Asia-Africa AgriBusiness Forum 2014

 An event highlighting the major contributions of agriculture sector in the economic development of African and Asian economies, Asia-Africa AgriBusiness Forum is all set to further strengthen the economic and agricultural ties between both these continents. The event organized from Feb 04-06, 2014, by FICCI in partnership with Government of India will prove to be a great platform for entrepreneurs of both the continents to have an open discussion and enhance their agribusiness linkages.

Africa and Asia are poised as the future food baskets of the world present immense opportunities for investment and many other countries worldwide eye these two continents for their food security concerns. Having its prime focus on the imperative sector, Agriculture which is affecting most of the economies directly or indirectly the event’s main intent is to highlight the extensive role of agriculture in the growth of African and Asian economy and to catch the huge potential for productivity enhancement, R&D infrastructure development, agri education, extension system and strengthening the value chain attempting to build more agribusiness linkages between both the continents.

The three day forum will entail various programmes and sessions including B2B meetings and exhibitions aiming to tap emerging export and import markets and motivate technology transfer. Collectively, Agriculture Ministers from Asian & African countries, senior industry leaders, policy makers, Government officials, multi-lateral organizations, regional economic blocs and major funding organizations will participate in an endeavor to further develop an improved framework for greater international cooperation in the flourishing sector.

THE TIMES OF AFRICA as Media Partner would be actively participating in the prompting discussion and would be drawing out a detailed coverage on the same in the magazine. The coverage will be highlighted as a Special report in the Jan-Feb’14 issue. It is our sincere endeavor to bring into limelight the forum’s earnest rationale and spread extensive awareness on the same.

– See more at: http://www.thetimesofafrica.com/node/320#sthash.O135zHPS.dpuf

Asia-Africa AgriBusiness Forum 2014

AAAFAn event highlighting the major contributions of agriculture sector in the economic development of African and Asian economies, Asia-Africa AgriBusiness Forum is all set to further strengthen the economic and agricultural ties between both these continents. The event organized from Feb 04-06, 2014, by FICCI in partnership with Government of India will prove to be a great platform for entrepreneurs of both the continents to have an open discussion and enhance their agribusiness linkages. – See more at: http://www.thetimesofafrica.com/node/320#sthash.psJfgwUx.dpuf

Nigeria: FCTA Farmers Benefit From N500 Million Agricultural Loans

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) says it has disbursed over N500 million to farmers under the agriculture loan scheme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as part of measures to boost agriculture development and food supply in the territory.

The FCTA said it has also entered into a public private partnership agreement with an Israeli Firm, SEC Equipment, to build an Agriculture Services and Training Centre in Abuja.

Minister of State for FCT, Olajumoke Akinjide, told the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Bank of Agriculture, Mohammed Santuraki, that the FCT Administration had keyed into President Goodluck Jonathan’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda aimed at revamping the agriculture business and ensuring food security in the country.

“Agriculture is one of the cornerstones of the President’s Transformation Agenda. The Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GES) is one of the key initiatives under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) aimed at diversifying the economy and enhancing foreign exchange earnings,” she said.

“The ultimate goal of the scheme is to ensure that agriculture is practiced as lucrative commercial enterprise that is not only sustainable but also attractive to our youths and women. The FCTA is committed to the development of viable agricultural entrepreneurship through provision of free technical expertise and farm subsidies,” the minister added.

Mrs Akinjide, who noted that the FCTA would partner with the Bank of Agriculture to grow the agriculture sector in the FCT, said the Agriculture Services and Training Centre, when completed and operational, would become a one-stop agriculture centre in Nigeria.

The Centre, she said, would be a dedicated facility to support farmers, adding that it would consist of a training centre, extension services department, irrigation and laboratory for soil test, among other agriculture and allied facilities, while about 170,000 farming families had registered in the FCT.

The BOA Managing Director, Mohammed Santuraki, explained that the visit by the management team was to strengthen the collaboration between the bank and the FCT Administration in the areas of agricultural financing for the benefit of farmers and agribusiness entrepreneurs in the FCT.

“We have noted the giant strides that the Administration is taking to build a virile economy in FCT using agriculture as the foundation. Your effort is most appropriate at this time in the history of Nigeria when agriculture is occupying an important place in the Federal Government’s Transformation Agenda,” Mr. Santuraki said.

He confirmed that the BOA had granted agriculture loans of over N50 billion to support the agribusiness in the last 10 years, adding that the Bank had created 6,000 enterprises and six million direct and indirect jobs during the period.

“In the last couple of years, we have repositioned the Bank to make it even more impactful and financially sustainable. As part of our reform agenda, we have chosen to create alliances with State Governments and other domain stakeholders.

“The BOA is in a better position to manage funds earmarked by FCT Administration for agricultural development and poverty alleviation in the FCT,” Mr Santuraki stated.

Nigeria: 7,000 Cassava Farmers Benefit From N1 Billion Agric Loan

At least 7,000 cassava farmers are expected to benefit from the N1 billion agricultural loan to be disbursed by the Sokoto state government in order to improve cassava production.

The state Commissioner of Agriculture, Alhaji Arzika Tureta, made the remark, while briefing newsmen on the N1 billion interest-free loan meant for cassava farmers in the state. He stated that the N1 billion loan would be disbursed to cassava farmers devoid of any interest. According to him, the initiative was part of government efforts to enhance cassava production for local consumption and export.

The Commissioner said this would go a long way towards ensuring food security in the state and the country in general.

Tureta explained that the N1 billion agricultural loan was an initiative of the federal government aimed at boosting cassava production in the country. He said to this end, a committee had been set up to screen the beneficiaries, in order to ensure that only genuine farmers benefit from the loan.

He called on the cassava farmers not to give anybody money to help them secure the loan. “The cassava farmers in the state should not give their money to anybody promising to assist them secure the loan but go through the appropriate channels to avoid being duped by unscrupulous individuals,” he advised.

Tureta charged them to avail themselves of the opportunity to improve farming activities in the state. Also speaking, the National Vice Chairman, Cassava Growers Association, Abubakar Chika, said the provision of interest free loan to the farmers would go a long way in enhancing food production in the state.

He stated that the gesture was an indication of government’s commitment to the improvement of agriculture in the state. He urged beneficiaries to use the funds judiciously for the purpose it was meant for and refrain from diverting it.