Lagos – The African Union Commission (AUC), said on Tuesday that it had trained 90 organic farmers, practitioners and exporters from East and West Africa, in order to enhance food security in the continent.
Mr Jonathan Ocran, the Policy Officer, Livestock, Rural Economy and Agriculture of the Commission, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
“To date, 90 organic farmers, practitioners and exporters from the East African community and ECOWAS, have been trained.
“By this undertaking, organic agriculture platforms in these regions have also been strengthened.
“The African Union (AU) has been supporting organic agriculture and in 2011, a decision was passed by the Heads of States and Governments of African Union to promote organic agriculture on the African continent.
“The AU is also supporting and playing pivotal role in the formation and functioning of the continental ecological organic agriculture steering committee.”[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]
Ocran recalled that a recent study by researchers at the New Castle University had revealed that organically grown produce and cereals have 90 per cent and 69 per cent more anti-oxidants than pesticide residual and conventional grown ones.
“A 30 year side-by-side comparison of organic and conventional agricultural systems has revealed that organic system match or even out-performed conventional system in terms of yield, profitability and energy efficiency.
“The research equally showed that organic agriculture also have positive effect on soil water, water quality and also rural communities,’’ he added.
Ocran also said that the AUC committee on organic agriculture has developed an action plan to for the development and promotion of organic agriculture in the continent.
“This committee has met thrice since its inauguration in October 2013 and it has revised the action plan and also developed strategic plans for the year 2015 to 2025.
“This plan has provided guidelines for the promotion and development of organic agriculture in Africa.
“The African Union has also been organising training workshops for participants for member states.
“The training workshops are in two parts: one is on organic standard and certification system and the other one is on modern organic production and marketing,’’ he said. (NAN)