Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) publishes proceedings of the plenary presentations of the 3rd African Organic Conference titled ‘Achieving Social and Economic Development in Africa through Ecological and Organic Agricultural Alternatives’

The publication, Achieving Social and Economic Development in Africa through Ecological and Organic Agricultural alternatives, is a follow up to FAO’s 2013 publication Organic Agriculture: African experiences in Resilience and Sustainability. It follows firstly, because it reports on the progress made since the Lusaka Conference in 2012, but secondly because it pushes forward our understanding of how ecological organic agriculture contribute not only to agricultural and ecosystem development, but also to social and economic developments. In Lagos we learned that Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) has a significant role to play in addressing the pressing problems of poverty, food insecurity, land degradation, market access, food safety ad climate change in Africa. Ecological Organic farming systems increase yields, are resilient to climate change effects and are cost-effective. Further, EOA is climate smart, preserves biodiversity, provides ecosystem services, and produces lower carbon emissions. “Both of these lessons remain pertinent to our ability to meet the new Sustainable Development Goals to eliminate global hunger and malnutrition

This publication gathers together in one volume the plenary papers presented during the 3rd African Organic Conference that took place in Lago, Nigeria from 5-9 October, 2015. The different chapters document the institutional support that is developing across Africa to ensure that research, markets, and policies can contribute to the positive developmental impact of initiatives to develop continent wide policy supports, national approaches and local innovations. A core theme of the event was the value of organic trade globally and particular importance of focusing attention towards deepening access to national, regional and global markets for ecological and organic products.

The publication addresses the contribution of farmers, consumers, researchers, educators, public officials, civil servants, policy-makers, entrepreneurs, financiers and other promoters of ecological organic agriculture to reducing food insecurity and rural poverty, by making agriculture, forestry and, fisheries more sustainable and productive, enabling the creation of sustainable food systems and increasing the overall resilience of farmers’ livelihoods.

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