Plantain helps to address food security in Nigeria
Nov18

Plantain helps to address food security in Nigeria

  Nigeria is the largest producer of plantain in West Africa, with an annual production of about 2.4 million metric tons, according to a recent report from the Forum For Agricultural Research in Africa ( FARA). Analysis. By Oluwasoyo Folarin   Nigeria is the largest producer of plantain in West Africa, with an annual production of about 2.4 million metric tons, according to a recent report from the Forum For Agricultural Research in Africa ( FARA), the technical  arm of the African Union Commission (AUC) on matters concerning agricultural science, technology and innovation. Plantain is healthy Plantain consumption helps to address food security and plantain flour is also seen as healthy with nutritious values, according to the study. Plantain has diverse use in medicine, industries and households. These uses has made it demand upsurge in the last decade and positioned the food crop as a viable product for export. One of the major derivative of plantain is plantain flour which is used in the production of baking pastries, waffles, pancakes, breads, soups & more. The constraints There are numerous opportunities to be harness by investors along the crop value chain. The plantain industry should be developed with favorable policies and strong support from the Nigeria government to ease difficulty of business, and integrating strategic investment in plantain, specified the researchers. There are three major constraints with plantain production. Farmers have to deal with the changing climate( off-season, on- season), the menace of pest and disease linked to climate change  and the access to finance to determine the price of their plantains. The value chain of Plantain Adeolu Babatunde Ayanwale, Fatunbi Oluwole Abiodun and Ojo Mathew Pau, three  researchers from FARA analyzed the various activities of the key actors in the plantain value chain across the southwest region, one of the major centers of plantain production in Nigeria. The study shows that about 49% of farming households are producing plantain as their main crop. 82% of the farmers belong to farmers association, while about 64% also belong to cooperative societies. 90% of the farmers needs 180,000 Naira ( 432 euros) to fill the financing gap. However, membership of cooperative society can have access easily to credit, noted the researchers. The analysis collected data from 300 producers from six states: Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti and Ondo. The study has selecting 15 marketers, processors and consumers per state to give a total of 45 respondents for marketers, processors and consumers respectively. According to the researchers, plantain production is mainly dominated by males, monogamously married with an average age of 49 years old and a primary school education. Plantain production is becoming...

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Feed the world sustainably: challenging
Mar29

Feed the world sustainably: challenging

Feed the world sustainably: challenging Welcome words by Nnimmo Bassey, Director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) at Media Training-Promoting Biosafety in Nigeria held in Benin City , Nigeria, on Friday, 24th March 2017   Promoting genetically modified organisms: dangerous The need to interrogate our biosafety has become very pertinent because of the many myths around modern agricultural biotechnology. These myths are being peddled regularly by the industry promoting genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and their team players in public offices. A major plank on which biosafety, and perhaps biosecurity, rests is the precautionary principle[1]. This principle, or approach, is a safeguard against the permission or introduction of products or elements into the environment where there is no scientific consensus that such an introduction would be safe or would not have an adverse impact. In other words, the precautionary principle helps to disallow the use of citizens as guinea pigs in experimental release of products that could harm them. The argument that there is a risk in everything is hollow and an acceptance of that as an excuse to expose citizens to harm is inhuman. Information of biosafety: a moral duty In this engagement on biosafety we hope to share information on the issues of biosafety and GMOs in Nigeria and Africa. The aim is that media practitioners would be able to sift the facts from the myths, and by so doing help the public to require a sense of responsibility from our biosafety regulators, research institutions, political forces and commercial interests behind the risky genetic engineering approach to food production.The key myths by which citizens are sold the idea of GMOs as being desirable include that they provide the most assured way of feeding the burgeoning population of hungry mouths in the world. The planks on which this highly seductive myth has been erected are quite flimsy. Why GMO is saleable ? Research has shown that GMOs do not necessarily yield higher than normal crops, making the talk of producing more food by using GMOs simply fatuous. Secondly, over one third of food currently produced in the world today simply gets wasted,[2] while most of the GMOs currently grown in the world end up as animal feed.[3]Another argument used to sell GMOs is that they require the use of less chemical in terms of pesticides and herbicides because the crops can be engineered to withstand herbicides or to act as pesticides themselves. A possible source for cancer The emergence of what have been termed super weeds and superbugs have dented that claim as farmers have had to sometimes apply stronger doses of herbicides and pesticides on farms where such...

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