UN deputy calls for Africa to embrace organic farming

Orangic_farmFarmers can often charge premium prices for produce grown organically. (Image source: Ecoagriculture Partners)The deputy head of the United Nations trade and development body has said that continued growth of organic farming across Africa would benefit farmers' incomes, national economies and employment

UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) deputy secretary-general Petko Draganov told delegates at the African Organic Conference that expanding Africa’s shift towards organic farming would also play a role in helping the continent meet it nutritional needs and defer environmental concerns.

“Organic agriculture can offer an impressive array of food security, economic, environmental, and health benefits for developing countries, including in Africa,” said Draganov.

UNCTAD is tasked with promoting the integration of developing countries into the global economy and has strongly supported the growing use of organic farming practices in Africa – especially as farmers generally receive higher prices for organic produce.

Africa has more certified organic farms than any other continent and, according to UNCTAD, organic agriculture can led to increases in farm yield of 100 per cent or more.

“Organic agriculture can have an important role in achieving sustainable and inclusive development,” Draganov remarked.

The second edition of the African Organic Conference took place in Lusaka, Zambia, and was attended by a host of international organisations such as UNCTAD, the African Union, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

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