Thursday, 6 March 2014

kwara Kwara to Engage Youths in Agric

As part of measures to checkmate the growing rate of unemployment, especially among youths, Kwara State Government says it will fully engage the youth in agriculture with the provision of funds and farm inputs as part of its agriculture masterplan, KAMP.
The State Governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed disclosed this at a special media chat focused on youth held on Friday at the Governor’s Lodge, Government House, Ilorin.
The Governor said government responsibility was to create policies that would drive the economy, saying that in order to achieve the objectives of youth empowerment, it embarked on the enumeration of youth that would be positioned into various skills including Agriculture.
According to him, government set up the Malete youth farm with the aim of training youth in agriculture, stressing that already, some of the youths have graduated and given funds to set up their own farms across the state. “Already, they are being compartmentalized into crops and locations and are expected to go to their locations to become change agents in agricultural sector”, Governor affirmed..
“The success recorded would now enable us to begin to expand it by choosing people from each of the 16 local governments who would largely become “change agents” , the governor stressed.
According to him, each farmers haven successfully completed his own farming skill would now become a master trainer and cluster himself with another set of five to ten farmers.
“The most important part of it was that we have set up an agric mall because we have to go into agric business on a commercial bases by looking at the constraint that disallow people from making success in the agric business” Ahmed said.
He said the Agric Mall would provide access to funding, agricultural inputs, and access to off-takers, adding that farmers can now go to the Agric Mall to meet farm extension workers and banking support team for their services.
“The scheme would now be replicated in all the three senatorial district of the state. For now we are test running that of Ilorin, the success of Ilorin will now lead to the setting up of one or two in Kwara north, one in Shonga axis one in Kaiama axis and of course some in Kwara south” the governor said.

Agric Ministry To Introduce MDGs Pilot School Feeding Programme In 2014

he Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said on Wednesday that it would soon introduce a pilot school feeding programme under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) projects.
This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja by the ministry’s Director, Information and Protocol, Mr Tony Ohaeri.
The statement quoted the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, as saying this while presenting performance reviews of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)-funded intervention programmes to the House of Representatives Committee on MDGs.
According to the statement, the minister said that the project was aimed at combating malnutrition among children as studies have shown one out of every six children born in Nigeria die before the age of five.
It noted that malnutrition was a major cause of mortality and morbidity among children less than five years of age and pregnant women.
“Extreme poverty and hunger are also silent mental capacity killers among children as an under-fed and malnourished child finds it much harder to learn than his well-fed counterpart.
“To address these problems, the ministry has proposed the introduction of school feeding as a pilot scheme in Sokoto State and the FCT in the 2014 budget proposal’’, the statement said.
It quoted Adesina to have said that the major target of the ministry’s intervention in 2014 would focus on women farmers.
The aim, Adesina said, was to raise the number of women farmers with access to Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme from 600,000 in 2013 to 1.5 million this year.
It stated that records showed that where women accessed support in previous farming seasons, the overall goal of reducing poverty and hunger among farming families was better felt.
The minister decried the lack of a “perfect synchronisation between budget releases and the real farming seasons, leading to non-optimisation of government intervention in climate change, flooding and desertification”.
It stressed the need to increase national irrigation capacity to support increased dry season farming as well as overcoming security challenges in the North-East geopolitical zone.
The statement further quoted Adesina as saying that insecurity had adversely affected productivity and food security in the zone. (NAN)

Monday, 3 March 2014

Maria’s Story..A female Tanzania Farmer

         "When I sleep, all I think about is the potatoes – they are helping my dreams come true."
 I am 43 years old and have five children and four grandchildren. I was born here in Mwasonge, Tanzania and I am a farmer. I used to sleep on a rag on the floor with my children, then I met Mwanaidi. She is a trained farmer, and she gave me new seeds and taught me how to grow orange sweet potatoes. She taught me about soil irrigation, crop multiplication, about dividing vines – the things we didn’t know before. She also taught me more about selling my crop. Customers ask me why my potatoes are different in colour. I explain that they are orange because they contain vitamin A, which provides protection in the body and are good for kids and adults’ growth. So customers get excited and buy from me. Now we sell seeds, chips, biscuits, doughnuts, flour and even pancakes all made from sweet potatoes. I work happily knowing I will be getting out of poverty by doing what I am doing. I am now a leader in my farming group and teach others what I have learned. When I sleep, all I think about is the potatoes. The dream is always the same: to finish the house I am building out of brick stones, to sleep in a comfortable place, to raise the standard of living for my children and grandchildren and send them all to school.