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.

Female participation in African agricultural research and higher education: New insights

Female farmers play a vital role in African agriculture, accounting for the majority of the agricultural workforce. However, agricultural research and higher education are disproportionately led by men. There is an urgent need for greater representation of women in the field of agricultural science and technology (S&T) in Sub-Saharan Africa. Female scientists, professors, and senior managers offer different insights and perspectives to help research institutes to more fully address the unique and pressing challenges of both female and male farmers in the region. Gender-disaggregated data on S&T capacity are scarce, often lack sufficient detail, and focus more generally on S&T rather than on agriculture specifically. Data are not always comparable due to different methodologies and coverage. The Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI) initiative and the CGIAR Gender & Diversity (G&D) Program partnered together to address this information gap. This report presents the results of an in-depth benchmarking survey on gender-disaggregated capacity indicators, covering 125 agricultural research and higher education agencies in 15 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is the first study of its kind to present detailed human resources data on female participation in agricultural science, the main findings of which include the following: • Total capacity in terms of the professional staff employed at the agricultural research and higher education agencies included in this study increased by 20 percent between 2000/01 and 2007/08, and women constituted almost half of this capacity increase. The female population of professional staff grew by eight percent per year on average, which is four times higher than the comparable rate of increase for the male population, indicating that the gender gap in African agricultural sciences is closing. • The proportion of female professional staff employed at the sample agricultural research and higher education agencies increased from 18 percent in 2000/01 to 24 percent in 2007/08, but fewer women have advanced degrees compared to their male colleagues. In 2007/08, for example, 27 percent of the sample’s professional women held PhD degrees compared with 37 percent of the sample’s professional men. • Of concern, about two-thirds of the overall (female and male) capacity increase comprised staff holding only BSc degrees, indicating that the overall quality of capacity in agricultural research and higher education is declining in some Sub-Saharan African countries. Notably, the total number of male professional staff trained to the MSc level declined between 2000/01 and 2007/08; however, more in-depth analysis is needed to explain the underlying causes of these shifts and to what degree they represent structural changes. • Levels of female participation in agricultural research and higher education among the sample agencies were particularly low in Ethiopia (6 percent), Togo (9 percent), Niger (10 percent), and Burkina Faso (12 percent). Shares of female professional staff were much higher in South Africa, Mozambique, and Botswana (32, 35, and 41 percent, respectively). • The female share of students enrolled in higher agricultural education was higher than the female shares of professional staff employed at the agricultural research and higher education agencies in most cases, but a significant proportion of the female students concerned were undertaking only BSc-level studies (83 percent). • Only 14 percent of the management positions were held by women, which is considerably lower than the share of female professional staff employed at the sample’s agricultural research and higher education agencies (24 percent). • The pool of female staff is much younger on average than the pool of male staff. • The prevalence of female professional staff is comparatively higher in fields related to life and social sciences, and comparatively lower in fields involving areas traditionally thought of as “hard science”, such as engineering.

New Holland Agriculture

New Holland is a global brand of agricultural machinery produced by CNH Industrial. New Holland agricultural products include tractors, combine harvesters, balers, forage harvesters, self-propelled sprayers, haying tools, seeding equipment, hobby tractors, utility vehicles and implements, as well as grape harvesters.
The original New Holland Machine Company was founded in 1895 in New Holland, Pennsylvania; it was acquired by Sperry Corporation in the 1970s, then by Ford Motor Company in 1986, and then by Fiat in 1991, becoming a full line producer. Since 1999, New Holland is a brand of CNH Global (NYSE: CNH), which is majority-owned by Fiat Industrial.
New Holland equipment is manufactured all around the world; the current administrative headquarters are in Turin, Italy, with New Holland, Pennsylvania serving as the headquarters for North America and home of the largest hay tools production facility in the world. With 18 plants spread globally, as well as six joint ventures in the Americas, Asia and Middle East, the corporation is present in 170 countries worldwide.[1]
In recent years, the firm has received several awards for its products, designs, and innovative features. Recently, New Holland presented the NH2, a hydrogen powered tractor farmers can refill generating energy from renewable sources. New Holland also owns trademarks for specific innovation on its products such as ABS Super Steer system, Opti Fan System, Intellifill system and others