The Fadama III in collaboration with the State Employment and Expenditure for Result (SEEFOR), a World Bank sponsored project, has embarked on training of farmers to ensure safer environment.
The Fadama Environmental Officer, Asaba, Delta, Tessie Omame, disclosed this on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at Omeligboma near Asaba.
She said that the essence of the training was to equip the farmers with requisite knowledge to adopt best practice to ensure a safer environment for all as they carry out their farming activities.
Omame disclosed that her team had visited five communities across the state to educate the Fadama Community Associations (FCAs) and the Fadama User Groups (FUGs) on how to use environmentally friendly and locally sourced materials to control pests and disease which affects their crops, fishes and animals.
According to her, the training was in line with the World Bank policies.
“The World Bank, as the financier of the project, is stressing that farmers implement projects in a sustainable manner.
“Sustainability in the sense that such project do not affect their environment negatively, and that people should be protected as the farmers embark on their enterprise.
“So, the training is to strengthen the capacity of our FCAs and FUGs on environmental safeguards and Conflict Management,” she said.
She said that the training had provided opportunity for the farmers to know and to be aware, particularly those in the rural area like the Omeligboma where we visited and trained the farmers on Friday.
“This informed the need for them to be empowered with the right information to enable them implement our projects in a manner that will not only be sustainable but socially acceptable.
“We have wide range of enterprises that we are addressing here; we targeted five communities across Delta to benefit from the training.
“It is also our target to set up conflict management committees in each of the communities and in Omeligboma, we have rice, fish, poultry and cassava farming groups.
“So, we are suggesting ways on how they can adopt best practices to ensure that they live in a safe environment,” Omame said.
She said that since the farming community and the people have no other environment, there was need to protect it by ensuring that the use of chemicals were highly reduced or totally avoided while carrying out farming activities.
“So, we are trying to discourage the use of chemicals to control paste and diseases by encouraging our people to use natural and biological means to address pastes challenges.
“Overtime, the use of chemicals have both short and long term negative effects on our environments; so, farmers should not get used to administering chemical to control pastes at every little challenge.
“Most of our communities have boundaries with water and whatever the farmers do by way of using too much chemicals will end in the waters and water flows across many other communities.
“So, what happen in one community affects other communities, therefore, we are advising them to look inward and use other natural ways to control pastes,” she said.
Omame advised farmers to use wood ash, scent leaves, neem plants (Dogoyaro) among others to address small pastes attacks in their farms.
She said that farmers could only resort to the use of chemicals when the situation had gone beyond local solutions, adding that even at that, farmers must ensure they use environmentally friendly and biodegradable chemicals.
According to him, with this training, the farming communities can buy into the programme and work to sustain them while our environmental experts would from time to time monitor to ensure effective compliance.