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Organic agriculture in Africa 2014 (Data 2012)

Current status

There are slightly more than one million hectares of certified organic agricultural land in Africa. This constitutes about three percent of the world’s organic agricultural land. There were more than 557’000 producers. Uganda is the country with the largest organic area (with more than 231’000 hectares) and with the largest number of organic producers. The country with the highest share of organic agricultural land is the island state Sao Tome and Principe, with 7 percent of its agricultural area being organic.

The majority of certified organic produce in Africa is destined for export markets. Key crops are coffee, olives, cocoa, oilseeds, and cotton. The development of organic agriculture in Africa is entering a new phase. There is a growing recognition among policy makers that organic agriculture has a significant role to play in addressing food insecurity, land degradation, poverty, and climate change in Africa. 

Significant breakthroughs were achieved in 2013 in the institutionalization of the African Organic Network (AfrONet), the umbrella organization established during the Second African Organic Conference held in Zambia in 2012. The third East African conference, entitled ”Sharing Achievements Made and Lessons Learned”, was held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in July 2013. About 200 participants from 20 countries attended the conference. Given that East Africa is leading the continent in organic agriculture, the conference provided a huge opportunity for stakeholders from other African countries and sub-regional sectors to learn from the East African experience. 

Within a timeframe of 3.5 years, the recently-started ProEcoOrganicAfrica project will work towards improving rural livelihoods in Ghana and Kenya, including food supply, nutrition and income security through climate-smart ecological intensification of agricultural systems. 

Source: The World of Organic Agriculture 2014



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