In Ogun State, farmers have been using organic farming methods, without applying chemical fertiliser, pesticides and herbicides. This has enabled them to benefit from lucrative overseas and local markets.
One of them is the Chief Executive, Extralarge farms, Seyi Davids. Xtralarge Farms is located at Sango Ota, Ogun State. Its workers cultivate various crops. The farm has become a model of sustainable small-scale agriculture providing many benefits: jobs, local communities with access to diversified and affordable food. Nearly all food is organic.
There is also a school for farmers to learn about crop production, pest management, business management and rural entrepreneurship. The transformation has been made possible by a series of private investments. His approach to organic farming is to break addiction to pesticides.
He follows the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model, where consumers buy meat and vegetables from producers.
He is concerned about the widespread environmental damage, such as soil erosion, being caused by chemical-reliant farming practices. While the agricultural industry gorged itself on chemical use in order to increase and maintain food output to sustain a growing population, Davids was bothered that the environment, and, ultimately, that the consumer will pay the price. As a result, his farm prides itself on natural alternatives to synthetic pesticides.
Davids advised Nigerians on the need to consume food produce grown organically to avoid diseases and sicknesses associated with consuming farm produce grown with chemicals.
When he started he faced difficult times. This did not deter the entrepreneurial spirit of Davids and his wife, Moji Davids, who took life as a challenge to face all odds in order to restore the economic liberty for himself and his fellow beings. He has worked relentlessly to establish his venture in Ogun State by harnessing the potential of organic agriculture.
Working with the project team, they sell their produce throughout the year without worrying about market fluctuations.
He decided to open a farm school to help the farming community and would-be investors besides creating a good business opportunity for himself .
Davids and his wife, Moji seek to grow the organic movement and foster a productive, resilient, sustainable and healthy agriculture city. They aim to develop and encourage organic farming through different projects as well as encouraging Nigerians to cultivate, as far as possible and without the use of any chemical product, vegetables in their backyard for their own consumption.
The launch of Xtralarge Farms Agritech City is part of a campaign to encourage and enable the population to use the organic method of cultivation.
According to him, the Agritech City, established on 3,000 acres of land in Ogun, would harbour universities and schools, travel and tours, homes and properties, natural health centre and micro-finance bank, among others.
Davids said the city would be fully an automated organic farm and made ready in June 2021, stressing that agriculture was the future of Nigeria’s economy and should be made competitive which was why people under the Xtralarge were together to empower more people in the food network of the country.
“Agritech City is a technology driven city to attract the youth who want to see how good agriculture is and that is what prompted the establishment of the city,” he explained.
It is farm estate that would not only boost food production but provide employment to millions of the nation’s jobless youths.
He explained that aside from providing employment and food in abundance, the farms would become a major revenue earner for investors.
At Xtralarge Farms, according to him, anybody can become a farmer without necessarily getting involved in farming process.
To get started in AgriTech City, he said one must have an xtratoken, a digital currency. “The Xtratoken is what the entire Xtralarge group refers to as the generation next. It is the money to be spent within the Agritech City. He said a buyer could hold a minimum of one token which costs 100 dollars and a maximum of 100 tokens costing 10,000 dollars, adding that an outsider who wished buy a token could do so via the website: www.xtratoken.com.
His words: “The city has come with a change of apparel for agriculture in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. A farmer must be able to live well, be successful, live a dignified life and be respected in the society. “This is exactly what the Xtralarge Agritech City is all about. An agricultural city where all manner of farming activities and projects are executed with the aid of advanced technology and machineries, thereby ensuring food sustainability in our continent, improving our economic account and providing employment for many,” he added.
He also said there was need for Nigerians to adopt organic living, meaning the consumption of organic food and products, stressing that eating such would improve the health of human, animals and their environment, adding that organic farming would help to keep the country’s biodiversity.
SOURCE: THE NATION