food security

Exploiting Agribusiness Opportunities in Africa: Food Security, Employment, and Economic growth

Photo credit: esoko.com

In various continents of the world, Agribusiness has been known to be a driver of economic growth. In Africa, it has a positive impact as it accounts for 30% of national income as well as a bulk of export revenues and employment. Kenya for example, is a key producer of tea, accounting for 59.6% of total production in Africa. The country is a leading tea exporter and one of the largest black tea producers in the world. With an estimate of 33 million small holder farms in Africa, a vibrant agriculture driven economy can cause increase in yields, increase in income generation, reduce in post- harvest losses and thereby put an end to food wastage. Agribusiness is capable of initiating the agricultural growth that will positively improve the livelihood of Africa’s increasing population. It can fasten Africa’s progress towards development.

In Nigeria for example, over 78.4 million people are willing, able and actively looking for job, development in agribusiness can have a direct impact on this people because an efficient and effective agribusiness will lead to increased employment in agro industrial activities.

Agribusiness does not only cover farmers it covers input suppliers, agro processors, traders, exporters and retailers. It is a term which indicates farming and all other industries, and services, that constitute the supply chain. The business of agriculture is not to be neglected in development priorities, the focus should not only be on urban industrialization, government need to get their role right on building necessary industrial capability and capacity, strengthening managerial capacity and promoting institutional services.

To successfully achieve desired result in agribusiness, understanding and comprehension of the nature of the business and its untapped opportunities is important. Food importation in African countries has to reduce and promotion of local agricultural products has to be carried out adequately. Although there are challenges as regards climate, policies, governance, laws, infrastructure and basic services, the goals to end poverty, hunger, have improved nutrition and sustainable agriculture should be a focus that will ensure motivation. To reduce the incidence of extreme poverty and unemployment, increase in importation, massive migration of rural peasants into the cities, agribusiness needs to be promoted and financially supported efficiently and effectively.

Africa’s projected population by 2050 is 2 billion; the continent has an estimate of more than one- fourth of the total un-fed people in the world. To guide against starvation, rapid rise in food prices, severe malnutrition, food riots, extreme poverty, higher rate of social vices and diseases; there is indeed a crucial need, to exploit the opportunities in agribusiness and make the business of agriculture more productive and profitable like never before so as to achieve improved social outcomes and solve the problem of poverty and food insecurity.

For a better result, Africa needs to take important decisions concerning agribusiness opportunities and act in a better way.

Written by Idowu T.Owoeye

 

Improving Agricultural Productivity in Nigeria to Boost the Economy and Create Employment

Photo credit: Flicker

Agriculture is a very important tool for achieving the Millennium Development Goal. Agriculture is considered a catalyst for the overall development of any nation. In sub-Saharan Africa, Agriculture is a very important tool for improving growth, overcoming poverty and improving food security. It is thus a critical sector that drives the economic development and industrialization of the developing nation, and serve as a means of reducing unemployment. Increase in agricultural productivity is important for growth of the Nigerian economy. Nigeria spends close to $10 billion on food importation annually, if invested in agriculture, this amount would have generated a high percentage of employment.

 

Nigeria has huge agricultural potential with an arable land potential of 98 million hectares, out of which 84 million hectares is cultivatable, Nigeria’s agricultural potential remains untapped.  For a nation to grow its economy and provide employment, the government must be able to do massive investment in Agriculture. But the past and the current administration of this country has not been able to invest massively in Agriculture and has also not been able to tap into the contribution to the economy of the nation. There are some countries that have been able to tap into this benefit and this has subsequently created a rapid growth in economy of those countries e.g. China, Mexico, India, Taiwan, Chile, etc.

In China, agriculture led the way to the emergence of this Asian giant as a major force in the world economy. This is especially remarkable when you consider that China, with a population of over 1.3 billion people, is able to produce enough food for her people, and yet has more than enough extra to make her a major exporter of agricultural produce to the world. The importance of Agriculture as a means of generating employment and also contributing to the growth of the nation’s economy cannot be undermined.

One of the ways in which this present government can lift people out of poverty and provide massive employment opportunity for our youth is by the nation’s massive investment in Agriculture. Agriculture alone can provide millions of job opportunity for our teaming youths who are unemployed.

Factors that continues to affect Agricultural productivity which the Nigerian government have done nothing or little about are enumerated as follows;

Lack of price stability: There has not been a stable price for agricultural produce in this country.   The price of agricultural produce continues to rise and fall, price stabilization is necessary and important if farmers would make good profit from their investments. Farmers are usually discouraged, when low returns are gotten after sales of their products. The government should provide a ready market, buying from small scale farmers and selling to the bigger markets. This helps to avoid the role of middleman in the selling of agricultural products and thus helps keep prices stable.

Poor funding of research in Agriculture: One of the major constraint in agricultural productivity is poor funding of research in agriculture. There should also be an increase funding for research in Agriculture. According to research this country is losing about 24.7% of field crops to infestation of agricultural pests and diseases which usually lead to decrease in agricultural output. By providing funds for research in Agriculture, researchers will be able to breed or develop crops that will be resistance to insect, pest and diseases, therefore reducing or eliminating the use of agrochemicals and also reduce crop loses to pest and diseases. They will also be able to develop crops that are high yielding, nutritious and has fast growth rate.

Decline in agricultural extension services: There has been a decline in agricultural extension services and this has affected agricultural productivity in Nigeria. The government should focus on Agricultural extension services. By this the extension workers will be able to transfer the latest agricultural research or innovation to the farmers. They will also be able to train farmers on how to handle modern technological tools and equipment. By this the farmers will be able to put the knowledge gained into use to boost their agricultural output.

Poor funding of Agricultural sector: Poor funding is a major factor that has continued to affect the growth of Agricultural sector in this country. There should be an increase funding of Agricultural sector. The government at all levels must take the development of agriculture as a national priority. The government should dedicate a larger percentage of its annual budget to the development of the agricultural sector. The government should be able to provide loans with low or without interest to the farmers. The government should also be able to provide free and subsidized agricultural inputs like seeds fertilizers, animal feeds, day old chicks, fish fingerlings, agro-chemicals, technological equipment etc.

Lack of modern agricultural tools and equipment: One of the ways in which we have not been able to increase our agricultural production is that we continue to practice subsistence farming. We should be able to shift from subsistence farming to mechanized farming. For agricultural sector to be developed and employment generated there must be a shift from the traditional methods of farming to a more technologically advanced/mechanized method of farming and high yielding methods of planting. The government should be able to lease out new modern technological equipment at a low rate to the farmers who will not be able to afford it also subsidize it for those who will be able to afford it. By doing so the nation will be able to boost her agricultural productivity.

Lack of storage and processing facilities: Many of agricultural crops are being lost to post harvest losses, 20-40% of crops in Nigeria are being lost to post harvest losses. The government should be able to provide good storage and processing facilities to the rural farmers. Storage and processing of agricultural products is one of the major factors affecting the growth of agricultural sector. Losses experienced after harvesting is very discouraging. It is imperative for the government to put in place a system of ensuring adequate storage and processing of harvested produce as this will stand as a sure way of encouraging farmers and thereby increasing production. Storage and processing are critical in ensuring that the commodities produced at a particular period are available for consumption whenever and wherever they are required.

Lack of rural infrastructure: Infrastructure includes roads and railway system, educational and health facilities, social services such as potable water and electricity and communication system. Agricultural productivity in Nigeria has been negatively affected due to low level of development of infrastructure. In the rural areas where majority of the small holders operate, inadequate infrastructure constitutes a major constraint to agricultural investment, production and trade. Many of the youths in the rural areas have left farming and migrated to the urban areas due to lack of good infrastructure in the rural areas. Therefore government should invest heavily in rural infrastructure development that will promote private investment in all areas of agriculture.

Importation of food items: Continued importation of food items has continued to negatively affect local production of agricultural crops. We continue to import food like rice, maize, wheat, processed tomatoes, frozen foods etc. If we are going to be serious about the development of agricultural sector, we should be able to close our doors to the importation of agricultural products that can be produced or grown successfully in this country. By doing so we will be able to encourage and boost local production and processing of agricultural products.

This blog post was written by Abosede Kayode, A graduate of Agricultural Science from the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Ogun state. Nigeria.

He can be contacted via email at kayudex124@gmail.com

REVIVIFYING THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR OF NIGERIA

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Agriculture was a major part of our lives; we were passionate and active about farming. We were once a major exporter of cash crops; in fact we were number one globally in palm oil exports, and exported 47% of all groundnuts. In the 1960s, we produced 18% of cocoa global production which was second in the world. But since the advent of oil glut in the 1980s, a supposed blessing has turned out to be a pain in the neck. The great nation that produces 65% of tomatoes in West Africa is now the largest importer of tomato paste. Shamefully, we are now a   ”major importer”, importing not only rice, sugar, fish, raw cane sugar, durum wheat, frozen foods, crude palm oil, tooth pick etc. but also other household items which include; furniture, children’s toys, wrist watches, artificial hairs, kerosene stoves, cutleries, phones and many other things.

The Nigerian government over the years have failed to properly manage the revenue generated from the export of crude oil, due to corruption and various cases of financial misappropriation that has eaten deep into the system of governance. Channelling of oil revenue into productive sectors such as the agricultural sector was anticipated but didn’t manifest. As a matter of fact, the neglect of agricultural sector cannot be overemphasized; from time to time, different leaders have come up with various assumed revival agricultural programmes, but the level of achievements recorded has been minimal and the country is yet to take her place in the international market a major exporter of agricultural produce.

During the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan; transformation was witnessed in the agricultural sector, when Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, a renowned agricultural economist was appointed Federal Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. The minister’s agenda successfully encouraged the participation of foreign investors, and boosted increased rice, cassava and yam production. Also, farm inputs such as fertilizers got to farmers directly and reduced the presence of middlemen significantly. More so, there was a significant reduction in food importation bill. The tremendous success recorded during Dr. Adesina’s tenure as Minister of Agriculture is attributed to the fact that an agricultural expert steered the wheels of the sector. One of the reasons why the agricultural sector has been less-productive is because those that held crucial positions in the sector in the past were in no way inclined with agriculture. There is a need to shun political favouritism and put the right people at the right place of governance in Nigeria. Ministries, agencies and other governing bodies should be directed by people that have the required knowledge and ability to turn things around for good. It should be known that a redirected focus on agricultural production and processing by inclined expertise and diligent management is a great platform for wealth creation and poverty eradication in the country.

Even though the resource of Nigeria is undeniable, proactive decisions have to be taken for the country to take her rightful place in Africa; and the world.  The country has to DIVERSIFY. Recently, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State said that his administration will focus on agriculture because of ”its multiplier effects”. He also said emphatically that agriculture will create employment and provide food security for the state. He stated that, agriculture will allow a safe society; because if the people are busy and well fed they will not involve themselves in violence.

Revivifying the agricultural sector goes beyond setting up various committees to look into issues, it goes beyond organising seminars and conferences where analysis of problems are done.  The truth is we already know our problems, what we need is the idea that will bring solutions, practical solutions, and the passion to tackle these problems and initiate the positive solutions. It’s a tough job, but it is not impossible.

Here are few tips I believe will greatly revolutionize the agricultural sector. I strongly believe a revival in the agricultural sector will make Nigeria a force to reckon with.

  • RE-BRANDING AGRICULTURE: The first beautiful step that must be taken is to ”rebrand” agriculture entirely. When we talk about rebranding, it’s all about changing the whole picture, changing how it is being portrayed. This will help to attract everybody in the country, especially youths. Agriculture should no longer be viewed as a ”dirty job”. Until we rebrand agriculture, the teeming youths may never embrace it, until our government show signs of seriousness to rebrand the sector, the populace may not take agriculture with great importance.
    This is a call to the government, major stakeholders as well as private investors to rebrand this major sector of the economy and make it attractive and lucrative. Agriculture is green and beautiful.
    Social media platforms are great tools that should be used for extensive campaigns to capture the hearts of the populace. Once agriculture is well portrayed, it will get the necessary attention.
  • ENCOURAGING CAREERS IN AGRICULTURE: A special call should be made to parents and guardians to stop discouraging young ones that earnestly want to pursue various careers in agriculture. It’s discouraging telling people you are studying agriculture and they reply with, ”its pure waste of time and energy”.  The best brains are needed to revive this sector; there are various agricultural courses that young ones should be encouraged to study.
    If agricultural students no longer have difficulty in obtaining scholarships just like their colleagues in the medical and engineering field there will be increased relevance of agriculture. One of the strategic ways of encouraging careers in agriculture is to award scholarships to agricultural students. This is a wakeup call for the government and several agro-based companies to give out scholarships and academic research grants to scholars in the agricultural field, it will be a morale booster.
  • WELL-MANAGED FUNDING AND EASY ACCESS TO FARM INPUTS: The agricultural sector lacks proper funding and an effective management system.  The government and private investors should join forces to finance agricultural activities, so as to create wealth and alleviate poverty through public-private partnership.  Access to mechanised farm tools and farm inputs should be made easy. The administration of Dr. Adesina saw to the elimination of middlemen in the distribution of fertilizers to farmers. It goes beyond allocating big chunks of money to the sector. Allocated funds should be well accounted for and used for intended purposes. Farmers should have access to incentives and loans with ease.
    Corruption and wasteful spending should be eliminated.
  • EXTENSION SERVICES: Maximizing profit in agriculture requires having the right information and having it at the right time.
    This is where agricultural extension and communication experts are needed, new innovations that will increase the knowledge of farmers should be adopted because agriculture is a big picture, and it requires everybody playing a significant role.

The next big step that should be taken in the agricultural sector of this great nation should focus on three core objectives:

  • Food and Nutrition Security
  • Employment Generation
  • Wealth Creation

According to an agricultural expert, Folu Mogaji, ”the next biggest goldmine in Nigeria is Agribusiness”, but is Nigeria well positioned to be currently taken advantage of? Whether at production stage, processing or at the marketing stage, the government and citizens must channel positive energies into agriculture. In revivifying this sector totally, the government should ensure economic co-operation among states, create readily available markets for exportation of agricultural products, provide basic amenities, and also provide good storage facilities.

The Nigerian flag looks so beautiful and significant.  The green depicts agriculture and the white depicts peace. I believe there is a great connection between agriculture and the peace of our beloved country.
Revivifying the Nigerian Agricultural Sector Will Unite Nigerians And Bring Peace To Our Nation.

Fatokun Olukayode Adewale, is a 300level Student Of The Federal University Of Technology, Akure.

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.

Venue:

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

Dates:

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 http://www.pscsolaruk.com 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 Mymobnet.com where he shares some Tech stuffs.

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 cfs@fao.org

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?

Timeframe
• 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: http://www.fao.org/cfs/incubator
Follow @UN_CFS and #Y4FSN
Enjoy it, share it, get involved!

Evron Food Store Launches Nigeria’s “Fastest-Delivery” Online Foodstore

WEB POST 1

Evron Food Store (www.evronfoodstore.com) is set to reinvent the online food shopping experience for Nigerians with the launch of its online food store that guarantees deliveries of goods within three (3) hours of order placement and checkout.

This online food market offers a wide variety of food products and farm crops using a highly interactive and innovative platform that allows customers to shop for almost any food item you can think of in the food store. A customer can simply click on the ‘Afang Soup Bundle’ and all the ingredients for Afang soup will be selected, packaged and dispatched immediately upon checkout.

“At Evron Food Store, we are committed to creating a vibrant, convenient way for people to buy food produce online and increasingly turn this into a delightful and more satisfying experience for the customer,” says Ijeoma Olujekun, Brand Manager – Evron Food Store.

Evron Food Store understands the need for Nigerians to purchase food quickly and conveniently, and has sought to simplify the process of buying food by making it just a click away.

WEB POST 2
In addition to the online platform, Evron Food Store aims to take leadership role in the area of paying attention to the way food is handled and preserved from the farm to the point of delivery to the customer. This is in turn, will have a positive effect on the restoration of life’s value and meaning as regards the health of families and the health of Nigerians.

“We are passionate about great tasting food in its purest state. That is why our quality standards for food prohibit leafy vegetables grown with chemical fertilizers. We base our decisions not just on food chemistry, but also on ideology, philosophy, proper labelling, and a critical evaluation of the promise we’ve made to our customers, which is Freshness, always.
We take our responsibility seriously, knowing that our standards not only determine what goes on our shelves, but they also influence the way that food is grown and processed,”Funmi Farotimi, Managing Director – Evron Food Store.

Shopping via the Evron Food Store guarantees that valuable time that could be spent bonding with family members, or simply resting after a hectic week, is duly enjoyed. No more need to endure the rigour of navigating dozens of stores at the conventional open market, or hours of traffic on your way home.
As part of its launch, Evron Food Store has also announced its #MyFirstOrder Campaign. Customers can simply take a picture of their delivered food items, share, mention and follow @evronfoodstore on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and use the hashtag #My1stOrder #MarketCameHome for a chance to win a FREE shopping voucher.

Evron Food Store also has a physical walk-in store/office open to customers situated in Chevron Drive, Lekki, Lagos.

Photo credits: Evron food store

Agrikexpo 2015 Calls on Agric Stakeholders in West Africa

Photo credit: Google images

Photo credit: Google images

The Annual Agriculture/Food exhibition (AGRIKEXPO) would now hold this year on NOVEMBER 5 -7, 2015 at the Prestigious Eko Convention Centre, Victoria Island Lagos. The event which will be going into its 4th edition was originally set for 14 – 16 April, 2015 and has a focus on delivering the highest turnout of stakeholders (Import buyers/distributors, Farmers, Top Government Officials, Exporters, Academics, Consultants, Bankers, Various Food and Beverage industry Captains, Agribusiness men and women etc.) who represent key gathering of decision makers from different countries of West Africa.

Agriculture is fulcrum to most other economic successes, there is a renewed drive for commercial scale agricultural practice with the attendant need for renewed approach away from the labour intensive practice. With more than 84million hectares of arable land, abundant sunshine, over 160million people, cheap labour and a renewed zeal towards agriculture, the nation is clearly headed for an agricultural boom. Our vast fertile lands calls for the deployment of modern technology for commercial scale productivity and Governments are willing to lend supports in partnership with the private sector. Indeed the opportunities for agri-business activities are clearly enormous.

AGRIKEXPO 2015 is being partnered by the Conference of the European Union in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration & Control (NAFDAC) with endorsements from Federal Ministry of Trade & Industry, National Association of Chambers Of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Community of Agricultural Stakeholders Of Nigeria (CASON), All Farmers Association Of Nigeria. (AFAN), Nigeria Agribusiness Group. (NABG), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN), Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Ministry of Trade & Investments Ghana, Agricultural Research Council Of Nigeria(ARCN), Agricultural Society Of Nigeria, Cassava Growers Association.

Government representatives are going to be present at various levels in West Africa. The event is determined to encourage creditable networking and best practices amongst Agro-preneurs, including establishment of direct partnerships with Manufacturers, Suppliers, Service providers and Consultants where necessary. AGRIKEXPO having continuously evolved has established an outstanding pedigree and remains a premium face-to-face networking forum and a reference event for decision makers.

The 2015 edition of AGRIKEXPO is set to deliver as the largest West African exhibition for agricultural products and services assembling Agricultural stakeholders from all over West Africa. The visitor traffic for the event in 2015 is expected to reach an all-time high put in the range of 7000-8000 people.

For more information about AGRIKEXPO 2015

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http://www.agrikexpo.com/

Email: info@151productsltd.com

Attend: Symposium on nurturing the next generation of researchers and entrepreneurs, Africa as a potential food basket of the world by IARSAF

international association of research scholars and fellows IARSAF

The 18TH Annual Symposium of the International Association of Research Scholars and Fellows (IARSAF) will come up on the 23rd to 24th March 2015 at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Ibadan. It has this year’s theme as “Africa, potential food basket of the world: Nurturing the next generation of researchers and entrepreneurs”. Registration for the event costs N5, 000 per participants which would include registration package, electronic book of abstract, flash storage drive, training materials, writing materials, lunch and tea breaks, abstract submission and certificate of participation.

Payment and registration for the symposium is extended until the 8th of March, 2015 and payment is to be made before online registration (see bank details below). To register, just provide your Teller number on the registration form and submit.

IARSAF

IARSAF is an association of graduate students from Africa, Asia, Europe and America conducting research in Agriculture at IITA. The occasion is a gathering of research and development scholars, university dons and students of agriculture drawn from virtually all institutions of higher learning in and around Oyo State. It is a platform for farmers and Agricultural students. The idea of IARSAF is to create an opportunity for the Graduate Research Fellows (GRFs), scientists, and others to exchange ideas, and for Graduate Research Fellows (GRFs) to further develop themselves for the future, by writing and presenting their research findings to the public.

Payment Details:

Bank:                                     First Bank PLC

Account name:                 INT.ASS. FORRESEARCHFELL & SC

Account number:             2001448038

For further enquiries or assistance

Please call: 08065536441, 08023629104 and 08078190081.

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Here is a List of available Hotels and Guest Houses in Ibadan to put up in.

NOTE: Participants should install both “Zotero for Firefox” and “Zotero Standalone” on their laptops for the purpose of the training and subsequent use. Also install the plugin and browser extensions as specified on the download site. Get the free software at: https://www.zotero.org/download/ Participant may register a free account also at: https://www.zotero.org/user/register/

To register for this event click here