Opportunities for enhancing markets for organic products via tourism sectors discussed at the East African Organic Policy Forum

01 - 02 June 2017
Arusha International Conference Center
, United Republic of Tanzania

Photo Credits: Mwanzo Milinga / Afronet​As part of the activities of the UN trade cluster on Trade and Productive capacity in the United Republic of Tanzania, UNCTAD has co-sponsored the organization of the East-African Organic Policy Forum (EAOPF), which took place during 1-2 June 2017 in Arusha, Tanzania. This has brought together local and regional agricultural organizations, food processors and tourism stakeholders to discuss barriers and opportunities to the further development of organic agriculture in east Africa.

Numerous Tanzanian representatives have attended, including beneficiaries from the UN Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity. In participar, UNCTAD’s EMPRETEC training project’s benefitiaries (Tanga Fresh) and Darsh Industries, which buys tomatoes from farmers who are supported by the UN Cluster project, were active participants at the event. Other stakeholders such as the Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, the Tanzania Hotel Association and the National College of Tourism – all of which were key focal points to a study on linkages between tourism and organic agriculture in Tanzania prepared by UNCTAD in 2015 – marked presence at the Forum. The study identified areas for continuous work on pro-poor tourism development in the country, highlighting the positive impacts of developing agriculture-tourism in tandem.


The forum gathered a dense network of organic agriculture movements of different countries in the region (Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, Uganda and Cameroon) and had strong government presence, being an important opportunity to mobilize policy makers, at the East African Community and those from national level on the importance of organic agriculture (OA) and the various barriers and opportunities that affect the sector, including potential linkages with local and regional tourism hubs. At the event, UNCTAD also presented its latest study on financing of organic farming in Africa.


podium-tnz-2017-450.jpgWhile governments are slowly, but increasingly recognizing the benefits of organic agriculture, comprehensive government policies to support the sector have not been fully realized, and much remains to be done in linking the sector to highly relevant service areas such as tourism. If organic agriculture and its associated positive effects are to be scaled up, an enabling policy environment is crucial, mentioned the participants. The event promoted better coordination among market players, companies and regional governments, as well as support for the sector’s stakeholders and linkages to other sectors.

The event was made possible by a partnership of institutions, namely the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), the Organic Trade and Value Chain East Africa (OTEA), One Stop Shop Organic East Africa (OSOSEA) projects and UNCTAD, representing the UN Trade Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity. The event is being organized by the African Organic Network (AfrONet), WUSC Tanzania and the Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM), with financial support from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), the Trademark East Africa Challenge Fund (TRAC) and the Government of Switzerland (SECO).

The UN Trade Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity is sponsored by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

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​East Africa Organic Policy Forum:
Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement:
Organic Trade and Value Chain East Africa (OTEA):
One Stop Shop Organic East Africa (OSOSEA):
WUSC Tanzania:

Trade and Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Branch




Mr Henrique Pacini