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At' the ~rec,ent1y: concluded' Biofach lft,t ernational:....JUlUV .LUV'LL Nuremberg, ~y, .th,~ world largest gai:p.ering and displar of o~­ garucagticultw'e crops I products, ~dokeJ\kintola University ofTeclj.~ nalogy aAUTEPi)Agrlculhiral ServicesLiriUted, Ogbom0s6; Oyo·

State, was the only' ~resentative· fron\·Niger4l tf:iat ,particip~ted . thegIobal ~ition.SeyeAdeniyi speakS With the Managmg,Director, LAUTECH AgricUitural Setvi~ (L.N?) Ltd/ Dr Victor A~egboye . . Togun. on why the University Organic agriCulture progran1me COItnnH H' .ties .to attract global attentio~ the chiillenges fac::ing the project, acliieveinenti;,of the programme in the yeats; as 'W'~ as the' £0-

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AT is the situation of things at the Are you getting support from experts both within starting a large scale commercial production of these . LA UTECH organic farm and what is and outside the rounuy for fast development of the consumables. the secret behind the recent attention and at- organic farm? Doyou have other organic products apart from essential Yes, we have a lot of internal and ex ternal sup- oil and juice? traction from the international rommunities to the farm? The organic fann of LAUTEG-l was incorporated in ports, especia lly in the area of training and marketYes, apart from ginger, lemon grass and turmeric powing. For example, we have an expert, Mr James Cole der, we have honey, mushroom, cashew, as well as other 2006 as a public liability company by Professor Adeleke, the then Vice-Chancellor of the university. TI1at year, we of ELOC farms, Ghana, helping us in the area of train- emerging products like pineapple, pawpaw, plantain, bastarted work on the organic farm and LAUTEG-l Agricul- ing; managements and other essential services. nana, mango, water I golden melon, cucumber, lettuce, tural Services Ltd (LAS) started with six hectares of fannThe Gh anaian expert is an interna tion all y re- amaranthus and chil ies. land for ginger, two hectares of turmeric and one hectare spected organic crops I products specialist and he is Which area of organic farming is posing a serious helping us in the area of capacity building, exporta- challenge to you? of lemon grass. Then, it was like' a pilot project, but the..organic farm tion of other crops like pineapple, pawpaw and citLast year for example, we had problems in the area has now become an attraction for international communi- rus. He has been jn the business for over 10 years and of maintenance of weeds on the farm . We Spl'llt '" ties, especially international agricultural agencies and in- . has farms in Ghana. He has actually exposed us to much money on labour to control the weeds I:>l,,',ll"" ternational market. many contacts. . we cannot use insecticides. We are practising or~<lI1i,' • Now ~1ere is a tremendous in1provement in the fann Also, when we we re in Biofach exhibition a t agriculture and the use of chemicals is highly prohib· Nuremberg, Germany, we got many orders from many ited. So, we spent so much money on plastic mulching and to prove our relevance in organic farming last year, countries demanding for our ginger, turmeric and to control the weeds. Don't also forget that we can ' t we were invited to participate in the Biofach International lemon grass. The orders were from both individuals use inorganic fertilisers on the farm . Exhibition which took place in Nuremberg, Germany. Biofach is an annual general meeting place for all the play- and mostly international companies based in SouthWhy the huge international demand for LA UTECH Africa, Netherland, Slovenia, India, United Kingdom, organic products? ers in organic agriculture all over the world. Other countries of the world like Japan, Malaysia, In fact, the organic agriculture programme of Holland, France, Germany, Romania 'and USA. Some LAUTECH, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, has put the university of these co untries asked for essential oil and juices China, India and o thers have ginger, turmeric and from these organic crops (ginger, turmeric and lemon other organic crops. Bu t the reason for global a ttenon a noticeable and significant spot on the world's agrition and demand for organic crops I grass). culture map. products from LAUTECH is basica lh' What happened at the Biofach 2010 ,t ested our spec\es of ginger and because of the quality. world organic products exhibition in GerWhen they tested our species "f ~"" many? tumeric, . many nations of the world fell in love I ger at Biofach exhibition in Gemh\l1\ . , <, '" At Biofach 2010, we got an order for or- . Ii. , many nations of the world fell in Ill"" ganie products and the request was so big ~ with them because of their special qualities." . with it because of special qualities like that we are brainstom1ing on it presently. its degree of pungency, aroma, medicinal values, and All the participants from different parts of the world were spicy effects, as well as other unique taste, highly in1pressed with the quality of our organic products. Do you have sufficient fund and manpower to carry The quality of our ginger, tunneric and lemon grass were 'out expected activities on the farm? rated high, unique aJ)d different in terms of many values, The ulJiversity is trying to help and assist us with compared to that of.gther nations of the world. the needed fund, but if you considered the order we What are the plans of the school authority for the farm brought from Germany to supply these organic prodthis year? ucts, then we need big money to carry out the assignTI1is year, we are planning to increase on our hectarage ment. of production. We are going to plant 10 hectares of ginger, For instance, we were asked to supply 3,300 tonnes of seven hectares of turmeric and three hectares of lemon organic ginger, 5,500 tones of dry turmeric and 60 tones grass, in addition to what is already on ground. . of lemon grass. We are appealing to the federal and state I must say that the authority of the university, under the governments to help us with funds so that we can conleadership of Professor Moshood Nassar, the Vice-Chantinue to be the best institution with organic farm in any cellor of LAUTEG-l, has been cooperative, supportive and known higher institution in Nigeria. always ready to maintain the standard of the organic fann in terms' of needed assistance from time to time and the fann is now rated as one of the best organic fanns in the country today. . • < • Were there dIallenges enrountered in the past which afmade to ensure that. the fected your productivity? 'S EVEN 'h~dred , twenty. co-aperailve loan fact1ity got to the ao-: The tussle between Oyo and Osun states over who .con-socieiies in Edo State hial flInners. . troIs the affairs of the great institution really slow down our activities. The court injunctions be=e a serious chal- ~ave \1lmefitted froiJ.J. the Accoralng toJWn; "comlenge to us, but we thank God that it is over now. U1~ state'II Nl 1!illlot\ CoNow; we are expanding our holdings and one good bi:?eraiive Farmers' loah. _ thing is that by May 2011, we are expecting a preauditing inspection of our certifying body. We're going to have certification from the Institute of Market Ecology (!MO), one of the major certifying bodies in the world for o rganic crops. So, everything we are doing now is to get ourselves read y for the certification. ________________________________-1~JJ~~2B~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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NIGERIAN, TRIBUNE, 12 APRIL, 2011