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Zimbabwe: Government urged to consider organic agriculture systems

Organic farming has emerged as a sustainable alternative to enhance food security in Zimbabwe as efforts to revive agriculture gather pace.

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(all Africa.com/The Herald) Such alternative systems as organic farming help create sustainable systems that have minimal reliance on external inputs. Zimbabwe Organic Producers and Promoters Association chief executive Mrs Fortunate Nyakanda said in this regard, her organisation intended to promote the development of multiple strategies that will revive the country's agricultural sector.

"ZOPPA appreciates the current efforts to revive the agriculture sector by Government through the Short Term Emergency Recovery Programme and various development partners, both local and international including UN agencies." "The organisation is however concerned that there is lack of appreciation of other sustainable agricultural systems that do not heavily rely on external inputs such as chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides," the organisation said.

There was need to highlight that the world had come to realise that other alternative low-cost, environmental friendly and healthy farming systems were worth promoting.

In Africa countries such as Kenya and Uganda also had substantial amounts of land certified organic. By May this year, Uganda had 296'203 hectares certified organic, up from 122'000 hectares in 2006 and the country's total exports on organic products fetched 22.8 million US Dollars.

"We therefore call upon Government in close collaboration with development partners to seriously consider the support of organic agriculture systems as part of agriculture revival strategy."

"ZOPPA is prepared to engage relevant stakeholders in developing a national strategy and policy on organic agriculture," said Mrs Nyakanda.

ZOPPA Trust is a national movement that strives to bring together organic producers, promoters and processors for the development of organic agriculture in Zimbabwe.

Source: all Africa.com/The Herald: Zimbabwe: Government Urged to Consider Organic Agriculture Systems. By Rumbidzai Mashayahanya 22 July 2009

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