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United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
United Nations Environment Programme

UNEP-UNCTAD Capacity-building Task Force
on Trade, Environment and Development

Organic Agriculture and
Food Security in
Africa

United Nations
New York and Geneva, 2008
ii

Note

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The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not imply
the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations
concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning
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Material in this publication may be freely quoted or reprinted, but acknowledgement is requested,
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quotation or reprint should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat (c/o Administrative Secretary,
Division on International Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities, Palais des Nations,
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UNCTAD/DITC/TED/2007/15

UNITED NATIONS PUBLICATION

Copyright © United Nations, 2008
All rights reserved
iii

Foreword

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Despite global pledges, the recent report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right
to Food highlighted that the number of people suffering from hunger has increased every year
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Feeding over 6 billion people – and over 9 billion by 2050 – will require a wide range of creative,
sustainable agricultural systems which not only provide food, but also factor in the economic value
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The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the United Nations
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Environment and Development (CBTF), take food security very seriously and have joined forces
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This study examines the relationship between organic agriculture and food security in Africa,
particularly East Africa, which is where the CBTF has been implementing a project on organic
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The evidence presented in this study supports the argument that organic agriculture can be more
conducive to food security in Africa than most conventional production systems, and that it is
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Therefore, we encourage policymakers and development cooperation partners in Africa and
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not only improved food security, but also an array of other economic, environmental, health and
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Supachai Panitchpakdi Achim Steiner 
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Acknowledgements
This study was prepared by Rachel Hine and Jules Pretty, University of Essex and Sophia Twarog
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Trade and Sustainable Development Section, Division on International Trade, UNCTAD, Palais
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Sophia Twarog (UNCTAD) and Asad Naqvi (UNEP/CBTF) oversaw the publication process under
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Bhalla (consultant to UNCTAD), Paul Stephenson (UNCTAD), Michael Gibson (UNCTAD) and
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Ouahidi (UNEP), Desirée Leon (UNEP) and Rahila Mughal (UNEP) provided administrative
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The authors are grateful to the following for contributing valuable information and insights to
the study:

• Peter Murage, Mount Kenya Organic Farm (MOOF), Kenya;
• J Ngugi Mutura, Sustainable Agriculture Community Development Programme
(SACDEP), Kenya;
• Charles Wasonga, Environmental Action Team (EAT), Kenya;
• Donati Alex Senzia, Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM),
United Republic of Tanzania;
• -RKQ:1MRURJH.HQ\D,QVWLWXWHRI2UJDQLF)DUPLQJ .,2) .HQ\D
• Zia R Khan, International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), Kenya;
• Moses Muwanga, National Organic Agricultural Movement of Uganda (NOGAMU),
Uganda;
• Jordan Gama, Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM), United Republic
of Tanzania;
• Eustace Kiarii, Kenya Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN), Kenya;
• 3HWUD%DNHZHOO6WRQH1RUZHJLDQ8QLYHUVLW\RI/LIH6FLHQFH1RUZD\
• Ulrich Hoffmann, UNCTAD;
• Fulai Sheng, UNEP;
• Benjamin Simmons, UNEP;
• Gunnar Rundgren, Grolink, Sweden;
• Hervé Bouagnimbeck, International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements
(IFOAM); and
• Participants in the CBTF East African Organic Agriculture Initiative who provided
feedback on the terms of reference and drafts of this paper when they were presented
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Steering Committee: From Kenya: Naftali Ndugire, National Environment Management
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Republic of Tanzania: Geoffrey Kirenga and Adah Mwasha, Ministry of Agriculture, Food
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Uganda: Florence Kata, Ben Naturinda and Bosco Okello, Ugandan Export Promotion
Board; Moses Muwanga, NOGAMU; and Godber Tumushabe, Advocates Coalition on
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The CBTF East African Organic Agriculture Initiative activities were made possible through
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Contents
Acknowledgements ............................................................................................................................... iv
Acronyms .............................................................................................................................................. vi
Executive summary.............................................................................................................................. vii
Section 1. Overview................................................................................................................... 1
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Section 2. Evidence from Africa............................................................................................. 11
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2.1.1 Improvements in availability of food..........................................................................11
2.1.2 Improvements to natural capital ............................................................................... 12
2.1.3 Improvements to social capital.................................................................................. 13
2.1.4 Improvements to human capital ................................................................................ 13
2.1.5 Improvements to physical capital.............................................................................. 14
 ,PSURYHPHQWVWR¿QDQFLDOFDSLWDO ............................................................................. 14
2.1.7 Improvements to external factors ............................................................................. 15
2.1.8 Summary.................................................................................................................... 15
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2.4.1 The Manor House Agricultural Centre, Kitale, Kenya ............................................. 19
2.4.2 Organic cotton, GTZ, United Republic of Tanzania.................................................. 19
2.4.3 SACDEP, Thika, Kenya ............................................................................................. 20
 &HUWL¿HGRUJDQLFFRWWRQLQ8JDQGD........................................................................... 21
2.4.5 C-MAD programme, Kenya....................................................................................... 22
2.4.6 Small-scale aquaculture in Malawi........................................................................... 22
2.4.7 ICIPE YXWXVXNXPX (push-pull) pest management, Kenya....................................... 23
2.4.8 Ethiopia: Cheha integrated rural development project ............................................ 24
2.4.9 MEFE project, Kakamega, Kenya............................................................................. 25
2.4.10 LOMADEF, Lipangwe, Malawi................................................................................. 25
2.4.11 Organic cashews and vegetables in Mkuranga district,
United Republic of Tanzania ................................................................................... 26
2.4.12 Soil and crop productivity improvements, EAT, Kenya ............................................. 27
2.4.13 PEEST project, Iganga district, Uganda................................................................... 29
2.4.14 MOOF, Kenya............................................................................................................ 30
2.4.15 PELUM, United Republic of Tanzania...................................................................... 31
2.4.16 Discussion of evidence .............................................................................................. 32
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2.5.1 Knowledge................................................................................................................. 34
2.5.2 Support and infrastructure ........................................................................................ 35
2.5.3 Winners and losers .................................................................................................... 36
2.5.4 Gender, employment, health and land tenure issues ................................................. 36
2.5.5 External factors ......................................................................................................... 36
2.5.6 Participatory development policies for organic agriculture..................................... 37
Section 3. Conclusions ............................................................................................................ 39
References............................................................................................................................................ 41
Annex: Main stakeholders in the organic sector in Kenya, United Republic
of Tanzania and Uganda 47
vi

Acronyms
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Development
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CSO civil society organization
EAOPS East African Organic Products Standard
EAT Environmental Action Team
EPOPA Export Promotion of Organic Products from Africa
FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
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IAASTD International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for
Development
ICIPE International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology
ICLARM International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (WorldFish
Center)
ICS internal control system
IPM Integrated Pest Management
IFOAM International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements
GEF Global Environment Facility
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GTZ Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit
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KIOF Kenya Institute of Organic Farming
KOAN Kenya Organic Agriculture Network
LOMADEF Lipangwe Organic Manure Demonstration Farm
MEFE Mumias Education for Empowerment
MOOF Mount Kenya Organic Farm
NA not applicable
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NOGAMU National Organic Agricultural Movement of Uganda
PEEST Poverty Eradication through Environmentally Sustainable Technologies
PELUM Participatory Ecological Land Use Management
SACDEP Sustainable Agriculture Community Development Programme
SFO smallholder farmer organization
Sida Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
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TOAM Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement
UNCTAD United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
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UNEP United Nations Environment Programme
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
WHO World Health Organization
vii

Executive summary

Introduction

Organic agriculture is a sustainable and environmentally friendly production system that offers
African and other developing countries a wide range of economic, environmental, social and
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and Development (CBTF) started its work on organic agriculture in East Africa in 2004, a key
question repeatedly raised by public and private sector stakeholders in the region was to what
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special attention has been given to East Africa throughout the paper, including analysis of 15 case
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Food security and agricultural production

Modern agricultural methods have resulted in spectacular increases in productivity: more cereals and
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the majority of the chronically hungry are small farmers in developing countries who produce much
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In the last 10 years, progress in the drive to reduce hunger has been slow and has varied around
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FHQWVLQFH In the period 2000–2002, the proportion of undernourished people in the total
population of Kenya was 33 per cent, in Uganda 19 per cent and in the United Republic of
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and Eastern Africa compared to an overall decline in other developing regions such as Asia, South
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fertility rates and family sizes, the world population continues to increase, and so, in parallel, will
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The conventional wisdom is that, in order to double food supply, efforts need to be redoubled to
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Arguably, the most sustainable choice for agricultural development and food security is therefore
to increase total farm productivity in situ, in the developing countries that are the most in need of
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(ii) Whether they can do this without causing further environmental damage; and
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The food security of any region is not simply a question of producing enough food to meet demand;
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produces the food, who has access to the technology and knowledge to produce it, and who has
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Organic agriculture and food security

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of these natural, social and economic resources over time3 thus often reducing many of the factors
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Increase in food availability

In developing countries, evidence from research and from this study shows that agricultural yields
in organic systems do not fall, and at least remain stable when converting from systems that
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assets in systems improve, thus outperforming those in traditional systems and matching those in
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Bolwig (2007), have also found that organic conversion in tropical Africa is associated with yield
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produced per farm leads to household food security which results in all members of the household
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organic farming enables new and different groups in a community to get involved in agricultural
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The vast majority of the case studies in this research showed improvements to the natural capital
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to the natural environment, including increased water retention in soils, improvements in the water
table (with more drinking water in the dry season), reduced soil erosion combined with improved
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As a result soils are healthier, are better able to hold water and are more stable, can sustain plant
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Organic agriculture leads to improvements in social capital, including more and stronger social
organizations at local level, new rules and norms for managing collective natural resources and
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lowered the costs of working, led to increased knowledge transfer amongst farmers, reduced the
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(NGOs) and organic support organizations such as the Kenya Organic Agriculture Network
(KOAN), the National Organic Agricultural Movement of Uganda (NOGAMU), the Tanzania
Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM), and the Export Promotion of Organic Products from
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and domestic organic markets and gain greater knowledge of sustainable organic techniques,
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Organic farming leads to an increase in human capital, evident in all of the case studies detailed in
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health of individuals and communities as a result of increased knowledge, an increase in food
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holistic nature of organic farming to adapt and change their farming systems when faced with new
challenges has resulted in these agricultural systems becoming more resilient to environmental
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Organic farming can also lead to improvements in the infrastructure (communications and
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farming, (particularly crucial for export) and farmers, NGOs and governments can work together
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Access to markets has increased not only for farmers selling their surplus in domestic markets, but
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Poverty is a major contributory factor to food insecurity, and organic farming has a positive
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precludes the need to purchase synthetic pesticides and fertilizers; (ii) extra incomes gained by
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organic produce, obtained primarily in Africa for export but also for domestic markets; and (iv)
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studies from Asia and Latin America that concluded that organic farming can reduce poverty in
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farmer and household incomes as a result of becoming organic, which contributed to reducing
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• Organic agriculture can increase agricultural productivity and can raise incomes with
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resources, strengthen communities and improve human capacity, thus improving food
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• All case studies which focused on food production in this research where data have been
reported have shown increases in per hectare productivity of food crops, which challenges
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Organic production allows access to markets and food for farmers, enabling them to
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projects, has been shown to increase access to food in a variety of ways: by increasing
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many poor, marginalized smallholder farmers in Africa, as they require minimal or no
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products, and encourage a whole systemic approach to farming that is more diverse and
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Enhanced transition to sustainable forms of agriculture in general, and organic agriculture
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monocropping farming systems for the export market, whether conventional or organic,
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farming principles are adopted as a holistic approach for the whole of an integrated
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security in a region is more likely to occur, while also building up natural, human and
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African countries; indeed, it is sometimes actively hindered by policies advocating the
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for the creation of better linkages between scientists, agricultural training and extension
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(CSOs), organic movement organizations, governments and certifying bodies at all
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agriculture there is a need to work at all levels: local, national and international, as well
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• Improving agricultural sustainability through adoption of organic agriculture in Africa
may not be a solution to all the food problems, but considerable progress has been made
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future needs in response to continued population growth and development in African
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present situation of widespread food insecurity means that conventional farming systems
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human capital, could spread to much larger numbers of farmers and rural people in the
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released report of the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and
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the World Bank and WHO (issued on 14 April 2008) stated strongly that “the way the
world grows its food will have to change radically to better serve the poor and hungry if
the world is to cope with growing population and climate change while avoiding social
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and (ii) food producers should try using “natural processes” like crop rotation and use of
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Overview 1

SECTION 1. OVERVIEW

1.1 Introduction

Organic agriculture is a sustainable and environmentally friendly production system that
offers African and other developing countries a wide range of economic, environmental, social
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Environment and Development (CBTF)2 started its work on organic agriculture in East Africa
in 2004, a key question repeatedly raised by public and private sector stakeholders in the region
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origins, special attention has been given to East Africa throughout the paper, including analysis of 
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1.2 Agricultural production and food security in Africa

Over the past 40 years, there has been remarkable growth in agricultural production with per capita
world food production growing by 17 per cent and aggregate world food production growing by 
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Over the same period, world population grew from three to six billion, but globally per capita
agricultural production overtook population growth, and each person today has 25 per cent more
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Modern agricultural methods have brought spectacular increases in productivity: more cereals and
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in developing countries who produce much of what they eat and are often poor and lack access to
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The recent advances in aggregate productivity have therefore not brought reductions in the
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include numbers of “hungry” or malnourished people, of underweight children and of people
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Although average per capita food consumption in 2003 was 2,780 kcal/day, consumption in 33
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2 Organic Agriculture and Food Security in Africa

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go hungry, globally there are 126 billion underweight children and over 2 billion people suffering
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In the last 10 years, progress in the drive to reduce hunger has been slow and has varied around
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population of Kenya was 33 per cent, in Uganda 19 per cent and in the United Republic of
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and East Africa compared to an overall decrease in other developing regions such as Asia, South
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The world therefore still faces a fundamental food security challenge: despite steadily falling
fertility rates and family sizes, the world population continues to increase and so in parallel will
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World population is widely expected to reach 9 billion by the next generation, by when 84 per cent
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the same time, land and water degradation is increasingly posing a threat to food security and the
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increased production and more imports will mean per capita consumption will increase by 2015,
a person living in a developing country will still only consume half of the cereals and a third of
the meat consumed by a person in an industrialized country, which implies that food insecurity
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What makes agriculture unique as an economic sector is that it directly affects many of the natural,
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recognized as being important,9 are described below:

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regulation; treatment, assimilation and decomposition of wastes; nutrient cycling and
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norms, values and attitudes that prompt people to cooperate; relations of trust, reciprocity
and obligations; and common rules and sanctions that are mutually agreed or handed
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Overview 3

3. Human capital is the total capability of individuals, based on their stock of knowledge
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and organizational skills are particularly important in making other resources more
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4. Physical capital is the store of material resources made by humans, and comprises
buildings, such as housing and factories, market infrastructure, irrigation works, roads
and bridges, tools and tractors, communications, and energy and transportation systems,
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5. Financial capital is more of an accounting concept, as it provides a facilitating role rather
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As agricultural systems shape these very assets on which they rely for inputs, a vital feedback
ORRSRFFXUVIURPRXWFRPHVWRLQSXWV13 The basic premise is that more sustainable agricultural
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and human capital, while unsustainable systems deplete these assets, leaving less for future
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For example: (i) an agricultural system that erodes soil while producing food results in costs
that others must bear;14 (ii) another system that sequesters carbon in soils through organic matter
accumulation helps to mitigate climate change; (iii) a diverse agricultural system that enhances
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SDWWHUQV15 Agriculture is therefore fundamentally multifunctional, as it involves many unique
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to sustainable forms of agriculture in general, and organic agriculture in particular, needs to be
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1.4 Causes of food insecurity

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produces the food, who has access to the technology and knowledge to produce it, and who has
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Box 1 shows the factors contributing to food insecurity in Africa, both natural and those caused
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4 Organic Agriculture and Food Security in Africa

Box 1. Factors contributing to food insecurity in Africa
1. Availability of food
Lack of consistent • Enough food may be produced in a region overall, but food insecurity may
access to food persist for those who do not have the resources to buy or produce it.
• Farmers may be able to produce or buy enough food for their families after
harvest but may be food insecure at other times of the year.a
2. Natural capital
Degraded natural • A degraded natural environment, such as poor soil quality, eroded landscapes
resources or inadequate water resources, will compromise food production in an area.
Practice of mono- • Monocropped systems are less likely to promote food security than diverse
cropping agricultural systems, which are more resilient to stresses.
3. Social capital
Community and group • Where there are poor links within and between communities, with limited
issues networks, partnerships, trust and collective action, credit and responsibility,
communities are less likely to cope with and to be able to help each other in
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and ill-health is likely to be greater in areas with lower social capital.
4. Human capital
Lack of education and • Lack of education and agricultural/nutritional knowledge can affect farmers’
knowledge capacity to adapt to change or to cope with food production stresses.
Ill-health and diseases • Malnourished people are not able to produce food as effectively as those who
are well fed.
• The prevalence of diseases such as HIV/AIDS has had serious impacts on
food security and nutrition. When family members become ill or die from the
virus, households are less able to produce or buy food.b In sub-Saharan Africa,
11 million children are orphaned by HIV/AIDS.c Mortality and morbidity in HIV/
AIDS-affected households has led to decreased farm sizes, loss of income
at household level, a higher dependency ratio and a general increase in food
insecurity.d
Gender issues • In many regions women are the major agricultural labour force. However, as
they are not always recognized for this, they may not control household budgets
and often have poor education.
• In areas where men are in control over the household income, less money
is spent on food when compared to those where women have control over
incomes.
5. Physical capital
Poor infrastructure • Poor infrastructure (roads, communications and markets for example) affects
food security.

Lack of access • Lack of appropriate agricultural knowledge, technologies, methods or inputs
to appropriate can affect food security.
technologies
6. Financial capital
Poverty • Poverty remains the root cause of hunger and malnutrition in the world.e
Lack of access to • Lack of access to markets means that farmers and communities can neither sell
markets their surplus nor purchase food in times of shortage. This leads to inconsistent
food availability thus contributing to food insecurity.
7. Other external factors
Land-tenure issues • Land-tenure issues can contribute to food insecurity in a number of ways which
vary depending on the context. For example, in some areas if a husband dies,
the wife cannot continue to farm the land and the land goes to other members
of the family. In East Africa, all of the male children of a man inherit his land
between them on his death, which means that each person owns increasingly
smaller farm plots, making it hard to sustain enough food for the household.
Political issues ‡ 3ROLWLFDOSUREOHPVLQFOXGLQJFRUUXSWLRQFROOXVLRQDQGQHSRWLVPFDQVLJQL¿FDQWO\
inhibit attempts to tackle food insecurity.f
Overview 5

Climate and natural • In areas prone to drought or unreliable rainfall, food security can be particularly
disasters challenging.
• Plagues of natural pests such as locusts can decimate crops.
• Natural disasters may destroy lives, crops, homes and landscapes.
• In the last 20 years, the average number of deaths from natural disasters has
been more than the average for the preceding decade.g
$UPHGFRQÀLFWVDQG ‡ 3ROLWLFDO XQUHVW DUPHG FRQÀLFWV DQG ZDUV FRQWULEXWH WR IRRG LQVHFXULW\ DQG
wars prevent food from being produced or accessed.
‡ 3ROLWLFDOFRQÀLFWVDUHRIWHQDVVRFLDWHGZLWKIRRGLQVHFXULW\DVERWKDFDXVHDQG
an effect.h

a
Benson, 2004.
b
Rosegrant et al., 2005.
c
FAO, 2002.
d
Rugalema, 1999; Sanchez and Swaminathan, 2005; and Wagah, 2005.
e
IFPRI, 2005.
f Rosegrant et al., 2005.
g
EM-DAT, 2005.
h
Messer and Cohen, 2004 

)RRGVHFXULW\FKDOOHQJHVIRUDJULFXOWXUHLQ$IULFD

There are two emerging food security challenges:

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This will not be easy, as past agricultural development has tended to ignore both the
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These questions are controversial, with widely varying positions about strategies which are
likely to be effective, including: (i) expanding the area of agriculture;17 (ii) increasing per hectare
production in agricultural exporting countries;18 or (iii) increasing total farm productivity in
GHYHORSLQJFRXQWULHVWKDWDUHWKHPRVWOLNHO\WRQHHGWKHIRRG

The conventional wisdom is that, in order to double food supply, efforts need to be redoubled to
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Arguably then, the most sustainable choice for agricultural development and food security is to
increase total farm productivity in situ, in the developing countries that are the most likely to need
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cost, locally available technologies and inputs (this is particularly important at times of
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(ii) Whether they can do this without causing further environmental damage; and
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16
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17
By converting new lands to agriculture, but with the result that services from forests, grasslands and other areas of
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6 Organic Agriculture and Food Security in Africa

1.6 Sustainability in agriculture

Many different expressions have come to be used to imply greater sustainability in some
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ELRG\QDPLFFRPPXQLW\EDVHGHFRDJULFXOWXUHHFRORJLFDOHQYLURQPHQWDOO\VHQVLWLYHH[WHQVLYH
IDUPIUHVK IUHHUDQJH ORZLQSXW RUJDQLF SHUPDFXOWXUH VXVWDLQDEOH DQG ZLVH XVH 7KHUH LV D
continuing and intense debate about whether agricultural systems using some of these practices
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However highly sustainable agricultural systems can be taken to mean those that aim to make the
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QDWXUDOVRFLDODQGKXPDQFDSLWDO21 The key principles for sustainability are to:

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soil regeneration, allelopathy, competition, predation and parasitism into food production
processes;
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harm the health of farmers and consumers;
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substituting human capital for costly external inputs;
LY 0DNHSURGXFWLYHXVHRISHRSOH¶VFROOHFWLYHFDSDFLWLHVWRZRUNWRJHWKHUWRVROYHFRPPRQ
agricultural and natural resource problems, such as pests, watershed, irrigation, forest and
FUHGLWPDQDJHPHQW

Sustainability in agricultural systems incorporates concepts of both resilience (the capacity of
systems to resist shocks and stresses) and persistence (the capacity of systems to continue over long
SHULRGV DQGDGGUHVVHVPDQ\ZLGHUHFRQRPLFVRFLDODQGHQYLURQPHQWDORXWFRPHV$JULFXOWXUDO
systems with high levels of social and human assets are more able to adapt to change and innovate
LQ WKH IDFH RI XQFHUWDLQW\ 7KLV VXJJHVWV WKDW WKHUH DUH OLNHO\ WR EH PDQ\ SDWKZD\V WRZDUGV
agricultural sustainability; no single system of technologies, inputs or ecological management is
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WR¿WWKHVHIDFWRUVWRWKHVSHFL¿FFLUFXPVWDQFHVRIGLIIHUHQWORFDODJULFXOWXUDOV\VWHPV22

1.7 Organic agriculture

If sustainable agricultural systems are those that aim to make the best use of environmental goods
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Unlike the conventional intensive agricultural systems, organic farming represents a deliberate
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integrated, humane, environmentally and economically viable agricultural systems that rely to the
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DVSRVVLEOH

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Overview 7

IDUP V\VWHPV 7KH )$2:+2 &RGH[ $OLPHQWDULXV JXLGHOLQHV UHFRJQL]HG E\ 81&7$' LQ
its Trade and Environment Review 2006 GH¿QHV RUJDQLF DJULFXOWXUH DV “a holistic production
management [whose] primary goal is to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent
communities of soil, life, plants animals and people”6LPLODUO\WKH,QWHUQDWLRQDO)HGHUDWLRQRI
Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM), which has over 750 member organizations in 108
FRXQWULHVGH¿QHVLWDV“a whole system approach based upon sustainable ecosystems, safe food,
good nutrition, animal welfare and social justice. Organic production therefore is more than a
system of production that includes or excludes certain inputs.”23 Principles of organic agriculture
DFFRUGLQJWR,)2$0DUHOLVWHGLQER[

&HUWL¿HGRUJDQLFDJULFXOWXUHLVDVXEVHWRIRUJDQLFDJULFXOWXUH7KHSURGXFWLRQRIFHUWL¿HGRUJDQLF
products has been objectively assessed as conforming with precise organic production standards,
XVXDOO\E\DWKLUGSDUW\FHUWL¿FDWLRQERG\

Box 2. IFOAM’s Principles of Organic Agriculture

• Principle of Health: Organic agriculture should sustain and enhance the health of soil, plant, animal,
human and planet as one and indivisible.
• Principle of Ecology: Organic agriculture should be based on living ecological systems and cycles,
work with them, emulate them and help sustain them.
• Principle of Fairness: Organic agriculture should build on relationships that ensure fairness with
regard to the common environment and life opportunities.
• Principle of Care: Organic agriculture should be managed in a precautionary and responsible manner
to protect the health and well-being of current and future generations and the environment.

Source: IFOAM, 2006b.

Many traditional farming systems found in developing countries practice organic techniques
ZLWKRXWVHHNLQJRUUHFHLYLQJWKHSUHPLXPSULFHJLYHQWRRUJDQLFIRRGLQVRPHGRPHVWLFPDUNHWV
Traditional agriculture includes management practices that have evolved through centuries to
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nature, traditional systems do not use synthetic agricultural inputs but apply ecological approaches
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SURGXFWLRQVWDQGDUGVIRURUJDQLFDJULFXOWXUHEXWFDQEHFRQVLGHUHGQHDURUJDQLF

Rather than clear divisions between the sustainable, traditional and organic agriculture farming
FDWHJRULHVGHVFULEHGWKHUHLVRIWHQVRPHRYHUODSLQSUDFWLFH24 Figure 1 shows some of the overlaps
EHWZHHQDJULFXOWXUDOSUDFWLFHV

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8 Organic Agriculture and Food Security in Africa

Figure 1. Categories of agricultural practices in developing countries

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Source: Taken from Twarog, 2006, in UNCTAD Trade and Environment Review 2006: 144.

There has been a huge growth in both the international and domestic markets for organic produce
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where an established and widespread domestic market for organic produce is not present, the
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for export of organic produce to Europe and the United States, for local markets in Africa it
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that gives the consumer the security of knowing that food has been produced according to strict
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accessible solutions to guarantee the integrity of organic produce for local domestic markets are
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limited domestic market for organic produce, it is not necessarily critical, possible or attractive
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In this study, “organic agriculture” refers to agriculture that meets organic production standards and
³FHUWL¿HGRUJDQLF´UHIHUVWRDJULFXOWXUHWKDWLVDVVHVVHGVXEMHFWWRRUJDQLFLQVSHFWLRQFHUWL¿FDWLRQ
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(FRORJ\ DQG $JULFXOWXUH 62/  LQ *HUPDQ\ WKH JOREDO DUHD RI ODQG XQGHU FHUWL¿HG RUJDQLF
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Overview 9

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95 per cent), production is spread across the globe with developing countries having a large and
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data collection on the continent, as there is no information available for nearly half of all African
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Farmers in Africa produce a diversity of organic crops including coffee, cocoa, tea, fruits, medicinal
and aromatic plants, olives, cotton, sesame, cereals, oils, nuts, spices, honey, vegetables and
VXJDU27$VLQPRVWGHYHORSLQJFRXQWULHVWKHEXONRIWKHFHUWL¿HGRUJDQLFSURGXFWVDUHH[SRUWHG
)RU$IULFDWKH(XURSHDQ8QLRQLVWKHPDLQH[SRUWPDUNHW0RGHVWGRPHVWLFPDUNHWVIRURUJDQLF
products are most developed in South Africa and Egypt, and have also been growing rapidly in
UHFHQW\HDUVLQ(DVW$IULFD28

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organic production, Kenya 181,500 ha and the United Republic of Tanzania30KD31 These
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carried out by exporting companies that subcontract (mainly smallholder) outgrowers, although
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RIZKLFKSHUFHQWDUHVPDOOKROGHUVZLWKOHVVWKDQWKUHHKHFWDUHVRIODQG32 Key information
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LQGHYHORSLQJFRXQWULHVWKHUHDUHSUREDEO\DQRWKHUPLOOLRQKHFWDUHVRIWKLVQRQFHUWL¿HG
QHDURUJDQLFDJULFXOWXUH33 In Africa, at least 730 000 households farming about 700 000 hectares
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In Africa, a large proportion of the labour force is employed in agriculture (60–80 per cent) and
the majority of these farmers (many of whom are women) are smallholders with farms of less
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and Tanzania the average use of chemical fertilizers is less than one kg per hectare per year, which
LPSOLHVWKDWPRVWODQGLVQHYHUIHUWLOL]HGZLWKV\QWKHWLFIHUWLOL]HUV35

Box 3. Key information about organic agriculture in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania
Kenya Uganda Tanzania
x Organic agriculture from 1980s. x &HUWL¿HGRUJDQLFIDUPLQJPDLQO\ x &HUWL¿HGRUJDQLFIDUPLQJIRUH[SRUW
x Large private companies and smallholder farmers organized mainly by smallholders organized
civil society organizations into private companies, into co-operatives.
(CSOs) have led the way with supported by commercial x Organic cashews, pineapple, coffee,
FHUWL¿HGRUJDQLFVIRUH[SRUW exporters. tea, honey, herbs and spices, cotton
x Also smallholder farmers x Strong local organic movement. for export.
organized into groups – some x Export market since 1994 x History of low-input traditional
are registered organic. – the main driving factor for farming, so much agricultural
x National representative the development of organic production for domestic markets
organization of stakeholders DJULFXOWXUHFHUWL¿HGRUJDQLF is organic or near organic, but not
(both large companies and exporters in 2005 expected 22 in FHUWL¿HG
smallholder farmer groups) in 2006. x (VWLPDWHVRIKDFHUWL¿HG
organic agriculture - Kenya x (VWLPDWHVRIKDFHUWL¿HG organic with 55,000 farmers (2007).
Organic Agriculture Network organic with 60,000 farmers x National representative organization
(KOAN). (2007). of stakeholders in organic agriculture
x Mainly fruit and vegetables for x Small but expanding domestic - Tanzania Organic Agriculture
export market on large scale market. Movement (TOAM) - formed in 2005.
farms but also more recently x National representative x 1RVSHFL¿FSROLF\SURPRWLQJRUJDQLF
essential oils and dried herbs organization of stakeholders in agriculture although existing National
and spices. organic agriculture - National Agricultural Policy has clauses on
x Small but expanding domestic Organic Movement of Uganda organic agriculture and chapter on
market. (NOGAMU). organic included in current draft
x (VWLPDWHVRIKDFHUWL¿HG x Much agricultural production is revision.
organic with 35,000 farmers RUJDQLFEXWQRWFHUWL¿HG
(2007). x 1RVSHFL¿FSROLF\SURPRWLQJ
x Much agricultural production is organic agriculture. The organic
RUJDQLFEXWQRWFHUWL¿HG Policy Development Committee
x Government recently starting was created in 2003 but
to recognize role of organic progress has been slow due to
DJULFXOWXUH1RVSHFL¿FSROLF\ lack of funding.
promoting organic agriculture. x Uganda Export Promotion
x Sections on organic agriculture Board is interested in organic
included in draft revisions of soil agriculture.
and food policies.

Source:DODJDDQG7D\ORUHWDO*UROLQN5XQGJUHQ%ROZLJHWDO:LOOHUDQG<XVVH¿
International Trade Centre (UNCTAD/WTO), 2007; Draft Report of the East African Organic Conference, May 2007, available
on the UNEP-UNCTAD CBTF website at www.unep-unctad.org/cbtf.

35
 $OWLHUL27$:\QHQDQG9LQFHWWL
Evidence from Africa 11

SECTION 2. EVIDENCE FROM AFRICA 

,QFUHDVLQJIRRGVHFXULW\ZLWKRUJDQLFDJULFXOWXUH

The food security of any region is not simply a question of producing enough food to meet
GHPDQGLWLVDOVRLQÀXHQFHGE\DPXOWLWXGHRIIDFWRUVERWKQDWXUDODQGFDXVHGE\KXPDQV VHH
ER[ ,QFUHDVHGIRRGVXSSO\GRHVQRWDXWRPDWLFDOO\PHDQLQFUHDVHGIRRGVHFXULW\IRUDOO:KDWLV
important is who produces the food, who has access to the technology and knowledge to produce
LWDQGZKRKDVWKHSXUFKDVLQJSRZHUWRDFTXLUHLW

$JULFXOWXUHE\LWVLQKHUHQWPXOWLIXQFWLRQDOLW\KDVWKHSRWHQWLDOWRERWKLQÀXHQFHDQGDGGUHVVWKH
IDFWRUVWKDWFRQWULEXWHWRIRRGLQVHFXULW\ RXWOLQHGLQER[LQWKHSUHYLRXVVHFWLRQ $VGLVFXVVHG
below, organic agriculture can improve the availability of food, particularly for those who are
WKH PRVW IRRG LQVHFXUH 2UJDQLF DJULFXOWXUH UHOLHV RQ ¿YH FDSLWDO DVVHWV IRU VXFFHVV QDWXUDO
VRFLDO KXPDQ SK\VLFDO DQG ¿QDQFLDO FDSLWDO  ,W FRQWULEXWHV WR DQG EXLOGV XS VWRFNV RI WKHVH
natural, social and economic resources over time36WKXVLPSURYLQJIRRGVHFXULW\LQDORQJWHUP
VXVWDLQDEOHPDQQHU
2.1.1 Improvements in availability of food

In the more intensive, industrialized agricultural systems the productivity of organic agriculture
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management; (ii) organic management based on input substitution, and (iii) complete shift to a
V\VWHPVDSSURDFK37

Particularly in these more industrialized farming systems, after switching from synthetic inputs to
RUJDQLFV\VWHPVIDUPHUVXVXDOO\H[SHULHQFHDQLQLWLDOGHFOLQHLQ\LHOGV$IWHUWKHDJURHFRV\VWHP
LVUHVWRUHGDQGRUJDQLFPDQDJHPHQWV\VWHPVDUHIXOO\LPSOHPHQWHG\LHOGVLQFUHDVHVLJQL¿FDQWO\
7KHLVVXHRIDVVHWDFFXPXODWLRQRYHUWLPHLVDOVRLPSRUWDQW,IDJULFXOWXUDOV\VWHPVDUHORZLQ
natural, social and human assets – either intrinsically low, or have become damaged by degradation
– then a sudden switch to organic practices that rely on these very assets will not be immediately
VXFFHVVIXODQGPD\WDNHWLPHWRUHDFKLWVIXOOSRWHQWLDO+RZHYHUWKHVHSHULRGVRIORZHU\LHOGV
VHHPWREHPRUHDSSDUHQWGXULQJFRQYHUVLRQVRILQGXVWULDOL]HGDJULFXOWXUDOV\VWHPV38

In developing countries, evidence from research and from this study shows that agricultural yields
in organic systems do not fall, and at least remain stable when converting from systems that use
UHODWLYHO\ORZDPRXQWVRIV\QWKHWLFLQSXWV PDQ\RIZKLFKZHUHE\SDVVHGE\WKHHDUOLHU³JUHHQ
UHYROXWLRQ´ VXFKDVWKRVHIUHTXHQWO\IRXQGLQ$IULFD2YHUWLPH\LHOGVLQFUHDVHDVFDSLWDODVVHWV
in systems improve, thus outperforming those in traditional systems and matching those in more
FRQYHQWLRQDOLQSXWLQWHQVLYHV\VWHPV

Organic farming can lead to increased food production – in many cases a doubling of yields
has been seen – which makes an important contribution to increasing the food security in a
UHJLRQ7KHFDVHVVWXGLHVRXWOLQHGLQWKLVUHSRUWVXSSRUWWKHJURZLQJERG\RIHYLGHQFHWKDW\LHOG
increases are possible and indeed likely, with a switch to organic farming in a variety of different
FRQWH[WVSDUWLFXODUO\LQPDUJLQDOL]HGDUHDVRUZKHUHWUDGLWLRQDOIDUPLQJPHWKRGVDUHXVHG)RRG
DYDLODELOLW\LQFUHDVHGLQRXWRIFDVHVFHQWUHGRQIRRGSURGXFWLRQH[DPLQHGLQWKLVVWXG\
Others, such as Gibbon and Bolwig (2007), have also found that organic conversion in tropical
$IULFDLVDVVRFLDWHGZLWK\LHOGLQFUHDVHV

Increased household food security is frequently reported after a switch to organic production,
since the majority of smallholder farmers in Africa grow the bulk of their crops for domestic

36
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12 Organic Agriculture and Food Security in Africa

FRQVXPSWLRQ ZLWK RQO\ D VPDOO SURSRUWLRQ IRU VDOH 2UJDQLF IDUPLQJ WHFKQLTXHV DUH WKHUHIRUH
widely recognized as increasing food security in this context, particularly in rain fed agricultural
V\VWHPV39

2UJDQLF IDUPLQJ LQFUHDVHV DFFHVV WR IRRG RQ VHYHUDO OHYHOV )LUVW LQFUHDVHG TXDQWLW\ RI IRRG
produced per farm leads to household food security which results in all members of the household
KDYLQJ DFFHVV WR HQRXJK IRRG 6HFRQG WKH SURGXFWLRQ DQG VHOOLQJ RI IRRG VXUSOXVHV DW ORFDO
PDUNHWVPHDQVWKDWIDUPHUVEHQH¿WIURPKLJKHULQFRPHVZKLFKLQFUHDVHVWKHLUSXUFKDVLQJSRZHU
7KLUGIUHVKRUJDQLFSURGXFHEHFRPHVDYDLODEOHWRPRUHSHRSOHLQWKHZLGHUFRPPXQLW\)LQDOO\
organic farming enables new and different groups in a community to get involved in agricultural
SURGXFWLRQDQGWUDGHZKHUHSUHYLRXVO\WKH\ZHUHH[FOXGHGIRU¿QDQFLDORUFXOWXUDOUHDVRQV

With the increased number and variety of crops grown and livestock reared in organic production,
WKHIDUPLQJV\VWHPLVLQWHJUDWHGDQGPRUHUHVLOLHQWWRVWUHVV)DUPHUVLQ(DVW$IULFDDUHDZDUHRI
WKHULVNVRIPRQRFURSSLQJDQGVRWKHVHFXULW\RIIHUHGE\LQWHJUDWHGRUJDQLFIDUPLQJLVZHOFRPHG
Farming families have more available food leading to household food security for more months
RI WKH \HDU 0RUHRYHU VXUSOXV SURGXFH FDQ EH VROG WR FUHDWH DGGLWLRQDO LQFRPH IRU IDPLOLHV
Maintaining a wide variety of crops and livestock not only provides food security throughout the
year but also leads to increased nutritionalVHFXULW\IRUIDUPHUKRXVHKROGV

2.1.2 Improvements to natural capital

Organic farming leads to many improvements to the natural environment, including increased
water retention in soils, improvements in the water table (with more drinking water in the dry
season), reduced soil erosion combined with improved organic matter in soils, leading to better
FDUERQVHTXHVWUDWLRQDQGLQFUHDVHGDJURELRGLYHUVLW\ LQFOXGLQJLQVLWXSUHVHUYDWLRQRIWUDGLWLRQDO
ODQGUDFHVZKLFKDUHFXUUHQWO\EHLQJORVWDWDODUPLQJUDWHV 2WKHUHQYLURQPHQWDOEHQH¿WVRIRUJDQLF
IDUPLQJLQFOXGHOHVVSROOXWLRQQRJHQHWLFFRQWDPLQDWLRQDQGUHGXFHGHQHUJ\FRQVXPSWLRQ40

Water conservation technologies associated with an integrated organic farming system can make
DKXJHGLIIHUHQFHLQDUHDVZKHUHZDWHUUHVRXUFHVDUHVFDUFH,QFUHDVLQJWKHZDWHUKROGLQJFDSDFLW\
RIWKHVRLOHQDEOHVIRRGWREHJURZQIXUWKHULQWRWKHGU\VHDVRQWKXVLQFUHDVLQJIRRGVHFXULW\
Related improvements in the water table also result in more available water for consumption and
IRUZDWHULQJOLYHVWRFN

2UJDQLFIDUPLQJLPSURYHVDQGQXUWXUHVWKHODQG¶VWRSVRLOZKLFKLVZLGHO\UHFRJQL]HGDVEHLQJ
RQHRIWKHPRVWLPSRUWDQWUHVRXUFHVIRUWKHIDUPHU2UJDQLFIDUPHUVLQFUHDVHWKHRUJDQLFPDWWHU
and nutrient capacity of the soil by growing leguminous crops and adding compost, animal dung
RU JUHHQ PDQXUHV$GGLQJ HOHPHQWV RI DJURIRUHVWU\ FKHFN GDPV DQG WHUUDFLQJ DPRQJVW RWKHU
PHWKRGV DOVRVWDELOL]HVWKHVRLODQGWKXVUHGXFHVVRLOHURVLRQ$VDUHVXOWVRLOVDUHKHDOWKLHUDUH
better able to hold water and are more stable, can sustain plant growth better and have a higher
QXWULHQWFRQWHQW$OOWKLVHQDEOHVIDUPHUVWRJURZFURSVIRUORQJHUSHULRGVZLWKKLJKHU\LHOGVDQG
LQPDUJLQDOFRQGLWLRQV7KLVRIFRXUVHFDQPDNHDPDMRULPSDFWRQUHGXFLQJWKHIRRGLQVHFXULW\
RIDUHJLRQ

In terms of the conservation of existing natural capital, including sites rich in biodiversity and
VR FDOOHG ³SULPH´ HFRV\VWHPV RUJDQLF DJULFXOWXUH DFWLYHO\ SURPRWHV D SURWHFWLYH DSSURDFK ,Q
the East African Organic Products Standard (EAOPS) 2007,41SRLQWSODLQO\SURKLELWVWKH
FOHDULQJRISULPDU\HFRV\VWHPV IRUHVWVDQGZHWODQGVIRUH[DPSOH IRURUJDQLFSURGXFWLRQ

,Q WHUPV RI DJURELRGLYHUVLW\ ZKHUH FRQYHQWLRQDO SURGXFWLRQV V\VWHPV KDYH HQFRXUDJHG
monocropping (for cashews in Tanzania or tea in Kenya for example) then the organic systems
FRXOG DOVR VRPHWLPHV UHVHPEOH PRQRFURSV 6LPSO\ VXEVWLWXWLQJ WKH V\QWKHWLF SHVWLFLGHV DQG

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Evidence from Africa 13

IHUWLOL]HUVIRUSXUFKDVHGELRSHVWLFLGHVDQGRUJDQLFIHUWLOL]HUVDOORZHGXQGHURUJDQLFFHUWL¿FDWLRQ
FDQVWLOOOHDYHWKHDJULFXOWXUDOV\VWHPODUJHO\XQFKDQJHG0RQRFURSSLQJIDUPLQJV\VWHPVIRUWKH
export market, whether conventional or organic, still leave farmers vulnerable to export price
ÀXFWXDWLRQV DQG FURS IDLOXUH +RZHYHU DFURVV WKH PDMRULW\ RI WKH H[SRUW PDUNHW IRU RUJDQLF
SURGXFHLQ$IULFDWKHUHLVLQUHDOLW\OLWWOHPRQRFURSSLQJ422UJDQLFIDUPVDUHJHQHUDOO\PRUHDJUR
ELRGLYHUVHWKDQWKHLUFRQYHQWLRQDOFRXQWHUSDUWV7KH($236LQFOXGHVSURYLVLRQVWRHQFRXUDJH
WKLV:KHUH RUJDQLF IDUPLQJ SULQFLSOHV DUH DGRSWHG DV D KROLVWLF DSSURDFK IRU WKH ZKROH RI DQ
integrated agricultural system, increased food security in a region is more likely to occur, at the
VDPHWLPHDVQDWXUDOKXPDQDQGVRFLDOUHVRXUFHVDUHEXLOWXS

2.1.3 Improvements to social capital

Organic agriculture leads to improvements to social capital, including more and stronger social
organizations at local level, new rules and norms for managing collective natural resources, and
EHWWHUFRQQHFWHGQHVVWRH[WHUQDOSROLF\LQVWLWXWLRQV

0DQ\RUJDQLFDQGQHDURUJDQLFSUDFWLFHVLQKHUHQWO\IRFXVRQVRFLDODQGSDUWLFLSDWRU\SURFHVVHV
WKDW OHDG WR LQFUHDVHG VRFLDO FDSLWDO 3HRSOH¶V FDSDFLW\ WR ZRUN WRJHWKHU RQ FRPPRQ UHVRXUFH
PDQDJHPHQWSUREOHPVLVLPSURYHG7KH\PD\IRUH[DPSOHIRUPJURXSVIRUMRLQWPDQDJHPHQW
RISHVWVLUULJDWLRQZDWHUVKHGIRUHVWDQGFUHGLW)RUPDWLRQRIZRUNLQJJURXSVEHQH¿WVIDUPLQJ
households where labour shortages occur, for example when people are ill, suffering from HIV/
$,'6 RU LQ WLPHV RI KDUGVKLS 7KH FUHDWLRQ RI FRRSHUDWLYHV DQG PDUNHWLQJ JURXSV DOVR KHOSV
IDUPHUV L VKDUHNQRZOHGJHDQGJRRGSUDFWLFHV LL VKDUHWKHFRVWVRIRUJDQLFFHUWL¿FDWLRQDQG
(iii) meet the demands for large quantities of organic produce required at one time by some export
FRPSDQLHV

Strong networks and links with partners from government, NGOs and organic support
organizations such as KOAN, TOAM, NOGAMU and EPOPA are helping farmers to organize
IRURUJDQLFFHUWL¿FDWLRQDFFHVVH[SRUWDQGGRPHVWLFRUJDQLFPDUNHWVDQGJDLQJUHDWHUNQRZOHGJH
RIVXVWDLQDEOHRUJDQLFWHFKQLTXHVFURSVDQGPDUNHWV

2.1.4 Improvements to human capital

2UJDQLFIDUPLQJOHDGVWRLPSURYHPHQWVWRKXPDQFDSLWDO7KLVLQFOXGHVLQFUHDVHGNQRZOHGJHDQG
skills; improved capacity of farmers to experiment and solve their own problems; improvements
LQKHDOWKVXFKDVUHGXFHGLQFLGHQFHRIPDODULDLQULFH¿VK]RQHVLQFUHDVHGVHOIHVWHHPLQIRUPHUO\
marginalized groups; increased status of women; better child health and nutrition, especially in
GU\VHDVRQVDQGUHYHUVHGPLJUDWLRQDQGPRUHORFDOHPSOR\PHQW

2UJDQLFIDUPLQJFDQUHVXOWLQLQFUHDVHVLQHGXFDWLRQDQGNQRZOHGJHRQVHYHUDOOHYHOV2UJDQLF
DJULFXOWXUH JLYHV LQFHQWLYHV WR SUHVHUYH DQG EXLOG XSRQ IDUPHUV¶ WUDGLWLRQDO DQG LQGLJHQRXV
NQRZOHGJHRIDJULFXOWXUHDQGORFDOHFRV\VWHPV8VLQJRUJDQLFWHFKQLTXHVDQGSULQFLSOHVIXUWKHU
increases the knowledge and skills of farmers, including their analytical skills and capacities to
LQQRYDWHDQGFRQWUROWKHLURZQIDUPV\VWHPV7KHDELOLW\WRPDQDJHPRUHFRPSOH[V\VWHPV IRU
H[DPSOHWRIDUPIRUEHQH¿FLDOLQVHFWV UHTXLUHVDKLJKHUOHYHORIKXPDQNQRZOHGJHDQGVNLOOVWKDQ
LVQHHGHGWRVSUD\DSHVWLFLGH7KLVLQFUHDVHGNQRZOHGJHRIQDWXUDOSHVWDQGSUHGDWRUUHODWLRQVKLSV
LQFUHDVHVIDUPHUV¶UHVLOLHQFHDQGFDSDFLW\WRLPSOHPHQWFKDQJHVLQWLPHVRISHVWLQIHVWDWLRQ
,QDGGLWLRQRUJDQLFIDUPLQJKDVDQRWKHUNQRFNRQHIIHFWIRULPSDFWLQJRQHGXFDWLRQ7KHFDSDFLW\
for organic systems to increase the amount of food produced per household means that families can
VHOOVXUSOXVHVZKHQWKH\DUHIRRGVHFXUHRIWHQDWSUHPLXPSULFHV7KHDGGLWLRQDOLQFRPHJHQHUDWHG
LVDYDLODEOHIRUSD\LQJVFKRROIHHVWKXVLQFUHDVLQJWKHHGXFDWLRQRIWKHZLGHUFRPPXQLW\

$WUDQVLWLRQWRRUJDQLFIDUPLQJFDQJUHDWO\EHQH¿WWKHKHDOWKRIIDUPHUKRXVHKROGVDQGWKHZLGHU
FRPPXQLW\$QLQWHJUDWHGRUJDQLFIDUPLQJV\VWHPOHDGVWRLQFUHDVHVLQSURGXFWLRQDQGWKHYDULHW\
42
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14 Organic Agriculture and Food Security in Africa

of crops grown or animals kept which positively increase the health and nutritional status of
IDUPHUKRXVHKROGV7KHDYDLODELOLW\RIVXUSOXVHVDOVRFUHDWHVEHWWHUDFFHVVWRIRRGIRUQRQIDUPLQJ
KRXVHKROGVDQGVRSRVLWLYHO\DIIHFWVWKHKHDOWKRIWKHFRPPXQLW\6HOOLQJH[FHVVIRRGDQGJDLQLQJ
the premium prices for organic produce means that additional income is also available for medical
H[SHQVHVOHDGLQJWREHWWHUKHDOWKSDUWLFXODUO\IRUFKLOGUHQ

Farmer and farm family health is also improved with organic farming through the cessation of
VSUD\LQJZLWKV\QWKHWLFSHVWLFLGHV5LVNVRILOOQHVVDQGGHDWKDVVRFLDWHGZLWKLQDSSURSULDWHXVH
RYHUXVHRUPLVXVHRISHVWLFLGHVDUHFRPSOHWHO\UHPRYHGZLWKDVZLWFKWRRUJDQLFIDUPLQJ

Undernourished people infected with HIV/AIDS develop the full symptoms of the disease more
TXLFNO\WKDQSHRSOHZKRDUHZHOOIHG43 The increased nutritional value from the greater variety of
produce grown, together with the higher quality of organic produce leads to improvements in the
KHDOWKRIWKRVHVXIIHULQJIURP+,9$,'6,QVXE6DKDUDQ$IULFDPLOOLRQFKLOGUHQKDYHEHHQ
orphaned by HIV/AIDS so extending the life of a farming parent by several years could mean the
GLIIHUHQFHEHWZHHQOLIHDQGGHDWKIRUWKHFKLOGUHQOHIWEHKLQG44

2.1.5. Improvements to physical capital

Organic farming can also lead to improvements in the infrastructure (communications and
WUDQVSRUW WKURXJKWKHQHHGWRDFFHVVPDUNHWV$FFHVVWRPDUNHWVLVDQHVVHQWLDOSDUWRIRUJDQLF
farming, (particularly crucial for export) and farmers, NGOs and governments can work together
LQRUGHUWRKHOSIDUPHUVWRHDUQSUHPLXPSULFHVIRUWKHLURUJDQLFSURGXFH*RYHUQPHQWSROLF\
VXFKDVWKH3ODQIRU0RGHUQLVDWLRQRI$JULFXOWXUH 30$ LQ8JDQGDKDVUHFRJQL]HGWKDWSUR¿WDEOH
PDUNHWHQJDJHPHQWLVOLNHO\WROHDGWRLQFUHDVHGIRRGVHFXULW\45 New partnerships have formed
which in turn may lead to increased communication networks and potentially to increased transport
OLQNV2UJDQLFIDUPLQJLQ$IULFDKDVXQGRXEWHGO\LQFUHDVHGWKHDFFHVVWRRUJDQLFPDUNHWVERWKLQ
WHUPVRIQXPEHUVRIIDUPHUVDQGW\SHVRIIDUPHUV VPDOOVFDOHSURGXFHUVRUJDQL]HGLQJURXSV 

,PSURYHPHQWVWR¿QDQFLDOFDSLWDO

Poverty is a major contributory factor to food insecurity, and organic farming has a positive
LPSDFWRQSRYHUW\LQDYDULHW\RIZD\V)DUPHUVEHQH¿WIURP L FDVKVDYLQJVDVRUJDQLFIDUPLQJ
precludes the need to purchase synthetic pesticides and fertilizers; (ii) extra incomes gained by
VHOOLQJWKHVXUSOXVSURGXFH UHVXOWLQJIURPWKHFKDQJHWRRUJDQLF  LLL SUHPLXPSULFHVIRUFHUWL¿HG
organic produce, obtained primarily in Africa for export but also for domestic markets; and (iv)
DGGHGYDOXHWRRUJDQLFSURGXFWVWKURXJKSURFHVVLQJDFWLYLWLHV7KHVH¿QGLQJVDUHEDFNHGXSE\
studies from Asia and Latin America that concluded that organic farming can reduce poverty in
DQHQYLURQPHQWDOO\IULHQGO\ZD\

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H[SRUWZHUHVLJQL¿FDQWO\PRUHSUR¿WDEOHWKDQWKRVHLQYROYHGLQFRQYHQWLRQDOSURGXFWLRQ LQWHUPV
RIQHWIDUPLQFRPHHDUQLQJV 7KHUHDUHDOVRVXEVWDQWLDOGLIIHUHQFHVLQSUR¿WDELOLW\EHWZHHQGLIIHUHQW
FDVKFURSVIRURUJDQLFSURGXFWLRQ81&7$'  VWDWHVWKDWLQWURSLFDO$IULFD “At over $2,000
a year, the average income of organic pineapple growers was three times higher than for organic
FRFRDYDQLOODIDUPHUVDQGPRUHWKDQ¿YHWLPHVKLJKHUWKDQIRURUJDQLFFRIIHHIDUPHUV´

2UJDQLFIDUPLQJE\LWVLQKHUHQWKROLVWLFDQGLQWHJUDWHGQDWXUHLQYROYHVWKHXVHRIORFDOO\DYDLODEOH
DQGDSSURSULDWHQDWXUDOLQSXWVUDWKHUWKDQSXUFKDVHGV\QWKHWLFIHUWLOL]HUVDQGSHVWLFLGHV,QPDQ\
FDVHVZKHUHIDUPHUVKDYHEHHQIRUFHGWRWDNHRXWKLJKLQWHUHVWORDQVLQRUGHUWRSXUFKDVHVXFK
V\QWKHWLF DJULFXOWXUDO LQSXWV WKLV KDV SXW D FRQVLGHUDEOH VWUDLQ RQ KRXVHKROG EXGJHWV %HFDXVH
RUJDQLF IDUPHUV DUH QR ORQJHU SXUFKDVLQJ LQSXWV RU WDNLQJ RXW WKHVH ORDQV WKH SUR¿W PDUJLQV
WKHUHIRUHLQFUHDVHRQWKHIDUPDQGIDUPHUVDUHEHWWHURII¿QDQFLDOO\

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Evidence from Africa 15

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the rapidly expanding organic export market has been the driving force behind the move towards
RUJDQLFDJULFXOWXUHLQ(DVW$IULFD,QFUHDVLQJO\WKHJURZWKRIRUJDQLFGRPHVWLFPDUNHWVPHDQVWKDW
IDUPHUVKDYHEHWWHUDFFHVVWRPDUNHWVDQGIXUWKHULQFUHDVHGLQFRPHV7KLVLPSURYHGSXUFKDVLQJ
SRZHU EULQJV PDQ\ DVVRFLDWHG EHQH¿WV WR WKH IDUPHUV IDUPHU IDPLOLHV DQG ORFDO FRPPXQLWLHV
DOLNH

Organic agriculture has also been shown to enable new and different groups in society to get
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DJURLQSXWVRUWKHFUHGLWWREX\WKHP7KLVKDVKLVWRULFDOO\SXWWKHPDWDGLVDGYDQWDJHLQDJULFXOWXUH
2UJDQLFDJULFXOWXUHKRZHYHUQHJDWHVWKHQHHGWRSXUFKDVHDJURLQSXWVDQGVRZRPHQFDQIDUPRQ
DQHTXDOOHYHOWKXVHPSRZHULQJWKHP6HOOLQJVXUSOXVHVRISURGXFHDWORFDOPDUNHWVDOVRLQFUHDVHV
ZRPHQ¶VLQFRPHZKLFKDJDLQOHDGVWRLPSURYHGKHDOWKSDUWLFXODUO\IRUZRPHQDQGFKLOGUHQ

7KHUHDUHRIWHQLQFUHDVHGHPSOR\PHQWRSSRUWXQLWLHVDVVRFLDWHGZLWKRUJDQLFSURGXFWLRQ7KHVH
could include jobs related to organic production, selling surpluses, accessing export markets,
SURGXFLQJ ELRLQSXWV DQG DGGLQJ YDOXH WR RUJDQLF SURGXFWV WKURXJK SURFHVVLQJ DQG PDUNHWLQJ
DFWLYLWLHV

2.1.7 Improvements to external factors

$VLPSOHWUDQVLWLRQWRRUJDQLFDJULFXOWXUHLVQRWOLNHO\WREHDEOHWRSUHYHQWDUPHGFRQÀLFWVDQG
ZDUVDOWHUWKHFOLPDWHRUUHGXFHSROLWLFDOSUREOHPVVXFKDVFRUUXSWLRQFROOXVLRQDQGQHSRWLVP
However, the increased human and social capital associated with organic farming improves
IDUPHUV¶DELOLW\WRUHVSRQGPRUHHIIHFWLYHO\WRWKHVHFKDOOHQJHV)RUH[DPSOHKRZIDUPHUVUHDFW
WRQDWXUDOGLVDVWHUVDQGFRSHZLWKHQYLURQPHQWDOSUREOHPVVXFKDVGURXJKWVDQGÀDVKÀRRGLQJFDQ
EHSRVLWLYHO\DIIHFWHGE\DGRSWLQJRUJDQLFWHFKQRORJLHV,QFUHDVHGNQRZOHGJHRIQDWXUDOSHVWDQG
SUHGDWRUUHODWLRQVKLSVLQFUHDVHVIDUPHUV¶UHVLOLHQFHDQGFDSDFLW\WRLPSOHPHQWFKDQJHVLQWKHLU
IDUPVGXULQJWLPHVRISHVWLQIHVWDWLRQ

+RZWKHODQGUHVSRQGVWRDQGUHFRYHUVIURPVWUHVVHVVXFKDVÀRRGLQJDQGHURVLRQFDQDOVREH
SRVLWLYHO\DIIHFWHGE\RUJDQLFSUDFWLFHV7KHZDWHUFRQVHUYDWLRQWHFKQRORJLHVDQGWKHLQFUHDVHG
water holding capacity of soils means that farming systems are more resilient to stresses of
GURXJKWV,PSURYHGVRLOVWUXFWXUHDQGDJURELRGLYHUVLW\RIWHQPDNHVVRLOVPRUHVWDEOHDQGOHVV
SURQHWRHURVLRQLQWLPHVRIKHDY\UDLQIDOORUÀRRGLQJ

2.1.8 Summary

There is ample evidence (see later in this section) that production of organic food and beverages
IRU ERWK H[SRUW DQG GRPHVWLF PDUNHWV FDQ UHVXOW LQ LQFUHDVHG IDUPHU LQFRPHV 7KLV UHGXFHV
poverty and improves food security of farming households as well as their access to education
DQGKHDOWKFDUH$VLPSURYHGHGXFDWLRQDQGKHDOWKFDUHSRVLWLYHO\LPSDFWIXWXUHLQFRPHVWUHDPV
WKHEHQH¿WVRIRUJDQLFDJULFXOWXUDOSURGXFWLRQDUHORQJODVWLQJ

Where organic farming principles are adopted as a holistic approach for the whole of an integrated
agricultural system, increased food security in a region is more likely to occur, at the same time
DVQDWXUDOKXPDQDQGVRFLDOUHVRXUFHVDUHEXLOWXS2UJDQLFDJULFXOWXUHLVWKHUHIRUHLPSRUWDQW
for meeting local food requirements while providing protection and sustainable use of natural
UHVRXUFHV 2UJDQLF IDUPLQJ PDNHV LW SRVVLEOH WR VDYH RQ SURGXFWLRQ FRVWV QR H[SHQGLWXUH RQ
V\QWKHWLFLQSXWV SURPRWHHFRQRPLFYLDELOLW\DQGHQFRXUDJHIRRGVHOIUHOLDQFH,QDUHDVZKHUH
farmers have no access to modern inputs and technologies or in regions where natural resources
are poor, organic agriculture can increase the productivity of traditional systems by making better
XVHRIORFDOO\DYDLODEOHQDWXUDOUHVRXUFHVDQGLVWKHUHIRUHSDUWLFXODUO\DSSURSULDWHIRUWKHUXUDO
FRPPXQLWLHVWKDWDUHFXUUHQWO\PRVWH[SRVHGWRIRRGVKRUWDJHV46

46
+LQHDQG3UHWW\$OWLHUL3UHWW\HWDO,)2$0F
16 Organic Agriculture and Food Security in Africa

(YLGHQFHRQRUJDQLFDJULFXOWXUHDQGIRRGDYDLODELOLW\LQ$IULFD

6RPHRIWKHPRVWVLJQL¿FDQWSURJUHVVLQWKHODVWWZRGHFDGHVWRZDUGVVXVWDLQDELOLW\LQDJULFXOWXUH
DQGLWVDVVRFLDWHGSRWHQWLDOWRUHGXFHIRRGLQVHFXULW\KDVRFFXUUHGLQGHYHORSLQJFRXQWULHV47 The
largest study examining sustainable agriculture initiatives in developing countries comprised the
DQDO\VLVRISURMHFWVFRYHULQJPLOOLRQKHFWDUHVLQFRXQWULHV48 The study found that when
sustainable agricultural practices covering a variety of systems and crops were adopted, average
FURS\LHOGVLQFUHDVHGE\SHUFHQW

For this current study, the database on agricultural sustainability was reanalyzed to produce a
VXPPDU\ RI WKH LPSDFWV RI RUJDQLF DQG QHDURUJDQLF SURMHFWV RQ DJULFXOWXUDO SURGXFWLYLW\ LQ
$IULFD49 As can be seen in box 4, the average crop yield increase was even higher for these
projects: 116 per cent increase for all African projects and 128 per cent increase for the projects
LQ(DVW$IULFD

Box 4. Agricultural productivity performance of organic and near organic
agriculture in Africa
Region Number of Number of Number of Number of Average
countries projects farmers in hectares change in
represented analysed projects under organic crop yields
(million) and near- compared
organic with
agriculture beginning of
(million ha) projects
(per cent)
Africa (all countries 24 114 1,900,000 2.0 +116
with data)
East Africa 7 (Kenya, 71 1,600,000 1.4 +128
Malawi,
Tanzania,
Ethiopia,
Uganda,
Zambia)
East Africa (countries 3 (Kenya, 44 1,300,000 1.2 +120
focused upon within Tanzania and
this study) Uganda)
Kenya 1 18 1,000,000 0.5 +179

Tanzania 1 9 27,000 0.06 +67

Uganda 1 17 241,000 0.68 +54

Note: Variations in the increases in yields do not necessarily mean that organic agriculture is more or less inherently
successful by country. Rather yield increases vary depending on the type of project and the crops/livestock
produced.

7\SRORJ\RIPHFKDQLVPVE\ZKLFKRUJDQLFDJULFXOWXUHLPSURYHVQDWXUDOVRFLDO
KXPDQSK\VLFDODQG¿QDQFLDOFDSLWDO

$VKDVEHHQGHPRQVWUDWHGLQVHFWLRQVDQGRUJDQLFDJULFXOWXUHKDVFOHDUO\SURGXFHGLQFUHDVHV
LQIRRGSURGXFWLRQ0RUHRYHUDVZLWFKWRRUJDQLFIDUPLQJKDVOHGWRRWKHULPSURYHPHQWVLQFOXGLQJ
environmental improvements, strengthened communities, improvements in the education and
KHDOWKRILQGLYLGXDOVDQGDUHGXFWLRQLQSRYHUW\

47
8SKRII0F1HHO\DQG6FKHUU3UHWW\HWDO
48
3UHWW\HWDO
49
7KHVHSURMHFWVDUHWKRVHLQ$IULFDWKDWPHHWRUYHU\QHDUO\PHHWRUJDQLFSURGXFWLRQVWDQGDUGV7KHSURMHFWVQHHGQRW
EHFHUWL¿HGDVRUJDQLFE\DWKLUGSDUW\
Evidence from Africa 17

Drawing on such empirical evidence, a typology of mechanisms for improvement has been
developed to demonstrate where alterations in the farming system and a switch to organic farming
PHWKRGVFDQUHVXOWLQLPSURYHPHQWVWRQDWXUDOVRFLDOKXPDQSK\VLFDODQG¿QDQFLDOFDSLWDO50
7KH¿UVWIRXUPHFKDQLVPVIRULPSURYHPHQWSRVLWLYHO\DIIHFWWKH HQYLURQPHQW QDWXUDOFDSLWDO 
LQ GLIIHUHQW ZD\V WKH QH[W WZR LPSURYH VRFLDO DQG KXPDQ FDSLWDO PHFKDQLVPV ¿YH DQG VL[ 
the next one refers to physical infrastructure and access to markets (mechanism seven) and the
ODVWWKUHHLQYROYHLPSURYLQJ¿QDQFLDOUHWXUQVWRIDUPHUVDQGRUWKHLUDFFHVVWR¿QDQFHDQGFUHGLW
PHFKDQLVPVHLJKWWRWHQ 6HHER[

Box 5. Improvement typology for organic agriculture
Improvement Mechanism Details
Natural capital – 1. Better use of A wide variety of technologies and practices are available
the environment locally-available which farmers and communities can use to make better
natural resources and more productive use of available natural resources.
Options include water harvesting, soil and water
conservation e.g. contour cropping, terraces, minimum
tillage, grass strips; composting, livestock manures;
irrigation scheduling and management; restoration of
degraded or abandoned land; rotational grazing; habitat
management for pest-predators; drainage systems and
sub-soiling; raised beds; bio-pesticides and bio-fungicides.
2. Intensify A further improvement to farm systems involves the
microenvironments LQWHQVL¿FDWLRQRIDVLQJOHVXEFRPSRQHQWRIWKHIDUP
in farm system while leaving the rest alone. Examples include double-
(gardens, orchards, dug beds, adding vegetables to rice bunds, kitchen
ponds) JDUGHQVVLOWWUDSVJXOO\FURSSLQJDQGGLJJLQJD¿VKSRQG
7KHVHWHFKQRORJLHVFDQVLJQL¿FDQWO\LQFUHDVHWRWDOIRRG
production – particularly protein and vegetables – for rural
OLYHOLKRRGV7KHEHQH¿FLDULHVDUHRIWHQFKLOGUHQGXULQJ
`hungry’ seasons.
3. Diversify by adding The third type of improvement to natural capital involves
new regenerative WKH GLYHUVL¿FDWLRQ RI WKH ZKROH DJURHFRV\VWHP WKURXJK
components addition of new regenerative components, such as
legumes in cereal rotations (cover crops, green manures),
¿VKLQULFHQDWXUDOHQHP\UHOHDVHVIRUSHVWFRQWURODJUR
forestry and integrated livestock. These technologies can
result in synergistic interactions – where one component
of the system positively contributes to the success of other
components.
4. Removal or Where external and non-renewable inputs are being
better use of non- used, then the system can be made more sustainable
renewable inputs and by ensuring precise applications of inputs with little or no
external technologies wastage or damage to natural or human capital. Such
approaches are similarly combined with introduction of
regenerative alternatives. Options include new seeds,
patch spraying of botanicals, low dose and non-toxic
sprays, veterinary services, pheromones, sterile males,
resistant crop varieties and livestock breeds, and
machinery (e.g. hand tools, ploughs).

50
3UHWW\DQG+LQH
18 Organic Agriculture and Food Security in Africa

Social capital 5. Social and These improvements focus on social and participatory
–people and participatory processes that lead to social capital increases where
groups processes leading to people’s capacity to work together to solve common
group action problems is strengthened. This includes forming groups
for pest, irrigation, watershed, joint forest or credit
management. It also includes horizontal partnerships
between external agencies (e.g. government and NGOs;
private and public).
Human capital 6. Human capital These improvements focus on building the knowledge
- individuals building through and skills of farmers to improve their analytical skills and
continuous learning capacities to innovate and control their farm systems. A
programmes major constraint in the transition toward more sustainable
systems has been the lack of knowledge and skills needed
for management of more complex systems. It is much
easier, for example, to spray a pesticide than it is to farm
IRUEHQH¿FLDOLQVHFWV7KHVHLPSURYHPHQWVLQFOXGHIDUPHU
¿HOGVFKRROVIRULPSURYLQJDJURHFRORJLFDONQRZOHGJH
leadership training; adult literacy classes; computer-based
knowledge development; farmer-to-farmer extension and
experimentation programmes.
Physical capital 7. Access to markets Improving access to domestic markets both to sell
and infrastructure surpluses and purchase food in times of food insecurity.
Improving the infrastructure (transport links and
communications networks) is crucial for farmers wanting to
access both domestic and international export markets.
Financial capital 8. Access to ,PSURYLQJDFFHVVWR¿QDQFHLVDYLWDOZD\WRKHOS
DIIRUGDEOH¿QDQFH farm families develop more sustainable systems of
(credit, grants, management. This may be in the form of affordable and
subsidies) DFFHVVLEOHFUHGLW HJWKURXJKPLFUR¿QDQFHLQVWLWXWLRQV
and social organizations, particularly of women), or
through families accessing new sources of external
¿QDQFH JUDQWVDQGVXEVLGLHVRUIURPWRXULVWVDQG
visitors).
9. Adding value by A variety of options are available to increase the returns
reducing losses or to families from their production, either by reducing losses
processing due to pests (through better storage and treatment) and
LQHI¿FLHQWSURFHVVHV HJWKURXJKIXHOVDYLQJVWRYHV RU
by adding value before sale or use (conversion of primary
products through processing).
10. Adding value Farm families can also add value to their production
through direct or through better marketing. This may involve improvements
organized marketing to physical infrastructure (e.g. roads, transport) and
to consumers direct marketing and sales to consumers (thus cutting out
wholesalers and `middlemen’). The latter includes rural
farmers’ markets, box schemes, farm shops and direct
mailing and community supported agriculture; producer
groups for collective marketing; ethical trading schemes;
green tourism schemes.
Source: Adapted from Pretty cited in Sciallaba and Hattam 2002

Each type of improvement, by itself, can make a positive contribution to raising production in an
DJULFXOWXUDOV\VWHP%XWDVWKHFDVHVWXGLHVVKRZXVLQJDFRPELQDWLRQRIGLIIHUHQWLPSURYHPHQW
W\SHVJHQHUDWHVV\QHUJLHV ZKHUHWKHZKROHLVJUHDWHUWKDQWKHVXPRIWKHSDUWV )RUH[DPSOHVRLO
and water conservation that emphasizes terracing and other physical measures to prevent soil loss
is much more effective when combined with biological methods that increase the productivity of
WKHV\VWHPVXFKDVJUHHQPDQXUHVDQGFRYHUFURSVRUZLWK¿QDQFHIRUFUHGLWJURXSVWKDWUHGXFHV
LQGHEWHGQHVVRIKRXVHKROGV
Evidence from Africa 19 

1DUUDWLYHFDVHVWXGLHVIURP(DVW$IULFD

To illustrate these improvements in food production and in other areas, 15 case studies of examples
RIRUJDQLFDQGQHDURUJDQLFDJULFXOWXUDOV\VWHPVIURP(DVW$IULFDDUHSUHVHQWHGEHORZ

2.4.1 The Manor House Agricultural Centre, Kitale, Kenya51

7KH0DQRU+RXVH$JULFXOWXUDO&HQWUHZDVIRXQGHGLQLQUHVSRQVHWRDWKUHH\HDUGURXJKW The
&HQWUH¶VWUDLQLQJDQGUHVHDUFKFRPSOH[LQFOXGHVGHPRQVWUDWLRQJDUGHQVDQGOLYHVWRFNIDFLOLWLHVWKDW
SURYLGHDZRUNLQJPRGHORIELRLQWHQVLYHDJULFXOWXUDOV\VWHPVIRUWUDLQHHVYLVLWRUVDQGPHPEHUV
RIORFDOFRPPXQLWLHV The Centre provides practical training to young people, farmers and staff
RI JRYHUQPHQW DJHQFLHV DQG 1*2V ,W DOVR FRQGXFWV DGDSWLYH UHVHDUFK ,Q  WKH &HQWUH KDG
trained some 6,000 farmers in 185 community groups, of whom 3,000 are known to have adopted
ELRLQWHQVLYHDJULFXOWXUH %,$ ,Q(PDXQHO2PRQGLUHSRUWVWKDWRYHU.HQ\DQVKDYH
EHHQWDXJKW%,$HLWKHUGLUHFWO\RULQGLUHFWO\E\WKH&HQWUH The main impact has been on vegetable
SURGXFWLRQ Many have doubled their yields by adopting double digging and composting, using local
QDWXUDOPHWKRGVRISHVWDQGGLVHDVHFRQWURO VXFKDVSODQWLQJVXQÀRZHUVWRDWWUDFWSUHGDWRUVXVLQJ
ORFDOSODQWVH[WUDFWVWRFRQWUROPDL]HVWDONERUHUDQGLQWHUFURSSLQJWRUHGXFHWRPDWREOLJKW  There
KDYHEHHQELJVDYLQJVRQSHVWLFLGHVDVIDUPHUVKDYHFXWRXWWKHLUXVH Farmers found phosphorus to
be limiting over periods of six years of composting, and so bone meal is being brought in to add to
FRPSRVW 7KH&HQWUHHQFRXUDJHVWKHVHIDUPHUJURXSVWRWUDLQQHLJKERXULQJIDUPHUV

$IRUPHUSXSLODW0DQRU+RXVH6XVDQ:HNHVDWHOOVKRZOHDUQLQJWRXVHELRLQWHQVLYHIDUPLQJ
methods impacted her life: ”The lessons I had from Manor House and those that I continue to
receive from Eric Kisiangani and his colleagues at Rural Technology Centre have moved my
household from misery to normal rich life comparatively. My small “shamba” is producing
surplus which I sell for income. Last season, April to June, I earned Kshs. 15,000 ($ 268) from
sales of Sukuma Wiki (similar to tree collards). My 0.3 acres of land is producing plenty of healthy
vegetables that bring money to knock at my door in the wee hours of the day. I mean, people come
knocking at the door of my house before 6:00 a.m. wanting to buy vegetables. Apart from food and
money for my family, I am able to fertilize my soil from material that it produces and supports.
BIA has recreated hope in me and my household. I can now face the future proudly”.
.H\EHQH¿WVRIFDVHVWXG\
Improvement to: Mechanism:
Amount of available food x
x
Increase in food produced
Increase in yields of food crops/ livestock
¥
Natural capital x %HQH¿WVWRQDWXUDOHQYLURQPHQW±VRLOVZDWHUIHUWLOLW\
etc
¥
Social capital x
x
Builds partnerships between groups
Increased community cohesion and cooperation
¥
Human capital x
x
Increase in knowledge and skills of farmers
+HDOWKDQGHGXFDWLRQEHQH¿WVWRIDUPHUVKRXVHKROGV
¥
and community
Physical capital x Improvements to infrastructure and markets ¥
Financial capital x Increased incomes to farmers ¥

2.4.2. Organic cotton, GTZ, United Republic of Tanzania52

Cotton is the second most important export for Tanzania and is generally produced by smallholders
51
Source: University of Essex SAFE Research Database, 2001; Ecology Action, 2000 and 2005; KWWSZZZ
JURZELRLQWHQVLYHRUJELRLQWHQVLYH.HQ\DKWPl and KWWSZZZJURZELRLQWHQVLYHRUJQHZVOHWWHUPD\
ELRLQWHQVLYHDSSOLFKWPl
52
6RXUFH*5DWWHULQ³2UJDQLF&RWWRQ´E\'0\HUVDQG66WROWRQ ,73XEOLFDWLRQV 8QLYHUVLW\RI(VVH[6$)(
Research Database 2001
20 Organic Agriculture and Food Security in Africa

using few agricultural inputs, in two main areas – the “Western Cotton Growing Area” (WCGA)
DQGWKH³(DVWHUQ&RWWRQ*URZLQJ$UHD´ (&*$ ,QWKH7DQ]DQLDQ*RYHUQPHQWOLEHUDOL]HG
the cotton market to allow private companies to buy seed cotton from farmers and to run
JLQQHULHV 2QH VXFK FRPSDQ\ &,& /LPLWHG D 7DQ]DQLDQ WH[WLOH FRPSDQ\  DSSURDFKHG WKH
'HXWVFKH*HVHOOVFKDIWIU7HFKQLVFKH=XVDPPHQDUEHLW *7= 3URWUDGHSURJUDPPHLQRUGHUWR
XQGHUWDNHDQRUJDQLFFRWWRQIHDVLELOLW\VWXG\$YLOODJHLQWKH0HDWX'LVWULFW6KLQ\DQJD5HJLRQ
Northwest of the country in the WCGA, was chosen as the project area and 45 contracted farmers
SURGXFHGRUJDQLFFRWWRQLQWKHVHDVRQ7KLVDUHDZDVSDUWLFXODUO\VXLWDEOHIRUWKHSURMHFW
IRU VHYHUDO UHDVRQV &RWWRQ LV SURGXFHG KHUH DW ORZ\LHOG OHYHOV VR WKH ULVNV RI IDOOLQJ \LHOGV
during conversion were less and therefore farmers were keen to participate; most farms have
areas of fallow lands to act as refuges for natural enemies of insect pests; and farmers have large
QXPEHUV RI FDWWOH WKDW FDQ SURYLGH DQLPDO PDQXUH IHUWLOL]HUV IRU WKHLU FRWWRQ FURS 7KH *7=
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) project offered support in training of extension staff and
UHVHDUFKDQGWZRSULYDWHJLQQHULHVZHUHXQGHUFRQVWUXFWLRQLQWKHDUHD3URMHFWIDUPHUVDJUHHGWR
organic cultivation and to practice crop rotation and the cultivation of trap crops for insect pest
FRQWUROLQUHWXUQIRULQSXWVDQGJXDUDQWHHGPDUNHWVIRUWKHLUFRWWRQ%\WKHODWHVWKHSURMHFW
FRQVLVWHGRIIDUPHUVSURGXFLQJDQDYHUDJHRINJKDRIFRWWRQZLWKWKHFRWWRQRI¿FLDOO\
FHUWL¿HGDVRUJDQLF$OWKRXJKLQFUHDVHGIRRGVHFXULW\ZDVQRWDGLUHFWREMHFWLYHRI*7=¶VRUJDQLF
cotton farms, the increased knowledge of farmers towards a holistic approach to farming coupled
with the other improvements, are likely to have a knock on effect for food security by tackling
SRYHUW\ZLWKLQWKHUHJLRQ

.H\EHQH¿WVRIFDVHVWXG\
Improvement to: Mechanism:
Amount of available food x Increase in food produced NA
x Increase in yields of food crops/ livestock
Natural capital x %HQH¿WVWRQDWXUDOHQYLURQPHQW±VRLOVZDWHU
fertility etc
¥
Social capital x
x
Builds partnerships between groups
Increased community cohesion and cooperation
¥
Human capital x
x
Increase in knowledge and skills of farmers
+HDOWKDQGHGXFDWLRQEHQH¿WVWRIDUPHUV
¥
households and community
Physical capital x Improvements to infrastructure and markets
Financial capital x Increased incomes to farmers ¥

2.4.3 SACDEP, Thika, Kenya53

Sustainable Agriculture Community Development Programme (SACDEP) Kenya is an indigenous
1*2WKDWKDVZRUNHGIRUWKH\HDUVZLWKRYHUVPDOOKROGHUIDUPHUV%DVHGLQ7KLNDLQ
Central Kenya, SACDEP facilitates training programmes for farmers in sustainable agriculture
DQG FRPPXQLW\ GHYHORSPHQW ZLWK D IRFXV RQ SURGXFWLRQ SURFHVVLQJ DJURPDUNHWLQJ DQG
VDYLQJVDQGFUHGLWVFKHPHV,WLVFXUUHQWO\ZRUNLQJZLWKVPDOOKROGHUIDUPHUVLQ(DVWHUQDQG
&HQWUDOSURYLQFHVRI.HQ\D6$&'(3PDLQO\ZRUNVRQDZHHNO\EDVLVZLWKIDUPHUVLQRUJDQL]HG
FRPPXQLW\JURXSVRIDERXWIDPLOLHV6$&'(3RSHUDWHVXQGHUWKHIRXUSULQFLSOHVRIVXVWDLQDEOH
agriculture (i) ecological feasibility, (ii) environmentally friendly, (iii) social justness and (iv)
FXOWXUDODFFHSWDELOLW\7RSLFVFRYHUHGLQWKH6$&'(3WUDLQLQJSURJUDPPHLQFOXGHQDWXUDOVRLO
IHUWLOLW\PDQDJHPHQWLQWHJUDWHGHQYLURQPHQWDOO\IULHQGO\ZHHGSHVWDQGGLVHDVHSURWHFWLRQRQ
IDUPVRLODQGZDWHUFRQVHUYDWLRQWHFKQLTXHVDQGIDUPOHYHOVHHGFRQVHUYDWLRQ)DUPHUJURXSV
are trained by SACDEP for three to four years during which productivity has been reported to
LQFUHDVHE\SHUFHQWJLYLQJWKHIDUPHUVIRRGVHFXULW\DQGVXUSOXVSURGXFHWRVHOO6$&'(3DOVR
facilitates the development of Smallholder Farmers Organizations (SFOs) that address common
LVVXHVVXFKDVDGGLQJYDOXHPDUNHWLQJVDYLQJVDQGFUHGLW6)2VLQWKLVGHYHORSPHQWVWDJHDOVR

53
6RXUFH6$&'(3SHUVRQDOFRPPXQLFDWLRQ
Evidence from Africa 21

DJUHHRQVXVWDLQDEOHDQGRUJDQLFQRUPVIRUDOOWKHSURGXFHUVLQWKHJURXSWRXVH,QFRPHVKDYH
increased by 40 per cent, enabling farmers to meet basic needs such as paying school fees and
PHGLFDOH[SHQVHV

.H\EHQH¿WVRIFDVHVWXG\
Improvement to: Mechanism:
Amount of available food x
x
Increase in food produced
Increase in yields of food crops/ livestock
¥
Natural capital x %HQH¿WVWRQDWXUDOHQYLURQPHQW±VRLOVZDWHU
fertility etc
¥
Social capital x
x
Builds partnerships between groups
Increased community cohesion and cooperation
¥
Human capital x
x
Increase in knowledge and skills of farmers
+HDOWKDQGHGXFDWLRQEHQH¿WVWRIDUPHUV
¥
households and community
Physical capital x Improvements to infrastructure and markets ¥
Financial capital x Increased incomes to farmers ¥ 

&HUWL¿HGRUJDQLFFRWWRQLQ8JDQGD54

Cotton production was introduced in Uganda in the 1940s, but the production virtually stopped
EHWZHHQDQGGXHWRSRRUSULFHVDQGDQXQIDYRXUDEOHSROLF\HQYLURQPHQW6LQFH
there has been a revival in agriculture and a renewal of the cash crop sector, which has opened the
ZD\IRURUJDQLFFRWWRQSURGXFWLRQLQFHUWDLQGLVWULFWVRI8JDQGDLQFOXGLQJLQWKHORZSRWHQWLDO
HDVWDQGQRUWKHDVWRIWKHFRXQWU\,QRUJDQLFFRWWRQSURGXFWLRQRQO\LQYROYHGIDUPHUV
%\WKH\HDUVRPHKDGEHFRPHRUJDQLF

7KHPDMRULW\RIFRWWRQSURGXFHUVDUHVPDOOVFDOHUHVRXUFHSRRUIDUPHUV6RLOIHUWLOLW\DQGSHVW
management is maintained through traditional cultural practices such as fallowing, crop rotations
DQGQDWXUDOSHVWFRQWURO$OWKRXJKDJULFXOWXUDOSROLF\JHQHUDOO\SURPRWHVWKHXVHRISHVWLFLGHV
some areas of Uganda are now exempt from pesticide promotion campaigns and some districts
DUHQRZSURPRWLQJRUJDQLFDJULFXOWXUH

.H\EHQH¿WVRIFDVHVWXG\
Improvement to: Mechanism:
Amount of available food x Increase in food produced NA
x Increase in yields of food crops/ livestock
Natural capital x %HQH¿WVWRQDWXUDOHQYLURQPHQW±VRLOVZDWHU
fertility etc
¥
Social capital x
x
Builds partnerships between groups
Increased community cohesion and cooperation
¥
Human capital x
x
Increase in knowledge and skills of farmers
+HDOWKDQGHGXFDWLRQEHQH¿WVWRIDUPHUV
¥
households and community
Physical capital x Improvements to infrastructure and markets ¥
Financial capital x Increased incomes to farmers ¥

Organic cotton production achieves yields of 1,000–1,250 kg/hectare of seed cotton giving
DSSUR[LPDWHO\±NJRIFRWWRQOLQW5HFHQWVWXGLHVKDYHUHSRUWHGWKDWRUJDQLFIDUPHUVKDYH
VWDUWHGWRREWDLQKLJKFRWWRQ\LHOGVFRPSDUHGWRFRQYHQWLRQDOIDUPLQJV\VWHPV,QDGGLWLRQRUJDQLF
cotton receives premium prices, on average a 20 per cent organic premium on export, which

54
Source: Walaga, 1997; van Elzakker and Tulip, 2000; Rundgren 2007
22 Organic Agriculture and Food Security in Africa

WUDQVODWHVWRD±SHUFHQWSUHPLXPRQIDUPJDWHSULFHV2UJDQLFFRWWRQIDUPLQJLVWKHUHIRUH
HFRQRPLFDOO\YLDEOHDQGWKLVKDVWHPSWHGPDQ\IDUPHUVLQWRRUJDQLFSURGXFWLRQ

2UJDQLFFRWWRQSURGXFWLRQLVPDLQO\DSULYDWHVHFWRUPDUNHWGULYHQEXVLQHVVDFWLYLW\RUJDQL]HG
E\ H[SRUWHUV ZKLOH WKH FRQYHQWLRQDO V\VWHP LV XQGHU JRYHUQPHQW SURPRWLRQ 2UJDQLF FRWWRQ
SURGXFWLRQLVZHOOVWUXFWXUHGDQGUHFHLYHGH[WHQVLYHVXSSRUWIURPWKH([SRUW3URPRWLRQRI2UJDQLF
3URGXFWVIURP$IULFD (323$ ¿QDQFHGE\WKH6ZHGLVK,QWHUQDWLRQDO'HYHORSPHQW&RRSHUDWLRQ
$JHQF\ 6LGD XQWLO+RZHYHUWKHRUJDQLFFRWWRQEXVLQHVVKDVFRQWLQXHGWRGHYHORSVLQFH
WKLVWLPHZLWKRXWWKLVH[WHQVLYHVXSSRUW(323$ZRUNVZLWKODUJHJURXSVRIVPDOOKROGHUIDUPHUV
HJFRRSHUDWLYHXQLRQV JLYLQJWHFKQLFDODGYLFHRQSURGXFWLRQDQGPDUNHWLQJ

2.4.5 C-MAD programme, Kenya55

7KH &RPPXQLW\ 0RELOL]DWLRQ$JDLQVW 'HVHUWL¿FDWLRQ &0$'  SURJUDPPH ZRUNV LQ D CORZ
SRWHQWLDO¶SDUWRI6RXWK1\DQ]DZHVWHUQ.HQ\D7KHSURJUDPPHDUHDKDVDVLQJOHUDLQIDOOVHDVRQ
DQG WKH ODQG LV EDGO\ GHJUDGHG GXH WR RYHUJUD]LQJ DQG GHIRUHVWDWLRQ 7KH SURMHFW EHJDQ DV D
VWUDLJKWIRUZDUGWUHHSODQWLQJHIIRUWH[SDQGHGWRLQFRUSRUDWHVRLOFRQVHUYDWLRQVRLOIHUWLOLW\DQG
RUJDQLFIDUPLQJPHWKRGVDQGQRZIRFXVHVRQZKROHIDUPLPSURYHPHQWV7KHVRFLDOSURFHVVHV
LQFRUSRUDWH SDUWLFLSDWRU\ OHDUQLQJ PHWKRGV IDUPHUEDVHG UHVHDUFK JURXSV VWUHQJWKHQLQJ
FRPPXQLW\DQGYLOODJHJURXSVDQGFROODERUDWLRQZLWKJRYHUQPHQWDQGQRQJRYHUQPHQWUHVHDUFK
DQG H[WHQVLRQ DJHQFLHV ,W ZRUNV ZLWK DERXW  IDUPHUV RQ VRPH  KHFWDUHV ZKR KDYH
VHHQPDL]H\LHOGVLQFUHDVHIURPDERXWWRWKD,QFRPHKDVDOVRLQFUHDVHGIRUPDQ\IDUPHUV
IROORZLQJ WKH FXOWLYDWLRQ RI IUXLW FLWUXV RUDQJH PDQJR DQG SLQHDSSOH  7KH SURMHFW UHSRUWV
LQFUHDVHG ORFDO HPSOR\PHQW WKURXJK JURZWK LQ GHPDQG IRU RQIDUP ODERXU7KH FXOWLYDWLRQ RI
YHJHWDEOHVLQKRPHJDUGHQVKDVIXUWKHULPSURYHGGRPHVWLFIRRGVHFXULW\7KHSURMHFWDOVRUHSRUWV
UHGXFHGFKLOGPRUWDOLW\DQGLPSURYHGKHDOWKDQGQXWULWLRQDOVWDWXV

.H\EHQH¿WVRIFDVHVWXG\
Improvement to: Mechanism:
Amount of available food x Increase in food produced
x Increase in yields of food crops/ livestock
¥
Natural capital x %HQH¿WVWRQDWXUDOHQYLURQPHQW±VRLOVZDWHU
fertility etc
¥
Social capital x Builds partnerships between groups
x Increased community cohesion and cooperation
¥
Human capital x Increase in knowledge and skills of farmers
x +HDOWKDQGHGXFDWLRQEHQH¿WVWRIDUPHUV
¥
households and community
Physical capital x Improvements to infrastructure and markets
Financial capital x Increased incomes to farmers ¥

2.4.6 Small-scale aquaculture in Malawi56

The International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM) works to integrate
SRQG¿VKFXOWXUHLQWRORZLQSXWIDUPV\VWHPVLQ0DODZL7KHSURJUDPPHXVHVDSDUWLFLSDWRU\
SURFHVV IRU IDUPHUV DQG VFLHQWLVWV WR MRLQWO\ PDS UHVRXUFH ÀRZV RQ IDUPV DQG WKHQ WR LGHQWLI\
WKHSRWHQWLDOIRUDGMXVWPHQWVWKDWZRXOGEULQJV\QHUJLVWLFHIIHFWV,WKDVZRUNHGZLWKVRPH
LQGLYLGXDOIDUPHUVRQERWKYHJHWDEOHLPSURYHPHQWVLQKRPHJDUGHQVDQG¿VKSRQGDTXDFXOWXUH
7KLVLQWHJUDWHGDJULFXOWXUHDTXDFXOWXUHFRPSRQHQWRIIDUPHUVRIWHQFRPSULVHVRQO\P2 within
DQDYHUDJHIDUPVL]HRIKHFWDUHV<HWLQWHQVL¿FDWLRQRIMXVWWKLVFRUHFRPSRQHQWKDVOHGWR
VLJQL¿FDQWLPSURYHPHQWVLQIRRGVHFXULW\²YHJHWDEOH\LHOGVKDYHJURZQWRWRNJKD
DQG¿VKSRQGVSURGXFHWKHHTXLYDOHQWRINJKDRI¿VK²DQHZVRXUFHRIKLJKSURWHLQIRRG

55
6RXUFH3HWHU2PRQGL&0$'DQG4XHVWLRQQDLUHIRU8QLYHUVLW\RI(VVH[6$)(5HVHDUFK'DWDEDVH
56
Source: Randall Brummet, Daniel Jama; Brummet, 2000; Questionnaire for University of Essex SAFE Research
'DWDEDVH
Evidence from Africa 23

IRUKRXVHKROGV7KHVHLQWHJUDWHGIDUPVDOVRSURGXFHVL[WLPHVPRUHFDVKWKDQFRQYHQWLRQDOIDUPV
²ZLWKWKHYHJHWDEOH¿VKHOHPHQWFRQWULEXWLQJXSWRSHUFHQWRIDQQXDOFDVKLQFRPH,&/$50
has documented the steady improvement of productivity in these systems amongst collaborating
IDUPHUV²ZLWKSRQGSURGXFWLYLW\LQFUHDVLQJVWHDGLO\IURPWRNJKD$PRQJVWWKRVH
farmers trained only through the conventional Training and Visit system in southern Malawi,
\LHOGVE\FRQWUDVWKDYHIDOOHQVWHDGLO\DVWKHRYHUGHVLJQHGV\VWHPVXQUDYHOOHGDVIDUPHUVORVW
FRQWURO$QDVVHWEXLOGLQJDSSURDFKEXLOGLQJERWKRQQDWXUDOFDSLWDORQWKHIDUPDQGIDUPHUVRZQ
KXPDQFDSLWDO VNLOOVDQGNQRZOHGJH DOORZVIRUFRQWLQXRXVUHDGMXVWPHQWVRYHUWLPH

.H\EHQH¿WVRIFDVHVWXG\
Improvement to: Mechanism:
Amount of available food x Increase in food produced
x Increase in yields of food crops/ livestock
¥
Natural capital x %HQH¿WVWRQDWXUDOHQYLURQPHQW±VRLOVZDWHU
fertility etc
¥
Social capital x Builds partnerships between groups
x Increased community cohesion and cooperation
Human capital x Increase in knowledge and skills of farmers
x +HDOWKDQGHGXFDWLRQEHQH¿WVWRIDUPHUV
¥
households and community
Physical capital x Improvements to infrastructure and markets
Financial capital x Increased incomes to farmers ¥

2.4.7 ICIPE YXWXVXNXPX (push-pull) pest management in smallholder systems, Kenya57

The work of the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) is explicitly focused
RQGHVLJQLQJORZFRVWLQWHJUDWHGSHVWPDQDJHPHQWWHFKQRORJ\,WZRUNVFORVHO\ZLWKIDUPHUVWR
WHVWDQGDGDSWWHFKQRORJLHV,WLVSURGXFLQJXQH[SHFWHGV\QHUJLVWLFHIIHFWVWKURXJKPDQLSXODWLRQ
RIDJULFXOWXUDOV\VWHPVDQGWKHSDUDGLJPVWKDWGH¿QHWKHP2QHDFWLYLW\LVLQYHVWLJDWLQJQRYHO
habitat management approaches to suppress cereal stem borer and Striga populations in maize
DQGVRUJKXP7KLVSURMHFWLVGHYHORSLQJQRYHOµSXVKSXOO¶VWUDWHJLHVWRUHSHOVWHPERUHUVIURPWKH
FHUHDOFURSDQGDWWUDFWWKHPWRLQWHUFURSRUEDUULHUIRUDJHJUDVVHV,WKDVIRXQGH[WUDRUGLQDU\PXOWL
IXQFWLRQDOLW\LQDUDQJHRIIRGGHUJUDVVHVDQGOHJXPHVLQFHUHDOV\VWHPV7KHVWUDWHJ\LQYROYHV
trapping pests on highly susceptible trap plants (pull) and driving them away from the crop using
DUHSHOOHQWLQWHUFURS SXVK 58

57
6RXUFHV+DQV+HUUHQ-RKQ3LFNHWW,&,3(DQQXDOUHSRUWV3LFNHWW.KDQHWDO,&,3(
58
• The forage grasses, Pennisetum purpureum (napier grass) and Sorghum vulgare sudanense (Sudan grass), attract
 JUHDWHURYLSRVLWLRQE\VWHPERUHUVWKDQFXOWLYDWHGPDL]H
‡ 1RQKRVW IRUDJH SODQWV 0HOLQLV PLQXWLÀRUD PRODVVHV JUDVV  DQG 'HVPRGLXP XQFLQDWXP VLOYHU OHDI  UHSHO
IHPDOHVWDONERUHUV &KLORVSS 
‡ ,QWHUFURSSLQJZLWKPRODVVHVJUDVV 0HOLQLVPLQXWLÀRUD LQFUHDVHVSDUDVLWLVPSDUWLFXODUO\E\WKHODUYDOSDUDVLWRLG
&RWHVLDVHVDPLDHDQGWKHSXSDOSDUDVLWRLG'HQWLFKDVPLVEXVVHRODH0HOLQLVFRQWDLQVVHYHUDOSK\VLRORJLFDOO\
DFWLYHFRPSRXQGV7ZRRIWKHVHLQKLELWRYLSRVLWLRQ HJJOD\LQJ LQ&KLORHYHQDWORZFRQFHQWUDWLRQV
‡ 0RODVVHV JUDVV DOVR HPLWV D FKHPLFDO ( GLPHWK\OQRQDWULHQH ZKLFK VXPPRQV WKH ERUHUV¶ QDWXUDO
HQHPLHV
• Napier grass also has its own defence mechanism against crop borers: when the larvae enter the stem, the plant
SURGXFHVDJXPOLNHVXEVWDQFHNLOOVWKHSHVW
‡ 6XGDQ JUDVV DOVR LQFUHDVHV WKH HI¿FLHQF\ RI WKH QDWXUDO HQHPLHV WKH SDUDVLWLVP UDWH RQ ODUYDH RI WKH VSRWWHG
VWHPERUHU&KLORSDUWHOOXVPRUHWKDQWULSOHG±IURPSHUFHQWWRSHUFHQW±ZKHQWKHJUDVVZDVSODQWHG
DURXQGPDL]HLQD¿HOGDQGLQFUHDVHGIURPSHUFHQWWRSHUFHQWRQ%XVVHRODIXVFDDQRWKHULPSRUWDQW
SHVW 
‡ ,&,3(KDVIRXQGWKDWLQWHUFURSSLQJPDL]HZLWKWKHIRGGHUOHJXPHV'HVPRGLXPXQFLQDWXP VLOYHUOHDI DQG'
intortum (green leaf) reduced infestation of parasitic weed, Striga hermonthica by a factor of 40 compared to
PDL]HPRQRFURS5HGXFWLRQLQ6WULJDLQIHVWDWLRQE\LQWHUFURSSLQJPDL]HZLWKWKHWZRVSHFLHVRI'HVPRGLXP
ZDVVLJQL¿FDQWO\PRUHWKDQLQWHUFURSSLQJPDL]HZLWKVR\EHDQVXQKHPSDQGFRZSHD
24 Organic Agriculture and Food Security in Africa

5HVHDUFKHUV IURP ,&,3( DQG ,$&55RWKDPVWHG KDYH IRXQG WKDW VXFK µSXVKSXOO¶ XVLQJ WKH
attractive plants as trap crops and repellent plants as intercrops, reduces stem borer attack and
LQFUHDVHV OHYHOV RI SDUDVLWLVP RI ERUHUV RQ SURWHFWHG PDL]H UHVXOWLQJ LQ D VLJQL¿FDQW LQFUHDVH
LQ\LHOG)DUPHUSDUWLFLSDWRU\WULDOVLQDQGKDYHVKRZQVLJQL¿FDQW\LHOGLQFUHDVHVLQ
PDL]H7KHDLPLVQRZWRGHYHORSDPDL]HEDVHGFURSSLQJV\VWHPWKDWZLOOUHGXFH\LHOGORVVHV
due to both stem borer and Striga DQGDWWKHVDPHWLPHLPSURYHVRLOIHUWLOLW\GXHWRQLWURJHQ¿[LQJ
action of Desmodium. Such a redesigned and diverse system has many of the characteristics of
CWUDGLWLRQDO¶IDUPVLQ.HQ\D,&,3(KDVWUDLQHGDQHWZRUNRIIDUPHUWHDFKHUVDQGQRZRYHU
IDUPHUVKDYHDGRSWHGWKHVHSXVKSXOOWHFKQRORJLHV

.H\EHQH¿WVRIFDVHVWXG\
Improvement to: Mechanism:
Amount of available food x Increase in food produced
x Increase in yields of food crops/ livestock
¥
Natural capital x %HQH¿WVWRQDWXUDOHQYLURQPHQW±VRLOVZDWHU
fertility etc
¥
Social capital x Builds partnerships between groups
x Increased community cohesion and cooperation
¥
Human capital x Increase in knowledge and skills of farmers
x +HDOWKDQGHGXFDWLRQEHQH¿WVWRIDUPHUV
¥
households and community
Physical capital x Improvements to infrastructure and markets
Financial capital x Increased incomes to farmers

2.4.8 Ethiopia: Cheha integrated rural development project59

7KLVLVDQH[DPSOHRIDQLQWHJUDWHGDQGUHODWLYHO\VPDOOVFDOHSURMHFWPDNLQJDVXEVWDQWLDOLPSDFW
RQUHJLRQDOIRRGVHFXULW\7KHSURMHFWKDVEHHQZRUNLQJLQVRXWKZHVW(WKLRSLDVLQFHWKHGURXJKW
RI,WKDVLQWURGXFHGQHZYDULHWLHVRIFURSV YHJHWDEOHV DQGWUHHV IUXLWDQGIRUHVW SURPRWHG
RUJDQLFPDQXUHVIRUVRLOIHUWLOLW\DQGERWDQLFDOVIRUSHVWFRQWURODQGLQWURGXFHGYHWHULQDU\VHUYLFHV
Some 12,500 farm households have adopted sustainable agriculture on about 5,000 ha, resulting
in a 70 per cent improvement of overall nutrition levels within the project area, along with a 60
SHUFHQWLQFUHDVHLQFURS\LHOGV6RPHIDUPHUVKDYHEHJXQWRSURGXFHH[FHVVFURSVZKLFKWKH\
VHOOLQORFDOPDUNHWVHDUQLQJPXFKQHHGHGLQFRPHIRUWKHLUIDPLOLHV7KXVDQDUHDRQFHHQWLUHO\
reliant on emergency food aid has now become able to feed itself and has enough left over to
FRQWULEXWHWRVXUSOXV7KHUHDOSURPLVHRIWKHSURJUDPPHKRZHYHUOLHVLQWKHIDFWWKDWIDUPHUV
themselves are taking the initiative to replicate activities (including farmers outside the project
DUHD ZKHUHRQFHWKH\KDGWREHHQFRXUDJHGWRSDUWLFLSDWHWKURXJKIRRGIRUZRUNSD\PHQWV

.H\EHQH¿WVRIFDVHVWXG\
Improvement to: Mechanism:
Amount of available food x Increase in food produced
x Increase in yields of food crops/ livestock
¥
Natural capital x %HQH¿WVWRQDWXUDOHQYLURQPHQW±VRLOVZDWHU
fertility etc
¥
Social capital x Builds partnerships between groups
x Increased community cohesion and cooperation
¥
Human capital x Increase in knowledge and skills of farmers
x +HDOWKDQGHGXFDWLRQEHQH¿WVWRIDUPHUV
¥
households and community
Physical capital x Improvements to infrastructure and markets
Financial capital x Increased incomes to farmers ¥

59
Source: Food for the Hungry International and Questionnaire for University of Essex SAFE Research Database
2001
Evidence from Africa 25

2.4.9 MEFE project, Kakamega, Kenya60

The Mumias Education For Empowerment (MEFE) project works with some 2,070 households
in Kakamega, an area of western Kenya characterized by high rates of rural malnutrition, infant
PRUWDOLW\ DQG LOOLWHUDF\ 6HYHUH IRRG LQVHFXULW\ DIIHFWHG RQH LQ IRXU SHRSOH EHIRUH WKH SURMHFW
ZLWK PDQ\ KRXVHKROGV RQO\ IRRG VHFXUH IRU RQH WR WKUHH PRQWKV SHU \HDU 7KH SURMHFW XVHV D
structured learning process (REFLECT) to encourage all groups to critically analyse their own
HQYLURQPHQWDQGWRVHHNQHZVROXWLRQVEDVHGRQORFDOO\DYDLODEOHUHVRXUFHVDORQJWKHOLQHVRI
RUJDQLFSURGXFWLRQSUDFWLFHV7KHSURMHFWXVHVDUDQJHRILQWHJUDWHGSHVWPDQDJHPHQWPHWKRGV
WRJHWKHU ZLWK OHJXPHV FRYHU FURSV DQG JUHHQ PDQXUHV IRU VRLO IHUWLOLW\ LPSURYHPHQW 5DLVHG
EHGVKDYHEHHQLQFRUSRUDWHGRQIDUPVWRLQFUHDVHYHJHWDEOHSURGXFWLRQ$VDUHVXOWEHDQVDQG
JURXQGQXW\LHOGVKDYHGRXEOHGIURPWRNJKD7KHSURMHFWUHSRUWVWKDWWKHIRRGVHFXULW\
SHULRGKDVLPSURYHGWRWKUHHWRVL[PRQWKVIRUDW\SLFDOKRXVHKROG7KHLQFUHDVHGFRQVXPSWLRQRI
SURWHLQSDUWLFXODUO\EHQH¿WVFKLOGKHDOWK

.H\EHQH¿WVRIFDVHVWXG\
Improvement to: Mechanism:
Amount of available food x Increase in food produced
x Increase in yields of food crops/ livestock
¥
Natural capital x %HQH¿WVWRQDWXUDOHQYLURQPHQW±VRLOVZDWHU
fertility etc
¥
Social capital x Builds partnerships between groups
x Increased community cohesion and cooperation
¥
Human capital x Increase in knowledge and skills of farmers
x +HDOWKDQGHGXFDWLRQEHQH¿WVWRIDUPHUV
¥
households and community
Physical capital x Improvements to infrastructure and markets
Financial capital x Increased incomes to farmers

2.4.10 LOMADEF, Lipangwe, Malawi61

In 1993, the challenges of crop productivity far below subsistence levels, soils with deteriorating
fertility and escalating prices of essential farm inputs inspired a group of determined Malawian
VPDOOKROGHU IDUPHUV WR SURYLGH WKHPVHOYHV ZLWK KDQGVRQ H[SHULHQFH ZLWK VHOHFWHG RUJDQLF
VRLO LPSURYHPHQW SUDFWLFHV $V D UHVXOW WKH\ HVWDEOLVKHG WKH /LSDQJZH 2UJDQLF 0DQXUH
Demonstration Farm (LOMADEF), a small farm on a steep undulating landscape, with the
REMHFWLYHVWRGHPRQVWUDWHWKHEHQH¿WVRIRUJDQLFDJULFXOWXUHUHGXFHGHSHQGHQFHRIVPDOOKROGHU
VXEVLVWHQFHIDUPHUVRQDUWL¿FLDOIHUWLOL]HUVQXUWXUHDVHQVHRIVHOIUHOLDQFHDPRQJIDUPHUVDQGXVH
the demonstration farm for smallholder farmers from all over the country to come and learn about
organic agriculture techniques and establish further sustainable agriculture demonstration farms
IRUVPDOOKROGHUIDUPHUV

7KH ¿UVW VWHS /20$'() WRRN ZDV WR XVH PDQXUH RQ WKH ¿HOGV :KLOH VXUURXQGLQJ IDUPHUV
suffered wilted and stunted crops, the LOMADEF farm gave very conspicuous results which
HQFRXUDJHGPRUHIDUPHUVRWKHUDJULFXOWXUDO1*2VDQGWKH*RYHUQPHQWWRWDNHDQLQWHUHVW2YHU 
IDUPHUVKDYHVLQFHEHHQEURXJKWLQWRREVHUYHWKHEHQH¿WVRIRUJDQLFDJULFXOWXUHDQGWR
OHDUQVRPHVLPSOHRUJDQLFDJULFXOWXUHSUDFWLFHV/20$'()KDVQRZJURZQIURPRQHFOXEWR
WKLUWHHQ DQG PHPEHUVKLS KDV LQFUHDVHG IURP  WR  ZLWK FOXEV VSUHDG DFURVV WKH FRXQWU\
7KH/20$'()H[SHULHQFHVXJJHVWVWKDWVPDOOKROGHUPDQDJHGGHPRQVWUDWLRQIDUPVWKDWVKRZ
DIIRUGDEOHWHFKQRORJLHVDUHYHU\DWWUDFWLYHWRVPDOOKROGHUIDUPHUV

60
Source: Francisca Mate; James Atema; Questionnaire for University of Essex SAFE Research Database 2001
61
6RXUFH.DQMDQJD
26 Organic Agriculture and Food Security in Africa

.H\EHQH¿WVRIFDVHVWXG\
Improvement to: Mechanism:
Amount of available food x Increase in food produced
x Increase in yields of food crops/ livestock
¥
Natural capital x %HQH¿WVWRQDWXUDOHQYLURQPHQW±VRLOVZDWHU
fertility etc
¥
Social capital x Builds partnerships between groups
x Increased community cohesion and cooperation
¥
Human capital x Increase in knowledge and skills of farmers
x +HDOWKDQGHGXFDWLRQEHQH¿WVWRIDUPHUV
¥
households and community
Physical capital x Improvements to infrastructure and markets
Financial capital x Increased incomes to farmers ¥

2.4.11 Organic cashews and vegetables in Mkuranga District, Tanzania62

Providing children with good, nutritious food, healthcare, clothing and education is at the forefront
of the minds of most mothers, including the women farmers of Mkuranga district, 40 km south of
'DUHV6DODDPLQ7DQ]DQLD6LQFHZRPHQIURPWKLVUHJLRQKDYHFRPHWRJHWKHUDQGIRUPHG
JURXSVDOODVVRFLDWHGXQGHUWKHXPEUHOODRIµ0XXQJDQR¶63 and have been collaborating on organic
vegetable production and processing activities with the aim of producing organic vegetables for
LQFUHDVHGIRRGVHFXULW\DQGLQFRPHV

Traditionally, farmers in this area have grown rice and cassava, and have been dependent on
LQFRPHIURPWKHVDOHRIFRFRQXWVRUPRUHUHFHQWO\FDVKHZQXWVWRVXVWDLQWKHLUIDPLOLHV:LWK
IDFLOLWDWLRQ IURP WKH 6LGDIXQGHG (323$ SURJUDPPH D ODUJH 'DU HV 6DODDPEDVHG FRPSDQ\
3UHPLHU &DVKHZV ,QGXVWU\ /WG 3&,  KDV FRQYHUWHG SDUW RI LWV V\VWHP WR EH DEOH WR SURFHVV
FHUWL¿HGRUJDQLFFDVKHZQXWVSURYLGLQJWKHRSSRUWXQLW\RIRUJDQLFFDVKHZSURGXFWLRQIRUH[SRUW
IRUIDUPHUVLQ0NXUXQJD3&,ZRUNVZLWKIDUPHUVLQWKUHHYLOODJHVLQWKHGLVWULFWWRJURZDQG
VXSSO\WKHRUJDQLFFDVKHZQXWV

However, farming households still remain highly vulnerable to changes in world market prices
IRU FDVKHZV IRU ERWK WKH QRQRUJDQLF DQG RUJDQLF VHFWRU DOLNH  DQG ZKHQ FRPELQHG ZLWK WKH
substantial pressures put on their limited household resources by the unreliable climate and
UHSHDWHGGURXJKWVRIUHFHQW\HDUVIRRGVHFXULW\ZDVQRWDOZD\VDFKLHYHGLQWKHUHJLRQ

The women grow fruits, such as bananas and papaya, and vegetables including amaranths,
VZHHWSRWDWRHVRNUDFDVVDYDFROODUGDQGWRPDWRHV)DUPLQJLVFDUULHGRXWWKURXJKDPL[WXUHRI
WUDGLWLRQDODQGQRYHOSUDFWLFHVVXFKDVPXOFKLQJDQGWKHXVHRIERWDQLFDOSHVWLFLGHV$QLQWLPDWH
ORFDONQRZOHGJHRIWKHDUHD¶VHFRORJLFDOFRQGLWLRQVKDVEHHQFRPELQHGZLWKQHZWHFKQRORJLHV
VXFKDVVXQNHQEHGVDQGFRQWRXUSODQWLQJIRUVRLODQGZDWHUFRQVHUYDWLRQ

7KHUHOLDQFHRQORFDOO\DYDLODEOHQDWXUDODQGVRFLDOUHVRXUFHVDQGWKHLQWHUQDOL]DWLRQRIRUJDQLF
SULQFLSOHV RI SURGXFWLRQ LQWR WKH IDUPLQJ V\VWHP KDYH LPSURYHG RYHUDOO DJURHFRV\VWHP
VXVWDLQDELOLW\ LQ 0NXUDQJD 2UJDQLF YHJHWDEOH SURGXFWLRQ LQWHJUDWHG LQWR WKH RUJDQLF V\VWHP
has helped to diversify sources of food and income which is particularly important in an area
ZKHUHKLVWRULFDOO\UHODWLYHO\JRRGSULFHVIRUQRQRUJDQLFFDVKHZVKDYHUHVXOWHGLQQHJOHFWRIIRRG
FURSV

7KHVRFLDOFDSLWDORIWKHUHJLRQ¶VZRPHQKDVLPSURYHG+HOSLQJRQHDQRWKHU¿QDQFLDOO\GXULQJ
GLI¿FXOWSHULRGVVXFKDVZLWKVFKRROIHHVDQGPHGLFDOH[SHQVHVE\RSHQLQJVDYLQJVDFFRXQWV
ZDVRQHRIWKHPDLQPRWLYDWLRQVIRUWKHSURMHFW&RRSHUDWLRQDPRQJZRPHQDURXQGDFRPPRQ
JRDOKDVFUHDWHGSRZHUIXOPRPHQWXPLQWKHGULYHIRUFRPPXQLW\GHYHORSPHQW,QDGGLWLRQWR

62
6RXUFH3HWUD%DNHZHOO6WRQH
63
0XXQJDQRPHDQV³XQLRQ´LQ.LVZDKLOL
Evidence from Africa 27

vegetables, the local groups are engaged in many other activities such as producing red palm oil,
KDQGLFUDIWV VXFKDVJUDVVPDWPDNLQJDQGEDVNHWU\ ORFDOFKLFNHQUHDULQJDQGFDVVDYDPLOOLQJ
WRPDNHÀRXUIRUEDNLQJFDNHVDQGGRXJKQXWV$OWKRXJKWKHVHDFWLYLWLHVXVHGWREHFDUULHGRXW
individually, the formation of groups has meant that production is more organized, which has also
LQFUHDVHGDFFHVVWRPDUNHWV

6R IDU WKH ZRPHQ¶V JURXSV KDYH EHHQ VHOOLQJ DW ORFDO PDUNHWV DQG GLUHFWO\ WR ORFDO VFKRROV
)RUPDOFHUWL¿FDWLRQRIRUJDQLFSURGXFWLRQLVJHQHUDOO\RIORZSULRULW\ZKHUHSURGXFWLRQOHYHOV
DUHORZDQGPRVWRIWKHSURGXFHLVPDUNHWHGORFDOO\+RZHYHUDIWHUDYLVLWE\WKHPDQDJHURI
WKHQDWLRQDOFHUWL¿FDWLRQERG\7DQ&HUWWKHJURXSVKDYHGHFLGHGWRFHUWLI\WKHLUSURGXFWLRQDV
RUJDQLF 6SHFLDOLVW DQG JHQHUDO VWRUHV LQ 'DU HV 6DODDP DUH LQFUHDVLQJO\ GHPRQVWUDWLQJ WKHLU
willingness to market fresh and processed organic produce, and large hotels are also emerging as a
SRWHQWLDOPDUNHW7KHUHODWLYHSUR[LPLW\WRWKHPDLQQDWLRQDOPDUNHWOHQGVLWVHOIZHOOWRH[SDQVLRQ
RIWUDGLQJDFWLYLWLHVLQWKLVDUHD

:KLOHFHUWL¿FDWLRQFRXOGKDYHPDQ\DGYDQWDJHVLWPD\QRWVROYHDOOIDUPHUV¶SUREOHPV:KLOH
there are many opportunities for improving the sustainability of smallholder livelihoods through
RUJDQLF DJULFXOWXUH WKHVH GHSHQG XSRQ DGHTXDWH KXPDQ DQG VRFLDO FDSLWDO 7KH LQWURGXFWLRQ
of technologies and establishment of market linkages is most effective when combined with a
JRRGXQGHUVWDQGLQJRIRUJDQLFSURGXFWLRQDQGWUDGHDQGQHZZD\VRIZRUNLQJWRJHWKHU2UJDQLF
agriculture that integrates both a production and a community focus gives an opportunity to secure
VXVWDLQDEOHOLYHOLKRRGVIRUVPDOOKROGHUVLQ$IULFD7KLVFDQHQDEOHWKHPWRPDNHPRUHHI¿FLHQWXVH
of available resources within the current institutional context and to build upon existing livelihood
VWUDWHJLHV ,I FRPPXQLW\ RUJDQL]DWLRQV FRPPHUFLDO HQWHUSULVHV DQG RWKHU VWDNHKROGHUV ZHUH WR
FROODERUDWHRQFHUWL¿FDWLRQSURFHGXUHVWKLVZRXOGEULQJDGGLWLRQDOEHQH¿WVE\FRPELQLQJIDUPHU
HPSRZHUPHQWZLWKSURGXFWLRQRIKLJKTXDOLW\SURGXFWVIRUFRQVXPHUV

.H\EHQH¿WVRIFDVHVWXG\
Improvement to: Mechanism:
Amount of available food x Increase in food produced
x Increase in yields of food crops/ livestock
¥
Natural capital x %HQH¿WVWRQDWXUDOHQYLURQPHQW±VRLOVZDWHU
fertility etc
¥
Social capital x Builds partnerships between groups
x Increased community cohesion and cooperation
¥
Human capital x Increase in knowledge and skills of farmers
x +HDOWKDQGHGXFDWLRQEHQH¿WVWRIDUPHUV
¥
households and community
Physical capital x Improvements to infrastructure and markets ¥
Financial capital x Increased incomes to farmers ¥

2.4.12 Soil and crop productivity improvements, EAT, Kenya64

The Environmental Action Team (EAT) soil and crop productivity enhancement project covers
VPDOOKROGHUIDUPLQJ FRPPXQLWLHV RI 7UDQV 1]RLD :HVW 3RNRW /XJDUL DQG %XQJRPD GLVWULFWV
LQ1RUWK5LIWDQGZHVWHUQUHJLRQVRI.HQ\D+HUHUDLQIDOOUHOLDELOLW\LVJHQHUDOO\KLJKH[FHSW
LQ:HVW3RNRW'LVWULFWZKHUHWKHFOLPDWHLVPDUJLQDO+RZHYHUPRVWRIWKHGLVWULFWVDUHFRYHUHG
by soils that are inherently low in fertility; it is an area with traditionally low crop productivity
OHVVWKDQWZRWRQVKDIRUPDL]HDQGOHVVWKDQWRQVKDIRUEHDQV WKHUHLVORZGLYHUVLW\LQ
the crops that are grown (about 95 per cent of cultivated land covered by the dominant crops of
PDL]HDQGEHDQV DQGWKHUHLVUDPSDQWKRXVHKROGIRRGLQVHFXULW\ ZLWKDQDYHUDJHPRQWKV
RIKXQJHUH[SHULHQFHGHYHU\\HDU  The aim of this EAT project is to enhance household food
security within the target farming communities through increased crop yields by encouraging soil
DQGFURSSURGXFWLYLW\LPSURYHPHQWV($7FDUULHVRXWWUDLQLQJXVLQJSDUWLFLSDWRU\PHWKRGRORJLHV

64
6RXUFH&KDUOHV:DVRQJD($7.HQ\D
28 Organic Agriculture and Food Security in Africa

VXFKDV¿HOGGD\VGHPRQVWUDWLRQVIDUPHUYHUL¿FDWLRQWULDOVIDUPHUIROORZXSVIDUPHUWRIDUPHU
YLVLWV,WHQFRXUDJHVWKHIRUPDWLRQRIFROODERUDWLYHSDUWQHUVKLSVDQGSDUWLFLSDWRU\OHDUQLQJDQG
LGHQWL¿FDWLRQ ($7 LQVWUXFWV RQ VRLO IHUWLOLW\ PDQDJHPHQW FURS GLYHUVL¿FDWLRQ LPSURYHG FURS
PDQDJHPHQWDQGLPSURYHGIDUPSODQQLQJ

More than 1,000 farmers drawn from different farming communities have been directly trained
WKURXJKWKHSURMHFWDQGWKH\DUHLQWHJUDWLQJFRPSRQHQWVLQWRWKHLUIDUPV8QWUDLQHGIDUPHUVDUH
learning from trained farmers causing a multiplier effect so the number of farmers who have
EHQH¿WHGIURPWKHSURMHFWLVPXFKKLJKHU,QWHJUDWLRQRIFRPSRQHQWVKDVUHVXOWHGLQLQFUHDVHG
maize yields to 3,414 kg/ha (71 per cent increase in productivity), while bean yields have increased
WRNJKD SHUFHQWLQFUHDVHLQSURGXFWLYLW\ DVFRPSDUHGWRWUDGLWLRQDODJULFXOWXUH7KHUH
KDV DOVR EHHQ DQ LQFUHDVHG GLYHUVLW\ RI FURSV JURZQ 7KHVH UHVXOWV KDYH KDG EURDG UHDFKLQJ
impacts on food and nutrition security, the natural environment, communities, education and the
HFRQRP\ VHH%R[

Box 6. Impacts of the soil and crop productivity enhancement project of EAT Kenya
• Increased diversity in food crops available on farms has resulted in more varied diets and thus
improved health.
• Surplus produce is sold and income used to access health facilities and medicines.
• There are reduced health risks for farmers because of reduced pesticide use.
• Surplus produce is sold and the resulting income used to pay school fees for farmers’ children. Thus
education has improved.
• Soil loss from farms has been reduced following implementation of soil conservation techniques.
• Soil health has improved through soil organic matter accumulation following application of organic
manures.
• Cohesion within farming communities has been enhanced through forums organized for farmers for
VKDULQJLGHDVDQG¿QGLQJVRQSURGXFWLYLW\LPSURYHPHQWDQGPDUNHWLQJRIIDUPSURGXFH
• Groups formed during the project’s interactions with farmers have evolved into channels for entry
into other development interventions within the communities, such as group marketing of farm
produce.
• Farmers who have adopted new practices have become teachers for other community members
on techniques for improving productivity, and in the process they themselves have gained more
respect and social standing within communities and households, which has increased their self
esteem.
• 0RUHSHRSOHKDYHJDLQHGVHOIHPSOR\PHQWLQIDUPLQJDQGEXVLQHVVHVHVWDEOLVKHGWKURXJK¿QDQFHV
obtained from sale of surplus farm produce.
• Capacity of individual farmers to evaluate emerging production techniques has increased.
• Households have EHHQ¿QDQFLDOO\HPSRZHUHGDQGKDYHEHHQDEOHWRDGRSWWHFKQRORJLFDO
advancements such as mobile telephones, which have increased communications and enhanced
HI¿FLHQF\LQH[SORLWDWLRQRIPDUNHWRSSRUWXQLWLHV
• Unemployment levels within farming communities have fallen leading to an overall reduction in
poverty within households.

Source: Charles Wasonga, EAT Kenya, pers. com., 2005.

.H\EHQH¿WVRIFDVHVWXG\
Improvement to: Mechanism:
Amount of available food x Increase in food produced
x Increase in yields of food crops/ livestock
¥
Natural capital x %HQH¿WVWRQDWXUDOHQYLURQPHQW±VRLOVZDWHU
fertility etc
¥
Social capital x Builds partnerships between groups
x Increased community cohesion and cooperation
¥
Human capital x Increase in knowledge and skills of farmers
x +HDOWKDQGHGXFDWLRQEHQH¿WVWRIDUPHUV
¥
households and community
Physical capital x Improvements to infrastructure and markets
Financial capital x Increased incomes to farmers ¥
Evidence from Africa 29

2.4.13 PEEST project, Iganga district, Uganda65

The Poverty Eradication through Environmentally Sustainable Technologies (PEEST) project
has been implemented in the Iganga District of Eastern Uganda since June 1997 by Africa 
1HWZRUN 7KH DLP RI WKH SURMHFW LV WR FRPEDW HQYLURQPHQWDO GHJUDGDWLRQ E\ SURPRWLQJ
ecologically sustainable development for improved livelihoods among the smallholder farmers
LQWKH'LVWULFW6LQFHWKHVWKHQDWXUDODQGDJURHFRV\VWHPVRIWKHDUHDKDYHEHHQVXIIHULQJ
GHJUDGDWLRQIROORZLQJUDSLGSRSXODWLRQJURZWKDQGGHWHULRUDWLRQLQWKHHFRQRPLFVLWXDWLRQ$VWKH
population grew, natural forest and woodlands were cleared for agricultural use, fuel wood, timber
DQGKXPDQVHWWOHPHQWV7KLVPDVVFOHDULQJRIIRUHVWVZRRGODQGVDQGZHWODQGVKDVUHVXOWHGLQDQ
increasing scarcity of fuel wood, timber, and drinking water from natural wells and springs which
are increasingly drying up at a much faster rate during the dry season

By 1997, many farmers in the Iganga District were faced with a problem of increasing vulnerability
characterized by high poverty levels (above the national average of 45 per cent living below
WKHSRYHUW\OHYHORIRQHGROODUSHUGD\ DQGIRRGLQVHFXULW\7KHWKUHH\HDU3((67SURMHFWZDV
initiated with the aim of improving the livelihoods of the smallholder farmers through increased
DJULFXOWXUHSURGXFWLYLW\DQGVXVWDLQDEOHQDWXUDOUHVRXUFHPDQDJHPHQW7KHDLPVRIWKHSURMHFW
were to: provide knowledge and skills to enable communities to manage their environment and
natural resources in a sustainable manner; help communities in the District to improve their
food security and diets and to increase their incomes and fuel wood production; ensure active
participation of both men and women as a family unit for improved family welfare; and ensure
that successful projects and practices are replicated, where conditions permit, and unsuccessful
RQHVDYRLGHG

Partners supporting PEEST include: Cordaid (formally Bilance), International Centre for Research
in Agroforestry (ICRAF), Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the Tropical Soil Biology and
Fertility Programme (TSBF), the Kawanda Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) of the National
Agriculture Research Organization (NARO), Makerere University Soil Science Department and
6LGD¶V5HJLRQDO/DQG0DQDJHPHQW8QLW

7KH¿UVWSKDVHRIWKHSURMHFWXVHGSDUWLFLSDWRU\PHWKRGRORJLHVUDLVHGHQYLURQPHQWDODZDUHQHVV
in the community, and equipped farmers with knowledge about their environment and skills
WRPDQDJHWKHLUQDWXUDODQGDJULFXOWXUDOUHVRXUFHVPRUHVXVWDLQDEO\7KLVUHVXOWHGLQLPSURYHG
SURGXFWLYLW\RIQDWXUDOUHVRXUFHV7KHWHFKQRORJLHVDQGSUDFWLFHVZKLFKZHUHDGDSWHGDQGDGRSWHG
reduced soil erosion, conserved soil water, helped prevent soil nutrient loss and improved soil
IHUWLOLW\ WKXV UHVXOWLQJ LQ LPSURYHG DJULFXOWXUH SURGXFWLYLW\ %\ LPSURYLQJ VRLO IHUWLOLW\ WKH
GHPDQGE\SDUWLFLSDWLQJIDUPHUVIRUPRUHODQGIURPIRUHVWVDQGZHWODQGVZDVHOLPLQDWHG7KH
QHZDJURIRUHVWU\WHFKQRORJLHVLQFUHDVHGWKHVXSSO\RIIXHOZRRGDQGIRGGHUDQGFRQWULEXWHGWR
increasing the fertility of the soils, while the improved cook stove reduced the demand for fuel
ZRRG7KH SURPRWLRQ RI LQGLJHQRXV FURS YDULHWLHV FRQWULEXWHG WR LPSURYLQJ WKH IRRG VHFXULW\
RIWKHFRPPXQLW\DQGWRWKHFRQVHUYDWLRQRIWKHORFDODJURELRGLYHUVLW\2IWKHIDUPHUV
UHDFKHGLQWKH¿UVWSKDVHRIWKHSURMHFWSHUFHQWUHSRUWHGLQFUHDVHGIRRGVXSSOLHVDQGPDQ\
UHSRUWHGLQFUHDVHGLQFRPH

However the rapidly growing population of a predominately rural population remains a serious
FKDOOHQJH7KHSURMHFWKDVUHFRJQL]HGWKLVSUREOHPDQGLVQRZDGGLQJIDPLO\SODQQLQJDQG+,9
$,'6 LQ LWV LQWHUYHQWLRQV *HQGHU LQHTXLW\ UHPDLQV D VHULRXV OLPLWDWLRQ WR RUJDQLF DJULFXOWXUH
GHYHORSPHQWLQ8JDQGDDVLWDIIHFWVODERXUGHSOR\PHQWDQGDOORFDWLRQRIUHVRXUFHV7KHSURMHFW
has mainstreamed gender and instituted incentives like support to families that show a higher
GHJUHHRIJHQGHUHTXLW\WRSURPRWHFKDQJH*HQGHUHTXLW\LVDVRFLDOSKHQRPHQRQDQGWDNHVWLPH
WRWDNHHIIHFWLQPDQ\RIWKHIDPLOLHV

The project is now in its second phase of implementation with the aim of reaching a total of 
KRXVHKROGVLQWKH'LVWULFW:LWKPDQ\IDUPHUVUHSOLFDWLQJRUJDQLFIDUPLQJSUDFWLFHVDQG
65
6RXUFH:DODJDDQG.DNLQGD
30 Organic Agriculture and Food Security in Africa

technologies, positive contributions of organic agriculture to the ecosystem of the District are being
PXOWLSOLHG7KHDGRSWLRQRIVXVWDLQDEOHDJULFXOWXUHWHFKQLTXHVKDVDOVRLPSURYHGWKHOLYHOLKRRGV
RIUXUDOIDUPKRXVHKROGV7KHVHWHFKQLTXHVDUHSDUWLFXODUO\VXLWDEOHWRVPDOODQGUHVRXUFHSRRU
IDUPHUVDQGVFDOLQJXSVKRXOGEHIDFLOLWDWHGWREHQH¿WPDQ\PRUHIDUPHUVPRUHTXLFNO\

.H\EHQH¿WVRIFDVHVWXG\
Improvement to: Mechanism:
Amount of available food x Increase in food produced
x Increase in yields of food crops/ livestock
¥
Natural capital x %HQH¿WVWRQDWXUDOHQYLURQPHQW±VRLOVZDWHU
fertility etc
¥
Social capital x Builds partnerships between groups
x Increased community cohesion and cooperation
¥
Human capital x Increase in knowledge and skills of farmers
x +HDOWKDQGHGXFDWLRQEHQH¿WVWRIDUPHUV
¥
households and community
Physical capital x Improvements to infrastructure and markets
Financial capital x Increased incomes to farmers ¥

2.4.14 MOOF, Kenya66

Mount Kenya Organic Farm (MOOF) was established in 1999 with a remit to facilitate smallholder
SURGXFHUJURXSVLQWKHSURGXFWLRQDQGPDUNHWLQJRIKLJKYDOXHFHUWL¿HGRUJDQLFSURGXFWV7KH
SULPDU\ REMHFWLYH LV WR LPSURYH DQG KHOS WR UDLVH WKH OLYLQJ VWDQGDUGV RI .HQ\D¶V VPDOOKROGHU
farmers by having an assured food security for themselves and their communities, to tackle
SRYHUW\ DQG WR HPSRZHU WKH ORFDO FRPPXQLW\ WKURXJK WKH SURGXFWLRQ RI VSHFLDOLW\ KLJKYDOXH
RUJDQLFFURSVIRUORFDODQGH[SRUWPDUNHWV

7KH022)IDUPGHPRQVWUDWLRQJDUGHQFRQVLVWVRIDFUHVDQGLVPDGHXSRIDQXPEHURIUDLVHG
EHGVJURZLQJYHJHWDEOHW\SHV'XULQJWKH±GURXJKWYHJHWDEOHVLQWKHGHPRQVWUDWLRQ
JDUGHQIDUHGZHOOFRPSDUHGWRRWKHUVLQVXUURXQGLQJJDUGHQV3HVWFRQWUROLQFOXGHGWKHXVHRI
QDWXUDO SUHGDWRUV DQG SODQW H[WUDFWV QHHP DQG JDUOLF VSUD\V 022) KDV DOUHDG\ GHYHORSHG
D ORFDO QHWZRUN RI VHOIKHOS VPDOOKROGHU JURXSV ZKLFK LW VHUYLFHV ZLWK WUDLQLQJ DQG DGYLFH RQ
RUJDQLFIDUPLQJWHFKQLTXHV)DUPHUVWUDLQHGE\022)KDYHDGRSWHGRUJDQLFPHWKRGVVXFKDV
soil management practices (which help to retain moisture) and have had a greater success with
FURSVIDUPHUVYLVLWHG022)RUJDQLFJDUGHQVDQGIDUPHUVDGRSWHGDWOHDVWRQHRUJDQLF
technique in food production

MOOF has recently started the organic borage for export project, which is currently supported
E\86$,''HYHORSPHQW$JHQF\WKURXJK)LQWUDF¶V.HQ\D+RUWLFXOWXUH'HYHORSPHQW&HQWUHDQG
(DUWKRLO7KH3URMHFWWDUJHWVSURGXFWLRQRIFHUWL¿HGRUJDQLFERUDJHVHHGVIRUFROGSUHVVLQJLQWR
QHXWUDFHXWLFDORLOIRUH[SRUWWR(XURSHDQGWKH8QLWHG6WDWHVRI$PHULFD7KLVKDVFRQWULEXWHG
LPPHQVHO\LQEXLOGLQJXSWKHUXUDOHFRQRP\LQWKHSURMHFWDUHD7KLVRUJDQLFDJULFXOWXUHLVODERXU
LQWHQVLYHDQGKDVFRQWULEXWHGWRODUJHQXPEHURISHRSOHJHWWLQJHPSOR\HGLQWKHVXEVHFWRU%RUDJH
VHHGVIHWFKJRRGIDUPJDWHSULFHDWSHUNLORJUDPZKLFKKDVEHHQQHJRWLDWHGDQGDJUHHG
XSRQEHWZHHQWKHEX\HU(DUWKRLO.HQ\D/LPLWHGDQGWKHIDUPHUVVHOIKHOSJURXSV%RUDJH\LHOGV
are estimated at 500–750 kg per acre and the cost of production is very minimal compared to
FRQYHQWLRQDO DJULFXOWXUDO WHFKQRORJLHV ,QFRPH JHQHUDWHG IURP WKH  DFUHV RI ERUDJH RI WKLV
SURMHFWLQLVHVWLPDWHGDW.VKV0LOOLRQ  FRPLQJLQWRWKH1DQ\XNLFRPPXQLW\
VPDOOKROGHUIDUPHUV RYHUDSHULRGRIVHYHQPRQWKV

It is hoped that income generated from this project will enable people to have access to better
health facilities, to afford a family bicycle and to enjoy improved nutritional status from stocking
7LODSLD¿VKIRUFRQVXPSWLRQ,WLVKRSHGWKDWLQFRPHJHQHUDWHGIURPVDOHRIRUJDQLFRLOFURSV

66
6RXUFH3HWHU0XUDJH
Evidence from Africa 31

ZLOOSURYLGHPRQH\QHHGHGIRUWKHKRXVHKROGEDVLFQHHGVDQGKHQFHUHGXFHHQFURDFKPHQWWR0W
.HQ\DIRUHVWIRUFKDUFRDOEXUQLQJDQGWKHIHOOLQJRILQGLJHQRXVWUHHVIRUWLPEHUDQGIHQFLQJSRVWV
As borage attracts bees in large numbers, it is hoped that farmers will engage in production of
RUJDQLFKRQH\ZKLFKZKHQPDUNHWLQJLVZHOORUJDQL]HGZLOOIHWFKJRRGSULFHVDQGVXSSOHPHQW
WKHLUERUDJHLQFRPH

.H\EHQH¿WVRIFDVHVWXG\
Improvement to: Mechanism:
Amount of available food x Increase in food produced
x Increase in yields of food crops/ livestock
¥
Natural capital x %HQH¿WVWRQDWXUDOHQYLURQPHQW±VRLOVZDWHU
fertility etc
¥
Social capital x Builds partnerships between groups
x Increased community cohesion and cooperation
¥
Human capital x Increase in knowledge and skills of farmers
x +HDOWKDQGHGXFDWLRQEHQH¿WVWRIDUPHUV
¥
households and community
Physical capital x Improvements to infrastructure and markets ¥
Financial capital x Increased incomes to farmers ¥

2.4.15 PELUM, Tanzania67

3DUWLFLSDWRU\(FRORJLFDO/DQG8VH0DQDJHPHQW7DQ]DQLD 3(/807DQ]DQLD LVDQHWZRUNRI
civil society organizations working with rural communities in promoting sustainable agriculture
LQ7DQ]DQLD3(/807DQ]DQLDLVRQHRIWKHWHQ&RXQWU\:RUNLQJ*URXSV &:*V LQ(DVW&HQWUDO
DQG6RXWKHUQ$IULFDWKDWIRUPWKH3(/80$VVRFLDWLRQ7KHDVVRFLDWLRQZDVODXQFKHGLQDQG
LWVKHDGTXDUWHUVDUHLQ/XVDND=DPELD3(/80DOVRKDV&:*VLQ.HQ\DDQG8JDQGD&XUUHQWO\
PELUM Tanzania has 33 member organizations that have come together to facilitate learning,
QHWZRUNLQJ DQG DGYRFDF\ LQ SDUWLFLSDWRU\ HFRORJLFDO ODQG XVH PDQDJHPHQW$V D QHWZRUN RI
CSOs, PELUM Tanzania does not work directly with smallholder farmers, but works through its
PHPEHUVWKDWZRUNZLWKUXUDOFRPPXQLWLHVLQ7DQ]DQLD

The objectives of PELUM Tanzania are to develop capacity of member organizations through
training workshops; facilitate networking through farmer organizations; be a tool for documentation
and communication; facilitate advocacy work in food and seed security and sustainable land use
management; advocate issues of marketing and trade; and develop PELUM Tanzania membership
IXQFWLRQLQJDVVHVVPHQWDQGYLVLELOLW\3(/807DQ]DQLDZRUNVZLWKDQGIRUVPDOOKROGHUIDUPHUVWR
tackle food security issues by advocating participatory policy formulation; access to markets; seed
security, improved rural infrastructure (roads, storage facilities, physical markets, communication,
HWF DQGDOORFDWLRQRISHUFHQWRIWKHQDWLRQDOEXGJHWWRDJULFXOWXUHDQGIRRGVHFXULW\E\
PELUM Tanzania also organizes farmer exchange visits and networking days so that farmers can
OHDUQDQGH[FKDQJHEHVWSUDFWLFHV'XULQJQHWZRUNLQJGD\VIDUPHUV¶JURXSVDQGQHWZRUNVFRPH
together to exhibit their products and to share experiences and skills in production, processing,
VWRUDJHDQGPDUNHWLQJRIDJULFXOWXUDOSURGXFWV

,QIRXU¿HOGVWDIIIURP3(/807DQ]DQLDSDUWLFLSDWHGLQDWZRZHHNVZRUNVKRSRQRUJDQLF
farming and marketing organized by the PELUM Association to introduce member organizations
WRWKHSRWHQWLDORIRUJDQLFIDUPLQJLQ7DQ]DQLD$IWHUWKLVZRUNVKRSVRPHPHPEHUVKDYHVWDUWHG
VWUDWHJLHVIRULQWURGXFLQJRUJDQLFIDUPLQJLQWKHLUDUHDV3(/807DQ]DQLDDOVRPDGHLWSRVVLEOHIRU
its member organizations and farmers to meet with and learn from organic farming institutions in
Tanzania, such as EPOPA (Export Promotion of Organic Products from Africa), TOAM (Tanzania
2UJDQLF$JULFXOWXUH0RYHPHQW DQG7DQ&HUW 7DQ]DQLD2UJDQLF&HUWL¿FDWLRQ$VVRFLDWLRQ 

67
6RXUFH'RQDWL$OH[6HQ]LD3(/807DQ]DQLD
32 Organic Agriculture and Food Security in Africa

.H\EHQH¿WVRIFDVHVWXG\
Improvement to: Mechanism:
Amount of available food x Increase in food produced not
x Increase in yields of food crops/ livestock reported
Natural capital x %HQH¿WVWRQDWXUDOHQYLURQPHQW±VRLOVZDWHU
fertility etc
Social capital x Builds partnerships between groups
x Increased community cohesion and cooperation
¥
Human capital x Increase in knowledge and skills of farmers
x +HDOWKDQGHGXFDWLRQEHQH¿WVWRIDUPHUV
¥
households and community
Physical capital x Improvements to infrastructure and markets ¥
Financial capital x Increased incomes to farmers ¥

2.4.16 Discussion of evidence

Evidence from both the secondary sources and the case studies summarized in this report
UHLQIRUFHVWKHYLHZWKDWIRRGVHFXULW\LVLQÀXHQFHGE\PDQ\GLIIHUHQWIDFWRUVWKDWYDU\IURPUHJLRQ
to region and although an increase in yields is a fundamental factor, this alone cannot guarantee a
UHGXFWLRQLQIRRGLQVHFXULW\2WKHUIDFWRUVVXFKDVLPSURYHPHQWVWRWKHQDWXUDOVRFLDODQGKXPDQ
capital assets base that organic agriculture provide together with increased farmer incomes are
DOVRVLJQL¿FDQWDQGFDQRIWHQEHVHHQDVPHDVXUHVRIVXFFHVVLQUHGXFLQJIRRGLQVHFXULW\

To illustrate this more clearly the key improvements resulting from each of the case studies
GHWDLOHGLQWKLVUHVHDUFKKDYHEHHQDQDO\VHG7KHVHDUHVXPPDUL]HGLQER[

Box 7. Key improvements shown by case studies
Number of
case studies
which showed
Improvement to: Mechanism: Per cent
improvement
(out of a
possible 15)
Amount of available x Increase in food produced 12   a
food x Increase in yields of food crops/
livestock
Natural capital x %HQH¿WVWRQDWXUDOHQYLURQPHQW 14 
– soils, water, fertility etc
Social capital x Builds partnerships between groups 14 
x Increased community cohesion and
cooperation
Human capital x Increase in knowledge and skills of 15 
farmers
x +HDOWKDQGHGXFDWLRQEHQH¿WVWR
farmers, households and community
Physical capital x Improvements to infrastructure and 6 
markets
Financial capital x Increased incomes to farmers 13 
a
For two of the case studies examined (organic cotton in Uganda and Tanzania) increasing food
production was not part of the remit, as such, in project objectives. If only those 13 case studies
which were centred on food production were considered, the percentage would be 92 per cent. One
case study did not provide data on food availability.

• Increase in food availability

Food availability increased in all the case studies focused on food production where data were
reported, either in terms of increased yields of crops and livestock productivity or an increase in
Evidence from Africa 33

WRWDOIRRGSURGXFHG68 For example, the 500 farmers on some 1,000 hectares participating in the
&RPPXQLW\ 0RELOL]DWLRQ$JDLQVW 'HVHUWL¿FDWLRQ &0$'  SURJUDPPH LQ .HQ\D KDYH VHHQ D
GRXEOLQJRIPDL]H\LHOGV±LQFUHDVLQJIURPDERXWWRWKD

Evidence from this study and others shows that agricultural yields in organic systems tend to be
VWDEOHZKHQFRQYHUWLQJIURPORZLQSXWV\VWHPV WKRVHWKDWPD\KDYHEHHQE\SDVVHGE\WKH³JUHHQ
UHYROXWLRQ´ 2YHUWLPH\LHOGVLQFUHDVHDVFDSLWDODVVHWVLQV\VWHPVLPSURYHWKXVRXWSHUIRUPLQJ
WKRVHLQWUDGLWLRQDOV\VWHPVDQGPDWFKLQJWKRVHLQPRUHFRQYHQWLRQDOLQSXWLQWHQVLYHV\VWHPV

v %HQH¿WVWRWKHQDWXUDOHQYLURQPHQW

The vast majority of the case studies in this research showed improvements to the natural capital
EDVH±WKHLUORFDOQDWXUDOHQYLURQPHQW±ZLWKSHUFHQWRIWKHFDVHVWXGLHVUHSRUWLQJEHQH¿WVWR
VRLOIHUWLOLW\ZDWHUVXSSO\ÀRRGFRQWURODQGELRGLYHUVLW\)RUH[DPSOHWKH3((67SURJUDPPH
LQ8JDQGDUHVXOWHGLQLPSURYHGSURGXFWLYLW\RIQDWXUDOUHVRXUFHV7KHRUJDQLFWHFKQRORJLHVDQG
practices, which were adapted and adopted, reduced soil erosion, conserved soil water, helped
prevent soil nutrient loss, and improved soil fertility, thus resulting in improved agriculture
SURGXFWLYLW\%\LPSURYLQJVRLOIHUWLOLW\WKHGHPDQGE\SDUWLFLSDWLQJIDUPHUVIRUPRUHODQGIURP
IRUHVWVDQGZHWODQGVZDVHOLPLQDWHG

v %HQH¿WVWRFRPPXQLW\FRRSHUDWLRQDQGSDUWQHUVKLSV

Again, 14 out of the 15 case studies (93 per cent) cited improvements to social capital as integral
WRWKHLUVXFFHVV7KHIRUPDWLRQRIIDUPHUV¶JURXSVDQGFRRSHUDWLYHVDQGOHVVIRUPDOFRPPXQLW\
collaboration has lowered the costs of working, led to increased knowledge transfer amongst
IDUPHUV UHGXFHG WKH FRVWV RI RUJDQLF FHUWL¿FDWLRQ DQG FRQWULEXWHG WR JUHDWHU IRRG VHFXULW\
Women from the Mkuranga District of Tanzania, for example, have been collaborating on organic
vegetable production and processing activities with the aim of producing organic vegetables for
LQFUHDVHG IRRG VHFXULW\ DQG LQFRPHV7KH\ KDYH FRPH WRJHWKHU DQG IRUPHG JURXSV DVVRFLDWHG
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RQHRIWKHPDLQPRWLYDWLRQVIRUWKHSURMHFW&RRSHUDWLRQDPRQJZRPHQDURXQGDFRPPRQJRDO
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The 1,000 farmers trained under the EAT project in Kenya have in turn become teachers for other
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farmers have evolved into channels for entry into other development interventions within the
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have some element of education that increases the knowledge of organic farming methods and the
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and communities as a result of increased knowledge, an increase in food yields and improved
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organic farming to adapt and change their farming systems when faced with new challenges
has resulted in these agricultural systems becoming more resilient to environmental and external
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34 Organic Agriculture and Food Security in Africa

switch to organic farming; the increased diversity in food crops resulted in more varied diets and
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v ,PSURYHPHQWVWRLQIUDVWUXFWXUHDQGPDUNHWV

Of the case studies examined, 40 per cent reported improvements in the physical infrastructure
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Of the case studies, 87 per cent showed increases in farmer and household incomes as a result of
becoming organic, which contributed to reducing poverty levels and to increasing regional food
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6$&'(3LQ7KLND.HQ\DLQFUHDVHGSHUFHQW7KLVHQDEOHGWKHPWRPHHWEDVLFQHHGVVXFK
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UHVXOWRIQRORQJHUQHHGLQJWRSXUFKDVHV\QWKHWLFIHUWLOL]HUVDQGSHVWLFLGHV

v Summary

A study in 2002 comparing organic initiatives to other sustainable but not organic projects69 drew
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WKHLQFUHDVHVLQDYDLODEOHIRRGRUJDQLFV\VWHPVDUHEHQH¿FLDOEHFDXVHWKH\DUHPRUHLQWHJUDWHG
than average farms; they tend to use a larger number of the improvement mechanisms and
focus on intensifying microenvironments on farms and diversifying by adding new regenerative
FRPSRQHQWVWRWKHV\VWHP$ODUJHSURSRUWLRQRIRUJDQLFDQGQHDURUJDQLFV\VWHPVIRFXVRQVRFLDO
capital building through groups and 97 per cent of cases in the 2002 study and 100 per cent in this
VWXG\KDYHDKXPDQFDSLWDOGHYHORSPHQWHOHPHQW$GGLQJYDOXHWKURXJKGLUHFWOLQNVWRPDUNHWV
and consumers has also been shown to be an important development in the success of organic
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2.5.1 Knowledge

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WKHWRWDOQXPEHURIIDUPHUVXVLQJWKHPLVVWLOOUHODWLYHO\VPDOO/DFNRINQRZOHGJHRIRUJDQLFDQG
VXVWDLQDEOHDJULFXOWXUDOWHFKQLTXHVLVRIWHQDOLPLWLQJIDFWRULQWKHVSUHDGRIRUJDQLFSURGXFWLRQ

Farming systems become more productive when human capital increases, particularly in the
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DJULFXOWXUHLVQRWDGH¿QHGVHWRISDUWLFXODUWHFKQRORJLHV/DFNRILQIRUPDWLRQRQDJURHFRORJ\
and the necessary skills to manage diverse farming systems can be a major barrier to the adoption
RIRUJDQLFDJULFXOWXUH70

Adoption of new technologies is also not a costless process for some farmers as often they cannot
simply cut their existing use of fertilizer or pesticides and hope to maintain outputs immediately, thus
PDNLQJRSHUDWLRQVPRUHSUR¿WDEOH+RZHYHUWKLVPD\EHRIIVHWWRDFHUWDLQH[WHQWE\WKHVDYLQJV
LQFXUUHGDVDUHVXOWRIQRORQJHUKDYLQJWREX\H[SHQVLYHV\QWKHWLFSHVWLFLGHVDQGIHUWLOL]HUV

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Evidence from Africa 35

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with a lower innovation capacity, farmers then have to spend time learning about a greater diversity
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experiment more, and so incur the costs of making mistakes as well as those of acquiring new
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In addition, lack of knowledge and information about organic agriculture among government
RI¿FLDOV DQG RWKHU LQÀXHQWLDO DFWRUV LQ HGXFDWLRQDO DQG UHVHDUFK LQVWLWXWLRQV UHVXOWV LQ OLPLWHG
DSSUHFLDWLRQRIWKHSRWHQWLDOWKDWRUJDQLFDQGQHDURUJDQLFDJULFXOWXUHRIIHUVIRUWDFNOLQJSRYHUW\
HUDGLFDWLRQDQGIRRGVHFXULW\LVVXHV

2.5.2 Support and infrastructure

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SURGXFHUVDQGRSHUDWRUVPD\¿QGLWHDVLHUWRDFFHVVLQWHUQDWLRQDOPDUNHWVWKDQWKHVPDOOHUVFDOH
IDUPHQWHUSULVH:KHUHVPDOOHUIDUPHUVDUH L RUJDQL]HGLQWR farmer groups and are being supported
by organizations including KOAN, NOGAMU and TOAM or (ii) where the commercial exporters
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FHUWL¿FDWLRQV\VWHPVDQGFRPSO\LQJZLWKLQWHUQDWLRQDOVWDQGDUGVPD\DOVREHSURKLELWLYH73

Another factor affecting farmers wanting to take advantage of the organic export market is the
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PXFKRIWKHFHUWL¿HGRUJDQLFSURGXFHLQ$IULFDQFRXQWULHVPD\EHJURZQE\DFRRSHUDWLYHJURXS
of small farmers, the logistics required to ensure that produce leaves from many different farms
yet reaches the destination on time (with transport infrastructure often very limited or inconsistent)
and in perfect condition (with limited and inconsistent refrigeration facilities available) are
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VLJQL¿FDQWLQYHVWPHQWLQWRVXSSRUWLQJLQIUDVWUXFWXUHLVHVVHQWLDO

The general lack of large domestic organic markets in Africa may seem to make commercial
RUJDQLF DJULFXOWXUH D KLJK ULVN YHQWXUH DV LW UHOLHV VROHO\ RQ WKH H[SRUW PDUNHW74 The more a
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ORFDOVDOHV

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36 Organic Agriculture and Food Security in Africa

Development agents and NGOs involved in implementation of organic support programs within the
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YHQWXUHWRZDUGVWKHH[SRUWPDUNHWDVWKHUHLVDOVRWKHSUREOHPRIOLPLWHGDQGXQFHUWDLQIXQGLQJ

2.5.3 Winners and losers

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WKDWPD\OLPLWWKHVSUHDGDQGSRWHQWLDOWRVFDOHXS7KHXVHRIRQHDVVHWIRULPSURYHPHQWVFDQ
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secondary problems, such as increased yields leading to increased offtake of nutrients, which may
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7KLVPRGHOIRUIDUPLQJV\VWHPVLPSOLHVDYHU\OLPLWHGUROHIRUFXUUHQWDJURFKHPLFDOSURGXFWV
WKHSURGXFHUVRIZKLFKDUHXQOLNHO\WRDFFHSWPDUNHWORVVHVOLJKWO\

2.5.4 Gender, health, employment and land tenure issues

In some cases organic farming systems may increase the household workload and the burden
may particularly fall on women if the cropping intensity of the farm increases or new lands are
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sales of produce, particularly coffee and cotton for export, may go directly to the men, who are
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sometimes hesitant to adopt more labour intensive farming methods sometimes associated with
RUJDQLFDJULFXOWXUHSDUWLFXODUO\LIWKH\DUHWREHXVHGZLWKFURSVWKH\FRQVLGHUDVORZYDOXH

Sustainable livelihoods based on organic agricultural production may appear to be keeping people
LQUXUDODUHDVDZD\IURPFHQWUHVRISRZHUDQGµPRGHUQ¶VRFLHW\ZKHQWKHDVSLUDWLRQVRI some
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the farming workforce in some areas due to disease, HIV /AIDS and malnutrition will also affect
DQGUHGXFHWKHSURGXFWLYLW\RIODERXULQVRPHDUHDVRI$IULFD

Whilst a whole systems organic farming approach advocates an integrated system featuring both
crops and livestock, some of the communities in Africa are traditionally pastoral and sometimes
FURSOLYHVWRFNFRQÀLFWVFDQRFFXU

Organic agriculture that increases the assets base and so the value and potential of the land may
also increase the incentives for more powerful interests to take over, such as landlords taking
EDFNIRUPHUO\GHJUDGHGODQGIURPWHQDQWVZKRKDGDGRSWHGVRLOLPSURYLQJPHWKRGV&RQYHUVHO\
tenant farmers may also be reluctant to spend any initial outlay on improvements to someone
HOVH¶VODQG

2.5.5 External factors

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the same as those external factors that contribute to and exacerbate food insecurity (see section
 0LVSHUFHSWLRQVPD\DOVRSOD\DOLPLWLQJUROHLQFOXGLQJIRUH[DPSOHWKHPLVSHUFHSWLRQWKDW
organic agricultural practices would not be able to address the high incidence of pest and diseases
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XQGHUSROLWLFDORUHFRQRPLFSUHVVXUHWRSURPRWHLQGXVWULDODJURFKHPLFDOEDVHGDJULFXOWXUHDQG
the introduction of genetically modifed organisms (GMOs) instead of sustainable agriculture
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Evidence from Africa 37

2.5.6 Participatory development policies for organic agriculture

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RIH[WHUQDOLQSXWVLQPRGHUQL]HGDJULFXOWXUDOV\VWHPV,WLVFOHDUWKDWWKHSURFHVVE\ZKLFKIDUPHUV
OHDUQDERXWDOWHUQDWLYHZD\VRIIDUPLQJLVFUXFLDO,IDOWHUQDWLYHVDUHHQIRUFHGRUFRHUFHGWKHQ
IDUPHUVPD\RQO\DGRSWWKHPIRUDOLPLWHGSHULRG%XWLIWKHSURFHVVLVSDUWLFLSDWRU\DQGHQKDQFHV
IDUPHUV¶FDSDFLW\WROHDUQDERXWWKHLUIDUPDQGLWVUHVRXUFHVWKHQWKHIRXQGDWLRQIRUFKDQJHDQG
FRQWLQXRXVLQQRYDWLRQLVODLG76

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on social capital and institutional development is needed to continue to build resilience and
innovation capacity within communities and to facilitate the spread of good practice in organic
DJULFXOWXUH77

As indicated earlier in this paper, agricultural sustainability can contribute to increased food
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Clearly much can and is being done with existing resources, but a wider transition towards organic
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costs time and money to rebuild depleted natural and social capital and also there are costs in
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Most agricultural sustainability improvements worldwide occurring in the 1990s and early 2000s
appear to have arisen despite existing national and institutional policies, rather than because of
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sector in areas of research and development and markets, has been a major obstacle to the spread
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to be changed and be developed with full stakeholder consultation if they are to help deliver
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report of the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for
Development (IAASTD) panel, an intergovernmental process, supported by over 400 experts
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to change radically to better serve the poor and hungry if the world is to cope with growing
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a high social and environmental cost; and (ii) food producers should try using “natural processes”
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Although the Government of almost every country would now say it supports the idea of agricultural
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policies and budgetary resources devoted to supporting sustainable agriculture, including organic
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38 Organic Agriculture and Food Security in Africa

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SROLFLHVDQGPDQ\SROLFLHVVWLOOVXSSRUWLQSXWEDVHGQRQRUJDQLFDJULFXOWXUH+RZHYHU7XQLVLD
KDVDQRUJDQLFDJULFXOWXUHSROLF\LQSODFHDQG.HQ\D¶VFDWFKPHQWDSSURDFKWRVRLOFRQVHUYDWLRQLV
evidence of reform of parts of its agricultural policy80 and in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda
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therefore contain strands that emphasize both small farmer development linked to local markets,
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H[SRUWOHGDJURSURFHVVLQJDQGYDOXHDGGHGDFWLYLWLHV

The recently released CBTF publication on best practices for organic policy (what developing
coutries can do to promote the organic agriculture sector) contains valuable analysis and guidance
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Conclusions 39

SECTION 3. CONCLUSIONS

• Organic agriculture can increase agricultural productivity and can raise incomes with
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resources, strengthen communities and improve human capacity, thus improving food
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• All case studies which focused on food production in this research where data have been
reported have shown increases in per hectare productivity of food crops, which challenges
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Organic production allows access to markets and food for farmers, enabling them to
obtain premium prices for their produce (export and domestic) and to use the additional
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projects, has been shown to increase access to food in a variety of ways: by increasing
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References
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$OWLHUL0$1RQFHUWL¿HGDJULFXOWXUHLQGHYHORSLQJFRXQWULHVLQ6FLDOODED1(O+DQG+DWWDP&
Organic Agriculture, Environment and Food Security.)$25RPH
$YHU\'Saving the Planet with Pesticides and Plastic. The Hudson Institute, Indianapolis
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tropical Africa: a gendered analysis.(323$
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Kenya Uganda Tanzania
• ABLH – Association for Better • Bufumbo Organic Agriculture • COOPlBO–Tanzania
Land Husbandry Producers Association • EPOPA TZ – Export Promotion of
• Baraka Agricultural College • CIOF – Ceres Institute of Organic Organic Products from Africa
• Bungoma Family Development Farming • INADES – Formation
Programme • COOPIBO–Uganda • KCU – Kagera Cooperative
• ICIPE – International Centre of • Environmental Alert Union
Insect Physiology and Ecology • EPOPA – Export Promotion of • KIHATA – Chama Cha Kilimo Hai
• ICRAF – International Centre for Organic Products from Africa Tanzania
Research in Agroforestry • International Centre for Tropical • KNCU – Kilimanjaro Native
• ITDG Kenya – Intermediate Agriculture, Cooperative Union
Technology Development Group • Kayunga organic Agriculture • Laela Agricultural Centre
• KARI – Kenya Agricultural producers Association • PELUM Tanzania
Research Institute • KOFT – Organic Farm and • TOAM – Tanzania Organic
• KARI – Kenya Agricultural Training Centre Agriculture Movement
Research Institute • LOFP – Lango Organic Farming • TOFO – Tanzania Organic
• KIOF – Kenya Institute of Production Foundation
Organic Farming • Masaka Organic Producers • TOPP – Tanzania Organization of
• KOAN – Kenyan Organic • NOGAMO – National Organic Permaculture Promoters
Agriculture Network Movement of Uganda
• Manor House Agriculture Centre • Nombe Organic producers
• OFOP – Organic Farming Association
Outreach Programme • PELUM Uganda
• PELUM Kenya • RUCID – Rural Community in
• SACDEP – Sustainable Development
Agriculture Community • SANU – Sustainable Agriculture
Development Programme Net of Uganda
• SACRED–Africa – Sustainable • Uganda Centre for Sustainable
Agriculture Centre for Research Agriculture
and Development in Africa