The Chairman, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB)’s Organic Agriculture Project in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria (OAPTIN) Working Group, Prof. Victor Olowe, has confirmed increased awareness in Organic Agriculture in the country.
Professor Olowe disclosed this at the Closing Ceremony of the 2nd International Summer School on Organic Agriculture, held in the University.
He said a similar exercise was held in the University in 2010 with nine participants drawn from all over the country.
According to him, “there has been an improvement in the enrolment, with 14 participants for this year’s Summer School.
The Chairman disclosed that participants were from the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State; Yaba College of Technology, Lagos State; University of Agriculture, Makurdi and Ghana.
He stated further that the participants were trained in organic crop, livestock production and trade, adding that Certificate of Attendance was awarded to each participant.
He, however, made case for massive advocacy on organic agriculture, noting that people should always eat foods produced without the aid of chemicals.
In a chat with FUNAAB Bulletin, the Governor of the Summer Class, Mr. Forson John, from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Kpando, Volta Region, Ghana, described the University’s environment as “wonderful”.
According to him, “the summer school is outstanding and that the knowledge I garnered about organic agriculture has increased tremendously”.
He disclosed his intention to secure a plot of land in the University, as a Demonstration Secondary School (UDSS), to begin an organic farm.
He cautioned against the health hazards, resulting from long-term accumulation of consumed inorganic foods.
Miss Ohaeri Jecinta from the National Biotechnology Development Agency, Lugbe, Abuja, stated that she had procured some seeds to start with, when she gets back to her base.
“My intention is to write a proposal to request for lands in Abuja to plant these seeds to test-run Organic Agriculture”. She noted: “my coming here is not in vain as I have learnt much”.
Mr. Olayemi Wasiu, an Alumnus of FUNAAB and a Lecturer in the Agricultural Technology Department, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos State, stated that the benefits of the Summer School was tremendous.
“We were taught how to raise animals without using any form of synthetics and also not to use antibiotics, unless extremely necessary”, he noted.
He said he would start practicing organic agriculture with vegetables as subsistence before proceeding on commercial scale, when he might have fully mastered the skills.
The Chief Whip of the Class, Mr. Nwoye Ibezimako, MD/CEO of Greenhouse Farms, Emene Enugu, a graduate of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi, said he had improved on his skills and knowledge, noting that his knowledge of organic agriculture had been simplified.
Organisers of the Summer School included Dr. Jonathan Atungwu, who is the Course Coordinator; Mrs. Joseph-Adekunle T.T, the Course Secretary with Dr. (Mrs.) Florence Olowookere and Mr. Taiwo Adedokun as members.