Expert urges Nigerians to develop interest in organic agriculture
Mr Olugbenga Adeoluwa, the Country Coordinator, Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) Initiative in Nigeria, has called on Nigerians to develop interest in organic agriculture.
Adeoluwa, who is also the Vice-President, Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria, made the call in Abuja on Monday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.
He said the call became necessary because organic agriculture had many advantages, including mitigating the effects of climate change and global warming.
Organic Agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people.
It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects.
He also said that organic agriculture could mitigate the greenhouse effect due to its ability to get hold of carbon in the soil.
Adeoluwa said that management practices used by organic agriculture increased the return of carbon to the soil, raising of productivity and favouring of carbon storage.
“Organic practices like minimum tillage, returning crop residues to the soil, the use of cover crops and rotations, and the greater integration of nitrogen-fixing legumes keep the soil safe.
“The more organic carbon is retained in the soil, the more the mitigation potential of agriculture against climate change is higher.
“Organic agriculture aims to produce food and establishing ecological balance to boost soil fertility and prevent pest problems.
“Organic agriculture also takes proactive approach as opposed to treating problems after they emerge.
“It is also interested in improving soil formation and structure as well as creating more stable systems,’’ he said.
The vice-president of the association said that organic agriculture practices played important role in soil erosion control.
“The nutrients and energy cycling are increased and the retentive abilities of the soil for nutrients and water are enhanced, compensating for the non-use of mineral fertiliser.
‘’The length of time that the soil is exposed to erosive forces is decreased, soil biodiversity is increased, and nutrient losses are reduced, thus, helping to maintain and enhance soil productivity.’’
He said that in many agriculture areas, pollution of groundwater with synthetic fertiliser and pesticides were the major problems to the environment.
“In organic agriculture practice, the use of synthetic fertilser is prohibited, but it is replaced by organic fertiliser like compost, animal manure and green manure thereby enhancing soil structure and water infiltration.’’
He called on the people to develop more interest in organic agriculture to mitigate the effects of climate change.