Category Archives: Agriculture

State governors should enforce 1969 law that banned open grazing in Nigeria – Activist Eholor

A crusader of social justice and equality, Chief Patrick Eholor has stated that it’s high time the law and justice system of the country enforce the ban on open grazing which was done in 1969 by the renown Justice Adewale Thompson. He said state governors should as a matter of necessity enforce this law and arrest offenders, to protect their citizens and communities.

Eholor in his argument stated that it was becoming increasingly dangerous to ignore the ban, while gun wielding, killer herdsmen go about raiding communities and destroying farm products, lives and property, and even raping women and girls in order to establish fear and dread across the country.

He decried the spate of insecurity raging across the northern part of the country due to the menace of Fulani cattle grazers, which has continued to increase down in the southern part, despite the ban by the late judge.

He stated ” It is time for Nigerians to be aware that there is a ban on open grazing in this country. As far back as 1969, the renown Justice Adewale Thompson delivered a judgment which placed a ban on open grazing, and thereby made it a crime to enter farms and cause havoc to people’s crops.

“We all must be aware of our rights over this impunity, and get the Justice System to reaffirm that ban. Herdsmen must be arrested and jailed for violating that ban, and this must be done within the ambit of the law, to end the growing terrorism imposed by Fulanis upon our communities.

“For the benefit of those who do not know it, Justice Thompson on 17th April 1979, in Suit no AB/26/66 at Abeokuta Division of the High Court, made the ban and warned of unprovoked killing by Fulani herdsmen.

“His words ‘I do not accept the contention of Defendants that a custom exists which imposes an obligation on the owner of farm to fence his farm whilst the owner of cattle allows his cattle to wander like pests and cause damage. Such a custom if it exists, is unreasonable and I hold that it is repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience and therefore unenforceable…in that it is highly unreasonable to impose the burden of fencing a farm on the farmer without the corresponding obligation on the cattle owner to fence in his cattle.

‘Sequel to this,I ban open grazing for it is inimical to peace and tranquility and the cattle owners must fence or ranch their animals for peace to reign in these communities.’

According to Eholor, “It is high time states put this law into practice and end unprovoked killings by Fulani herdsmen. This information should be shared widely so that state governors should be aware of it. It is not known that anybody appealed against this decision, so in law any open grazing is a violation of the law. State governors should setup task forces that will enforce this law and arrest offenders”.

Obaseki parleys US govt, private investors on agribusiness drive, targets $32m investment outlay

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has said his government is focused on building the capacity of the people to attract private investments in agro-industrialization.Obaseki speaking during a virtual meeting with the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, high-ranking US government officials and agribusiness investors, said the focus of his administration on agribusiness development is to attract investors into the oil palm sector as well as production and processing of cassava into high value Consumer-Packaged Goods (CPG).This is as a private investor, Fayus Inc., secured 5000 ha in the state for a plantation, commenced the development of nurseries for oil palm 600,000 seedlings and fast tracking on processing CPG for export.Governor Obaseki stated that efforts to reposition the agricultural sector in his first term in office shifted from lamentation to getting the job done by instituting the framework for the Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP) in support of oil palm value chain development in the state.He said: “At the sub-national tier of government, we have focused on moving from lamentation to getting the job done. This paradigm shift in the establishment of the EDSOPP will now include a move towards renewed focus on Cassava Industrialization Programme through land administration and civil service reforms.”“We want to build the capacity of our people to attract private investments in agro-industrialization,” the governor added.During the parley, agribusiness investors including Fayus Inc., among others present committed to investing $43.7 million in industrial food ingredients and CPG cassava value creation, food science and technology knowledge transfer and increased trade and investment inflows between the United States, Nigeria and other ECOWAS countries.The firm further disclosed plans to invest over $32 million in cassava value creation in Nigeria and an additional $18 million in Ghana and Togo with support of the USAID funded West Africa Trade and Investment Hub (WATIH).The chairman of Fayus Inc., Fatai Yusufu, noted: “We are ready to get the job done in Nigeria and in Edo State. Over the next four years, I promise you, we will be milling oil palm in Edo State from our investment in the newly allocated 5,000 Ha land by Governor Obaseki’s administration.”Fayus is one of six new oil palm investors in Edo State with state-of-the-art nurseries boasting of over 600,000 high-performance seedlings ready for planting by 2021.“Fayus is committed to sustainable cassava supply chain infrastructure development and value creation in Nigeria to meet its latent demand of 50,000 MT High-Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) for export to North American, European, and Australian markets in addition to in-country manufacturing of CPG in Nigeria and the United States.”

Ekweremadu pledges to assist Enugu farmers access CBN loan

Former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has pledged to assist farmers in Enugu State to access agricultural loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Ekweremadu made the pledge when members of Enugu State Amalgamated Farmers Cooperative Society, covering the 17 councils of the state, paid him a courtesy visit in Enugu.

He said that he was disturbed by the fact that most farmers in the state hardly accessed the agricultural loans disbursed by the government.

According to him, such development cannot encourage farmers or boost large-scale agricultural production.

Ekweremadu, who represented Enugu West Senatorial District, said: “We will do something possible to address the problem and support you.

“Your counterparts in the North have been getting the loan and I do not know you people have not been getting.

“We hope to change the farming you do here to modern and advanced farming as is done abroad. We hope to replicate advanced farming or agriculture in this part of the world.

“Your coming today is to lay the foundation for a better tomorrow and we are forming a partnership this morning.

“I am going to pay more attention to the CBN agric loan, since you have mentioned it,” he said.

Earlier, Chief Obi Okonkwo, leader of the farmers’ cooperative, had told Ekweremadu that one of the major challenges was inability to access both the loans from the state and Federal Governments over time.

Okonkwo said: “We don’t always have access to the loans for farmers given by the state government or the Federal Government via the CBN.

“We would like you to assist us in this regard,” he said.

He lauded Ekweremadu in using his Ikeoha Educational Foundation to reach out to the entire Enugu State and not discriminating against any senatorial zone.

Abia youths protest, demand for Abia indigene as next VC of MOUAU

Youths from Abia State have marched in protest to demand that an Abia indigene be made the next Vice Chancellor of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike(MOUAU).

The Youths, comprising members of the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS), Ohaneze Youth Council (OYC), Niger Delta students Union Government (NIGSUG), among others, marched round the University premises, demanding that the governing Council declares a qualified Abia indigene the next VC of the institution.

As at the time of the protest, the University’s governing Council was meeting as part of processes to elect who becomes the next vice Chancellor.

The student leaders, including Chibuzo Ndom who is the special adviser to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu on student matters, Cokey Nwachukwu, Coordinator Abia Youths, Kingsley Dozie, National Vice President of the OYC and Cyril Samuel for NANS and NIDSUG, said any Vice Chancellor who is not of Abia origin will not be acceptable.

Addressing the protesters, the Chairman of Governing Council and Pro-Chancellor of the institution, Lawal Zayana, said it was the wish of the Council for an Abia indigene to emerge the next vice Chancellor, but maintained that due process must be followed

“It is our wish that an Abia indigene emerge the next vice Chancellor.”

“Presently, we are still working to pick who is going to be the first, the second and the third best among all the candidates and we are praying that an indigene of Abia becomes the first.”

“But, you know we are following procedures in the selection. They undergo exams, presented their documents, and we assess them.”

“We are going to be fair, without favour to anybody, but our prayer is that an Abian will become the next VC.”

“We are together with you, and our prayer is that an Abian becomes the next VC, but our hands are tied.”

Recall that the last four successive vice Chancellors of the University after the pioneer VC who was from Abia, were not Abia indigenes.

IMO STATE GOVERNMENT GRADUATES 305 IMO WOMEN ON SPICES PRODUCTION

It was a sight to behold at the Imo State Secretariat complex, off Port Harcourt Road, Owerri, Imo State, where the Commissioner piloting the affairs of the new but wave-making Ministry, Hon. Noble A. Atulegwu, whom after carrying out this life changing training, organised a remarkable grand-finale.

It was also a true fulfillment of words by the Governor when the trained 305 Imo women were given startup capital today, to venture into production of food spices aimed at making them productive and self-reliant which will propel addition in the food chain of Imo State and equally trigger a boost in the State’s economy.

During the training, the trainers from National Directorate of Employment (NDE) took time to guide the participants to become knowledgeable of various local and foreign food spices and how to produce, preserve and package them for marketing.

According to Hon. Noble A. Atulegwu, with this, Gov. Hope Uzodimma has once again shown to Imo people that he is committed to uplifting their lives and improving the standard of living of Imolites.

In his words; “the impacts which Gov. Uzodimma is making in the lives of Imo people have surely convinced the good people of Imo State that the creation of Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Skills Acquisition was a display of visionary leadership by the Governor.”

Also, the beneficiaries of the training didn’t fail to thank their Governor, Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma and his wife, Her Excellency Barr. Chioma Uzodimma for their kindness and love towards them through the programme.

The Hon. Commissioner for Women Affairs & Vulnerable Groups, Mrs Nkechinyere Ugwu whose presence in the grand-finale added more glamour to the epoch event assured Imo women that the Governor’s wife is committed to protecting their interest and welfare.

Hon. Simon Ebegbulem (Imo State Commissioner for Commerce & Industry) was also present at the grand-finale.

Enugu Agribusiness Hub begin training youths on farm produce processing for the market+PHOTOS

The Enugu State Agribusiness Hub has held the September edition of its monthly Master Class Training Series for Agribusiness Strategic Development.

The Master Class began in August, shortly after the Covid-19 lockdown, and is largely designed to assist Enugu youths and investors find their feet in profitable agribusiness opportunities.

According to to a statement from the Office of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, “Agribusiness puts food on tables of billions of people globally. It contributes a great percentage to the GDP of most nations on earth.

“Our mission is to organize this sector and make it attractive to the active youthful population of our nation such that a great number of entrepreneurs are born from the Agribusiness space”.

The programme which was held on Monday, 7th September 2020, at the old Sunrise Flour Mill, Emene Enugu, was attended by youth farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs.

Speaking to journalists, the Special Adviser to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on Agriculture, Engineer Michael Ogbuekwe described the programme as ‘Agribusiness, which involves the production of agricultural products, processing it, and packaging, and marketing’.

His words “The country as a whole is diversifying and moving into agriculture. The urban youths wonder why they should go back to the village to farm. Our job here is to show them the simple process of processing, packaging and marketing of agricultural products. Enugu State Government under the able leadership of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has set up this programme to sensitize the youths and mentor them to come into the agricultural sector.

“We have a target of 1000 people, and as it is now, every batch won’t exceed 50 people because of the COVID-19. But after this period when the rules are relaxed, we can increase it to 100 people per programme.

“It’s not just theory, but will involve hands-on practicals. They get to see for instance, the practical processing of rice, destoning, polishing, packaging. We are also teaching them that the can start from a humble beginning. You have garri around you already.

“You can start by packaging the garri. Same goes for rice. You can package just a kilogram, some families might just decide they want to buy for a Sunday. This way, students and youths will begin to see how they can make money for themselves”, he explained.

Also speaking, Mr Emeka Hyginus elaborated on simple ways of packaging farm produce.

Others who spoke at the event include Mr Sampson Nweke and Reverend Chinedu Nwoye.

Highlight of the programme was the practical session, where Mr Ejike Nnaji conducted the guests around the facility, explaining the diverse steps taken by farmers to process and package rice for the market.

Below are photos from the programme. Also follow the link https://youtu.be/8hV56NTPaFY to watch the programme on Jungle Journalist TV.

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Threat To Life: Edo Farmer Petitions Police 

Favour Percy -Idubor, Benin

A farmer and businessman, Mr Ebose Ezeigbebe, has petition the Nigeria Police over threat to his life by Obenevburibo community in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo where his 2000 plots of palm farm and oil milling palm is located.

The petition dated August 11, 2020 and titled: “Threat of Violence, Threat to Life, Conduct Seeking to Breach Peace, Possession of Firearms” was addressed to the AIG Zone 5, Benin by lawyer to Ezeigbebe, Valentine Onochie & Co.

Ezeigbebe whose farm was recognised as the best Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) national farmer of the year 2011 under the Tree crops, said the threat was occasioned by his refusal to cede 50 plots of the land to the community.

He said the land which he purchased from the community in 1999, became a controversial one when the Obenevburibo community alleged that he (Ezeigbebe) has gone beyond the 2000 plots sold to him.

He explained that premised on this allegation, he and the community agreed to commission a surveyor to resurvey the land.

“My problem with the community began in 2018 when they approached me and asked that I give them 50 plots of land from what I bought from them, stating that what I had in my possesion was in excess of what they granted me.

“This was coming after 18 years of cultivating and milling oil palm; this was a surprise to me and I refused. They however insisted that I must hire a surveyor to re – survey the land.

“Not minding that the onus is on the community to hire a surveyor, I did in the interest of peace. It turned out that there were extra fractions amounting to three and half plots which i rounded up to four plots and gave the community in the interest of peace,” he said.

Ezeigbebe said instead of taking the four plots, the community refused because they had their sights set on 50 plots because two years passed wihout any word from the community and its elders.

Said he , “To my surprise, they invited me for a meeting on August 7, 2020, but the meeting was more or less like an ambush.

“The community demanded for 100 plots of land and requested that I either give them or they will take it violently and that it was out of pity that they have not already done so.

“They made it clear that they just killed somebody at the neighbouring community and so needed the plots of land to settle the matter with the neighbouring community.”

Ezeigbebe said he has been forced to shut down operations at the facility in order to avoid any unfortunate occurrence.

In their reaction howver, the community denied issuing any threat to the farmer, even as they agreed that an excess of three and half plots of land was discovered upon the survey carried out in 2018.

The Ohen (Second in Command) of the community, Pa Isaac Igiebor, however said the purported survey was carried out by Ezeigbebe.

According to him, “It is true that a meeting was held on August 7, 2020, though I was not in the meeting but the report I got was that there was no argument how much more threat”.

Igiebor also said some members of the community have been invited by the police in respect to the petition.

“We have been invited to appear by the police and we have already contacted our lawyers to that effect,” he stated.

Akinwumi Adesina Reelected as President, Africa Development Bank

The President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has reportedly been reelected.

Sources said the Board of Governors of the Bank elected Adesina being the only one standing for election.

Adesina had earlier called for unity within the institution in order to stabilise the bank to enable it to support the rebound of the African economy from the ravages of COVID-19.

The election held during the opening ceremony of the virtual annual meetings of the Board of Governors and Shareholders of the AfDB, which is being hosted in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

Apart from being the sole candidate in the election, Adesina is the first Nigerian to occupy the role. The former Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture was elected for a five-year term on May 28, 2015, at the 50th annual meetings, which took place in Abidjan.

MASSOB blasts FG over Magu’s detention, cautions Arthur Eze over Igbo unity speech

The leadership of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has said that the Fulani-controlled Federal government is not sincere on the arrest and release of Ibrahim Magu.

MASSOB in a Press release signed by its leader, Comrade Uchenna Madu, said Magu’s release is just a subtle means of deceiving the people. It also cautioned Engineer Arthur Eze against working with the enemy against Ndi Igbo.

The Statement read:

“Ibrahim Magu was sustained as EFCC chairman by President Mohammadu Buhari led administration to do the biddings of Sokoto caliphate and Fulani cabals that currently run the government of Nigeria.

“Magu was loyal to his calling until Bola Tinubu through the secret backing of Yemi Osibanjo penetrated him to do his (Tinubu) services.

“Infiltration of Tinubu interest led to the unhealthy relationship between Ibrahim Magu and the Attorney General of the federation who is also deeply involved in upholding the overall interest of the Fulani cabals and Islamic caliphate wrecking economic and political havoc to Nigeria.

“It was Tinubu’s uncontrolled greed for political and economic power of the Nigerian state that led to the humiliating arrest, prosecution and detention of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu using the instruments EFCC led by Ibrahim Magu to witch hunt Orji Uzor Kalu because of his (Tinubu’s) presidential ambition to succeed President Mohammadu Buhari.

“Bola Tinubu’s secret interference in administration of Ibrahim Magu and domination of the suspended EFCC secretary which was an affront to the interest of Fulani cabals in the presidency, led to the oust of Ibrahim Magu and others.

“Unfortunately, EFCC is not yet rebranded or redeemed from the grip of the cabals in the presidency. It will continue in it’s subtle and hypocritical anti corruption war against the unfavoured politicians mostly the southern Christian politicians. The recent release of Ibrahim Magu from detention and sacking of some top officials of EFCC is a kangaroo drama of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Soon, Ibrahim Magu will be promoted.

“MASSOB is also condemning the statement credited to Chief Artur Eze stating that Ndigbo are not united to clinch political power in Nigeria. We need to clarify that Ndigbo are more and aggressively united in pursuing their common interest in every affairs of our lives. We have proved to them severally of our unity in Nigeria during the sit at home exercises and massive demonstrations that shake the foundation of Nigeria.

“Our unity and coordination are being tested in our daily interactions with fellow Igbos in our respective town Union affairs. Our political unity was shown to Mr Peter Obi during the last presidential election.

“It is some of our political leaders like Arthur Eze who always set their personal interest above the overall interest of Ndigbo that create that false impressions to Hausa Fulani that Ndigbo are not united. MASSOB advises Arthur Eze to always adhere to Igbo interest first before promoting Hausa Fulani irrespective of their support to you. Soon they will see our eloquent and unquenchable political unity in 2023.