In Africa, organic agriculture is becoming a key component of sustainable development. Research has shown that the adoption of organic agriculture practices significantly increases yields, makes producers less vulnerable to international input price volatility, and promotes environmental sustainability, among other benefits.
At the 2nd African Organic Conference
, held in Lusaka, Zambia from 2-4 May 2012, participants called for further recognition of the importance of organic agriculture for the African development agenda. In this regard, a declaration adopted at the conference welcomed the institutionalization of AfroNet (African Organic Network), the umbrella organization uniting and representing African organic stakeholders.
calls upon the African Union to mainstream organic agriculture into all areas of its work, including the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)
, and to take the lead in the implementation of the African Organic Action Plan, in close collaboration with AfroNet. Other African stakeholders, including UNCTAD, are also invited to support the implementation of the Plan from technical, financial and institutional perspectives.
At the opening session of the conference, Mr. Petko Draganov, Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD, in a message much relayed by African and global media, spoke of the impressive array of food security, economic, environmental, and health benefits for developing countries that organic agriculture practices can bring.