Turkish agency distributes seeds to farmers in Sudan

Turkey’s state-run aid agency will give tons of seeds and various agricultural tools to some 5,000 farmers in Sudan this year.

As part of an agriculture project, Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) will distribute 50 tons of seeds of some vegetables and fruits including tomato, onion, melon, carrot and ladyfinger.

The agency will also hand out 1,500 fruit scions along with various agricultural tools.

TIKA has been giving agricultural support to the country since 2010, according to Celalettin Gungenci, the agency’s Khartoum coordinator.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Gungenci said that the project launched in 2010 continues by developing every passing year.

“Our project gives hope to thousands of Sudanese farmers,” he added.

Established in 1992, Turkey’s government-run aid agency is responsible for implementing Turkey’s developmental cooperation policies overseas.

The agency carries out development cooperation activities in 170 countries via its 58 program coordination offices in 56 countries across five continents.

300 farmers to undergo training on mechanized agriculture in Edo State, Nigeria.

At least 300 farmers are to undergo a training programme on mechanized farming, which is being organised by the Edo State chapter of the Nigeria Cassava Growers Association in conjunction with the Dizengoff Nigeria, an agricultural technology company.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Economic and Development Planning, Mr. Joseph Eboigbe, yesterday said that the state government was interested in supporting farmers in the running of commercial farms.

In fact, he expressed the government’s support for the training session, which is billed to hold on Thursday in Benin City, the state capital.

According to him, agriculture has remained the major fulcrum of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration, which informed the increased interest in attracting and sustaining investments in the sector.

“The programme will present the opportunity for farmers to be exposed to equipment and tools for commercial agriculture and provide them with options for expansion,” he noted, saying the programme, tagged “Farmers’ Open Day,” will feature exhibition of tractors and implements, greenhouse, agro-consumables, knapsack sprayer and open filed irrigation, among others.

Chairman, Edo State chapter of the Nigeria Cassava Growers Association, Mr. Donatus Imaghodor, who said the governor would declare the event open, however, added: “The Nigeria Cassava Growers Association, which is an umbrella body of Cassava Farmers in Edo State is partnering with Dizengoff Nigeria, an Agriculture and Communication Technology company in organizing the one-day training for 300 farmers in Edo State.”

Pakistan set to showcase agro food industry at Food West Africa 2018

Five Pakistani firms will showcase their products at the third edition of Food West Africa, the largest B2B food and beverage industry platform in West Africa, holding at the Landmark Centre in Lagos May 8 -10.

The five companies are related to beverage, juices, confectionary, rice, wheat products, fruit and vegetables, and flexible packaging for food products.

The Agro Food Division at Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) said in a statement that it was convinced to participate in the fair following worldwide appreciation of Pakistani food products.

TDAP said it had been working for seamless participation in international food supply chain by focusing on qualitative improvement of products, availability of cold chain and best available storage facilities, international compliance standards and exploiting natural competitive advantage.

“Economy of Pakistan has maintained growth trajectory and registered growth of 5.28 percent in 2016-2017. This pattern of growth is projected to increase in current year. Agriculture and food sector has been pillar of the economy and Pakistan figures in top commodity producing countries of the world,” the statement said.

It added that Pakistan records annual production of 26.4 million metric tonnes (MT) of wheat, 6.5 million MT of rice, 11.5 million bales of cotton, 1.8 million MT of mangoes, 2.4 million MT of citrus fruit, and so on.

The statement said Pakistan has multiplied exports of traditional agricultural products like rice, mandarin, seafood, mangoes, fresh vegetables, wheat, and sugar, as well as expanded its reach into new product areas such as processed halal meat, entire chain of poultry sector including feed and hatchery, spices, jams, pickels, confectionary, juices and beverages, molasses, tobacco, dairy products, etc.

“Pakistan has simultaneously specialized in production of agricultural machinery like tractors and implements, irrigation machinery, seeds, fertilizers, food packaging, food grade films, crockery, cutlery, and kitchen appliances,” it said.

This edition of Food West Africa, according to its organisers, is expected to attract more than 4,400 industry professionals from 25 countries looking to make new wholesale, retail and food service contacts in the industry as well as host +100 local and international exhibitors showcasing exciting new F&B products, services and equipment from across the globe.

GTBank Backs Four Nigerian Kid Inventors for Global Innovation Challenge with Agric idea

Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) Plc is sponsoring four junior secondary school students in Nigeria who developed a mobile app that could revolutionize agriculture globally.

The kids, between ages of 12 and 14, are from Whitesands School in Lagos and known together as Team Neon.

The inventors, Mordi Menashi, Gbemi Famobiwo, Afolabi Williams and Osagumwenro Ugbo, created a VirtualFarm Application which helps farmers manage their farm and connect with their target markets.

With this innovation, the team entered for the globally renowned Conrad Challenge Annual Innovation Summit in Florida, USA, which encourages high school students to develop cutting-edge solutions to real-world problems in the areas of Aviation, Cyber Technology, Environment and Health, amongst others.

Inspired by the team’s outstanding young talents and driven by its passion for innovation, leading African bank, GTBank is sponsoring the young innovators to the finale of the Conrad Challenge.

The lender’s sponsorship includes, among other benefits, the total coverage of the team’s travel and stay in America.

Competing in the ‘Smoke-Free World’ category, Nigeria’s Team Neon made it to the final stage of the competition, which will be held during the 2018 Spirit of Innovation Summit at the Kennedy Space Centre, from April 25 to 28, 2018.

Judges of the Challenge said, “Improving extension services in rural Africa is a critical step for any agricultural change and Team Neon makes a good case for how the VirtualFarm technology will work.”

This is the first time that African farmers will have access to the package, which has a range of technical advice, [and] with the USSD version of the app, it would be a win-win for the team.

GTBank has consistently played a leading role in Africa’s banking industry and is regarded by industry watchers as one of Africa’s most innovative financial institutions.

The financial institution also maintains an active and clearly defined Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy, which is focused on promoting education for all, fostering community development, promoting arts and protecting the environment.

Cassava coalition calls for transformation of cassava in africa

The Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21) has called on policy makers and donors to support the transformation of the Cassava crop in Africa.

The call made ahead of the international conference on cassava comes amidst concern over the decline in harvests per acre of cassava in Africa compared to Asia.

Dr. Claude Fauquet, the Director of Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century, says cassava productivity per acre has remained at nine tons or less yet the crop plays a key role in Africa’s food security. Its productivity has remained low (about 9 tons per hectare).

Dr. Fauquet notes that, cassava productivity in Asia is more than 21 tons per hectare- a situation that gives Asia competitive advantage in global cassava trade.

His call comes at a time when cassava is becoming central to food security of over 600 million people in the developing world, and has become the fourth most important crop after maize, wheat and rice.

Dr. Fauquet explains that addressing the yield gap demands more funding for cassava research and development (R&D) from all stakeholders if the world wants to help farmers towards ending hunger and poverty in Africa.

A number of Scientists from Africa are expected to meet in Cotonou Benin in mid-June to deliberate on how to improve Cassava productivity and yield. Like in Uganda, the Cassava crop has in the last two decades been affected by several viruses affecting yield and productivity.

Dr. Titus Alicai, the head of Root Crops Department at the National Crop Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI), Namulonge, says cassava productivity in Uganda is affected by pests and diseases, which can’t be easily fought by farmers without guidance of experts.

He cites pests like the Cassava mealy bug and Brown Streak Virus, which can lead to 100 percent yield loss as some of the problems that researchers are trying to resolve. The conference under the theme: Cassava Transformation in Africa is one of the ways the Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century is contributing towards the transformation of the root crop.

This year’s conference is being organised by GCP21, in collaboration with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), National Institute of Agricultural Research of Benin (INRAB).