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African Stakeholders meet in Kenya to develop an African ecological organic initiative

Interest in pushing for the development of ecological based farming in Africa led some key stakeholders to organize a strategic planning meeting in Thika, Kenya, on May 2 and 3, 2011. The event was organized by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM) Kenya and received financial support from the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC). The report below is taken from the IFOAM Organic Africa News.

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The meeting, attended by 21 participants, led to the creation of an African Ecological Organic Initiative and proposed an Action Plan which aims to mainstream "Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA)" into national agricultural production systems by 2020. The Action Plan developed is aligned with the goals of the Africa Union’s Resolution on Organic Farming and will therefore aim to assist its successful implementation.

Pillars for the action plan are:

  • Research, training and extension
  • Information and communication
  • Value chain and market development
  • Networking and partnership
  • Supportive policy and programs
  • Institutional capacity development

A steering Committee chaired by a representative of the AUC has been appointed to coordinate the initiative. Members of the Steering Committee include:

  • Dr. Sarah Olembo, African Union Commission (Ethiopia)
  • Sue Edwards, ISD (Ethiopia)     
  • Zachary Makanya, PELUM (Kenya)
  • Musa Muwanga, NOGAMU (Uganda)
  • Herve Bouagnimbeck, IFOAM (Germany)
  • Dr. Charles Sseyewa, Uganda Martyrs University (Uganda)
  • Ngugi Mutura, SACDEP (Kenya)
  • Dr. Olugbenga AdeOluwa, University of Ibadan and NOAN (Nigeria)
  • Dr. David Amudavi, Biovision Foundation (Kenya)
  • Munshimbwe Chitalu, OPPAZ (Zambia)

Next step includes submission of the Action Plan to interested partners/donors for funding support. According to IFOAM, the African Ecological Organic Initiative fits with the objectives of IFOAM’s Organic Alternative for Africa and IFOAM looks forward to contributing to the success of the initiative.

Background

The Executive Council of the African Union (AU) Resolution on Organic Farming, which was adopted in January 2011, is a significant outcome for the continuous lobbying efforts of the African organic initiatives and their international partners.

According to IFOAM, the African Union’s recognition for the importance of organic agriculture is an important step for realizing the multifunctional benefits of organic agriculture and growing the capacity for African governments to develop sustainable, resilient and productive farming on the continent. More than ever, Africa needs the Organic Alternative to help overcome the pressing challenges of food security and climate change.

The resolution requests the AU Commission and its New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) to initiate and provide guidance for an AU-led coalition of international partners on the establishment of an African organic farming platform based on available best practices; and to provide guidance in support of the development of sustainable organic farming systems and improve seed quality.

Source: IFOAM: Africa Organic News May 2011

Further Information

Africa at Organic-World.net

Contact

Hervé Bouagnimbeck
IFOAM Africa Office
International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM)
Charles-de-Gaulle-Str. 5
53113  Bonn
Germany
Tel. +49 228 926 50-10
Fax +49 228 926 50-99
h.bouagnimbeck(at)ifoam.org
www.ifoam.org

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