Stakeholders have argued that government failure to strongly support and promote the production and distribution of organic (natural) fertilizer in the country will have long term severe consequences for the health of the nation.
This came in the wake of renewed global health concerns over safety of agrochemicals, which include inorganic (chemical) fertilizer.
Chairman, Agro-dealers Association of Nigeria, Kabiru Umar Fara, in an interview with Daily Trust, said chemical fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides have long term effects not only on the soil but also on consumers of crops produced with such products.
“We started organic fertilizer programme under the GES, unfortunately the Minister of Agriculture Chief Audu Ogbeh did not continue with it. The organic fertilizer was introduced in the GES just to encourage farmers to use natural fertilizer,” he said.
GES (Growth Enhancement Scheme) was an e-wallet system where government gets agro-inputs subsidies to the farmers through the mobile phone under former President Jonathan administration.
“Organic fertilizer is not harmful to the soil and human beings that why crops produced by organic fertilizer have better prices even in Europe. Smallholder farmers should be encouraged to use organic fertilizer.
“These chemical fertilizer and herbicides, all of them have long effect on our soil and health. But to change that direction in view of the fact that we don’t have enough organic fertilizer to take care of the farm, government needs to encourage companies that can produce organic fertilser from poultry, animal feeds and others,” he said.
The agro-dealer leader argued that there was no reason why organic fertilizer shouldn’t be produced enmass in the country, adding that the raw materials are local and help to maintain good soil fertility compares to chemical fertiliser.
Several studies have acknowledged the long term negative effect of using chemical fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides in agricultural production even though their applications increase productivity
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu ogbeh, has also at different fora, acknowledged that cases of kidney and other organs failures are to a certain extent due to increased consumption of chemically produced food.
Other experts have agreed that the organic fertilizer is healthier and food produced with organic fertilizer is healthier also not only to the soil but also to human beings.