Delta State Hosts OAPTIN’s 15th Annual Organic Agriculture Conference

        Group Photograph of participants at the just concluded 15th annual Organic Agriculture Conference

Group Photograph of participants at the just concluded 15th annual Organic Agriculture Conference

“Organic agriculture, though a tedious venture in Nigeria is a money spinning business”, this was mentioned by Prof. V.I.O Olowe, the President, Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria who was also the Lead Paper Presenter at the just concluded 15th annual Organic Agriculture Conference organized by Organic Agriculture Projects in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria which was themed “Bridging the Gap Between Researchers and Practitioners of Organic Agriculture For Sustainable Production and Consumption” The event was held at Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro, Delta state between 25th and 29th November, 2019.
Participants from all cadres were in attendance, among whom were the Executive Governor of Delta State represented by Prof. Patrick Muoboghare, the Honourable Commissioner for Higher Education, Delta State, Hon. Julius Egbedi, the Commissioner For Agriculture and Natural Resources, Delta State, Hon. (Barr.) Andrew Orugbo, the Chairman Governing Council, Delta State, Prof. Akpodiete Job, the Rector, Delta State Polytechnic, Mr S.O Onibve, Registrar, Delta state Polytechnic, Mr O.E Dabor, the Bursar, Delta State Polytechnic, Dr. Sylvester Anie, the School Librarian to mention but a few.
In his opening remarks, Prof. Adekunle Makinde, the National Coordinating Scientist, OAPTIN stated that the project focuses on capacity building, strategic research in diverse ecologies, advocacy to increase support for the practices of organic agriculture and the consumption of organic produce and building partnership. He also informed participants that there is a change in the name of the Association, Organic Agriculture Projects in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria will hence be called Organic Agriculture Professionals in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria. Prof. Makinde assured that the nature of research activities will be presented and believe that researches are with the aim of solving problems in organic agriculture.
Prof. Akpodiete welcomed participants to Delta State Polytechnic, he added that Delta State polytechnic is privileged to be the first polytechnic to host the event and thanked the OAPTIN team for counting the institution worthy to host it. The Local Organising Committee Chairman, Dr Charity N. Atoma while welcoming participants added that the Rector will be glad to host participants for cocktail at his lodge, which took place the evening of the opening ceremony.
Prof. Ike Nwachukwu in his keynote address appreciated the efforts of NOAN and organic agriculture institutions, he added that organic agriculture must be seen as an integrated whole, where there will be an operational linkage with sub systems, backed by a subtle legislation and that government should recognize the importance of organic agriculture practices in Nigeria and come out with policy guiding the operation and practice of organic agriculture in Nigeria.
At the technical session of the event, various issues stemmed for the paper presentation, the use of poultry manure and its eligibility as an organic fertilizer was discussed, Prof. M. G Solomon of University of Calabar, Cross River State stated that poultry manure may not categorically be called an organic material as some poultry faeces may have cocktail of antibiotics and that in most cases not all elements are broken down. She advised that experiments should be carried out to check the residual effects of using poultry manure in the soil.
It was also mentioned that in making compost, it is essential that the maker ensure there is appropriate oxygen, moisture and nurturing to get the best result. Dr Askira Muhammad of Federal University, kashere, Gombe State reminded participants of the need to have an in depth knowledge of organic agriculture to enable them identify seeds to be used in organic farming. At their annual business meeting , the OAPTIN team decided that the next conference will be at Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa State in November 2019.

“Organic agriculture, though a tedious venture in Nigeria is a money spinning business”, this was mentioned by Prof. V.I.O Olowe, the President, Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria who was also the Lead Paper Presenter at the just concluded 15th annual Organic Agriculture Conference organized by Organic Agriculture Projects in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria which was themed “Bridging the Gap Between Researchers and Practitioners of Organic Agriculture For Sustainable Production and Consumption” The event was held at Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro, Delta state between 25th and 29th November, 2019.
Participants from all cadres were in attendance, among whom were the Executive Governor of Delta State represented by Prof. Patrick Muoboghare, the Honourable Commissioner for Higher Education, Delta State, Hon. Julius Egbedi, the Commissioner For Agriculture and Natural Resources, Delta State, Hon. (Barr.) Andrew Orugbo, the Chairman Governing Council, Delta State, Prof. Akpodiete Job, the Rector, Delta State Polytechnic, Mr S.O Onibve, Registrar, Delta state Polytechnic, Mr O.E Dabor, the Bursar, Delta State Polytechnic, Dr. Sylvester Anie, the School Librarian to mention but a few.
In his opening remarks, Prof. Adekunle Makinde, the National Coordinating Scientist, OAPTIN stated that the project focuses on capacity building, strategic research in diverse ecologies, advocacy to increase support for the practices of organic agriculture and the consumption of organic produce and building partnership. He also informed participants that there is a change in the name of the Association, Organic Agriculture Projects in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria will hence be called Organic Agriculture Professionals in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria. Prof. Makinde assured that the nature of research activities will be presented and believe that researches are with the aim of solving problems in organic agriculture.
Prof. Akpodiete welcomed participants to Delta State Polytechnic, he added that Delta State polytechnic is privileged to be the first polytechnic to host the event and thanked the OAPTIN team for counting the institution worthy to host it. The Local Organising Committee Chairman, Dr Charity N. Atoma while welcoming participants added that the Rector will be glad to host participants for cocktail at his lodge, which took place the evening of the opening ceremony.
Prof. Ike Nwachukwu in his keynote address appreciated the efforts of NOAN and organic agriculture institutions, he added that organic agriculture must be seen as an integrated whole, where there will be an operational linkage with sub systems, backed by a subtle legislation and that government should recognize the importance of organic agriculture practices in Nigeria and come out with policy guiding the operation and practice of organic agriculture in Nigeria.
At the technical session of the event, various issues stemmed for the paper presentation, the use of poultry manure and its eligibility as an organic fertilizer was discussed, Prof. M. G Solomon of University of Calabar, Cross River State stated that poultry manure may not categorically be called an organic material as some poultry faeces may have cocktail of antibiotics and that in most cases not all elements are broken down. She advised that experiments should be carried out to check the residual effects of using poultry manure in the soil.
It was also mentioned that in making compost, it is essential that the maker ensure there is appropriate oxygen, moisture and nurturing to get the best result. Dr Askira Muhammad of Federal University, kashere, Gombe State reminded participants of the need to have an in depth knowledge of organic agriculture to enable them identify seeds to be used in organic farming. At their annual business meeting , the OAPTIN team decided that the next conference will be at Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa State in November 2019.

The 4th annual National Organic Agriculture Business Summit Holds in Lagos

     Group Picture at the 4th annual National Organic Agriculture Business Summit Holds in Lagos

Group Picture at the 4th annual National Organic Agriculture Business Summit Holds in Lagos

The 4th annual National Organic Agriculture Business Summit organised by Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative in collaboration with Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria took place at the Banquet Hall of Solab Hotel and Suites, Ikeja, Lagos from 16th to 18th October, 2019. The event was themed “Organic Export Opportunity For National Development” and had in attendance notable dignitaries and stakeholders in organic agriculture, among whom were Col. Abubakar Maimalari, Prof. Akin Abayomi, the honourable Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, Prof. V.I.O Olowe, the President, Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria, the Executive Secretary, National Board of Technical Education (NBTE) represented by Dr. Jauro Kubura, Dr. AdeOluwa Olugbenga, the Country Coordinator, EOA in Nigeria Project, Dr Cornelius Adebayo, lecturer at Washington State University, USA, the Project Implementing Partners (PIPs) from the major regions of Nigeria, members of the Executive Committee of the Association, participants from within and outside Nigeria, organizations like Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Bank of Agriculture, Nigeria Agriculture Quarantine Service, Raw Material Research and Development Council were ably represented.
In his welcome address, the Chairman, National Steering Committee of EOA in Nigeria, Mr Isah Adamu informed that Lagos is a neutral ground for the annual national summit and that respective regions will host the summit as at when due. The representative of NBTE added in her goodwill message that the organization is willing to partner with EOA. The keynote speaker, in the person of Colonel Abubakar Maimalari enjoined participants to take advantage of the organic business opportunities in the country, he also declared the 2019 annual National Organic Agriculture Business Summit open. In the history of organic business summit, the 2019 NOABS created a landmark in organic agriculture movement as it featured plenary presentations, colloquium, business fora, exhibitions, cocktail and a groundbreaking event as issues germane in organic agriculture standards principles and practices were discussed and actualized viz:
· Inauguration of Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) national task force,
· Generation of organic agriculture curricula and incorporation into Nigerian polytechnics by the next academic year,
· Launching of organoculture, a journal for the annual National Organic Agriculture Business Summit,
· It created a platform for organic agribusiness and export promotions.

ASSOCIATION OF ORGANIC AGRICULTURE PRACTITIONERS OF NIGERIA CELEBRATES HER 10TH ANNIVERSARY (5TH SEPT., 2008 -5TH SEPT.,2018.)

Going Organic in East Africa

 

Organic farm and climate change

Organic Agriculture and Climate Change

Organic Agriculture and Climate Change
As global temperatures rise and weather patterns become more erratic, the intersection between climate change and agriculture is crucial to understanding the role agriculture plays in contributing to and mitigating global warming. Carbon sequestration, lower-input of fossil fuel dependant resources, and use of renewable energy all present opportunities for organic agriculture to lead the way in reducing energy consumption and mitigating the negative affects of energy emissions. Organic agriculture provides management practices that can help farmers adapt to climate change through strengthening agro-ecosystems, diversifying crop and livestock production, and building farmers’ knowledge base to best prevent and confront changes in climate.

 

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clearing the ground for organic farming

Introduction to Organic Farming

Defining “Organic”

Organic farming is a method of crop and livestock production that involves much more than choosing not to use pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics and growth hormones.

Organic production is a holistic system designed to optimize the productivity and fitness of diverse communities within the agro-ecosystem, including soil organisms, plants, livestock and people. The principal goal of organic production is to develop enterprises that are sustainable and harmonious with the environment.

The general principles of organic production, from the Canadian Organic Standards (2006), include the following:

  • protect the environment, minimize soil degradation and erosion, decrease pollution, optimize biological productivity and promote a sound state of health
  • maintain long-term soil fertility by optimizing conditions for biological activity within the soil
  • maintain biological diversity within the system
  • recycle materials and resources to the greatest extent possible within the enterprise
  • provide attentive care that promotes the health and meets the behavioural needs of livestock
  • prepare organic products, emphasizing careful processing, and handling methods in order to maintain the organic integrity and vital qualities of the products at all stages of production
  • rely on renewable resources in locally organized agricultural systems

Organic farming promotes the use of crop rotations and cover crops, and encourages balanced host/predator relationships. Organic residues and nutrients produced on the farm are recycled back to the soil. Cover crops and composted manure are used to maintain soil organic matter and fertility. Preventative insect and disease control methods are practiced, including crop rotation, improved genetics and resistant varieties. Integrated pest and weed management, and soil conservation systems are valuable tools on an organic farm. Organically approved pesticides include “natural” or other pest management products included in the Permitted Substances List (PSL) of the organic standards. The Permitted Substances List identifies substances permitted for use as a pesticides in organic agriculture. All grains, forages and protein supplements fed to livestock must be organically grown.

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Evironmental Benefits of Organic Agriculture

Sustainability over the long term. Many changes observed in the environment are long term, occurring slowly over time. Organic agriculture considers the medium- and long-term effect of agricultural interventions on the agro-ecosystem. It aims to produce food while establishing an ecological balance to prevent soil fertility or pest problems. Organic agriculture takes a proactive approach as opposed to treating problems after they emerge.
Soil. Soil building practices such as crop rotations, inter-cropping, symbiotic associations, cover crops, organic fertilizers and minimum tillage are central to organic practices. These encourage soil fauna and flora, improving soil formation and structure and creating more stable systems. In turn, nutrient and energy cycling is increased and the retentive abilities of the soil for nutrients and water are enhanced, compensating for the non-use of mineral fertilizers. Such management techniques also play an important role in soil erosion control. The length of time that the soil is exposed to erosive forces is decreased, soil biodiversity is increased, and nutrient losses are reduced, helping to maintain and enhance soil productivity. Crop export of nutrients is usually compensated by farm-derived renewable resources but it is sometimes necessary to supplement organic soils with potassium, phosphate, calcium, magnesium and trace elements from external sources.
Water. In many agriculture areas, pollution of groundwater courses with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides is a major problem. As the use of these is prohibited in organic agriculture, they are replaced by organic fertilizers (e.g. compost, animal manure, green manure) and through the use of greater biodiversity (in terms of species cultivated and permanent vegetation), enhancing soil structure and water infiltration. Well managed organic systems with better nutrient retentive abilities, greatly reduce the risk of groundwater pollution. In some areas where pollution is a real problem, conversion to organic agriculture is highly encouraged as a restorative measure (e.g. by the Governments of France and Germany).
Air and climate change. Organic agriculture reduces non-renewable energy use by decreasing agrochemical needs (these require high quantities of fossil fuel to be produced). Organic agriculture contributes to mitigating the greenhouse effect and global warming through its ability to sequester carbon in the soil. Many management practices used by organic agriculture (e.g. minimum tillage, returning crop residues to the soil, the use of cover crops and rotations, and the greater integration of nitrogen-fixing legumes), increase the return of carbon to the soil, raising productivity and favouring carbon storage. A number of studies revealed that soil organic carbon contents under organic farming are considerably higher. The more organic carbon is retained in the soil, the more the mitigation potential of agriculture against climate change is higher.  However, there is much research needed in this field, yet. There is a lack of data on soil organic carbon for developing countries, with no farm system comparison data from Africa and Latin America, and only limited data on soil organic carbon stocks, which is crucial for determining carbon sequestration rates for farming practices.
Biodiversity. Organic farmers are both custodians and users of biodiversity at all levels. At the gene level, traditional and adapted seeds and breeds are preferred for their greater resistance to diseases and their resilience to climatic stress. At the species level, diverse combinations of plants and animals optimize nutrient and energy cycling for agricultural production. At the ecosystem level, the maintenance of natural areas within and around organic fields and absence of chemical inputs create suitable habitats for wildlife. The frequent use of under-utilized species (often as rotation crops to build soil fertility) reduces erosion of agro-biodiversity, creating a healthier gene pool – the basis for future adaptation. The provision of structures providing food and shelter, and the lack of pesticide use, attract new or re-colonizing species to the organic area (both permanent and migratory), including wild flora and fauna (e.g. birds) and organisms beneficial to the organic system such as pollinators and pest predators. The number of studies on organic farming and biodiversity increased significantly within the last years. A recent study reporting on a meta-analysis of 766 scientific papers concluded that organic farming produces more biodiversity than other farming systems.

Genetically modified organisms. The use of GMOs within organic systems is not permitted during any stage of organic food production, processing or handling. As the potential impact of GMOs to both the environment and health is not entirely understood, organic agriculture is taking the precautionary approach and choosing to encourage natural biodiversity. The organic label therefore provides an assurance that GMOs have not been used intentionally in the production and processing of the organic products. This is something which cannot be guaranteed in conventional products as labelling the presence of GMOs in food products has not yet come into force in most countries. However, with increasing GMO use in conventional agriculture and due to the method of transmission of GMOs in the environment (e.g. through pollen), organic agriculture will not be able to ensure that organic products are completely GMO free in the future. A detailed discussion on GMOs can be found in the FAO publication “Genetically Modified Organisms, Consumers, Food Safety and the Environment“.

Ecological services. The impact of organic agriculture on natural resources favours interactions within the agro-ecosystem that are vital for both agricultural production and nature conservation. Ecological services derived include soil forming and conditioning, soil stabilization, waste recycling, carbon sequestration, nutrients cycling, predation, pollination and habitats. By opting for organic products, the consumer through his/her purchasing power promotes a less polluting agricultural system. The hidden costs of agriculture to the environment in terms of natural resource degradation are reduced.

A critical review of the relationships between organic agriculture and the environment as well as other aspects is provided by IFOAM and is presented under the shape of a list of criticisms and frequent misconceptions about organic agriculture with corresponding counter-arguments.

Source: FAO