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First African Organic Conference: Growth in African organic sector unity

The first African Organic Conference “Fast tracking sustainable development in Africa through harnessing Organic Agriculture and Biotechnology” was held in Kampala, Uganda, from May 17 to 22. The next African Organic Conference will be held in Zambia in 2012.

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Some 255 participants from 27 countries attended the conference, including representatives from governments, inter-governmental institutions, UN agencies, national and international NGOs, private sector, universities, and research institutions.

The conference was organized by IFOAM members, the National Organic Agricultural Movement of Uganda NOGAMU and the Ugandan Martyrs University UMU, with the technical assistance of AGRO Eco Louis Bolk Institute Eastern Africa. The conference was an excellent platform for experience sharing and discussion on best practices, standards, certification, trade, policy formulation and other development initiatives.

The conference had a number of important outcomes:

  • The Network for Organic Agriculture Research in Africa NORA was launched.
  • Plans for forming an African Organic Network AFRONET were further developed.
  • There was agreement among the participants that arganic agriculture can contribute to sustainable development, poverty eradication and food security in Africa and a call for increased support for African organic agriculture.
  • The conference promoted the need for organic agriculture to leverage technologies from other schools of thought – in particular non genetic engineering based biotechnologies such as biological control, fermentation and rhizobial fertilizer that can be applied to organic farming systems to increase the productivity.

An IFOAM capacity building fundraising workshop for members of the African organic network held before the main conference brought together 20 participants from 9 African countries. The program had a good mix of theory, exercises and role plays. Although most of the participants already fundraise for their own organizations, for many this was the first time they thought strategically about approaches to fundraising. The participants appreciated the workshop and agreed that it will build their capacities beyond fundraising and contribute to the tightening of the network.

The next African Organic Conference will be held in Zambia in 2012.

Source: IFOAM Insider, June 2009

More information

African organic Conference Homepage

Organic-World.Net: First African Organic Conference: Book of abstracts now available

Organic-World.Net: Africa

Africa at Organic-World.net

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