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.
By Ebere Agozie
The Head of the Agriculture Division of the ECOWAS Commission, Abuja, Mr. Ernest Aubee, said Nigeria was the leader in promoting organic agriculture in the African region of the 'Where is.
Aubee said this in her closing remarks at the cocktail party on the activities of the Reporting Back Achievements of Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) Initiative in Nigeria for the years 2014-2020 and the awards ceremony, at Abuja.
He said Nigeria's efforts in organic farming were commendable and timely as they came at a time when people were paying attention to what they were eating.
“What Nigeria is doing will benefit not only Nigeria as a country but also the 14 other ECOWAS member states, and we hope member states will monitor your progress so far," he said. .
Aubee, also Chairman of the EOA West Africa Regional Steering Committee, said EOA has been given a prominent place in the ECOWAS Commission, so she is leading the initiative. of organic farming for the benefit of the region.
“We need to look for the best way to integrate organic farming into every sector of the economy, to encourage and promote its sustainability in the region,” he said.
Aubee urged other ECOWAS member states to immediately start working on how best to ensure the integration of organic farming into their lives.
The event brought together representatives of the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Trade, Industry and Investments.
Also in attendance were the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), the National Universities Commission (NUC), the National Council for Technical Education (NBTE), NAFDAC and the partners of the EOA initiative in Nigeria.
Previously, Dr Olugbenga AdeOluwa, the National EOA Coordinator in Nigeria, reported that the Initiative had the support of African Heads of State Decision EX.CL/Dec.621 (XVII) 2020 on Agriculture biological, and that Nigeria had been part of the EOA Process since 2011.
Mr. Oyewole Gbadamosi, the project leader, while reporting on the achievements of EOA, said the goal was to integrate EOA into national agricultural production systems by 2025, with a view to improve the quality of life of African citizens.
“An organic crop and livestock research database has been produced and distributed to strategic institutional libraries in Nigeria; to fill the gaps in biological research in the country.
“It has also supported the production of the current revised version of the organic farming standards in Nigeria.
“The initiative has successfully supported one doctoral program, while support for another is ongoing.
“We also supported eight master's studies and the publication of seven research articles in an international journal.
“The curriculum for a comprehensive program on organic farming technology (OAT) in agricultural colleges has been developed.
"The material is ready to be submitted to pre-review and national validation workshops, before being absorbed by colleges, after approval by the National Council for Technical Education," he said.
The project manager also noted that intensive awareness raising on the benefits of organic farming was being promoted by the Initiative.
“We have done a lot of intensive awareness raising on the benefits of organic farming with the production of a lot of information and educational material on organic farming in English and in different indigenous languages of the country.
“We have over 27 printed publications covering different aspects of organic farming.
“We produced both print and video material on organic animal production (posted on YouTube https://youtu.be/EOrlsk4K0aE, https://youtu.be/F5IsrrbilH4 and https://youtu.be / 0LX9GXhP7Qg) to increase organic animal production in the country.
“We also produced audiovisual jingles on the benefits of organic farming in four languages; English, Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa, to educate consumers in the country, ”he said.
Gbadamosi said the capacity of more than 450 stakeholders has been strengthened to undertake inspections under the participatory guarantee system of certification and general organic farming issues.
“250 extension agents in the 36 states and in Abuja have been trained on the basics of organic farming, the concept of innovation platforms and its functioning and the operationalization of innovation platforms in organic farming to stimulate organic farming markets in Nigeria.
“We have supported the production of the first project of 'Organic farming standards in West Africa'. This material has been submitted to the West Africa Regional Secretariat for further input.
“We have hosted an Agricultural Business Summit, an annual exhibition of organic farming products, products and services in Nigeria since 2016.
"We also launched OrganiCulture, a journal of organic farming companies, to promote the development of organic farming businesses in the country and the national organic farming award," he added.
Highlights of the event included the presentation of the 2020 National Organic Business Summit Award to Ms. Ebere Agozie, of the (NAN), as the 2020 Organic Advocacy and Media Personality.
The other award winners were Ms. Udeme Udoya of Ikot Ekpene Women Food Cash Crops Multifunctional Co-operative Society, as Organic Farmer of the Year, and Akwa Ibom State, as Organic State Government of the year. (NOPE)(NAN)
The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to invest in the irrigation sub-sector to achieve sufficient food security.
The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, disclosed this on Thursday in Enugu during the South East Regional Workshop on Establishment/Strengthening of Water Users Association for Management of Public Irrigation Schemes.
Adamu also said that the irrigation sub-sector was one of the key policy thrusts to help the Federal Government to lift 100million Nigerians out of poverty by the year 2030.
He said the Federal Government had resolved to massively invest in the sector to achieve food and water sufficiency by moving from drought-prone, rain-fed agriculture to irrigated agriculture for self-sufficiency.
“This is the first in the series of workshops planned to establish or strengthen water users of public irrigation schemes for effective and efficient management of the schemes.
“The current administration is committed to increasing food production through irrigated agriculture and ensuring greater efficiency and equity in the distribution and use of these resources for the well-being of Nigerians,” he said.
Adamu said that the Water Bill was being presented to the National Assembly (NASS) to address various issues in the water sector.
“We are aware that it has been misunderstood. However, it is clear that the bill is not with any negative intension but to promote sustainable integrated water resources management nationwide,” Adamu said.
Also, the Ebonyi State Commissioner for Water Resources, Chief Sunday Inyima, appealed to the Federal Government to reactivate the various irrigation projects in the South East.
He listed the Adani Irrigation Scheme and Ezzamgbo Veterinary Dam, built by the former Premier of Old Eastern Region, Dr. Michael Okpara, as irrigation schemes that needed to be rehabilitated.
The commissioner also appealed to the Federal Government to complete the Ivo Water Project and other abandoned dams attracted by some members of the national assembly to the state.
“It is good to see how we can bring to life these dams that are not working in Ebonyi and other states in the region for the benefits of our farmers,” he said.
He commended the Federal Government for its policies in the sector which he said had impacted positively on rice farmers in Ebonyi.
“Nature blessed our rice and the farmers are doing better today,” Inyima said.
Mr Gerald Osuagwu, the Managing Director, Anambra Imo River Basin Development Authority, said that the South East needed efficient irrigation practices due to scarcity of land.
“We are relevant to the farmers only if we are able to provide them the needed extension services that will enhance their productivity, including the provision of adequate water for irrigation,” he said.
The Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) initiative in Nigeria has urged the Federal Government to include Organic Agriculture in its investment plans in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
This is contained in a communiqué signed by Dr Olugbenga AdeOluwa, Country Coordinator, Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) Initiative in Nigeria and Mrs Edeme Ndonya, Chairperson, NOABS Local Organising Committee.
The issues raised in the communiqué were reached at the just concluded 2020 National Organic Agriculture Business Summit (NOABS) held at Akwa-Ibom with the theme `Harnessing the Potential of Organic Agriculture for National Development’.
The initiative, which appreciated government investment in organic agriculture related issues in the country, maintained that the level of investment was still low in relation to the size of the country.
The stakeholders resolved that the level of understanding of business based organic agriculture principles and practices and trade (domestic and export) were low in Nigeria.
“The activities of Organic Agriculture within relevant governmental MDAs for policy formulation and implementation are still at the low level.
“There is a huge technical knowledge gap on organic agriculture production system for export in the country and extension services to facilitate it, needs to be in place.
“The understanding of the required procedures for certification of organic produce and products for both domestic and export trade is still low and extremely limited, enabling environment for organic agriculture business development in the country should be encouraged.
“Also, that there is the need for a holistic engagement of youths and women in organic agriculture for meaningful economic participation,’’ it noted.
EOA stressed the need to encourage increase in organic market shares in terms of produce, products and services from Nigeria at the global market.
“There should be proper funding of the annual National Organic Agriculture Business Summit in order to extend its benefits to more stakeholders; thereby contributing to national development.
“Efforts should be made to mainstream organic agriculture into existing curricula for agricultural training at higher educational institutions in Nigeria, especially, the university system’’.
It recalled that Nigeria subscribed to the Sustainable Development Goals; specifically on Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-being, Gender Equality and Responsible Consumption and Production being goals two, three, five and 12 respectively.
It noted that the Sustainable Development Goals were relevant to Organic Agriculture.
The initiative wondered why the export value in Organic Agriculture in Nigeria was much lower, compared to its neighbouring countries that are smaller in land size and population.
It frowned at the paucity of scientific evidences to support Organic Agriculture in Nigeria, especially for exportable produce and products.
It also urged all tiers of government in Nigeria to fully explore opportunities in the African Heads of States and Governments’ Decision on Organic Farming 2010.
“The apex educational bodies in Nigeria, National Universities Commission (NUC) and National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) should urgently mainstream Organic Agriculture into academic curricula and support the process of Organic farming development in the country.
“Private initiative in the country like Nigeria Go Organic Project and others providing training in Organic Agriculture should also intensify efforts to train more stakeholders in the sector.
“Appropriate government agencies should urgently mainstream organic farming into their activities and provide sustainable solutions to development of locally adaptable appropriate Organic Agriculture inputs.
`These include, fertilisers, insecticides, herbicides, growth promoters, feeds, drugs, machinery, etc. that can enhance productivity of organic farming in the country at competitive costs’’.
It called for Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TetFund), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Central Bank of Nigeria, Bank of Agriculture (BoA), Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL Plc.), the Bank of Industry and other private financial institutions to give priority to Organic farming.
“Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, Trade, Industry and Investments, Health, Environment as well as parastatals like Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), National Orientation Agency (NOA), etc. should mainstream Organic farming into their operations and activities.
“Also, all private stakeholders should be encouraged to join the Organic Association in order to ensure proper grassroots development and appropriate coordination of the sector.
“Agricultural enterprises by relevant governmental and private stakeholders are required to uphold the integrity of the Organic Agriculture sector of the country’’.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that about 90 participants gathered both physically and virtually for the 5th edition of the summit, representing organic agriculture stakeholders from across the world.
The participants were from the six geo-political zones of Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Kenya and South Africa, Switzerland and Germany.
The attendance represented circle of enthusiasts in Organic Agricultural input supply, crop production, processing, packaging and consumers.
Also represented were government organisations related to agriculture, education (research and higher educational institutions) as well as trade.
Edited By: Lydia Beshel
A coalition of youth groups in Enugu State declared on Monday that the Nigeria Police Force would do a better job if it was reformed and decentralised.
The leader, Dr. Mkginger Ibeneme, said in Enugu on Monday at a rally demanding for the scrapping of the Federal Special Robbery Squad (FSARS) that youths in the state had had their fair share of SARS brutality.
He said that beyond the on-going peaceful protests to end police brutality, “Nigerians need good governance, good medical care, while education should be accessible to all. We demand for accountability from our leaders.’’
Ibeneme said youths in Enugu State would organise candle light processions in honour of victims of SARS brutality on Oct. 20 and Oct. 21 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium and also at the Michael Okpara Square, both in Enugu.
Edited By: Alli Hakeem
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says residents of Enugu State are actively participating in its crusade against corruption.
The State Commissioner of the ICPC in Enugu, Mr Amedu Sule, stated this on Monday in Enugu during a meeting in honour of students from the state that won prizes in the ICPC 20th Anniversary Essay Competition.
Sule said that the people in the local areas were volunteering information about corrupt practices in their localities.
According to him, the situation has led to an increase in the number of petitions that the commission was investigating.
He described the prevailing circumstance as a good omen, adding: “It shows that our awareness campaigns and public enlightenment activities are gaining grounds.”
Sule said that the past 20 years had been eventful in the commission and that progress had been made in the fight against corruption.
He said that most of the reforms that had brought transparency in the public service were the brainchild of the commission.
“We may not be where we want to be, but we are getting there.
“In Enugu State, our efforts are yielding positive results. The people are getting involved in the crusade against corruption and this has reflected in the number of petitions we receive,” he said.
The ICPC commissioner said that the commission, as part of activities to celebrate the 20th anniversary essay competition, initiated an essay competition among junior and senior secondary school students.
According to him, the aim is to get the young ones involved in the fight against corruption.
He said that the essay competition was part of the commission’s `catch them young’ programme.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the commission has formed anti-corruption clubs in secondary schools in order to get the young ones informed on issues of corruption.
Sule said that it was gratifying that of the thousands of students that entered for the competition, two out of the three students that won prizes in the senior category are from schools in Enugu State.
NAN reports that while the overall winner in the senior category, Matilda Daniels of Topgrade Secondary School, Surulere, Lagos State, was in Abuja to receive her prize, the second best, as well as second runner-up were being hosted in the ICPC office in the state.
The two students are Amamchukwu Uzoigwe of New Creation Secondary School, Nsukka, Enugu State, who emerged second best and Jerry Edeani of Air Force Comprehensive School, Agbani, Enugu State, who emerged second runner-up.
In separate interviews, the two students attributed their success in the competition to hard work and dedication to duty.
NAN reports that the topic for the junior category was ‘How to end the Menace of Examination Malpractice’, while that of the senior category was ‘The Role of the Youth in the Fight against Corruption’.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Idonije Obakhedo
The Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA) has appealed to the Federal Government to accommodate the development of its trade fair complex in the 2021 budget.
The Chairman, ECCIMA Board of Trustees of the chamber, Chief Rob Anwatu made the appeal on Tuesday in Enugu while addressing a delegation from the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
Anwatu, a former president of the chamber, said that it was not fair that the development of the permanent site of the ECCIMA trade fair complex had stalled, while its peers in other regions had been fully developed.
“We have consistently made this request for the past 30 years that Enugu International Trade Fair complex should receive the same attention in terms of infrastructural development as those in Lagos, Kaduna and lately Kano.
He said that work at the complex was abandoned after the Federal Government had completed the perimeter fence.
He said that further development in the complex had been through self-help.
“We are convinced that it is only fair and proper that the complex receives similar attention as the one ones in other regions,” he said.
He said Enugu International Trade Fair served the entire Southeast and South South regions.
He said that the complex needed a 1000 square metres pavilion, 1000 square metres administrative building and 1500 square metres indoor exhibition hall.
“We are not asking for too much as this is nothing compared to what the Federal Government has done in Kaduna and Lagos and lately Kano,” he said.
Anwatu said that ECCIMA was not unmindful of the economic situation in the country, “and that is why our request is modest.
“With these facilities on ground, any discussion with regard to the use of Public Private Partnership to develop the complex will be more acceptable to investors,” he said.
He said that the visit was the first by a delegation from the ministry to the organised private sector in the state.
Responding, the Director of Trade, Alhaji Dauda Mohammed, said that the development of the ECCIMA trade fair complex was at the heart of the ministry.
Mohammed said that work would soon start in the complex, adding that it would no longer be business as usual.
The leader of the delegation said that their hope was to include continuation of work in the complex in the 2021 national budget.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the visit of the ministry officials will feature a tour of the trade fair complex, tour of industries in Enugu as well as interaction with captains of industries in the state.
Edited By: Grace Yussuf
The All Progressives Congress (APC), in Udi/Agbudu Ward, Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State, says Chief Flavour Eze, Personal Assistant to Foreign Affairs minister Geoffrey Onyeama remains bonafide member of the party.
The Ward Chairman, Mr Petrus Chime, disclosed this on Sunday while briefing newsmen on a reported suspension of Eze by the leadership of the party at the local government level.
The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that some members of the party in Udi Local Government Area, led by Mr Osita Igwe had on Sept. 11, announced the suspension of Eze, although no reason was given for the action.
However, Chime said that the news of the purported suspension came to the party members in Udi/Agbudu Ward where Eze belongs as a shock.
He said that the position of the APC constitution on issues of suspension and discipline of party members was clear.
According to him, the process of suspending a party member starts at the ward level and not the local government level.
“The process of suspension of a party member starts from the ward level. Eze is still our member in regular standing,” he said.
He described those that pronounced the suspension of Eze as a pressure group seeking for relevance in the party and urged members of the party to discountenance the purported suspension.
Meanwhile, one of the alleged signatories to the suspension of the minister’s aide, Mr Augustine Umeh, has denied knowledge of the purported suspension.
Umeh said that he was shocked to see his name on the list, adding that he never signed up for the purported suspension, adding that what was playing out was power play.
Also, the APC chairman in Abor Ward, Mr Chinedum Ukwu, said that Igwe, the chairman of the party in Udi Local Government Area was suspended by his ward.
Ukwu, however, said that the suspension was awaiting ratification by the party at the local government level.
“Igwe belongs to my ward and we had already suspended him for anti-party activities.
“We are surprised that the same person we suspended gathered some members of his group to pronounce Eze’s suspension.
“The party at the local government is in receipt of our correspondence relating to his suspension,” he said.
When contacted, Igwe said that he was not on suspension and that the local government’s decision was binding.
“Do not listen to those people. Nobody suspended me,” Igwe said.
Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Donald Ugwu
Rev Christopher Edeh, the Archbishop of Enugu Diocese, Methodist Church, Nigeria, says Nigeria will witness better progress, growth and patriotism by learning from past mistakes.
Edeh said this in a Sunday sermon during the 20th Anniversary of the Central Methodist Church, Enugu.
The clergy said that the major problem of the present day Nigeria was lack of basic knowledge of the evolution of the country as well as its various stages of nationhood by young Nigerians.
He said it was sad that most secondary schools in the country do not teach history as a subject and called for the reinstatement of the history in all secondary schools.
Edeh said that there would be less mistakes in the country when Nigerians remember their past.
“If we remember our mistakes and the pains of the past, we can then say ‘never again,” he said.
The clergy said that most Nigerians were complaining about the current economic situation of the country as if that was the first time they were faced with such challenges.
On the anniversary, Edeh said that the essence was to remember the mercies of God in the circuit.
He commended the circuit under the leadership of Rev. Joel Okorie, and described it as the best in the entire Enugu diocese.
He said that it was gratifying that the Diocese had grown in leaps and bounds.
“Many years ago, many local Churches under the circuit did not have a befitting place of worship, but today, they do.
“Today, we remember those through whom God made it possible for these achievements to happen. We are remembering the pains of our heroes past,” he said.
Edeh said that the celebration would give the circuit the confidence to achieve more in the years ahead.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria , the Chairperson, Anniversary Planning Committee, Mrs Maureen Atuonwu, expressed her delight that the event turned out a huge success.
Atuonwu commended the leadership of the diocese as well as the awardees and friends of the circuit for their goodwill.
NAN reports that the event featured the presentation of ‘Exemplary Leadership Awards’ to deserving friends of the Church, including former Enugu State Gov. Sullivan Chime.
Emmanuel Nwoye and Ephraims Sheyin
The Executive Director of the group, Mrs Miriam Menkiti, made this disclosure during the campaign in Umuchigbo Iji-Nike community in Enugu East Local Government Area of the state.
Menkiti said that the campaign was supported by Actionaide Nigeria and funding from Global Affairs in Canada, adding that men had a great role to play in ending the scourge.
According to her, the overall aim of the project is to protect the rights of women and the girl child.
Menkiti explained that the community dialogue organised under the Women’s Voice and Leadership (WVL) Nigeria Project was meant to advance gender equality.
Also, a resource person at the dialogue, Mr Larry Oguego, encouraged communities in the state to design response systems for rape and other sexual and gender-based violence.
Oguego said that such issues needed to be mainstreamed into community events, especially in the area of safety and security, adding that young boys and girls needed to be properly guided.
He said that violators of the Enugu State Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law 2019 should be made to face the consequences of their actions.
Also, the Chairman, Umuchigbo Iji-Nike community, Mr Kenneth Mbah, thanked the NGO for the enlightenment.
Mbah said that the community would organise a similar dialogue for a larger number of the community members.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Yemi Idris-Aduloju