Idris Ahmed, Lokoja.
Following the suspension of executives of National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) and the subsequent formation of the Caretaker Taker Committee by the national headquarters, all farmers that have cultivated cotton across the state have been directed to contact the new leadership of association for further directives on the new development.
A statement signed by Mallam Muhammed Yunusa, the Public Relations Officer, asks the cotton farmers to come forward and obtain their harvest bags.
The PRO also called on the members of association to present themselves for the off – talking of their cotton harvest.
According to the statement, registration of new members across the state commences on January 5th 2021.
Gov Sule Appeals To Buhari To Site Proposed NASENI Zonal Institute In Lafia
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to site the proposed National Agency for Science, Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) zonal institute for agricultural equipment in Lafia, the state capital.
Engineer Sule made the appeal shortly after he inspected facilities at the headquarters of the agency in Abuja, led by the Executive Vice Chairman of NASENI, Professor Sani Haruna, on Thursday.
According to the Governor, Lafia is well suited to host the proposed institute because 80 percent of its population are involved in one form of agriculture or the other, as well as that the conglomeration of big scale commercial farmers in the state, such as Olam Rice, Floor Mills of Nigeria, Azman Rice Mills and Dangote Sugar plantation, makes Lafia an ideal setting for the institute.
While harping on the reasons why the NASENI zonal institute for agricultural equipment should be sited in Lafia, Engineer Sule emphasized that aside of the fact that Lafia is central to all the states within the North Central geopolitical zone, Nasarawa State is also a home of agriculture.
“I want to call on Mr President, because he is a fair person when it comes to that, to site the zonal institute in Lafia,” the Governor stated.
Commenting on the activities of the agency, Engineer Sule commended NASENI for all its inventions, adding that Nigeria got it right by dedicating one percent of the federation account to fund the agency.
The Governor said his administration will collaborate with NASENI not only in the area of tertiary education but also in science and technology.
He particularly thanked NASENI for selecting the Nasarawa State University in Keffi for its interventions through the provision of equipment for electrical and electronic, for the new faculty of engineering.
Earlier, the Executive Vice Chairman of NASENI, Professor Sani Haruna, said he invited the Governor in order to showcase the activities to the agency, with a view to identify areas of collaboration.
The NASENI EVC hinted that already, the agency, with the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari, has proposed to set up six new institutes across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
Buhari Order CBN Not To Provide Foreign Exchange For Food importers Insist Nigeria Must Eat What It Produces
President Buhari has once again instructed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) not to provide foreign exchange for the importation of food items.
The President gave the directive at the fifth regular meeting with the presidential economic advisory council that held at the state house in Abuja on Tuesday.
A statement released by Garba Shehu, the president’s senior special assistant on media and publicity, quoted President Buhari as saying Nigerians must eat what is produced here.
“The CBN must not give money to import food. Already, about seven states are producing all the rice we need. We must eat what we produce. Going back to the land is the way out.
“We depend on petrol at the expense of agriculture. Now the oil industry is in turmoil. We are being squeezed to produce at 1.5 million barrels a day as against a capacity to produce 2.3 million. At the same time, the technical cost of our production per barrel is high, compared to the Middle East production”.
“We will continue to encourage our people to go back to the land. Our elite is indoctrinated in the idea that we are rich in oil, leaving the land for the city for oil riches”.
“We are back to the land now. We must not lose the opportunity to make life easier for our people. Imagine what would have happened if we didn’t encourage agriculture and closed the borders. We would have been in trouble.” he said
This is the third time that the President would issue CBN the directive not to give food importers foreign exchange. The first time was in August 2019 and again in September 2020.
NSG To Partner With NAIC To Protect Farmers, Youths Venturing Into Agriculture
Nasarawa State Government, said it will partner with the National Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) to protect farmers in the state against natural disasters and other diseases.
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, made this known while hosting officials of NAIC, led by Bashir Babajo, Executive Director Operations, who were on a courtesy call at the Government House, on Thursday.
Engineer Sule said his administration strongly believes in supporting farmers and insurance coverage is one way the Government can support all farmers in the state.
Specifically, the Governor sought to partner with NAIC, to provide protection for farmers under the outgrower schemes in firms operating commercial agriculture such as the Olams, Dangote Group and Azman Rice Farms.
Also, youths under the youth empowerment programme in agriculture, which has since commenced with 430 youths in Doma, with a view to enlarging the number to 2000, as well as extending similar exercise to Tide, in Akwanga Local Government Area.
And then the local farmers, who are mostly subsistence farmers.
While reiterating the significance to providing some level of protection to all category of farmers in the state, Engineer Sule, recalled that only recently, an outgrower lost 50000 hectares of rice to flood and because he was not ensured, he was left at the mercy of government to support him.
According to the Governor, young farmers under the youth empowerment programme in agriculture, that are just venturing into agriculture, may be discouraged if they experience any form of loss, hence the need to support them with some level of insurance.
He emphasized that local farmers who produce mostly for their consumption, need to be protected also against hunger in the event of natural disaster or effects of herdsmen.
Engineer Sule therefore directed the Commissioner of Agriculture and Water Resources, the ministry and NAIC, to work together, towards evolving a relationship aimed at protecting farmers in the state.
Earlier, in an opening remarks, Bashir Babajo, Executive Director, Operations of NAIC, said they were in the state to intimate the Governor about the activities of the corporation, as well as seek the collaboration of the state government, with a view to bringing lots of benefits to local farmers.
Babajo added that NAIC was established over three decades ago, to assist farmers in terms of lost due to natural disaster or diseases.
“We try to sensitize them, to encourage them to take insurance policy on agriculture so that in the event of loss, they will be taken care of by NAIC,” he said.
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