Organic Agriculture Development in Africa: A Food Safety and Food Security Perspective
20 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2016
Date Written: April 19, 2015
Efforts to mainstream ecological organic agriculture within the Africa Union gained momentum following earlier processes such as the 2003 International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) and the ultimate endorsement of Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).
These initial processes (IAASTD and CAADP) were later followed by the Conference of African Ministers of Agriculture (CAMA) in Lilongwe, Malawi during October 2010 which provided the basis for the endorsement of the executive decision EX.CL/Dec.621 (XVIII) on organic agriculture by African Presidents in 2011. Organic agriculture was endorsed within the perspective of food security and food safety, mitigating against climate change, improving rural livelihoods for small holder farmers and providing special attention to semi-arid areas.
The move by African Union to endorse Organic Agriculture provided the impetus for an organized approach to mainstream organic agriculture in the region. This study examines the evolution and mainstreaming of organic agriculture over time using case studies of six countries of Africa; Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zambia and Nigeria. The researchers did travel to these countries and conducted interviews with National Organic Agriculture Movements and other related important actors. The main finding of the study is that most countries are still finding it a challenge to mainstream organic agriculture despite being signatories to the 2010 executive decision. This happens despite the acknowledgement of the benefits inherent in organic agriculture with respect to food safety and food security.
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