Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Kenton Dashiell of IITA

Kenton Dashiell is the Deputy Director General for Partnerships and Capacity Building. Dr. Dashiell received degrees from Purdue University, Oklahoma State University, and the University of Florida in Agronomy and Crop Breeding.
He was the Soybean Breeder for IITA based in Ibadan, Nigeria from 1983 to 2001. While at IITA he worked with several partners in the National Agricultural Research Systems and other IITA scientists to develop soybean varieties with promiscuous nodulation, high grain and fodder yields, good resistance to pod shattering and several diseases. Some of these varieties were tested and released in several African countries and are now being grown by smallholder farmers. He was the Leader of the Grain Legume Improvement Program at IITA for many years and managed soybean and cowpea projects in several African countries. Before leaving IITA in2001 he was the Director of the Crop improvement Division. Before joining IITA in 2012 he was the Leader of the N2Africa Project based with CIAT-TSBF in Nairobi, Kenya. This project is working with partners in eight African countries to increase the productivity and nitrogen fixation of grain legumes. He was the Location Coordinator and Research Leader for the North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory at the USDA-ARS in Brookings, South Dakota, for 6 years and, the groundnut breeder at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, for 3 years.
At present his biggest interests include moving technologies that increase crop yields in farmers’ fields and improving the health and nutrition of African families from the labs and research fields to the end users, and building the capacity of the next generation of agricultural scientists, technicians, extension agents and farmers. He is always looking for new partners for IITA in the areas of agriculture, food, nutrition, and health.
For Further details, use:

Friday, 21 September 2012

The Tony Elumelu Foundation for Corporate Farmers®

The Tony Elumelu Foundation launches the Tony Elumelu Fellowship Programme with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

‘Investment in youths, agriculture, way out

Two major directions by the Federal Government will determine its impact on the economy in 2012, a leading cleric and General Leader, Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church, Ayo Ni O, Surulere District, Lagos Dr. Gabriel Fakeye, has said.
According to Fakeye, who spoke on the religious group’s position on the economy in Lagos on Saturday, the Federal Government needs to invest on agricultural development to end youth unemployment in the country in the New Year.
Fakeye, who stated this during a press briefing, said Nigeria needed to return to its root for development to take place. He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to give priority to the agricultural sector to provide employment for the youths.
He said, “Nigeria is like a house removed from its foundation, the collapse of such a house is inevitable. It is a pity that we moved from the initial foundation, which was based on Agriculture.”
According to him, the country must develop its human capacity to avoid importation of food products. He said that relying on other countries for food could not be the best solution to solve the problem of the masses.
“Nigerians are hungry, compared with what obtains in other nations. To boost our economy, we need to increase food production. Increasing import duty on rice to 100 [per cent cannot be a solution. Moreover, as those nations from whom we import are facing several production crises, e need to develop our own,” he said.
Specifically, he urged the Federal Government to restructure the agricultural sector to boost employment and export capacity.
“Our next agenda on the economy should be the revitalisation of our industrial sector. This will naturally serve the dual role of providing employment for our youths and also boost our export capabilities as a nation.
“The Federal Government should take drastic steps to make sure that Nigerians enjoy uninterrupted power supply, as this is the sure way to attract foreign investors and encourage local investors,” he said.
He also said the country needed to focus more on youth empowerment to secure the future of the nation and build personalities that will manage our institutions.
He said, “It is sad that this nation has over the years neglected its youths. They are the same people involved in armed robbery, terrorism, kidnapping and militancy. This has to stop and the first and most critical solution is the creation of employments for these youths.”

Monday, 17 September 2012

Corporate Farmers Reality Tv show hit your screen soon

        Corporate farmers is the first ever Agric Media reality TV show from the stable of Hayzee Mind Concept of  which Thirty six(36) youths from the age of 18-30 within Nigeria through registration online in website www.corporatefarmers.com After which registered youth will be called upon for auditioning for Corporate farmers reality show to select the 36 contestants who will participate in the event that tends to bring back the dying habit of Agriculture amongst the youth in Nigeria and Africa..

Friday, 14 September 2012

Grow Africa

Washington DC, USA, 18 May 2012 – Over forty-five companies have committed to invest over US$ 3 billion in Africa’s agricultural sector as part of the G8’s New Alliance for Food and Nutrition Security initiative, US President Barack Obama announced today. The commitments were developed in collaboration with Grow Africa, an innovative partnership led by the World Economic Forum, the African Union and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).
“Today, I can announce a new global effort, bringing together all global players for a shared effort – African governments and donor countries, which agreed to align their donations, and private sector players, international as well as non-governmental organizations,” said President Obama, speaking at the Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security in Washington DC, an event hosted by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. “We will stay focused on clear goals, boosting farmers’ income and helping 50 million people lift themselves out of poverty. We can unleash the change that reduces hunger and malnutrition. This is the new commitment we are making today.”
Heads of state and government from Ethiopia, Tanzania and Ghana also participated in the event.
The investments span different stages of the agriculture value chain across three African countries, offering the prospect of economic development as well as improvements to food and nutrition security. Currently, the commitments comprise a total of 63 Letters of Intent, with African businesses making up 21 of the signatories.
“These investments, developed through the Grow Africa Partnership, represent a big step forward for African agriculture and offer further proof that today the handshake has replaced the handout as the principal partnership model for the region,” said Josette Sheeran, Vice-Chairman of the World Economic Forum.
“Private-sector investment can accelerate growth in a way that benefits Africa’s smallholder farmers,” said Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union Commission. “Through Grow Africa, we believe it is possible to build a platform that will benefit all of Africa.”
More companies are looking to Africa for long-term investing.
“We are making a major commitment to invest in expansion of Africa's agricultural productivity and food security by providing crop nutrition and knowledge,” said Joergen Haslestad, Chief Executive Officer of Yara International.
“Africa has become one of our strategic growth regions and our aspiration is to contribute to the transformation of African agriculture,” added Michael Mack, Chief Executive Officer of Syngenta.
The Grow Africa partnership, convened jointly by the African Union, NEPAD and the World Economic Forum, works to accelerate sustainable investment in African agriculture to improve food security. The Grow Africa Investment Forum, held on 9 May 2012 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, engaged over 270 leaders, including heads of state and government from Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania, as well as leaders of African and global business, international organizations, donor agencies and farmer organizations. Seven countries showcased specific investment and partnership opportunities aligned to their national priorities for agricultural transformation.

Innovation in agriculture

The private market does a great job of innovating in many areas, particularly for people who have money. The focus of Melinda’s and my foundation is to encourage innovation in the areas where there is less profit opportunity but where the impact for those in need is very high. That is why we have devoted almost $2 billion to helping poor farm families, most of which are led by women, boost their productivity while preserving the land for future generations. Those funds are invested in many areas of innovation, ranging from sustainable land management, to better ways to educate farmers, to connecting farmers to functioning markets.
We do all these things with one goal in mind—helping people like Christina Mwinjipe, a farmer I met last year in Tanzania. Christina supports her family by farming cassava, a staple crop that provides a basic diet for more than 500 million people worldwide. (When dried to a powder, cassava is known as tapioca.) In the past two years, Christina’s crop has been invaded by two cassava diseases. The leaves of some of her plants are curled and withered, and covered in the white flies that carry mosaic disease. The roots of other plants are rotted by brown streak disease. Because of these diseases, she is depleting her savings to buy cassava to feed her three children. Her oldest son just passed his examinations to enter secondary school, but she doesn’t know where she’ll find the money to pay his fees. She is not sure what she will do about food when her savings run out.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The African Farm Radio

The African Farm Radio Research Initiative (AFRRI) was a 42-month action research project implemented by Farm Radio International (FRI) in partnership with World University Service of Canada (WUSC), and with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The following are the results of this multi-year, multi country research project that are among the first in-depth studies of rural radio in Africa. The first report outlines our use of a newly developed methodology called the Participatory Radio Campaign. The second report presents our analysis of market information services (MIS) and their effectiveness on the radio. The last report presents our results from integrating newer ICTs with radio to create more effective farm radio programs.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is one of the world's leading research partners in finding solutions for hunger, malnutrition, and poverty. Our award-winning research for development (R4D) addresses the development needs of tropical countries. We work with partners to enhance crop quality and productivity, reduce producer and consumer risks, and generate wealth from agriculture.
We are a nonprofit organization founded in 1967, governed by a Board of Trustees, and supported by several countries.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Agriculture and agribusiness: Youth dynamism & turnaround in Nigeria (1)

Agriculture and agribusiness: Youth dynamism & turnaround in Nigeria (1)

Chinese motivating Agric investments in Africa

'China long-term motivation for investing in African farming could be to export food back to its home markets, a research paper from Standard Chartered bank has warned. The world's largest country is more or less self-sufficient in grains, but within 20-30 years it is expected to need to import an extra 100m tonnes of food a year to meet the growing appetites of its middle classes.
"Where China will turn to meet these agricultural needs is the key question," said the paper's authors, who have analysed China's involvement in African farming. "Concerns about global food security have raised questions over whether investments in African agriculture are for export. While we do not see investment as securing Chinese food security for now, this could be a longer-term motivation."
China's investment in African agriculture is still insignificant compared with the money it has ploughed into African oil, gas, mineral resources and infrastructure. Of an estimated $67bn of large-scale investments in Africa from 2006 to 2012, only $3.5bn was invested in agriculture according to the bank, which earns 90% of its profits from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
But there are strong signals that China is getting more interested in African farming. It has pledged to provide, in the next few years, up to 3,000 experts for technical assistance and training, as well as training 2,000 African agricultural technicians and setting up 14 major agricultural technology centres.
Africa's population is expected to match or overtake China's by 2050, but the paper says China will soon need to develop deeper trade ties with key African countries to help feed its 1.3 billion population.
"China's current engagement in African agriculture is primarily aimed at addressing African food security," said the report. "[But] by investing in the region with the greatest agricultural potential, China could also be seeking to support its long-term food security."
China, along with Middle East countries and India, has been accused of "land grabbing" in Africa, but this may have been exaggerated, according to the paper. "Reports that China's ZTE Agribusiness Corporation is leasing 3m ha [hectares, 7.4m acres] to produce palm oil in the Democratic Republic of [the] Congo appear overstated," said the study. "In reality, this is likely to be closer to a total 100,000 ha. The leasing of land by Chinese companies across Africa is small compared with that of India and the Middle East."

Agricultural Transformation Agenda

The council, which is chaired by President Jonathan and coordinated by the minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwumi Adesina, will oversee the implementation of the agenda. Leading entrepreneur Aliko Dangote and former President Olusegun Obasanjo, owners of some of the largest agricultural enterprises in the country; Kanayo Nwanze, president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); and American economist and Columbia professor, Jeffrey Sachs, are also members of this council. The council is kicking off the project by identifying key stakeholders in the public and private sectors as well as the agricultural civil society and mapping out areas of collaboration with all key partners (especially young people) in order to maximise impact in the expansion of these value chains.
The primary objective of the ATA is value adding, a much needed development in the agricultural sector. The focus will be on the value chains of ten crops: cassava, rice, sorghum, cotton, cocoa, oil palm, tomato, onion, soya beans, and maize, as well as livestock and fisheries. While the 3.5 million jobs are projected to be generated in the first five value chains, many more are promised as programmes in the other chains kick off. Another objective, self-sufficiency, is to be achieved by curtailing the importation of home-grown crops like rice, wheat and sugar for which Nigeria spent a total of over N1 trillion in the year 2010 alone.
Cassava as the Flagship Crop
The ministry is particularly interested in curbing current importation habits in a bid to reach self-sufficiency. To this end, the ministry is on its way to turning cassava into a major export crop with an annual turnover of N40 billion in exports.  According to Adesina, the cassava value chain is projected to generate 1.2 million jobs for Nigerians. The first step in this journey to make cassava a leading food and export crop is the proliferation of the cassava bread across stores and homes in the country. Plans are already underway to export 1 million tonnes of cassava chips from Nigeria to China. It is projected that with the substitution of 20 percent wheat flour with cassava flour in the making of cassava bread, and the decrease in the volume of imported wheat, N60 billion will injected into the economy.
What to Expect
This is an exciting period in the agricultural industry as we celebrate one year under the current minister, who has appeared very focused and in tune with the issues from day one. The cassava bread policy and the fertiliser voucher scheme, while drawing suspicion and even unveiled scepticism from many Nigerians, have ultimately convinced Nigerian that the minister is not sleeping. And now, the launch of this full-fledged agenda has won the hearts and minds of more people. As Nigerians become full of hope in this new project, its real success will depend on its ability to reach smallholder farmers and youths across the nation, adequately support and build the capacities of farmers and entrepreneurs, and use efficient and effective channels of distribution, monitoring and evaluation.: Harambee