Animal-Man Relations

It is said that a Fulani man will rather part with his son than part with his cattle. This I have heard on several occasions, but its validity was not clear to me until I had a personal experience I would like to talk about now.

During my Farm Practical Year programme in Iwoye-Ketu, Imeko-Afon Local Government Area of Ogun State, a yoruba town that has a high percentage of Fulani cattle rearers; I was working alone on the fruit vegetable plot allocated to my group. The plot was located close to a swampy land that holds water whenever it rains, thereby turning the swampy land into a temporary lake. The water in this temporary lake served as irrigation water for our farm and as a source of water to nomadic cattle.

On this faithful day, I stayed longer on the farm to ensure that I completed the preparation of land for the planting of Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) and fluted Pumpkin (Telfaira occidentalis). While I was busy with my work, a herd of cattle came over to this temporary lake to drink water. The cattle were of large number that I could not count and they were of different sizes.

To my surprise, I saw the fulani man leading the cattle giving water to the fattest cattle of the herd. He would fill a eva bottle with water and put it in the mouth of the fattest cattle. He repeated this for about ten times. He was so passionate doing it.

After the cattle had drank to satisfaction, something that I would never had believed if anybody had told me happened. It was just like a dream, I was unbelievable but ‘oju koro ki n pa oju koro je’ (what you see with your eyes can never be a lie/false). This Fulani man filled the same bottle he had used for the cattle with the dirty water, put it in his own mouth and drank from it. He later resumed giving water to this cattle.

When I saw this, I was highly irritated, I could not fathom what I saw. Then I started worrying, ‘how will I tell people about this?’, ‘will they ever believe?’. I would not have believed if I was told too.

The following day when all other student were on the farm, the Fulani man and his herd of cattle came again and what I had seen the previous day was repeated. Swiftly, I called the attention of everyone to it which made some people surprised, some were not moved while some paid no attention.

I have learnt some things from animals this days that I had to sit back and ask myself, ‘if animals are the human of our world and human the animals, what would we have and how would our world be?’. I learnt a great lesson from my personal experience which I penned in one of my articles: ‘THE CARING DUCK’ (Read: https://mattydammy.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/the-caring-duck/).

The relationship between the cattle and any Fulani man is a bond that is glued by a strong adhesive.

Treat the animals right
Show love to the animals
We all own the world together.
We are inter-related.

SHOBANDE, Matthew Damilola
AERD, FUNAAB.
mattydammy@gmail.com
+2347065074221

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‘Tomato Ebola’: Varsity to produce 800,000 tonnes of tomatoes

Alexander Okere, Benin
The management of the Benson Idahosa
University, Edo State, on Wednesday said that it
has concluded plans to produce 800,000 tonnes of
tomatoes to cushion the effects the shortage of
the fruit in the country.
The statement came nearly 24 hours after the
Federal Government announced that the pest,
Tuta absoluta, also known as “Tomato Ebola”, had
invaded six states.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural
Development, Mr. Audu Ogbe, had on Tuesday
explained that the pest, which was responsible for
the massive destruction of tomatoes in farmlands,
had spread to Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kaduna,
Plateau and Lagos.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Ernest
Izevbigie, explained during a press briefing in
Benin that the tomatoes would be produced
annually by the institution’s Faculty of Agriculture.
He stressed that emphasis would be placed on
quality and quantity, during production in order to
boost food security.
Izevbigie said, “We are making an audacious
statement that Benson Idahosa University is
poised to produce 800,000 tonnes of tomatoes to
ameliorate the present shortage in the supply of
tomatoes in Nigeria in the next one year.
“We are at a risk of food insecurity; that is what is
happening now. If you have food security, you will
have plenty of food available. But food security in
this country is being threatened.”
On the reported attacks by Fulani herdsmen in
several states, the vice chancellor, noted that the
university also had the capacity to cultivate grass
through the use of technology.
Izevbigie faulted the call for the importation of
grass, which he said could put pressure on the
naira and pose health risks due to soil
incompatibility.
He noted that, with the abundance of land, Nigeria
could be self-sufficient in forage crops production,
adding that the soil and conditions were highly
suitable for the production of forage crops.
PUNCHNG

‘Tomato Ebola’ hits six states – FG

Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja

The Federal Government on Tuesday said the pest,
Tuta absoluta, popularly known as ‘Tomato Ebola’,
which is responsible for the massive destruction
of tomato in farmlands, had invaded six states in
Nigeria.
It also disclosed that Nigeria spent about N80bn
($400m) annually importing tomato paste, adding
that many of the imported products were
substandard.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural
Development, Mr. Audu Ogbeh, who said this
during a press briefing in Abuja, stated that the
report that tomato processing factories had
mopped-up tomato fruits in Nigeria was
unfounded and untrue.
According to him, the highly reproductive nature
of the tomato pest coupled with the favourable
environment and lack of management knowledge
for containment resulted in its spread like a wild
fire without any challenge. This development had
led to the destruction of tomato fruits in Jigawa,
Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Plateau and Lagos.
Ogbeh, however, stated that the Federal
Government had started consulting with states
and experts in other to fashion out measures to
tackle the pest.
He said, “The pest can also attack even pepper and
Irish potato. So we are confronting something
quite serious. But the good thing is that we are
tackling it right now as experts will commence
work immediately. We are bringing the
commissioners and governors of states to jointly
attack this pest, which, if not dealt with, will create
serious problems for food security in our
country.”
He stated that the experts had, however, offered
some varieties of tomato that grow well in the
western part of the country as alternatives.
On the amount spent on importing tomato paste,
the minister said, “We have two processing plants
for tomato paste in Nigeria, Erisco and Dangote,
and their capacities are huge. We welcome their
arrival because our annual import bill of tomato
paste is about $400m and it is a good sign that we
can now produce here and make money for our
farmers.”
Proffering measures that could be used to check
pests as well as manage pesticides in Nigeria,
CropLife International, a group of agro-
professionals, advocated the use of hazard-based
approach rather than a risk-based methodology.
The group, in a communique issued at the end of
a two-day West and Central Africa Hub and
Regulatory Workshop in Abuja, also called for the
promotion and adoption of relevant
biotechnologies in farming activities.
In the communique, it insisted on the need for
safe and responsible use of pesticides as well as
safe management of empty pesticide containers.
During the workshop, CropLife got the support of
the Senate towards enacting of a pesticide
legislation to mitigate the problem of misuse and
address importation of pesticides including
marketing, storage, application and use, among
other provisions.
PUNCHNG

Agric in social media age

’Sola Fagorusi
The average age of the Nigerian farmer is 55. It is
an indication that not too many young people
engage in this important activity. There, however,
seems to be a cry everywhere on the need to have
Nigerians, especially young people to embrace
agriculture, no thanks to the dwindling economic
fortune of the country. If that will happen, the
strategies used in agricultural communication
have to change. The methods have to carry along
young people who can readily access, review and
then make decisions. The strategies have to
ensure the continued integration of the present
corps of cocoa and cashew farmers, among
others, in various parts of the country into the
agricultural extension plan of the government or
other stakeholders interested in intervening.
It may be difficult to buy into new media use in
agricultural communication usually offered by
extension agent and other value chain actors
given that agriculture belongs to the rural
economy. What we nevertheless cannot also
ignore is the humongous and upsetting effect of
new media in this age. It is therefore rational to
ponder if it can be co-opted to enhance food
security issues the same way it has been brought
to the table in other industries.
Agriculture sustains the poor who are mostly
rural dwellers. For young people interested in
agriculture, especially those who are unemployed
or underemployed graduates, their first point of
call when thinking of venturing into agriculture is
the Internet. The reality however is that most of
the comprehensive extension materials available
are not Nigeria specific. They are usually from
temperate countries with environmental
situations different from ours.
The bane of agriculture lies in its continual
treatment as a development endeavour. Until it is
considered as business enterprise which it should
be, small farmers will continue to battle with
similar challenges that farmers of the 1970s and
1980s confronted. In some ways, I am not sure the
challenges of agriculture in Nigeria have changed
radically.
They are, perhaps, still the same as the ones I
listed in my primary school agricultural science
notebooks – poor road network, lack of
infrastructure, poor extension services, among
others. Any government that is keen on making
huge impact cannot ignore agriculture. In any
economy in Africa, it is the only pro-poor sector.
On the continental level, it is said that 65 per cent
of global arable land is situated in Africa. Global
arable land stands at about 1.4 billion hectares.
For Nigeria, about 84 million hectares of its total
land mass is arable while only about 40 per cent is
presently cultivated. Nigeria has the largest chunk
of the arable land in Africa as it currently places
ninth on the global rankings of countries with the
highest mass of arable land. A road trip from one
region in the country to another never fails to
convince travellers about this claim.
Small-scale farmers own a tool, which could be
the starting point of taking advantage of the new
media – they all own a mobile phone. They can
make and receive calls and can access text
messages.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural
Development’s Electronic Wallet System is a good
starting point in new media deployment in the
country. The new government needs to review
what is on ground with a view to inculcating a new
agricultural communication plan.
The option of using English, Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa
and Pidgin English for transaction is also non-
discriminatory. It allows farmers to participate to
participate in the digital evolution.
Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya, among others, have
made remarkable progress in ensuring a nexus
between new media and agriculture through
several ICT initiatives available in these countries.
Examples include the East Africa Exchange
Platform, which aids transaction within the East
African Community given the transparency of
agro-product prices it aids. Esoko.com is another
example. It collects and distributes market prices
to small-scale farmers. Kenya-based mshamba.net
is also another bridge-builder for farmers.
Renowned Grameen Foundation understands the
importance of information to farmers and now
leases smartphones to local farmers in Uganda so
they can receive agricultural information that they
also offer them. The M-Pesa revolution in Kenya is
also a good initiative given how it serves both the
rural and urban dwellers. i-Cow is another leading
innovation. “It enables farmers to keep track of
each cow’s individual gestation so farmers never
miss the valuable opportunity to expand their
herds and keep track of feed types and schedules,
local veterinary contact information, and precise
market prices of cattle.” The agricultural
revolution is on in Africa, Nigeria, which should
lead the continent in the new media deployment
for agriculture, on the contrary, presently, has a
lot to from the East Africa community and rural
Asia.
Given the massive aptitude of Nigerian youths for
new media technologies, the platforms should
serve as means to bring more people into
agriculture and mop the streets of unemployed
persons. There is no time agriculture needs more
attention in Nigeria than now. A new media
deployment that is interactive and with localised
information need will certainly enhance
agricultural productivity in the country.
PUNCHNG

WHO rejects calls to move Olympics over Zika fears

The World Health Organisation has ruled out any
change in timing or the location of the upcoming
Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, shunning a call
by doctors and scientists to shift the games over
the Zika virus.
The UN health body outlined its stance in a
statement late Friday after a group of 150
international doctors, scientists and researchers
sent an open letter outlining fears that the arrival
of half a million tourists for the Games could
cause the virus to spread more rapidly around the
world.
But WHO said moving the Olympics would not
have a major impact on the spread of Zika.
“Based on current assessment, cancelling or
changing the location of the 2016 Olympics will
not significantly alter the international spread of
Zika virus,” it said.
Zika can cause birth defects, including a
devastating syndrome known as microcephaly in
which babies are born with unusually small heads
and brains.
Nearly 1,300 babies have been born in Brazil with
the irreversible defect since the mosquito-borne
Zika began circulating there last year.
Addressed to the world health body, the letter
said that pressing on with the Games in Rio, the
second-most affected city in Brazil, would be
“irresponsible” and “unethical”.
“An unnecessary risk is posed when 500,000
foreign tourists from all countries attend the
Games, potentially acquire that strain, and return
home to places where it can become endemic,”
said experts from the United States, Britain,
Canada, Norway, the Philippines, Japan, Brazil,
South Africa, Turkey, and Lebanon, among others.
“Should that happen to poor, as-yet unaffected
places (e.g., most of South Asia and Africa) the
suffering can be great,” it added.
But the WHO statement said Brazil was “one of
almost 60 countries and territories which to-date
report continuing transmission of Zika by
mosquitoes.
“People continue to travel between these
countries and territories for a variety of reasons.
The best way to reduce risk of disease is to follow
public health travel advice,” it said.
The Olympics and Paralympics will take place
between August 5 and September 18, which is
wintertime in Brazil, with the WHO noting earlier
this month that it was the season when there were
“fewer active mosquitoes and the risk of being
bitten is lower”.
AFP
Punch Nigeria

Anticipating JUNE 3rd, 2016.

fgf winner2
Time rows and fly, calendar opens and open again. This clock about to tick and bells waiting chime, glass ready to click and wine about to pour; anticipating JUNE 3rd, 2016, my BIRTHDAY anniversary.

This year, I will be celebrating my birthday in style, thanking God, giving back to the society and starting my personal project. I always believe in one thing and that thing I follow with all that is in me.

1) MATTYDAMMY ACADEMIC AWARD: FUTURE GOAL FOUNDATION, started in my heart in 2012 and has been able to do some things in building the society. This year, the foundation will be organising a programme tagged: Future Grooming, Academic Excellence and Award Programme at Salawu Abiola Comprehensive High School, Osiele, Abeokuta by 12noon. Three secondary schools will participate in this programme and an aptitude test would be conducted for about 90 students.

The 10 best students would be given certificate of excellence while the 3 best students will go home with financial gifts and winner certificate. God helping my team and I, we are planning to further sponsor the education of the winner. This in fulfilment of the foundation’s goal of the proper orientation of youths to set future goals, work toward it so as to build a better future as well as help youths achieve their dreams through scholarship, sponsorship and appraisal.

To achieve this, the foundation need lots of money and I beg you to partner with the foundation so that we can all have a better world. You may have some money in your hand that means less to you but to some people, it means the whole world; why not give and bless lives. fgf winner2

2)MATTYDAMMY FOODS: On this same day, I will launch MATTYDAMMY FOODS officially. This is a business project which is also my final year project, in the Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta. As initiated by Bern University, Switzerland, the Student Value Chain Project is to conduct a research on the viability of the agribusiness of a particular enterprise for 10 years.
mattyreal
To finance this project, I need a total of #300 000 which I have been able to raise half. I am currently seeking for partners (loan) to support the project.

3) THANKSGIVING: Join me on Sunday 5th of JUNE, 2016, 8:00am at TRIUMPhANT ASSEMBLY (O.L.G Street, Somorin, Obantoko, Abeokuta) to give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and Kindness. I am raising a total amount of #20 000 which I want you to be a part of it.

I am sure of this thing, that why I believe strongly that; ‘with GOD all things are possible!’

Pls contact me personally:
SHOBANDE MATTHEW DAMILOLA
+2347065074221
Founder, FUTURE GOAL FOUNATION
C.E.O. MATTYDAMMY FOODS
…perfectly possible!
mattydammy1

MY ACCOUNT DETAILS
Bank Name: GUARANTEE TRUST BANK
Account Name: SHOBANDE MATTHEW DAMILOLA
Account No: 0211662586
Sort Code: 058-179064
Branch: UNAAB ALABATA

ADB Potato Value Chain Project To Begin In Plateau – Coordinator

NAN

The African Development Bank (ADB) potato value chain project that will boost potato farming will commence in Plateau soon.
The Coordinator of the project, Mr Thaddeus Yelwa, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos on Monday. According to him, once the project commences, the state will be producing Irish potato three to four times annually. Yelwa explained that the project aimed at improving the quality and quantity of potato farming in the state would empower farmers with improved seedlings and other
farming tools.
He added that the value chain project would be an offshoot of Fadama ll programme which ended in 2012. “Plateau is rated the leading state in terms of execution and utilisation of funds made available by ADB for fadama ll projects. “This is why the bank has also agreed to include us in the six states that will benefit from the additional funding”. This time around the money will be channel into improving potato farming because we produce it in high quantity here in Plateau.
“This project will soon take off, and it will
cover the aspect of production, storage,
processing, which is value addition and also marketing of the product”. Let me assure you that with all modalities put in place, Plateau will be producing potato four to five times in a year once the project begins,” Yelwa assured.
He further explained that with project on full course, potato farmers would smile home as ordeals they usually encounter would be taken care of by the project. He urged Plateau citizens to go into potato farming, saying “it is a very lucrative and
viable business’’. (NAN)

Source: leadership.ng/news/523001/adb-potato-value-chain-project-begin-plateau-coordinator

NIRSAL Guarantees Over N61bn Worth Of Agric Projects

By Ruth Tene Natsa

The N61bn agric projects guaranted by the Nigeria Incentive Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) has been described as a rescue to the nation’s diversification plan.
A development expert, Ibrahim Mohammed who asserted this in an article sent to LEADERSHIP, stated that NIRSAL through the CBN has guaranteed, 454 projects valued at N61bn with the sum of N753 million paid out as interest rebate to borrowers who repaid promptly to encourage good repayment behaviour thereby minimizing default
He said‘ In the final analysis, NIRSAL as a public liability company wholly owned by the Central Bank of Nigeria is expected to lay the foundation and manage the processes required for massive foreign and domestic investment inflow in the agricultural subsector of Nigeria’s economy’.
In an article, made available to LEADERSHIP Newspaper over the weekend, the Public commentator revealed that, since inception to the end of 2015” NIRSAL has trained over 112,000 farmers across the country during its incubation as a project implementation office within the Development Finance Department of the CBN”
He said “ it a $ 500 Million (N100 billion) public private initiative (wholly owned by the Central bank of Nigeria) which was
incorporated as a Public Limited Liability Company and licensed as a Non-Bank Financial Institution with the primary mandate of facilitating the flow of credit to agribusiness value chain players and collaborating with stakeholders to fix broken agricultural value chains in Nigeria”.
“It is worthy of note that from inception in 2012/13 to the end of year 2015, during its incubation as a project implementation office within the Development Finance Department of the CBN, 454 projects valued at N61.161 billion have been guaranteed by NIRSAL, with the sum of N753.36 million paid out as interest rebate to borrowers who repaid promptly to encourage good repayment behaviour thereby minimizing default. In addition, to date, NIRSAL has trained over 112,000farmers across the
country” he said.
Further unveiling the focal functions of NIRSAL, the commentator said “The company essentially administers a risk sharing fund designed to identify, redefine, measure, re-price and evolve strategies to de-risk and catalyze lending to the Nigerian agriculture value chain.

Source: leadership.ng/news/523354/nirsal-guarantees-n61bn-worth-agric-projects

NIRSAL Guarantees Over N61bn Worth Of Agric Projects

By Ruth Tene Natsa
The N61bn agric projects guaranted by the Nigeria Incentive Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) has been described as a rescue to the nation’s diversification plan.
A development expert, Ibrahim Mohammed who asserted this in an article sent to LEADERSHIP, stated that NIRSAL through the CBN has guaranteed, 454 projects valued at N61bn with the sum of N753 million paid out as interest rebate to borrowers who repaid promptly to encourage good repayment behaviour thereby minimizing default
He said‘ In the final analysis, NIRSAL as a public liability company wholly owned by the Central Bank of Nigeria is expected to lay the foundation and manage the processes required for massive foreign and domestic investment inflow in the agricultural subsector of Nigeria’s economy’.
In an article, made available to LEADERSHIP Newspaper over the weekend, the Public commentator revealed that, since inception to the end of 2015” NIRSAL has trained over 112,000 farmers across the country during its incubation as a project implementation office within the Development Finance Department of the CBN”
He said “ it a $ 500 Million (N100 billion) public private initiative (wholly owned by the Central bank of Nigeria) which was incorporated as a Public Limited Liability Company and licensed as a Non-Bank Financial Institution with the primary mandate of facilitating the flow of credit to agribusiness value chain players and collaborating with stakeholders to fix broken agricultural value chains in Nigeria”.
“It is worthy of note that from inception in 2012/13 to the end of year 2015, during its incubation as a project implementation office within the Development Finance Department of the CBN, 454 projects valued at N61.161 billion have been guaranteed by NIRSAL, with the sum of N753.36 million paid out as interest rebate to borrowers who repaid promptly to encourage good repayment behaviour thereby minimizing default. In addition, to date, NIRSAL has trained over 112,000farmers across the country” he said
Further unveiling the focal functions of NIRSAL, the commentator said “The company essentially administers a risk sharing fund designed to identify, redefine, measure, re-price and evolve strategies to de-risk and catalyze lending to the Nigerian agriculture value chain.

NIGERIA REVISIT THE MAPUTO DECLARATION? Will Nigeria Revisit The Maputo Declaration?

By Ruth Tene Natsa
While Nigeria is signatory to the Maputo declaration signed at the second ordinary assembly of African Union on July 2003, past governments have failed to comply with the recommendations of the declaration which states that African Nations will give 10 per cent of their annual budgets to agriculture. Ruth Tene Natsa, wonders if the present government will revisit the declaration It has been 10 years since African heads of state and government pledged to allocate 10 percent of their national budgets to the agricultural sector as part of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). The commitment, also known as the Maputo Declaration Target, rallied African governments to increase spending in the sector to stimulate agricultural growth, reduce poverty, and build food and nutrition security.
Since then, a total of 13 countries have met or surpassed the 10 percent target in one or more years since 2003,these are Burundi, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Unfortunately Nigeria, the largest African country with a population of over 160 million, of which 70 per cent are reported to be farmers continue to lag behind, despite records showing that the nations agriculture sector contributes 40 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the economy.
Reports show that Nigeria has over 80 million farmers, 80% of whom are small scale farmers located in rural areas and without access to the basic facilities and subsidised inputs provided by government.
At the call for the Maputo declaration in 2003, Development experts across the globe were of the opinions that the recommendation had the potential to turn the fortunes of the continent around since majority of the continent derives its
livelihood from agriculture, unfortunately while the Nigerian agricultural sector has
been acclaimed to be undergoing its greatest transformation ,the sector has continued to witness dwindling support from the government to its agricultural
sector.
Meanwhile it is to be recalled that that the 2015 agricultural budget showed that the Nigerian government’s budgetary allocations to the sector continues to drop from 1.7 percent in 2013 to 1.44 percent in 2014 and to 0.9 in 2015. These very low allocations have consistently remained meagre and not meeting the 10 percent Maputo Declaration Commitment as reiterated in Malabo on Agriculture and Food Security.”
For Program coordinator, Civil Society Coalition for Poverty Eradication, Peter Egwudah , “Nigeria does not have a defined agricultural agenda or framework” little wonder that the country is not able to leverage on its inherent potentials to turn around the fortunes in the sector”
Speaking on the need to adopt the Maputo declaration, he said “without mincing words agriculture sustains the economy of most countries in the globe, from the production of food and employment, agriculture provides the raw materials for manufacturers in developed countries, adding that industrialization of a nation cannot be attained without the development of agriculture across the value chain.
The Food and Agriculture Advisor of ActionAid Azubuike Nwokoye while presenting the organisation’s findings on the 2015 Budget analysis lamented that despite government’s increased attention on agriculture in recent years by introducing a range of policies to increase productivity, Nigeria’s budgetary allocations and actual spending on agriculture are woefully inadequate to reduce poverty, especially on the key services needed by smallholder farmers like women and youths, and that not only was the figures for the states low varying from 2.0-5.9 per cent, but it is also extremely erratic.
As the need to heed to the call for the implementation of the Maputo declaration becomes more urgent with the collapse in the price of crude oil in the International market, Nigeria, is also awaiting its transition in the agricultural sector

Source: leadership.ng/news/523359/will-nigeria-revisit-maputo-declaration