FG Seeks increase in Tomato Import Duty to Boost Local Production

Nigeria will increase custom duties for tomato imports and waive tariffs for some farming equipment to stimulate local production and investment in the agriculture sector, its trade minister said on Wednesday.

"We are going to go up. We will be announcing what the new tariffs are but clearly there is a new set of tariffs," Okechukwu Enelamah told reporters, without giving details.

Reuters reports that Customs duties on some greenhouse equipment currently amounting to as much as 20 percent would be removed.

Scientists find crop-destroying caterpillar spreading rapidly in Africa

Scientists tracking a crop-destroying caterpillar known as armyworm say it is now spreading rapidly across mainland Africa and could reach tropical Asia and the Mediterranean in the next few years, threatening agricultural trade, Reuters reports.

In research released on Monday, scientists at the Britain-based Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) said the pest, which had not previously been established outside the Americas, is now expected to spread "to the limits of suitable African habitat" within a few years.

Rice Farmers Target High Production

The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria in Bayelsa, on Saturday said it would produce no fewer than 180, 000 metric tons of rice from Ayamasa and Ofoni fields in the state.

Mr Ezikeil Ogbianko, the association’s chairman, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Ofoni, Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa that it had acquired 10, 000 hectares of land in the two sites.

“We have gotten the land, 5, 000 hectares each from the two communities making it 10, 000.

Rice Smuggling Thrives in Spite of Ban

The smuggling of rice through the land borders has continued to thrive in Badagry area of Lagos State in spite of the Federal Government’s ban on the practice.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that markets along Badagry Expressway close to Seme border, are stocked with various varieties of smuggled rice, especially as the Christmas season approaches.

A smuggler, who identified himself as Sunday Egeseme, was seen offloading bags of rice from his car at Alaba Rago Market in Okokomaiko area of Lagos.

He described the business as “lucrative’’.

Nigeria famine risk rising, those in danger may double in 2017 –IPC

Global food security monitors said on Friday that Nigeria's Borno state was at increased risk of famine, with one study projecting the number of those affected will rise to 115,000 in 2017 from 55,000 this year, Reuters reports.

The northeastern state is the area worst hit by the seven-year Boko Haram insurgency that has killed 15,000 people and uprooted more than 2 million during the Islamist militants' attempt to create a "caliphate" in the area.

Nigeria-Moroccan Venture to Produce 1m tons of Fertilizer from Next Year

An agreement between the governments of Nigeria and Morocco, anchored by Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers of Nigeria (FEPSAN) and a Moroccan company, OCP will yield one million tons of fertilizer through local production for next farming season.

This will be a short term solution that will, by a signed agreement also force the price of fertilizer from N8,000 to a low of about N5,000.

African Development Bank Launches Feed Africa Strategy

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) launched its Feed Africa Strategy in the West Africa sub-region, a programme to make the continent food sufficient.

The programme which was launched at a workshop in Dakar recently was approved by the Board of Directors of the AfDB in June 2016.

The workshop was to sensitise and enhance the mobilization of all stakeholders for the implementation of the “Feed Africa: Strategy for the Agricultural Transformation in Africa 2016 – 2025″.

Nigeria to Start Rice Exportation in 2017

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday said its Anchor Borrowers Programme for the promotion of Agriculture had set the country to begin exportation of rice by 2017.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Anchor Borrowers Programme of the CBN and the Presidential Committee on Rice Production launched in July had jointly set the target.

The Acting Director of Corporate Communications of the apex bank, Mr Isaac Okorafor, said this in Yenagoa at a sensitisation workshop for farmers.

Anchor Borrowers’ Programme: Emefiele Assures States of Support

The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele has assured that the Bank would support State Governments interested in keying into the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), which the CBN initiated in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

He gave the assurance in Anaku, Anambra State recently during an assessment tour of Coscharis rice farms to ascertain the impact of the N2 billion credit granted the farm under the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.

‘98% of Nigeria’s Dairy Products Imported’

The Chairman, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, says 98 per cent of all dairy products consumed in the country are imported.

Dangote made this assertion in Lagos on Monday while addressing some students of the Executive MBA class of the Lagos Business School who visited the Dangote Petrochemical Refinery.

He said that the nation was at the risk of hunger in the next few years if the mass food importation was not checked.

“Ninety-eight per cent of all the milk and dairy products we consume in Nigeria are imported.