Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Full details about Forest Raw Materials

Full details about Forest Raw Materials.

A forest product is any material derived from a forestry for direct consumption or commercial use, such as lumber (timber), paper, or forage for livestock. Wood, by far the dominant forest product, is used for many purposes, such as wood fuel (e.g. in form of firewood or charcoal) or the finished structural materials used for the construction of buildings , or as a raw material, in the form of wood pulp, that is used in the production of paper . All other non-wood products derived from forest resources, comprising a broad variety of other forest products, are collectively described as non-timber forest products.
Many forest management policies have been implemented that impact forest product economics, including forest access restrictions, harvesting fees, and harvest limits. Deforestation, global warming and other environmental concerns have increasingly affected the availability and sustainability of forest products, as well as the economies of regions dependent upon forestry around the world. In recent years, the idea of sustainable forestry, which aims to preserve crop yields without causing irreversible damage to ecosystem health, has changed the relationship between environmentalists and the forest products industry. Stakeholders in the forest products industry include government departments, commercial enterprises, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), policy-makers and analysts, private and international organizations.
Since 1947, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has published an annual yearbook of forest products. The FAO Yearbook of Forest Products is a compilation of statistical data on basic forest products for all countries and territories of the world. It contains series of annual data on the volume of production and the volume and value of trade in forest products. It includes tables showing direction of trade and average unit values of trade for certain products. Statistical information in the yearbook is based primarily on data provided to the FAO Forestry Department by the countries through questionnaires or official publications. In the absence of official data, FAO makes an estimate based on the best information available.
FAO also publishes an annual survey of pulp and paper production capacities around the world. The survey presents statistics on pulp and paper capacity and production by country and by grade. The statistics are based on information submitted by correspondents worldwide, most of them pulp and paper associations, and represents 85% of the world production of paper and paperboard.

Materials derived from a forest for direct consumption or commercial use, such as lumber, paper, or forage for livestock. Wood, by far the dominant forest product, is used for many purposes, such as wood fuel (e.g. in form of firewood or charcoal) or the finished structural materials used for the construction of buildings, or as a raw material, in the form of wood pulp, that is used in the production of paper. All other non-wood products derived from forest resources, comprising a broad variety of other forest products, are collectively described as non-timber forest products.

Lumber or timber, the raw material for the construction of buildings or furniture making.  This is wood that has been processed into beams and planks, a stage in the process of wood production .Lumber may be supplied either rough- sawn, or surfaced on one or more of its faces. Besides pulpwood, rough lumber is the raw material for furniture making and other items requiring additional cutting and shaping. It is available in many species, usually hardwoods; but it is also readily available in softwoods, such as white pine and red pine, because of their low cost. Finished lumber is supplied in standard sizes, mostly for the construction, industry primarily softwood, from coniferous species, including pine, fir and spruce (collectively spruce-pine-fir), cedar, and hemlock, but also some hardwood, for high-grade flooring. Lumber is mainly used for structural purposes but has many other uses as well. It is classified more commonly as a softwood than as a hardwood, because 80% of lumber comes from softwood.

This is made from wood pulp derived from the timber stock pulpwood. Paper is a thin material produced by pressing together moist fibres of cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets. It is a versatile material with many uses, including writing, printing, packaging, cleaning, and a number of industrial and construction processes.
The pulp papermaking process is said to have been developed in China during the early 2nd century AD, possibly as early as the year 105 A.D., by the Han court eunuch Cai Lun, although the earliest archaeological fragments of paper derive from the 2nd century BC in China. The modern pulp and paper industry is global, with China leading its production and the United States right behind it.
Two processes in paper making are the
Chemical process and the
Mechanical process

Paperboard is a thick packaging material derived from paper, cardboard is the generic term. Paperboard is a thick paper -based material. While there is no rigid differentiation between paper and paperboard, paperboard is generally thicker (usually over 0.25 mm, 0.010 in, or 10 points) than paper.
According to ISO standards, paperboard is a paper with a gram above 224 g/m 2, but there are exceptions. Paperboard can be single or multi-ply. Paperboard can be easily cut and formed, is lightweight, and because it is strong, is used in packaging. Another end-use would be graphic printing, such as book and magazine covers or postcards. Sometimes it is referred to as cardboard, which is a generic, lay term used to refer to any heavy paper pulp based board. Paperboard is also used in fine arts for creating sculptures.

In woodworking, veneer refers to thin slices of wood, usually thinner than 3 mm (1/8 inch), that typically are glued onto core panels (typically wood, particle board or medium-density fiberboard ) to produce flat panels such as doors, tops and panels for cabinets , parquet floors and parts of furniture. They are also used in marquetry. Plywood consists of three or more layers of veneer, each glued with its grain at right angles to adjacent layers for strength. Veneer beading is a thin layer of decorative edging placed around objects, such as jewelry boxes. Veneer is also used to replace decorative papers. Veneer is also a type of manufactured board.
Veneer is obtained either by "peeling" the trunk of a tree or by slicing large rectangular blocks of wood known as flitches.

Fiberboard – a cheaper and denser form of plywood, used when cost is considered most important. Often used as the underlying structure in car dashboards. Fibreboard is a type of engineered wood product that is made out of wood fibers. Types of fiberboard (in order of increasing density) include particle board, medium density fibreboard, and hardboard. Fibreboard is sometimes used as a synonym for particle board, but particle board usually refers to low density fibreboard. Plywood is not a type of fibreboard, as it is made of thin sheets of wood, not wood fibres or particles. Fibreboard, particularly medium density fibreboard (MDF), is heavily used in the furniture industry. For pieces that will be visible, a veneer of wood is often glued onto fibreboard to give it the appearance of conventional wood. Fibreboard is also used in the automotive industry to create free-form shapes such as dashboards, rear parcel shelves, and inner door shells. These pieces are usually covered with a skin, foil, or fabric such as cloth, suede, leather, or polyvinyl chloride.

Drywall is a gypsum plaster placed inside two sheets of paper, used commonly as the finishing step in construction of interior walls and ceilings. Drywall (also known as plasterboard, wallboard, gypsum board) is a panel made of gypsum plaster pressed between two thick sheets of paper. It is used to make interior walls and ceilings. Drywall construction became prevalent as a speedier alternative to traditional lath and plaster wood plastic composite made from recycled materials. Wood-plastic composites (WPCs) are composite materials made of wood fibre, wood flour and thermoplastics. Chemical additives seem practically "invisible" (except mineral fillers and pigments, if added) in the composite structure. They provide for integration of polymer and wood flour (powder) while facilitating optimal processing conditions.


Firewood is any wooden material that is gathered and used for fuel. Firewood is the most unprocessed form of wood fuel, supplies the majority of the developing world's energy needs. Generally, firewood is not highly processed and is in some sort of recognizable log or branch form, compared to other forms of wood fuel like pellets or chips. Firewood can be seasoned (dry) or unseasoned (fresh/wet). It can be classed as hardwood or softwood. Firewood is a renewable resource. However, demand for this fuel can outpace its ability to regenerate on local and regional level. Good forestry practices and improvements in devices that use firewood can improve the local wood supplies.

Pellets – a byproduct from sawmilling, is formed from compacted sawdust, easy to transport and has a high combustion efficiency. Pellet fuels (or pellets) are biofuels made from compressed organic matter or biomass. Pellets can be made from any one of five general categories of biomass: industrial waste and co-products, food waste, agricultural residues, energy crops, and virgin lumber. Wood pellets are the most common type of pellet fuel and are generally made from compacted sawdust and related industrial wastes from the milling of lumber, manufacture of wood products and furniture , and construction .[ citation needed ] Other industrial waste sources include empty fruit bunches, palm kernel shells, coconut shells, and tree tops and branches discarded during logging operations.
They can be used as fuels for power generation, commercial or residential heating, and cooking.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

How to Cultivate Hybrid Maize in Nigeria

How to Cultivate Hybrid Maize in Nigeria

I’m going to be writing more on Farming this month since we are in the season of planting, let’s see how we could take advantage of this period to make money through farming. And Hybrid maize cultivation presents viable opportunity for would be maize Farmer to make money in Nigeria this season.

Maize, also known as Corn is one of the most useful cereal crop in West Africa, foods made out of maize is very nutritious as It is an important source of carbohydrate, protein, iron, vitamin B, and minerals, and is known to digest very quickly. Most Africans tend to consume maize mainly as a starchy base in a wide variety of porridge, pastes, grits, and beer. The Green freshly harvested maize cob is eaten either roasted or boiled.

In many Western countries like the USA, maize is used mainly for industrial products processing and for manufacturing of animal feeds or as straight Livestock feeds. Whichever way it is used, maize is the most important cereal crop in Africa with rice and wheat which make up the three most important cereal crops in the world.

Maize is very simple to cultivate, easy to maintain, far less delicate that Rice, and take less capital too. Like rice, maize matures very fast, within 2-5 months of planting the crop is ready for harvest, depending on which stage you want to harvest your crop.

Maize grows in a wider range of soil type than rice, almost every part of Nigeria can grow maize on their soil. With the use of Hybrid Maize and mechanized system of farming, yield of maize can reach up to 10.2 tonnes per hectare, with traditional African type of cultivation, production is 2.1 tonnes per hectare which isn’t too bad anyway.

Here are simple things you need to put in place to cultivate, harvest, and sell maize in your area this season; and if possible, cultivate and sell in large quantity to make more money.

1. Get Spacious Land –

Like I said before, maize can be grown in all lands in Nigeria but it performs better in a well drained fertile loamy soil. Look for land that is predominantly loam, if you can lay your hands on forest land, that will be very good because I’ve personally seen corn perform far better without fertilizer on forest lands. The reason may be due to the decomposed leaves from the forest trees.

Clear the land using manual laborers or mechanical means, the bottom line is to remove the weeds and keep the soil loose for proper maize seedbed and ensure the preservation of the topsoil .

Make sure you plant your maize seed as soon as you clear the soil to allow the maize grow ahead of weeds. Delay in planting will expose the hybrids maize to competition with the weeds.

2. Get Improved Maize Variety –

If possible, look for Recommended Verities of maize to improve your yield.

For Early Season Planting, Look for:-

Yellow Open Pollinated Varieties. Western Yellow 1: TZSR-Y-1 (Streak Resistant)

DMR-LSRY (Downy Mildew & Streak Resistant).

Yellow Hybrids Varieties: 8425-8; 8329-15
White, Open Pollinated Varieties: TZPB (FARZ 27); TZB (FARZ 34); TZSR-W-1;

ZPBSR (Streak Resistant); DMR-LSRW (Downy Mildew & Streak Resistant).

DMR-LSRW (Downy Mildew & Streak Resistant).

White Hybrids: 8321-18; 9022-19; (Striga Resistant).

For Late Season :-

Plant early maturing, streak or downy mildew resistant varieties.

Yellow Open Pollinated Varieties: TZESR-Y; DMR-ESRY (Downy Mildew and
Streak Resistant).

White, Open Pollinated Varieties: TZESR-W; DMR-ESRW (Downy Mildew and Streak Resistant)

POPCORN: White Pop: Yellow composite.

Get any of these seed varieties from your State and Institution’s Agric departments or anywhere you can find them, just ask people.

ive space of about one feet to one and half feet from and between each plant. Planting is best by March ending to the first week of April, sometimes up to early May, depending on how early the rain started and the intensity.

3. Apply Fertilizer and Control The Weeds –

You may not need fertilizer if the soil is quite fertile. However, the application of fertilizer will aid the crop to yield more.

For Open Pollinated Maize Varieties:

Forest fallows 10 years or more. Apply 200 kg (4 bags) of NPK 25-10-10 per hectare at planting as band or broadcast application.
For Hybrids Corn Varieties:

For every high yields maize, you’ll need to apply 600 kg (12 bags) of 25:10:10 per hectare in two splits that is, at planting (200 kg) and 5 to 6 weeks after planting.

Manual Weeding:

Start the first weeding on your maize farm from 15days after planting and not later than 25days or as soon as you begin to notice the growth of weeds in your farm. A second weeding may not be necessary before the second application of fertilizer (if there is need for second application of fertilizer) many farmers don’t apply fertilizer twice.

Herbicide Application:

Apply Atrazine pre-emergence at the rate of 3kg ai/ha on a clean seed bed.

After all these has been done, next is to wait for the maturity of your corn for the harvest to begin. I don’t want to emphasize on the profit of maize produce because you and I knows there is huge profit and benefits in every farm produce.

Compiled and edited by: Campus Agriculture Network research team.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

7 ways to raise farm productivity and boost growth

7 ways to raise farm productivity and boost growth

Driven partly by the growth of international supermarket chains, African economies have progressively diversified from traditional cash crops into fruits, vegetables, fish, and flowers. Basically, lack of access to finance and poor infrastructure have slowed progress. Government support is crucial to coordinate the integration of smallholder farmers into larger cooperatives and groups, may be needed in other areas that aid integration with wider markets. Other factors crawling profitable yield in output are hereby under listed amongst others;

Reform land ownership with productivity and inclusiveness in mind:
Africa has one of the highest area of arable uncultivated land in the world (202 million hectares) yet most farms occupy less than 2 hectare which is below the standard of a commercial Agriculture. This results from poor land governance and ownership which often times results in clashes and misunderstanding between communities leading to damage in crops and lowering productivity. Land reform has had mixed results on the African continent but changes that clearly define property rights, ensure the security of land tenure, and enable land to be used as collateral will be necessary if many African nations are to realise potential productivity gains.

Develop high-yield crops:
Increased research into plant breeding, which takes into account the unique soil types of Africa, is a major requirement. According to a report, a dollar invested in such research by the CGIAR consortium of agricultural research centres is estimated to yield six dollars in benefits.  Taking the international institute of tropical Agriculture in Nigeria as an example 100 cultivars of cassava have been successfully developed and more are yet under research, this will -no doubt- boost productivity.

 Boost irrigation:
For a successful germination, the role of water cannot be undermined. However, with the growing effects of climate change on weather patterns, more irrigation will be needed. Average yields in irrigated farms are 90% higher than those of nearby rain-fed farms.

 Increase the use of fertilizers:
As soil fertility deteriorates, fertilizer use must increase. Governments need to ensure the right type of fertilizers are available at the right price, and at the right times. Thanks to various governmental and non governmental initiatives that invests heavily in this context. Fertilizer education lessens the environmental impact and an analysis of such training programs in East Africa found they boosted average incomes by 61%.

 Adopt genetically modified (GM) crops:
The adoption of GM crops in Africa remains limited. Resistance from overseas customers, particularly in Europe, has been a hindrance. But with Africa’s rapid population growth, especially Nigeria, high-yield GM crops that are resistant to weather shocks provide an opportunity for Africa to address food insecurity. An analysis of more than one hundred studies found that GM crops  reduced pesticide use by 37%, increased yields by 22%, and farmer profits by 68farmImprove market access, regulations, and governance.

Improving rural infrastructures and facilities:
Improving rural infrastructure such as roads is crucial to raising productivity through reductions in shipping costs and the loss of perishable produce. Meanwhile, providing better incentives to farmers, including reductions in food subsidies, could raise agricultural output and profit consequently.
As a matter of importance, improving rural infrastructure and facilities will help reduce the risk of rural-urban migration. This will also help to maintain a balance in the ratio of population of the rural and urban societies.

Better use of information technology:
Information technology can support better crop, fertilizer and pesticide selection. It also improves land and water management, provides access to weather information, and connects farmers to sources of credit. Simply giving farmers information about crop prices in different markets has increased their bargaining power. For instance the use of aeroponics in planting yam is an advancement in the technology and this has also been practiced by the international institute of tropical Agriculture. Other various sophisticated technological gadgets has been put in practice in Agriculture that has proven the proportional increase in yield with the better use of information technology

In lieu of the aforementioned, the need to boost productivity and consequently Agricultural output and profit is of a considerable importance in Agriculture and therefore, all effort geared towards eradicating obstructives shall be welcomed.

#Let’s stand to boost productivity#

Written by: Al-Mustapha Ibrahim I
University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria.
Edited by: Campus Agriculture Network Editorial Board.

Thursday, April 11, 2019



Initially, Successfully managing a farm business is certainly the goal of farm owners. The quality of the decisions made by management is an important component in determining the longevity of the business. Farm management according to a source is the making and implementing of the decisions involved in organizing and operating a farm for maximum production and profit. Farm management draws on agricultural economics for information on prices, markets, agricultural policy, and economic institutions such as leasing and credit. It also draws on plant and animal sciences for information on soils, seed, and fertilizer, on control of weeds, insects, and disease, and on rations and breeding; on agricultural engineering for information on farm buildings, machinery, irrigation, crop drying, drainage, and erosion control systems; and on psychology and sociology for information on human behaviour. In making his decisions, amongst others. Among such management tactics is the way Capital typically replaces labour when large machines do the work of several men using smaller implements; when chemicals replace the scythe and hoe for weed control; when milking parlours, pipelines, and bulk tanks replace hand milking operations; when a mechanized installation replaces the fork and bushel basket in dairy, beef, or hog feeding; when automated sprinklers bring irrigation water to crops; when cisterns and lagoons handle animal waste; when combines and forced-air crop drying speed the harvesting of small grain; and in similar substitutions in the biological, physical, and social sciences amongst others.
For the traditional farmer, land and labour (his own and that of his family) are the major resources. Under favourable conditions, the farmer has changed his role from labourer to operator-manager; much larger farm units with high capital investments have resulted. Such conditions include the existence of a considerable body of applicable scientific knowledge, an opportunity for greater efficiency from large-scale operations, the existence of good markets and transportation, the opportunity to routinize and centrally direct farm work, and an absence of community antagonism to large-scale agriculture.

“The technical knowledge that a modern large-scale farm manager must possess is frequently held to be far greater than that required of most businessmen with equal investment; the capital required to operate such a farm is beyond the reach of many. In consequence, financial-management techniques resembling those of industry are often employed. Capital is imported from the outside; production is scheduled to meet quantity, grade, and timing requirements; and labour is given specific tasks, as in a factory.”

Recognizing the economic benefits of large-scale agriculture, many underdeveloped countries have attempted to create conditions for its existence. National governments, often with outside help, have financed large-scale development programs, involving irrigation or improvement of huge acreages by means of dams, drainage facilities, and canals, and these have revolutionized the lives of many traditional farm managers within the space of a few years. Improvements in crops and livestock, marketing techniques and organization, and transport and power have in some cases increased agricultural productivity and income several times over. Since capital and management have been in the hands of government, the traditional farm manager has, however, often lost some of his independence, and not all such programs have succeeded. Poor planning and management by government authorities and resistance from the farmers themselves have led to some expensive fail.
The marketplace for agricultural commodities is exceptionally risky for three important reasons. First, no single farm producer can place or withhold enough of a single item on the market to affect the market price; second, the quantity of a commodity taken off the market does not increase in proportion to price declines; third, the farm manager cannot respond to falling prices by quickly switching production from an unprofitable item to a profitable one. To reduce his risks and safeguard profits, the farm manager may specialize or diversify depending on conditions; he may also use the futures market.

A capable farm manager may use the futures market to try to minimize his risks. In the futures market, the farm manager contracts with a buyer to deliver a given quantity of some commodity at a specified date in the future for an agreed price. The buyer is often a speculator who hopes that prices will rise, enabling him to sell the commodity or the contract at a profit. Futures markets enable the farm manager to establish in advance a price for a crop or earn payment for holding a crop in storage. Futures markets also permit some farmers to speculate on a price increase without storing a crop, establish in advance the price of livestock feed intended for later use, and establish an advance price for livestock.

Moreover, Farm management, making and implementing of the decisions involved in organizing and operating a farm for maximum production and profit. Farm management draws on agricultural economics for information on prices, markets, agricultural policy, and economic institutions such as leasing. Proper management of farmland is vital for an investor to capitalize on the overall appreciation of the asset. Farming today is more than just producing crops, it requires farmers and landowners to address profitability, fertility, conservation, and tax issues to name just a few. The importance of a knowledgeable and professional farm manager is essential for maximizing the appreciation and income of investment farmland.

All farmland is not created equal and a customized farm management plan and oversight will align the interests of the farmer and landowner to optimize their return on investment (ROI). The key to proper farm management includes focusing on the following areas:
 Capital Improvements
 Additional Revenue Opportunities

Overlooking just one of these key tasks can lead to a significant loss in the degradation of the farmland.

Farming over the last decade has become one of the most profitable industries, although the improvement in economics has not necessarily flowed back to the landowners.
Professional farm management services will not only allow investors to optimize their management system, but own an asset that can be passed down for generations.
Ultimately, Managing a farm is a 24/7/365 responsibility and due to such a high-rated importance, It should be seen as the decision-making process aimed at meeting the vision, mission and goals of the business. All decisions made by management are focused on the efficient allocation of the factors of production land, labour, capital and management for effective yield and productivity.

Written by: Al-Mustapha Ibrahim I
University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria.
Edited by: Campus Agriculture Network Editorial Board.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Opinion poll: Advancement in technology or easy access to loan which is the game changer in Nigeria agriculture?

Opinion poll: Advancement in technology or easy access to loan which is the game changer in Nigeria agriculture?

There is an ever increasing need to invest in agriculture due to a drastic rise in global population and changing dietary preferences of the growing middle class in emerging markets towards higher value agricultural products. In addition, climate risks increase the need for investments to make agriculture more resilient to such risks. Estimates suggest that demand for food will increase by 70% by 2050 and at least $80 billion annual investments will be needed to meet this demand, most of which needs to come from the private sector. Financial sector institutions in developing countries lend a disproportionately lower share of their loan portfolios to agriculture compared to agriculture sector’s share of GDP. Unfortunately, we were thrown into a state of dilemma In  such investments, investing to facilitate easy access to loan or advancement in technology, and which is the game changer in Nigeria agriculture? Of course, they take an equal position with similtude of importance pending on individual ideologies, perception and circumstances.

 A quick panorama will unleash various governmental and non governmental bodies that focus on developing and implementing agriculture finance strategies and instruments to crowd-in private sector, enhancing access to suitable financial services to farmers – particularly smallholders – and agricultural Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as a way to increase agricultural productivity and income, and facilitating the consolidation and integration of production and marketing entities in agriculture to achieve economies of scale and stronger presence in markets.
In a similar manner, if  you’re in the farming industry, you know that costs associated with starting up a farming business or running an existing one can be steep. Agriculture loans are geared toward helping farmers make the leap into the world of farming, or taking their existing farm to the next level.  Therefore, quick access to loan facility could be a stepping stone to an advancement in technology and as such, becomes a necessity. Then, if the two is coupled and used wisely, then you are  on your way to a prosperous farming future.
Moreover, You can’t run a farm without specialized equipment. From tractors to irrigation systems to silos, your business is only as good as the equipment you use. High-quality, reliable equipment lasts longer and will make your job easier, but it comes with a hefty price tag. If there is no enough capital available- as it is in most cases- then lease or procurement of such sophisticated machinaries could be a herculean task. Wouldn’t it?

If you’re just starting out in the agriculture business, you may significantly underestimate the price of specialized equipment probably due to low capital at hand and effective technical know how of the use, but its  a way ahead to a better agriculture and could be a game changer to the Nigerian agricultural system. On the contrary it is paramount to, before you over (or under) commit to any investment, thoroughly research the costs and options for the equipment you’re going to need and make sure it fits into your business plan. Itemize the cost of each piece of equipment, including operating costs (like gas) and maintenance and repair costs – you can’t fix a tractor tire with baling twine! Consider consulting with other people that have experience in the industry to get their insight on what kind of equipment you’ll need, what you can expect to pay for it, and what it costs to run and maintain. And by that,the bridge between the cost and the equipment has been checked.

If you’ve been in the business for a while, you may already have a good sense of what you need. However, you still need to price out every piece of equipment you plan to buy in other to regulate the loan accessible. You can also evaluate the equipment you already have – it may be cheaper to repair some things than to replace them, depending on the cost and the expected lifespan of the equipment.
Overall, the provision of technical assistance in handling equipment will also help to build capability to assess agricultural risk and to develop and distribute agricultural friendly products.
“Agriculture can bridge the gap between the acceptance of innovation that is a part of consumers’ everyday lives with the technology – and the insights it delivers – being used daily on today’s farms and ranches,” said Krotz, .“Today’s SMART farms use data and technology to become faster, more efficient, more nimble, more equipped to protect our planet’s resources while still growing and producing the world’s very best food supply. That’s the very definition of continual improvement or sustainability.” This could be made a reality if only there is an easy access to loan facility. For loan users and borrower, such assistance will help to build their capability to better access loans and increase capacity to improve productivity.

Finally, Investment in AgTech continues to rise with AgTech companies taking in more than $1.75 billion during the first half of 2016. Today’s farms and ranches are using a heady mix of data, math, hardware and software, sensors and analysis to go beyond what the eye can see. For instance,technology like multispectral analysis lets a farmer see which crops are doing well by looking at how the plants absorb or reflect different wavelengths of sunlight. This clearly demonstrates a proportionate increase in loan use with a corresponding advancement in technology.

You can join the conversation on the ongoing debate contest by the National Association of Agriculture students (NAAS)by putting down your opinion the comment box below.

Written by: Al-Mustapha Ibrahim I
University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria.
Edited by: Campus Agriculture Network Editorial Board.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Rice on the rise: Promoting consumption of enriched rice and its products

Rice on the rise: Promoting consumption of enriched rice and its products

Innovation is the best practice for development in the society. When malnutrition is the country`s major issue then innovative food products might possibly be one of the alternative solutions to explore. Rice is the main staple food in Nigeria. It is the major source of energy especially by supporting the carbohydrate and protein requirements for not only Nigerian people including many other countries of the world.
Given the importance of rice as a staple food in Nigeria, boosting its production has been accorded high priority by the government in the past 7 years with a consumption per capita of 32kg.
People of many countries are dependent on various cereals for food supply such as wheat, barley and so on. Surprisingly it has been proven that rice and rice-based products have more health benefits and preserve local tradition and best use of local resources.  Thanks for such in Nigeria.

Statistics show that Nigeria is one of the largest consumer and producer of rice in West Africa sub-region producing over 3.7 million tons of milled rice on the average annually which has led to the drastic reduction of annual imports from 4.5 million tons to 800,000 metric tons. This has made Nigeria the second largest producer of the grain in Africa after Egypt and listed among the top sixteen producers of rice in the world with her local production valued at N684 billion ($1.9 billion). What an amazing report!
International diabetes association (IDF) in its IDF Diabetes Atlas 8th Edition 2017, has shown that the prevalence of diabetes is higher in the USA than Bangladesh. While the people of the USA are highly dependent on wheat or wheat-based products such as bread, cake, pizza and so on. On the contrary, the inhabitants of Nigeria, take rice as the main food in various forms such as unparboiled, parboiled, fermented etc. and suffered less in such diseases.
Hundreds of years, scientists and researchers are working on rice around the world. They found rice contains many essential minerals such as Zn, Cu, Co, Fe, Mg, vitamins (Thiamin, riboflavin etc.) and various antioxidants, which have a great role in metabolic mechanisms and support to prevent various diseases by acting as anti-cancer, anti-inflammation, anti-diabetes, and anti-cardiovascular disease.
Due to its greater importance, scientists are trying to develop new improved varieties through breeding for higher yield as well as improving their nutritional contents. Among them, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) has released ninety-two (92) high yielding varieties (HYVs) including both inbreed and hybrids until 2018. By this time, Grain Quality and Nutrition Division of BRRI has identified some promising nutritiously enriched HYVs such as black rice, anti-oxidant enriched rice, low glycemic index rice(Low GI),anti-depressive alias gamma-amino butyric acid(GABA) enriched pre-germinated brown rice and micronutrient enriched rice, especially Zn enriched rice.
The rice sector in Nigeria is one of the most important remarkable agricultural developments. over the decades. ,

Few  limited rice-based processed items are available namely flattened, popped and puffed rice to meet local demand as traditional food items. We assume that there is a potential scope to enhance nutraceutical enriched rice-based food considering malnutrition mitigation and humanitarian relief operation into account.

Rice-based foods also have the highest digestibility of 99.70% among all types of cereals. In addition, rice-based products are gluten free which is most suitable for children especially autistic children.
Rice-based balanced and nutritious food intake may possibly reduce the whole rice consumption rate gradually and attain the required dietary allowance that helps to sustainable food security in Nigeria in a way of proper and effective utilization of the rice grain. It will also open diversified uses and rice-based food products in Nigeria.
Finally, Rice is spectacularly diverse, both in the way it is grown and how it is used by humans. Rice is unique because it can grow in wet environments that other crops cannot survive in. Such wet environments are abundant across Asia.
In lieu of the above, it should be noted that there is a continuous increase in the demand and supply of rice daily in Nigeria and If there is increased production of rice in Nigeria for domestic consumption and exports, the country is sure to earn more than enough to develop its economy.

Written by: Al-Mustapha Ibrahim I
University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria.

Edited by: Campus Agriculture Network Editorial Board.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019



Do you know that?

  • The word “farm” is from the Old French ferme, meaning to “rent, lease,” and the Latin firmare, “to fix, settle, confirm, strengthen.”
  • Farming began around 10,000 B.C. during the First Agricultural Revolution, when nomadic tribes began to farm. Additionally, this is when the eight so-called “founder crops” of agriculture appeared.
  • Cyrus McCormick is considered the “Father of Modern Agriculture.” He invented the world’s first mechanical reaper in 1831, which helped replace manpower for machine power to harvest crops. His invention is often cited as key in the westward expansion of the United States. Jo Anderson, a slave, also worked with McCormick to develop the mechanical reaper.
  • The Third Agricultural Revolution, or the Green Revolution, corresponds in the late 20th century with the exponential population growth occurring around the world. It includes biotechnology, genetic engineering, chemical fertilizers, and mass production of agricultural goods.
  • Subsistence farmers are farmers who produce the food they need to survive on a daily basis. They are farmers who raise enough food for themselves and their families. The food is not intended to be sold in a market.
  • Fruit farming began sometime between 6000 and 3000 B.C.
  • Americans spend 10% of their income on food, which is the lowest of any country.

  • The Mesopotamians built the first simple irrigation system around 7000 B.C. The earliest large-scale irrigation system was created around 4000 B.C. in southern Russia. This system had canals up to 10 feet across and more than a mile long.
  • In 644 A.D, Arab scientists developed a windmill to pump water for irrigation. By the year 1000, Arabs introduced fertilizers to enrich farm soil.
  • More than 6,000 different kinds of apples are grown around the world. The biggest producer is China, followed by the United States, Iran, Turkey, Russia, Italy, and India
  • Tractors were invented in the 1880s to pull plows through fields. By the 1920s the all purpose, modern tractor had been developed. With different attachments, tractors can be used for plowing, planting, cultivating, mowing, harvesting, and moving soil and heavy equipment.
  • The tallest, biggest trees or bushes do not always yield the most fruit. Controlling the height of plants helps produce more fruit in less space. Farmers may also change a tree’s shape by cutting branches or forcing branches to grow in a certain direction.
  • The Fertile Crescent is the site of the earliest planned sowing and harvesting of plants.
  • Raising beef cattle is the single largest segment of American agriculture. The United States produces more beef than any other country. About 34 million cows are slaughtered in the U.S. each year.
  • Popular movies about farming include Country (1984), The River (1984), Out of Africa (1985), Giant (1956), and The Big Country (1958).
  • There are around 2.2 million farms in the United States.
  • Bananas are the number one fruit crop in the world. They are the 4th largest overall crop, after wheat, rice, and corn.  India grows more bananas than any other country. The Philippines, China, and Ecuador are the next three top producers of bananas.
  • Pigs, a common farm animal, are thought to be the 4th most intelligent animal, after chimps, dolphins, and elephants. 
  • A group of pigs is called a sounder. Pigs can also run 11 miles per hour, which is faster than a 6-minute mile.
  • Bees contribute to more than $15 billion worth of crops every year through pollination.
  • According to the UN, an exploding world population, intensive farming practices, and changes in climate have provided a breeding ground for an unprecedented number of emerging diseases. Poultry farming, for example, may account for the global spread of bird flu. In fact, the majority of the 39 new diseases that have emerged in just one generation have come from animals, including Ebola, SARS, and the bird flu.
  • Today’s farmers grow more than “food, feed, and fiber”—they also grow crops that are processed into fuel. For example, corn can be made into ethanol and soybean oil can be made into diesel fuel.
  • The world populationwill jump from 7 billion to 9 billion by 2050. Farmers will need to double food production by then to keep pace.
  • Livestock farming feeds billions of people and employs 1.3 billion people. That means about 1 in 5 people on Earth work in some aspect of the livestock farming.
  • Fritz Haber (December 1868—January 1934) co-developed with Carl Bosch the process of ammonia synthesis, which is known today as the “Haber Synthesis.” While his work led to the production of nitrogen fertilizer, which has helped to feed billions of people (the entire global population, in fact), he also contributed to human destruction with his involvement in chemical agents during WWI.
  • The four major biotech crops in 2012 were soybean, cotton, maize, and canola.
  • World Habitat Day is observed every year on the first Monday of October throughout the world. It was officially designated by the United Nations and first celebrated in 1986. 
  • Research suggests that the increased use of herbicide designed to work with GMOs (and vice versa) are starting to create “superweeds” that resist chemicals.
Any other interesting facts? You may like to add to the sequence by stating your contribution in the comment box!

By:  The Campus Agriculture Network Research and orientation team