Father Godfrey Nzamujo
Date of birth: 1950
Originally from Nigeria, Father Godfrey Nzanujo is the Founder and Director of the Songhai Centre, Benin Republic, a farming project designed towards ensuring sustainable food production in Africa.
From its base in Benin Republic, and its four initial sites in Parakou, Savalou, Kinwedji and Ntitingou, Songhai now has sites in Rivers and Enugu in Nigeria, and within the last year, in Bensonville in Liberia, Newton in Sierra Leone and Louvakou and Otsende in Congo.
Songhai's target is to have sites in 12 African countries: Nigeria, Togo, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Gabon, Zambia, Malawi and Kenya
Since 1985, the Songhai Center has been training farmers in sustainable economy and exports its success through the students of its school. From the one hectare of land he was given in 1985 by the Marxist-Leninist government of Mathieu Kerekou to set up the centre, Songhai now occupies 17 hectares at its primary site.
With a credit system, the school supports its graduating students and helps them become agricultural entrepreneurs. Partly funded by international donors, Songhai cultivates independence and generates a profit of over one million dollars annually which it reinvests to develop the capacity of the center.
Father Nzamujo is among other things, an expert in ecology and microbiology, microbiology and soil fertilization, natural systems and energy pathway in water sub-systems, and mycology and its usefulness in African ecosystems - economic perspectives, Mushroom-laboratory culture and production.
Songhai aspires to develop alternatives allowing Africans to stand on their feet through agricultural entrepreneurship, in an integrated development framework enhancing agriculture, industry and services. This development is centred, above all, on human development, the realization of local resources and the appropriation of foreign techniques and technologies.
Songhai Centre is built on the integrated farming or integrated production model. This is a commonly and broadly used term to explain a more integrated approach to farming as compared to existing monoculture approaches. It refers to agricultural systems that integrate livestock and crop production and may sometimes be known as Integrated Biosystems.
Songhai also utilizes technologies from the Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives (formed in 1994) which is another model that seeks to promote agricultural and industrial production which incorporate nature's wisdom into the process.
In China, programs embracing this form of integrated farming have been successful in demonstrating how an intensive growing systems can use organic and sustainable farming practices, while providing high agriculture yields.
Copyright, Blaise APLOGAN, 2010,© Bienvenu sur Babilown
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