A Scientist, Ernest Aubee has expressed dismay over lack of financial investment on unexplored land for the development of ecological organic farming.
Aubee, who is the Champion of Organic Agriculture and Agroecology in West Africa, said this in Abuja, during a virtual presentation on
‘Agenda for Transformation of Ecological Organic Agriculture in Africa: Practical Options,’ where he attributed the development to absence of coherent and intersectoral policies and legislative framework.
“This has become necessary because it is the production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people and we rely on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions.
He explained that since 2015, organic agricultural land has increased by 119,000 hectares, noting that there was growth in local and global demands for healthy food products, saying agroecology is based on applying concepts and principles.
“We have proximity to major Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) markets in Europe and the Middle East, while consumers are concerned for safe foods and environmentally friendly production practices; rise in incidence of terminal diseases, as well as growing urban middle class.”
Aubee further stated that lack of mainstreaming in the agricultural sector into national development policies and for food and nutrition security are major limitations, regretting that member states are not adhering to funding commitments of the Maputo and Malabo Declarations.
“We have over-dependent on foreign funding, with no room for sustainability. The absence of standards reduces the level of competitiveness of African products in the domestic and international markets. Agriculture commodities are highly perishable.”
The scientist, therefore, maintained that the transformation of organic farming in Africa should be anchored on the following – United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 1,2,3,12,13,14,15 and 17,and African Union Agenda 2063.
He however, said the challenge is always on implementation, “and for us to move forward on the continent, we need to shift from rhetoric to action, unfortunately, African countries have subscribed to various treaties, protocols and standards but to implement is lacking.”