Taiwo Oluwadare, Ibadan
A coalition of organic farming advocates, on Wednesday, converged in Lagos to discuss the way forward on how to promote healthy ecosystem and hospitality business at this year’s National Organic Agriculture Business Summit.
The event was held at Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
According to the country’s Director of Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA), Dr. Gbenga Adeoluwa, the summit was a collaborative effort of Ecological Organic Agriculture partners with Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture with motive to address exhibition of organic produce and products to stimulate domestic, export trade, improve local and export business activities in the organic sector and among others.
He maintained that at the end of the summit, there would not be the usual declaration of purpose, but that it would be followed with actionable steps and also to create two to three years plan to achieve a sustainable goal of promoting organic agriculture in the country.
Speaking as a guest speaker at the three-day summit organised by EOA and tagged, ‘Organic Agriculture: Abundant Opportunities for Health and Hospitality Business’, the emeritus professor in the department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Stellenbosch, in Cape town, Akin Abayomi said that chemicals people were exposed to in this environment affects our genes and in turn affects our body system.
According to him, there were genetically modified farm produce whose original form had been altered saying though genetic modification was induced because of people’s innocent demand, but noted that it has long term negative effects and therefore inhibit sustainable ecosystem.
He added that to enhance a sustainable healthy ecosystem in the country and to remove toxins from the system, there is need for reorientation for people to know how they can relate or affect their environment which is called biosecurity.
Corroborating him, an environmental scientist from Michigan State University (USA), Jelili Adebiyi, noted that food grown according to certified organic standard is safe for consumption but conventional crops are grown with synthetic inputs like fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides and others with toxic substances which is not safe and the consumers are poised to become unhealthy.
Citing Norwegian mother and child cohort’s study, Adebiyi said consumption of organic vegetables during pregnancy associated with reduced risk of pre-eclampsia, a form of pregnancy disorder compared to consumers of inorganic vegetables.
He, therefore, tasked on regulation of enforcement and monitoring of embraced and expand alternatives to pesticides centered farming system as way forward to unhealthy ecosystem which consist human, animals, plants and environment.