HOMEF Trains Farmers On Agroecology, Mangrove Restoration in A’Ibom

An ecological think tank organisation, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, (HOMEF) over the weekend trained farmers in Okoro-Utip community, Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State on Agroecology and Mangrove restoration.

This came following the high level of environmental degradation and poor agricultural yields witnessed in the community as a result of pollution and oil spills.

Speaking with the Programme Manager, Fossil Politics, HOMEF, Stephen Oduware during the training at the community hall, he lamented that the community has lost its mangrove ecosystem on account of pollution and felling of trees.

He noted that HOMEF in a bid to restore the impacted environment and the farmlands resolved to train the community people on how to produce organic fertilizer and pesticides using cow dung, cow urine, bananas, cowpeas, soil, water, garlic and other ingredients found around them.

He stressed that, such was the only way the community can improve their farm yields without further damaging the ecosystem.

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He, however, urged them to come up with a restoration plan highlighting how they will use the knowledge gained from the meeting to restore their environment, and farmlands.

His words, “This community is highly impacted by activities of the oil industry, They’ve suffered pollution, their land have become degraded they are losing their mangrove forest ecosystem on account of pollution and felling of mangrove trees by locals, we want to restore their farmlands using agro ecological methods which entail using natural input to ensure a good yield, to improve the health of the soil and ultimately to have a good environment.

“On mangrove restoration, we have the issue of evasive specie of Nipa palm that is foreign to us, communities should start looking at ways to removing these evasive species that are not native and start replacing it with mangroves which support farming and supports the community against dangerous storms from the sea.

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A participant, Rhoda Peters on her part said despite applying fertilizers to her crops, the yields are always heartbreaking even as she noted that she would delve into agroecology .

“The challenge is that despite the fact that I apply chemical fertilizer, the harvest is nothing to write home about. I cry each time I harvest my crops.” She noted.

The Resource person, Iwan-Aondover Barnabas explained that the mixture (organic manure) when applied to the soil would add value and rejuvenate all the souls that are no longer productive in the area.

He said, “what our farmers lack is knowledge for production, how to engage in practices that would increase their production, now they know they can produce their fertilizers and pesticides with things around them, this will save them the cost of buying chemical fertilizer and will add more value to the forest system they have.

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“It will also rejuvenate all the poor lands that are no longer productive and this will add value to the land.”