Tanzania: Embrace organic food production, farmers advise


An agricultural expert has urged farmers to adopt organic food production to reduce production costs.

Charles Bonaventure, technical advisor to the East Africa Impact Center (ECHO), observed that producing organic food allows farmers to reduce input costs and reduce dependence on non-renewable resources in production.

According to Mr. Bonaventure, such production relies on minimal use of non-agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides, oils and agricultural machinery, and on management practices that restore, maintain and improve ecological harmony.

“It is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity,” he explained.

The main guidelines of organic production are to use materials and practices that improve the ecological balance of natural systems and integrate parts of the agricultural system into an ecological whole.

Organic farming practices cannot guarantee that products are completely free of residues.

However, methods are used to minimize air, soil and water pollution.

“The primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals and people,” he noted.

The agriculture expert further pointed out that organic food emphasizes the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to improve the quality of the environment for future generations.

The expert however suggested the need for communities to embrace food production without using most conventional pesticides, fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge, bio-engineering.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), organic farming is practiced in 187 countries worldwide.

Global sales of organic food and beverages reached over €106 billion in 2019.

ECHO is an international non-profit organization created to support East Africa and combat the food shortage it faces on a daily basis.

Working through regional impact centers around the world, ECHO connects smallholder farmers and those working to end global hunger with essential resources and each other.

These resources include an extensive knowledge base of practical information, experienced technical support, and an extensive seed bank focused on highly beneficial underutilized plants.

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