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

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 protracted discussion on current training programs (TA on Capacity Building and ToT) of the Association, it was resolved that such ongoing programs should continue, but more affordable and equally effective training programs be developed for members with the Extension agents as the target audience (including Private extension Agents).
8. As the State Chapters involve and have competent resource persons, the members of the Nat. TA will no longer have to travel across the country to mount training programs. Topics of training programs to be mainly demand driven and States are free to invite competent resource persons from neighboring States.
9. On PGS Certification, the Certification and Standard TA Group was charged with the 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.

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