Agrecol, Enda Pronat Pays Courtesy/Orientation Visit to the Association’s Headquarters

Delegates from Agrecol, Enda Pronat in the persons of  Mr Faye Elhaji ,Enda Pronat Madam Fatima Diop, Agrecol, Mr Baye Yoro Diallo, Enda Pronat visited the Associations Headquarters between November 30, 2021 and December 2, 2021. They had a two day meeting at the Board room of Agronomy Building, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ibadan and a field trip.  The mission, according to Mr Faye Elhaji was to strengthen the ties between the team which was under the auspice of KCOA, a project sponsored by GIZ, Germany and to familiarize all actors involved in the implementation of this project and for implementers to understand what the project entails. Dr Jude Obi, the Country Coordinator of the project welcomed the delegates and added that the meeting marks a turning point in the commencement of the project.

Mr. Faye highlighted identified problems in organic agriculture: he stated that organic agriculture is developing but those handling don’t have enough knowledge, knowledge is available but not accessible to all , the available knowledge is shared in limited space. The problems listed above necessitated the KCOA project being put in place, KCOA (Knowledge Centre For Organic Agriculture), the center has three main objectives which are to gather, evaluate and validate the knowledge shared. The three organizations in charge of the respective stages of the knowledge are as follows: ENDA PRONAT- Gathering of Information, FENAB- Sharing the information gathered and AGRECOL-responsible for networking of stakeholders and facilitation of the development of organic value chains. The three organizations collaborate with Institutional Focal Points (PFI) based in other countries in the sub-region viz: Songhai Centre (Benin), CNOP (Mali) and NOAN (Nigeria).

Mr. Baye Yoro proposed an organic week in Nigeria , this will be a congregation of organic agriculture practitioners at all levels of the value chain, this was welcomed by the country coordinator, Dr Jude Obi who informed that the Association decentralizes by organizing events in major zones of Nigeria  but considering the need to have a larger patronage by members of NOAN. Mr. Faye Elhaji added that the implementers of these projects need to follow the KCOA criteria, the knowledge must conform with the principles of organic agriculture as recognized by IFOAM , also practical knowledge must have social, economic impact. It must also give concrete results.

NOAN, Nigeria Hosts Maiden Edition of Organic Weekend

Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria (NOAN) had its maiden edition of the much anticipated Organic weekend held on March 28, 2022 at Abuja City Park, Ahmadu Bello way, Wuse, Abuja, Nigeria. Organic weekend is an initiative of the Knowledge Centre for Organic Agriculture in Africa, a project sponsored by the GIZ and implemented by Enda Pronat, Agrecol and FENAB. The event attracted stakeholders from all levels of organic agriculture value chain viz: Producers of Organic / Ecological products, Processors, traders and Organic produce Consumers, local press organisations (Producers, NGOs ).

NOAN is a non-governmental organisation situated in Nigeria, the only organisation adopted as the umbrella body for organic agriculture organisations in Nigeria and a focal institution implementing the Knowledge Centre For Organic Agriculture in Africa (KCOA). The event is set to promote organic and ecological agriculture and involved sales exhibitions, sharing sessions (experiences, partnerships, networking, etc.) and communication with the actors in the value chain. The event also promoted the exhibition of processed agricultural products, agro-ecological and organic inputs (seeds, fertilizers), stimulate the expansion of the network of organic consumers with the promotion of EOA, among the population. It also aimed to create a framework for exchanges between the different links in the value chain. The event served as a side event at the Association’s Annual General Meeting, with exhibitors of several organic produce in attendance.

Organic Weekend is set to promote and intensify the level of awareness and advocacy in organic agriculture in Nigeria, promote organic agribusiness through the clusters of stakeholders in the organic agriculture value chain. The Governing Board , members of the Association (NOAN), at all categories commend the efforts of GIZ, Enda Pronat, FENAB and Agrecol for this laudable course and hope to have events of this nature and more taken place.

 

NOAN Accepts New Leaders,Hosts Organic Weekend

The 2021 Annual General Meeting marked the emergence of new leaders for the Association’s Governing Board and the Board of Trustees. Members of Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria gathered at Abuja to determine the next line of action for the continuous piloting of the Association. The event also hosted the maiden edition of the much anticipated KCOA Organic Weekend which was aimed at showcasing the varieties of organic produce and to foster networking and interaction among stakeholder in organic agriculture value chain. Organic weekend is an initiative of the Knowledge Centre for Organic Agriculture in Africa, a project sponsored by the GIZ and implemented by Enda Pronat, Agrecol and FENAB, this event added glamour to the AGM as members were able to trade and network with the exhibitors . It was a hybrid of both physical and virtual participation.

The 2021 AGM took place at Abuja City Park, Ahmadu Bello way, Wuse, Abuja, Nigeria. The Abuja State Chapter of the Association was also inaugurated. It also included the final presentation of the reviewed Constitution and bylaw of the Association, the dissolution and the election of the new Executive Committee members.

The President of the Association, Prof V. I. Olowe in his address presented the achievements of his team and advised the incoming EXCOs to weigh their performances  with the Key Performance Indicator, not forgetting the evaluation of the Strategic Plan drawn by the Prof. Olowe led administration. He also requested that respective participants and officers be fair in dealing with one another as the new leaders come in to the office. Members of the Association agreed that the following be made members f the Board of Trustees viz:

  1. Gideon A. Adeoye
  2. James Adediran
  3. Timothy I. Olabiyi
  4. Nkiru T. Meludu
  5. Dr Olugbenga AdeOluwa

The Chairman of the Electoral Committee appreciated all participants, the outgoing EXCOs for giving her the opportunity to execute the task successfully and fairly, members of the Association, the Secretary, Electoral Committee, Miss Rebecca Okunola and every other persons who contributed at one area or the other towards the success of the election. She requested that the elected Executive Committee members come to the podium for recognition.

Members voted through various platforms mandated by the electoral committee and the following emerged the elected Executive Committee members:

  1. Dr Jude C. Obi – President
  2. Alhaji Luqman Oladapo – Vice President
  3. Dr Olufemi Ayanfeoluwa – General Secretary
  4. Dr Uko Ibeabuchi – Assistant General Secretary
  5. Chief Mosudi Salimonu – Financial Secretary
  6. Dr Ogechi Umeh – Treasurer
  7. Mrs Abimbola Sakirah Majolagbe – Public Relations Officer
  8. Dr Akudo Onunwa – Editor

The newly elected President, Dr Jude C. Obi in his closing remark expressed his gratitude to members of the Association at all categories and the partners of the Association for their continuous support at various capacities. He vowed to ensure he makes effort towards the attainment of the expected height and growth for the Association, he also wished every participants safe journey back to their various destinations. The next AGM was agreed to take place at Awka, Anambra State. Members of staff, members of the Association wish the outgoing Executive Committee members success in their future endeavours and the new EXCOs and BOT excellent performance in their various portfolios.

 

 

Delta State Chapter of the Association Visits The New VC, Delta State University,Ozoro.

A fifteen member (three farmers and twelve lecturers) delegates of Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria, Delta State Chapter paid a courtesy visit to the office of the Vice Chancellor, Delta State university, Ozoro on January 18 ,2022. The purpose of the visit was to felicitate with Prof S. J Oboreh, the newly appointed Vice Chancellor of the university, hint him of the existence, objectives and  goals of the Association and OAPTIN in the institution.

The chairman of the Association, Delta State Chapter, Dr Mrs Atoma C. N. who led the team, congratulated the Vice Chancellor and clearly noted that his pedigree, track records, hard work and marvelous impact of his administration as a rector in the same institution when it was a polytechnic paved the way for his present appointment.

The overview of the Association was presented to the Vice Chancellor, the entire management and members of staff of the university. The Vice Chancellor in his opening remarks informed members of the Association of the successful approval of 25 programmes by the National University Board and his readiness with the cooperation of all members of staff in making the institution of international standard. In his response to the organic movement, he expressed great joy with the association pointing out the need for sustainable agriculture and chemical free food to avoid the hazards and negative effect of such foods on humans. However, he expressed fear of the world going hungry if the use of fertilizer that boost yield is eliminated in agricultural production. In conclusion, Dr Mrs Atoma re-emphasized the great benefits of Organic Agriculture and that  organic can feed the world. At this point, 100% natural Fufu flour, Pepper, proceedings of Organic Delta 2019 and other relevant materials were presented to the vice chancellor. The chairman also briefed the V C on the workshops organized and photo clips of Organic Delta2019 organized by OAPTIN were projected for their view. The chairman equally requested for a portion of land to be dedicated to Organic Agriculture in the Institution. In response, the vice chancellor promised to look into the request.

The management and staff of the University such as the Registrar and the Bursar were in attendance in like manner. The visit gave a momentum to the establishment of the Association and organic agriculture in the institution and Delta State as a whole.

TOWARDS A SUCCESSFUL ORGANISATION OF THE 6TH WEST AFRICAN ORGANIC CONFERENCE IN BURKINA FASO

TOWARDS A SUCCESSFUL ORGANISATION OF THE 6TH WEST AFRICAN ORGANIC CONFERENCE IN BURKINA FASO

In preparation for the upcoming 2021 West African Organic Conference (WAOC) in Burkina Faso, top management of the ECOWAS-led Regional Planning Committee (RPC) and the Burkina Faso Local Organising Committee (LOC) met virtually with Mr Alain SY TRAORE, Director, Agriculture and Rural Development of the ECOWAS Commission on Thursday May 20, 2021.

It was an opportunity for the Director to have a first-hand interaction with the combined team of the representatives of the RPC and LOC of the 6th West African Organic Conference.

The virtual meeting was chaired by Mr Alain SY TRAORE. Professor Davo Vodouhe Simplice, ably stood in for Mr Ernest Aubee who was unavoidably absent due to official assignment. The meeting had in attendance nine (9) strategic members. The participants discussed among other issues; historical perspective of the West African Organic Conference (WAOC), feedback from the Burkina Faso LOC, funding alternatives and way-forward in respect to the Burkina Faso 6th WAOC.

In his welcome address, Mr Alain SY TRAORE welcomed everyone to the virtual meeting. He thanked and congratulated everyone whom through their various organizations are working for the success of the Conference and prayed for a healthier and stronger ecological and organic agriculture activities in the region. He laid emphasis on the keen interest of the ECOWAS Commission in the success of the 6th WAOC because of the importance of the event in the development of agriculture and improvement of livelihoods in West Africa. Mr. Traoré on behalf of the ECOWAS Commission promised the support of the Commission towards the conference and encouraged organizers to put in their best for a fruitful event.

At the end of the virtual meeting, Mr Alain SY TRAORE appreciated the participants at the meeting for attending the event, despite the short notice. The Vice-Chair of the Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative in West Africa, Professor Davo Vodouhe Simplice also appreciated Mr Traoré and the ECOWAS Commission for the quality leadership and support for the development of organic and ecological agriculture in West Africa.

The Association Meets In Ibadan

The Association Meets In Ibadan

The Association Meets In Ibadan

This year’s Annual General Meeting took place at First Bank Building of Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ibadan as against the agreed Abuja venue on March 23 and 24, 2021. It was a two day event and a hybrid of physical and virtual participation. The event had in discussion the road to the amendment of the long awaited proposed Association’s Constitution, with the addition of expanded Constitution Review committee members coming from representatives of each State Chapters. The meeting was chaired by Dr Sansi Jolaade, the Chairman, Oyo State Chapter of the Association, during her welcome address, she welcomed all from far and near and enjoined participants to enjoy Oyo State and Ibadan environment. Participants represented states such as Lagos, Abuja, Anambra, Ibadan, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Taraba, Kwara, Ebonyi, Osun, Ogun from both virtual and physical attendances.

Prof. V. I Olowe, in his Presidential address gave an overview of the of the 10 points agenda, the progress reports and the efforts made in ensuring mandates are fulfilled. He added that there is a new project (KCOA) sponsored by GIZ the Association is anchoring. There were series of suggestions and opinions harvested at both media (virtual and physical). The following decisions were taken at the event:

  1. The supposed electoral process was put on hold as a result of the need to perfect the contents of the present Constitution, they are to help pilot the course of the amendment before handing over to new hands, there is need for a working document as the election is hinged on it.
  2. Present members of the Executive Committee were agreed to proceed with their tenure for a period of one year pending the amendment of the Constitution, Mrs Oluyinka Odukoya, the General Secretary stepped down, making Dr. Jude C. Obi the nee General Secretary .
  3. The Constitution Review Committee is to be enlarged and this will contain representatives from each State Chapter, the ultimatum given was a month and in six from the time of the decision was given, the Association’s Constitution ought to have been in good shape afterwards.
  4. It was agreed that all State Chapters remit the proceeds from membership registration to the national, the National Finance officer will then do the proper remittance in the appropriate sharing formula.
  5. It was also debated and agreed that membership annual due for the student membership category be reviewed, #1000 levy was suggested and agreed.
  6. On the need to intensify advocacy on organic agriculture, it was agreed that Radio as a media platform be used in this course, as massive advocacy is needed.
  7. On IJOARD, the committee was dissolved, the new members of the committee will be constituted in due course.
  8. A motion to take the presentation of organic certification back to the review committee to work on was adopted.
  9. It was agreed that the next Annual General Meetings will hold at Abuja and Anambra State, par adventure Abuja is not able to host, Anambra will be the next point of call but both States are to follow that sequence.

It however evident that the Association is taking its quantum leap and also on the road to greater expansion and growth, this is as a result of the cooperative efforts of the Board of Trustee, Executive Committee, members of the Association at all categories willing to serve and members of staff of the Association at the National and State levels working in various capacities. New members are registering in their numbers and existing members paying their dues and making themselves available when their attentions are needed. A virtual participant, Dr Vide Adedayo reminded of the need to have conflicting opinions but it is only important that all see it as a road to development, Dr Jude C. Obi while taking the vote of thanks corroborate this by saying that rift should be translated into constructive argument and be seen as a way of building strength.

Workshop on The Multiplier Mapping for Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Dissemination Within KCOA Project

Workshop on The Multiplier Mapping for Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Dissemination Within KCOA Project

Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners

Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria in collaboration with National Federation For Organic Agriculture (FENAB) ,organizes a workshop on the Multiplier Mapping for Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Dissemination Within KCOA Project. The workshop was sponsored by KCOA (Knowledge Centre For Organic Agriculture in Africa) and had in attendance participants which included delegates from FENAB (National Federation For Organic Agriculture) viz: Mr. El Hadji Mandiaye Ndiaye, Mr. Abdourahmane Leye, Mr. Mouhamed Seck, the President of the Association, Pro. V.I.O. Olowe, the Country Cordinator, KCOA, Dr. Jude C. Obi, The Association’s PRO, Mr. Taiwo Oduola, trainees of the IFOAM-OI ToToT held on February 1-5, 2021. It was a day training and was bilingual (English and French Language). FENAB.

The purpose of the workshop was to develop a knowledge hub for Africa and to ensure that those trained between February 1 and 5, 2021 and other multipliers are built up to successfully disseminate relevant knowledge on organic agriculture to famers, famer associations, processors, marketers and consumers ,the multipliers were grouped into three viz: Primary Multipliers (M1): people with recognized diplomas, qualifications or training in the agricultural sector to build the capacity of other trainers and facilitators to support the dissemination and application of knowledge products for AB development. Secondary Multipliers (M2): are field practitioners trained by M1s from the KCOA project at their country level or by individuals with at least the same qualifications, NGO agents, partners or model leaders or producers and others who can appropriately support the dissemination and application of ABE knowledge products. Tertiary Multipliers: policy actors or opinion leaders who can support and sustain the project in advocacy, legislation and quality control for the dissemination and application of knowledge products along value chains in AB.

According to Mr. Mouhamed Seck, the program is also targeting youths and women as they play very important roles in the implementation of KCOA project. There were however, activities carried out in the course of the workshop which include deliberation on the Platform Profile Template where there was a discussion on the slogan, main features, the structure which bothers on the criteria for the content dissemination, the thematic focus on the KCOA website, which content do they disseminate and along which channel. The KCOA content database will be structured along FiBl categories. How the website will target users (multiplier). How the website will target users (multiplier). How the platform will build on existing knowledge (Reuse and improve) and collaborate with existing platforms? (Be collaborative ) The platform will also bridge the gap created by other platforms. KCOA will work with existing platforms, survey has been done and KCOA will fill the gap and compliment the work.

Thematic area will focus on the following viz: certification, soil health, funding and marketing. Participants were asked to filling out a form indicating the agrecological location they propose to train and how to achieve these aims, according to Mr. Mouhamed Seck, they are to enumerate the number of grassroots if and farming number of individual members (male and female), number of trainers on organic( male and female), needs for capacity build on organic agriculture. Mr. El Hadiji stated that the main objective of the project is the dissemination of indigenous and scientific knowledge and also train the trainers on indigenous and scientific knowledge. Different actors in organic agriculture,  those already in it and others in transition. After analyzing the two, we will categorize, they will then be classified into the three multipliers. These set of people (those trained in February 1-5) are the first set of people trained, they will go to train others.

Every trainer is going to train others, there is a relationship between the ToToT trainees and the workshop, in order to have a manual for the trainers, IFOAM will give the manual as they are one of the sponsors of the project, FENAB is also saddled with the responsibility of harmonizing these trainers. Mr. Abdourahmane Lere stated that before the platform, there is a process of collection, validation before putting on the platform, there is respect for intellectual properties. The information will be made accessible and will be in different languages, will be in media platforms. There will be a database for this information, afterwards there will be a KCOA interface. Though the platform belongs to FENAB, the application will be user friendly. There will be room for marketing of organic produce.

Mr. Lere thanked everyone including the President of the Association, members of the Association, the Country Coordinator and promised to continue to work with the Association.

IFOAM Partners With The Association in Training Knowledge Multipliers

IFOAM Partners With The Association in Training Knowledge Multipliers

The IFOAM –OI ToToT was organized by IFOAM

The IFOAM –OI ToToT was organized by IFOAM

The IFOAM –OI ToToT was organized by IFOAM in conjunction with Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria, the training is under the sponsorship of the Knowledge Centre For organic Agriculture in Africa. The training was aimed to train team of trainers to allow proximity and wider reach to farmers at the grassroots. The shortlisted candidates for the training underwent twenty (20) levels of screening and were selected from the major geopolitical zones of Nigeria. The training took place at the Board Room of Bible Guest Hose, Samonda, Ibadan between February 1 and 5, 2021. The training was a hybrid of both virtual and physical participants in attendance with interludes of music, games, refreshments, reflections and excursion. The President of the Association, Prof. Victor Olowe, during the opening ceremony welcomed participants on behalf of the Association, he stated that the major aim is increase the capacity farmers from the grassroot, he also believes that the trainees will deliver at the end of the training and that the organisers have the tracking devices to monitor the trainees. Virtual trainers included Mr. Gupta Ashish, Francia Berger and Alexandra Joseph. Physical trainers were Dr Olugbenga AdeOluwa, Ms. Sola Sowemimo, Dr. Jude C. Obi, Dr. Olufemi Ayanfeoluwa.

Mr. Gupta in his opening remarks stated that there are three basic questions that need answers from the trainees, they are the “WHAT” which bothers on knowledge theory, “HOW”-Action skills and “WHY”- Reflection, he advised that participants should have the dream of being the first to beat the odds and that failing is part of learning.

In the course of the five days training, the trainees were grouped into five cafes, with each café engaging in group activities which included presentation on various issues in organic agriculture and business plans. Members of the café had a mock farming estate with conglomerate of support systems. These ideas generated a realistic and constructive probes from IFOAM Academy Manager, Mr. Gupta Ashish, the exercise stimulated restructuring and re-iteration of crucial organic agriculture standards ruled out. He analysed these standards and stated how realistic these projections are, he also advised that their farming practices should be done in such a way that they will be able to fit in with their counterparts globally.

The participants went on excursion to Ajibode Organic , Ibadan where they were able to see the activities, challenges including the pests control methods devised by the farmers and the need to tackle the issue of unavailability of ready markets for their perishable goods, they were also familiarized with the history of Ajibode Farm which has been in existence since 2010 but became a full-fledged organic farm in 2012.This excursion enabled them have a first-hand information on the various issues faced by the farmers.

Participants also made presentations with two persons nominated to be reflector and harvester, the reflector does a recap of the lessons learnt in the previous days of the training, harvesters on the hand documents the reflections made. The trainees will train farmers subsequently to multiply the knowledge acquired.

 

Organic Agriculture Stakeholders Converges in Akwa Ibom

Organic Agriculture Stakeholders Converges in Akwa Ibom

 Group photograph of participants at the 2020 NOABS held @Ibom hall, Uyo Akwa Ibom

Group photograph of participants at the 2020 NOABS held @Ibom hall, Uyo Akwa Ibom

The 2020 edition of the annual National Organic Agriculture Business Summit was successfully held at Ibom Hall, Uyo, Akwa Ibom  and had in attendance both virtual and physical participants The event was phenomenal and impactful and the precautionary measures against the COVID 19 pandemic was not ruled out. It included various activities such as plenary presentations, business fora, colloquium, and of course a cultural dance group welcomed all with their unique melody and dance moves.

The event was attended by  stakeholders in various area of organic agriculture , presenters both virtual and physical were Prof. Raymond Auerbach, University of West Cape Town South Africa, Dr. karfa Diallo, Enda Pronat, Senegal, Niemattalah Elamin, UNCTAD, Switzerland,  Dr. Benoit Gnonlonfin, FOA, United Nations, Venancia Wambua, EOA Initiative in Africa, Dr. Edna Akpan, Akwa Ibom State University, Uyo, Ms. Louise Luttikholt, IFOAM Organic International, Bonn, Mr Ernest Aubee, ECOWAS Commission, Abuja, Chief Daniel Asuquo, Member, Federal House of Assembly, Abuja.

Notable guests of honour included the Honourable Commissioner of Agriculture, represented by Dr. Uyobong Uko, the State Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Dr. AdeOluwa O.O, Country Coordinator, EOA Initiative, Nigeria, Chairmen, National Steering Committee, North, Southwest and South Eastern Region, Prince Peter Bakare, Alh. Luqman Oladapo and Prof. Nkiru T. Meludu respectively, representatives of the Project Implementing Partners were equally represented.

The President of Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria, Prof. V.I.O. Olowe, who was inevitably absent physically joined in virtually, in his opening remarks, he welcomed participants on behalf of the Association and wished them a successful outing. Dr. Uyobong Uko, the State Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in his goodwill message stated that he is a lover of agriculture and organic agriculture, there is need for a paradigm shift from the subsistent level to the commercial and exportation level, with the inclusion of labeling, branding and premium price placement.

Dr. AdeOluwa, the Country Coordinator, EOA Initiative welcomed all participants, he informed that the focus of the EOA is to mainstream organic agriculture into the national system, he made mention of the deceased stakeholders who were Mr. Adeolu Adewoyin and  Jordan Gama, he added that their efforts in organic agriculture movement will be greatly remembered.

This year’s annual summit covered major issues on organic agriculture with one or two lessons learnt through the strata of program lined up for each day. At the colloquium session, Ms Niematallah during her virtual presentation pointed out UNCTAD approach to Voluntary Sustainability Standard (VSS) ,  which among others include land use planning, the environmental impacts of production, community relations, she hinted that developing countries experience capacity gaps in capturing the potentials of VSS to catalyse sustainable development through trade. She added that UNCTAD has developed an approach to help stakeholders, especially smallholder producers and MSMEs in producing countries, create a policy environment capable of maximizing the benefits of VSS adoption.

Mr. Oyewole Gbadamosi, the Project Manager, EOA Initiative in Nigeria took participants through export requirements for organic agricultural commodities. He stated that there are rules and agreement guiding movements of produce for exports the WTO-SPS set standards for food security, animal health and also protect countries from damage caused by entry, establishment or spread of pests, and from risks arising from additives, contaminants etc.

Dr Edna Akpan, a member of the Association and a presenter at the event stated that bringing women and young people into organic agriculture opens up new horizon and that it is important to include women, youths and the vulnerable as they have a lot to offer in terms of organic agriculture.

The communiqué of urged all appreciate the efforts of the umbrella body for Organic Agriculture, Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria and all private stakeholders in the sector should be encouraged to join the Organic Association in order to ensure proper grassroots development and appropriate coordination of the sector.

The breakout sessions of the event, grouped into four, the curriculum development group gathered to discuss on the modalities for the incorporation of the curriculum of organic agriculture into the 2021/2022 academic year in colleges of agriculture across Nigeria the meeting had in attendance Mr. Nsan Nsan Tiku, a representative of National Board of Technical Education. The business and trade forum  discussed issues of export and trade in organic produce, participants were informed that in export business , the international buyers bid for the best of the produce, organic produce are on high demands in international markets ,  and that it is advisable that farmers produce for both domestic and export purpose to enable a favourable return on investment (ROI), organic preservation methods, factors that affect exports and trade of organic produce. At the farmers forum, the challenges faced by farmers in areas of funding, inputs, sales and produce that are  demand driven were discussed and the way forward were discussed.

Awards were presented to the governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mrs. Udeme Udonya, Mrs. Ebere Agozie for the governor of the year, organic farmer of the year and media personality of the year respectively. The next annual summit was scheduled to hold in Abuja (2021) and Oyo State (2022).

Organic Produce Consumption, The New Normal in Nigerian Homes

Organic Produce Consumption, The New Normal in Nigerian Homes

 

A cross section of Sellers and Buyers at the Organic Market Day

A cross section of Sellers and Buyers at the Organic Market Day

Organic foods could offer more health benefits than conventionally delivered products according to scientists form the UK, Poland, Norway, Italy, Denmark, Switzerland, Greece and Turkey. This is because conventional produce contain nutrients and chemicals that are injurious to human health and wellbeing. Organic meat and milk are cases in point, they provide 50% more of the omega-3 fatty acids that are important in human nutrition. People choose organic foods for three main reasons: improved animal welfare, the positive impacts of organic farming and the perceived health benefits. There are however compositional differences between organic and conventional foods. The switch to organic fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products would provide significantly higher amounts of dietary antioxidants and omega-3 acids.

A visit to the traditional market day which usually holds on Thursdays of every week at  the University of Ibadan Teaching and Research  Farm affirms  the acceptance of organic agriculture and healthy foods in Nigeria.  The market is comprised of products such as snails, palm oil, greens, garden egg, maize, green peas, waterleaf, pumpkin leaves, yam, neem oil, plantain, okro etc.

Various stakeholders at different levels of the value chain were questioned, the random interview pointed out the essence of the purchase of organic produce. Adebayo Owolabi, a marketing officer at the market stated that  organic agriculture inculcated a farming culture which allows fairness to customers and producers and the environment alike. Mrs. Oyetoun Alonge, one of the co-coordinators of Teaching and Research Farm also stated that her venture into organic agriculture was due to her passion for provision of safe and healthy  food for the family and the general public.

Mr. Ebenezer Oguntimehin an organic farmer who was also an organic farmer at the market made it known that organic produce are non-chemical and is market driven, he added that organic farming , though tedious but the return on investment is considerably high.

Consumers of these produce were not left out, Mrs. Onyebuchi Salako pointed out that she prefers to shop for organic produce as result of the new trends in area of prevention of diseases associated with foods grown using chemicals and to maintain a healthy lifestyle. According to Mrs. Onyebuchi, these products are more expensive than other inorganic produce but it is wiser to purchase them.

Prof. Mrs. Adeyeye Adebola also claimed that organic produce are healthier, tastier than others with terrible chemical in them, she added that the shelf lives of these produce are longer. She advised all consumers to patronize organic produce to avoid diseases in the future. She also stated that organic produce will be generally accepted in the near future as it this has a long term effect.

Various challenges faced at every level of the value chain include: poor and level of awareness on organic produce, organic produce not readily available, low level of acceptance by organic consumers, scarcity of organic seedling, lack of funds for grass root farmers. Expectations from organic agriculture organizations were as well listed out and these are in areas of provision of subsidy on organic inputs, encouragement of organic farmers by giving necessary supports in areas of packaging and value addition, provision of grants to farmers , increasing the level of awareness  on organic agriculture, creation of platforms for farmers to showcase their produce/products(farmers’ hub), assist in increasing the market share.