- Bauchi Targets 200% Increased Yields through Mechanised Farming
A memorandum of understanding between the Bauchi state government and the government of the Czech Republic is being concluded to provide the state with cheaper agricultural equipment in an effort to make agriculture attractive and transform it to an alternative source of revenue and better employer of labour that gives greater yield than the traditional agricultural method.
Governor of Bauchi state Mohammed Abubakar who stated this at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International, Airport, Abuja shortly after returning from the Czech Republic, said the delegation he led to the Czech Republic from Bauchi state was in that country on the invitation of the minister of agriculture and the deputy minister of foreign affairs of the Czech Republic.
According to a press release signed by the Press Secretary to the governor, Abubakar Al-Sadique, which was made available this Weekend, the governor stressed that for agriculture which is one of the major employers of labour in Nigeria to provide the alternative source of revenue the country desperately needs, farming must be “practiced in the scientific way”, where mechanisation will replace traditional methods.
Abubakar lamented that farmers in Bauchi state like other Nigerian farmers rely on traditional farming which consumes lots of human energy and resources but yields far less to the farmers.
“Because we now need to test the soil to determine its suitability for the cultivation of the crops we intend to cultivate to increase our yield per hectre, we must embrace the developments and innovations being brought to agriculture that come with researches in science and technology, which the Czech Republic so seriously engages in. The yield per hectre for maize, for example, in the Czech Republic is about 40 tones while in Nigeria the highest is unfortunately about 5 tones”, the governor whose delegation was taken round modern farms to see how modern agriculture is practiced in the Czech Republic, he said.
Under the memorandum of understanding, the Czech Republic is to support the agricultural sector in the state by providing especially small scale farmers with multi-purpose mini tractors and other farming implements at low costs that Bauchi farmers can easily afford.
At the inception of his administration, Abubakar visited the Czech Republic and thereafter a trade delegation from that country also visited Nigeria during which time he had a meeting with the delegation on investment potentials of the state in the areas of agriculture and tourism.
It was the result of that meeting which informed the agriculture minister and the deputy minister of foreign affairs’ specific invitation of Bauchi state to see how the Czech Republic can help the state boost its agriculture through science and technology and use of modern agricultural implements produced in that country.
Because of the interest the authorities in the Czech Republic have in investing in agricultural development of Bauchi state, accommodation and other logistics were provided to Governor Mohammed Abubakar and members of his delegation.
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $67.70 per barrel on Thursday following the decision of OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, to extend production cuts.
OPEC and allies are presently debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in April, according to people with the knowledge of the meeting.
Experts have said OPEC+ continuous production cuts could increase global inflationary pressure with the rising price of could oil. However, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said “I don’t think it will overheat.”
Last year “we suffered alone, we as OPEC+” and now “it’s about being vigilant and being careful,” he said.
Saudi minister added that the additional 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut the kingdom introduced in February was now open-ended. Meaning, OPEC+ will be withholding 7 million barrels a day or 7 percent of global demand from the market– even as fuel consumption recovers in many nations.
Experts have started predicting $75 a barrel by April.
“We expect oil prices to rise toward $70 to $75 a barrel during April,” said Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president of macro oils at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “The risk is these higher prices will dampen the tentative global recovery. But the Saudi energy minister is adamant OPEC+ must watch for concrete signs of a demand rise before he moves on production.”
Gold Hits Eight-Month Low as Global Optimism Grows Amid Rising Demand for Bitcoin
Gold Struggles Ahead of Economic Recovery as Bitcoin, New Gold, Surges
Global haven asset, gold, declined to the lowest in more than eight months on Tuesday as signs of global economic recovery became glaring with rising bond yields.
The price of the precious metal declined to $1,718 per ounce during London trading on Thursday, down from $2,072 it traded in August as more investors continue to cut down on their holdings of the metal.
The previous metal usually performs poorly with rising yields on other assets like bonds, especially given the fact that gold does not provide streams of interest payments. Investors have been jumping on US bonds ahead of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, expected to stoke stronger US price growth.
“We see the rising bond yields as a sign of economic optimism, which has also prompted gold investors to sell some of their positions,” said Carsten Menke of Julius Baer.
Another analyst from Commerzbank, Carsten Fritsch, said that “gold’s reputation appears to have been tarnished considerably by the heavy losses of recent weeks, as evidenced by the ongoing outflows from gold ETFs”.
Experts at Investors King believed the growing demand for Bitcoin, now called the new gold, and other cryptocurrencies in recent months by institutional investors is hurting gold attractiveness.
In a recent report, analysts at Citigroup have started projecting mainstream acceptance for the unregulated dominant cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.
The price of Bitcoin has rallied by 60 percent to $52,000 this year alone. While Ethereum has risen by over 660 percent in 2021.
Oil Prices Extend Gains to $64.32 Ahead of OPEC+ Meeting
Oil Prices Rise to $64.32 Amid Expected Output Extension
Oil prices extended gains during the early hours of Thursday trading session amid the possibility that OPEC+ producers might not increase output at a key meeting scheduled for later in the day and the drop in U.S refining.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria oil is priced, gained 0.4 percent or 27 cents to $64.32 per barrel as at 7:32 am Nigerian time on Thursday. While the U.S West Texas Intermediate gained 19 cents or 0.3 percent to $61.47 a barrel.
“Prices hinge on Russia’s and Saudi Arabia’s preference to add more crude oil production,” said Stephen Innes, global market strategist at Axi. “Perhaps more interesting is the lack of U.S. shale response to the higher crude oil prices, which is favourable for higher prices.”
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, together known as OPEC+, are looking to extend production cuts into April against expected output increase due to the fragile state of the global oil market.
Oil traders and businesses had been expecting the oil cartel to ease production by around 500,000 barrels per day since January 2021 but because of the coronavirus risk and rising global uncertainties, OPEC+ was forced to role-over production cuts until March. Experts now expect that this could be extended to April given the global situation.
“OPEC+ is currently meeting to discuss its current supply agreement. This raised the spectre of a rollover in supply cuts, which also buoyed the market,” ANZ said in a report.
Meanwhile, U.S crude oil inventories rose by more than a record 21 million barrels last week as refining plunged to a record-low amid Texas weather that knocked out power from homes.
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