(NEWS INVESTIGATORS) Ibrahim Sajo, Director of Planning, Research and Statistics, Gombe State Ministry of Agriculture has advised farmers in the state to embrace the use of organic farming to boost soil fertility.
Sajo gave the advice during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe on Friday.
According to him, the use of organic fertiliser is key to sustaining the quality of the soil, as the continued use of chemical fertilisers depletes the soil while reducing crop yield over time.
He said that the use of organic fertiliser and its awareness was increasingly gaining momentum across the globe as a result of the many benefits to the soil and crop.
“We are encouraging farmers to embrace organic fertiliser use as way of improving the quality of our soil. It is important they do that, so we can protect the soil for the future.
“Organic fertilisers have been there from time but these chemical fertilisers are more accepted and popular among our farmers because it is easier to apply on plants and the output is seen by farmers.
“Our extension officers are working to ensure farmers embrace the use of organic fertiliser to encourage soil fertility. Too much chemical has some negative effects on soil and even human health.
“Organic foods are good for human health and are more of high demand. If our farmers accept the use of organic fertiliser to grow organic food, they will make more money because organic foods are more expensive.
“We are planning in collaboration with the Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) in the area of enhancing soil health and fertility.
“The plan is to buy organic fertiliser alongside chemical fertiliser for farmers to cultivate its use.
“As the organic begins to get acceptance, we will begin the gradual withdrawal of the chemical fertilisers,’’ he said.
He expressed concern that most farmers were still foot-dragging toward the acceptance of organic fertiliser, adding that in most parts of the world organic fertiliser use was gaining more acceptance.
“Organic fertiliser is now gaining more attention in most countries because it improves soil structure and preserves essential nutrients that crops need to grow well.
“Having used chemical fertilisers for a long time, farmers need to buy organic in place of chemical fertilisers to restore soil fertility and get good crop yields and even more money for themselves.
’’He stated that the ministry was already linking farmers to experts and markets where farmers could access organic fertilisers, adding that all extension officers were ready to provide any help in that regard.(NAN)