Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Water Management by Pardeep Bogra

Climate Change is a serious global issue. Temperature of earth is also increasing year by year. It is causing increase in Natural Disasters like flood, draught & cyclone. Worldwide few places are facing excess rain and few places have deficit rain. Groundwater level is also decreasing globally. Very well planned water management is required to
overcome these issues. 

Sometimes in case of excess water in dams, it is required to release
the water, it causes flood most of the times. To control/minimise flood, rivers can be connected with each other thru canals. For example, river Ganga can be connected with Yamuna in northern region of India. 

In a situation when level of water is rising in Ganga but level is controllable in Yamuna, water can be transferred in Yamuna. It will also sort out the issue of water scarcity in Delhi. Connectivity of rivers & dams with each other will help in transferring excess water to draught places. Canals can also be connected with Wells/Bourwells and Water Harvesting System. It will help in increasing the groundwater level. In case of excess water in rivers & dams, water can be transferred underground. Flow of water may also help in generating electricity.

In rainy season, water coming from roofs of homes, buildings and housing societies flows in streets and sometimes results in flood. Small water harvesting systems can be developed to transfer water underground or flowing water can be transferred directly underground thru hand/tullu pump pipeline. It will help to control flood and restore ground water level. Well planned Global Water Management will also help to control Climate Change and its impacts.

Glaciers are melting, sea water level is rising, we may release river water to deserts thru canals. Pipelined canals from Europe to Sahara can be build. There are many other deserts around the World.

Air Pollution

- Carbon emission is another cause of Climate Change. To reduce hazardous particles in environment, chimneys in industries must be covered with net/filter # AirPollution

- There is huge scope for planting trees on both sides of railway
tracks and canals # forestation#AirPollution

Pardeep Bogra

Monday, 22 February 2016

Corporate Farmers and Corporate Nigeria

Agriculture contributed 41.84% to Nigeria’s GDP in 2009, and the sector employs around 70% of the workforce. The main agricultural goods produced are yams, cassava, peanuts, millet, sorghum, rice, maize, okra, cocoa, palm oil, rubber, cattle, fish and timber. Nigeria is a net importer of agricultural goods – in 2009, imports in the sector added up to more than USD3 billion, while agricultural exports accounted for about USD1.4 billion. Major agricultural imports are wheat, rice and sugar. Most agricultural imports come from the US and the EU. The country’s main agricultural exports are cocoa beans, rubber, sesame seeds and cocoa butter. Key agricultural export destinations are the UK, the US, Canada, France and Germany.

Most of those who work in agriculture are small-scale subsistence farmers: the country has around 14 million small farmers, and the average size of farms in the south of the country is 1 hectare, while in the north, the average farm is around 3 hectares. Around 33% of the country’s land is used as arable land, though about 80% of the land is potentially cultivable; there is no shortage of land suitable for cultivation overall, but more densely settled areas in the south eastern states have suffered from too much demand for arable land, giving rise to internal migration.

Much of Nigeria’s agriculture is carried out according to traditional methods, with mechanisation relatively rare. Government efforts to encourage modern methods have had limited success, since farmers frequently find it difficult to adapt to new technologies and have limited capital for updating machinery.

The National Centre for Agriculture Mechanisation (NCAM), a government parastatal, was set up in 1990 to develop and promote mechanised farming in the country, through manufacturing tools, importing machinery and training farmers. The centre is the only one of its kind in West Africa, but has been held back in the past by underfunding.
Other factors that have held back the agricultural sector in the past include lack of investment, inadequate infrastructure and poor transport networks linking crops to markets. The government is working on regenerating the sector by addressing these and other problems.

source: http://www.corporate-nigeria.com/index/agriculture/agriculture_overview.html

Agriculture and Employment in Nigeria

In terms of employment, agriculture is by far the most important sector of Nigeria's economy, engaging about 70% of the labor force. Agricultural holdings are generally small and scattered; farming is often of the subsistence variety, characterized by simple tools and shifting cultivation. These small farms produce about 80% of the total food. About 30.7 million hectares (76 million acres), or 33% of Nigeria's land area, are under cultivation. Nigeria's diverse climate, from the tropical areas of the coast to the arid zone of the north, make it possible to produce virtually all agricultural products that can be grown in the tropical and semitropical areas of the world. The economic benefits of large-scale agriculture are recognized, and the government favors the formation of cooperative societies and settlements to encourage industrial agriculture. Large-scale agriculture, however, is not common. Despite an abundant water supply, a favorable climate, and wide areas of arable land, productivity is restricted owing to low soil fertility in many areas and inefficient methods of cultivation. Agriculture contributed 32% to GDP in 2001.

The agricultural products of Nigeria can be divided into two main groups: food crops, produced for home consumption, and export products. Prior to the civil war, the country was self-sufficient in food, but imports of food increased substantially after 1973. Bread, made primarily from US wheat, replaced domestic crops as the cheapest staple food for much of the urban population. The most important food crops are yams and manioc (cassava) in the south and sorghum (Guinea corn) and millet in the north. In 1999, production of yams was 25.1 million tons (67% of world production); manioc, 33.1 million tons (highest in the world and 20% of global production); cocoyams (taro), 3.3 million tons; and sweet potatoes, 1,560,000 tons. The 1999 production estimates for major crops were as follows (in thousands of tons): sorghum, 8,443; millet, 5,457; corn, 5,777; rice, 3,399; peanuts, 2,783; palm oil, 842; sugar cane, 675; palm kernel, 565; soybeans, 405; and cotton lint, 57. Many fruits and vegetables are also grown by Nigerian farmers.

Although cocoa is the leading non-oil foreign exchange earner, growth in the sector has been slow since the abolition of the Nigerian Cocoa Board. The dominance of smallholders in the cocoa sector and the lack of farm labor due to urbanization holds back production. Nigeria has the potential to produce over 300,000 tons of cocoa beans per year, but production only amounted to 145,000 tons in 1999. Rubber is the second-largest non-oil foreign exchange earner. Despite favorable prices, production has fallen from 155,000 tons in 1991 to 90,000 tons in 1999. Low yield, aging trees, and lack of proper equipment have inhibited production.

Agricultural exports (including manufactured food and agricultural products) decreased in quantity after 1970, partly because of the discouraging effect of low world prices. In 1979, the importing of many foods was banned, including fresh milk, vegetables, roots and tubers, fruits, and poultry. The exporting of milk, sugar, flour, and hides and skins was also banned. During 1985–87, imports of wheat, corn, rice, and vegetable oil were banned as declining income from oil encouraged greater attention to the agricultural sector. In 1986, government marketing boards were closed down, and a free market in all agricultural products was established. In 2001, agricultural exports totaled $323.5 million. Exports of cocoa beans that year totaled $210.4 million; cotton lint, $21 million.

What is Agriculture in Nigeria?

Nigerian agriculture is characterised by considerable regional and crop diversity. Analysis of this sector, particularly the food sub-sector, is fraught with serious data problems. However, the available statistics provide a broad overview of development in agriculture upon which we can make some broad generalisations about its role in economic development and structural change in Nigeria.
 In the 1960s, the agricultural sector was the most important in terms of contributions to domestic production, employment and foreign exchange earnings. The situation remained almost the same three decades later with the exception that it is no longer the principal foreign exchange earner, a role now being played by oil.

The sector remained stagnant during the oil boom decade of the 1970s, and this accounted largely for the declining share of its contributions. The trend in the share of agriculture in the GDP shows a substantial variation and long-term decline from 60% in the early 1960s through 48.8% in the 1970s and 22.2% in the 1980s. Unstable and often inappropriate economic policies (of pricing, trade and exchange rate), the relative neglect of the sector and the negative impact of oil boom were also important factors responsible for the decline in its contributions.
 On its diversity, Nigerian agriculture features tree and food crops, forestry, livestock and fisheries. In 1993 at 1984 constant factor cost, crops (the major source of food) accounted for about 30% of the Gross Domestic Products (GDP), livestock about 5%, forestry and wildlife about 1.3% and fisheries accounted 1.2%.

In most of the surveys and censuses conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which is the major producer of agricultural statistics in Nigeria, crops and livestock are always considered together because of the tendency for most of the farmers to practise crops and livestock husbandry simultaneously. A separate discussion of livestock will involve duplication of some aspects of the survey and censuses designed for collecting crops statistics.

Source: http://www.nigerianstat.gov.ng/sectorstat/sectors/Agriculture

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

How can Counterfeiting in Agriculture be solved?

There are several solutions to the problem, which, when used in tandem to one another, can create a strong barrier against the threat of fake pesticides.
§  Improve detection strategies (anti counterfeiting solutions like Sproxil)
§  Increase awareness and education of the problem and available solutions
§  Promote vigilance with farmers and end consumers
§  Improved enforcement for compliance by the government
§  Take a proactive approach in detection and combating the issue by law enforcement
§  Improved purchase processes by farmers (authorized dealer purchases only)


While individual stakeholders can make a significant impact on protecting their own farmers and end-consumers, collaboration and government involvement are key requirements for combating fakes.
We need
§  Collaboration of all stakeholders
§  Greater government involvement

Counterfeit pesticides threaten companies around the world, from small farms to multi-national businesses.
Articles are owned by Sproxil Nigeria Limited and it cannot be used without their consent..

Impact of Counterfeit Pesticides

Did you know?
“In China and India, illegal pesticides are believed to comprise about 30 percent and 20 percent of the pesticide markets in these countries, respectively.” (Source: University of Florida IFAS Extension)

China and India are not the only countries dealing with the problem of counterfeit pesticides; it is a global problem with adverse effects on all stakeholders. Counterfeit pesticides affect all aspects of the economy from the market to the environment to the end consumers. Before we discuss solutions, let’s talk about the impact of counterfeit pesticides.

The Impact of Counterfeit Pesticides


§  Low detectability
§  Financial impact
§  Reputation and brand erosion

Counterfeit pesticides are very hard to detect due to the sophisticated packaging and labeling that counterfeiters use to disguise their products. Some fake products even bear anti-counterfeiting labels and technologies that make it more difficult to detect and separate the genuine products from its substandard counterparts. When farmers buy fake pesticides, genuine businesses are losing market share to counterfeiters. Furthermore, fake versions of branded products hurt the reputation and brand name of genuine companies and put them at risk for unnecessary lawsuits.


§  Financial impact
§  Poor efficacy
§  Health impact

When pesticides do not work as intended, farmers waste money on products that poison their crops or leave them susceptible to harmful pests. No crops mean a significant impact on their livelihood, further impacting their financial health. Even worse, if the fake pesticides contain dangerous and toxic chemicals, the farmers could be putting their health and wellbeing at significant risk.


§  Health impact

Farmers are not the only ones who can be impacted by toxic chemicals used in fake pesticides. If crops with fake pesticides make it to market, end consumers could be at risk of ingesting dangerous chemicals, leading to short term and/or long-term health effects.


§  Toxic ingredients
§  Water contamination

Ingredients that are not approved for use in pesticides can potentially damage the environment. Fake pesticide may not decompose easily, hurting the soil, water, and the overall ecosystem. This can lead to longer-term issues with future crops that are planted in that soil.


§  Financial impact
§  Job creation
§  Innovation and efficiency impact

The government is not immune to the impacts of counterfeit pesticides. The cost spent to fund enforcement and compliance of using approved pesticides can be great, depending on the significant of agribusiness in the region. If the industry is compromised, it does not grow, leading to reduction in jobs, further negative impact on the economy, and more pressure on government. If the threat of counterfeits were taken out of the picture, government could spend more resources on productive ways to promote industry innovation and efficiency.

Articles are owned by Sproxil Nigeria Limited and it cannot be used without their consent

Effect of Counterfeiting on Agriculture

John is a 35-year-old man that lives in Ogun State. He is married with two children. John is a farmer and has a small plot of land with hopes to acquire more. He began farming five years ago and really enjoys his profession. Tomatoes are his specialty but he also harvests other foodstuffs. In this short time, he has made strong connections with the women at the market that buy from him and the suppliers of crop protection products.

Last year, John realized that the pesticides he had purchased were not effective in preventing his crops from being destroyed. It seemed the more he applied the pesticides; the more his crops were destroyed. His yield was not sufficient to take to market. By the time he racked up enough to take to the market, the strong relationships he had established with the market women was strained because of inconsistencies in his supply. This left him a very frustrated farmer because his income was affected; his family was suffering as a result of this.

John traced the problem down to the quality of the crop protection products he was using and realized they were counterfeited products.

John’s story is one of many small-scale farmers. They take the risk to start running their farm and build relationships with suppliers and the traders. But counterfeiters make it difficult by intercepting the supply chain of crop protection products. They replace good quality products with their fake versions, which could be harmful short term and even have long-term health effects for the end consumers. 

Articles are owned by Sproxil Nigeria Limited and it cannot be used without their consent