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Organic Agric Good For Rural Communities – UNCTAD


An official of the United Na­tions Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Dr Henrique Pacini, yesterday said that dealing in organic agri­cultural products could increase income of rural communities.

Pacini made this statement at the third African Organic Con­ference holding at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos from Octo­ber 5 to October 9.

He said that one of the goals in promoting organic products in Africa was to ensure an im­proved environmental sustain­ability.

“UNCTAD has been work­ing in developing organic mar­ket since 2004 because organic products support healthy nutri­tion and lifestyle,” he said.

The official said that UNC­TAD worked at developing linkages between organic agri­culture and tourism industries.

Pacini said that a case study of two African countries, Loas and Tanzania, had shown that a large share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) comes from ag­riculture.

Mr Musa Muwanga, Chief Executive Officer, National Or­ganic Agriculture Movement of Uganda (NOGAMU), said that agriculture was the backbone of most African countries.

“Agriculture is the primary activity of more than 60 per cent of the population in Africa accounting for more than 30 per cent of the GDP in many sub-Sahara countries.

“Agriculture’s ability to generate income for the poor, particularly women, is more important for food security than the ability to increase local food supplies,” he said.

Muwanga said that organic farming and trade was a suc­cessful tool in reducing the rate of poverty in Africa.

He, however, said that the major challenge in sustainable organic agriculture was that small holder farmers and the value chain were not mobilised and organised.

Muwanga said it was, there­fore, expedient to strengthen the institutional capacity of smallholder farmers associa­tion and network for the devel­opment of agriculture in Africa.

Miss Kate Kibara, the Man­aging Director of Kates Or­ganic Limited and Rejuvenate, Kenya, spoke on the potential for youth entrepreneurial devel­opment in ecological organic agriculture.

“Over 40 per cent of Africa’s population is made up of youths and most of the unemployed people are young people.

“There has been growing so­cial problems in many African countries among the youths; they, however, have the poten­tial to engage in innovation,” she said.


– Anthony Awunor

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