Mr Ernest Aubee, the Chairman Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) Regional Steering Committee, ECOWAS Commission, on Thursday said that Organic Agriculture is generating lots of resources globally.
Aubee said this in Abuja during a two-day national stakeholders meeting on reporting achievements of EOA in Nigeria to the government and national stakeholders.
“ECOWAS Commission is promoting Organic Agriculture in West Africa.
“We, as a region want to benefit from the high turnover in terms of resources so that our farmers can also benefit,” the chairman said.
He said that Organic Agriculture is the best way to adopt because it is promoting sound health for the people in West Africa in terms of protecting the environment and enhancing livelihoods.
Aubee said that most people were used to conventional agriculture, as such it would take a long time to convince them on Organic Agriculture which he said was one of the major challenges experienced in the practice.
He said that Organic Agriculture is a specilised way of farming which requires certain standards, regulations and laws.
“A number of our countries in the ECOWAS region are working hard to have those laws, regulations and standards.
“The ECOWAS Commission is supporting them in the development of the standards,” Aubee said.
He said that for Organic Agriculture to thrive in the region, the emphasis should be on the small farmers.
“ECOWAS has projects in all the 15-member states to support Organic Agriculture.
“We also support various research activities so that the technology that is developed meets the requirements of the small farmers,” Aubee said.
The Executive Secretary, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN) Prof. Garba Sharabutu, while welcoming participants, said the council is in the vanguard of promoting Organic Agriculture in Nigeria.
Sharabutu was represented by the Director, Plant Resources Department, ARCN, Dr Oluwafemi Salako.
He said that the stakeholders meeting was to report developments of Organic Agriculture in Nigeria with a view to see how it can be enhanced and enlarged to ensure food security.
“We want to see how this meeting will better the life of every Nigerian,” Sharabutu said.
The Country Coordinator EOA Initiative in Nigeria, Dr Olugbenga Adeoluwa commended all stakeholders at the meeting for their efforts to enhance Organic Agriculture in the country.
Adeoluwa said that the Ministry of Agriculture is working effortlessly to put up the draft policy on Organic Agriculture assuring that it will be approved very soon by the executive arm of government.
“We do hope that when this policy is out, Nigerians should be able to do the Organic Agriculture business well,” he said.
Mr Salimonu Oladipo, a farmer from Oyo state applauded the practice of Organic Agriculture describing it as the best way of farming.
“Organic Agriculture is very profitable and sustainable, at least I have been practicing it for the past 10 years,” Oladipo said.
He urged the Federal Government to urgently roll out a policy supporting Organic Agriculture practices, as soon as possible.
The ECOWAS Commission, in the framework of the project Organized Crime: West African Response on Cybersecurity and fight against Cybercrime” (OCWAR-C) and in collaboration with the Council of Europe and INTERPOL, held a training of trainers workshop on E- Evidence and First Responders in Praia, Cape Verde, July 25-29, 2022.
Reliance on information and communications technology is more pervasive in society, with increased use of personal devices across the region.
This has necessitated the need for law enforcement entities to develop the necessary capabilities to ensure that the efficient investigation and handling of digital evidence is carried out to appropriate standards.
In her opening remarks, Ms. Folake Olagunju Senior Program Officer Internet, Cybersecurity and Electronic Applications at the ECOWAS Commission on behalf of Mr. Sediko Douka, Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Digitization, underlined the importance of having a coordinated approach and towards a more secure ECOWAS cyberspace.
She highlighted the need for participants to share their national perspectives and experiences, as this was an opportunity to build bridges and lay the groundwork for cooperation regarding future partnerships.
Although she wanted the training to be interactive, she ended up emphasizing the need to build human capacity in a consistent and harmonized manner throughout the region.
The deputy head of the EU delegation in Cape Verde, Ignacio Sobrino Castello, recalled the objectives of the OCWAR-C project, which is to support the strengthening of the cyberspace of the beneficiary countries and the capacities in the fight against cybercrime.
He spoke about the EU's ongoing developments in Cape Verde on cybersecurity and on the fight against cybercrime and on the digital economy in general.
He highlighted the need to improve cooperation between ECOWAS member states and the ECOWAS commission and international partners.
He ended by encouraging everyone's active participation.
On behalf of the Secretary of State for the Digital Economy of Cape Verde, Mr. Joel Almeida, Advisor to the Secretary, welcomed all participants to Cape Verde and reaffirmed Cape Verde's commitment to play its role in the cyber ecosystem of the region.
He indicated that Cape Verde's national cybersecurity strategy contains concrete implementation actions that are in line with the ECOWAS regional cyber strategy adopted in 2021.
He also stated that the national cybersecurity center and the CSIRT-CV are underway.
Finally, he praised the organization of the upcoming first ECOWAS Hackerlab Regional Challenge scheduled to be held on October 10-12, 2022 as a great opportunity to bring the community together to spark interest in the current challenges of keeping our region cyber-secure and as a means to find young talent who are ready to be the next generation of skilled cybersecurity workers.
Prior to the face-to-face training workshop, which consisted of advising and understanding the contents and principles of electronic evidence collection for first responders, participants participated in a short three-week private online course to equip them with the knowledge and skills to design and evaluate learner-focused training following INTERPOL training standards.
The week-long training program built the capacity of law enforcement representatives from Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
The OCWAR-C project is funded by the European Union and the objectives are to improve the resilience and robustness of the information infrastructure in the Member States; increase the capacities of the relevant stakeholders in the Member States in charge of fighting cybercrime.