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Socio-Economic Effects of Organic Agriculture in Africa - Download

Contemporary agriculture and food systems are associated with a range of social and environmental problems, such as food insecurity, land degradation, water pollution, health hazards, etc. These problems are particularly acute in African nations, where food insecurity and malnutrition is widespread, and where many farmers have experienced declining crop yields due to drought, desertification and salinity.
The expansion of Organic Agriculture represents one strategy to address these challenges. Organic Agriculture is widely supported for its capacity to achieve a food secure and environmentally sustainable Africa. This report documents the recent rapid expansion of Organic Agriculture in Africa. By providing in-depth insights from four selected countries – Egypt, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda – this report showcases the specific experiences of farm families and surrounding communities engaged in organic farming. Drawing from interviews with women and men organic farmers as well as representatives from NGOs, government departments and industry the results presented in this report demonstrate a range of positive social and economic impacts.These results indicate conversion to Organic Agriculture has enabled farmers to realize: increased incomes and secure market access; improvements in their family’s health; increased access to food; improved access to education and vital health care services; improvements in the health of farm environments; alongside the empowerment of local communities. In short, the impacts associated with conversion to Organic Agriculture have the capacity to establish sustainable livelihoods for African farm families and their communities.
At the same time, there are clearly issues that need to be considered if African farmers and communities are to reap all the benefits which Organic Agriculture could provide. As such, this report concludes with a series of recommendations to support ongoing expansion of Organic Agriculture in Africa.