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Global demand for organic food rising

Dr Olugbenga Adeoluwa, the Country Coordinator, Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) Initiative in Nigeria says consumers' demand for organically grown foods and livestock products are increasing globally.

Adeoluwa made this known in Abuja.

He said that organic farming was the fastest growing sector of agriculture.

Sale of organic produce and products continues to grow by over 20 per cent annually and has shown an annual increase of at least 20 per cent during the last eight years.

It is estimated globally that farmers use many inputs that could be hazardous to human health to grow foods which are sold at different market channels worldwide.

Thousands of corporations are targeting consumers worldwide by adding organic stuff to their product lines such as textile, drinks, baking powder, pharmaceuticals and many others.''

He said that Nigeria should use the opportunity of the high demand to capitalise on its sustainable practices to boost livelihood, income, exports and foreign exchange earnings, and reduce rural-urban migration.

According to him, awareness of organic farming can save farmers money and give them significantly better returns on land and resource utilisation, as compared to conventional farming.

Organic agriculture is both beneficial to the producers as well as to the consumers as its high nutritional food is guaranteed and free of unhealthy elements.

Research has shown that organic vegetables and fruits have higher mineral and vitamins contents as compared with those produced using conventional techniques, and actually tastes better.

Moreover, the shelf life of organic fresh produce is longer than that from the conventional system, and the great biodiversity seen in indigenous vegetables and fruits are preserved,''he said.

AdeOluwa said that pollution control and enhancement of biodiversity were perhaps greatest part of contribution of organic agriculture to mankind.

Source: Voice of Nigeria