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2020: Major Events that Shaped Nigeria’s Agriculture

Like all other sectors of the economy, 2020 has been a year of roller-coaster for the Nigerian agricultural sector. This is in addition to the huge impact of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. In this article, AgroNigeria delves into its coverage of the agricultural sector in the last 365 days to highlight the good, the bad and the ugly events that shaped Nigeria’s agriculture this year.


Nigeria Joins the Consultative International Cashew Council

In January, Nigeria’s quest to become the leading global producer and exporter of cashew took another upturn as the Federal Government successfully registered to join the Consultative International Cashew Council (CICC).

The CICC is an international organization with the legal capacity and financial autonomy and is responsible for promoting the sustainable development of cashew across the globe.

Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri, made the official signing for Nigeria at the 3rd session of the Council of Ministers of the Consultative International Cashew Council (CICC).

Nigeria, currently the 4th largest producer of cashew in the world, will benefit largely from the Council in terms of value addition, job creation and income generation.

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Jubilation as RIFAN Launches Mini Rice Pyramid in Taraba

With the aim of restoring Nigeria’s popular commodity pyramids, the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Taraba chapter, in February announced its first-of-its-kind rice pyramid in the state.

The mini pyramid currently houses over 40, 000 bags of rice, the Nigerian Television Authority reported.

National President of RIFAN, Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, who led the launch of the pyramid in Taraba State, said the pyramid was the first since the 60s when commodity pyramids were popular in the country.

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FG Launches Fertilizer Act 2019 to Protect Sub-Sector

The Federal Government in March launched the National Fertilizer Quality Control Act 2019 during a public presentation in Abuja.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Muhammad Sabo Nanono, during the presentation said the legal document would serve to “safeguard and protect the interest of the entire fertiliser value chain players”.

These players include manufactures, producers, blenders, importers, distributor and the end-user farmers in Nigeria. Nanono explained that the document would help to reposition Nigeria’s economy from oil and gas to agribusiness.

The minister further explained that it would provide an enabling environment for fertiliser enterprises to grow, protect investments in the sector and also help farmers “get value for every kobo spent on buying fertilisers for their farms”

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COVID-19: Nanono Instates Joint Task Team to Facilitate Easy Movement of Food, Agric Inputs

In April, Nanono inaugurated a joint technical task team on emergency response to COVID-19. The team, replicated nationwide at state levels, helped to facilitate the free and unhindered movement of farmers, food, livestock and agricultural inputs across the nation during the lockdown.

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 COVID-19: FMARD Releases Grains as Distribution Begins

The Federal Government in April also commenced the distribution of over 70,000 metric tonnes of grains to vulnerable Nigerians, following the lockdown directive aimed at curbing the spread of the novel Coronavirus.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) in a statement disclosed that logistics has been articulated for the release of the grains from six National Strategic Food Reserve Silo Complexes.

The move is part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to provide palliatives to citizens who may be grossly affected by state lockdown he ordered to check the spread of the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country.

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FEC Approves $1.2bn Loan for Statewide Agric Mechanisation

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) in May approved a loan facility of 1.2 billion dollars for the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The approval came after a virtual FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.

The loan, according to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Mohammed Sabo Nanono, would serve to finance the mechanisation of agriculture in the country. Nanono made the observation in a chat with State House correspondents after the meeting. The Minister noted that the planned mechanisation of agriculture across the county would span across 632 local governments.

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Explaining how the ministry would use the fund, Nanono said the fund will also cover the establishment of 632 tractor serving centres across the country.

In the statement released by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the minister provided further details on the project.

He said, “The key to mechanization is the establishment of 632 tractor serving centers across the country. These serving centres will constitute tractor hiring skill, IT and admin office and a chemical workshop and store for storing inputs for agriculture and even output arising from the agricultural sector.”

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FG’s US$1.2 billion Green Imperative Programme Set to Revolutionise Nigeria’s Agriculture

The Federal Government in June announced that it was set to revolutionise Nigeria’s agriculture sector through its Green Imperative programme worth about US$1.2 billion.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, alongside the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Sabo Nanono, made the announcement at a press conference in Abuja.

The Information Minister disclosed that the programme will be implemented over a period of 5-10 years with funding from the Development Bank of Brazil (BNDES) and Deutsche Bank.

He added that insurance for the programme will be provided by Brazilian Guarantees and Fund Managements Agency (ABGF) and the Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Export Credit (ICIEC) of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), and will be coordinated by Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV).

Lai Mohammed explained that the programme, the Nigeria-Brazil Bilateral Agriculture Development Programme, is the outcome of Nigeria’s decision dating back to June 6, 2016, to enrol in Brazil’s Government-Government More Food International Programme (MFIP).

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COVID-19: FG Approves N13bn Intervention Fund for Pest Control in Nigeria

The Federal Government in June also approved the sum of N13 billion intervention fund for pest control across 12 front-line Northern states in Nigeria.

The states are Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba, Yobe and Borno.

Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono made the disclosure during the flag-off ceremony for the 2020 dry season trans-boundary (migratory) pest control held at the Birnin Kebbi International Airport in Kebbi State.

Speaking during the ceremony, Nanono noted that the intervention fund will help to control trans-boundary flow of pests such as quelea birds, locusts and grasshoppers.

It will also help Nigeria to ensure uninterrupted agricultural activities during the 2020 farming season, and to minimize the impact of the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the minister said.

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Nanono: FG to hire 774, 00 Youth, 2.4m Farmers to Get Interest-Free Loans

On June 22nd, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) said that it was conducting an online registration of farmers who would be part of beneficiaries of a N600 billion agricultural financing scheme fund.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Sabo Nanono, made the disclosure in Tofai in Gabasawa Local Government Area (LGA) of Kano State.

The minister made the announcement while flagging-off a support scheme under the World Bank’s Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project (APPEALS) for rice farmers in Kano.

Nanono said that the interest-free facility was targeted at about 2.4 million farmers to encourage the application of modern technologies in rice and cash crop cultivation.

According to him, the initiative will support farmers to achieve improved productivity, enhance self-sufficiency and boost food security in the country.

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COVID-19: FG Starts Agric for Food and Job Plan

The Federal Government in July also launched the Agriculture for Food and Job Plan (AFJP) to aid the plight of farmers in the country. The project is part of the Nigeria Economic and Sustainability Plan (NESP) which seeks to mitigate the negative impact of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on farmers.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Sabo Nanono, launched the plan on Thursday in Katsina State. Nanono explained that AFJP will transform agriculture in the country by improving the economy and the livelihoods of farmers.

It will also allow for the rapid emergence of competitive food production, processing and distribution in the country. The minister noted that AFJP is one of the strategies proposed by the Economic Sustainability Committee (ESC) set up by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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AfDB: Adesina Re-elected President with 100% Votes

The Board of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in August re-elected former Nigerian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwumi Adesina, for a five-year second term as president of the continental bank.

The board, comprising ministers of finance of various member countries, made the decision on Thursday during the Bank’s first virtual edition of its Annual General Meetings.

Chairperson of the Board, Mrs Niale Kaba, who is also the Minister of National Planning, Cote d’ Ivoire, announced his re-election.

AfDB in a press statement said Adesina received 100% of the votes from both regional and non-regional members.

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Nanono Marks One Year in Office

On August 21st, the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, marked his first year in office.

Nanono assumed office on August 21, 2019, following his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari to take-over from ex-minister Augu Ogbeh.

Speaking during his inauguration, Nanono had said that his mandate was to make agriculture a key component of the president’s ‘Next Level’ Agenda.

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Over N1bn Worth of Farm Produce Lost to Flood – Kebbi State Govt

On Sunday, August 30th, the Kebbi State Commissioner for Agriculture, Attahiru Maccido disclosed that the state had lost over N1 billion worth of rice and other farm produce to ravaging flood which affected different farming communities in the state.

The commissioner made the disclosure during an inspection visit to flood-affected areas in Bagudo and Argungu Local Government Areas of the state. Maccido said the flood also destroyed personal belongings of residents and other valuables.

According to Vanguard Newspaper, at least 108 persons has died as a result of flooding incidence in 12 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory since July this year.

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Approved N13 billion Fund Not Only for Pest Control – Nanono

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has said that the N13 billion intervention fund for pest control approved by the Federal Government does not only cover pest control spraying.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Muhammed Sabo Nanono, in an interview over the weekend explained that the fund also covers the fight against transboundary diseases such as the foot and mouth diseases that affect cattle, sheep, donkeys and goats.

AgroNigeria reported in July that the Federal Government sanctioned the fund to tackle the onslaught of destructive pests in 12 front-line Northern states.

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Flood: 52,911 Persons Displaced, FADAMA Farmlands Ravaged – Kebbi SEMA

The Kebbi State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has revealed that a total of 52,911 persons have been displaced by the floods which tore farmlands apart in the state.

Lamenting the horrid situation, the agency noted that majority of the displaced persons were farmers in the millet, maize and sorghum value chains.

Chairman, Kebbi SEMA, Alhaji Sanni Dododo, revealed this on Thursday during a visit to the State Government by representatives of the Jack Rich Aid Foundation.

AgroNigeria gathered that the Foundation paid the visit to commiserate with the people of Kebbi, as well as distribute relief items to the victims.

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Nigeria now Largest Producer of Rice in Africa – FG

Nigeria is now Africa’s largest rice producer, the Federal Government has stated.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono made this claim at a press briefing ahead of the 2020 World Food Day.

The World Food Day is an annual event, held every 16th of October, to mark the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945.

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Tambuwal Lays Foundation for OCP Africa’s $13m Fertilizer Plant

Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has laid the foundation for the construction of a $13 million fertilizer blending plant in the state.

The facility, which is being funded by OCP Africa Fertilizers Nigeria Limited, is located in an industrial layout in the outskirts of Sokoto, the state capital.

Tambuwal assured that the blending plant with a production capacity of 200,000 metric tonnes per annum would turn out a 100% return on investment (ROI) in terms of contract.

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Zabarmari Killings: Bereaved Families Receive N600k, Food Items from Govt

Families of the slain Zabarmari farmers have received N600,000 and bags of food items from the Borno State Government to support their livelihoods even as they mourn their departed loved ones.

The donation was disbursed by a committee assigned by Governor Babagana Zulum to transparently convey external donations to the victims.

Reports revealed that the fund was a combined effort of the Nothern Governors Forum and the Northeast Development Commission (NEDC) to the tune of N20m and N5m respectively.

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AgroNigeria Holds FNS/NAA 2020 in Abuja

On December 1st and 2nd, the Feed Nigeria Summit 2020 was held at the Ladi-Kwali Conference Centre, Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja. Among other top players, the Summit was graced by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono.

On the other hand, the Nigeria Agricultural Awards 2020 was held on the evening of December 2nd at the same venue.

Here are our top five stories from the FNS2020/NAA2020:

  1. #FNS2020: “Fixing Our Railway Network Will Reduce Agric Cost by 70%,’ Nanono Says, Flags Off SAPZ:
  2. #FNS2020: How to Turnaround Nigeria’s Agriculture – AfDB Officials:
  1. #FNS2020: Ogun Suffers Poor Raw Material Supply Despite Kebbi’s Abundance:
  2. NAA2020: Dapo Abiodun Bags Agric Governor of the Year Award:





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