By Adedapo Adesanya
The federal government, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, has tasked research institutes, agencies and development partners in the sector to create solutions to the numerous challenges besetting the country’s potato value chain.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Sabo Nanono, gave this charge in his address during a workshop with potato value chain stakeholders in Osogbo, Osun State.
The event was on the adoption and utilisation of Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP) and he said new technologies and innovations should be developed to further improve production.
Mr Nanono, who was represented by the Director of the Federal Department of Agriculture, Mrs Karima Babangida, said that OFSP has both economic and health benefits to Nigerians.
He said, “It has come to the knowledge of the Ministry the immense Wealth and Health benefits in Potato production, especially Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP) and as such the Ministry is willing to explore these opportunities within the Value Chain in furtherance to achieving food nutrition and security for our beloved country.
“The primary objective of convening this stakeholder workshop is to create a forum for the stakeholders/major actors in the Potato Value Chain to chart a way forward for the realization of the fullest potentials locked up in potato production, processing/utilization and marketing.”
Mr Nanono added that the potato value chain has been facing many challenges right from the seed system stage.
“Several challenges have been identified in the potato value chain; right from the seed system protocols to the marketing of the produce.
“The challenges are quite enormous, but however, not one that is insurmountable. Therefore, all hands must be on deck to achieving this feat. There is no formal seed system for Potato, and it’s been a major drawback in the development of the Value Chain in the country.
“In achieving the above, please be informed that the Ministry is willing to contribute to the development of the Potato Value Chain through its various Agencies and Research institutes with mandates on rendering technical support.
“The Ministry has quite a number of support services that farmers and processors can benefit from. Farm inputs such as; agro-chemicals, farm equipment and machinery) are available at subsidized rates at the Ministry.
“I want to use this medium to urge the various Research Institutes, Agencies and Development partners with mandates on the Potato to work assiduously in creating solutions to the numerous challenges besetting the Value Chain, as well as new technologies and innovations to further improve production,” the Minister stated.
The Minister, while informing the participants at the workshop held on Thursday, April 1, said that the Ministry had earlier convened two regional meetings on Sweet potato in the South-South, Calabar, Cross River State and North-East, Yola, Adamawa State.
He noted that a sensitization meeting would be held in three geopolitical zones of the country, that is the (North-West, North-Central and South-East) regions respectively before convening a National Stakeholders workshop in no distant future.
Mr Nanono charged the ADP’s and the various Potato Commodity Association/Farmers to embrace new innovations such as; the Farmers Business School (FBS); Cooperative Business School (CBS); and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) to improve their all-round farming activities as a means to strengthen their capacity in production and marketing.
In his remarks, the Ministry’s state director, Engr. Atoyebi O. Sunday, said that asides from the wealth potentials of processing OFSP into various confectioneries such as Chin-chin, juice, biscuits, cake, flour, bread among others, its health benefits cannot be overemphasized.
Mr Sunday said that OFSP is known to have enough nutritional values to supply the vitamin A requirement for children between the ages of 6 months to five years, support pregnant and lactating mothers and also help boost the immune system of the elderly.
He said, “The purpose of this meeting is to provide solutions to many challenges facing the popularization and adoption of the OFSP among the Nigerian farmers and processors nationwide.
“With this, I believe the resolutions of this meeting will help the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to plan adequately for ways of supporting potato farmers and processors nationwide.
“In view of the above, it is expedient for all of us to make use of this opportunity to cross-fertilize ideas and offer suggestions that will help in changing the narratives of low adoption and utilization of OFSP in Nigeria and also based on the information and knowledge gathered from the workshops; become an advocate of OFSP in our various communities and states.”
Profit Takers Drag ASI to 37,847.07 Points, Market Cap to N19.725trn
By Dipo Olowookere
The All-Share Index (ASI) of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited depreciated by 1.81 per cent or 698.23 points on Tuesday to finish at 37,847.07 points as against 38,545.30 points it ended a day earlier.
This was majorly caused by the actions of profit takers, who pounced on the market to offload some stocks that have gained in the past few trading sessions.
This also affected the market capitalisation of the stock exchange, which reduced by N364 billion to finish at N19.725 trillion compared with N20.089 trillion it ended on Monday.
Business Post reports that the market breadth closed negative yesterday with 17 price gainers and 23 price losers led by Airtel Africa, which lost 10.00 per cent to close at N678.00.
Mutual Benefits Assurance went down by 7.32 per cent to trade at 38 kobo, Cornerstone Insurance declined by 7.27 per cent to 51 kobo, Learn Africa depreciated by 648 per cent to N1.01, while Ikeja Hotel fell by 6.19 per cent to 91 kobo.
On the other side, Fidson shook off the bad performance of Monday to close as the best-performing stock by rising by 10.00 per cent to N5.06.
Vitafoam gained 9.68 per cent to trade at N13.60, Red Star Express appreciated by 9.55 per cent to N3.67, Veritas Kapital improved by 9.09 per cent to 24 kobo, while Courtville gained 5.00 per cent to quote at 21 kobo.
The most traded stock of the day was Transcorp as it sold 42.4 million shares valued at N37.2 million. Vitafoam traded 20.1 million equities worth N271.6 million, Dangote Sugar exchanged 17.6 million stocks for N312.1 million, FBN Holdings sold 12.4 million equities valued at N88.5 million, while Access Bank traded 11.5 million shares for N98.4 million.
At the close of business, investors traded a total of 218.3 million stocks worth N2.7 billion in 3,524 deals compared with the 209.2 million equities worth N1.8 billion transacted in 3,390 deals on Monday, indicating increases in the trading volume by 4.33 per cent, trading value by 54.59 per cent and the number of deals by 3.95 per cent.
In terms of the performance of the sectors yesterday, the energy and consumer goods sectors appreciated by 0.05 per cent and 002 per cent respectively, while the industrial goods, insurance and banking counters depreciated by 1.13 per cent, 0.39 per cent and 0.07 per cent apiece.
Local Currency Gains N1.67 Against Dollar at I&E
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Naira strengthened against the US Dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window of the foreign exchange market on Tuesday.
Business Post reports that during the session, the local currency appreciated by N1.67 or 0.4 per cent to close the session at N410/$1 in contrast to the previous session’s N410.67/$1.
It was observed that the domestic gained this strength despite coming under a significant FX demand pressure at the market segment.
Yesterday, the I&E recorded a turnover of $169.07 million, 79.5 per cent or $74.9 million higher than the $94.17 million recorded on Monday.
At the parallel market, the value of the Naira paired with the American Dollar remained unchanged yesterday at N500/$1.
But against the Pound Sterling, the domestic depreciated by N3 at the black market to sell for N713/£1 compared with N710/£1 it traded a day earlier.
Also, the Naira lost N3 against the Euro at the unregulated segment of the market to trade at N595/€1 in contrast to N592/£1 of the earlier day.
At the interbank segment of the market, the Nigerian currency appreciated against the American currency by one kobo to quote at N410.19/$1 versus N410.20/$1 it traded on Monday.
Cryptos Languish in Bearish Territory
Five of the seven cryptocurrencies tracked by Business Post on Tuesday were in bearish territory amid a growing crackdown on the virtual asset in China.
In the Asian country, authorities in the southwest province of Sichuan recently ordered bitcoin mining projects to close.
The State Council, China’s cabinet, last month vowed to clamp down on mining and trading as part of a series of measures to control financial risks.
The world’s biggest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (BTC) has lost over 20 per cent in the last six days alone and has shed half of the value it traded in April.
Yesterday, it dropped 0.8 per cent to trade at N16,474,637.69, Ethereum (ETH) lost 14.1 per cent to sell at N901,355.08, Ripple (XRP) dipped by 6.5 per cent to trade at N305.00, Litecoin (LTC) declined by 1.1 per cent to trade at N63,800.00, while Tron (TRX) depreciated by 19.6 per cent to sell at N25.60.
But the Dash (DASH) appreciated by 4.4 per cent to trade at N70,000.00, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) gained 0.8 per cent to sell for N516.86.
Oil Falls as OPEC+ Mulls Raising Supply
By Adedapo Adesanya
Crude oil prices settled slightly lower on Tuesday as the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) discussed raising oil production.
Earlier in the day, the price of the Brent crude hit a two-year high of $75 per barrel but it later dropped to $74.85 per barrel, losing 23 cents or 0.18 per cent while the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) declined by 0.29 per cent or 58 cents to trade at $73.08 per barrel.
OPEC+ is discussing a gradual increase in oil output from August, but no decision has been taken on the exact volumes, an OPEC+ source reportedly said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.
The alliance is already returning 2.1 million barrels per day (bpd) to the market from May through July as part of a plan to unwind last year’s record output curbs gradually as pandemic-hit demand recovers.
The group will have its next meeting on July 1.
Both benchmarks have risen for the past four weeks on optimism over the pace of global COVID-19 vaccinations and expected pick-up in summer travel. The rebound has pushed up spot premiums for crude in Asia and Europe to multi-month highs.
On Monday, the market reacted positively over a pause in negotiations to revive the Iran nuclear deal after Mr Ebrahim Raisi won the country’s presidential election.
Although he backed talks between Iran and six world powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal but flatly rejected meeting US President, Mr Joe Biden, even if the country removed all sanctions placed by the Donald Trump administration.
Removal of sanctions on commodities, including crude, could see an extra one million barrel flow into the market as it would be exempted from supply quotas.
Meanwhile, forecasters continue to see a higher oil price amid tighter oil supply and recovering demand which could push oil briefly to $100 per barrel in 2022.
US crude stocks were expected to have dropped for a fifth consecutive week, and this could lift prices.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said last week that US crude oil stockpiles dropped sharply in the week to June 11 as refineries boosted operations to their highest since January 2020, signalling a continued improvement in demand.
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Latest News on Business Post
- Profit Takers Drag ASI to 37,847.07 Points, Market Cap to N19.725trn June 23, 2021
- Local Currency Gains N1.67 Against Dollar at I&E June 23, 2021
- Oil Falls as OPEC+ Mulls Raising Supply June 23, 2021
- NASD Unlisted Security Index Extends Loss by 0.93% June 23, 2021
- Ecobank Promotes Employees for Better Efficiency June 22, 2021
- Kwara, Three Others to Receive ASR N10bn Health Intervention Fund June 22, 2021
- ECOWAS Court Restrains Nigeria From Imposing Sanctions On Twitter June 22, 2021
- NGX Delists Four Firms for Poor Corporate Governance June 22, 2021
- CBN’s Digital Currency Will Deepen Financial Inclusion—FDC June 22, 2021
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