Consultants name for increase in natural agriculture to unlock West Africa’s potential

Consultants in natural agriculture have referred to as for extra concerted efforts by stakeholders for Nigeria and different West African international locations to entry huge alternatives in natural agricultural produce and merchandise.

They made the decision in Abuja at a two-day convention with the theme “Improvement of a Harmonised Participatory Assure System (PGS) normal for West Africa.”

Jude Obi, president of the Affiliation of Natural Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria, stated the West Africa area should entry its quotas from the inestimable sum of money obtainable for natural agriculture globally.

Mr Obi stated that the event of natural agriculture may comfortably deal with the problem of meals safety and enhance overseas change earnings, stifling the economic system within the area.

He expressed concern that the African continent and West Africa had been but to scratch the floor of their very own quota in natural agriculture commerce.

“Now, the West African natural agriculture panorama is evolving—clearly evolving—however the alternative is huge.

“The sum of money obtainable for natural agriculture on this planet is inestimable. And for us in Africa and West Africa, we’re not even scratching it.

“So, that is an effort to increase the horizon, make commerce simple, make folks involved in natural agriculture, enhance manufacturing, which is essential and earn the much-needed overseas change.

“Which is likely one of the issues that’s stifling the economic system of West Africa and, by extension, Africa.

“It’s clear that each the African continent and West Africa aren’t scratching the floor. They aren’t scratching the floor of their very own quota within the natural agriculture commerce,” he stated.

Mr Obi stated the essence of the convention was to make sure that natural agriculture will get rooted within the area to deal with the problem of meals safety and earn extra overseas change within the area.

“We’re gathered right here, importantly, as a result of natural agriculture is gaining traction in West Africa, Africa and the world. And it’s not natural if it doesn’t have steerage or traceability.

“So, traceability is essential in natural agriculture. We’re right here to ascertain a protocol for traceability in natural agriculture in West Africa.

“If we’re in a position to obtain this, then there will probably be simple commerce inside the sub-region.

“This traceability we’re speaking about, we name it participatory assure scheme. It’s the decrease stage of traceability just because now we have two ranges of traceability.

“The primary one is a 3rd get together. The second is the participatory assure scheme. This participatory assure scheme is designed for farmers.

“Third events are costly and natural agriculture prepares itself to herald everyone.

“So, a participatory assure scheme is a course of by which a small farmer who doesn’t have a big amount of cash to undergo a 3rd get together can nonetheless set up their traceability, have requirements, have certification and be capable to commerce identical to each different individual.

“And most significantly, have premium costs as a result of the goal is premium costs. So, now we have gathered right here to ascertain a protocol for a participatory assure scheme for the West African area,” he stated.

Oyewole Gbadamosi, coordinator of the Ecological Natural Agriculture Initiative in West Africa, stated in his submission that natural agriculture would improve world commerce, promotion of exports, and exportation of fabric, amongst others, within the area.

In accordance with him, the convention was deliberate to facilitate the event of a regional normal for natural agriculture within the West African states.

“It’s geared toward creating a brief provide chain for product actions throughout the member states and we’re gathered right here to do precisely that,” he stated.

He stated that the convention would, amongst others, deal with the difficulty of verification by way of the standard of issues which can be produced organically.

“We’ve got had many merchandise labelled natural and others that aren’t. I’ve additionally had totally different rules that haven’t been adopted, significantly in some West African states, the place we do have rules on natural agriculture.

“So this specific workshop is to supply the working paperwork for certification and reference labels for natural merchandise, to function a worth addition for the natural merchandise, and to extend the credibility of the merchandise whereas transferring throughout the area.

“We predict that this could be a big stride for the event of natural agriculture within the area, whereas working arduous to see that we’re in a position to even leverage on a number of the different vital issues that this specific initiative brings.”

Kofi Emanuel, programme officer of Rural Improvement and Land Authorities on the ECOWAS Fee, Division of Financial Affairs and Agriculture, stated the event of natural agriculture would deal with the problem of meals safety within the area.

Mr Emmanuel, who can be the chairman of the Ecological Natural Agriculture Initiative Secretariat in West Africa, pressured the necessity for the harmonisation of requirements throughout member states.

“I can’t say that there is no such thing as a normal. There are requirements within the member states. Persons are producing natural merchandise without cost commerce throughout our member states.

“We have to harmonise these requirements. That’s the reason we’re doing this now. We’re working.

“You understand, in our agriculture, should you evaluate our follow to that of different international locations on different continents, we will say that we’re seeing the world of ecological natural agriculture as a result of we use much less of our fertilisers.

“The chemical fertilisers are only a few. We’re about 18 to 24 kilogrammes per hectare. Even in comparison with these in Asia, who’re 300 kilogrammes, there are greater than 320 kilogrammes per hectare.

“Our agriculture remains to be ecological and natural. It feeds its inhabitants. So we have to have the label; we’d like the usual for it,” he stated.

He equally harped on the necessity for entry to know-how, sharing of knowledge, analysis and creating the capability of our farmers for the event of the sector.

“So, the capacity-building subject is essential for our farmers and our group. We want certification. It’s crucial.

“Should you go to the market, your merchandise aren’t licensed. Should you don’t have a label in your merchandise, it can’t be made seen. So it’s crucial to do all these processes,” he stated.

He agreed that natural agriculture may not be capable to feed your complete inhabitants within the area however can contribute considerably to feeding them.

“Natural agriculture can contribute to feeding this inhabitants; it might contribute to producing and taking into consideration our soil well being.

“However we can’t feed all our inhabitants by solely natural agriculture. We have to handle, taking into consideration the need to protect the fertility of our soil and to deal with all of the challenges now we have to face,” he stated.


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