The Executive Director of Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Olusegun Awolowo has said that the council in recent time engaged stakeholders in order to promote certification of organic products in order to reduce its rejection at the international market.
Awolowo said statistically, the global demand for organic food rose from 75 billion Euros in 2015 to about 95 billion Euros in 2019.
The NEPC boss who was represented by Mr William Ezeagu disclosed this on Tuesday at the 2021 National Organic Agriculture Business Summit (NOABS) held in Abuja.
He said with the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing awareness of healthy food consumption and living, the global value of the organic market could leap to 150 billion Euros within the next 5 years.
He said the need for organic certified foods for both humans and animals is to reduce the negative impact of inorganic fertilizer on soil and ecology with a view to reducing the impact on the environment thus reduction in global warming and climate change consequences.
Awolowo said presently, most Nigerian agro products such as ginger, Hibiscus, Moringa, Tigernut, Turmeric, Soybean, Cocoa, Groundnut, Sesame seed and others are in high demand in the overseas organic market.
“With a proper organic certification in place, there is huge potential to earn substantial foreign exchange which could translate into higher income for our farmers, exporters, and other value chain operators.
“The Nigeria Export Promotion Council in recent time has engaged stakeholders to promote the certification of Nigeria products for organic and other certification, with a view to increasing the value and volume of export of our products and reduce the rate of rejection of agricultural exports”, he added
Also, the Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo said organic produce can be leveraged upon in diversifying the economy that will result in massive employment generation, food security, stimulation of domestic productions as well as foreign direct investment.
The Minister, who was represented by the Director Commodity and Export Department, Suleiman Adebayo, said “I want to state that this summit is timely and consistent with the call by the present administration for diversification of the economy from overdependence on the oil sector to solid minerals, digital industry, agro-allied among others.
“Organic agriculture is a holistic production management system which promotes and enhances agro ecosystem, including biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activities, it emphasises the use of management practices in the production of crops and rearing of livestock in preference to the use of synthetic chemicals, pesticides and inorganic fertilizers”
While presenting the overview of the Summit, the Country Coordinator of Ecological Organic Agriculture, (EOA), Dr Olugbenga AdeOluwa regretted that Nigeria is among the least organised countries in the organic agriculture sector in Africa.
He said there is the need to improve the capacity of strategic stakeholders in the organic agricultural sector of Nigeria; food security, income generation, employment, system resilience among others.
AdeOluwa said thus, the annual National Organic Agriculture Business Summit is one way of addressing challenges of organic agriculture development in the country.
He said the objective of the summit is “to ensure the widespread benefits of organic agriculture to all stakeholders of the organic agriculture sector in the country.
To catalyse the development of organic agriculture business in Nigeria.
“Provision of a national platform for organic agriculture stakeholders in the country and sustaining the drive for sustainable organic agriculture development in the country”.
Nigeria’s agro products In High Demand In Organic Markets Overseas ― NEPC