Mr. Ernest Aubee, Chairman of the Regional Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) Steering Committee of the ECOWAS Commission, said on Thursday that organic agriculture generates many resources in the world.
Aubee made this known in Abuja during a two-day national stakeholder meeting on communicating the achievements of the EOA in Nigeria to government and national stakeholders.
“The ECOWAS Commission promotes organic agriculture in West Africa.
“We as a region want to benefit from the high resource turnover so that our farmers can also benefit,” the president said.
He said organic farming is the best way to adopt as it promotes good health for the people of West Africa in terms of protecting the environment and improving livelihoods.
Aubee noted that most people were used to conventional farming, as such it would take a long time to convince them about organic farming which he said was one of the main challenges faced in practice. .
He said organic farming is a specialized farming method that requires certain standards, regulations and laws.
“A number of our countries in the ECOWAS region are working hard to have these laws, regulations and standards.
“The ECOWAS Commission supports them in developing the standards,” Aubee said.
He added that for organic farming to thrive in the region, the focus should be on smallholder farmers.
“ECOWAS has projects in all 15 member states to support organic farming.
“We also support various research activities so that the technology developed meets the requirements of small-scale farmers,” Aubee said.
The Executive Secretary, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN) Prof. Garba Sharabotu, while welcoming the participants, said the council was at the forefront of promoting organic agriculture in Nigeria.
Sharabutu was represented by ARCN Plant Resources Department Director, Dr. Oluwafemi Salako.
He said the stakeholder meeting should report on developments in organic agriculture in Nigeria with a view to seeing how it can be improved and expanded to ensure food security.
“We want to see how this meeting will improve the lives of every Nigerian,” Sharabotu said.
The National Coordinator of the AEO Initiative in Nigeria, Dr. Olugbenga Adeoluwa commended all the stakeholders at the meeting for their efforts to improve organic agriculture in the country.
Adeoluwa said the Ministry of Agriculture is working effortlessly to put in place the draft organic agriculture policy, assuring that it will be approved by the government executive very soon.
“We hope that when this policy is out, Nigerians can do well in the organic farming business,” he said.
Mr. Salimonu Oladipo, a farmer from Oyo State, applauded the practice of organic farming describing it as the best way to farm.
“Organic farming is very profitable and sustainable, at least I’ve been doing it for 10 years,” Oladipo said.
He urged the federal government to urgently roll out a policy to support organic farming practices, as soon as possible.