The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development said that around seventy percent of Nigerian farmers do not yet practice organic farming.
Dr Abubakar said that true organic produce remains a certified production method that is not yet widely understood by Nigerian farmers, adding that its practice in an organized manner is still new to the country.
The minister, who said so during the national organic farming policy dialogue with stakeholders in Abuja, added that the obvious absence of the country’s agricultural products from the international market will soon be a thing of the past.
Dr Abubakar, who was represented by the Director of the Federal Land Resources Department, Shehu Bello, said that with a vast landmass, a favorable climate and a large population of over 200 million, Nigeria is well adapted to excel in organic farming as a primary natural input. needed are readily available locally.
The minister added that the federal government is keen to support the country’s agricultural sector, including providing zero-interest input loans to small-scale farmers and strengthening the ministry’s Zero Reject program to end the problem of rejecting Nigerian products on the market. the international market. by introducing the practice of organic farming into the farming system.
According to him, “The growing consumer demand for organic products at the local level is also an indication that the sector has high growth potential and with increasing awareness and awareness through ecological organic farming initiatives and the advocacy at different levels, the development of certification standards and the transition from some conventional farms to organic production, organic farming in Nigeria is starting to experience rapid growth.
This constitutes the ministry’s determination to develop a National Organic Agriculture Policy for Nigeria that encompasses all segments of organic farming businesses and practices, including production; marketing; Processing; Export and import; Quality control; raw material; training, research and innovation; and government and institutions ”.
In his address, the Director of the Agricultural Input Support Services Department, Ingr. Tunde Bello with the full implementation of the 2019 National Fertilizer Quality Control Act (NFQC) and regulations, the ministry will aggressively begin to clean up the industry to rid it of adulterants after issuing permits and registration certificates to manufacturers, mixers and distributors of fertilizers. , exporters and importers.
Bello said the ministry is currently registering both organic and inorganic fertilizer players.
He urged all players in the organic fertilizer industry to register and obtain permits for their businesses in order to avoid prosecution.
He said the increased calls from stakeholders for the development of an appropriate policy to guide and regulate organic farming operations in Nigeria have received the necessary attention.
Previously, the secretary of the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha, noted that the Nigerian agricultural sector has experienced a remarkable policy change aimed at increasing agricultural production and ensuring the food and nutritional security of citizens.
Mustapha, who was represented by SGF office public affairs director Agugu Veronica, noted that organic not only brings economic benefit to the small farmer, but also reduces pollution due to reduced nutrient runoff, especially the excess nitrogen.