Imperative of organic farming for food safety

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Nigeria’s determined drive for the implementation of the twin policies of food security and safety has brought to the fore the imperative of bio-safety and environmental protection in line with internationally accepted best practices. The issue goes beyond mass production of sundry food items. What more, there are multiplicity of challenges to be overcome. These include poor funding, low mechanisation level, lack of involvement of the stakeholders in policy formulations and the unwillingness of banks to offer long-term loans, especially to rural farmers. Organic farming is therefore, seen as significant means of providing people with healthier food choices. It is considered a sustainable agricultural practice since it does not use harmful chemical fertilisers and pesticides that deplete the nutritional value of foods and have deleterious effects on the environment.

One of the persisting challenges however, is that many Nigerian farmers are not familiar with organic farming methods. Most still grow fruits and vegetables with the use of chemical fertilisers and still apply pesticide that may be harmful to the consumers.

According to agric experts commercially produced foods, especially those treated with chemical fertilizers and pesticides that leave our foods with toxins which could lead to life-threatening diseases.The Environmental Protection Agency of the U.S. government claims that some of the most common pesticides and fertilisers have been linked to cancer and other diseases. In fact, 60per cent of all herbicides, 90 per cent of fungicides, and 30 per cent of insecticides are considered carcinogenic.

From the environmental perspective, those pesticides and chemicals find their way into our drinking water and deplete the land of nutrients. In addition, the fruits and vegetables grown through organic farming can be carried out domestically with virtually all family members taking part. This inadvertently imbibes the culture of healthy farming and … Read More...