FG to stop use of chemical fertilisers in agriculture

By Vera Anyagafu

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Chemical fertilisers: The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has expressed the need for the production of healthy foods for the people, saying that the federal governments tends to gradually phase out the use of chemical fertilisers in agriculture.

The Minister who said this, while inspecting the first organic banana plantation by an Indian company, Contec Global Agro Limited in Kwali, expressed worry over the increasing numbers of liver and kidney diseases among young people.

He explained that the move would also help to reduce the damages in the soil through the application of fertilisers with the objective of also eliminating dangerous elements from foods.

According to him,‘‘We are slowly going to embark on eliminating chemical fertilisers. Organic nature means that this is what nature is all about without polluting it with salt, the chemical fertilisers are salt. They damage the soil of all kinds and over a while, you find out that the soil is no longer good for you because they destroy the microbes which make the soil more productive. We need to make the food healthier because a lot of self-poisoning is going on in the country. Even the machines we use to grind tomatoes in the market, metal rubbing against metal; particles of heavy metals getting into the food.”

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Additionally, he expressed that, ‘Suddenly, you see a young person in the hospital, like 20 years of age suffering from liver and kidney problem and you ask, do you drink alcohol, he says no, then what is happening? We are not probing enough but we want to start in agriculture, eliminating dangerous elements from our food and the place to begin is the farm, right from where you are planting, from the soil, from the bio-chemicals, the water, all of that has to be controlled and then you have healthy foods.

The minister commended owners of the organic banana farm, while relating President Buhari’s message, which states that the ministry should stay close to investors, to give them all the necessary support needed.

In light of this, he assured of Nigeria government’s continuous effort to supporting both local and foreign investments in the agriculture sector, disclosing that the company was already conducting an experiment to develop microbes from the soil in the laboratory and putting them back into the soil without the use of chemicals.