policy

Plantain & Banana Stakeholders Plan Inaugural Meeting for August 13

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Over the years, Nigeria has been one of the highest producers of plantain and banana yet this noble produce has never been exported, production remained irrational as its either too much in the market at some times causing glut and wastage or very scarce at other times becoming expensive.

There is no clear policy from the government on the industry though individuals have embarked on massive campaign for increase in production and the potentials in the industry, government has played negligible role in the production, processing and marketing of the crop that has been tagged has the third staple food in the country. Cooperatives and associations on these crops are hardly heard or known.

It is out of passion for these crops and the huge potential the industry can impact on the economy of the country especially now that its struggling that this association is founded to create a new course and way forward.

The aims and objectives of this association are:

1. To organise all existing and intending plantain and banana farmers, processors and marketers.
2. To provide a forum or avenue where members can speak with one voice.
3. To set and improve the standard of production, processing and marketing of plantain and banana which are given to the public, ensure even distribution of produce and maintain fair price profitable to stakeholders and convenient for buyers.
4. To improve plantain and banana industry education at all levels throughout the federation.
5. To participate in planning, policy making and administration of plantain and banana industry at all levels of government.
6. To provide a forum whereby understanding, fellowship and unity can be achieved and maintained at all times amongst all members of plantain and banana industry stakeholders.
7. To raise the status of plantain and banana industry, seek loans, grants and incentives from government, non governmental organisations, financial institutions and international donors.
8. To extend protection:- legal or otherwise.
9. To uphold the international standard of cultivation, harvesting, processing and marketing of plantain and banana to facilitate exportation and balance of trade.
10. To affiliate with All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) and or fraternize with any other association relevant to plantain and banana industry in Nigeria and international bodies with similar aims and objectives.
11. To establish and maintain good relationship with members of the public, other commodity associations and all levels of government.
12. To establish and maintain good relationship with plantain and banana industry stakeholders in Africa, Commonwealth and other parts of the world.
13. To operate benefit schemes for the members as may be decided by the National Executive council from time to time.
So, if you are an existing or intending plantain and or banana farmer, processor or marketer, make it a date with us for the inuagural meeting of the association on August 13th, 2016.

For more inquiry call 08167434244, you can also drop your number and first name to join the whatsapp forum.

BY- Adeniyi Bunmi

AGRA plans policy, regulation reforms to transform agribusiness in Africa.

Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), on Tuesday 10th December 2013 in Nairobi, announced a five-year project that seeks to increase incomes of smallholder farmers through the creation of an enabling policy environment in Africa.

The initiative –Micro Reforms for African Agribusiness (MIRA) – will identify, prioritize and reform specific agricultural policies and regulations
that currently deter or limit private investment in small- and medium-sized agribusinesses operating in smallholder agricultural value chains.

A release from the body said “Over a period of five years, AGRA aims to motivate at least 25 significant
policies or regulatory reforms in selected countries, leading to measurable increases in private sector
investment in local agribusinesses.

“The project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, is expected to increase the number of smallholder farmers accessing improved technologies supplied by agribusinesses operating in local staple food value chains. It will also help them access stable, predictable income generating market opportunities”.
According to the release “This enhanced access to input and output markets is in turn expected to lead
to increased smallholder productivity and incomes, and reduced poverty for smallholder farm- dependent families”.

Continuing AGRA President Ms. Jane Karuku said “We are very excited about this new initiative. It will help African Governments unlock agricultural potential in their countries by supporting their efforts to develop progressive agricultural policies that will attract increased private investment in smallholder agricultural value chains. The initiative aims reform retrogressive agricultural regulations that deter rather than encourage such
investment”.

According to Dr. Steven Were Omamo, AGRA’s Director of Policy and Advocacy, “The MIRA project will provide African Governments with access to high quality local and international technical assistance for identifying, prioritizing and reforming
specific agricultural regulations”. Current regulations often discourage private investment in small- and medium-sized agribusinesses that serve the needs of smallholder farmers.

The project will help build the capacity of African Government leaders and analysts to make better- informed, economically-robust assessments and
decisions about which regulations need to be reformed in order to facilitate increased private investment in smallholder value chains.

The MIRA project has four key objectives:
1. to strengthen African Governments’ demand for regulatory
reforms, by supporting efforts to identify and assess regulations that unintentionally limit private sector
investment in smallholder value chains;
2. to support African Governments’ efforts to reform regulations that limit private sector investment in smallholder value chains;
3. to promote reformed regulations to local and international private sector investors, in order to raise awareness about improved agribusiness-enabling environments in Africa;
3. and to enhance the capacity and commitment of African Governments to continuously review, assess and reform regulations that limit private sector investment in smallholder value chains.

It said that by the end of the project, three major outcomes are expected:
1. reformed agricultural policies and regulations creating more conducive
environments for private sector investment in local agribusinesses operating smallholder value chains
in five countries;
2. increased private sector investment in the “throughput capacity” of existing and new local agribusinesses – those supplying inputs to smallholders and/or purchasing farm outputs from them;
3. and at least 25 significant policy or regulatory reforms that induce measurable increases in private sector investment in local agribusinesses operating in smallholder agrifood
value chains.

Sourced from Vanguard News Paper.

Call For Youth Presenters at the Think Tank Event on Science and Policy Options on Climate Change and Fisheries in Africa

Youth, this is yet another opportunity.

NEPAD Fish Node

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Grab this rare opportunity to present your views on what the youths can do to safeguard fisheries and aquaculture against climate change”

Deadline : 15th November 2013

Download:  Call For Youth Presenters

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Sustainable food systems for food security and nutrition -IFAD President’s speech #WFD

Statement by IFAD President on the occasion of the 33rd observance of World Food Day

Today, on World Food Day, I am not going to talk to you about climate change, although our topic is sustainable food systems.

Neither am I going to talk to you about the financial environment, although it has an important relationship to food security.
Nor am I going to talk to you about the 842 million men women and children who go to bed hungry every night, appalling as that statistic is.

You already know about the human suffering caused by poverty and hunger, and the role played by climate change and unstable economies.
Today, what I want to talk to you about is not what is wrong, but about the steps we must take to set it right. I want to talk about three elements that are preconditions for sustainability. Three things that need to change because, without them, all of our well-meant efforts will not be generating the lasting benefits that 842 million people need.

The first thing that must change is government policy. It is time for governments to go beyond words to action. Every country needs policies for inclusive growth to maximize its food production potential, and in many countries that means supporting smallholder-led agriculture.

This includes policies that offer incentives for investment in agriculture and reduce the risks for farmers and private sector partners alike. Policies that encourage inclusive business models. Policies that facilitate the ability of poor farmers to access finance and technology and to have rights to water and land.

We are starting to see progress, with national policies being tailored to local needs. In Burundi, for example, IFAD supported CAADP in lobbying for policy changes. As a result, the government has introduced fertilizer subsidies and increased the share of the budget to agriculture from 3.6 per cent in 2010 to 10 per cent in 2012; or in Panama, where an IFAD-supported project provided economic and logistic support for negotiating laws for indigenous peoples’ land rights.

And there are also encouraging developments with Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation Agency, Tanzania’s Growth Corridor. And, of course, my own country, Nigeria, which has made agriculture a top priority of its Transformation Agenda.

Now to the second element – of effective institutions – because policies are only worth the paper they are written on if they are supported by strong institutions. We have seen the power of institutions to transform agriculture and economies in Brazil, where EMBRAPA, working jointly with other national and state level institutions, has contributed to an enormous transformation in just 30 years. Today, Brazil is no longer a food importer and becoming one of the biggest producers and exporters in the world.

The third essential element for sustainable food systems is infrastructure, from production to processing plants, warehouses, roads and ports.

Today, more than one third of the rural population of sub-Saharan Africa lives five hours from the nearest market town of 5,000 people, making transport and marking costs too high. Across the continent, badly maintained roads are the norm.

Equally important are processing and storage facilities. An estimated 20 to 40 per cent of crop production is lost in sub-Saharan Africa because of deterioration after harvest. Post-harvest losses on this scale are scandalous, particularly on a continent where millions of people go hungry.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We know that smallholders can contribute to sustainable food systems if they have well-functioning infrastructure, supportive policies and institutions. We have seen it in Brazil, China, Malaysia, and Viet Nam.

On this World Food Day, let us renew our commitment to a world without hunger. Let us work to support governments that are making the right policies, governments that are building effective institutions and governments that are investing in infrastructure.

But let us also call on every government to do its part.

As I have said before, I will say again today: No amount of sunlight or rainfall will allow a plant to grow and flourish unless it is first fully rooted in its own soil.

Growth and development are intrinsic processes and they must first be nurtured and cultivated from within. Only then can external forces add value to the process.

Thank you.

16 October 2013, Rome
Sourced HERE