Stakeholders in the organic farming sector are advocating the need to put pressure on the Federal Government to enact policies that will encourage farmers to go back to organic farming, to promote healthy ecosystem in the country.
While making the assertion at the 2018 National Organic Agriculture Business Summit (NOABS), with the theme: “Organic Agriculture: Abundant Opportunities For Health And Hospitality Businesses,” held at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, they disclosed that plans are on to push a bill on organic agriculture, which they believe would spur more farmers to go into the practice.
At the three-day programme, organised by Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA), an environmental scientist from Michigan State University (USA), Jelili Adebiyi, charged farmers and other stakeholders on regulations, enforcement and monitoring to embrace and expand alternatives to pesticides centered farming system.
This is to avert unhealthy practices, which harm human, animals, plants and environment.
He said food grown according to certified organic standard is safe for consumption, but conventional crops are grown with synthetic inputs like fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides and others with toxic substances, which is not safe, and consumers are poised to become unhealthy.
On his part, Prof. Akin Abayomi, emeritus professor in the department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Stellenbosch, in Cape town, who manages 300 acre organic habitat forest conversation project ion Osun State, who spoke on “Organic Agriculture And Health Perspective,” said there were genetically modified farm produce whose original form had been altered, saying though genetic modification was induced because of peoples innocent demand, noted that it has long term negative effects and therefore inhibit sustainable ecosystem.
He said exposing human beings to chemicals affect their genes and in turn affects the body system.
To enhance a sustainable healthy ecosystem in the country, Abayomi canvassed removal of toxins from the system, and the need for reorientation for people to know how they can relate or affect their environment, which is called biosecurity.
Speaking on the purpose of the summit, the Country Coordinator, EOA, initiative in Nigeria, Dr. Olugbenga Adeoluwa, said EOA, with partnership with Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, ais poised to enhance use of organic produce to stimulate domestic, export trade, improve local and export business activities in the organic sector.