The Communiqué of the 2017 National Organic Agriculture Business Summit
We, the 120 participants of the 2017 National Organic Agriculture Business Summit held in Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria from July 11-13, 2017 representing all the geo-political zones of Nigeria and four other countries of Africa namely Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania (virtual), representing investors in inputs supply, production, processing, packaging and environment, producers, consumers and business moguls in different aspects of the agricultural sector, governmental organizations related to agriculture, education, trade, health and environment, research and higher educational institutions, hotels and supermarket operators, media practitioners, civil rights organizations and policy makers, having deliberated on the theme ‘Global Organic Agriculture Development: Unbundling Abundant Entrepreneurial Opportunities for Nigerian Youths’,
AGREE that Nigerian youths have significant roles to play in organic agriculture in ensuring job opportunities for the youths in order to contribute to sustainable national development. Engaging youths in organic agriculture can also help address food insecurity and contribute to improving the livelihoods of the stakeholders in the organic agriculture value chain. Different paper and success stories’ presentations shared during the Summit proved that organic agriculture presents Nigerian youths with a lot of business opportunities that can contribute to national development.
APPRECIATING • the contribution of Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) Initiative in Nigeria toward the development of organic agriculture farming system in Nigeria, with support of Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC), • Anambra State Government of Nigeria for hosting and supporting the Second National Organic Agriculture Business Summit, • the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as well as Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investments in supporting organic agricultural business in the country.
• the efforts of the National University Commission, National Board for Technical Education and Agriculture Research Council of Nigeria for the positive move in mainstreaming organic agriculture into their educational curricula, • the progress by the Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria for providing opportunities for engaging Nigerian youths in organic farming business.
RECOGNIZING • the great potentials of youth involvement in organic agriculture business, • the potentials of organic agriculture business in economic empowerment of the youths and the nation in general, • the need for the development and implementation of appropriate policies to support the organic agriculture sector of the Nigerian economy.
RECALLING • the commitment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to engage Nigerian youth in organic agricultural business as a means of job opportunity for the teaming youths, • the efforts the Anambra State Government in venturing into organic agriculture value chain systems, for food security, job opportunities and income for the State, as a good example for other States in Nigeria, • the need for appropriate training of Nigerian youths in agriculture in demand driven production, of which organic agriculture is paramount • the several direct and indirect benefits of organic agriculture on food sovereignty, safe food production, contribution to healthy environment, boost in varieties for domestic and export trades, job opportunities for the teeming youths of the country and the avoidance of agricultural inputs and practices that can stand against the exportation of agricultural products from the country with stringent quality assurance/demands.
WE URGE • The Federal, States and Local Governments of Nigeria to provide Nigerian youths the opportunities of engaging in organic agriculture business at the domestic and export levels with appropriate supports. • All tiers of government in Nigeria to mainstream Organic Agriculture into all their agricultural activities with appropriate supports. • The stakeholders of the organic agriculture sector in Nigeria to take advantage of several market opportunities for organic produce and products, of which BioFach is a good example. This event is the world biggest organic agriculture fair that comes up annually (mid-February) in Nuremberg, Germany. • The National University Commission (NUC) and the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) to mainstream organic agriculture education into their current curricula for agricultural programmes. • Anambra State Government not to relent in their drive to take advantage of organic agriculture business opportunities for developing the State and other States of the federation to follow suite. • International and local development partners and donors in Nigeria to increase support to the organic agriculture sector of the country in order to support the decision of the African Union Heads of State and Government Decision on Organic Farming (Doc. EX.CL/631 (XVIII).
• All stakeholders of the organic agricultural sector in Nigeria to support the ongoing development of the Nigeria Organic Agriculture Bill for proper development of organic agriculture sector of the country.
WE EXPRESS our sincere appreciation to Anambra State Government for creating enabling atmosphere for the planning of the Summit, office of the Minister, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, for encouraging the Summit and the technical contributions by Ms. Catherine Kibarah of Kates Organic, Kenya, Mr. Mohammed Oyelami of Ajibode Organic Farmers’ Group, Ibadan, Nigeria, Mr. Jordan Gama, President, African Organic Network (AfrONet), Tanzania and Dr. Ifeanyi Casmir, University of Abuja. Also, contributions of all national and international exhibitors at the Summit are appreciated.
WE THANK the organizers of this conference, including the Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative team in Nigeria: Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria, Healthy Food Consumers Initiative (Hefci), Organic Agriculture Research teams of University of Ibadan, Kwara State University and Nnamdi Azikwe University, Federation of Agricultural Commodity Associations of Nigeria (FACAN), Organic Fertilizers Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (OFPSAN), Awka, Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), Akwa Ibom and Ikot Epkene Women Food/Cash Crop Multipurpose Cooperative Society Akwa Ibom.
WE AGREE to meet in Lagos State, Nigeria, in 2018, for the next National Organic Agriculture Business Summit, to further the drive for development of organic agriculture business in the country.