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Breaking off from monoculture economy (3)

Cotton, fishery, livestock, agricultural inputs and transformation

This is a continuation of publication of stories on agriculture by SIAKA MOMOH (the third of four  slots), sourced from his archives, which should remind us of efforts that have been made in the past to put things in shape. I believe government, central and sub, may find these stories useful in our current hard times. Have a good read.

Cotton Transformation Action Plan

An assessment team to visit the major cotton producing states on zonal basis to ascertain the status of the ginneries, and obtain first hand reports on cotton production statistics has been launched. The ministry has constituted a-13 man team of experts to engage the states with the cotton operational plan, eliciting the core intervention areas.

Oil palm transformation Plan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Oil Palm Transformation Value Chain Action Plan is targeted at transforming the ailing oil palm industry in Nigeria. The action plan has been prepared with clear objectives and strategies to meet the needs of transforming the industry in 24 States where oil palm is grown.

The specific objectives to achieve in the next four years (2012-2015) are as follows:

  • Increase vegetable oil production in order to achieve import substitution and cancel   the deficit of 350,000 metric tons which is annually met through import.
  • Increase the yield and productivity of both the unorganised and organised plantings.
  • Arouse greater interest and concern for engagement in competitive market activities within the oil palm value chain.
  • Create employment especially for youth and reduce poverty in affected States.

The strategies for the transformation of the Oil palm value chain are as follows:

Annual production of 60,000 hectares with improved seedlings (totaling 240,000 hectares between 2012 and 2015). The above field planting will achieve between 30,063 metric tons of CPO in 2016 and 345,375 metric tons by 2021.           

The Oil Palm Transformation Team is currently engaged in field visits to achieve the following;     

  • Secure commitment of the State Governments in the scheme
  • Identify nursery operators to participate in dry season oil palm nursery operation from February  2012
  • Identify oil palm production clusters around existing estate for smallholder activities in 2012.    
  • Register smallholder oil palm farmers for 2012 activities.

Fisheries transformation Action Plan

The fishery sub-sector is a growing business. Estimated annual fish demand for Nigeria is about 2.66 million metric tons. The 2009 annual domestic production was about 0.78 metric tons with a supply-demand gap of about 1.88 metric tonnes. In order to bridge this gap, the fish transformation agenda plans to increase annual fish production from the current production of 0.78 million metric tons to 3.0 million metric tons in order to achieve self sufficiency in fish production and supply by the year 2015. This is being achieved through the following:

(a) fish farm estate development program; (b) fish seeds and feed mill development programme; (c) fish pen and cage culture development programme and (d) fish post-harvest management and marketing programme. The fisheries Transformation teams are visiting the states to agree on specific partnership with participating states.

Livestock Transformation Action Plan

With respect to livestock sub-sector, livestock output in Nigeria has been growing at 6-7 percent annually but it is unable to match the growth of demand. In addition Livestock and meat prices have increased sharply in the past five years (2005-2010). Nigeria has one of the largest herds of animals in Africa; however it is unable to meet the demand because of poor nutrition, disease and as well poor breed.

The estimated annual demand for meat and livestock products are as follows: Beef 600,000 tonnes mutton and goat meat 450,000 tonnes, poultry meat 500,000 tonnes and egg 250,000 tonnes.  The Demand for milk is about 649,000 tonnes. The 2010 production estimates are as follows: Beef 250,000 tonnes; mutton and goat meat 288,000 tonnes, poultry meat 245,000 tonnes, eggs 235,000 tonnes and 135,000 tonnes for milk.

Only about 20 per cent of the skins in the industry translating into about 40,000 million skins about 2.9 percent of world trade are exported. In order to bridge the demand supply gap, the livestock transformation programme plans to achieve self-sufficiency in meat and livestock production by 2015 through investment in the livestock value chain on the following programmes: (i) promoting large scale livestock farming in five geo-ecological zones of comparative advantage; (ii) upgrade of local breeds through selective breeding and Artificial Insemination; (iii) Expanding hatchery capacity to achieve hatching of 25 million day old chicks (broilers and layers per week by 2015; (iv) Expansion of smallholder and peri-urban fattening schemes; (v) Control the introduction of trans-boundary animal diseases and increase vaccination coverage from current 35 percent to 95 percent by 2015; (vi) promoting the development of abattoirs and Livebird market in each state plus FCT; (vii) dairy production and processing; (viii) Increasing the capacity of Nigeria animal feed mill industry by 50 percent and enhancing feed efficiency and quality through legislation of standards, and feed quality monitoring.

Rapidly growing demand provides the opportunity to increase growth of output, incomes and jobs. Investment in the entire livestock value chain therefore has the potential of creating an estimated 350,000 jobs within the next four years.

“My teams are already visiting the states to consult with all stakeholders including producers, processors and other relevant stakeholders for consultations, agreement on roles and responsibilities and implementation modalities,” said the agric minister.  

Agricultural inputs

To drive the transformation agenda, the agric ministry is  focusing on ensuring that farmers get the agricultural inputs necessary to increase their productivity, profitability and move the poorest of our people out of the shackles of poverty.

Said, the minister, “Under the new fertilizer policy, we have moved away from flat price subsidy to targeted support – what we are calling Growth Enhancement Support – directly to reach 20 million farmers. Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS) is a policy and pragmatic shift within the existing Fertilizer Market Stabilization Programme and it puts the resource constrained farmer at its center through the provision of series of incentives to encourage the critical actors in the fertilizer value chain to work together to improve productivity, household food security and income of the farmer.”

The Growth Enhancement scheme is designed to achieve the following:

  • Target five million farmers in each year for four years that will receive GESS in their mobile phone directly totaling 20 million at the end of four years.
  • To provide support directly to farmers to enable them procure agricultural inputs at affordable prices, at the right time and place.
  • To increase productivity of farmers across the length and breadth of the country through increased use of fertilizer i.e. 50 kg/ha from 13 kg/ha.
  • Change the role of Government from direct procurement and distribution of fertilizer to a facilitator of procurement, regulator of fertilizer quality and catalyst of active private sector participation in the fertilizer value chain

Achievements of GESS

  • Series of meetings have been held with the fertilizer suppliers to inform and generate their interest in the scheme; 
  • 17 fertilizer suppliers have been identified and have shown commitment to participate in the scheme.  They will feed about 2,500 agro-dealers (certified by IFDC) and spread across the country.  The suppliers will feed another 1,780 agro-dealers that are yet to be certified;
  • List of verified agro-dealers have been compiled and forwarded to all participating banks and Cellulant;
  • Data entry of farmers (census) is on-going and to date, about 500,000 farmers have been captured at the data center;
  • 15 States have written to commit their respective States to respect the terms and conditions in participating in the GESS;
  • The draft bill on Fertilizer Quality Control is currently with the Ministry of Justice for vetting prior to its being forwarded to the National Assembly for consideration;
  • Federal Ministry of Finance has signed MOU with banks and Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for the provision of guarantee on 70 percent of the credit provided by banks participating in the scheme to leverage 30 billion.
  • Interest drawback escrow account has been created in the CBN to ensure effectiveness.
  • Site and Crop Specific Fertilizer Formulation have been developed for the 36 States and FCT to ensure that crops express their maximum genetic potential in an enabling soil environment

Next steps in the development of GESS include:

i)     Pilot demonstration of the implementation of the e-wallet will be carried out by mid-January, 2012 to test the technology platform;

  • Stock verification of the fertilizer suppliers would be undertaken by mid-January, 2012 to determine the total stock of fertilizer available in the country for the scheme;

iii)   Meeting of all stakeholders to agree on structure and modality of implementation of the scheme by end of January/early February, 2012.

NEXT: AGRIC OPEN FOR BUSINESS

 Breaking Off From Monoculture Economy (4) (Industry stakeholders bare their mind on transformation agenda

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