Thursday, October 19, 2017
. SUN FARMING : TOMATOES GROWN ON THE ROOF OF LARGEST HOTEL IN EUROPE. On the sun terrace of the Estrel in Berlin, the largest hotel in Europe, SUNfarming has built its agro-solar greenhouse. The greenhouse, covered with a 4 m wide light dome, has a size of 42.5m² (5m x 8.5m). The roof tops, east and west of the light dome, are equipped with SUNfarming modules, the generated solar electricity is used directly by the hotel. The “SF Urban Farming Concept”, developed by SUNfarming, produces sustainable solar energy and regional food – on the same place. In addition to the solar power, vegetables, fruits, flowers or fish can be gained between the modules of new or already built PV free-field plants or in special agro-solar Food & Energy greenhouses.SUN FARMING
SUN FARMING.Solar energy is the most economical and secure source of energy for the future, and farmers are tapping in to practice sun farming. SUNfarming feels an obligation to observe this responsibility. They are convinced that with every newly-installed photovoltaic system we come a step closer to the goal of renewable energies as the source of energy supply. With a solar energy system you can produce your own electricity at a cost of around 11 cents per kWh. Surplus power can be fed in to the grid. The SUNfarming Food & Energy Urban Concept.According to the World Bank studies, the urban consumption of urban life will triple urban consumption by 2030. By 2030, about 40 percent of humanity will be insufficiently supplied with water. At the same time, global energy consumption and food consumption will increase by 36 % by 2025. If urban infrastructures are to keep pace with these onslaught, we need to make them more intelligent. Technological knowledge and the available resources in the water, energy and nutrition sectors must be used sustainably in order to create an environmentally and climate-friendly development in cities and municipalities. SUNfarming has developed the unique “Food & Energy Urban Concept”: Sustainable solar energy and regional food are produced together – on the same area. In addition to the solar power, vegetables, fruits, flowers or fish, regional or local PV production can be gained in new or already built PV open-air installations between the module series or in special agro-solar food & energy greenhouses. JOIN IN, BECOME A SUNFARMER.
Data driven indoor agriculture. Indoor agriculture is growing everywhere on the planet, and it's growing fast. As land and water supplies are harder to find, the traditional agriculture methods are changing drastically and moving to indoor vertical farming, container farming and hydroponic greenhouses. With indoor farming, the possibilities are endless. You can grow greens, micro-greens, herbs, cannabis, tomatoes, strawberries, lemons, flowers and even indigenous crops if you like. We can help you create the perfectly well-balanced environment for the crop's specific needs. In addition, new agriculture methods are becoming automated with electronics: artificial intelligence is everywhere, and data collection and analysis are the key points of having a highly profitable farm. Did you know that you could grow a lettuce indoors 4 times faster than outdoors? In this era of agtech, that's how Motorleaf can change the world. Data driven indoor agriculture.
Hospital greenhouse grows healthy food for community. Tiny peppers, with leaves waving proudly, may not hold a whole lot of meaning for the average New Jersey backyard gardener. But in the South Ward of Newark, inside less than 2,000 square feet of space, this greenhouse is changing the way of life for a community. “You can’t teach people how to eat if you don’t have the food to provide to them. So, down in an urban environment like Newark, or what they consider a food desert, there is a lot of food insecurity. So this is a way to tie everything together and connect it with your health and wellness,” said Barbara Mintz, senior vice-president for healthy living and community engagement at RWJ Barnabas Health. The Beth Greenhouse, located just next door to Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, pumps out more than 10,000 pounds of food a year. Employees teach nutrition education, farming and cooking. It’s got all the staples, including kale, zucchini, tomatoes and basil. But in a unique format, the hospital sells it right in the outpatient lobby once a week. “We harvest it every week and we bring it into our farmers market, which is in the lobby of our hospital, every Thursday,” said Mintz. “We sell it not only to the employees, but to the community as well, patient families, visitors and so on.” Hospital greenhouse grows healthy food for community.
NatureFresh Farms develops unconventional pest management methods. A pest outbreak in the fall of 2016 left all bell pepper growers in the Leamington area highly concerned. Pepper Weevil (Anthonomus Eugenii) is an unconventional pest that a regular Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system cannot maintain and cannot be spotted by humans which makes it nearly impossible to catch early on. Once the pest spreads, it is essentially a death sentence for the crop as no beneficial bug is strong enough to combat it and sprays just irritate the pest forcing it to reproduce more. Cam Lyons, Research and Development and IPM Technician at NatureFresh Farms, realized that there had to be a solution and conducted countless development sessions. “Dogs are a very intelligent animal. Many worker dogs are trained to recognize and discover scents associated with drugs or bombs, so it seemed possible to train a dog to recognize pepper weevil.” After a lot of research, NatureFresh Farms adopted Chili, a 15-month old female Belgian Shepherd who was bred as a working dog. Chili underwent 8 weeks of training and was certified by The American Working Dog Association who verified that Chili was the first dog certified for pest related scent detection on a farm. This certification also allows Chili to work in the farm without any food safety concern.
USDA helping growers build success with new technology. Everyone loves that burst of flavor you get when you eat a fresh fruit or vegetable. But we often don’t think about all the research, propagating, and growing by plant breeders that happens prior to giving us that great food experience. Plant breeders work hard to develop new varieties, which are crucial to continued agricultural production, at levels that provide us with food security. New varieties help address the challenges we face - from plant pest and disease outbreaks to an increasing world population. USDA
Smartphone camera used to estimate vegetable taste.Makuta Amenity Co developed a smartphone application that enables to estimate the taste and nutrients of vegetables and fruits just by taking their pictures with a smartphone camera. The application analyzes the images of the external appearances of agricultural products such as vegetables and fruits. It creates histograms of the three primary colors of visible light and estimates the taste of the targeted agricultural product based on the correlation between the histograms and taste data that has been quantified by using a taste sensor in advance. As a taste sensor, Makuta Amenity used a system developed by Intelligent Sensor Technology Inc, a venture firm that develops taste sensors. Japan
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
7 top tips for calf pneumonia vaccination. Calf pneumonia is the greatest single cause of morbidity and mortality in cattle in Ireland – responsible for 32% of deaths in this age group². Hence, it is a cause of major economic loss for the cattle industry. Benefits Of Vaccination Vaccination against calf pneumonia in young and growing animals is a cost-effective method when implemented as part of an overall pneumonia control plan. This plan must also address other environmental and management factors that contribute to the spread of the disease. Selecting a vaccine, which contains relevant viruses and bacteria, and observing best
Predatory bacteria: The quest for a new class of antibiotics. In 2016 the World Health Organization named antibiotic resistance as "one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today." The announcement cited a growing list of infections, such as tuberculosis and gonorrhea, that are becoming more difficult to treat each year as resistance to current antibiotic treatments increases. Yet antibiotics are essential -- without them, the human race would be plagued by persistent infections. So what is the solution to ensuring continual treatment while also addressing the alarming rise in resistance? One potential solution lies within a unique type of predatory bacteria that feeds on other bacteria, such as those that cause diseases. Predatory bacteria: The quest for a new class of antibiotics.
Bio-methane transforms from landfill waste to energy source.Most manure just sits around. Anaerobic digesters take those piles and place them in large covered tanks and convert waste into an energy source. Chemical engineers examined the carbon footprint of anaerobic digestion. Methane is far more damaging as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide -- 25 times more so. The gas, which is produced by decomposing organic materials in the absence of air, not only traps heat efficiently but is also a health and safety hazard because it's so concentrated in landfills. About half of the landfills in the US collect and burn methane, mitigating the danger but still contributing to atmospheric methane and carbon dioxide levels. Animal manure decomposition on farms is the main contributor of methane emissions in agriculture. Repurposing that wasted gas is the focus of a new study published in the journal Environmental Progress and Sustainable Energy by chemical engineers from Michigan Technological University. Specifically, they examined the carbon footprint of anaerobic digestion -- composting organics without air -- which can be used to redirect methane into a usable energy source.
New conservation method empowers indigenous peoples. Environmental social scientists worked with indigenous people in the rural Peruvian Amazon and determined that local people meet their basic needs through diverse subsistence activities, such as hunting, fishing, and farming, and over centuries they have developed sophisticated natural resource management systems that protect the robust rain forest ecosystem. Through the study, the scientists hope to overturn traditional notions about development and industrialization.
Dark side of coffee cultivation in Uganda. New research explores unequal exchange in the coffee industry. Researchers cite a range of negative consequences that coffee cultivation contributes to, including: malaria vulnerability, decreased participation in schooling, gender inequalities, and environmental degradation in Bududa, Uganda. In Bududa, Uganda -- Africa's second largest coffee exporter following Ethiopia -- the harvest typically runs from July through October. The season can extend beyond this, depending on the amount of rainfall, temperatures and the ripeness of the coffee cherries.Dark side of coffee cultivation in Uganda.
Chocolate production linked to increased deforestation in poor nations.Newly published research focuses on the link between cocoa exports and deforestation in developing nations. Every year, more than five million family farms in countries such as Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon, Indonesia and Brazil produce about four and a half million tons of cocoa beans, according the World Cocoa Foundation. Ghana and the Ivory Coast supply more than 70 percent of the world's cocoa. Cocoa, much like coffee, is an export product consumed almost entirely in developed nations such as the United States. Yet the beans, which are used to make chocolate, are almost exclusively grown in less-developed nations such as West Africa, Asia, and Central and South America -- countries that on average have extremely small demand for the product they depend on for their livelihoods.
Cooperative Society helps farmers own land and Manage Agribusiness. E-farm, a housing cooperative society based in Nairobi is helping farmers own land, houses and manage agribusiness at subsidized rates. According to E-farm’s sales manager, Dinah Kathoni, the society provides affordable settlement and promotes agribusiness with an intention to add value to members land, supplement members’ income and create employment thereby enhancing food security. In Nigeria there is a similar project called the Acres of diamond project which uses this template to provide land and boost agribusiness The society has partnered with various organizations among them the Israel embassy which is coming with various technologies in agribusiness management and low cost houses construction.
How to Explore Africa’s Trillion-Dollar Agribusiness Opportunity. When most people think of agriculture in Africa, images of poor and overworked farmers with crude tools on a rural farm easily come to mind. Many people on the continent, especially young Africans, still think that agribusiness is a poor man’s occupation. It’s no surprise that nowadays everybody wants a white-collar office job in the city. Agribusiness is hardly on anyone’s mind. But did you know that since 2009, investors from the USA, Europe, Middle East and Asia have been buying and leasing millions of hectares of African land for agribusiness purposes? If you’re looking into the future, and have nursed a few thoughts about joining the agribusiness revolution on the African continent, this article will serve as a great introduction. Many people may not know it but there’s a trend of serious land grabbing by foreign interests for African land. Did you also know that Foreign Direct Investment in African agribusiness, which was $10 billion in 2010, is projected to reach $45 billion by 2020? How to Explore Africa’s Trillion-Dollar Agribusiness Opportunity.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Nigerian Economic Summit : Influencing economic policies through advocacy.Sanya Adejokun, who was at the Nigerian Economic Summit, reports the resolve of participants at the summit to join hands with the government in giving the economy a fillip. THE Nigerian Economic Summit is an annual event that brings together chief executives/top level operators from the private sector and very senior government officials to discuss how best to develop the economy and monitor the progress that is being made. The main focus is the short to medium term policy direction while giving priority to the national interest in the context of the evolving global economy. It is interesting to reflect that a substantial proportion of the recommendations made by the NES over the past 10 years have since become part of government policy and have been or are being implemented by the Federal Government.
Anambra to attract N60bn agriculture investments. ANAMBRA State Government has attracted N60 billion investment for the establishment of 4,000 hectares of Commercial Agriculture Project. This was announced during the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), between Folio Holdings Ltd, and the Anambra State Government, at Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia.
SMEDAN re-launches One Village, One Product. The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has re-launched the One Village One Product (OLOP) programme. Declaring the programme open in Kaduna on Monday, the Director-General of SMEDAN, Dr. Dikko Umaru Radda, who was represented by the agency’s Director of Finance and Administration, Malam Ibrahim Shehu, said the agency was re-launching the OLOP programme in line with the vision of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERPG) of the Federal Government. In a statement released by the agency, Radda said OLOP is a rural economy revitalization plan built around the well known drivers of its globally renowned equivalent One Village One Product which originated from Japan.
7000 corps members establish thriving businesses through SAED. Over 7000 serving and past corps members are said to have established various businesses that are thriving after going through the Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). Speaking yesterday at the opening ceremony of the maiden SAED festival held in Abuja, Director of SAED, Mrs Mojisola Eboagwu said the successful business corps members learnt their skills through the Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme they went through during their orientation course.
ALGON, 16 foreign partners to create 5.9m jobs from new agriculture scheme. As part of steps to boost agriculture in the country, the Association of Local Government of Nigeria(ALGON) and 16 foreign partners and institutes are expected to float a new scheme which will create 5,959, 800 jobs nationwide. The scheme will lead to the generation of 7,700 jobs in each of the 774 local government areas in the country. But the new initiative called Comprehensive Agricultural Plans for Local Government Areas (CLAP) will begin with a seminar on October 26 and 27. A statement last night said ALGON has initiated the process of C-LAP at grassroots level to prepare a Comprehensive Local Agriculture Plan (C-LAP) through participatory process involving various organizations and stakeholders.
Kebbi girls on agric adventure.They are mostly young girls whose ages range from 10 - 16 years. They are easily identified with the sticks they usually hold with which they re-trash harvested rice at the various farms around Dukku, Makera, Ambursa and Gwadangwaji areas of Birnin Kebbi. Their number often varies but at any given time they are not less than 20. Their mission is to move about the rice farms that have been harvested. When they get there, they divide the rice residues among themselves and re-trashed it to get some rice which they will take home to their parents.
4,000 Anambra farmers to get free agro inputs.No fewer than 4,000 farmers are to benefit from free and subsidized agricultural inputs in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State. The agricultural input to be distributed to farmers free is pro-vitamin cassava stem, while herbicides, insecticides and fertilizers would be accessed at a subsidized rate. The state Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Afam Mbanefo, disclosed this when he delivered trucks load of the inputs to farmers at Ajali, the Orumba North Local Government Area Headquarters.
Oxfam LINE project to empower over 10,000 rural farming families in Bauchi. The Oxfam's Livelihoods and Nutritional Empowerment (LINE) Project being implemented by Oxfam in Bauchi State with funding from Global Affairs Canada (GAC) is said to be aimed at reducing poverty and improving the lives of over 10,000 poor rural farming families in the state. This was disclosed by Dr Francis Saayinzat, the LINE Project Team Leader, Oxfam LINE Project in Bauchi State while speaking on this year’s World Food Day themed: "Change the future of Migration, Invest in Food Security and Rural Development". Saayinzat said that Oxfam is working with local partners and local communities in more than 90 countries to overcome poverty and injustice.
How to make millions from cucumber farming. Cucumber plants grow under tropical conditions and can be grown in house too such as greenhouses.Cucumber farming in Nigeria was hitherto done mainly in the Northern part, now farmers in the southern region plant this type of vegetable. Harvests starts from 36-45 days when hybrid slicing varieties are planted. The demand for fresh cucumbers is quite huge in Nigeria as they are used in preparing salads and other types of food.One acre of land will yield 500 bags of 40kg each (20 tonnes) of fresh cucumbers after 3 months. In the open market in Nigeria, fresh cucumbers are sold in bags. A fully packed yellow bag of cucumbers weigh about 40kg. In the open market, a bag of cucumbers sells for N3,000-N8,000 depending on the season. PROFIT ANALYSIS FOR ONE ACRE OF CUCUMBER – Revenue: 500 bags at N3000 each 1,500,000.00
Real estate investment and cucumber farming. Starting an agribusiness usually requires a piece of land for expression,no matter how small,an investment in real estate is important. Agriculture could also be practiced in urban areas making an investment in real estate a profitable one. Agriculture in living areas could be very profitable if integrated farming is practiced.Investing in real estate alongside agriculture is a double stream of income with several tributaries. A piece of land purchased in residential area could be divided into 2 sections, a part(front ass living quarters) and back (2nd part) as an agricultural area for production. The area set out for production can be used for fast yielding agricultural ventures such as planting cucumbers, and using the proceeds to start building. Real estate investment and cucumber farming. Land can be acquired in choice locations and set up part of it for farming,the type of farming will depend on the plan you have for the land.If you want to build living quarters for yourself then you can plant on part of the land and use proceeds to finance home. Buying land and waiting for it to appreciate before you sell,then this plan will be to divide land in sections and plant 2 fast yielding produce such as cucumbers and vegetables and turn proceeds to capital to acquire more land. The land could also be leased out to farmers who will use the land for farming and pay you for the lease,either way its a win-win situation. Real estate investment and cucumber farming. This is how to to turn your land to your ATM machine by planting cucumbers. Land One acre of land will produce 500 bags of 40kg each of fresh cucumbers after 3 months,and a bag of cucumbers sells for between 3k-8k depending on the season. Land.
Monday, October 16, 2017
FOR WOMEN FARMERS IN INDIA, COLLECTIVE MARKETING MEANS INDIVIDUAL GAINS.Women vegetable farmers in Muzaffarpur, India, benefit from collective marketing, cutting out the middlemen and putting more money back into their businesses and families.
WOMEN-LED FARMS AND PRODUCER ORGANIZATIONS ARE RECREATING THE LITCHI VALUE CHAIN IN INDIA.In honor of International Day of the Rural Woman, we are celebrating Geeta Devi and the women of Muzaffarpur, who trained to improve their farming businesses, increase their yields, and negotiate better contracts for a more transparent and profitable value chain. WOMEN-LED FARMS AND PRODUCER ORGANIZATIONS ARE RECREATING THE LITCHI VALUE CHAIN IN INDIA.
Women farmers want African govts to implement Mabuto Agric policy. Leaders of women farmers in Africa have urged governments across the continent to honuor the Mabuto declaration and commit 10 percent of their annual budget to agriculture, to ensure food security and economic growth of the continent. They made the plea yesterday in Abuja at a three-day Rural Women Farmers Forum (RWFF), Leadership Capacity Building Training and 5th Annual ‘Continental’ Planning meeting organised by the ActionAid Nigeria (AAN). The 2003 African Union (AU) Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security requires African countries to allocate at least 10 percent of their annual budgets to agriculture and achieve six percent annual GDP growth in the sector.Women farmers want African govts to implement Mabuto Agric policy.
Experts partner Kano farmers to boost cowpea production. Tropical Legumes III (TLIII) project, led by ICRISAT, a major international initiative supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and implemented by International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in collaboration with other research institutes has revealed that, the project has partnered farmers in Kano state through Kano Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (KNARDA) towards achieving a boost in cowpea production in the state. Addressing farmers during farmer’s green field day held at Dawakin Tofa local government area of the state, TLII project coordinator Dr. Chris Ojiewo stated that, the project is aimed at ensuring an increase in legume productivity, nutrition for smallholder farmers and increased in their income. He added that, the project has made several efforts in churning out to farmers improved variety seeds that will suits the climate in the tropical areas.
Nigeria’s potential at global cowpea market. Cowpea, known as beans in Nigeria, is an important economic crop whose seeds are consumed as a major source of protein, while the stems and leaves are used as animal feed during the dry season serving as a major source of income to its farmers. Its acceptability and consumption demand, adaptability to different soil types and drought resistance makes it an attractive and profitable crop to grow. Nigeria produces nearly 47 million metric tonnes of beans from an estimated 4.5 million hectares annually, making it the largest pulses producer in Africa and fourth largest producer of cowpea in the world.Nigeria’s potential at global cowpea market. Cowpea has been proven to improve soil fertility, manage soil erosion and could be harvested while the pods are young and green, mature and green, or when completely dry. India’s $1 billion offer to Nigeria: On February 7, Head of Chancery at the High Commission of India in Lagos, Mr Jagdeep Kapoor, announced his government’s plans to encourage Nigerian farmers to plant more pulses that would be exported to India, adding that his government would send in Indian farmers to support their Nigerian counterparts in farming the crops.Nigeria’s potential at global cowpea market.
GM beans hit market in 2018. The field trials for the genetically modified cowpea have been concluded in Nigeria and the artificially engineered staple food will hit the markets across the country in 2018, Federal Government officials and a science conducting the research have said. There have been calls for and against the adoption of Genetically Modified Organisms across the world, with some scientists arguing that the practice will be harmful to human health. But government officials, agricultural experts in the universities and farmers gathered in Sheda, Abuja and gave a clean bill of health to the biotechnology practice. The conclusion of field trials for the pod borer-resistant (PBR) cowpea (bean) was announced and it was said the country would officially introduce its first indigenously engineered GM product in commercial quantity next year.GM beans hit market in 2018.
FG secures 55,000 hectares in 11 states for grazing reserves. The Federal Government said on Thursday that it has secured 55,000 hectares of land from 11 states for the development of pasture and paddocks grazing reserve in the country. Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, disclosed this when he briefed newsmen on the Federal Government’s achievements in the sector in commemoration of the 2017 World Food Day in Abuja. The minister said that the government had also procured exotic grass seedlings to enhance paddock fodder package and increase domestic beef and milk output in a sedentary grazing reserve set up. FG secures 55,000 hectares in 11 states for grazing reserves.
WHO lab confirms 3 positive for monkey pox.The World Health Organisation’s regional laboratory in Dakar, Senegal has confirmed three cases in Bayelsa positive for monkey pox, the federal health ministry said Monday. The number of cases suspected to be monkey pox in Yenagoa local government alone has risen to 17 by October 31, most of them people believed to have been in contact with those affected. The three cases testing positive for monkey pox are among samples taken from all 17 people in Bayelsa for testing in Dakar.
Farmers to partner Contec Agro on bio-fertilizer. The President of the Biotechnology Society of Nigeria (BSN), Prof. Benjamin Ewa Ubi, and the Chairman of the Federation of Agricultural Commodity Associations of Nigeria (FACAN), Mr. Musa Labaran Wamba, have expressed preparedness to partner with Contec Global Agro limited (CGAL), a multinational agro solutions/inputs provider, for increased agriculture production in the country.Farmers to partner Contec Agro on bio-fertilizer. The Chairman of CGAL, Dr. Benoy Berry, who expressed happiness at the partnership while conducting the visitors round the tissue and microbiological labs in Maitama, Abuja, said Nigerian farmers were set for high crop yields with the application and use of the inputs and the scientifically manufactured bio-fertilizers using microbes and bacteria from Nigerian soil. Farmers to partner Contec Agro on bio-fertilizer.
FUTA’s new tomato variety will boost farmers’ income. A new variant of tomatoes named Eva F1 has been introduced into Nigeria courtesy of a collaborative effort between the School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology (SAAT) and the Teaching and Research Farm (TRF) of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State. The Eva F1 tomato is a variety five to seven times bigger in size than the commonly available ones in the Nigerian market and it is capable of producing paste more than four times the others. The Dean, School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology, Professor Taiwo Amos, and Farm Manager, Mr Olajide Adedayo, said the seedling was imported from Israel and carefully nurtured in FUTA’s Green House under controlled temperature. FUTA’s new tomato variety will boost farmers’ income.
Government plans to make agriculture pivot of economic stabilization.The Federal Government yesterday said that current effort is geared towards making agriculture a pivot for economic stabilization in diversification and employment generation. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, stated this yesterday at the opening ceremony of the 10th edition of agric show organised by the National Agricultural Foundation. Represented by the permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. Bukar Hassan, he said government was working on reducing high cost of production and creating wealth for Nigerian farmers. Chief Ogbeh said the ministry has imbibed the culture of promoting best practices in agricultural development in the country. Government plans to make agriculture pivot of economic stabilization.
Elumelu Foundation Signs MoU To Promote Youth Entrepreneurship In Africa. Tony Elumelu Foundation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with French Bilateral Development Bank (AFD) to promote youth entrepreneurship in Africa. The information is in a statement by Damilola Ayodeji, the Press Officer, French Embassy in Nigeria on Monday in Abuja. Ayodeji stated that the MoU was signed at the end of the 2017 TEF Entrepreneurship Forum recently held in Lagos. The understanding, he added, was signed by founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr Tony Elumelu and Country Director of AFD Nigeria, Olivier Delefosse
World Food Day: Experts suggest agricultural sector reform .Experts have proposed the urgent reform of Nigeria’s agricultural sector to boost food production and rural development. They made the suggestion in separate interviews in Ibadan on Monday. Prof. James Adediran, the Executive Director, Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, said that farmers, women and youths in agriculture should be given the needed support via capacity building. He said that they should also be assisted through the provision of farm machinery to enable them to produce large quantities of agricultural produce, while empowering all the participants in the agricultural value chain. World Food Day: Experts suggest agricultural sector reform . Adediran stressed the need for the rehabilitation of moribund farm settlements in some states, adding that government should invest in food security and rural development schemes. The executive director said that rehabilitating existing farm settlements and creating more centres of agricultural production would go a long way in addressing the problems facing smallholder farmers.World Food Day: Experts suggest agricultural sector reform .
Internet farming: all you need to know about rice cultivation. Nigeria, which is the largest producer of rice in West Africa and the third in Africa after Egypt and Madagascar producing about 3 million metric tons on the average annually, falls short of meeting its local demand which is placed at about 5 million tons. Rice can be grown anywhere, that is, rice can grow in all the geographical zones of Nigeria depending on the variety. There are numerous varieties of rice that can be cultivated in Nigeria. The process involved in rice cultivation depends on the geographical and ecological factors available. The different varieties thrive in different geographical and ecological zones in Nigeria. The basic fact is to start with good seeds to ensure bumper harvest. Good quality seed can increase yields by 5-20%. Using good seed leads to lower seeding rates, higher crop emergence, reduced replanting, more uniform plant stands, and more vigorous early crop growth. Vigorous growth in early stages reduces weed problems and increases crop resistance to insect pests and diseases. All of these factors contribute to higher yields and more productive rice farms. Good seed should be the pure form of the chosen variety, full and uniform in size, viable with more than 80% germination with good seedling vigor, and free of weed seeds, seed-borne diseases, pathogens, insects, or other matter. Before rice can be planted, the soil should be in the best physical condition for crop growth and the soil surface is level. Land preparation involves plowing and harrowing to ‘till’ or dig-up, mix and level the soil. Tillage allows the seeds to be planted at the right depth, and also helps with weed control. Farmers can till the land themselves using hoes and other equipment or they can be assisted by draft animals, such as buffalo, or tractors and other machinery. Next, the land is leveled to reduce the amount of water wasted by uneven pockets of too-deep water or exposed soil. Effective land leveling allows the seedlings to become established more easily, reduces the amount of effort required to manage the crop, and increases both grain quality and yields. RICE CULTIVATION.
Rice farming in Nigeria: how the OLAM group is empowering local farmers to boost productivity. Olam is developing a 10,000 hectare fully irrigated paddy farm on greenfield site in Ondorie, Nasarawa State. The farm is expected to yield 10 MT per hectare (over two annual crop cycles), based on four varieties of high-yield rice tested with the West African Rice Development Association. 4,351 hectares are already under cultivation, with a further 3,000 hectares on target for 2018/19. Up to 1000 workers are employed on the farm depending on seasonality. At the heart of the rice farm is a mechanised rice milling facility. The state of the art mill incorporates Satake milling technology and Italian par boiling technology. The mill has a capacity to process 105,000 mts of Rice per annum and the Only ISO 22000 FSMS and FSSC certified rice processing company in Nigeria. The rice-growing communities in Nasarawa, Benue and Kaduna States are supported by Olam with group formation, training and all agri-inputs on credit in order to improve their own paddy yields and revenues with assured buy back system. Over 5000 farmers including women are currently engaged in the programme with an area of 5563 ha, with a target of 16,000 by 2018, ultimately supplying 30-40% of the mill’s capacity. Olam buys paddy from all producing states, controls quality and hires transport to factory. This is how the Olam group is empowering local farmers to boost productivity
Sunday, October 15, 2017
RICE FARMING: How to start a rice farm. Nigeria, is the largest producer of rice in West Africa and the third in Africa after Egypt and Madagascar producing about 3 million metric tons on the average annually, falls short of meeting its local demand which is placed at about 5 million tons. Rice can be grown anywhere, that is, rice can grow in all the geographical zones of Nigeria depending on the variety, the area of land used for rice cultivation is relatively minute about 2 million hectares when survey puts it that Nigeria has the potentials of cultivating about 5 million hectares. Rice farming is not only lucrative but rice is a major stable in Nigeria giving access to a lot of market that can be tapped into. Rice farming could be done directly or indirectly and still reap the expected harvest. The array of internet farming has exposed farmers and farming enthusiasts into the agriculture with all eyes on profit while ensuring food security. Rice farming can be done indirectly by investing in rice projects and reaping the profit at the end of tenure. There are several platforms that offer such services,where you can own farms on outskirts while living in urban areas or even overseas. Rice farming indirectly by investing can be done here .Rice farming indirectly is not limited to production alone ,investors can also capitalise on sale of finished products. Prospective rice farmers can start by sales of products,juggling brands to know the most popular brands so as to boost investments. Rice farming directly will involve engaging in all aspects of the process from farm to market. Rice farming like all other agricultural ventures requires insight into the business for it to be successful. Learn all you can by linking up with established farmers ,test the waters at all levels of the chain before you start out. Learn about rice farming here
Nigerian farmers set to cut rice price to N6, 000 per bag. The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria says it will reduce the price of locally produced rice from N18,000 per 50kg bag to N6,000 within the next few months. Aminu Goronyo, the National President of RIFAN, said this during a meeting with Rice Processors Association of Nigeria (RIPAN) and the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, in Abuja Mr. Goronyo said although RIFAN and RIPAN had agreed to fix the current price of 50 kg bag of rice at between N13,000 and N13,500, the price would further crash to N6,000 within the next few months if there were bumper harvests and low cost of production. He said the drastic reduction in the price would be made feasible if the cost of rice production was cut through the Federal Government’s support to rice farmers.
Michael Aondoakaa’s rice business attracts America’s attention. As Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa attracted international attention as a key figure in the cabinet of President Umaru Yar’Adua who provided critical legal cover for the survival of a President plagued with ill-health. Six years after he served as Nigeria’s number one judiciary officer, Mr. Aondoakaa has moved almost seamlessly into a billion naira rice business, which activities have attracted the attention of the US government. On April 8, 2014, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, paid an official visit to Miva Rice Mill located in Makurdi, Benue State. That visit remains a milestone for the rice processing mill founded only in 2011 by the former Attorney General.
35 Year-Old Entrepreneur Who Owns Nigeria's 2nd Largest Rice Farm. Nigerians consume more than 5 million metric tons of rice every year, with a significant portion of its consumption needs sourced from imports. Rotimi Williams, an ambitious 35 year-old Nigerian entrepreneur and rice farmer, is on a quest to change that. Williams, a former journalist, is the owner of Kereksuk Rice Farm, the second largest commercial rice farm in Nigeria by land size. His farm, which is situated in Nasarawa state in northern Nigeria, currently sits on 45,000 hectares and employs more than 600 natives of Nasarawa.
Dangote to employ several graduates in new rice farming initiative. A multi-million Naira youth farming initiative that will engage teeming unemployed Nigerian graduates in rice farming has been launched by the Dangote Rice Limited in Kogi State. This is even as the company prepares to hit the market with one million metric tons of Dangote rice in 2018. The Dangote Youth Rice Farm project, mainly an out-grower scheme for youth only, was flagged off at the Lower Niger River Basin Authority, Kampe, Ejiba in Yagba West local government area of the state where youth have embarked on rice cultivation over 100 hectares of land. The rice farm project, which was preceded by a special training for the youth farmers on the dynamics of the rice farming, will see the youth cultivating the rice paddy on 100 hectares of land, which will then be bought over by the company for processing.
Friday, October 13, 2017
Google to give $1 billion to nonprofits and help Americans get jobs in the new economy.Google will invest $1 billion over the next five years in nonprofit organizations helping people adjust to the changing nature of work, the largest philanthropic pledge to date from the Internet giant. The announcement of the national digital skills initiative, made by Google CEO Sundar Pichai in Pittsburgh, Pa. Thursday, is a tacit acknowledgment from one of the world's most valuable companies that it bears some responsibility for rapid advances in technology that are radically reshaping industries and eliminating jobs in the U.S. and around the world. Google
TYRES : converting trash to cash. Recycle tyre business and poverty eradication. The effect of climatic changes are felt all over the world in varying degrees,with iceberg melting to extreme flooding,drought in other areas and severe hot weather in different regions. The call to save our environment by changing our lifestyle,work style and agricultural practices has been on for a while birthing different initiatives but all with a common goal to save the environment. Old tyres are usually collected and burnt in heaps thus polluting the atmosphere and also causing respiratory problems in man.The burning which releases toxic gases to the atmosphere which contributes to the warming effect of the climate. Tyres can be recycled to prevent damage to our health and environment. Tyres can also be recycled using machines to shred tyres and converting tyres into railings/ rubber stacking pallet/ fencing. Opportunities abound in the recycling business see
Knorr remembers the hungry on World Food Day.Do you know that globally 800 million – – including young Zimbabwean children — are grappling with hunger and go to bed without a meal? Hunger remains an international scourge, but you can make a difference. To mark World Food Day on October 16th this year, join Knorr – Unilever’s largest global food brand – to help feed a child. Help to turn your food posts on social media into a real meal for someone in need. From 12-16 October, each time you share Knorr’s #ShareTheMealZW on Twitter, Facebook and on Instagram, Knorr will donate the equivalent of one meal via the World Food Programme (WFP).
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Cryptocurrency is the great African opportunity. Cryptocurrencies are gradually being discovered in Africa. In countries like South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Nigeria, there is a semblance of digital currencies, primarily bitcoin, taking roots. Blockchain or DLT (distributed ledger technology) can be seen as the solution for Africa’s current problems and future growth. Bitcoin, based on blockchain, could be the engine for African growth, and could fuel the continent’s great leap forward. It is important to first define a few concepts in the field of cryptocurrency. As such, cryptocurrency itself is defined as a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange, using cryptography to secure the transactions and to control the creation of additional units of the currency. Cryptocurrencies are classified as a subset of digital currencies and are also classified as a subset of alternative currencies and virtual currencies. Bitcoin became the first decentralised cryptocurrency in 2009.
The growing importance of renewable power in Africa.To fuel economic growth and support its growing population, Africa needs power. Renewable energy technologies and distributed infrastructure are playing an increasingly important role in the continent’s energy mix. Around the world, 1.2 billion people live without access to electricity. Half of them are in sub-Saharan Africa. Africa trails the rest of the world in terms of access to electricity by a huge margin. In 2014, less than half the population of the continent had electrical power. Everywhere else, the equivalent figure has now passed 90%. If the region is to continue the strong pace of economic growth it has achieved since the end of the 1990s, better access to energy, especially electrical power, will be essential. The growing importance of renewable power in Africa.
Supply chain management: How SMEs can succeed in Africa.Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have great potential for expansion in Africa, because they are agile and flexible enough to exploit the opportunities in the continent’s growing economies. John Lucas, country manager of DHL Express South Africa opined that SMEs however need to make supply chain management part of their business plan if they want to succeed. “According to DHL’s own research, conducted by HIS Global Insight, SMEs that engage in international markets are twice as likely to be successful than those that only operate domestically.” He said “In order to succeed, an SME needs to be able to increase inventory velocity, achieve the shortest possible cycle times, continually improve their supplier performance and drive their sales and market share. Supply chain management is central to this.”
DHL and MallforAfrica team up to further cross-border e-commerce to the US. DHL Express, the world’s leading international express services provider recently announced its partnership with MallforAfrica, the award-winning global e-commerce company, which will facilitate selling of made-in-Africa products to customers in the United States. Businesses can do so via the eBay platform powered by MallforAfrica. Through this partnership, DHL locations will serve as drop-off points for products destined for consumers in the United States. This will be the first time businesses in Africa can sell their locally manufactured products directly on eBay.
Niger State can feed Africa – Osinbajo.“With 10 per cent of Nigeria’s total landmass, 80 per cent of which is arable, Niger State symbolises the hope and greatness of Nigeria and has the potential to feed the continent – Africa.” These were the words of the Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, while speaking at the Niger State Investment Summit tagged “Truly Niger” with the theme, “Impact Investing for Advancing Agricultural Economy and Innovation” in Minna. Osinbajo said with three major dams and a couple of small ones, the state is better positioned to drive the diversification of Nigeria’s revenue sources through agriculture.
NYSC Embarks on Free Medical, Veterinary Services in Gombe.The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has embarked on a four-day free medical mission for animal and man in Gombe State under its Health Initiative for Rural Dwellers. The Director General of NYSC, Brigadier General Suleiman Zakari Kazaure, who inaugurated the programme Thursday at Sabon-Gari Nassarawo community in Gombe metropolis, said: “In this Initiative, we collaborate with the communities and local governments to get to the grassroots and give them healthcare delivery.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Britain puts annual supports for poverty reduction, health, education in Nigeria at €400m. British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Laure Beaufils has confirmed that Nigerian government received about €400 million assistance from her country every year in support of poverty reduction, health and education. Mrs. Beaufils told journalists in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital that, "British Government is supporting the Government of Nigeria in addressing health, education and basic services in general and to ensure that the health of the population here goes from strength to strength.”
World Food Day: Lagos develops agricultural initiatives to address food challenges.Lagos State Government has once again restated its commitment to boost food security in the State just as it said that various agricultural initiative programmes aimed at making the State a food secured place have been developed through profitable investments in the agricultural value chains.
African small-scale farmers carve a giant message for world leaders in the very soil they farm. African farmers from a remote village in northern Zambia have teamed up with the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to send a giant message to world leaders gathering in New York this week – invest more in agriculture if you want to end poverty and hunger by 2030. And to get their message the attention it deserves, the 16 farmers from Kasama, Zambia carved their case for investment into the very soil they farm, producing a giant “Field Report” with a pie chart, graphs and numbers that explain why long-term, transformative investments in smallholder agriculture are so important.
Food from healthy farms makes healthy people. Investing in climate-resilient agriculture not only improves food security but contributes to eradicating malnutrition, according to the findings of a new report from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The Nutrition Advantage – Harnessing the Nutrition Co-Benefits of Climate Resilient Agriculture, a study of IFAD’s experience in improving nutrition in climate-sensitive agricultural investments, shows that climate change impacts in agriculture and the prevalence of malnutrition in rural areas are deeply intertwined. For those living on land that is increasingly degraded, or at risk due to greater climate variability, what is grown is not as rich in nutritious content as it could be, which has implications for rural and urban populations alike,” said IFAD President Gilbert F. Houngbo
Ambode’s wife urges women to be creative.Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs Bolanle Ambode, yesterday, urged women to embrace creative and innovative entrepreneurship skills to achieve sustainable development within the family and communities. She said women as helpmates were uniquely created and endowed with skills to impact positively on the family, environment and society, adding that such skills can be extended to all facets of human endeavour. She said the three-day conference, holding between October 24 and 26 at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, has as its theme: She Creates, She Transforms.
Platform economy of the future is the pathway that will drive growth and jobs across Africa. Many companies, whether they realize it or not, have already taken steps to embed themselves into the digital ecosystems that will drive their growth in future. However, the pace of adopting new digital platforms for doing business needs to increase – especially in Africa. These platforms are business models that create value by facilitating exchanges between two or more interdependent groups, usually consumers and producers. Platform economy of the future is the pathway that will drive growth and jobs across Africa.
Edo partners FG to cultivate 6,000 hectares of cashew farmlands.Edo State Government has confirmed plans to partner with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for the cultivation of 6,000 hectares of cashew farmlands in the state under the Cashew Expansion Programme. State Commissioner of Agricultural and Natural Resources, Mr. Monday Osaigbovo said during the presentation of the activities and achievements of the ministry at the Edo State House of Assembly that six local governments had been mandated to solicit for the 6,000 hectares of land.
Agribusiness; Mordi, Bello, Nwaka empower over 300 women. IN line with the SMART agenda of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, his Senior Special Assistant, SSA on International Relations, Dr Genevieve Mordi, the Executive Secretary, Delta State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency, Mrs Shimite Bello and the member representing Aniocha South in the state House of Assembly, Ms Angela Nwaka, have empowered over 300 women across the state with tomatoes, okro and vegetable seedlings.
How Tony Elumelu Foundation is creating an integrated entrepreneurial ecosystem. THE Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) is one of the largest private philanthropic organizations in the Africa. It was established in 2010 to encourage and empower entrepreneurs, promote thought leadership and create an integrated entrepreneurial ecosystem that drives African entrepreneurship. Since it was founded, the TEF has catalyzed the development of entrepreneurs and innovators in Africa. The annual TEF Entrepreneurship Programme which commits $100 million to training, mentoring and funding of 10,000 African entrepreneurs is the largest business plan competition on the continent.
Tony Elumelu Foundation creates 160,000 jobs in 3 years .THE Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has created over 160,000 direct and indirect jobs across Africa in three years.Also, the foundation which is dedicated to catalysing entrepreneurship, announced its third annual TEF Entrepreneurship Forum, scheduled to hold on October 13-14 in Lagos, as one of the most diverse annual gatherings of African entrepreneurs and SMEs. Tony Elumelu Foundation creates 160,000 jobs in 3 years (TEF)
Elumelu tasks govt on prioritisation of SMEs, creative sector for national development. The Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Tony O. Elumelu, has called on the government to prioritise SMEs, the creative sector and access to electricity to drive job creation, inclusive growth and the diversification of the economy. He made this call while speaking on the topic "Opportunities, Productivity and Employment: Actualizing the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan" at the opening plenary of the 23rd Nigerian Economic Summit with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Vice Chairman of General Electric, John Rice.
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
UN WOMEN. There are 1.1 billion girls in the world, and every one of them deserves equal opportunities for a better future. They are a source of energy, power and creativity. They can drive change and help build a better future for all. Yet, most girls face disadvantage and discrimination on a daily basis, and those living through crises are suffering even more. UN Women statement for International Day of the Girl Child. On the International Day of the Girl Child, let us commit to investing in skills training and education for girls and livelihood activities for young women around the world who are facing crises. This year, International Day of the Girl (11 October) will focus on the theme, "EmPOWER girls: Before, during and after conflict".
Chinese Government To Support Nigeria’s Drive To Make Made In Nigeria Products Exportable.The Chinese government says it would support Nigeria’s drive to make made in Nigeria products an exportable brand. Chinese ambassador to Nigeria thou Pingjian said this as his country marked its national day which coincided with Nigeria’s independence anniversary. As Nigeria’s tax revenue from oil continues to fall and the country gradually recovers from recession, agriculture and made in Nigeria products have began receiving a boost around the country. Fares to showcase locally made products are common features now in the country. This new drive has not gone unnoticed by one of the world’s biggest industrial nation.
Monkey Pox: Britain Offers To Help Nigeria. The British government has assured of its readiness to help Nigeria in combating the spread of monkey pox disease and other health related issues. The British deputy high commissioner to Nigeria, Laure Beaufils stated this while on a visit to the Kwara branch office of the federation of women lawyers [FIDA] in Ilorin. She noted that it is an emergency that requires the collaboration of all and called on state governments to complement the federal government’s efforts by investing in healthcare services. She noted that Britain has been providing four hundred million pounds yearly to Nigeria in fighting poverty, improve education and provision of sound healthcare facilities.
Reps summon Health Minister over outbreak of Monkey Pox.The House of Representatives has summoned the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, to explain the measures taken by the Federal Government to tackle the outbreak and spread of the Monkey pox virus, aside containing other viruses.
Monkeypox. Monkeypox is a rare viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms in humans similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although less severe. Smallpox was eradicated in 1980.However, monkeypox still occurs sporadically in some parts of Africa. Monkeypox is a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae. The virus was first identified in the State Serum Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1958 during an investigation into a pox-like disease among monkeys. Human monkeypox was first identified in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (then known as Zaire) in a 9 year old boy in a region where smallpox had been eliminated in 1968. Infection of index cases results from direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids, or cutaneous or mucosal lesions of infected animals. In Africa human infections have been documented through the handling of infected monkeys, Gambian giant rats and squirrels, with rodents being the major reservoir of the virus. Eating inadequately cooked meat of infected animals is a possible risk factor. Secondary, or human-to-human, transmission can result from close contact with infected respiratory tract secretions, skin lesions of an infected person or objects recently contaminated by patient fluids or lesion materials. Transmission occurs primarily via droplet respiratory particles usually requiring prolonged face-to-face contact, which puts household members of active cases at greater risk of infection. Transmission can also occur by inoculation or via the placenta (congenital monkeypox). There is no evidence, to date, that person-to-person transmission alone can sustain monkeypox infections in the human population.
Sunday, October 8, 2017
Simple Solar technology for irrigation saves water & fertilizer costs.Many smallholder farmers across Kenya and Africa as whole face many challenges including: unreliable rainfall, low crop yields, high energy costs, lack of access to modern farming technology and insufficient access to capital. An unpredictable rainfall pattern has led farmers to incur huge losses in their crops and livestock production life. But with the new SunCulture AgroSolar irrigation system it will be easier and cheaper for farmers to grow high quality crops and increase their yields by more than three hundred per cent (300%) while saving water. Unreliable rainfall means farmers are limited to two production seasons per year but with irrigation farmers are able to ensure maximum production all year round.
Solar Milk Pasteurizer to prolong milk shelf life.A new milk preserving technology using a solar milk pasteurizer for smallholder farmers seeking to minimize milk losses along the marketing chain especially in the arid and semi-arid lands has been developed by the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization. The new technology will help milk farmers and business vendors prolong the shelf life of milk and hence improve market- ability and generate more income. Milk marketing is an important income earning opportunity for people in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) of Kenya. For a long time, farmers have been using limited firewood to boil the milk hence placing intense pressure on the forests and destroying the environment.
Agripreneur sells potted crops for urban rooftop farming.Urbanites, who want to turn towns into vegetable production areas, can do so by buying potted seedlings, which can be placed on any available spaces with sufficient light and waster. Daniel Muguko, a Nairobi-based accountant, is planting and selling the strawberry and pepino melon seedlings to both property owners and tenants in the outskirts of the city and other surrounding towns such as Kiambu and Thika. The idea was to turn urban areas into agricultural production points that can cater for family vegetable and financial needs in cases of surplus production. It is a reality. Concrete roof tops and free spaces in front and the back of houses can be gardens that do not require tilling because the floor maybe paved.
Water hyacinth provides good substrate for mushroom farming.While the Lake Victoria hyacinth is driving fishermen out of business, Siaya County farmer, Naftali Oseka has converted the stubborn weed into the a substrate for mushroom production. The farmer, who lives along the shore of this biggest fresh water lake in Africa, learnt that dry hyacinth can support mushroom farming, replacing the need for expensive bagasse and sometimes seldom sawdust and sugarcane leaves. Instead of struggling to make ends meet with the fishing, he resorted to “befriend the enemy weed” as an alternative source of income.Mushrooms do not grow directly on the soil. They require a medium, substrate, which seats between them and the soil. Most farmers use saw dusts, bagasse, rice, wheat, millet and bean straws as substrates. However, dry hyacinth is a good mushroom substrate when mixed with other trash from organic farm waste.
Kisumu Entrepreneur Producing Paper from Water Hyacinth.A Kisumu based entrepreneur is taking advantage of Kenya’s ban on plastic bags to produce Eco-friendly paper bags from water hyacinth menace in Lake Victoria. Michael Otieno, the founder of Takawiri Craft Enterprises turned the problem into a business opportunity. He has been using the weed and re-cycled waste paper to make business cards, book covers, and envelopes since 2011. In 2016 he started making gift bags which he sells together with the rest of the items to maintain sustainable livelihood.
FMARD, LASG sensitise farmers on quality control of agro products. The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), continued its nationwide advocacy/sensitisation programme on agricultural quality control and standardisation for South-West states, today at Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja. In collaboration with the Lagos State Government (LASG), the ministry said the aim of the programme was to inculcate the Culture of Quality in the agro sector for all stakeholders. The programme has been successfully hosted by the government of Kano State for North-West, Benue State for North-Central and Enugu State for South-East. Delivering the opening address as the chief host, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, represented by the Commissioner of Agriculture, Lagos State, Hon. Oluwatoyin Suarau, expressed delight on the programme, describing it as very crucial to achieving the standard requirement of agro produce meant for export.
Monkey pox: C/River strengthens surveillance in border communities.Cross River Government on Sunday said it had strengthened its surveillance team in border communities and all the local governments of the state as Monkey pox outbreak hits some states in South-South. The Commissioner for Health, Dr Inyang Asibong, disclosed this in an interview in Calabar. “Cross River is not far from other states in the South-South that have witnessed the outbreak, we are working round the clock to prevent the disease in the state.
‘Access to financial support by rural women ’ll help local markets’How do you empower women entrepreneurs and what inspired this? The focus is to empower women to fund their business with 5000 per head to start a business for rural woman. How to save and give them financial tips while chipping in things on violence. Rural women die in domestic violence. Empowering them will save them from domestic violence.
Experts call for enhanced food security.Nutrition experts have urged Nigerians to invest in food security to enhance healthy lifestyle and human development. They spoke at a workshop held in Lagos by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and the Postharvest Alliance for Nutrition (PLAN) said women and children in Africa were under fed due to poor investment. The CEO/Director General of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO) Mrs. Gloria Elemo said Nigeria would feed its citizenry adequately, if the private and public sector ensure food security. She said food and nutrition security would ensure that vital ingredients for healthy living were sustained, noting that efforts should not be spared to preserved perishable foods for growth.
Pet food mix-ins: adding fresh foods to dog, cat food. As more consumers aim for customization of their pets’ food, human foods are merging with pet food options.Packaged Facts surveyed dog and cat owners about their use of pet food toppers, mix-ins or gravies/sauces. Clearly, a varying combination of palatability, pampering, nutritional, customization and coaxing issues are front-of-mind for many pet food purchasers, given that 28 percent of dog owners and 22 percent of cat owners use commercial pet food toppers, mix-ins or gravy/sauce products, and 32 percent of dog owners and 18 percent of cat owners mix human foods or food products in with their commercial pet food. When it comes to human food, the range of mix-ins that pet owners turn to is almost as broad and chaotic as American cuisine and eating patterns. This range includes breakfast foods (biscuits, donuts, pancakes, muesli, sausage gravy, scrambled eggs), sandwich classics (ham and cheese, peanut butter and jelly), fast-food fare and condiments (French fries, hamburgers, hot dogs and KFC fried chicken, along with ketchup, mustard and even hot sauce) and hot meal standards (beef stew, macaroni and cheese, meat and potatoes, meatloaf). International foods and ingredients also get a nod (Belgian cheese, curry, mango, papaya, salsa), as do the related realms of culinary trends (hummus, legumes, olive oil, salami, sweet potato, yogurt) and trendy human market health food ingredients (coconut oil, turmeric).
US pet food market report reveals pet humanization trend. A US pet food market report has revealed that sales of pet treats have outpaced both dog and cat food.Interest in rewarding and even spoiling pets may be encouraging higher spending on treats among American pet owners. A US pet food market report from market intelligence agency Mintel reveals that sales of pet treats have outpaced both dog and cat food over the last five years, with treats sales increasing by 29 percent between 2012-17 to reach US$4.39 billion. Meanwhile, dog food sales grew eight percent between 2012-17 to reach US$11.8 billion, while cat food sales increased 11 percent to reach US$6.83 billion during the same timeframe. more
Dogs' pet food ingredient preferences studied with toy.An experiment by a Kansas State University researcher pioneered a method for assessing dog’s delight in particular pet food ingredients or formulations. What’s more, his method requires no more special equipment than a commercially available rubber puzzle dog toy.
Waste-generated biogas is turning homes into power plants.Sandra Sassow wants to talk about sticky subject of waste. Just the word, the umbrella term for our uneaten – or indeed, post-eaten – food carries the whiff of dismissal (among other things). What’s in those bin bags? Just waste. What about the septic tank? Waste. Nothing of value. But ‘waste’ – at least most of it – isn’t just some unavoidable byproduct of human life, that accumulates until the council turns up to put it out of sight and out of mind once a week. If you can get past the ‘yuck’ factor, it could be what powers your home, apartment block, supermarket, workplace or even your hospital.
Dogs' social skills linked to oxytocin sensitivity.The tendency of dogs to seek contact with their owners is associated with genetic variations in sensitivity for the hormone oxytocin, according to a new study. The results contribute to our knowledge of how dogs have changed during their development from wolf to household pet. During their domestication from their wild ancestor the wolf to the pets we have today, dogs have developed a unique ability to work together with humans. One aspect of this is their willingness to "ask for help" when faced with a problem that seems to be too difficult. There are, however, large differences between breeds, and between dogs of the same breed.
Fish shrinking as ocean temperatures rise. One of the most economically important fish is shrinking in body weight, length and overall physical size as ocean temperatures rise, according to new research by LSU Boyd Professor R. Eugene Turner . The average body size of Menhaden -- a small, silver fish -- caught off the coasts from Maine to Texas -- has shrunk by about 15 percent over the past 65 years.
90 percent of fish used for fishmeal are prime fish.From 1950 to 2010, 27 percent of commercial marine landings were diverted to uses other than direct human consumption, a new research project has found. Every year for the past 60 years, an average of 20 million tonnes of fish caught in the global ocean have not been used to nourish people. A new study emerging from the Sea Around Us project at the University of British Columbia's Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries reveals that from 1950 to 2010, 27 per cent of commercial marine landings were diverted to uses other than direct human consumption. This trend has not changed in recent years and it poses serious questions regarding food security, as most of the diverted fish are classified as food-grade or prime food-grade. more
Climate change, population growth may lead to open ocean aquaculture.A new analysis suggests that open-ocean aquaculture for three species of finfish is a viable option for industry expansion under most climate change scenarios -- an option that may provide a new source of protein for the world's growing population. This modeling study found that the warming of near-shore surface waters would shift the range of many species toward the higher latitudes -- where they would have better growth rates -- but even in areas that will be significantly warmer, open-ocean aquaculture could survive because of adaptation techniques including selective breeding. more
'Squirtable' elastic surgical glue seals wounds in 60 seconds.A highly elastic and adhesive surgical glue that quickly seals wounds without the need for common staples or sutures could transform how surgeries are performed. Biomedical engineers from the University of Sydney and the United States collaborated on the development of the potentially life-saving surgical glue, called MeTro. MeTro's high elasticity makes it ideal for sealing wounds in body tissues that continually expand and relax -- such as lungs, hearts and arteries -- that are otherwise at risk of re-opening. continue
Breast cancer linked to bacterial imbalances.Researchers have uncovered differences in the bacterial composition of breast tissue of healthy women vs. women with breast cancer. The research team has discovered for the first time that healthy breast tissue contains more of the bacterial species Methylobacterium, a finding which could offer a new perspective in the battle against breast cancer. Bacteria that live in the body, known as the microbiome, influence many diseases. Most research has been done on the "gut" microbiome, or bacteria in the digestive tract. Researchers have long suspected that a "microbiome" exists within breast tissue and plays a role in breast cancer but it has not yet been characterized. The research team has taken the first step toward understanding the composition of the bacteria in breast cancer by uncovering distinct microbial differences in healthy and cancerous breast tissue. continue
Saturday, October 7, 2017
Local entrepreneurs turn waste from cashew harvests into a new beverage industry for Benin. TechnoServe is working with local entrepreneurs to turn waste from cashew harvests into a new beverage industry for Benin, and a more prosperous future for Africa’s cashew-producing countries. A cashew harvest is a colorful affair. The nuts are ready for picking when the cashew apple – really the swollen stalk it grows from – is a vibrant red or pink. On the farm, the nut is removed from the ripe fruit, dried, and sent for processing before being shipped around the globe to become the delicious and nutritious snack we all know. Although cashew is mainly a cash crop in Africa – the second largest behind cocoa – the industry can be equally nutritive for the countries that produce it, offering great potential to improve rural livelihoods as well as provide employment opportunities through processing. In Benin, TechnoServe is working to innovate the sector through the BeninCajù project, which helps cashew processors to raise their production levels and connect with lucrative markets, while creating jobs in rural areas where unemployment is high. Over five years, this nearly $20 million project – a collaboration between TechnoServe, Catholic Relief Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture – seeks to create close to 4,000 jobs in the cashew processing industry (70 percent of which are for women) and improve the incomes of almost 35,000 producers, representing a quarter of all cashew farmers in Benin. In Benin, local entrepreneurs are working with TechnoServe to create Sweet Benin, the country’s first cashew apple juice label. Sweet Benin represents the formation of the first formal industry for cashew by-products in the country, but initial successes are promising.
TECHNICAL SOLUTIONS FOR FOOD SECURITY IN AFRICA.The Technical Assistance Facility helps agricultural and food processing businesses to fight food insecurity by improving operations and extending their reach to poor consumers. According to recent estimates, approximately one person out of four is undernourished in sub-Saharan Africa. There are many factors that cause and alleviate hunger. Agricultural production is a critical piece, but it is only the first link in a value chain that can ultimately lead to well-nourished communities. Strong partnerships between the public and private sectors are essential to building agribusinesses that efficiently and inclusively fight hunger. TECHNICAL SOLUTIONS FOR FOOD SECURITY IN AFRICA.
SMART INVESTMENTS FOR THE FUTURE OF FOOD. TechnoServe projects around the world are creating business solutions with the power to improve lives, the story of Horsin Kalikeka, whose specially outfitted bicycle helped him to increase his income while improving his community's access to nutritious foods is one of such success stories. Horsin Kalikeka weaves through the streets of Ndola, Zambia, delivering eggs using a specially outfitted bicycle. On a typical day, he sells 2,400 eggs to about a hundred local market vendors (ntembas) as a new bike peddler for Goldenlay, Zambia’s largest egg producer and distributor. This allows the 26-year-old to earn between $120 and $150 a month, which is twice the local minimum wage.
Woman entrepreneur breaks gender barriers by building her mushroom business. In Zimbabwe, this woman entrepreneur is breaking down gender barriers by building her mushroom business with an inclusive sourcing strategy and providing gender training to men and women farmers in her supply chain. In Zimbabwe, many obstacles stand between women and reaching their full potential in agribusiness. Although women play a critical role in agricultural economies, traditional beliefs around division of labor, coupled with lack of access to land, markets and financing among other barriers, relegate them to informal businesses, or exclude them from decision-making roles within the economies they help drive. TechnoServe is partnering with women like Wadzanai Chimhepo to overcome these barriers by building inclusive, women-led agribusinesses that will, in turn create inclusive supply chains of smallholder farmers.
Short sleeves reduce risk for pathogen transmission. Simulated patient care interactions showed that the cuffs of physicians’ long-sleeved white coats could contribute to the transmission of pathogens, leading researchers to recommend short sleeves. Prior research has shown that physicians’ white coats are rarely cleaned and often contaminated. These findings have prompted a “bare below the elbows” dress code policy in the U.K. However, whether short sleeves decrease the probability of pathogen transmission remains unknown, according to Amrita John, MD, from the division of infectious diseases and HIV medicine at Case Western Reserve University.more
Strategies that address the contribution of antibiotic use in animals to drug resistance. The first involves a global regulation that would cap the use of antimicrobials at 50 mg per population correction unit (PCU), which could reduce 64% of consumption by 2030. The second strategy is to limit global meat intake to 40 g per day, which is the equivalent of one fast-food burger per person. This would reduce 66% of antimicrobial consumption in food animals by 2030. The third strategy is to impose a 50% user fee of the current price on veterinary antimicrobials, which could reduce 31% of global consumption. This policy would generate yearly revenues of $1.7 billion to $4.6 billion. Alternative user fee rates of 10% or 100% could reduce 9% or 46% of global consumption while generating $0.4 billion to $1.2 billion or $2.8 billion to $7.5 billion in revenues. more
Researchers propose limiting meat intake to keep antibiotics effective.Researchers said that capping drug use in animals, imposing a user fee on the price of veterinary antimicrobials or limiting meat intake could reduce up to 80% of antimicrobial use worldwide by 2030. According to Ramanan Laxminarayan, PhD, director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy (CDDEP), and colleagues, inappropriate use of antimicrobials in animals is a leading cause of drug resistance in both humans and animals. The researchers estimated that 131,109 tons of antimicrobials were used in animals globally in 2013. If left unchecked, this number is projected to increase to 200,235 tons by 2030. In a recent report published in Science, the researchers proposed three strategies that address the contribution of antibiotic use in animals to drug resistance. The first involves a global regulation that would cap the use of antimicrobials at 50 mg per population correction unit (PCU), which could reduce 64% of consumption by 2030. more
Antibiotics for dental procedures linked to C. difficile infection. Researchers in Minnesota identified a potentially overlooked source of Clostridium difficile infection: antibiotics prescribed by dentists. Antibiotics can kill microbes that protect against infection in the gastrointestinal tract, potentially leading to C. difficile infection (CDI), which the CDC has designated as one of three “high-consequence” antibiotic-resistant threats requiring urgent public health attention. Antibiotics prescribed by dentists may contribute to the problem, according to study findings summarized here by Stacy Holzbauer, DVM, MPH, epidemiology field officer for the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Holzbauer and colleagues studied the antibiotic history of over 1,600 patients in Minnesota with community-acquired CDI and found that 15% had taken antibiotics for dental procedures over a 6-year period. Most of these patients — 85% — had taken antibiotics only for dental reasons, Holzbauer said. And for many, the prescriptions did not appear in their medical records, which Holzbauer said illustrates “a disconnect between dental and medical providers.” Dentists have often been overlooked as major partners in programs that promote appropriate antibiotic use, and it’s critical that they are included in efforts to improve antibiotic prescribing,” Holzbauer said during a news conference at IDWeek. “Antibiotics are not harmless medications. C. diff is a known complication.more
Friday, October 6, 2017
Mastercard trials biometric bank card with built-in fingerprint sensor.South Africa is testing bank cards that have both Chip and Pin technology and biometric sensors. Although Apple is credited with making the technology go mainstream, the first mobile to include a fingerprint scanner was released 10 years ago. Since the Toshiba Portégé G500, things have advanced considerably and it is almost commonplace for all new devices to feature biometric technology. As well as phones, buildings, schools, and airports have adopted fingerprint recognition technology. The latest development? Bank cards..Mastercard trials biometric bank card with built-in fingerprint sensor.
'School-in-a-box' tech is helping teach children in Asia and Africa. This Nairobi-based startup provides pre-school and primary-level education to 100,000 children in 400 schools and nurseries in developing markets across Africa and Asia. The for-profit was launched by former financial analyst Shannon May and her husband Jay Kimmelman in 2009, and has attracted funding from investors including Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and the Omidyar Network. more
With extra sugar, leaves get fat too.Scientists tip balance of plant metabolism to increase oil content in leaves with aim of making biofuels and related useful chemicals. Eat too much without exercising and you'll probably put on a few pounds and plant leaves do something similar. A new study shows that retaining sugars in plant leaves can make them get fat too. In plants, this extra fat accumulation could be a good thing. It could help turn plants into factories for making biofuels and other useful chemicals.
Olive mill wastewater transformed: From pollutant to bio-fertilizer, biofuel. Olive oil has long been a popular kitchen staple. Yet producing the oil creates a vast stream of wastewater that can foul waterways, reduce soil fertility and trigger extensive damage to nearby ecosystems. Now scientists report on the development of an environmentally friendly process that could transform this pollutant into 'green' biofuel, bio-fertilizer and safe water for use in agricultural irrigation. During processing, olives are crushed and mixed with water in mills. The oil is separated out of this mixture, and the dirty water and solid residue are discarded. In Mediterranean countries, where 97 percent of the world's olive oil is produced, olive mills generate almost 8 billion gallons of this wastewater annually. Disposing of it has become problematic. Dumping it into rivers and streams can potentially contaminate drinking water and harm aquatic life. Pumping it onto farm land damages the soil and reduces crop yields. Some researchers have tried burning the wastewater with mixtures of solid waste from the mills or waste wood. But these approaches have either been too costly or have produced excessive air pollution. Mejdi Jeguirim and colleagues took a different approach. They wanted to see if they could convert olive mill wastewater (OMW) from a pollutant into sustainable products for practical use.
New report gives the lay of the land on grazing livestock's climate impact.An international research collaboration has shed light on the impact that grass-fed animals have on climate change. Its new study adds clarity to the debate around livestock farming and meat and dairy consumption. The newly published report dissects claims made by different stakeholders in the debate about so called 'grass-fed' beef, the greenhouse gases the animals emit, and the possibility that, through their grazing actions, they can help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It evaluates these claims and counterclaims against the best available science, providing an authoritative and evidence-based answer to the question: Is grass-fed beef good or bad for the climate? "Grazed and Confused? Ruminating on cattle, grazing systems, methane, nitrous oxide, the soil carbon sequestration question -- and what it all means for greenhouse gas emissions" is written by Dr Tara Garnett of the Food Climate Research Network at the University of Oxford, Cécile Godde at Australia's national science agency the CSIRO and a team of international experts. The report finds that while grazing of grass-fed animals can boost the sequestration of carbon in some locally specific circumstances, that effect is time-limited, reversible, and at the global level, substantially outweighed by the greenhouse gas emissions they generate. more
Faster Salmonella test boosts food safety for humans and animals. A new test allows accurate, rapid testing for Salmonella, a bacteria that is one of the leading causes of food-borne illness across all regions of the world. Salmonella can infect animals as well as people, with commonly reported cases of people falling sick after handling pets and livestock.A new test allows accurate, rapid testing for Salmonella, a bacteria that is one of the leading causes of food-borne illness across all regions of the world. Tests that used to take days now take 24 hours, with a hundredfold improvement in detection for at least one type of Salmonella -- called Salmonella Dublin -- that is an emerging concern and is difficult to grow in culture, making diagnosis difficult. The new method, first developed for automated food safety testing and then adapted by Cornell scientists for a wider range of sample types, can detect the bacteria from environmental and clinical samples, including swabs, feces, milk and blood. more