Author: jidkod

Tokurah Majid Oshole-imodu is a graduate of Agricultural/Environmental Engineeering. He has extensive experience in the agricultural space and is an expert in sustainable agriculture. He uses his experiences in social media to represent youth interest in agriculture through awareness and capacity building events. He is a Blogger and Local representative at Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD) Nigeria. He is the CEO of AgriPRO KONSULT, An agri-based business bringing farmers closer to their markets. Email: BBM: 264B4670 Blog:



Pres. Buhari launches CBN Anchor Borrowers' Programme. Photo credit: Encomium

Pres. Buhari launches CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme. Photo credit: Encomium

On Tuesday 17th November, 2015 was the launch of the “CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme” and flag-off of Dry Season rice and wheat farming for farmers across the country. The programme was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari in Birnin kebbi, kebbi state, Nigeria and is a financing model for small-holder farmers.

Majid Jeremiah of Agropreneur Naija who was at the airport in birnin kebbi and reports that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s airline landed at the Sir Ahmadu Bello International Airport, Birnin Kebbi at 10:13am where he was received by The Executive Governor, kebbi state, Directors, HODs, Permanent secretaries of government institutions and parastatals, other dignitaries present were; the Honourable minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh; CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele (CON); President, National Rice Millers Association of Nigeria; Chairman, Flour Mills of Nigeria, John G. Coumantaros; President, Rice farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Malam Aminu Goronyo among others. Earlier in the day CBN officials had arrived in their chartered airline. The President thereafter made a courtesy visit to the Emir of Gwandu before proceeding to the venue in Zauro in Birnin Kebbi for launching of the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme and flag-off of dry season rice and wheat farming in Nigeria.


President Buhari with the Emir of Gwandu and Executive Governor Kebbi state. Photo credit: Encomium

The CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme is an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria and is aimed at creating an ecosystem to link small-holder farmers to local processors, increase banks’ financing to the agricultural sector, enhance capacity utilization of agricultural firms involved in the production of identified commodities and as well as the productivity of incomes of farmers.

How to Access CBN’s N220 Billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF)

How to benefit from the N220 Billion MSMED Fund

  1. Is your business in any of the following areas?
  • Agriculture
  • Manufacturing
  • Cottage industries
  • Artisanship
  • Services
  • Trade and general commerce
  • Renewable energy/energy efficient products and technologies
  • Other income generating projects as may be prescribed by the CBN
  1. If “YES”…
    • Prepare your business plan or statement on how much you want for your business
    • You can get a loan up to:
      1. N500, 000.00 for your micro-business; and
      2. N50 Million for small and medium enterprise (SME)
    • Go to your bank or any of the following institutions to access the Fund:
      • Microfinance Banks
      • Commercial Banks
      • Cooperatives
      • Finance Companies
      • NGO-Microfinance institutions
      • Development finance institutions i.e Bank of Industry (BOI) and Bank of Agriculture (BOA)
  1. Tell your bank how much you need
  2. Your bank will discuss your request and provide you the money
    • The maximum interest rate of 9.0% p.a (all charges inclusive) is applicable to all loans.
  3. Period of the repayment of the loan:
    • For micro business, it is a maximum of one year
    • For small and medium enterprises, it is a maximum of three years

NOTE: 60% of the fund is reserved for enterprises owned by women; 2% for persons living with disability and 10% for start-ups.

For further enquiries, please send an e-mail to: or call the following numbers: 09-46238630, 09-46238608 or 07080650000


Syngenta Launches Ampligo amongst other Products

Syngenta-1140x641Subsequent to the massive destruction of tomatoes by Tuta Absoluta, Syngenta Nigeria yesterday launched Ampligo, a simple and fast crop protection solution against many insect-pests that ravaged food crops in Nigeria-especially in Northern part of the country recently.

Syngenta, the leading agricultural company helping to improve global food security has also launched two new tomato hybrids; Chibli and Kilele alongside two local rice varieties; Faro 44 and Faro 52.

These launches, according to the company’s country Director Dr Shachi Sharma, reflects “Syngenta’s continued commitment to playing a leading role in the transformation of Nigeria’s agriculture”.

Ampligo, according to him, is a simple and fast acting crop protection product for use anytime against many insect- pests in many crops, especially against Tuta Absoluta , a deadly pest that if not controlled, can destroy up to 100% of the tomatoes on a field.

“Thousands of Nigerian farmers have suffered great loss due to this pest and Ampligo provides an effective solution.

“Ampligo works against wide varieties of sucking and biting pests in vegetables, potatoes and field crops, giving up to 21 days protection. This means that, farmers can reduce the number of times they need to spray their fields, saving them time, energy and cost –while freeing up time for them to conduct other important tasks.”

On one hand, Syngenta has launched Chibli hybrid tomato variety for farmers who grow for both the fresh and for the tomato processing market. According to Sharma, the variety grows well across different agro-ecological zones and has a high solid content making it suitable for tomato paste processors.

On the other hand, Kilele is a high quality hybrid tomato that can be harvested over a 10-week period compared to local varieties that can only be harvested over a four week period or so. The long harvesting period extends farmers’ sales window, increasing their abilities to optimize their returns.
According to Sharma, Nigeria currently imports 2.9 million tons of rice. “In a bid to support the government’s drive to boost local rice production, Syngenta is multiplying, cleaning, treating and packaging local popular rice varieties developed by AfricaRice by training and up-skilling Nigerian farmers as out-grower seed producers. Due to this effort, farmers across Nigeria now have access to high quality certified Faro 44 and Faro 52 rice seeds, assuring them of improved germination and yield.”

“Syngenta Nigeria Limited has worked tirelessly with smallholder farmers and key partners on multiple crops in multiple states across the country. Working closely with key national institutions like NAFDAC, NASC, NIHORT, NPQS, and FMARD and other stakeholders, we are today excited to be able to introduce not only new tomato and rice seeds, but, introduce advanced crop protection technology like Ampligo to fight serious pest like Tuta Absoluta. We believe this range of new agricultural technologies will really help in improving farmers ’productivity and income, and make a positive contribution towards Nigeria’s agricultural development,” Sharma said.

Originally posted here

“……I single handedly trained and financed 200 birds capacity broiler farm” – Musa Ibrahim

Musa in the poultry house

Musa in the poultry house

Musa Ibrahim CEO Baruwa Integrated Nig. Enterprise – Is an agricultural engineer by training. His love for agriculture has given him the opportunity to explore all options he can, especially as it relates to agribusiness. He is one of the young agropreneurs who has stood despite the odds and challenge of Nigeria’s agricultural system to succeed. Musa stands out as one who is practising agriculture in different states of Nigeria by linking farmers up with value chain products they need from Bauchi, Minna to Oyo state, Nigeria.

In this interview Musa Ibrahim talks about how growing up was like as a first son of a family of three, brought up by a single father. He talks about his service year project of a 1000 layer bird farm capacity. He currently has established himself in his poultry endeavour as a professional in poultry farming (Layer and breeder flock Management), and also processing, packaging and marketing of Agricultural products.

Musa Ibrahim is rich with optimism, and he believes despite the challenges being faced, the Nigerian youth should never give room for doubt as this (agribusiness), is the right place to be as Nigeria turns towards agriculture. He shares his unique story:

Q. Can you briefly introduce yourself? How was growing up like for you?

Ans: My name is Ibrahim Musa Albaruwa, CEO Baruwa Integrated Nig. enterprise. A business man by passion with interest in Agriculture, and an Agricultural Engineer by training. Graduated from the prestigious Federal university of Technology, Minna. Growing up in Minna was fun. I am the first son in a family of three children and a single father. Growing up for me was a unique experience. My dad a civil servant, served as a teacher and was a disciplinarian; my mum, a gentle and loving woman never had the chance to be with her children. While I was young I met my dad doing something aside teaching in the classroom, he plants foodstuffs for his family needs, he had a large family to feed, and by that way he does it without stress.

Q. Can you please tell us how you came into farming/agribiz?

Ans: I gave farming my first shot in 2010, during my internship, I single handedly trained and financed a 200 birds capacity broiler farm. Later during my service year I made a proposal that brought about a 1000 birds layer farm capacity, which right now its capacity is doubled. Right now am on my second breeder farm management project for Ande-Ola Unique concept.

Q. What societal problems are you solving with your work and what solutions are you using? What are the hurdles currently being faced?

Ans: My work as a CEO Baruwa Integrated is to create a platform to empower myself and fellow Nigerian youths to solve the endemic problems of unemployment. Also to serve as an inspiration and an example towards self-actualization in the Agricultural sector of our Nation’s Economy.

Q. What do you think about youth participation in Agriculture?

Ans: Currently now I believe in the spirit of the Nigerian youth but also realized youth participation in Agriculture is still very low.

Q. What are the challenges of youth engagement in agribusiness as it relates to what you do, How do you think it is affecting Agricultural Entrepreneurship in Nigeria?

Ans: The challenges facing Nigerian youths, militating against their active participation in Agriculture is the lack of basic amenities in the rural areas where agricultural projects are mostly located.

Q. What advice do you have for young people engaged in agriculture?

Ans: For all those young people currently in the industry, I implore you guys to keep the light burning in you, never give room for a doubt for you are in the right place and being there right now, I would say this is the right time.

Q. What do you think government should put in place to improve the agric sector in Nigeria?

Ans: Providing social amenities in the rural areas, such basic necessities for farmers includes electricity and pipe born water as most farms and agricultural activities are located in the rural areas.


Cross-sectional View of the Poultry House

Hello Tractor’s Jehiel Oliver Speaks About “Tractors On Demand” For Nigerian Farmers

Hello tractorsFarming is fun.

Nah, I lie, it’s not. Not in Africa, it’s not. I have been on a farm here, and this I know for sure; FARMING. IS. HARD.
So when a startup surfaces introducing technology smarts into farming to make it suck less, it gets my attention.

Hello Tractor is a startup trying to do this. The startup is making tractors available to farmers, on-demand. If I was a farmer and can’t afford to buy a tractor, or maintain one – because doing both are insanely expensive – I send a coded service request to an SMS short code and, within minutes, get a tractor, or any other farming machinery I want.

That is only half of it though, another layer of the business are the kinds of tractors on Hello Tractor’s rotation; Smart tractors, Jehiel Oliver, Hello Tractor co-founder, calls them.

“What makes it smart is that it is retrofitted with a GPS antenna and it is also designed for data transmission within environments with little to no internet penetration,” he told me.

Jehiel Oliver was an investment banker before founding Hello Tractor. He brought on Van Jones as a co-founder months later. Both are citizens of the United States, but are also very passionate about farming in Nigeria and Africa.

Hello Tractor was one of the 11 startups that pitched at the Seedstars Lagos pitch event in where, MyQ, a startup from Abuja, Northern Nigeria won the top prize.

I caught up with Jehiel to talk about Hello Tractor. Our interview:

Gbenga: Great play at the Seedstars Lagos pitch, a little sad I couldn’t watch you guys pitch.

Jehiel: No worries. I was proud to see MyQ take home the top honors. They are a scrappy, hardworking bunch that definitely deserve to be recognized

Let’s jump right in. Who are you guys?

There’s five of us, plus our general council. Three of us are here in Nigeria; our general counsel and our head of farmer outreach are Nigerian. The rest are African American. We are looking to build our Nigerian staff up IMMEDIATELY!

I can see why that is important.

It is most important

But you and Van. Tell us about your background.

Jehiel Oliver on the farm, stress testing a Smart Tractor. Photo: Patrick Otigbah

Jehiel Oliver on the farm, stress testing a Smart Tractor. Photo: Patrick Otigbah

I am from Cleveland, Ohio. Grew up in a low-income community, but was surrounded by great people (family and friends) that supported me throughout my childhood. I went to Florida A&M University (an HBCU) and studied Economics and Business. I worked in investment banking and private equity after college for about five years then started consulting in financial sector development contracting with DFIs [Development Finance Institutions] and multilateral institutions, which is what exposed me to agriculture initially.

I went to grad school at Cornell and studied Economics. I continued consulting until I founded Hello Tractor while on a project at IRRI in the Philippines. This was 2013.

I brought Van on board in early 2014. He was still working on his MBA at Chicago Booth. He did the Chicago SNVC competition and helped us get first place. We had a great working relationship so I decided to bring him on, the rest is history.

I read about that – SNVC. Really good play you guys.

SNVC is probably the most competitive social VCish competition. It gave us a great platform to tell our story to business leaders from around the world. It’s a powerful platform.

Let’s talk about Hello Tractor. This is one of the things I imagine is part business, part campaign. Please explain it like to a 5 year old.

We developed a “smart tractor”. A low cost tractor that comes with attachments to help farmers throughout crop cycle – irrigation pump, plow, tiller, trailer (for transport of goods), ridger, etc.

What makes it smart is that it is retrofitted with a GPS antenna and it is also designed for data transmission within environments with little to no internet penetration. We use the data for all sorts of fun stuff. We pair the smart tractor owner with farmers texting for tractor services (e.g. #001 for till). We also provide value added analytics to agriculture industry stakeholders. We just hired a data specialist for this work.

Makes sense?

We are on our way there. Okay, a salvo of questions coming through; who pays for this? What kinds of data do you collect? Where do the data reside and what are these used for? Why are they important?

The smart tractor is purchased by farmers, we coordinate affordable financing to facilitate this, they repay the loan with the money made from providing the tractor services. The Software as a Service (SaaS) is free for the first year, this gives us an opportunity to prove the value to the smart tractor owner, maintenance on-site, the virtual booking platform, etc.

The key data points for us are farm location, plot size, crops grown and time of planting, we then cross this with data within the public domain (weather, soil quality, etc) to build farmer profiles. These profiles are attractive to a variety of stakeholders including input manufacturers, food processors, etc.

This clears up a few things. I still have a few questions here, but I’ll get to those later.


Your beta. So there were talks of your pilot roll out in Nigeria last year, but the news on that sorta pattered off. And then another report had it that Hello Tractor was already in Ghana. Please help clear that timeline mixup. Did the beta happen or there was a change in direction?

The beta happened, we are now into our first sales cycle for Nigeria with approximately $6.5 million in the pipeline. Our first order to come online is with Notore Chemicals, who has ordered 300 units. We are in beta in Ghana right now.

That makes sense. Why did you start out in Nigeria?

First of all, the market here is huge; the largest untapped mechanization market in the world. Secondly, Nigeria is a dope country with amazing people. The energy here is electrifying.
Entrepreneurship is alive and well, and this is something we want to key into.

Nice. Do you have data here, for the bit about Nigeria being the largest untapped mechanization market?

Tons of data; Nigeria ranks 132 out of the 188 countries surveyed on global mechanization rates. There are approximately 6.5 tractors per 100 square kilometers of arable land in Nigeria, the global average is around 200. The US is at about 250.

FMARD estimates Nigeria needs 750,000 additional “large horsepower tractors” to get to global standards. I can keep going, it’s a BIG issue.

The Nigerian government puts a lot into Agriculture. At least they claim they do. Do you work with the government? How is that relationship?

We currently work with state governments and are looking to expand our work to the federal government once the agriculture minister is confirmed.

Government is critical in all agricultural markets, farming would not be where it is in the US without the government involvement The US farm bill is one of the largest pieces of legislation. Same for all major agricultural markets globally. Nigeria is actually far behind when it comes to government investment in agriculture. I suspect President Buhari will change this.

What challenges are there in working with the government?

The pace is different. Also, there are many layers of bureaucracy. Motivations can be different as well. At times, politicians confuse themselves with business people, which complicates things.

How many states are you in currently and which ones are in your expansion plans?

We have seven states in our crosshairs at the moment.

If I was a farmer and needed to get one of these smart tractors, how do I get it? Like a step-by-step guide.

Farmers simply text for tractor services (i.e., #001 for till). The nearest smart tractor owner is provided that request along with the farmers phone number and requested service. The smart tractor owner drives the tractor to the farmer’s field, provides the service and is paid upon completion. The service is priced at one-third the cost of manual labor and is 40 times faster.

What is the going rate for smart tractor services?

The tractor service is determined by the market. We don’t interfere with that because tractor service is hyper-geographic, ever-changing, and impossible to predict.

How does Hello Tractor make money?

We sell smart tractors and then we sell our software platform that provides the SMS booking, maintenance scheduling, etc. Lastly we are building out our data platform. We just hired an agricultural economist to lead this effort.

You are looking to monetize that platform as well?

It’s going to be our biggest revenue stream once we hit critical mass.

I am wondering where all these link up; you have the private owners who rent out tractors, individual farmer-owners, and then the government. Why do you need the government still?

The state buys tractors and subsidizes for individuals. It’s a bit complicated honestly. They work through cooperatives. In some instances, state government will have tractor hiring services as well but this is less common.

That clears up a few things. Which leads me nicely on to other challenges to your operations asides the government bureaucracy?

Financing. Banks are expensive here, so for our buyers that require financing, we have to do a lot of work to structure appropriate loans on their behalf. We are in the midst of this work now. We are also bringing money from abroad to provide buyer financing directly. This is by far the greatest challenge for us at the moment.

What has been your biggest surprise in and about Nigeria?

It’s just an incredibly complex country. Unfortunately, the narrative of the country is defined by a small group of bad Apples but the overwhelming majority of people I interact with, on a daily basis, are absolutely amazing.

Nigerians are so warm and welcoming. I travel a lot and in this regard, Nigeria stands out as one of the top countries I’ve had the pleasure of working/living in.

Complex paints it pretty nicely. What are your growth plans over the next six months in Nigeria and Africa?

Bring manufacturing of our machinery to Nigeria. We have already begun work on this, establish Nigeria as our West Africa hub and export to surrounding markets. We already launched in Ghana and hope to spread to other West African countries within the year.

The goal is to empower smallholder farmers throughout the region with timely and affordable mechanization services along with other agriculture inputs

Jehiel, thank you for your time.


Originally posted here

Nigeria: Apply for the Master Class in Cucumber Farming Setup and Management October Edition

Master trainer on the farm

Master trainer on the farm

Deadline: Friday 25th September 2015

Enormous business opportunities abound in the horticulture area of the Agriculture value chain in Nigeria, enough to generate income and employment for several youths. However, most of these opportunities are not fully tapped. Hence, the widespread of youth unemployment and underemployment.

Against this background, Agritechnovate Solutions Entreprises – a duly registered Agricultural company with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) of Nigeria with registration number: BN 2315112 and champion for Agribusiness among Youths designed the first ever human-centered Agribusiness Master Class on Cucumber Farming for Youths and everyone interested in Agriculture (whether they have ever been to a farm or not) to create on-farm and off-farm employment opportunities presenting a viable and formidable option to reduce unemployment in Nigeria.

As have been severally said, Cucumber is just one crop that in recent times is having a great demand than supply in the market today and anywhere you grow cucumber you will have a ready market for it, so market is not the problem. The challenge lies in successfully producing cucumber profitably.

Hence this training is designed to assist several people from all walks of life, exposing them to the steps required in making profit as well as opportunities in the horticultural value chain in Nigeria.
At the end of the Master Class, participants should be able to:

  • Successfully Setup a Profitable Cucumber Farm.
  • Identify and tap into the various opportunities in the Horticulture value chain.
  • Effectively manage the challenges facing cucumber farming in any part of Nigeria.

Master Class Course Content:

  • Soil Testing and Management.
  • Assessment of Cucumber Farming viability and feasibility.
  • Sourcing and managing investment funds(Why you need a Bankable Business plan)
  • Branding, Packaging and Value Addition of Cucumbers.
  • Practical Guide to Setting up and Managing a Small Scale Cucumber Farm Profitably.
  • Post Harvest Management of Cucumber.
  • Why you have to fail to succeed (My Story).

Training Design:

The training is designed in a human-centered model which will effectively benefit all in attendance hence we will have not more than 20 participants in this inaugural class. The 20 participants will further be divided into 2 streams of 3 hours each, morning (9am – 12pm) and (1pm to 4pm) evening class, 10 participants per stream.
After four weeks of training participants will be given a memory stick containing training materials, videos, texts and pictures of activities during the training.

Training Methods:

Training is conducted in a Master Class Style, Students Practice what the Master instructs them and there is a home work every week to be done at home while reports in form of pictures and text and sent within the stipulated time frame. The participants are given training materials which will guide them during the practical class and in effectively doing the home works.


Agritechnovate Teaching and Research farm,
Iganke Epale town,
Along Ikorodu-Epe Express Way,
Epe-Lagos State.


4 Saturdays (3rd, 10th , 24th and 31st October, 2015).
Training Fee (NGN 25,000):
Registration and Evaluation Fee: NGN 5,000
Master Class Fee: NGN 20,000

Ideal Participant:

Participants should have an interest in farming and Agriculture and should have a small space (as small as 2m x 10m) near their homes to practice during the period of the Master Class.

About the Master Trainer:
The Master Trainer is an International Agribusiness consultant, consulting for top-notch Agribusiness organisations across the world from Ergo Research in the USA to the Association of African Business Schools Agribusiness Consortium, South Africa – Kalu also has extensive experience in growing Cucumber having grown in various conditions in different locations in the past 9 months. Having failed severally, he knows what it takes to succeed…perseverance and doing it rightly from the beginning.

Kalu is a graduate of the foremost Business Certification in the prestigious University of Maryland, USA where he bagged a Certificate in Entrepreneurship: Launching an Innovative Business – a course he completed in July, 2015. As a Graduate of Soil Science from the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, getting his hand dirty has turned from a hubby to a profitable business and he intends to train as many people as possible, exposing them to the untapped potential in the Agri-food sector.

Application is on first come first serve basis, once we meet our quota, we will move the rest to the next class.

“Until we practice Agriculture as a business venture, a profitable one at that…we wIll always have poor farmers” – Kalu Samuel

Read more and APPLY HERE



Alltech Accepting Graduate’s Applications

alltechAlltech is recruiting recent graduates to apply for the fourth annual Alltech Corporate Career Development Program. Graduates with a bachelor’s or master’s degree programs are invited to apply now through September 30. The program begins in February of 2016.

Exciting opportunities are available for 10 high-calibre university graduates hoping to work with experts in the fields of science, aquaculture, agriculture, marketing, sales, veterinary science, information technology, business and biotechnology. Alltech aims to develop future leaders in the agricultural industry and values long-term talent development through the Alltech Corporate Career Development Program, which started in 2012. The animal health and nutrition company has a presence in 128 countries globally and is set to grow into a $4 billion business within the next several years.

“This is a life-changing opportunity for recent graduates to interact with colleagues from other countries, develop both their technical and interpersonal skills, and share their fresh ideas,” said Dr. Aoife Lyons, director of educational initiatives for Alltech.

“Previous Career Development Program members have worked in variety of areas, including internal auditing for Latin America, coordinating Alltech educational initiative efforts and developing the crop science market in Germany. We strive to match successful applicants’ interests with Alltech’s global needs.”

The program is a 12 month salaried mentorship that starts with an intensive training period at the headquarters of Alltech in Nicholasville, Kentucky, USA. The participants will learn about topics such as sustainable energy, communications, marketing, and international business. From there graduates will continue training and development while also managing projects in one of the company’s global offices, guided by a mentor.

Read more here

The Sun can power your farm for FREE! You need no labourers!

Wildflower meadows growing between panels_Credit Guy Parker_GP_Westmill_

Wildflower meadows growing between panels. Credit: Guy Parker GP Westmill

It’s no news that for over 4 thousand years ago, farmers have employed the use of solar energy in drying their crops and heating their water. Today is no different except that the Solar energy system technology has now gone advanced since the late 19th century when it was first discovered by A. E Becquerel (1839) that solar energy can be converted into electricity. This discovery of A. E Becquerel, a teenage Physicist then, was later known as the Photovoltaic effect.

Am not here to bore you with much science, but what could be more interesting than the fact that getting a complete Solar Power system for your farm is now highly affordable starting from as low as N299 per watt of a durable solar panel?

So what benefit is the Solar Power system to a farmer?

You know, the list is innumerable but I’m going to make a list down for you, follow me.

  1. Solar powered irrigation system
  2. Remote Electricity supply for your Farm house
  3. Solar powered farm implements including water pumps, crop dryers, etc.

With Solar power on your farm, you will definitely say good bye to Diesel and Propane costs. Not only that, there will be reduced noise pollution, air pollution and the cost of maintaining a solar powered system is very low.

So what next?

It’s quite simple, go to the market and purchase a full installation of solar power system for your farm. Unfortunately sometimes, it isn’t as simple as it sounds though.

With the recent energy crisis in the developing countries and especially in the Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria, one would think countries as Nigeria would be investing heavily on other alternative and renewable energy resources like Wind and Solar energy. Unfortunately it isn’t so and the reason will certainly surprise you.

First of all, what is renewable energy?

Renewable energy is a cheap and almost a free energy. It is generally defined as the energy that comes from resources which are naturally replenished on a human timescale such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat.

We will appreciate this more when we compare it to the non-renewable energy sources that we have today like the crude oil and coal that’s mined from fossil fuel deposits beneath the surface of the earth.

Why non-renewable energy is not preferred in Nigeria and Africa

Considering the rate of fossil fuel use, it is estimated that worldwide reserves of Fossil fuels will become extinguished by 2039. So we anticipate a global energy crisis if nothing is done before then to avert the situation.

Apart from that, the fossil fuel is not a clean source of energy. Its combustion releases dangerous carbon emissions that deplete the ozone layer in our atmosphere, little wonder Global warming has always been the re-occurring issue in several United Nations meetings these days.

Renewable energy on the other hand is completely clean. Some of the benefits of renewable energy source include:

  1. Its reliable
  2. Its naturally renewable
  3. It is clean and environmental friendly.

The way forward for Nigeria

The government and private investors are key players in renewable energy revolutions sweeping across the world now.

I was privileged to meet Dr. Patrick Owelle who is the M.D and CEO of PSC Industries Limited (PSC Solar). PSC Industries Limited is a Solar Electricity and Renewable energy total Solutions Provider located in Lagos, Nigeria. I particularly picked interest in this company because they don’t only talk about the need for the switch to alternative energy sources; they are actively involved in transforming a lot of lives via their highly affordable solar energy Photo Voltaic panels, inverters and storage facilities. A look at the PSc Solar website is certainly worth it.

In one of Dr. Owelle’s papers that I got access to, he wrote:

“Traditional fossil fuels and conventional power generation methods have failed us in Africa or Africa has failed the traditional and conventional power generation methods, it is now time to do something else; namely deploying and integrating power from renewable sources like Solar, Wind and Biomass in to the national power Grids”

Personally I couldn’t agree more with him. So what is Nigeria still waiting for?

It’s hard to tell. Over the years, Billions of dollars has been pumped into the nation’s energy sector and yet no tangible result is seen.

But the good news is that you don’t have to wait for the government this time. You can light up your home at least using the abundant solar energy. All you need is a complete solar converter set including Photo Voltaic panels, inverters and batteries.

About Author:
Chekwas Ojike is a Trained Physicist, a freelance writer. He owns where he shares some Tech stuffs.

Check this out! ORYZA2000, a computer program that simulates growth and development of rice


IRRI ricetoday oryza model, a big hit in global rice research

ORYZA2000, a computer program that simulates growth and development of rice under a wide range of environments, has been cited by scientific papers at least 16,616 times as a tool for rice research and crop management. Developed at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), ORYZA2000 has become an important tool in modern agricultural research.

“In China, hundreds of research groups, students, and government agencies are using ORYZA2000 and/or ORYZA rice model for different purposes,” says Tao Li, the scientist-crop modeler at IRRI who currently leads the Crop Modeling Team. “ORYZA2000 appeared 16,616 times as research tool, reference or citation in scientific papers. We believe it has become one of those IRRI products that widely served rice and rice-related science research. It is a great achievement for all ORYZA developers and working teams for the past 20 years, including Bas Bouman.” Bouman is director of the Global Rice Science Partnership, which IRRI leads.

The ORYZA model has become widely popular because users are confident of its output predictions that include yield, water and fertilizer use, and environment impacts on a variety’s performance. User communities are growing quickly not only in Asia, but also in America and Africa.

ORYZA2000 has undergone several updates since its release in 2001 (v2.0 in 2004 and v2.13 in 2009). The latest version, called ORYZA v3, was released in 2013. “We’ve added new accompanying tools and more functions with every update,” says Tao Li. “We also made it very user-friendly. We learned that a lot of users use it for large-scale predictions such as environment assessment and regional rice monitoring, so we provided tools to easily organize input information, manage simulations, and organize outputs for analysis. ”

ORYZA and ORYZA2000 simulate growth and development of rice under a wide range of environments. The tool has been used to test hypotheses before conducting field experiments, extrapolate observed data from field experimental site to regional scales over different time periods, and provide information for decision-making on crop management, food security, climate change adaptation and improvement of the sustainability of rice production systems.

The ORYZA Team is now working closely with rice breeding. “We are in the process of developing ORYZA’s capacity to pinpoint parents and select breeding lines that have high potential for improvement and stress tolerance. This can shorten the conventional process of breeding by high throughput screening based on genotype and environment interaction” says Tao Li.

Next in the development pipeline, ORYZA 4 will include a genetic information module. It will be ready in a few years and is expected to help reduce the time to develop and release a rice variety by 3 or 4 years.

Originally posted here

Nigeria: Attend 9th Edition of Western Nigeria Intl. Agribusiness Conference, Ondo State Nigeria (WESNAGRIC SUMMIT)

MCG Agribusiness Development Activity

Photo credit: Flickr, MCG Agribusiness Development Activity

The 9th Edition of Western Nigeria International Agribusiness Conference, Exhibition, Seminar and training would take place this year at the Ondo state cultural center, Adegbemile, Alagbaka, Akure, Ondo state, Nigeria from the 11th – 13th August, 2015. The conference provides a common ground for both local and international Agribusiness stakeholders, companies, producers, Marketers, importers, investors, farmers, exporters and others to interact, share ideas, expand their business network within and outside the West African countries, while encouraging trade and investment between companies and farmers in west Africa states and other countries of the world. The opening ceremony starts at 1:30pm on August 11, 2015.

The Ondo State Wealth Creation Agency (WECA) is organizing the event in partnership/sponsorship with The Ondo state Government and hereby invites all stakeholders to attend. The Conference is in technical partnership with IFDC, PAN, AFAP, AFAN, USAID WAFP. Other partners include; Top feeds, FIIRO, FIDAN among others.

The Agribusiness conference, exhibition and training is a unique opportunity to learn about the farming/agribusiness, network with agribusiness professionals and is designed to promote both local and international agribusiness, food and nutrition, Agribusiness Marketing/ Information, Entrepreneurship, Production, Processing, Agric Financing and Insurance, Equipment/Tractors, Export and Agro business enterprises development.

The conference is aimed at advancing agribusiness, marketing, financing, processing, export and entrepreneurship development in Africa through agric exhibitions, training/workshop for farmers and investors on new farming techniques, business networking and market information. Arrangements have been made to invite experts from within and outside the country, various bodies, embassies, ministries, agencies, associations, research institutes, financial institutions and stakeholders for a successful and profitable conference in Nigeria.

Animal health and Nutrition companies, Feeds/Feed millers, Hygiene and Disinfectants, Processors, Poultry and livestock equipments, Veterinary pharmaceuticals and Dog food/Nutrition, Feed milling equipments, Fishery equipments, Farm Machineries, Equipments and Tractors, Hatchery and Breeder farms, livestock and Poultry Producers, Aquaculture and Fisheries, Agrochemical, Fertilizer, Seeds, Agric Input dealers, Producers, Marketers, Distributors, Researchers, Research and financial Institutions, Ministries of Agriculture and Agencies, Embassies, FBOs, and Investors.

The programme is for 3 days with participants who will consist of both local and foreign agribusiness entrepreneurs and stakeholders. Over 10,000 participants are expected from within and outside Nigeria.
The conference is segmented as follows; Agribusiness/stakeholders forum/meeting, product presentation, exhibitions, seminar/workshop/training, Farm visit/tours, personal/business contact. Etc. There will also be government, investors and stakeholder agribusiness forum.

The exhibition is open to livestock and poultry farmers, aquaculture, feeds and nutrition, animal health and pharmaceuticals, breeder farms and hatcheries, livestock and poultry equipments, feed milling and aquaculture equipments, machineries, agrochemicals, seeds, inputs, fertilizers, equipment/tractors, crops, apiculture, financial institutions/banks, diplomatic mission and trade representations, agencies and parastatals, embassies, local, state and federal ministries of agriculture, ADP centers, agro raw materials, agro-allied and food manufacturers, NGOs and CBOs.

The conference will afford the companies and organizations the opportunity to reach out to thousands of farmers, potential farmers, marketers, producers, processors, distributors, retailers in Nigeria and other countries on their activities and programmes. The conference will also bring agribusiness stakeholders, companies and investors together from various states, countries and backgrounds for exchange of ideas, knowledge, business link and marketing networks.

NOTE (SPECIAL TRAINING): There will be a special business training programme within the conference premises, organized by USAID, IFDC, and AFAP. Business management skills; Business planning; Access to finance and financial management; Marketing plan/relationship; Stock and record keeping; Safe use of agric inputs for MSMEs; Importance of FBOs in the effective management, Marketing and value chain in fertilizer agribusiness development would be facilitated. However, only 90 people are to be selected for the training on first come first serve. i.e 30 people per day.

If you are Interested in Advert and Exhibition for the conference?
Call: +2348058445547, +2348184186066, +2348035820615 or

For Hotel Bookings contact DEJI ONI or Middleman on 07062097858, 08117997777

Download Wesniagric Poster and Flyer








CALLING ALL YOUTH! Youth for Food Security and Nutrition (Y4FSN) Idea Incubator

committee in world food security CFS

Photo credit: Committee on World Food Security – CFS

Youth are invited to pitch their idea/initiative which engages youth in agriculture and food systems in a 3 minute video outlining how their initiative will help end hunger and malnutrition. All videos will be featured on the Youth Idea Incubator page of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) Website. Ten youth will be selected to deliver their pitch in person to a panel comprised of inspiring individuals working on youth engagement and food security and nutrition, including entrepreneurs, social leaders, academics, and others. Youth will receive feedback on their ideas and establish contacts with a network of actors engaged in food security and nutrition. They will also be invited to participate in the full CFS plenary week.
The objective of the event is to facilitate capacity development of youth through feedback from inspiring individuals on their proposals to address food security and nutrition and networking opportunities with key stakeholders.

We’re looking for youth who are tackling food insecurity and malnutrition. Are you:
• Someone with a bright idea about how to engage youth to end hunger and malnutrition?
• Are you 15 – 35?
• An engaging and inspiring speaker?

If so, how can you participate?
You’re invited to pitch your idea/initiative which engages youth in agriculture and food systems in a (maximum) 3 minute video outlining how your initiative will help end hunger and malnutrition. Upload the video to YouTube or other video hosting website with the hashtag #Y4FSN_CFS by July 31st, 2015 and send the link to

Guidelines for Video Submissions
• The format should be MOV, MPEG, AVI, or MP4
• The submission must not include images that are copyrighted, obscene, pornographic or libelous
• Only one entry per person only
You should introduce yourself and what your idea is and how you would propose to accomplish it. The more passionate you are about your idea the more people will want to engage with you. Tell us how your idea transforms the status quo to engage youth more effectively in ending hunger and malnutrition.

Live speakers will be selected based on the way their idea addresses the following criteria:
• Impact on food security and nutrition (50%) – What scale of impact will the idea have on local/global community? Is the idea scalable?
• Viability (30%) – Can the idea be realized in the near future (5 years) with a reasonable amount of resources?
• Originality (10%) – Is it a transformational idea?
• Clarity (10%) – How clearly is the idea communicated?

• Call for Videos is published and disseminated: 1 July 2015
• Deadline for video submission, all videos available on CFS website Youth Incubator page: 1 August 2015
• Ten youth who submitted videos are contacted to arrange participation in CFS 42: 1 September 2015
• Panelists are invited to review youth videos/ideas in advance: 15 September 2015
• Event at CFS 42: 12 October 2015, 17.30 – 19.00 Iraq Room, FAO, Rome, Italy

All information can be found on the CFS Website at:
Follow @UN_CFS and #Y4FSN
Enjoy it, share it, get involved!