In its quest to boost Nigerian Agro-commodity export through the promotion of organic farming practice, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Calabar Smart Office has organized a one-day workshop on organic agriculture and certification for export.
The workshop with the theme “Boosting Global Demand for Nigerian Agro products through Organic Certification” is geared towards ensuring food safety and encouraging the production of high nutritional quality products in both domestic and international markets.
Declaring the workshop open on Tuesday in Ikom Local Government Council, held at Sideview Hotel,
Conference room, the chairman of Council Hon Kingsley Egumi commended the NEPC for partnering with farmers in the Local Government.
Egumi who was represented by the Secretary of the Council Esoso Ana also said NEPC has med farmers expectations and the workshop on promoting Organic Agriculture is timely and should be taken seriously.
In welcome remarks, the chief trade promotion officer (NEPC) Sylvia Adeneye said the programme is a demonstration of the Federal Government’s efforts in addressing challenges facing Nigerian export of Agricultural produce.
According to her, the programme is designed with the primary aim of helping smallholders farmers, producers, exporters, improve on their farming activities to achieve organic certification.
Adeneye said organic farming is an integrated farming system that strives for sustainability, enhancement of soil fertility, and biodiversity, prohibiting the use of synthetic fertilizers.
“In Nigeria she said, awareness about organic farming is still very low and hence the need to create awareness because it is, therefore, essential for public and private sector stakeholders to have a clear understanding of the Organic system plan”
“Cross River State is blessed with a golden green economy of agro products such as cocoa, rice, cassava which can be harness for export, globally, the emphasis had been placing on organic agriculture and this creates a huge market opportunity for organic products,” she said.
Also in an address of welcome, the chairman of Cocoa Association of Nigeria Cross River State Chapter Ejor Achu Bisong said the control methods and management system may be new and urged the exporters of Cocoa and palm produce services department to increase their support through these veritable instrument’s.
He said, ” We shall however at the end of this workshop be able to do a work plan that will enable us to produce high nutritional produce in sufficient quantity for the domestic and international market.”
“The NEPC has lived to expectations over the years in partnering with us in all areas relevant to enhancing of quality products for international market” he started.
Presentations by resource persons include export potentials of organic food items by Egon Anani from NEPC Makurdi, Faith Omori USAID feed the Future among others.