Following the high level of ecological degradation and biodiversity crises in Nigeria, experts have urged farmers to embrace organic farming and agroecology to produce a variety of food that would nourish the consumers and sustain the planet.
The Director of Programmes, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Joyce Brown during a practical training on AgroEcology for farmers in Afaha Nkan, Ikono Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State
advised farmers to promote agricultural production systems that involve natural processes even as she
gave them insight about the dangers of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
Brown noted that the organisation has been campaigning against GMOs-which is scientifically introduced into food crops saying that it is artificial and harmful to human beings.
She also expressed concern over farmers’ over dependence on synthetic products such as fertilizer and pesticides in farming, explained that agroecology which involves mix cropping reduces pest attacks and promote healthy environment.
She said, “This training is organized to equip our farmers with the practical knowledge to practice agroecology to produce food not just in adequate quantity but quality enough to nourish the consumers. We see how farmers are heavily dependent on inorganic pesticides which is compounding the health problems and causing soil degradation.
“We campaign against GMOs because of implications it has on our health and environment. We call on farmers to embrace organic farming and avoid hazardous pesticides. We want them to engage in mix cropping as it reduces pest attack. Farmers can make organic fertilizer and bio pesticides with chilly, cow urine with no side effects, they can make organic fertilizers and stop the use of inorganic fertilizer that can cause effects on our soil and human beings.”
Also speaking, the Farm Manager Operations, Be the Help Foundation, Chukwu Agozirim stressed that foods people consume have residue of chemicals in them which when consumed attacks the health and reduces lifespan of people.
He noted that to eliminate this problem, farmers must embrace organic farming where they will not need chemical pesticides or fertilizer to enhance their crop yields.
“There is every need to live healthy and we can only achieve that through the food we eat. Foods grown with inorganic fertilizers have some damaging effects to the body because the residue of chemicals in them when consumed affect the health and shortens the life span. So we have to introduce organic farming so that we grow our foods organically and increase the fertility of the soil, farm produce and mitigate the issue of climate change.”
Agozirim while advising local farmers to embrace organic farming appealed to the Federal government to ban the importation and use of some harmful chemical pesticides even as he commended HOMEF for taking the step to train farmers on proper farming.
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