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Cocoa Foundation to train 70,000 farmers











World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to train 70, 000 cocoa farmers and 100 groups in 10 cocoa producing states. The states are Ondo, Cross River, Osun, Ekiti, Edo, Ogun, Abia, Oyo, Kogi and Akwa-Ibom. Socodevi Nigeria, a Canadian non-governmental organisation (NGO), is managing the programme for WCF.

The Country Representative for WCF, Mr. Neil Abang, said the programme is geared towards increasing cocoa production from 450 kilogramme (kg) per hectare to about 800 kg per hectare. Addressing a train-the trainers farmers business school workshop in Akure, Ondo State, Abang said the training had become necessary because many farmers have limited access to information and education on improved farming techniques that could enhance their yield.

Abang said for the nation to achieve its goal of food sufficiency, farmers must have access to quality inputs such as sowing seeds, herbicides and pesticides, or to critical information such as accurate weather forecasts that could help them improve the quality of their crops. Such inefficiencies, he said, increase transaction costs and slash potential profits for farmers. He said the farmers business school (FBS) is a channel for the dissemination of management knowledge among farmers.

The success of the programme in improving farmers’ income through increased yield and savings on production costs has stimulated an upsurge of demand for more programmes in other communities.

On the workshop, he said trainers are drawn from Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) offices across the country and department of cooperatives of states involved in the programme. At the end, he said 100 cocoa farmers’ groups would be banded into viable cooperatives, linking them with partners for sales of their products. This will lead to certifying the cooperatives.

Cocoa farmers under this programme will be paid premium by chocolate firms of WCF. He said using the FBS model, 70, 000 cocoa farmers would be trained as entrepreneurs, thereby increasing their capacities to effectively manage their farms as businesses.

The Ondo State Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Lasisi Oluboyo, commended Socodevi Nigeria for introducing the business school, adding that the initiative will help promote agricultural growth.

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ISWAP abduct six girls in Chibok



Terrorists suspected to be members of the Islamic State for West African Province (ISWAP) on Tuesday night, reportedly attacked the Yimirmigza village in Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State, abducting three young girls in the raid.

The state police spokesman, ASP Sani Kamilu Mohammed who confirmed the attack, said the insurgents stormed the village at about 10 pm after the people had retired for the night and started shooting sporadically.

Mohammed added that the insurgents have made contact with the family of one of the abducted girls, telling them to forget them as they would never be released unless their commanders think otherwise.

Chibok community has been the epicenter of many attacks by insurgents beginning with the Boko Haram sect with the famous abduction of 276 students at Government Girls Secondary School on 14 April, 2014, which drew serious consternation worldwide.

Since that abduction, there have been a series of other attacks and kidnappings in Chibok, a mainly Christian community located in the southern part of Borno State.


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Ban Christians without PVCs from receiving holy communion, Anglican Bishop tells pastors



The Anglican Bishop of Asaba Diocese, Justus Mogekwu, has called on Nigerian churches to insist on parishioners presenting their PVCs before participating in religious activities, including receiving holy communion.

He said it is the duty of Christians to “enthrone” good leaders by voting.

“Christians must actively get involved in politics to enthrone good governance at all levels. If men who are righteous and fear God are in power, the people rejoice,” said Mr Mogekwu during a sermon on Sunday, Nov. 14.

He added: “Pastors should ensure their members get their PVCs before they take communion and do other worship services in the household of God.”

He continued: “As communion is important to us as Christians, which makes us healthy, spirit-filled and very strong, it is such with the PVC that makes us enthrone good governance at any level.”

Mr Mogekwu then committed the coming elections into the hands of God, praying for good leaders who will move Delta State and Nigeria to a better place.

Similarly, the Delta branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) demanded that churchgoers get their Permanent Voters Card before engaging in worship at their respective churches.

This was made known by Kofa Ithanasius, the CAN chairman of the Patani local government area.

The clergyman added that Christians who refused to vote during the election had committed a sin and that children of God should not murmur or complain when evil men are in power.

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A 10-Year-Old Black Girl Commits Suicide After Racist Bullying at Elementary School



A Salt Lake City mother says her 10-year-old daughter took her own life over the weekend after being bullied at school.


According to an attorney representing the family, Isabella “Izzy” Tichenor, who was also on the autism spectrum, was harassed by her classmates with racial slurs, called “smelly” and teased about being autistic.

The child’s mother, Brittany Tichenor, said she reported the bullying to her teachers at Foxboro Elementary School, but nothing was done.

“We don’t take umbrage with the children,” the family’s lawyer Tyler Ayres told KTLA.

“We take umbrage with the adults who chose not to do anything about it.

The adults who were in charge there should have taken these kids aside.”

Ayres added that the family is also worried for Izzy’s siblings, who attend the same school and have faced similar harassment.

About two weeks ago, the Davis School District, which includes Foxboro Elementary School, was reprimanded by the U.S. Department of Justice for not doing enough to address the widespread racial harassment of Black and Asian American students.

A federal civil rights investigation found hundreds of documented incidents where Black students were repeatedly called the N-word and other racial slurs by their peers from 2015 to 2020.

Black children also told investigators they were referred to as monkeys or slaves by their classmates and told to “go pick cotton.”

In their own investigation, Davis School District officials admitted that discipline data showed their staff treated non-white students differently than white students. However, according to the DOJ, the district did nothing to correct these disparities.

Black and Asian American students reportedly make up about 1 percent each of the approximately 73,000 students enrolled in the district.

In a statement, district spokesperson Shauna Lund said Foxboro Elementary School “worked extensively with the family” and claimed administrators handled the family’s reports of bullying appropriately.

“We, like everyone, are devastated by the death of this child,” Lund said. “Our hearts go out to the family.

Foxboro Elementary has worked extensively with the family and will continue to provide help to them and others impacted by this tragedy.”

On Tuesday (Nov. 9), several hundred people reportedly gathered for a vigil in Izzy’s honor. The hashtag #StandForIzzy also began circulating on social media to bring awareness to the tragedy.

“Even though my baby is gone, I’m going to make sure that I stand for Izzy,” her mother said.

“And I’m going to make sure — for voices that can’t be heard like hers — that this will never happen again to any kid.”


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