Members of Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria Meets in Akwa Ibom State

                           Group picture of attendees at the 2018 Annual General Meeting

The 2018 Annual General Meeting took place at Conference Hall of Catholic Pastoral Centre, Uyo, Akwa Ibom, present at the meeting were Members of the Executive of the Association, representative of Ministry of Agriculture, Akwa Ibom State, members from Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Oyo, Ogun , Abia, Lagos and Delta State. Prof. V. I. O. Olowe, the President of the Association in his opening address welcomed everyone to the meeting , he also pointed out that the Association entertains open discussion, constructive and corrective arguments. Rev. Fr. Cletus Etim, the Chairman, Local Organising Committee, 2018 Annual General Meeting welcomed everyone to Akwa Ibom on behalf of the government and the good people of Akwa Ibom, a representative from Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Agriculture, in person of Mr. Ernest Awakessien during his goodwill message added that Akwa Ibom State will not hesitate to collaborate with the Association, he also appreciated the Association for creating impact in organic agriculture. There were several issues discussed at the meeting with the following decisions taken to improve the delivery of services to the Association members:
1. On the urgent need to recover outstanding dues being owed by members, it was unanimously agreed that member Identification Number (ID) be immediately generated for everyone and members should always write their ID number when doing any monetary or administrative transaction with the Association.
2. State Chapters will generate list of their members in collaboration with the National Secretariat in order to effectively recover outstanding dues and monitor subsequent dues.
3. On State Chapter letter head, a template with the National logo and State map was adopted to be the official letter head for all the State Chapters.
4. State Chapters were charged to partner with their respective State Governments in order to create organic markets in strategic locations in the States for consumers to purchase organic produce/products.
5. On the use of the Association’s WhatsApp platform, it was noted that sanctions imposed on erring members has brought some level of civility to members on the platform. However, a comprehensive audit was recommended to be carried out by the Administrators to remove non-financial members from the platform.
6. At least a page in every issue of the Newsletter should be dedicated to farmers i.e. publish available organic inputs, bio-pesticides, products in demand etc.
7. After a very protracted discussion on current training programs (TA on Capacity Building and ToT) of the Association, it was resolved that such ongoing programmes should continue but more affordable and equally effective training programmes be developed for members with the Extension agents as the target audience (including Private extension Agents).
8. Consequent upon item 10, the following members: Mrs. Yinka Odukoya (Lagos State), Dr. Atoma C.N. (Delta State), Dr. Ogechi Umeh Jubilant (Abia State) and Alhaji Lukman Oladapo (Oyo State) were charged with the responsibility to develop manuals for such training in collaboration with the six TA Groups of the Association. The training must address every facet of the value chain.
9. As the State Chapters evolve and have competent resource persons, the members of the Nat. TA will no longer have to travel across the country to mount training programmes. Topics of training prgrammes to be mainly demand driven and States are free to invite competent resource persons from neighboring States.
10. On PGS Certification, the Certification and Standard TA Group was charged with responsibility to develop the capacity of State Chapter members for training to enable them carry out Certification and inspection independently.
During the meeting, Anambra and Oyo State Chapters expressed readiness to be inaugurated on April 25 and 30, 2019, respectively and the next Annual General Meeting was agreed to be held at Abia state.

Farmers Development Union (FADU) Joins Project Implementing Partners of EOA Initiative In Nigeria

Dr.  AdeOluwa , Country Coordinator,  EOA-I  Nigeria , presenting  the Letter of Appointment to  Mr. Bayo Olaniyan, Controller of Programs, FADU

Farmers Development Union , a multi- sectorial organization using micro finance to organize the low income informal entrepreneurs in agriculture and other sector to better their condition, on January 9, 2019 met with Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative in Nigeria (EOA-I) implementation team at the National Secretariat of the Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria. This meeting was sequel to the need for the appointment of this organization as a Pillar Implementation Partner of the Initiative. Present at the meeting were Mr. Bayo Olaniyan, Controller of Programs, Mr. Adeolu Adewoyin, Senior Program officer, Mrs. Abigail Ogunniyi, Financial Controller, FADU, Dr. Olugbenga AdeOluwa, Country  Coordinator, EOA Initiative in Nigeria, Mr. Oyewole  Gbadamosi, Project Coordinator, EOA-I, Miss Rebecca Okunola, Communications /Human Resources Officer, Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria.

The Project Manager gave a summary of Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative, its mission, vision and the mode of operation, he also familiarized FADU representatives with tasks expected as Pillar Implementing Partner, FADU will be in Pillar 2 (Information and Communication) of the Project Implementation. They are to facilitate communication of the values and practices of EOA various audiences and stakeholders in Nigeria, they are to work with all the priority areas of the Initiative, formulate information and communication strategies in collaboration with other PIPs; Federation of Agricultural Commodity Association of Nigeria, Healthy Food for Consumers Initiative, Justice Development  and Peace Commission.

At the end of the meeting, the letter of appointment was presented by Dr. AdeOluwa to Mr. Bayo Olaniyan, Controller of Programs FADU, Mr. Bayo Olaniyan commended the efforts of the EOA team and gave an assurance that FADU will be so willing to implement the project efficiently and effectively.

Kano State Ready to Host National Organic Agriculture Business Summit 2019

Members of the Local Organising Committee, with the Project Manager, EOA-I in Nigeria

Ahead of the annual National Organic Agriculture Business  Summit  scheduled to hold at Kano State, Nigeria, a Local Organising Committee consisting of seven (7) members  was constituted to that effect on 27th January, 2019 during the first meeting. The LOC members were Mr. Salim  Saleh Mohammed (Chairman), Mr Umar Mohammed Darki (Secretary),Engr. Isyaku  Hussain, Mr. Yusuf Bin Mohammed, M.D Jafar, Haj. Sidiya Sharif. This committee  has since began preparation towards the success of the forthcoming organic summit hence the meeting held on 30th January, 2019 at Ocean Palace Hotel, Warri road, Sabongari, Kano State. In attendance were Mr. Salim Saleh Mohammed (Chairman), Mr Umar Mohammed Darki (Secretary) , Mr. Gambo  Saleh (member ), Dr. Olugbenga  AdeOluwa, Country Coordinator, EOA-I in Nigeria,  Mr. Oyewole  Gbadamosi, Project Manager, EOA-I in Nigeria, the committee has since began operation towards the success of the forthcoming organic business summit. During the meeting, certain issues were brought to the table, which were plans towards the  mobilization of 300 – 350 participants, incorporation of roundtable cocktail containing representatives of financial institutions, extension agents and other stakeholders into the event. Exhibition to cost #50,000 and #70,000 for small and large space  respectively. A token of #5,000 proposed as entry fee for individuals who wish to participate at any segment of the summit. Fundraising  towards this event was as well suggested, they were categorized into Bronze, Silver and Gold.

The Local Organising Committee however was  subdivided into three (3) groups viz Invitation and Fundraising, Media issues, Linkage with the government at all levels. Venue of the event was also discussed with three different venues brought to the table to compare and contrast, to get a viable venue to use . The LOC Chairman, Mr. Salim Saleh stated that members of the LOC will improve on their communication for proper access to information, he added that the committee is planning to visit the Managing Director of Kano Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (KNARDA). Seed money was agreed to be paid into the secretary’s account.

Actions to be taken were further update on selection of venue (LOC), development of flier and programme of events (EOA Implementation Team), selection of awardees (NOC), categorization of funding (LOC). This organic business summit is however open to all stakeholders , entrepreneurs, exporters , and all other entities  in organic agriculture value chain.

Members of the Executive Deliberate ahead of 2019

Members of the Executive Committee during the meeting

Various deliberations were made at the meeting of the Executive Committee members of the Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria held at the Board Room, Department of Agronomy, University of Ibadan on December 3, 2018. Among other things, the meeting agreed that all members after payments of their annual dues should be given their membership certificates, issuance should no longer be on request but a routine right of members. The logo of the Association must not be used without the consent of the Association as it was brought to the notice of the Association, unauthorized use of the logo was frowned at, conditions on the use were however drawn out. Organic produce or products coming into the Association must be listed, tested by certification team comprising competent hands before endorsements or offer for sale or projecting to intending buyers, this is to protect the image of the Association against bodies operating contrary to the stance of the organization. In response to members from various states agitating for inauguration of State Chapters, the meeting drew out guidelines and requirements for states to have a chapter viz, guideline on the eligibility to stand as a state chapter was agreed  to be brought to the notice of the state coordinators on the required  number of members to constitute a state chapter, 15 members  at least was agreed upon.

Participatory Guarantee System was agreed to be done for members at a considerate fee, to ensure a time to time quality control and standards for members in their practice of Organic Agriculture, on the use of the Association’s social media platforms, efforts of the moderators were commended as the abuse of these platforms have reduced drastically, hence the essence of these media were actualized.

Also, the meeting discussed how to sustain the Association and the Secretariat as there is need to source for funds to meet with expenses incurred in the course of operation, various ways to generate funds were discussed and this led to Business Committee being constituted.

The Business committee was set up to moderate business activities and  issues of partnership and collaborations with the Association, the Business Committee members includes Dr. Wumi Ipinmoroti (Chairperson) , Dr jude C. Obi, Chief Mosudi Salimonu, Dr.  Akudo Onunwa (UNIZIK), Mrs. Oluyinka Odukoya, Mrs Saliat, Fr. Cletus U. Etim. Members of this committee are members of the Association from major geopolitical zones of Nigeria, with Miss Rebecca Okunola, Communications/Human Resources Officer of the Association being the Secretary to the Committee.

The need for the review of NOAN’ constitution was also discussed, it was agreed that draft should be submitted before January 2019, and to be ready before the next annual General Meeting. Respective officers mandated were implored to start executing duties assigned to them immediately.

EOA sponsored Inspection Team Visits ‘Togun Farm: A farm owned by Late Victor A. ‘Togun (Former Chairman,National Steering Committee, EOA-I in Nigeria)

Inspectors from various facets of Organic Agriculture at ‘Togun Farm

A five man delegate comprising of Mr. Bakare Mukaila Amoo, President, Ago Owu Farmer Group, group leader Ago Owu Farmer group and member of Association of Organic Agricuture Practitioners of Nigeria , Dr. Olugbenga O. AdeOluwa, Vice President of the Association, Dr Mrs. Christiana Olaniyi, Ex-Officio of  the Association, lecturer, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Mr. Adegoke Asimiyu Akanbi, Zonal Extension Officer, Agriculture Development Program, Ogbomoso, Miss Rebecca Okunola, Communications Officer, Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria took a trip to ‘Togun Farm, Ogbomoso,  on the 26th of October, 2018,  a farm owned by Late Prof. Victor Adegboye ‘Togun, ,one of the founding fathers and advocate of Organic Agriculture movement. Before his departure, he was the Chairman, National Steering Committee for Ecological Organic Agriculture in Nigeria (EOA-I).

Togun farm, registered under TECOBIC farm in the corporate category of membership of the Association covers about 90.8 acres of land, with cashew crops mainly cultivated; other cultivations include maize, cassava. Beekeeping was also a notable venture of the farm with more than five beehives kept under the canopy of the cashew trees. The deceased wife in person of Mrs. Fola O. Togun decided to proceed with the vision and aims of her late husband which was the need to produce crops and foods for safety of human health. She however invited the Association to help in starting afresh an organic farm. She was as well enlightened on what organic agriculture entails after they gave a breakdown of how they managed the farm using organic input and methods, a couple of auditing was done on the farm and observations were made by the team, among which were the planting distance which was said to be 7-8metres ideally as against the 10metres earlier done for cashew plantation.

By calculation, the land mass for cashew plantation was about 25 acres. Dr. AdeOluwa advised that through cattle grazing and dunks, integrated farming should be applied for proper farm management and the use of services in place of stipends given by nomadic herders contracted the maintenance of the farm to. It was also added that the cashew trees are competing with the weeds. He also suggested planting in between to enable proper use of the land, processing the cashew to extract oil to be able to sustain the farmland with ease. The need to enlighten the farm handlers on Organic Agriculture was re-iterated as ignorance of the standards of organic agriculture by these entities may contaminate the farm and this will take about three (3) years before the farmland regain its sanctity.

The hosts in persons of Mr. Adeyemi Olajide, Mrs Fola O ‘Togun appreciated the efforts of the Association for the visit, the Association’s representative, Dr AdeOluwa added that the Association/ EOA-I intends to reciprocate the selflessness and the efforts of Late Victor Adegboye ‘Togun in his bid to create awareness and advocate for organic agriculture in Nigeria and diaspora during his days.

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.