Dr. Valetin Kindomihou (Left), during the presentation of his paper to the University community

Dr. Valetin Kindomihou (Left), during the presentation of his paper to the University community

A don from the Universite d’ Abomey – Calavi, Benin Republic, Dr. Valetin Kindomihou, has advocated for the formulation of enabling policies on Organic Agriculture as panacea to the problems of food security.

Dr. Kindomihou made this call while presenting a Paper titled “Contribution of Organic Agriculture to Food Security in Benin Republic”.

According to the Associate Professor, Republic of Benin has a population of about 9 million out of which 50 percent is less than 15 years of age with a life expectancy of 56 years.

He said farming is their predominant occupation in the country but berated its agricultural policies which tend to promote conventional practises, involving the use of synthetic chemical and pesticides with little consideration for their environmental hazards; which include decrease in vision, nervous breakdown, skin diseases, food intoxication and death.

Dr. Kindomihou pointed out that through the activities of some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Organic Agriculture started in Benin, in 1990, as an alternative to managing the consequences of conventional agriculture and that
about 20 structures were currently involved in promoting the use of certified and non-certified synthetic chemical products in the country.

Dr. Kindomihou called on governments and other stakeholders to take advantage of existing opportunities to boost their economy by formulating policies which would promote the research and production of Organic Agriculture in West Africa and also explore the abundant international markets for bio-products.

He enumerated some constraints which had affected the development of Organic Agriculture to include; ignorance of the advantages of bio-products, poverty, financial incapacity of local consumers and the absence of clear policies when compared with conventional agriculture.

Others include time and energy wastage and the inability to produce the quantity of required food by end-users.