Nigeria’s The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), says it wants food grown in an environment free from artificial agrichemicals spread across the north east and west of the country. Mr Isa Adamu, Assistant Director of Farm Input Support Services, organic division of the FMARD said this on Tuesday in Abuja during stakeholders’ round table discussion.
The discussion was an annual National Organic Agriculture Business Summit (NOABS) in Nigeria, and Adamu is chairperson of Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) Initiative in Nigeria. He said organic agriculture was bigger as a business as millions are waiting in the open market to harness its benefits, financially and health wise. He added that the north had a culture of fertility, as most staple crops eaten in Nigeria are grown in the north.
“We want Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) to find itself in Borno, Sokoto, Kebbi, Kano, Jigawa, Katsina, Kaduna and all states in northern Nigeria like what is obtainable in the south,’’ he said.
He said FMARD was not discriminatory of any farming techniques or practices as long as it met FMARD’s standard, and therefore it demanded recommendations after the meeting on the next line of action.
Professor Victor Olowe, of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta and the president of Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria, said as a production system, organic agriculture commands up to 100 billion dollars globally. Olowe said that unfortunately, Africa as a whole was not contributing more than three percent of the 100 billion dollars, hence Nigeria needed to key into the global trade.
According to him, Nigeria has the potential and practitioners as well, and that what was actually driving the initiative was health concerns.