The Abundance of Hope Initiative, a Non-Governmental Organisation, on Monday in Abuja, emphasised the need to promote organic farming in Nigeria.

The Executive Director of the organisation, Mr Taiye Sasona, told newsmen that the call became necessary to embrace the rapidly changing farming practices globally.

Sasona commended the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Nigeria, for launching three million dollars grant to assist companies in food value chain in the country.

“USAID recently launched a COVID-19 Food Security Challenge that will provide three million dollars grant and technical assistance to youth-led and mid-stage companies working in the food value chains in Nigeria.

“The assistance encourages private sector-led solutions to boost food production, processing and create market linkage along the agriculture value chain in a sustainable way across Nigeria,” USAID Mission Director Anne Patterson had said.

Sasona, however, advocated that the support which targeted to help innovative Nigerians alleviate food insecurity should promote organic farming.

“There are steps towards good agricultural practice and that ends with organic farming.

“It is not just for them to bring in innovations; there are rules they observe in developed countries where they are coming from.

“Germany for example, it is an offence for any farmer to come and produce through conventional means.

“So, if they are coming to Nigeria to assist us get out of food insecurity, they must also come with the mind to help us to move to that level,’’ he said.

Sasona criticized Nigerians’ low acceptance of organic commodities.

“The rate at which Nigerians accept organic commodities here is still very low.

“So, I will urge them to use this opportunity to promote more organic commodities because they cannot consume that back home where they are coming from.

“As they are coming to help us they should help promote that.

“The pandemic has disrupted already fragile agricultural value chains in Nigeria, especially smallholder farmers’ ability to produce, process, and distribute food.

“So, we must leverage the support to maintain and improve fertility, soil structure and biodiversity and erosion.

“It is equally important in reducing the risks of human, animal and environmental exposure to toxic materials,’’ Sasona said.

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