The National Secretary, Association of Organic Practitioners of Nigeria, Mrs Oluyinka Odukoya, on Thursday called for collaboration between organic farmers and regulatory agencies in the establishment of an organic market.
Odukoya told the News men in Lagos that organic farmers were producing to meet the demands of a small fraction of the country’s population.
According to Odukoya, establishment of an organic produce market is possible with collaboration of farmers and regulatory agencies that will ensure good agriculture practices to promote standards.
“It is very possible to have an organic market established, but there is every need to ensure that farmers or producers of organic products meet standards.
“To achieve that, we must collaborate with regulatory agencies such as the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON),” she told NAN.
Odukoya noted that there was an independently-run organic market in Oyo State.
She said that a hindrance to establishment of the market was lack of mass production by organic farmers.
“Currently, organic farmers produce according to demands, which mostly are from the health-conscious people, those with health conditions, the elite and those who just returned to the country and do not wish foods with chemicals.
“Organic produce come with a premium price, and only a smaller percentage of the population understands this and do not mind how much it will cost them.
“Organic farmers need the assurance that when they produce, there will be buyers; that is why we do not produce in large quantities,’’ Odukoya said