Council urges Ebonyi State rice farmers to embrace organic farming
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has urged rice farmers and processors in Ebonyi state to embrace organic mode of farming in improving the quality of their produce.
Dr Ezra Yakusak, the Chief Executive Officer of NEPC made the call on Thursday in Abakaliki during a sensitization workshop for rice farmers and processors in Ebonyi state.
Yakusak, represented by Mr Emmanuel Unanam, Coordinator of NEPC in the state, said the workshop was in collaboration with the Organic Agricultural Practitioners of Nigeria.
The council’s CEO said the workshop aims at building the capacity of rice farmers and processors in Ebonyi state to imbibe quality standard in their production.
“This will ensure that their produce compete favorably, globally.Organic agriculture is becoming increasingly important in the agricultural sector of several countries irrespective of their developmental stages.
“Consumer demand for organically produced food provides new market opportunities for farmers and businesses around the world,” he said.
He noted that basic intelligence is needed to fully understand the magnitude and potential of the organic sector as the workshop aims at achieving such.
Mr Emeka.Ogazi, a Representative of the organic agricultural practitioners of Nigeria, commended the NEPC for organising the workshop and urged participants to propagate the message of organic agriculture.
“Our natural produce are being rejected by those who encourage us to practice inorganic agriculture.We should therefore propagate the message that organic agriculture enhannces soil nutrients and promotes the health of human beings, animals and plants.Organic agriculture enhances the eco system and agro-ecology which makes sensitisation forums such as this, apt,” he said.
Dr Ignatius Alaka, an Associate Professor of Food Science and Technology and Resource Person at the workshop, urged food processors to be mindful of the foods they processed.
“The high rate of genetic diseases can be linked to some processed foods and this is due to the application of herbicides and pesticides on crops,” he said.
Mr Gabriel Odo, Programme Manager of the Ebonyi Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) said it will collaborate with relevant agencies to ensure that farmers switch from inorganic to organic form of farming.
Mrs Rita Elu, a participant at the programme pledged to practicalise the knowledge gained from the programme to improve the quality of her farm produce.
NAN / Foluke Ibitomi