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OCP Africa Establishes One-Stop-Shop Farm & Fortune Hubs In Nigeria



OCP Africa Establishes  One-Stop-Shop Farm & Fortune Hubs In Nigeria

Agro SMEs

IN a bid to ensure that farmers in underserved markets have seamless access to fertilisers and other quality inputs, OCP Africa is establishing 55 one-stop-shop Farm & Fortune Hubs across the country.

OCP Africa Fertilisers Nigeria Limited (OCP Africa), a leader in the production of phosphate-based fertilisers, has also empowered agro entrepreneurs on how to use its hubs to boost farmers’ productivity, improve food security and nutrition.

Country Manager OCP Africa Fertilisers Nigeria, Caleb Usoh, while speaking during the training of agro promoters on the operations of its Farm& Fortune hub model, said it was a milestone in the company’s effort to contribute to productivity and food security across the country.

He said the Farm& Fortune hub was set up in accordance to cater for the needs of the population by providing effective service-delivery, in accordance with its policy of proximity.

Usoh explained that Farm & Fortune hubs were designed to offer knowledge to increase crop yield and productivity that would lead to improved food security and increased income for smallholder farm families.

He added that the operators of hubs will support the national extension service, through provision of timely and effective support to farmers and rural communities so that they can adopt and promote good agronomic practices.

He explained that the hubs will be equipped with agritech solutions to enable farmers optimise yields, boost farm productivity and increase their profitability.

By harnessing agri-tech, Usoh reiterated that OCP Fertilisers was confident of solving the pressing issues around food security, being mindful of the challenges local farmers’ face, such as using the hubs to help them aggregate and preserve their produce.

Usoh hoped the partnership will really help provide new opportunities for small farms and beginning farmers.

Chiagozie Nwizu Executive Director, Africa Franchise Institute, in a bid to improve farmers’ timely access to quality agro inputs and information, described OCP’s Farm & Fortune as an appropriate system that was going to have a positive impact on the agricultural sector.

There is a need for more robust and sustainable farming practices, which requires innovative technology solutions. Extension services for smallholder farmers is one way of providing relevant information and implementation strategies. The development of big data platforms is a means of informing farmers about agricultural best practices.

SunCulture identified access to water as the biggest challenge for most farmers, so the first product they developed was a solar-powered pump combined with micro irrigation.

Through precision agriculture, Microsoft is supporting SunCulture with an IoT platform and Azure machine learning tools for their solar-based system, which allows them to offer farmers personalised recommendations and solutions through their mobile phones. This helps them to be better, more productive farmers.

Group Director and Managing Director, East Africa for Africa Practice, remarked that: “Across Africa, agricultural transformation is well and truly underway. The opportunity for the sector to address some of the continent’s most pressing challenges including food security, income inequality and livelihoods for our fast growing and youthful population is immense.

“The big question is how to catalyse this momentum especially given the urgent need for a rapid post-Covid recovery. Our findings clearly show that agritech holds great promise as an effective tool to improve productivity, decision-making and access to markets. Africa Practice is excited about the results of the study and its potential to inform the growth of the agricultural sector on the continent.”

Regional Director, Microsoft 4Afrika, Amrote Abdella, said: “Technology has the potential to change the face of farming, using smart tools and platforms for precision farming, predicting weather patterns, maximising the use of scarce water resources.

By harnessing agri-tech, we can help solve the pressing issues around food security to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #2 of Zero Hunger, and enhance economic development in the process. We are excited to work with our partners in building locally-relevant technology solutions that are mindful of the challenges local farmers face, offering solutions to farmers to deliver meaningful impact.”

OCP Africa establishes 55 one-stop-shop farm & fortune hubs in Nigeria to boost food security

The post OCP Africa Establishes One-Stop-Shop Farm & Fortune Hubs In Nigeria appeared first on Voice of Nigeria.

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Egypt, Sudan politicising Renaissance Dam construction – Ethiopian Diplomat



Egypt, Sudan politicising Renaissance Dam construction – Ethiopian Diplomat

Ethopian dam
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  



Animal healthcare: Minister inaugurates FCT Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory  


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



Nigeria launches strategy to mitigate deforestation

IMG 8408


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



UN Partners with Nigeria on Climate Change Resilience

climate change 45

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



Lake Chad Commission opens bids for inter-basin water transfer

lake chad 1024x594 1

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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