“Bridging the Gap, empowering Organic Africa”
Organic food production and farming systems have a significant potential to meet the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Organic farming includes strategies for reduced hunger, climate mitigation, increased biodiversity, and responsible production with fair conditions for all involved by responsible consumption. FAO recently declared that organic farming can enhance food security, rural development, sustainable livelihoods and environmental integrity by building capacities of stock?Holders stakeholders? in organic production, processing, certification and marketing. While the growth of organic food systems has been impressive in Europe, it remains a niche market in African countries(too many words). The revised EU regulation to be implemented in 2021 will affect the import of organic products from third parties, and there is a need to understand how.
While still a small sector, African Organic Agriculture is gaining success through the Ecological and Organic Agriculture Initiative (EOA-I) confirmed during the last African Organic Conference held in Sally-Dakar (Senegal) in November 2018. African organic stakeholders and decision makers along with scientists were unanimous that African Governments, continental and regional institutions, development partners, donors and private sector investors, should provide more support to the development of organic agriculture in Africa.
Many research institutes and scientists in Africa are developing innovative techniques for more productive organic systems. These efforts deserve higher attention, in a context of international research for development. Further, there is an increasing gap between smallholder farms and industrialized organic farms. This is especially evident in Morocco, where the Green Moroccan Plan (Plan Maroc Vert) was launched in 2008. This plan has been a success in many ways, and is being scaled up to embrace more countries. However, also unintended effects of large plans need to be discussed in a scientific context.
The conference will increase the cooperation between organic stakeholders in Africa, which is already intense with many countries at the multilateral level. Organic expertise will be strengthened, for the benefit of all African countries. Organic farming in Africa should be further developed as a tool to adapt to, and mitigate climate change as well as increase the productivity and resilience to ensure food safety for all.
Objectives of the conference