How organic agriculture contributes to economic development in Africa
07 . November .2017Edward Agyeman0 Comments
Market-driven development of organic value chains Agriculture is the basis for millions of livelihoods and improvement of the agricultural sector is a prerequisite for development of many African countries. It is relevant to consider how a market oriented development of sustainable agriculture combined with local or regional processing of products targeted at high value markets may increase income, employment and capacity building of women and young people in rural societies. The demand for organic products in high value food markets in Europe and North America has increased by 10-25% per year and is the fastest growing foodmarket segment, with an increasing import from developing countries. The potentials of organic value chains Modern Organic Agriculture builds on principles for improving soil fertility through incorporation of legumes and compost, strengthening ecological support-functions and using natural regulation and crop diversity to prevent pest and diseases. Using such agro-ecological practices helps farmers to intensify and increase production without necessarily depending on chemical pesticides and fertilisers, which again reduces their risk to become indebted or poisoned by pesticides. Moreover, following organic principles allows farmers to better adapt to the challenges from climate change, water constraints and loss of soil. Organic agriculture can contribute to increase productivity and reduce poverty and vulnerability among African farmers. Given the right focus on training and capacity building in primary production and in food processing, organic production creates employment, transfers knowledge and improves access to high value markets.