Nigeria will begin the production of dry beans and peas, also called pulses, for export to India next year, Audu Ogbeh, the minister of Agriculture and Rural Development said on Wednesday at a conference in Abuja.
The minister said more efforts were being harnessed towards encouraging organic agriculture for the production of the produces, noting that a research was currently ongoing for the multiplication of microbes to serve as a substitute to fertiliser.
“We got some seedlings and carried out some tests. We should be in full production next year for exports to India which has made demands on us and we have to produce according to their specification. We are looking at organic agriculture preferably especially for the horticulture and the grains,” he said.
“We want to avoid salt based fertiliser as much as possible. We have research going on in Abuja on the multiplication of microbes as a replacement to fertiliser. You take microbes from the soil, multiply them in the laboratory and put them back in the soil and that is a substitute for fertiliser,” Ogbeh added.
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Pulses are edible seeds of plants in the legume family which grows in pods and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation recognises pulses as dry beans, dry broad beans, dry peas, chickpeas, cowpeas, pigeon peas, lentils and bambara beans, among others.
Addressing cattle management, Ogbeh said plans were underway to halt cattle roaming.
“We also have organic fertilisers which we may spray on crops and discourage cows from eating the crops. Cows don’t like the smell, we are doing an experiment and it is working but it is too early to announce results,” he said.