Developing Story I N S I D E B U S I N E S S A F R I C A Agric News THE MAGAZINE 0F THE CORPORATE WORLD Boosting agribusiness Expanding IT Nigeria, Netherlands to collaborate on improved seeds - Minister Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh The Emir of Kano, His Royal Majesty, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi 11, represented by Alhaji Yusuf Ibrahim Madakin, the Central Bank Governor, the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, represented by Mr. Hassan Tom and the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbe, represented by Mallam Munir Mohammed at the inauguration of the Sesame Processing Plant at the Challawa Unit of Popular Farms and Mills, Kano - a subsidiary of the Stallion Group. T Popular Farms and Mills Limited - Making the Big Difference in Nigeria, Expands Operations I n furtherance of its goal of spearheading the rice revolution and ensure the sustainability of food sufficiency initiative of the President Muhammdadu Buhari's administration, Popular Farms and Mills Limited today inaugurated a strategic multi-billion Naira Rice Mill expansion of 140,000 MTs per year milling capacity as well as laid the foundation for 44,000 MTs per year Sesame Processing Plant at the Challawa Unit of Popular Farms and Mills, Kano - a subsidiary of the Stallion Group. A member of the West African Conglomerate - Stallion Group, Popular Farms and Mills Limited is renowned as a leading stakeholder in the Nigeria's food sector with commercial interest in Rice Value Chain, where it currently has an installed capacity for 430,000 metric tons with planned expansion to 1.5 million tons of paddy rice processing per annum making the company the biggest player and bringing the much needed positive difference in the Nigerian economy and the food value chain. The event which attracted dignitaries from both public sector and the private sector had the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Chief Audu Ogbe, represented by Mallam Munir Mohammed, the Emir of Kano, His Royal Majesty, Alhji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi 11, represented by Alhaji Yusuf Ibrahim Madakin, the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, represented by Mr. Hassan Tom, a Director, Alhaji Mohammed Lawal Shehu, permanent secretary, kebbi State Ministry of Agriculture, representative of the Executive Governor of Kebbi, and Ambassador Mrs. Kupoluyi among other dignitaries as progressive farmers, representatives of Rice Cooperatives and Supply Chain partners. Welcoming dignitaries to the well attended event, Mr. Amit Rai, Managing Director, Popular Far ms, acknowledged the meticulous and inclusive approach of the Nigerian government under the leadership of 12 u t APRIL1 4 - 28, 2019 President, Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, the Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe and his team of experts at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, with regards to the agriculture sector. He also commended the government at all levels for the positive initiative and robust policies which support the Agribusiness in Nigeria. Speaking on the planned expansion, Mr. Rai stated that over 80,000 farmers across paddy and Sesame supply chain are going to be positively affected while saving the country the needed foreign exchange, and noted that over 1500 direct and indirect jobs will be created. The initiative he added will also further boost the Popular farms' initiative in empowering farmers in the Rice & Sesame value chain to become better business people with strong technical and business knowledge & skills. Indeed, Popular Farms & Mills, u he Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, says the Federal Government will collaborate with the government of The Netherlands on improved seeds to boost agricultural production in Nigeria. The minister spoke when he hosted a delegation from The Netherlands in Abuja, a statement said recently. Mr Ogbeh commended the government of Netherlands for its numerous supports for Nigeria towards the development of its agriculture. He said Nigeria looked forward to increasing the level of engagements with the European country, especially on improved seeds. Mr Ogbeh said aside from the need for improved seeds, the Nigerian government would further require the support of The Netherlands Government in the areas of research, cattle breeding, aquaculture. He lamented that Nigeria is spending 60 million dollars annually on fish import. "The ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior has set up agro rangers to provide security for Nigerian farmers as part of government's commitment to creating an enabling environment for both public and private sectors in the nation's agriculture sector," he said He informed the delegation that Nigeria would continue to partner with The Netherlands Government to develop Nigeria's agriculture sector. In his remarks, the Minister of State, Agriculture, Heineken Lokpobiri, said the focus of the present administration was to achieve self -sufficiency in food production, which could only be achieved through extensive research. He called on The Netherlands government to support Nigeria in the area of research development in Agriculture. The Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria, Marion Kappeyne, said the delegation was in the ministry to explore areas of collaboration for the development of the agriculture sector. "The areas of collaboration would include improved seeds, horticulture, aquaculture, poultry and nutrition among others", the ambassador said. Ms Kappeyene said The Netherlands government's willingness to support Nigeria on agriculture revolution to change the country from food import to food export. In a related development last year, Inside Business Africa reported how the Nigerian government called for a partnership with the People's Republic of Bangladesh to develop flood resistant seed varieties to ensure food security in the country. The Minister of State Agriculture, Mr Lokpobiri, said Bangladesh has made a silent revolution in agriculture as a result of the country's dedicated investment in research and technology. Mr Lokpobiri expressed regrets that although Nigeria had about 30 research institutes and colleges of agriculture, it is yet to achieve food security. t 41 u APRIL1 4 - 28, 2019 Mukono municipality as well as received an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) approval certificate from National Environment Management Authority (NEMA). "We are in the process of selecting other contractors to handle electrical and other associated works. We expect to conclude this process soon. All in all we expect to go live by November 2019," said Mullins. The project dubbed the located at the Namanve Industrial and Business Park was designed by UK-based Future-tech and Symbion Uganda. It will hold more than 400 data centre racks. As a result firms and institutions in the area will save their data locally, and reduce hosting costs. The data centre facility is being developed to Tier III standards and will be the first truly carrier-neutral co- location facility of its standard. An investment of US $15m will be put through for the development over its life-cycle. The number of internet users in East Africa stood at 92 million in January 2018, with predictions of reaching 100 million users by end of 2018, and keep growing at an average 20% annually over the next 5 years. 86.4% of IT managers working for Ug anda g over nment ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) recen tl y sur veyed by N a ti o n a l Information Technology Authority (NITA), said that shared services offered in data centres, such as cloud services significantly cut ICT related costs while 77.3% hailed them for the increased productivity and flexibility amongst a host of other benefits. "Many of the data centres in the region are fairly old. Before Raxio decided to enter the market, we did not have any single tier III data centre in the region and that has been a significant constraint to achieve the kind of uptimes that a digital economy demands and that is why we're interested in a partnership with Raxio," said Joachim Steuerwald, the Oracle Cloud Platform sales director for East Africa.