The Kano chapter of the Association of Hibiscus Flower Exporters of Nigeria (AHFEN), has urged Nigerian farmers to embrace organic farming, so as to add value to their commodities.
Mr John Oshevire, the Secretary-General of the association, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Kano, that organic farming would also help the farmers to get more yields.
According to him, “if farmers can adjust to organic, commodities exported to other places will be of high value.
“The current challenge we are facing now is certification, all exporters are required to certify their products and maintain good health practices.
“The association as a whole has been on the issue for more than three years now, because one of the major buyers of hibiscus is Mexico, which had placed a ban on the import of Nigeria hibiscus.
“We are losing the market in the European Union also because of a chemical named chlorpyrifos. Research conducted said that the chemical is very dangerous and it affects the brain of young children”, he said.
He said that chemicals used in fumigating agricultural commodities had a lot of adverse effects on human health.
Oshevire added that last year, organic pesticides made out of neem seeds were introduced to farmers to improve their productivity.
The Secretary said that orange peel could also be used to make organic fertilizer which would boost growth of the commodity, likewise the neem seed, when applied appropriately.
“Maintaining good health practices will make the commodity to be produced under a hygienic environment.
“Farmers must have good agricultural practice in cultivating, harvesting of their product, so as to have profitable market,’’ he said.
Oshevire urged the government to come to the aid of farmers, by creating more awareness on value chains and how to handle the product to generate foreign exchange.
He said that exporters should be trained on how to source goods, manage warehouses and provide basic amenities for their workers.
The Secretary General also emphasised the need for all exporters to work according to the plan prescribed by the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services. (NAQS). (NAN)