Abuja – Dr Olugbenga AdeOluwa, an ecologist, has urged the Federal Government to involve youths in organic agriculture for sustainable agricultural development in the country.
AdeOluwa, the Country Director, Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) Initiative in Nigeria, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.
He said that the federal government should also show commitment in engaging Nigerian youths in organic agricultural business through various programmes.
The country director added that the effort would be a means to support the youths to be useful to themselves as well as the society.
AdeOluwa said that organic agriculture should also be inculcated into the school curriculum with efforts from the state to the federal level.
“There is the need for the development and implementation of appropriate policies to support organic agriculture in Nigeria.
“We want to scale up ecologically sound strategies and practices among diversified stakeholders through institutional capacity development.
“Also, through scientific innovations, market participation, public policies and programmes, outreach and communication, efficient coordination, networking, partnerships among others.
“Nigerian youths have significant roles to play in organic agriculture as such will ensure job opportunities and contribute a sustainable development across the country.
“To engage youths in organic agriculture can also help address food insecurity and contribute to improving the livelihoods of the stakeholders in the organic agriculture value chain.
“Also, organic farmers will be involved in the practical aspects of the training of the youths in the country,’’ he said.
AdeOluwa said that the organisation would deeply involve the youths in the 2018 National Organic Agriculture Business Summit (NAOBS).
He added that the involvement would help them learn many opportunities that concerned organic farming systems.
According to him, the summit is scheduled for July 10 to 13, and will be taking place in Lagos.
“The summit will serve as a platform for organic agriculture farmers, consumers and interested members of the public to exchange ideas, knowledge and services for job creation,’’ he said.
AdeOluwa said that organic agriculture was managed in a precautionary and responsible manner to protect the health and well-being of current and future generations as well as the environment.
He added that organic agriculture also prevented significant risks by adopting appropriate technologies and rejecting unpredictable ones such as genetic engineering.
He, therefore, said that agriculture farming and consumption decisions should reflect the values and needs of all who were involved.
The country director noted that the Organic Farmers Practitioners (OFPs) were working towards creating shops allocated for organic products in some food stuff popular markets.
He said that the shops would be establishing at mile 12 market in Lagos, adding that the effort would create easy access for organic produce.