WWOOF – organic farming in Nigeria

An interview with Olatilo Benjamin Olaniran from WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farm) about volunteering in organic farming. He is in charge of project and volunteer coordination for WWOOF Nigeria.

Sustainability is an issue that concerns us all. But what do people all around the world do, to approach this concept?

Hi Olatilo, how are you? Thanks for having this Skype call. I am curious, what is WWOOF and what does it stand for?

WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farm) Nigeria is an organization that links volunteers with organic farmers and growers to promote cultural and educational experiences based on trust and interactions.

The exchange of knowledge should contribute to a development of a sustainable global community.

Why are organic gardens and farming so important to your community?

In the 60s, it was part of the school curriculum for students to learn the basic farming techniques in Nigeria. Therefore, every school had their own specimen farm which helps our youth to develop farming skills, which has ever been the driver of our economic before the oil boom.

Now the schools have lost the gardening culture, and our youth does not even know how crops grow. WWOOF wants to include the farming skills back into our educational system.

We want to bring back value to organic farming and contribute a part to Nigeria’s food sovereignty.

Who should volunteer in your projects?

WWOOF Nigeria stands not for garden, but organic garden, where no chemical fertilizer shall be applied to grow the crops. We want to build up a sustainable farming system, not just in schools rather in the whole farming sector. This will help us to develop a save environment with fertile land where we can farm longer and harvest better.

We are looking for hands-on support of experienced and motivated volunteers. In order to maintain a diversity we welcome volunteers from all over the world. This is the best way to apply multiply solutions and learn which works the best for us. WWOOF provides free meals and accommodation in exchange for the support offered by the volunteer.

What does Nigeria offer which can not be found in other parts of Africa?

Nigeria is the most populous black nation in the world. With over 200 million people, Nigeria is blessed with human and natural resources, with diverse plantation within a tropical region. We have a diversity of different cultures and languages which can be explored and experienced by our foreign volunteers while working here.

Nigeria has a very friendly and loving population that usually welcomes foreigners to explore their rich culture.

Nigeria farmland is still unexploited, there are large areas of land that lie virgin and need to be subdued from the rain forest in the south to the savanna in the North. We are looking forward to welcome more volunteers here.

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