The Oyo State Chapter of Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria on September 7, 2021 invited all members nationwide to its organic stakeholders’ meeting held both physically and virtually ,this was aired at six different viewing centers viz: The Association’s headquarters, University of Ibadan Teaching and Research Farm Hall, Farmers’ Hall, OYSADA (formerly OYSADEP), Apata, Okeogun OYSADA office, TEDE, Ogbomoso Bee Hall, LAUTECH, Ibarapa East Secretariat, Eruwa.
The President of the Association, Prof. V.I.Olowe joined in to give his blessings, in his remarks, he commended the efforts of the State Chapter as a pacesetter state. The meeting was facilitated by Dr. Aderonke Sansi, the Chairperson of the Chapter, Alhaji Luqman Oladapo, Mrs. Oyetoun Alonge and Dr. Olufemi Ayanfeoluwa and was anchored by Mr. Taiwo Oduola, the Association’s National Public Relations Officer and Mr. Rasheed Adegbola, the State Public Relations Officer.
During his lecture, Alhaji Luqman Oladapo pointed out that in organic agriculture, land preparation is very important which includes the selection of well drained land, a fertile land with well drained clay loam to sandy loam soils with infiltration rate. He added that farmers need to use land clearing methods and equipment that will uproot trees with minimum disturbance of top soils e.g hoes, diggers, axes and cutlasses. He also pointed out that organic agriculture is not limited to vegetable production, crops and livestock can also be cultivated. One of the soil hacks he gave during the lecture was the physical testing of soil for fertility: when you take a handful of soil and squeeze, it stays as a ball, that indicated that the soil is too wet. If it is powdered, contains hard cramp, that makes it too dry. But if it crumbles freely, it is just right for cultivation.
The second facilitator, Mrs. Oyetoun Alonge spoke on pests and weed management in organic crop production, she stated that pest control is achieved through the use of appropriate cropping techniques such as crop rotation, biological control such as the launching of birds on farms to pick insects. Physical or mechanical pest control includes mowing, hoeing, soil solorization, tilling or cultivation (which helps in killing insect through turning) and washing. She added that the presence of earthworm, mushroom, micro and macro organisms, sea snails indicates that a soil is fertile. They are mostly blackish or brownish, absence of these indicate soil depletion.
There were one or more lessons learnt from the presentation of Dr. Aderonke Sansi on disease prevention and parasite control in organic livestock and parasite control in organic livestock production. According to Dr. Sansi, livestock production requires ample space, the animals should be allowed to express their behavioural attitudes. Animal nutrition is also very important to allow for good bacteria in their digestive system.
Dr. Olufemi Ayanfeoluwa explained the PGS certification in precepts. He pointed out that the period of conversion of farmland to organic farm is a minimum of three (3) years, hybrid seed are allowed in organic agriculture, they can be washed thrice and sun dried before planting. Content of produce has to be at least 60% natural to pass for organic certification.
At the end of the workshop, Mr. Taiwo Oduola added that the Association is the only organic agriculture organization with standards, he added that the Association is open to members willing to join. This was a great feat in the road to the emancipation of organic agriculture at the state and the national level, members of the Association congratulates Oyo State chapter on the success of the just concluded training and we hope other state chapters follow suit.