Olugbenga AdeOluwa, the Country Coordinator, Ecological Organic Agriculture, EOA, Initiative in Nigeria, has advised Nigerians to take advantage of the global business opportunities that abound in organic agriculture.
Mr AdeOluwa gave the advice during the closing ceremony of the Northern zone of the 2018 ‘Train the Trainers’ programme on Organic Agriculture in Abuja.
“As at 2015, global organic sector was valued at 82 billion dollars with total organic area of 50.9 million hectares, managed by over 2.4 million producers, Nigeria can only boast of about 3,154 hectares of which 50 hectares are fully converted.
“Business opportunities in organic agriculture include crop production, animal production, fisheries production, wildlife like beekeeping, mushroom, games, forestry products.
“Also included are handling by middlemen, processing of fibre, drinks, foods, inputs like fertilisers, pesticides, colourant as well as service providers, e-marketing, transportation, export, consultancy and certification and accreditation.’’
He said that Nigeria should not be left behind in taking its own share of the global organic market to increase its revenue generation and secure the health of its citizens and the environment.
“Organic agriculture production is an overall system of farm management and food production that combine best environmental practices, a high level of biodiversity, the preservation of natural resources.
“It also involves the application of high animal welfare standards and a production method in line with the preference of certain consumers for products produced using natural substances and processes.’’
Meanwhile, some of the participants at the training who spoke to newsmen have also stressed the need for Nigerians to go organic and reap its benefits.
Heather Akanni, the Technical Adviser on Quality Control and Standardisation to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that she was prepared to turn her farm into an organic farm.
“Organic agriculture practice is the way to go for the safety of the people and its environment and also to tap into the huge global organic market.”
Rufus Durodoye, the Trade Promotion Officer, Nigerian Export Promotion Council said that both young and old Nigerians should adopt the practice of organic farming for the overall development of the country.
“We don’t have to start big but can start in a small scale with what we have and grow from there.
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“I just started with a small space at my back yard but after this training I’m going back home to convert it to organic farm.
“Organic lifestyle is the way to go, a healthy nation is a wealthy nation, when you grow organic you reduce the poverty level and reduce the level of sicknesses.’’
On his part, Joseph Anthony, the Chief Executive Officer, Co-Farms GreenAid Revolution Ltd., said that the principles of organic farming would ensure sustainable development in the country.
“Before the training, I thought organic farming was all about applying organic fertiliser to your farm.
“But after today, I have learnt that organic agriculture is way beyond farming but following the laid down standards and principles of organic agriculture practices.
“My advice to other people who may wish to join organic agriculture is to attend this kind of training because organic agriculture is the next level for us here in Nigeria.”