of the veterinary diagnostic laboratory, particularly the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, on the milestone achievement of creating a vehicle for facilitating quick animal health care service delivery to the residents of the FCT, in line with the food security enhancement policy of the current administration.

The Ag. Secretary FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Mr. Prospect Ibe, also emphasized the importance of the project, stressing that the implementation of innovative programmes would help to reposition the agricultural sector towards increasing food production and improving the livelihood of FCT residents.

Ibe further noted that prior to the establishment of this laboratory, the secretariat had relied on other institutions for test analysis and diagnosis, adding that with this development residents have the opportunity to access reliable laboratory services and getting test results in quicker time.

He, however, assured that in order to ensure the sustenance of this project, the secretariat has with the support of partners, exposed the Veterinary Doctors and Laboratory Scientists on the effective use of the equipment, while appealing to farmers and owners of animals to maintain hygiene where their animals are kept.

The highpoint of the event was the vaccination of animals against rabies and distribution of inputs to livestock farmers in the FCT.

 

Nneka Ukachukwu

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Nigeria launches strategy to mitigate deforestation

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Nigeria launches strategy to mitigate deforestation

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To protect Nigeria’s forest endowment through strategic planning for climate change mitigation nationwide, the Nigerian government has launched the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest REED+.

The REDD + strategy programme is aimed at identifying drivers of deforestation and forest degradation so as to enable validation of emission reduction attributed to the REDD+ activities.

Speaking at the launch, Nigeria’s Minister of Environment Dr Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, said that ​Nigeria’s vision for implementing REDD+ is “to establish a climate resilient economy through sustainable management of forests, to enhance carbon sinks, and reduce GHG emissions by at least 20% by year 2050”. Recognizing the significance of the forest and land sector as a source of Nigeria’s GHG emissions, and the need for international support to help develop and implement nature-based solutions identified in the Strategy”.

Dr. Abubakar, explains that Nigeria will implement its REDD+ Strategy in phases over a thirty-year period from 2021 to 2050 to achieve the short, medium, and long-term goals. “ Nigeria will be anchoring its National REDD+ Strategy on one general objective, which is: To reduce the rate of carbon emissions and enhance removals from the forest sector while creating benefits for resilience building and green economic development”. This will be by way of adopting ecologically friendly and climate-smart forest and forest-related investments especially in the agriculture and forest sectors that will promote the conservation and rehabilitation of forest ecosystems as well as generate economic, social and environmental incentives”.

The strategy is being implemented with other partners to this, Dr. Mohammed is calling on the partnering governments, to amplify Nigeria’s message on the effect of climate change.

As the United Kingdom prepares to host the UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP 26), mobilising a coalition of leading organisations for the Race To Zero campaign. We call on the UK and other governments, through their high commission and embassies here in Nigeria, to hear and to amplify our message that we, like many other nations, are suffering from the effects of climate change today, that we are committed to protecting and improving our own natural environment for the benefit of Nigerians while also combating global climate change, and that we are eager to partner with others in supporting these efforts.”

According to the national Coordinator REDD+, Dr. Moses Ama, with the REDD+ policy strategy, stakeholders are sure of a sustainable engagements.

“We must begin to put the right budget, if the 17 states do REDD + programme, this is good for the country because emission reduction that the government is pledging are not going to come from Abuja, but from the villages which translate to States. We need to encourage states that have indicated interest through political will. We want to do things differently, move from business as usual to business unusual.

We want to change our reaction to the forest. It is our desire that government will begin to put some funding to support readiness, readiness is not quite expensive, is all about stakeholders engagement capacity building, institutional strengthening, so that investors will believe that is okay, we can see that stakeholders engagement is robust, and we have been able to analysis what the drivers of refreshing order, and their policy, we have identified, let’s go to this sub  National to invest for the purpose of getting them off the forest and gaining carbon from that” he said.

Pein Mawtovani, of the World Bank, said that the initiative shows Nigeria’s commitment to climate protection.

We at the World Bank are privilege and honoured to be able to support this process with technical and financial cognition. We look forward to supporting in various ongoing operations in partnership with the Government both at the Federal and State level. We believe the project is going to be critical and a success to engaging with relevant stakeholders,” he said.

Nigeria’s REDD+ Strategy is structured to adopt a national policy on Benefit Sharing Arrangement for REDD+ Carbon Trading, an integrated approach to establish the required national and sub-national Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) systems to be fed into a national, aggregated database.

 

Lateefah Ibrahim

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UN Partners with Nigeria on Climate Change Resilience

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UN Partners with Nigeria on Climate Change Resilience

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Nigeria has restated its commitment to protecting the world’s forests and natural habitats from destruction, in view of the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2021 (COP26).

This initiative, centered on the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) Dialogue, has taken steps to bring together over 20 countries from Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Press and Public Affairs Officer, British Deputy High Commission, Lagos State, Ndidiamaka Eze, disclosed this recently stating that the dialogue brings key countries, which buy and produce such as beef, soy and palm oil together to agree on how these can be traded more sustainably.

According to her, 23 countries have pledged to work together to protect the world’s precious forests, while also promoting sustainable trade and supply chains of agricultural commodities.

The landmark is the result of collaborative action on an issue that is complex but also critical to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and limiting a global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“International trade in agricultural commodities like palm oil, soy and beef, is worth over $80 billion yearly. Globally, 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods, many of them in developing countries,” Eze said.

She noted that Nigeria is a producer and consumer of forest risk agricultural commodities adding that it produces cocoa and palm oil but also imports palm oil from Southeast Asia.

In her words, “Nigeria, has one of the highest deforestation rates globally and it loses approximately 350,000 to 400,000 hectares yearly. Logging, agriculture and collection of fuelwood are the leading causes of forest loss in Nigeria.”

She added that through programmes such as Investments in Forests and Sustainable Land-Use (IFSLU), the UK Government is supporting a shift to sustainable supply chains for agricultural commodities associated with deforestation, including palm oil and cocoa, and creating new investment opportunities in sustainable land use through public-private partnerships.

“The UK Government is keen to intensify our partnership with Nigeria to ensure an inclusive vision and effective action for sustainable agriculture, forests and land use economy, these areas have the potential to address major barriers to development around poverty, food and nutrition insecurity, unemployment, environmental degradation and instability,” Eze stated.

In his remark, COP26 President-Designate, Alok Sharma stated, “The FACT Dialogue has much work ahead to deliver on its objectives as we move towards COP26. But the publication of today’s joint statement marks a highly important first step in laying the foundation for our work.”

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Lake Chad Commission opens bids for inter-basin water transfer

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Lake Chad Commission opens bids for inter-basin water transfer

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The in-depth study would be carried out on the Chari and Logone Rivers, which flow through the Central Africa Republic.

Nigeria’s Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, noted that the Lake Chad basin had suffered from a combination of the impacts of climate change in the last four decades.

“For about four decades, recurring droughts, a general decline in rainfall and degradation of the biodiversity have led to drastic change in the environmental conditions of the Lake Chad Basin.

“The drying up of the lake, desertification and the decline in agricultural activities have been a major challenge to the social and economic well-being of millions of people in the area,’’ he added.

Adamu cited the challenges as having affected livelihood support for the populace, thereby increasing poverty and general insecurity in the region.

The study, he said, was, therefore, pivotal to the revitalisation of the Lake Chad and necessary to sustainably address the effects of climate change, youth unemployment and endemic poverty in the region.

“The objectives of the study are to minimise the loss of water, through evaporation, especially in the flood plains of the Chari and Logone rivers by controlling spillages into the flood plains.

“It is to improve the hydraulic capacity to facilitate additional flows, improve the depths of the two rivers and also to control the degradation of river banks’’.

He said the task of developing a viable and prosperous basin, which hinged on sustainable environmental practices, enhanced resilience and strengthened ecological systems, required the collective engagement of all stakeholders.

Adamu pledged the commitment of the Nigerian government towards saving Lake Chad from continued shrinkage, saying ‘‘President Muhammadu Buhari places high premium on the development of Lake Chad Basin’’.

Amb. Mamman Nuhu, LCBC Executive Secretary, noted that the decision to conduct an in-depth study for the Inter-Basin Water Transfer (IBWT) project was a fallout of the just concluded 65th Ordinary Meeting of the LCBC Council of Ministers.

He noted that IBWT was an ultimate solution to recharge the lake and reverse the adverse effects of climate change on the well-being of the people that depend on it.

Nuhu urged experts and consultants to analyse the bids submitted and also make recommendations which would best serve the interest of the region and its populace.

He commended the present administration for spearheading efforts aimed at improving livelihoods in the Lake Chad region.

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