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Farmers Empowerment: HOMEF Promotes Agroecology Practices

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Farmers Empowerment: HOMEF Promotes Agroecology Practices

By Oke-Oghene Orogun, Benin City

In its bid to revolutionize farming practices, tackle food insecurity, and promote organic and sustainable agricultural practices, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) has organized a one-day training program for farmers in Gelegele Community in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State.

Renowned for its fishing and farming prowess, Gelegele has become a focal point for this transformative initiative following complaints by farmers of low yield occasioned by contaminated soil resulting from years of oil exploration and exploitation.

HOMEF’s Director of Programmes, Joyce Brown, passionately addressed the detrimental impacts of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) seeds and Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) on farmers’ livelihoods and food security. She emphasized the urgent need to embrace agroecology and organic fertilizers to safeguard both farmers’ health and the environment.

“Through this training, farmers will learn innovative techniques to maintain healthy soil, control pests naturally, and boost crop yields without resorting to harmful chemicals. By taking control of their agricultural practices, the community hopes to create a healthier and more sustainable food system for future generations.”

Leading the instructional session, Chukwu Agozirim, Farm Manager Operations at Be The Help Foundation adeptly demonstrated the use of organic manures, empowering farmers to cultivate sustainably and lift themselves out of poverty. Through simple yet effective farming techniques, he showcased the potential for bountiful harvests without heavy reliance on technology.

According to Chukwu, the training is a beacon of hope for the farmers. Despite the oil contamination, he will teach them how they can still produce healthy food and sustain the community.

Commending the initiative, Comrade Cynthia Bright, Executive Director of Gbolekekno Women Empowerment and Development Organization (GWEDO), highlighted the invaluable support provided by HOMEF and GMO-Free Nigeria. She underscored the program’s significance in overcoming challenges such as gas flaring, which disrupts farming activities, by enabling farmers to produce their organic fertilizers.

With a newfound arsenal of knowledge and techniques, farmers in Gelegele community are poised to embrace sustainable agriculture, paving the way for a brighter, more resilient future.

This was the take-home of Mr Emmanuel Obi, Coordinator of Strangers in Gelegele, and Dorris Temile Tiapriye.

Emmanuel pointed out that this training initiative was aimed at teaching residents natural farming methods to boost crop yields and reduce environmental harm. He also added that the program focused on natural manure production, eliminating the need for chemical-based fertilizers that can have devastating effects on crops and the ecosystem.

According to Doris, the lack of funds was the primary reason for the widespread use of chemicals in farming.
However, with the training, residents have gained a deeper understanding of the risks involved and are now better equipped to make informed decisions about their farming practices.

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