ECOWAS empowers smallholder farmers with technologies to boost organic farming

By Fatima Saka

The Head of Agriculture Division at the ECOWAS Commission, Ernest Aubee, has said that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is empowering smallholder farmers in the region with technologies on organic farming.

Aubee made this known on Tuesday in Abuja, at the National Stakeholders Meeting of Ecological Organic Agriculture.

He stated that organic agriculture requires standards and regulations and the ECOWAS is assisting member states to develop those standards.

“ECOWAS Commission is promoting organic agriculture in West Africa because organic agriculture is the right way to go in terms of improving the health of the people of West Africa, in terms of protecting the environment and also in terms of enhancing livelihood, because it is generating lots of resources globally.

“Organic agriculture is a specialised way of farming, and it requires certain standards, regulations and laws and a number of our countries in the ECOWAS region are working very hard to have those laws, regulations and standards, and the ECOWAS Commission is assisting them in developing those standards.

“For organic agriculture to thrive, the emphasis should be on smallholder farmers, and in this regard, from the ECOWAS Commission perspective, we have projects in all the 15 member states to support organic agriculture.

“We are supporting various research activities so that the technologies that are developed for organic agriculture meet the requirements of the smallholder farmers”, he said.

Also, Olugbenga Adeoluwa, the Country Coordinator of Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) initiative in Nigeria, said the focus of EOA is how to mainstream organic agriculture into the policy of the government.

He further stated that the adoption of organic farming would enhance Nigeria’s opportunity in joining food-exporting countries, thereby generating revenue for the country and improving the lives of rural farmers.

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