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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Star organic farmer championing toxic-free food production.

Star organic farmer championing toxic-free food production.A deficiency in his immune causing muscle weakness inspired Dennis Andaye to start his own companies that offer farmers and consumers’ nontoxic and healthy food. Star organic farmer championing toxic-free food production.

How technology is transforming Africa’s agricultural industry.

How technology is transforming Africa’s agricultural industry. The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (Agra) is reporting that close to 70% of the population is involved in agriculture as smallholder farmers working on parcels of land that are, on average, less than 2 hectares. Given those statistics, the importance of agriculture at the heart of conversations on Africa’s economy’s journey cannot be overemphasized. The World Bank estimates that Africa’s food market will be worth $1 trillion by 2030 up from the current $300 billion. In addition, the continent’s food import bill, the latest trends show, stands anywhere between $30–50 billion. How technology is transforming Africa’s agricultural industry.

Plateau State guns for potato export.

Plateau State guns for potato export.Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong has disclosed that the state will launch into the exportation of Irish potatoes in 2019 as a channel to increase its internal revenue.

We must support the government in agriculture – Traditional Rulers.

We must support the government in agriculture – Traditional Rulers.Traditional Rulers under the auspices of Royal Fathers in Agriculture (ROFINA) have flagged off the harvest of cassava in Imo State, South-East, Nigeria, to buoy up government’s campaign on agriculture. The President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ROFINA, His Royal Majesty, Eze Chidume Okoro, said the initiative was formulated out of the need for traditional rulers to support the government’s agricultural revolution. We must support the government in agriculture – Traditional Rulers.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Depression: a ‘serious public health hazard’ for people with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Depression: a ‘serious public health hazard’ for people with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa.Untreated depression could seriously compromise treatment outcomes for people living with HIV.Depression is one of the most common psychiatric disorders among people living with HIV. They are, according to statistics from western countries, two to three times more likely to develop symptoms compared to the general population. However, critics suggest that ‘insufficient attention’ is being placed on mental health issues in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) where the majority of people living with HIV live and are in care. Published in the journal, PLoS ONE, a recent meta-analysis and review of studies investigating the link between HIV and depression has now revealed that prevalence ranges from a low of 3% among people on antiretroviral treatment (ART) to a high of 34% among treatment-naïve individuals across SSA countries.

Experimental vaccine to be used against Ebola outbreak in the DRC.

Experimental vaccine to be used against Ebola outbreak in the DRC.A campaign to vaccinate people at risk of developing Ebola in the latest outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo could begin by the end of this week, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director ofthe World Health Organization. Tedros said the government of the DRC has formally asked to use an experimental vaccine being developed by Merck. The WHO has a stockpile of 4,300 doses of the vaccine in Geneva; the company also has 300,000 doses of the vaccine stockpiled in the United States. Merck has given its permission for the vaccine to be used in this outbreak.

Why Ebola keeps coming back.

Why Ebola keeps coming back.The Ebola virus has reared its head again, this time in the Democratic Republic of Congo. While it is impossible to predict exactly where and when the next outbreak will occur, we now know much more about how to prevent a crisis. The news of an Ebola outbreak in the town of Bikoro in north-west DR Congo instantly brings to mind the horror of the epidemic that took 11,000 lives and infected 28,000 people in West Africa between 2014 and 2016. It is a nightmare no-one wants to relive - or should have to. Since 4 April in DR Congo, there have been more than 30 possible cases - involving 18 deaths - although only two incidents have so far been confirmed as Ebola. So why does Ebola keep coming back and what work is being done to prevent a repeat of the tragedy in West Africa? Ebola can spread rapidly, through contact with even small amounts of bodily fluid of those infected. Its early flu-like symptoms are not always obvious.

RESEARCH: Bitter kola controls stress better than kola nut.

RESEARCH: Bitter kola controls stress better than kola nut. Bitter kola controls stress better than kola nut. STEERING clear from stress is almost impossible in today’s high-pressure society. Before resorting to prescription drugs, bitter kola may be an option worth trying out. RESEARCH: Bitter kola controls stress better than kola nut.Interestingly, a study comparing the invigorating effect of bitter kola and kola nut found bitter kola a better option to reduce the feelings of stress and anxiety without having to visit the doctor’s clinic. RESEARCH: Bitter kola controls stress better than kola nut. Researchers found that both contain antioxidant and thus have the potential for scavenging free radicals, hence arresting oxidative stress. However, extracts of bitter kola were seen to be more potent than that of kola nut.

Empowering Smallholder Farmers In Fish, Poultry Farming.

Empowering Smallholder Farmers In Fish, Poultry Farming. The successful completion of training of over 200 women and youths from the Niger Delta region in poultry and fish farming entrepreneurial skills by the Federal Government will no doubt serve as a momentum towards growing the Nigerian poultry and aquaculture industry as well as significantly contribute to the overall actualisation of food security in the country. Empowering Smallholder Farmers In Fish, Poultry Farming.

FG to replace GES with agric mechanisation scheme.

FG to replace GES with agric mechanisation scheme. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh disclosed that the federal government is to introduce a new programme called “Agriculture Implement and Mechanization Scheme (AIMS)” as a substitute to Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES). The Minister made the disclosure during the unveiling of the SMART Model Farm Site by John Deere Tractors Manufacturing Company at Gwagwalada Local Government Area in Abuja. FG to replace GES with agric mechanisation scheme.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

TOP 10 DOG BREEDS THAT COMMONLY NEED C-SECTIONS.

TOP 10 DOG BREEDS THAT COMMONLY NEED C-SECTIONS.Cesarean sections, commonly called c-sections, affect the following breeds a lot more frequently than the others: Boston Terriers, English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Mastiff, Scottish Terriers, Miniature Bull Terriers, German Wirehaired Pointer, Pekingeses, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, and St Bernards. Purebred dog breeds that often undergo a cesarean section during the birthing stage of their pregnancy require surgery due to small birth canals, too big heads for the puppies, or unexpected dystocia. The surgical operation for cesarean sections is called a hysterotomy. The methodology and technique have been perfected over the decades. Planned c-sections for dogs are safe but there is still a bit of a risk for unexpected cesarean sections, both for the mother and the puppies. Additionally, with canine cesarean sections, the mother does not have the occasion to instinctively bond with her whelps. Indeed, they are hand-removed by the veterinarians. Although this is generally no problem whatsoever, the mother may take more time to properly bond with her own litter of puppies. Make sure they are growing at a healthy pace.

Common Blood Tests Done on Cats.

Common Blood Tests Done on Cats. These are some of the common blood tests done on cats and what they indicate: 1) CBC :A CBC, or complete blood count, measures and examines a cat's blood cells. It gives the veterinarian a wealth of information. Some of this includes: Red blood cell (RBC) counts, proportions, and health. RBCs carry oxygen, iron, and other nutrients around the body. White blood cell (WBC) counts, proportions, and health. WBCs help fight inflammation, infection, cancer cells, and parasitic intruders. Platelet counts and health. Platelets control blood clotting. A CBC can tell a veterinarian if a cat is anemic, dehydrated, fighting some sort of inflammation or infection, and whether there is internal bleeding occurring. BUN and Creatinine Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine are blood chemistries that are routinely measured as part of larger blood panels. If the BUN is high, it can indicate dehydration, kidney dysfunction, or a liver problem. Creatinine levels are more strictly related to kidney function. High levels indicate that the cat's kidneys are having difficulty clearing the creatinine from the body and kidney disease may be present.

Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?.

Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?. How much do cats sleep? Cats sleep between 15 and 20 hours a day! This is twice as much sleep as most other mammals need. Cats get that much sleep by taking naps throughout the day and night, rather than sleeping for 18 hours all at once. Cats are crepuscular. This means that they are the most active during twilight times (dusk and dawn). During most other times of the day, they are either snoozing or in a deep sleep. Snoozing refers to the type of sleep when cats are usually sitting upright with their eyes partly open, and their ears twitch in response to noises. Cats are in a half-asleep state when they are snoozing, and about 75% of a cat's sleep-time is this type of sleep. During deep sleep, cats are usually curled up, eyes completely closed, and they sometimes have their faces covered by their paws or tail. The well-known term "catnap" pays homage to these extraordinary feline sleeping abilities and styles.

RESEARCH: THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF PEANUTS.

RESEARCH: THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF PEANUTS. Here are some of the most well-known health benefits of Peanuts. 1. Rich in Energy: Peanuts contain vitamins, minerals, nutrients and anti-oxidants and thus are rich energy sources.This makes peanut nut an energy crunch that can boost you up .Eating peanut alone or in combination with other snacks still provide the necessary nutritious advantage. A new cereal,snack with peanut as one of the ingredients is making waves because of its unique taste. 2. Cholesterol: It lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol in the body (2). Peanuts contain mono-unsaturated fatty acids especially oleic acid that prevents coronary diseases. 3. Growth: Peanuts are rich in proteins. The amino acids present in them are good for proper growth and development of body (3). 4. Fights Stomach Cancer: Poly-phenolic anti-oxidants are present in the peanuts in high concentrations. P-Coumaric acid has the ability to reduce the risk of stomach cancer by reducing the productions of carcinogenic nitrous-amines more

Dark chocolate consumption reduces stress and inflammation.

Dark chocolate consumption reduces stress and inflammation.Findings from two new studies show dark chocolate consumption reduces stress and inflammation, while improving memory, immunity and mood. New research shows there might be health benefits to eating certain types of dark chocolate. Findings from two studies being presented today at the Experimental Biology 2018 annual meeting in San Diego show that consuming dark chocolate that has a high concentration of cacao (minimally 70% cacao, 30% organic cane sugar) has positive effects on stress levels, inflammation, mood, memory and immunity. While it is well known that cacao is a major source of flavonoids, this is the first time the effect has been studied in human subjects to determine how it can support cognitive, endocrine and cardiovascular health. Eating chocolates raw,or in combination with other food still delivers the health benefits. The fine blend of chocolate and yellow garri is a super combination that is delicious and healthy, see. Dark chocolate consumption reduces stress and inflammation.

Drinking baking soda could be an inexpensive, safe way to combat autoimmune disease.

Drinking baking soda could be an inexpensive, safe way to combat autoimmune disease. A daily dose of baking soda may help reduce the destructive inflammation of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, scientists say. They have some of the first evidence of how the cheap, over-the-counter antacid can encourage our spleen to promote instead an anti-inflammatory environment that could be therapeutic in the face of inflammatory disease. Drinking baking soda could be an inexpensive, safe way to combat autoimmune disease.

Eggs not linked to cardiovascular risk for people with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes.

Eggs not linked to cardiovascular risk for people with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. University of Sydney researchers aim to help clear up conflicting dietary advice around egg consumption, as a new study finds eating up to 12 eggs per week for a year did not increase cardiovascular risk factors in people with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. The study shows eggs are good for you.

Migratory animals carry more parasites.

Migratory animals carry more parasites.Every year, billions of animals migrate across the globe, carrying parasites with them and encountering parasites through their travels. Now, a team of researchers has discovered that animals known to migrate long distances are infected by a greater number of parasite species than animals that do not migrate. Migratory animals carry more parasites.

Maize farmers get storage bags that help check post-harvest losses.

Maize farmers get storage bags that help check post-harvest losses. A new technology has been introduced in the region to help reduce maize farmers’ losses due to poor storage, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. Ministry officials said maize farmers last year lost up to Sh15 billion post-harvest due to poor storage. The technology, Purdue Improved Crop Storage (Pics), is expected to allow farmers to store grain for up to five years without having to use any preservatives.Once tied properly, no pests can penetrate it. If any pests are inside the maize after packing it in Pics bags, they will be suffocated. Maize farmers get storage bags that help check post-harvest losses. .

How a form 2 drop-out is making money from banana flour.

How a form 2 drop-out is making money from banana flour. Afros Ochieng Otieno dropped out of school in form two at Nyamusi Boys school due to lack of school fees in 2001 and was forced to do casual jobs such as weeding people’s farms for thirteen years. In July 2014, however, he and nine other friends started a self-help group to add value to bananas, a venture that is earning him Sh3,000 in profits daily. The group converts banana fingers into flour for baking bread, cakes and dough nuts. Besides, Ochieng converts banana peels which are usually dumped as waste into a fine medicinal powder that can be used to treat ulcers. How a form 2 drop-out is making money from banana flour.

FAO sets benchmark to guide Public, Private Partnership (PPP) .

FAO sets benchmark to guide Public, Private Partnership (PPP) .The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) says it would set benchmark that would serve as guidelines for the African agricultural sector to bridge the gap between the public and private sector. FAO Agribusiness Officer, Stephanie Gallatova, made this known at an agribusiness workshop attended by eight African countries in Nairobi. Gallatova said the Public, Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives have the potential to help transform the production-oriented agricultural sector of African countries into a dynamic market-oriented Agri-Food sector. FAO sets benchmark to guide Public, Private Partnership (PPP).

AfDB partners FG on irrigation facilities in rural areas.

AfDB partners FG on irrigation facilities in rural areas. As part of efforts geared towards the development of the agricultural sector, the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Programme Phase 1 (ATASP-1) of the African Development Bank has partnered with the Federal Government to provide irrigation facilities, farm inputs and feeder roads in rural areas. AfDB partners FG on irrigation facilities in rural areas.

FG to procure 10,000 tractors for agric mechanisation.

FG to procure 10,000 tractors for agric mechanisation. Nigeria's Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh has disclosed Federal Government’s intention to purchase 10,000 tractors from U.S.-based John Deere Agriculture and Farming Equipment Company within the next five years. FG to procure 10,000 tractors for agric mechanisation to promote food security.

Antibiotic-resistant genes are being spread all over the world in animal feed.

Antibiotic-resistant genes are being spread all over the world in animal feed, scientists discover.Ten million people could die every year by 2050 if the rise of superbugs is not checked, experts have warned. Antibiotic-resistant genes are being spread around the world in animal feed, according to new research that adds to fears humanity could lose one of our most important medicines.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Nigeria can make billions from cassava export .

Nigeria can make billions from cassava export. Nigeria could earn billions in foreign currency from its 47 million tonnes of cassava tubers produced annually, according to a university don, Prof. Aloy Ezirim . Ezirim, a lecturer in the Faculty of Management Sciences, University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt .Ezirim said that Nigeria rather than producing cassava for food consumption alone should produce it for both industrial purpose and for consumption. Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava tubers in the world but cassava produced in the country is processed and consumed locally in various forms with little set aside for export.“Today, cassava has over 2,000 uses in the world that can easily replace or support crude oil as a foreign exchange earner and provide employment for many, if well harnessed". Nigeria can make billions from cassava export .

Farmers laud IITA’s “Seeds of Renaissance” initiative.

Farmers laud IITA’s “Seeds of Renaissance” initiative. Borno State Farmers have lauded the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) “Seeds of Renaissance” initiative – which was formulated to assuage the protracted food crisis in Northern Nigeria. Farmers across state had come forward to give evidence that they were recording high yields with the new seeds distributed by the institute in 2017.Farmers laud IITA’s “Seeds of Renaissance” initiative.

Nigeria woos foreign investors to bridge tomato production gap.

Stakeholders in the Nigeria tomato industry have agreed to hold annual tomato investment roundtable, as part of the initiative to build –up more investment required to stimulate production active along value- chain in country. Scaling –up investment in the sector, is believed would go a long way in generating activities that will address the current trend in which over 45 percent of tomato cultivated in the country are lost due to poor post-harvest management.Nigeria woos foreign investors to bridge tomato production gap. The stakeholders made this submission at a maiden edition of the Nigeria Tomato Investment Roundtable, held during the week, in the Dutse, capital of Jigawa State.Nigeria woos foreign investors to bridge tomato production gap. The roundtable which drew participants from within and outside the country, was declared opened by Muhammad Badaru Abubakar, governor of Jigawa state, and also had in attendance, Hafiz Abubakar deputy-governor of Kano state, among others.

The Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO) has produced brake pads, bumpers and other vehicle parts from Kenaf, a fibrous plant.

The Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO) has produced brake pads, bumpers and other vehicle parts from Kenaf, a fibrous plant. The brake pads and other vehicle accessories manufactured by FIIRO from the fibrous plant were displayed at the institute’s headquarters in Lagos during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between FIIRO, Kenaf Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (KPPMAN), and the Crystal Entrepreneurship Centre. In her opening speech, Gloria Elemo, director-general of FIIRO, stated that the research that went into the production of motor vehicle non-mechanical parts was borne out of the institute’s quest to industrialise Nigeria. Elemo pointed out that research and development (R&D) was useless until taken to the market, buttressing that this led the institute to collaborate with KPPMAN and CEC to commercialise the parts. Nigeria has a population of 198 million, with about 12 million vehicles plying on its roads. It has estimated 10,000 car sales annually, a significant drop from 50,000 cars sold in 2013. The country does not produce brake pads, bumper and other vehicle parts manufacturers, with Star Auto Industries Limited, only brake pads manufacturing firm, shutting down in 2014. Dunlop and Michelin, two tyre makers, left Nigeria in 2008 on the back of high energy cost, inability to compete with second-hand vehicles and lack of liquidity, those knowledgeable about the firms said. If commercialised, the new vehicle parts are tapped to reduce Nigeria’s import bill and increase local input sourcing in the country

How ATASP-1 is enriching rural farmers along commodity value chains.

How ATASP-1 is enriching rural farmers along commodity value chains.Nigeria is blessed with 84 million hectares of arable land located across the country, but these arable land is currently under utilized due to negligence of the agricultural sector by successive governments over the years. Also, Nigeria has the potential to cultivate rice, Cassava and sorghum both for local consumption and export, but due to poor support of farmers by the government over the years, Nigeria is currently importing some of these crops and its raw materials for industrial use and household use. It is at the backdrop that Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Programme Phase 1 (ATASP-1) had embarked in a mission to increase the production of some commodity value chain crops, and add value to the crops. How ATASP-1 is enriching rural farmers along commodity value chains.

Nigeria’s economic growth lies in exportation of agric products.

Nigeria’s economic growth lies in exportation of agric products.CHAIRMAN of Eti-Oni Development Group, organisers of the annual Cocoa Festival in Nigeria, Chief Dokun Thompson, has said that Nigerian sustainable economic growth assurance lies on the exportation Agricultural Finished products and not raw materials. Nigeria’s economic growth lies in exportation of agric products.

Africa must double cassava production to avert food crisis by 2050.

Africa must double cassava production to avert food crisis by 2050. As the Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21) prepares for its 4th International Cassava Conference in Cotonou, Republic of Benin, scheduled for June 11-15, 2018, its Director, Dr. Claude Fauquet has warned that for the continent to avert a major food crisis by 2050, it needs to double her cassava production. Fauquet, who raised the alarm, at a world press conference in Lagos said though Africa accounts for 55 per cent of global cassava root production, its yield per hectare is the lowest in the world with about 10 tons per ha as opposed to Asia where average yield is 21 tons per hectare—or double the yield in Africa. Africa must double cassava production to avert food crisis by 2050. more

How to tackle seasonal fluctuation, price of pepper.

How to tackle seasonal fluctuation, price of pepper. Most Nigerian homes, especially in the Southwest region, who consume good quantity of pepper, may have to endure the current high price of the commodity in the market. For now, according to The Guardian survey, scarcity is the factor contributing to the current price increase. The fact that pepper is a major spice used in foods makes it an essential commodity across the country. There is hardly a complete meal without use of at least one variety of pepper.

Nutrition agency tackles tomato harvest loss.

Nutrition agency tackles tomato harvest loss. yNigeria is set to reap improved gains from the tomato value chain, as the Post-harvest Loss Alliance for Nutrition (PLAN), expands its capacity building/training for citizens on appropriate processing methods and packaging technologies. The recent training, held in Kaduna, had 30 participants from both public and private sectors as PLAN, an initiative of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), seeks to maximise Nigeria’s nutrition potential from tomato, in which it ranks as the 14th largest producer globally with an estimated annual output of 1.8 million metric tonnes. According to PLAN, in spite of the high production rate, the demand gap is hardly met due to the colossal post-harvest losses occasioned by poor post-harvest management industry, thereby leading to low consumption of nutritious foods and reduced income for farmers.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

AGRIBUSINESS: Yellow Cassava.

AGRIBUSINESS: Yellow Cassava. How the yellow cassava is winning the Vitamin A deficiency war. Yellow cassava is a new, yellow-fleshed breed of cassava making waves in Africa. The yellow root cassava are grown for their high concentrations of β-carotene a precursor to Vitamin A. AGRIBUSINESS: Yellow Cassava. Vitamin A deficiency is a major issue, especially in Africa,and Nigeria especially has a prevalence of Vitamin A deficiency in nearly one third of children under five years old. Bio fortification of food to alleviate certain deficiencies in the past have been instituted with products such as sugar,salt,flour e.t.c. AGRIBUSINESS: Yellow Cassava. The introduction of the new variant of cassava is to stop the vitamin A deficiency is a good innovation as cassava products are stable foods in the country hence more people will be reached especially children who drink garri regularly. Garri a staple food in the country had 2 types the white and yellow forms which both originated from the normal cassava,but processed differently. The white garri is fried without palm oil while the yellow type is fried with palm oil when processing to boost its nutritional value. The advantage of the yellow cassava is that the nutritional level is already boosted,thus the garri comes out yellow saving producers the stress of adding palm oil and thus reducing the cost of production. AGRIBUSINESS: Yellow Cassava. The yellow cassava can be used to produce all the same products as the white cassava but now with a tinge of yellow. Children under five and pregnant women are mostly affected with Vitamin A deficiency which results in increase disease risk, preventable blindness,reduced immunity and death. Vitamin A deficiency is also a major cause of hidden hunger thus adults who dont eat balanced diet can also succumb to blindness and increase disease risk. AGRIBUSINESS: Yellow Cassava. The yellow cassava products such as yellow garri in combination with other ingredients can be used to make delicious foods such as cereals,snacks,soups that children will love and enjoy eating. The yellow cassava garri can used to make flakes, chocoballs,pancakes and loops.