Oyo State Chapter, Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners Of Nigeria Organises A Day Mushroom Training

Participants at the training held at Oyo state ADP, Odo Ona

The Thematic Group, Capacity Building, Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of  Nigeria, in collaboration with Oyo State Chapter of the Association organized a day workshop on organic mushroom cultivation, this training was held at Oyo state Agricultural Development Program, Odo ona, Ibadan on Nov. 1, 2018. Present at the training were Prof. V.I Olowe, The National President, Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria, Prof. Timothy I. Olabiyi,The Chairman, Thematic Group, Mrs.Oluyinka  Odukoya,The General Secrertary of the Association , Dr. Jolade Aderonke  Sansa,State Cordinator, Oyo state Chapter, Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria, Chief Moshood Salimonu, National Treasurer of the Association, Mr. Rasheed Adegbola, an esteemed member of the Association, about 66 participants were also in attendance.

The opening remark was made by Prof. V.I  Olowe who admonished participants to join the Association as a lot of benefits are embedded in being members, he also implored them to pay attention to the lectures being given. The resource person, Prof. Timothy Olabiyi gave a quick summary of Organic Agriculture and its application in Mushroom production. He stated that organic mushrooms are produced using methods that preserve the environment, hence inculcating the principle of environment, they grow in certain conditions such as a very cool and clean environment,  as mushroom thrives in a clean and cool environment , it requires daily personal hygiene on the part of the grower so as not to pollute the inoculum with trichoderma, a peculiar problem in the mushroom cultivation industry, he advised that water tunnels should be used to avoid rats around the place these mushrooms are planted.

Before mushroom is cultivated, inspections have to be made, sunlight is not required and  there must be shades from trees for cooling effects. It does not require much land and the duration between the planting and harvesting is only 28-35 days. It is a nutritious antioxidant, has vitamin B (complex) Selenium, good for regulation of blood sugar level, cardiovascular health and immunity, weight management. He also added that mushrooms require spawn, substrate, and environment (cool and clean) and that the production process involves spawn production, spawn multiplication, substrate formulation, inoculation, incubation, growth and harvesting. Spawn is a bit difficult to produce but can be bought, substrates can be in form of sawdust and wheat /rice bran, cotton waste, rice straws, maize cub can also be used all these were demonstrated by Prof. Timothy Olabiyi and Mr. Afolabi Femi Johnson. The Thematic group, Capacity Building of the Association also plans to organize a day Workshop on Organic Aquaculture scheduled to hold ADP Odo ona, Ibadan and in the Eastern part of Nigeria ( Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu, Anambra, Rivers and Cross River)  all in February 2019. This workshop is however open to members of the association and the general public who wish to delve into organic agriculture.

Organic Agriculture Projects in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria (OAPTIN), organizes its 14th Annual Organic Conference

Participants at the 14th Organic Conference organized by OAPTIN

The much anticipated 14th Organic Conference organised by Organic Agriculture Projects in Tertiary institutions in Nigeria (OAPTIN) themed “Organic Agriculture: Food Security, Improved Nutrition and Sustainable Agriculture” which was held on 26th to 29th November, 2018 at Kola Adebisi Building, Abeokuta had in attendance practitioners and stakeholders from far and near  wanting to delve into organic agriculture. Renown organic agriculture practitioners such as prof. V.I Olowe, the National President, Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria who is also the Chairman, Local Organising Committee of the event, Dr Olugbenga O. AdeOluwa, Vice President, Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria and key note speaker of the day, Barr. Olusola Sowemimo, a member of the Association and a guest speaker, the Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), represented by prof. M.O Atayese, Dr Mrs Florence Olowokere, Prof. I.O.O Aiyelagbe, Pioneer NCS, (OAPTIN) graced the occasion. In his welcome address, the National Coordinator, OAPTIN and the Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta commended the efforts of the National Executive members of OAPTIN for consistently organising annual conferences right from inception of the project in 2004 to date and the courage of participants who have travelled from far and near to attend this year’s conference. He pointed out that organic agriculture as a production system has gained prominence as a global movement in the last two decades which has risen from 63.8billion US dollars in 2012 to almost 100billion US dollars in 2017. But organic agriculture is still a very minute niche in terms of its global farmland which is less than 1% relative to the global farmland despite the high value of money being spent on organic products. This induces the need for all the stakeholders in organic agriculture to harness all efforts and scale up prove success stories in order to meet the rapidly increasing demand for organic products. He charged the participants to do justice to the theme of the conference which is ‘”Organic Agriculture: Food Security improved Nutrition and Sustainable Agriculture”.

Guests of Honour at the Opening Ceremony of the 14th Organic Conference

In addition, Dr AdeOluwa in his keynote address stated that there has been exponential development in global organic agriculture sector since 1999. Global organic agriculture sector was valued at 82 billion USD with total organic area of 57.8 million producers as at 2016 and that development of organic agriculture enterprise in Nigeria is still very low, Nigeria is yet to tap into this great opportunity. He added that organic agriculture is a force to reckon with and it proffers solutions by getting quality and safe foods on the table. He stressed the need for farmers and other food processors to incorporate organic agriculture into food production. It was also pointed out that pathogens, GMOs and other factors are affecting food security. Organically produced food has higher nutrient content than conventionally produced foods, vegetables and fruits for example have high level of phosphorus and vitamin C than conventional produce.

At the technical session which took place on 27th Nov, 2018, participants from all facets of academics were in attendance, in the course of paper presentations, various participants gave low down of how certain seeds were planted organically, the period , seeds like Okro, Soursop, Tigernut to mention a few. Issues were brought up and critiques such as Prof. V.I.O Olowe pointed out that detailed component analysis should be made for clearer and thorough reports, integrated nutrient management which is prohibited in organic agriculture. Standard nitrogen content for organic fertilizers must not be more than 5% , Prof. Chris Adejuyigbe of the Department of Soil Science and Land Management, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta also pointed out that organic agriculture practice follows procedures, he added that organic manure is prepared and ready during a period of two weeks to stimulate microbial activities which generates heat and if not given time may damage the seedlings, he added that composts get ready after two weeks through the help of trychoderma and that organic standards varies across the world but there is basic standard which cannot be ruled out. Prof. Olowe appreciated everyone present and implored participants to join the Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria as OAPTIN has a strong tie with the Association.