Shifting towards organic farming will be good for Africa's nutritional needs, the environment, farmers' incomes, African markets and employment, said United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) deputy secretary-general Petko Draganov.
He was speaking at the second African Organic Conference held recently in the Zambian capital Lusaka. According to Allafrica.com, more than 300 participants from 40 countries attended the conference, themed "Mainstreaming organic agriculture into the African development agenda."
UNCTAD, Draganov said, strongly supports the growing use of organic farming practices on the continent. He noted that Africa already has more certified organic farms than any other continent: at least 530,000 farmers in Africa are certified according to organic standards. Uganda and Ethiopia have each more than 100,000 certified organic farms and Tanzania has some 85,000.
The conference emphasised the importance of food security, sustainable agriculture, and a transition towards a 'green' economy, Allafrica.com reports. It had among its objectives the development of an African Organic Action Plan intended to spur expansion of the organic farming sector, streamline certification and "organic equivalency" systems that allow more vigorous trade in organic goods while adding to the continent's organic produce markets.
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