The Mother Earth Health Foundation (HOMEF) called on the federal government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to develop strategies to combat the use of harmful chemicals and pesticides by farmers.
It said that instead one should focus on promoting safe natural / traditional pest and weed control.
The statement for LEADERSHIP, signed jointly by the HOMEF Director and the Chairman, Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) Nimmno Bassi and Mariann Bassi-Orovvuė, respectively, stated that this is part of the resolutions reached by participants at the end of the Community Dialogue on Food and Agriculture Systems in Nigeria, recently held in Benin City.
Environmental activists added that other recommendations included that extension officers should be trained and placed in farming communities to share knowledge about agro-ecological farming practices that are based on practices developed over thousands of years.
They also called on the government to provide facilities for rural infrastructure, storage and processing, as well as financial loans to assist farmers, provide access to land for farmers and gender equality, and call on civil society groups to step up education programs and continue to expand farmers ’voices among other
The statement says
GMOs are harmful and not needed. The government should prohibit GMOs and urgently conduct a radical review of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) Act 2015 and establish a neutral biosafety regulatory agency that would be the first to interest people
The statement added that the dialogue provided a platform for participants to explore the challenges facing agricultural production and the particular threats posed by the discovery of floods in Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in Nigeria, as well as a discussion of how to move forward with agricultural productivity. help focus on agroecology and support for small farmers.
In his opening words, Nnimmo Bessi, Director of HOMEF, said that such dialogues are necessary for the exchange of ideas, best farming methods and methods of seed preservation and our common biodiversity.
He said that small farmers are the main suppliers of food to more than 70% of the world's population, and they produce this food with less than 30% of the resources, including land, water and other resources. Nevertheless, the industrial food system, in which agricultural modern biotechnology thrives, uses at least 75% of the world's agricultural resources, is the main source of gas emissions at the Green House, but also provides food to less than 30% of the world's population.
Mariann Bassi-Oruvieu, Chairman of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa, in one of the presentations that preceded the dialogue, said that although attempts to overcome agricultural problems had led to many innovations and led to the production of improved varieties of livestock and livestock, corporate industrial systems are trying to control the production of products nutrition and displace small farmers through the pushing of genetically modified crops.
In her presentation, it was clear that most small farmers do not know what a GMO is and what threats they pose to their health, the environment or their livelihoods. This was obvious, since about 98% of the farmers gathered had not heard of the GMOs.
Farmers who included producers of crops and livestock breeders thanked HOMEF for their education and acknowledged that they need more of these dialogues and training. They rejected the GMOs with one voice and called on the government to provide them with more support for increasing productivity using local / local varieties.
One of the participating farmers, Gloria Okon, acknowledged that dialogue with the public is very useful. According to her, "it helped her, as a farmer, to know how to farm without using chemicals, as well as to know the difference between GM seeds and natural seeds." She saw that the use of accessible language, especially English, was the key to holding the meeting successful. She added that she is organizing similar dialogues for other farmers in her state.