THE Vice President of the Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria and also the National Coordinator of the Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative in Nigeria, Olugbenga Adeoluwa said that the organic agriculture policy in Nigeria has been sent to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval. and adoption.
Adeoluwa, who revealed it at the association’s annual general meeting held in Abuja on Monday, said the policy will address issues such as production, processing, inputs, marketing, quality control and certification of organic products in the country.
“Nigeria is on the right track when it comes to organic development because one of the indicators of a country that is doing well is having a policy in place that could or can support organic agriculture.
“And we are lucky in Nigeria, that although the country is young, in terms of the development of organic, not only globally but in Africa, but at the end of the year, December precisely, the dialogue of the parties stakeholders on the country’s organic policy which has been spearheaded by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with the Ecological Agriculture Initiative in Nigeria, is moving in. This is a very good step.
“And like I know, you know, it’s almost at the federal executive council level, and then that will help a lot because to do organic farming in the country without a good policy in place is like doing nothing , because farmers need a fair and appropriate policy in order to be able to do good business, one in terms of the location of their agricultural activities, unlike conventional agriculture which you can quote anywhere, organic cannot l ‘to be.
“A good example is organic beekeeping, which involves producing honey. Nigeria has many opportunities; we have a lot of forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, which can easily put Nigeria on the map of the countries that are there when it comes to organic beekeeping.
“But you have to put in place the right policy to guarantee these areas of land for organic production. The issue of quality control is also a policy issue. Now, we have a lot of influx of all kinds of things called organic in Nigeria, be it in terms of food, products, even cosmetics, and the question is how organic are these products? And that’s a question.
“The organic policy, when finally approved by the federal government, could make things work well, because it is the way to go in proper organic systems.
“And I am happy that Nigeria is on the path to these policies. Many aspects are covered like production, processing, inputs, marketing, quality control, certification including the appropriate stakeholders, to make sure it all works well, they are all considered in politics,” he noted.
The association’s president, Victor Idowu, said organic farming is mainly based on what can be produced within the system, and no longer depends on external inputs.
He said it is a production system that every family, no matter how small, can practice organic farming.
“If you have a little place at the back of your house, cultivate the land, plant your vegetables, at least you will be sure of the quality of the food you eat. We all need to eat healthy foods like vegetables that have not been processed with synthetic products that affect our health.
“Organic farming is cheap, but it can be labor intensive – at first, but over time as you continue to apply organic fertilizer or animal manure to the soil , you build soil fertility and the gains are there for you over time,” he added.
Gideon Adeoye, the Association’s Foundation President, said: “When organic farming started, the advocacy went around the country just to catch up with what is happening all over the world because we know the negative impact of chemical farming, we started organic farming to actually let people know that we are eating poison.
“The association had a very important role to play which is to do advocacy, liaise with international organizations to make sure we eat the right food, live long lives, preserve our environment and we are also improving the economy”.