Expert urges farmers to embrace organic farming practice

An agricultural expert, Mr Ismail Olawale, has advised farmers in the country to embrace organic farming practices because of its benefits to human health and soil fertility.

Olawale, a fellow at the National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS) made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Thursday in Lagos.

The expert noted that organic farming practice was possible both on large and small scale, if the country’s farming systems are restructured.

“To encourage more farmers in the practice of organic farming we need to restructure our farming systems and prioritize crop cultivation that is beneficial to human health as well as the farmers’ pockets.

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“The basic argument of inorganic farming practices and the excessive use of fertilizers in crop cultivation is centered on the quest to increase productivity.

“For farmers who are all out for profits alone, the systematic requirements of organic farming will not work for them.

“Hence the need to encourage and sensitise more farmers on non-artificial and natural farming practices.

“Organic farming either in large scale or small scale is possible. However to enjoy the benefits of organic farming, the farmer needs vast cultivation land,” he said.

Olawale however noted that the practice of organic farming required shift cultivation systems to boost crop productivity.

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According to him, erosion will be a major challenge a farmer may encounter in the practice of organic farming.

“In order to yield more produce through organic farming, the farmer must also be willing to practice shifting cultivation in crop cultivation.

“Giving the farmland rest every other year makes it more productive in organic farming practice.

“The cultivation of legumes and vegetal crops that cover the farm land surface is also beneficial to productivity.

“One major problem affecting organic farming is the problem of erosion. When erosion wipes away the surface level of the farmland, the most organically cultivated crops are washed off.

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“The root systems of crops cultivated organically like legumes and vegetables are not deep into the soil, hence they will easily wash off when erosion happens.

“This trend has also discouraged so many farmers from embarking on organic farming despite its inherent benefits to human health,” Olawale said. (NAN)

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