Hon. Daniel Asuquo, member, House of Representatives has called on stakeholders to take appropriate steps to harness the untapped potential in organic agriculture.
Asuquo gave the advice on Wednesday at the ongoing 2020 National Organic Agriculture Business Summit in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom with the theme “Harnessing the Potential of Organic Agriculture for National Development’’.
The summit had both physical and virtual participants from Nigeria and other African countries.
He noted that organic agriculture in Nigeria was still at the infant stage despite increasing awareness of opportunities in the sector at the global and national levels.
The legislator enumerated some of the challenges faced by organic agriculture practitioners to include lack of understanding of its principles and practices.
“Others are poorly developed value chains for organic agricultural enterprises and poor understanding of business opportunities derivable from organic agriculture,” he said.
Asuquo said that lack of technical knowledge on organic production was another challenge.
He noted that certification was a major limitation of organic agriculture development in the country which also required legislation.
“Certification in organic agriculture guides against counterfeit and poor quality products that can hinder the development of organic agriculture in our country.
“This is one area where I will use my position as a member of the House of Representatives to pursue in order to contribute towards harnessing the potential of organic agriculture,” Asuquo said.
Mr Ernest Aubee, Head of Agriculture Division, ECOWAS Commission in his speech, said that ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement of People, Goods and Services should be followed for free movement of organic agriculture.
Dr Gbemenou Gnonlonfin, Programmme Design Specialist, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations called for the use of Agroecology.
Gnonlonfin said Agroecology would help manage interactions between plants, animals, humans and the environment for food security and nutrition saying it was a good alternative for food security in Africa.
He said FAO recognised the importance of farmers managing human and natural capital to improve food security, nutrition, and rural development.