Hope Rekindled in Organic Agricultural Sector As Stakeholders Open A 2-day National Dialogue | The Street Reporters Newspaper Hope Rekindled in Organic Agricultural Sector As Stakeholders Open A 2-day National Dialogue | The Street Reporters Newspaper
Hope Rekindled in Organic Agricultural Sector As Stakeholders Open A 2-day National Dialogue

Hope Rekindled in Organic Agricultural Sector As Stakeholders Open A 2-day National Dialogue

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….To Formulate National Policy On Organic Agriculture

Worried by the inherent dangers of growing agriculture by using synthetic products such as pesticides and chemicalised farming, stakeholders have gathered at a two-day National Dialogue on Organic Agriculture Policy For Nigeria in Orozo area of Nasarawa State, near Abuja, to discuss, among others, on how to maintain environmental health by reducing the level of pollution and increase the use of ruminants and decay of plants and animal by-products to improve agricultural production.

The stakeholders include organic farming experts, government officials, nongovernmental organisations, manufacturers of agricultural inputs, among others.

It was organised by the Farm Inputs Support Services Department of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA).

Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, who was the keynote speaker at the event, has said that the increasing consumer demand for organic products locally is an indication that the sector has high growth potential.

Dr. Abubakar, who was represented by the Director of Agricultural Land and Climate Change Management Services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Engr. Shehu Bello, lamented, however, that most of the organic products on sale across the Nigerian market are imported.

He noted that effective organic farming will no doubt boost food production, increase foreign exchange, improve health and increase the life span of citizens.

He said that Nigeria as a nation has both physical and human resources to excel in organic farming and is one of the best organic producers in the world.

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The Minister noted that Nigeria’s agricultural sector is one of the key drivers of the country’s economy, saying that with a vast landmass, conducive climate, and a large population of over 200 million, Nigeria is well suited to excel in organic agriculture, especially as major natural inputs needed are readily available locally.

“The government is presently focusing on unlocking the enormous potentials that abound in organic agriculture, as well as its adoption for the sustainability of soil nutrients and fertility.

“Our ultimate goal in this area is to increase agricultural productivity, earn foreign exchange, alleviate poverty, improve on the rural economies and job creation.

“The practice of organic agriculture, in an organized manner, is relatively new in the country.

“About 70 percent of the Nigerian farmers think they are into organic agriculture but true organic farming is a certified production method that is yet to be widely understood by Nigerian farmers.

“The increasing consumers demanding organic products locally is also an indication that the sector has high growth potential. ”

On his part, the Director, Farm Inputs Support Services Department of the Ministry, Engr. Tunde Bello while speaking, said with the full implementation of the National Fertiliser Quality Control (NFQC) Act 2019 and the regulation, the Ministry will begin to sanitise the industry to rid it of adulterators after issuing permits and certificates of registration to the fertiliser manufacturers, blenders, distributors, exporters and importers.

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Bello said the Ministry has commenced registration of fertiliser players for both organic and inorganic.

He urged all players in the organic fertiliser industry to register and obtain the permits for their enterprises to avoid prosecution.

He said the increased clarion calls from stakeholders for the development of an appropriate policy to guide and regulate organic agriculture operations in Nigeria has received the necessary attention.

Also speaking, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, noted that Nigeria’s agricultural sector has witnessed a remarkable policy change aimed at increasing agricultural production and ensuring food and nutritional security for the citizens.

Mustapha, who was represented by the Director, Public Affairs in the office of the SGF, Agugu Veronica, noted that organic farming not only results in an economic benefit to the small-scale farmer but also reduces pollution due to reduced nutrient runoff.

He disclosed that, over the past decade, there has been such increasing public concern over nutrition, health and food safety issues.

“Over the years, Nigeria’s agricultural sector has witnessed a remarkable policy change aimed at increasing agricultural production and ensuring food and nutritional security for the citizens increased concerns on food safety and nutrition issues triggered by human, animal, and health challenges brings a renewed focus on the shift from typical conventional farming methods to ecologically sound organic farming methods.

“Consumers perceive high risks that are associated with the consumption of conventionally grown produce, thus shifting the attention to organic farming as a source of healthy food and healthy living.”

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The SGF then urged the stakeholders to leave no stoned unturned to ensure an effective policy that will bring about speed growth and development of organic Agriculture farming in the country.

In his goodwill message, the National Chairman of the Organic Fertilizer Producers And Suppliers Association of Nigeria (OFPSAN), Engr. Noel Keyen, expressed maintained that organic farming is the way to go.

He said, “We’re gathered here for a very serious 2-day business transaction that has very serious National and international impact on Nigerians and humanity as a whole – that is, our National Organic Agricultural Policy”.

Expressing concern that a lot of Nigerian farm produce is being rejected for export across the globe, he charged stakeholders to “show the clear way going forward.”

In a chat with newsmen, Engr. Keyen noted that some foreign countries are already withdrawing fosil fuels and “if we have been depending largely on chemical fertilisers, we have to realise that things have changed.”

On his part, the deputy chairman of the House Committee on Agricultural Production and Natural Resources, Hon. Kunle Olarewaju, who represented the leadership of the House of Representatives, assured that the lawmakers will give legal backing to the national policy on organic agriculture when formulated by policy makers.


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Comrade James Ezema is a veteran journalist and media consultant. He is a political strategist. He can be reached on +2348035823617 via call or WhatsApp.


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