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Why FG Need To Equip farmers With Adaptable Knowledge To Boost Food Production, HOMEF


Why FG Need To Equip farmers With Adaptable Knowledge To Boost Food Production, HOMEF

Nelson Chidiebere

Health of Mother Earth Foundation(HOMEF) has stated why the Federal Government needs to make frantic efforts to equip farmers with adaptable knowledge to boost food production in the country, saying that it is a way to provide solutions to the economic hardship experienced by most Nigerians.

HOMEF said if Federal Government can leverage the benefits of biofertilizers and Agroecology which according to them are cheaper than exorbitant chemical fertilisers, the cost of food production will reduce.

So it proposed that community farmers should be recognised, supported, and protected, just as they argued that the country has farms and farmers that can produce what can sustain the country and export to derive forex.

Stephen Oduwari, Project Manager of HOMEF, speaking after a one-day farmers’ training on Agroecology and Mangrove Restoration, in Eteo Community in Eleme Council of the State, called on the FG to remediate polluted communities in the Niger Delta region, saying that communities can not produce enough food if their lands continue to be polluted.

Oduwari expressed hope that through the training the foundation will be able to develop a community restoration plan that will bring back the dignity and wellness that the people had been enjoying before the extractive activities that have brought to this current state.

“We are proposing to the government that community farmers should be recognised, supported and protected because the country has the farms and farmers that can produce what can sustain the country and when they start doing all these, there would be enough food.

“To have sessions of practical training with the community on agroecological practices and also that of mangrove restoration. You will recall that the Eteo community is impacted by oil spills that have destroyed their farmlands and mangroves.

“So we are here to teach them how they can remediate their polluted land using agroecology and this is one farm practice that works with nature. It does not take in artificial input. This is a way for them to improve their soil and yield as farmers. And also to work together with them to restore the mangrove ecosystem of the area.”

Also, the general supervisor of Be the Help Foundation(BHF), Iwan Barnabas, said the government should promote training that would help farmers leverage the economy.

He said: “With the knowledge we have given them now, they can be able to produce fertilisers by themselves. And they can do that with the things they have in their houses. They do not need to go out to get chemical fertiliser because the cost of getting it has skyrocketed.

“This will take out the burden of the cost of production. The amount of funds farmers employ in the production of food is high. A bag of chemical fertilizer last year was about N25,000 and I do not know how much it would cost this year given the cost of things already.

“But if a household or community decide to produce their fertilizer and pesticides with what they have, sure they will make more profits because the burden of the cost of production would be reduced.”

However, some participants told our reporter that the training was a golden opportunity for them, saying they would pass the knowledge down to students to woo them to practice agriculture.

“This is a golden opportunity for us. Even the new method of farming called agroecology, broadened my knowledge about farming basically. The aspect of bio-fertilisers is what we are most thankful for. We have plans to organise a student training so we can pass the knowledge to others,” Benard said.

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