Are you planning of going into organic farming in Nigeria? Or do you want to know the basic organic farming practices in Nigeria? Whichever way, this post is here to educate you on all you have to know about organic agriculture in Nigeria.
To start with, you need to understand simple definition of organic farming. Organic farming can be defined as the natural way of growing livestock and crops. It is natural because you don’t need to apply fertilizer, synthetic pesticide or any form of chemical on your farm.
In order words, becoming an organic farmer entails going back to ancient way of farming. That means you’ll never apply any modern farming tools such as tractors or pesticide.
It is very hectic form of farming with great reward to the environment. Above all, it is a source of producing healthy and most natural foods while preserving our environment.
Having the clear view of what organic farming is all about, let’s move on to the exact steps on how to start it.
How to Star Organic Farming in Nigeria
To start on a very good track, it is wise you register with association of organic agriculture practitioners of Nigeria (NOAN). It is a non-governmental association with full responsibility of ensuring smooth running of organic farming in Nigeria among stakeholders. The NOAN secretariat is located in Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo state.
Mind you, registering with the association is not compulsory but it is good because you’ll learn more from there.
The next step is finding the right location. Location is everything when it comes to organic agriculture in Nigeria. This means getting a fertile land. In most cases you should go for a virgin land, which has not been tilled or farm on before. Also observe the water quality on the soil and create good drainage.
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Clearing is the next thing to do. You should not burn or use heavy machines in clearing because it will do away with the natural or organic component of the soil.
Next is to to enrich the soil using natural enricher such as compost manure, green manure, vermicomposting and lime.
In organic farming practice, planting is different from traditional farming. In this case, you should practice multi-cropping. This means planting different seasonal crop simultaneously on the same farm land to maintain plant diversity.
Challenges of Organic Farming in Nigeria
Every organic farmer in Nigeria face the challenges of pest attacking the farm, need for fertilizer, capital and finding natural disease resisting crops.
To overcome these challenges, you must adhere to established facts that have helped many become successful organic farmers.
To solve the pest attack, you are to extensively practice crop rotation on the farm land. Crop rotation breaks the disease cycle peculiar to certain crop. For instance, if you plant maize this season there is possibility of having maize attacking pest on the land. To kill them next season will mean planting a crop that they cannot attack thereby starving them to death.
Another way of overcoming the pest problem in organic farming in Nigeria is the use of natural ingredient such neem and other natural bio-pesticide.
To get the issue of fertilizer solved, you’re advised to use natural fertilizer such as compost and green manure. In a lay man language, you can use animal waste (shit) to supplement the use of synthetic fertilizer.
Getting the right crop is usually the major problem. But there are two ways to go around it. Firstly, search for crops that grow naturally in the region you are. They are known as indigenous crops because they grow with or without fertilizer in the area.
The second way is to thoroughly wash the treated crops with water before planting. Also, propagation is another way of getting chemical free crops.
Mulching is a standard practice in organic farming because it helps preserve the natural component and water moisture on the farm.
Above all, the greatest challenge of organic farming in Nigeria is capital. Organic farming is a high cost investment because you need more workers to get the job done.
Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of organic farming in Nigeria.
Advantages of Organic Farming in Nigeria
- Organic farming helps in preserving and preventing our environment for degradation.
- The use of organic manure produces healthy food while increasing the fertility of the soil
- Organically grown plants have high resistance to diseases and insect, hence does not require chemical for storage
- Organic food are poison free because no form of chemical is used in the process
Disadvantages of Organic Farming in Nigeria
- It is a very expensive adventure
- Any successful attack by pest is usually severe and damaging
- They make food very expensive because it cost much to produce organic farm produce
- Organic farming increase the food insecurity because it does not guarantee production of large food product the world need
Organic Farming in Nigeria – Conclusion
Reading to this point real means you’re interested in farming or organic agriculture in Nigeria. Yes, farming be it organic or inorganic is usually a profitable venture. One of the major problems most Nigerians considering going into agriculture and agricultural business is lack of right information.
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Therefore, to get it right, you must source for the right information, which is why you are here now. To be candid, this post I not to send you to the farm from here, instead it is to prepare your mind toward great organic farming practice.
Most cases, I usually refer my readers to state and federal ministry of agriculture. Because they have detailed info on any agricultural related issue in Nigeria. Therefore, if you are buoyant enough to go into organic farming in Nigeria then don’t hesitate visiting the ministry today.
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