NGO trains 300 farmers on organic agric in FCT

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NGO trains 300 farmers on organic agric in FCT

Photo: Nanono, Nigeria’s Agric Minister

An NGO, Women Environmental Programme, has trained about 300 women and young farmers on organic pesticide and fertiliser production to enhance productivity in the FCT.

The programme had, as its theme: “Controlling Chemical Fertilisers and Pesticides Use through Organic Farming.’’

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Addressing participants at the one-day-training in Abuja on Friday, National President of WEP, Dr Pricilla Achakpa, said that the programme was supported by Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP), implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

She said that WEP was implementing the project in Dobi and Pagdana communities in Gwagwalada Area Council, FCT.

According to her, the workshop was aimed at improving human and environmental health by contributing to reduction in the use and release or emission of hazardous chemicals into the environment.

She said that WEP decided to organise the workshop in order to share some of the lessons learnt from implementing the project.

“The essence of the workshop is to share experiences gained in promoting organic agriculture, specifically on simple methods of producing organic fertilisers and pesticides.

“Here in the FCT, we work with these communities and we strongly believe that with the demonstration of what they will be shown today, they will gain experience on better methods of producing organic fertilisers and pesticides.

“Whatever you grow, using organic fertiliser is healthier than when you use chemicals, because chemicals can shorten our lifespan.

“That is why WEP is preaching so much on creating awareness about organic fertiliser rather than chemical fertiliser.

“The criteria for selecting communities go down to the fact that we do need assessment and we prioritise them.

“We don’t just enter into a community. When we choose a community, we make sure that we assess their needs and we prioritise them.

“Apart from prioritising them, we also look for the communities that are interested in what we are doing, and from the way the community leaders have welcomed us, we will be able to know that they are have interest.

“We prioritised these communities and these are the first two communities that their leaders were open and they wanted to work with us, especially on organic agriculture and how we intend to empower their people economically and otherwise,’’ she said.

Achakpa said that Nigeria was capable of solving the problem of mass production of organic fertilisers and pesticides, adding that it had the resources available.

She said that the country’s solid waste could be converted and used in farms rather than using chemicals that would destroy the farmlands and cause damage to body system.

The national president said that WEP had provided seedlings to the farmers to encourage them and enhance their production.

She thanked GEF and UNDP for their support for the programme.

Executive Director, WEP, Mrs Anne-Marie Abaagu, said that the organisation was a non-governmental, non-profit, non-religious and voluntary body aiming to promote and protecte the environmental, economic and political rights of women, children and youths.

Abaagu, however, urged the participants to pay more attention to the training to enable them acquire better knowledge and be in better stead to train other people in the area.

A farmer from Dobi community, Mallam Ishaku Danladi, who spoke on behalf of the participants, thanked WEP for the training, saying that it would enhance their productivity.

Danladi, who said that the organisation started the training Nov. 2020 in the community, added that the training focused on how to make better use of organic fertilisers and pesticides.

“After training us, they demonstrated it on our farms and when some of the participants tried it, they saw results, because the insects attacking our crops disappeared.

“We also use the pesticides we produced to preserve our harvested crops. We prefer these organic pesticides because they do not contain any harmful chemical.

“We are still urging them to continue to do more for us because this programme is healthy,’’ he said.

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