The Oyo State Chapter of Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria was finally flagged off on 30th April, 2019, at the Farmers’ Hall, OYSADEP, Odo ona, Ibadan. The event which was preceded by training on Processing and Preservation of Tomatoes, present at the event were National Executive Committee Members in the persons of Prof. Victor I. Olowe, President Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria, Dr. Olugbenga AdeOluwa, Vice President , Chief Mosudi Salimonu, Treasurer, Mr. Taiwo Oduola, PRO. Prominent research institutes and ministries of agriculture viz: National Institute of Horticultural Research and Training (NIHORT), Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (South West), Ministry of Trade and Investment, Federal College of Animal Health and Food Technology, Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Bank of Agriculture, Oyo State Agricultural Development Program, Raw material, Research and Development were as well represented.
In his keynote address, the President of the Association, Prof. Victor Olowe gave a brief history of how the Association came into existence, he added that the vision of the Association is to improve the quality of rural and urban livelihood through coordination and facilitation of Organic Agriculture. He also pointed out that the Association has various affiliations which among others include that with the department of fertilizer, Federal Ministry of Agriculture. He further discolsed that research has it that 2% of agricultural land is allocated to organic agriculture and this necessitated the need to intensify vast involvement in organic agriculture. Dr. Mrs. Aderibigbe representing National Institute For Horticultural Research and Training (NIHORT) in her goodwill message congratulated Oyo state Chapter on behalf of the Executive Director of the institute, she added that organic agriculture is the best option, considering the diverse health implications associated with foods grown with inorganic fertilizers and the competitive advantage it has over conventional agricultural produce. Mrs. F.F Akande, the Project Manager , Oyo State Agricultural Development Program, also pointed out that organic agriculture dated back to the pre- synthetic fertilizer usage era, she added that the price hike of these fertilizers re-awakened the need for farmers to go back to planting without the use of these chemicals which poses great risk to the health of consumers . She however drew the attention of the association to the need to make available ready market for producers of organic foods to encourage their businesses thrive. She also congratulated Oyo State Chapter on the inauguration.
The President of the Association decorated the Executive Committee Members, they are:
Dr. Mrs. Ronke Sansi, Chairperson, Dr. Oluwafemi Ayanfeoluwa, Secretary, Mrs. Abdulateef, Assistant Secretary, Mrs. Oyetoun Alonge, Treasurer, Mr. Rasheed Adegbola, PRO, Mr. Adeyinka Adeniyi, Financial Secretary. He implored all members of the state chapter to cooperate with the EXCO to enable them achieve mutually beneficial goals.
In her inaugural speech, the Chairperson of the State Chapter, Dr Ronke Sansi stated that organic agriculture provides employment opportunities and urged parents to encourage incoming generation to inculcate organic farming rather than clamouring for white collar jobs. She as well thanked everyone present and added that intending members are welcomed into the Association.
It was indeed a memorable event , with agricultural and commercial institutions, stakeholders present to grace the occasion and expressed their interests in collaborations and looking forward to partnering with the Association.