NAIROBI May 2014 — A new initiative has been launched to promote ecological organic agriculture across Africa.
Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) is set to be implemented in 8 African countries – Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria. It is a response to the African Union Heads of State and Government Decision on organic agriculture that specifically called for promotion of ecologically sound strategies and practices among diverse stakeholders in production, processing, marketing and policy making in order to safeguard the environment, improve livelihoods, alleviate poverty and guarantee food security.
“The overall goal of the initiative is to mainstream Ecological Organic Agriculture into national agricultural production systems by 2025 in order to improve agricultural productivity, food security, access to markets and sustainable development in Africa,” said Dr David Amudavi, the EOA Project Coordinator and Executive Director of Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT).
The launch of EOA follows the conclusion of inception workshops in each of the participating countries.
The inception meetings brought together participants from various sectors each country including government, media, farmers’ organizations, private sector, civil society, policy research and development institutions, university and research institutes. The meetings culminated in the formation of National Platforms and National steering committees, and selection of Country Lead Organizations (CLOs) and Pillar Implementing Partners (PIPs).
The Initiative was first systematically run in 2012 on a pilot basis in six African countries (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zambia and Nigeria) through the support of the Swedish Society for Nature and Conservation (SSNC), a Swedish-based civil society organization, with funds from SIDA. Baseline studies were also conducted in three West African Countries (Benin, Mali and Senegal) but with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), an autonomous Swiss Government organization.