The Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO, has commended the Federal Government of Nigeria for its commitment to revolutionalising agriculture in the country. The commendation was given recently by an expert on Market Linkages and Value Chains Group Rural Infrastructure and Agro-Industries Division of the FAO, Ms Allison Loconto, during her trip to a five-day 3rd African Organic Agricultural Conference held in Lagos State.
Loconto, who reaffirmed that the government of Nigeria has made a lot of commitment in turning around its agricultural sector, said that it was in this regard that FAO has been working with various organs of government in Nigeria to improve agriculture productivity. She said one of the research projects the FAO has been working on in Nigeria was in collaboration with the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.
The visiting expert, who explained that the project involved developing organic agriculture curriculum, which was being integrated into the system for bachelor’s degree, reiterated that both students and lecturers under the project have been working with small farm communities around the university to do farm experimentation and to engage the communities in organic practices.
She further noted that from FAO’s point of view, the investment in research and participatory training can help to build the agriculture sector, adding that in this way, the government can provide opportunities for future farmers to have the type of knowledge necessary to boost food production.
Speaking on Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, Loconto stressed that the current research efforts would embrace organic agriculture and also enhance the farmers’ knowledge about how to do agriculture more sustainably, adding that FAO as a UN organisation was also playing a pivotal role to make the goals realisable.
She further said that a number of these goals actually have to do with food and agriculture system and so, FAO has just done a re-organisation at the national levels and throughout its decentralised system. Meanwhile, the expert, during the conference pledged continued supports to African countries in creating economically and efficient food system through ecological organic agriculture.
She emphasised that FAO has to make series of changes to the agriculture system to make them more sustainable, so the institution is looking at agricology and ecological agriculture as one of the ways to reduce the negative environmental impact and the pressure on the environment.
According to her, Ecological Organic Agriculture, EOA, is relatively new within FAO programme on plant production and protection but it has been gaining support.
“There are five strategic objectives which FAO is working out to reach the 17 SDGs; these strategic objectives are focused on alleviating hunger and making agriculture system more sustainable, reducing poverty, ensuring that food systems are inclusive and efficient and building resiliency among others.
“We are working towards creating socially sound and economically sound efficient food systems by supporting the agricology and ecological organic agriculture practice which is currently being focused on,” she said
Source: National Mirror