Food security: Experts advocate trees planting, replacement of conventional with organic farming

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…as 50 farmers receive breadfruits in the first phase

Nigerian farmers have been called upon to as a matter of priority put a stop to agrochemicals methods and embrace organic farming and trees planting to ensure food sustainability and safer environment.

Agricultural experts gave this advice in Ilorin on Monday (July 31, 2023) while speaking at a programme titled ”Sustainability of food and environment through agroforestry and agroecology system”, saying that no nation can grow without food security and sustainability.

The Director, Centre for Community Empowerment and Poverty Eradication (CCEPE), Mr Abdulrahman Ayuba, said while agro chemicals increase plants and animals crop production, they can damage the environment.

”Climate change is what is causing the global warming and flood that is affecting the farmers and this is caused by our activities in the environment.

”We need to go back to the natural course and reduce our activities around the use of industrial or processed things.

”We should go green to improve food sustainability and also have a green and healthy environment,” Ayuba said.

He added that farmers should find alternatives to agrochemicals with the use of bio-fertilizers, bio-pesticides, use of beneficial microbes and use of organic pesticides.

Ayuba added that using organic option for farming reduces occurrences of diseases and treatments, reduce cost of agricultural production, conserves foreign exchange and increase income via sales of organically produced crops.

A representative of International Climate Change Development Initiative (ICCDI), Mr Ismail Shittu, said tree planting should be embraced in the country to protect the ecosystem and also provide food to be consumed.

He added that if we want to live a sustainable life, we should take our environment as a priority which can be done by improved vegetation through tree planting.

The Director, Green Globe Initiative (GGI), Mr Akintola Akinyemi, who is the organiser of the programme said, when the ecosystem is stressed, food and human becomes unsustainable.

”We discovered that our food system is endangered as a result of dynamics of global warming and climate change and it is having a great implication on the biodiversity. 

”This is why we are carrying out a systematic approach to forestry and ecological systems, integrating our small holder farmers into incorporating trees on their farmlands,” he said.

The GGI director said it was important not to only plant trees for the conservation of the ecosystem, but to also provide food, which is why the Initiative was launching the ”The Breadfruit Project”.

Akinyemi said breadfruit was a near extinction specie and GGI was known for regenerating nature, hence, the reason for working towards planting breadfruits. 

”Also, there is food insecurity globally and Kwara is not exempted from this phenomenon.

”That is why we feel we should be futuristic, to plant a tree now, and in the next three to four years, it will conserve nature and also give us food. 

And Kwara is also one of the leading states in charcoal production meaning that our vegetation is being removed at an alarming rate. 

”So, the only solution is to bring another form of trees that won’t just be mere trees but will be a tree that conserves the ecosystem, and equally feed the people,” he said.

Akinyemi said the 1st phase which is the pilot phase will see 50 farmers; 25 males and 25 females being given the breadfruit to plant and nurture to grow.

Ends

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