The Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria (AOAPN) says organic agriculture has been adjudged the fastest growing sector in the world and Nigeria cannot afford to lag behind.
Prof. Victor Olowe, the President of the association, said this in Awka at the ongoing National Organic Agriculture Business Summit organised by the Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) Initiative in Nigeria.
According to him, the global market of organic products has reached 80 billion dollars with guaranteed integrity and quality
He said the theme of the summit; “Global Organic Agriculture Development: Unbundling Abundant Entrepreneurial Opportunities for Nigerian Youths’’ was for Nigerian youths to leverage the organic global market.
“This year’s summit is very relevant to our present situation in the country, and this is the most auspicious time to really engage our youths in organic agriculture in order to help them channel their energy into more productive and rewarding ventures. Organic agriculture has been adjudged the fastest growing sector in agriculture in the world, and presently the global market of organic products stands at 80 billion dollars, so Nigerians must not be left out. The association also serves as a link body between organic agriculture stakeholders in Nigeria and international bodies interested in organic agriculture and the country’s contribution of organic farmlands to Africa in global statistics is about three per cent,” he said.
“Therefore, we need to step up our activities in organic agriculture in such a way that in the nearest future we shall be able to occupy our prime position in the community of organic agriculture practitioners in the world. EOA and our association are Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that serve as an umbrella body for all stakeholders involved in organic agriculture in Africa and Nigeria in particular,’’ he said.
Olowe said that it had been observed that funding of organic research was less than one per cent of the total funds allocated to agricultural research.
“The same trend was recently confirmed in a research survey that the highest level of unmet funding needs in Africa and access to research grants was adjudged as one of the least available instruments to aid development of organic agriculture in Africa,” he concluded.