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FG distributes cowpeas starter packs to farmers, extension agents in Kaduna



FG distributes cowpeas starter packs to farmers, extension agents in Kaduna

The Federal Government has distributed cowpea starter packs (inputs) to farmers and extension agents in Kaduna.

Speaking during the distribution on Sunday in Kaduna, Mrs Dorathy Botar of the Department of Agricultural Extension Services in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the gesture by the federal government was to encourage farmers and extension agents towards mass cultivation of cowpeas.

Botar who supervised the distribution, noted that it is currently the period for planting cowpea and that it was why the Federal Government gave out the inputs as emergency empowerment.

She also said the inputs distributed were emergency empowerment of the farmers and extension agents which is simultaneously carried out across the Northwest, Northeast and North Central region.

Botar explained that the period for planting many crops has gone because of the rainy season which is gradually coming to an end, adding that it is the right time for planting cowpea.

“Cowpeas are planted in July and first week of September, so it is a good timing, 38 beneficiaries will be given the starter packs including extension agents and the farmers.

“The present leadership of the ministry is interested in improving farming, so the farmers should get ready because many of such programmes will be coming your way,”she said.

Botar urged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the inputs, noting that sometimes they sell them, while assuring them of more benefit when they make use of it.

“The farmers and extension agents are already given the fertilizer and herbicides, making it a pre and post inputs, therefore nothing should make them sell them, all they need do is cultivate and make use of it.

“Doing so will reduce poverty and ensure food security,”she said.

Similarly, the State Coordinator of ministry, Dr Timkat Nanfa, said that farming without inputs is a waste of time and resources.

Describing agricultural inputs as the pillar of farming, he said they boost production which would translate to better yield and harvest.

According to the coordinator, the state of cowpea farming in Kaduna is discouraging, noting that with the inputs, farmers would have increased yield.

Also, the General manager of the Kaduna State Agricultural Development Agency (KADA) Mr Muhammad Rili, said they identified the beneficiary to be small holders farmers.

According to him, the identified farmers were more in need of such support, noting that it was aimed at encouraging them and assisting their means of livelihood.

Rili therefore said they would ensure monitoring of the beneficiaries to ensure they make use of the inputs, adding that they have taken their comprehensive data base.

“We have zonal offices where we will cluster in the beneficiaries, we will send signals to our Zonal Managers in order to follow up on the utilisation of the inputs.

“We will carefully watch those who are fond of selling farm inputs they got through gestures and goodwill, going forward, we will now put it into consideration of who to benefit and who will not.

“Our objective and target in KADA is to ensure that such gestures to small holders farmers is used, utilised and appropriately deployed for yield full seasons,”Rili said.

He thanked the federal government for choosing Kaduna State as part of the gesture, while looking forward for more collaboration and support towards agricultural development and empowerment of rural farmers for economic reliance and agricultural sustainability.

One of the beneficiary, Mr Philip Iliya, a cowpea farmer, said the gesture by the federal government came at the right time.

He noted that such empowerment boosts the morale of farmers and reduce so much cost and burden.

“All that we will farm will be ours, we will not have to go and take any farm input on credit and when we harvest and sell we pay back for the inputs we collected,”he said.

Also, Mr John Peter, an agricultural extension agent, said improved seedlings is critical to better yield.

He stressed that as an agent, usage of improved seedlings is what they preach to farmers, adding that the inputs would ensure high yield.

He explained that the inputs, which include the improved seedlings is different from the conventional ones which the farmers use on large land but get little yield.

“As extension agents, we always want the improved varieties to get to the farmers where they will get more yield from small land.

“The major aim as an agent and also a farmer is to get other farmers to agree with the improved varieties from the government away from the conventional ones they are used to,”he said.

The inputs distributed were fertilisers, pre and post usage chemicals, and the cowpea seedlings.


LUTH denies late doctor worked 72-hour call duty



The management of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, has denied allegations that one of its house officers, Dr Michael Umoh, died after a 72-hour call.

This is contained in a statement issued by LUTH management team in Lagos on Thursday.

“LUTH management understands the fact that the family of Dr Umoh is presently mourning the death of their beloved son and requested the foreclosure of any media engagement regarding the death of their son. It is important for us as a management to make clarifications regarding the circumstances surrounding his death.

“Dr Umoh died on Sept 17 while in church with his parents. The management was informed, and the death was later confirmed by one of the Consultants in his unit (Neurosurgery).

“The death of Dr Umoh is unfortunate but the narrative of a 72 hours non-stop shift is false.

“The record from Neurosurgery unit shows that the last time he was on call was 13th and 14th September, 2023.

“He was not on call on the 15th, 16th and 17th (the day he died), contrary to the insinuations on social media. He was at home with his parents on Sept. 16 and Sept. 17,” the management said.

Prior to this time, the management said, he was on call on the Sept. 7 and Sept. 8.

”This shows that Dr Umoh was on call for a total number of four days in September, 2023.

“A delegation from LUTH visited the family on Wednesday to commiserate with the family and to get more details of the circumstances surrounding his death.

“The parents gave the details of what they thought must have contributed to his death but pleaded that the wish of the family be respected and that the narrative is not for public consumption,” it said.

The management described Dr Umoh as a hardworking and diligent house-officer, and a very promising young man.

It said he will be sorely missed by his friends and colleagues.

“May his soul rest in peace, and may the Almighty give the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss” LUTH said.

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Gov Sule charges real sector conference to proffer practical solutions to economy



Abdullahi Sule

Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has charged participants at the Nasarawa State University Keffi (NSUK) 1st International Real Sector Conference to proffer practical solutions to rejuvenate the economy.

He gave the charge on the first day of the two days conference on real sector productivity held at the University in Keffi Local Government Area of the state.

The theme of the conference is “Rejuvenating the sector productivity in Nigeria”.

Sule challenged participants to get real and proffer workable and practical solutions that would rejuvenate the real sector in Nigeria for optimal productivity which in turn would impact on the economy of the country positively.

“The question we should be asking ourselves here is that why are we not getting it right in the real sector in Nigeria?

“So let us proffer practical solutions so that we don’t just end up having an event and having all the communique and all that and then they end up in our offices. Let us ask ourselves what is that is possible and how do we contribute,” he said.

He said their recommendations should also be useful in shaping a better future for the real sector in Nigeria so that future Nigerians could build on that.

“So we must sit down and deliberate on what exactly is our problems in this sector. Are we ready to make sacrifices? And we must make sacrifices because that is the only way we can move forward.

“I want to assure you that in Nigeria we can change the narratives but it will take all of you here to convince the rest,” he said.

Prof. Suleiman Bala-Mohammed, Vice Chancellor, NSUK, commended the university’s Department of Business Administration for organizing the conference and urged the department to sustain it as it would be a platform for cross fertilisation of ideas and wider conversations on local and international issues.

He also urged participants to brainstorm and come up with policy recommendations on how to rejuvenate the real sector in Nigeria.

Mr John Mamman, Nasarawa State Commissioner for Education, however, told NAN that he expected the outcome of the conference would change the narratives because the real sector, according to him, is the driver of the economy.

“The manufacturing, construction, engineering and others are the real movers of the economy. Once we get it right from the drivers of the economy, other sectors will also be impacted positively,” he said.

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