The committee which is formed by the ecological organic farming organizations of the six regional states met in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday and Thursday this week and held discussions on the progress made so far, the challenges and the way forward. to follow.
Meeting participants told the Guardian that some progress has been made so far in promoting eco-friendly organic farming in their respective countries, but the lack of policies and laws is a common challenge they face. raise.
“So far, only Uganda has succeeded in adopting an EOA policy that has gone through a ten-year process for its approval. For now, a collection of ideas to develop a bill that will be submitted for consultation with stakeholders and then the ministry and parliament, ”said Josephine Akia, new national coordinator of the participatory land use movement. (PELUM) in Uganda.
According to her, the goodwill of the member states will allow the EOA stakeholders to discuss how it has helped to advance the agendas of farmers in the respective countries.
Michael Lufungulo, head of agriculture in the Crop Development Department at the Ministry of Agriculture, said Tanzania was taking steps to transform the EOA office into a full department within the ministry.
“The ministry has worked with district stakeholders at the national level to move the AOD agenda forward. The process of developing the National Strategy for Ecological Organic Agriculture is underway. About 104 AEO farmer groups registered under Participatory Group Certification (PGC) who are engaged in horticulture, fruits, spices and sunflowers both on the mainland and in Zanzibar, ”Lufungulo said.
Eustace Kiarii, Managing Director of the Kenya Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN), said that in his country, the promotion of EOA is done through trade by facilitating farmers’ access to local and international markets.
“So far, in Nairobi alone, 20 companies export organic products to countries in the European Union. The Bureau of Standards published in the Official Journal EOA products such as macadamia nuts, spices, essential oils and horticulture;
Last year alone, EOA produced exports worth € 3 million, or approximately Ksh 300 million, while the domestic market was valued at Ksh 30 million. The products mainly come from 22 counties in the country, ”Kiarii said.
Adrien Sibomna, retired Prime Minister of Burundi who is also a member of the board of directors of the Movement for Organic Agriculture of Burundi (BOAM), said that in his country, the organization had pushed for the creation of centers knowledge. It also works closely with the government to facilitate the availability of AEO inputs and connect farmers to markets.
This is the 13th meeting since the creation of the committee and it brings together TOAM, BOAM, NOGAMU, KOAN, ROAM and Ethiopia who joined recently.
In 2003, African countries endorsed the Maputo Declaration, committing to allocate at least 10 percent of national budgets to agricultural and rural development projects (AU, 2004), among other objectives aimed at promoting the development of the EOA as approved by African heads of state. State and government in 2011.