(Frick/Nuremberg, February 16, 2012) Organic agriculture can provide attractive options and improvements for African farmers and local economies. FiBL and partners from the African organic movement have created an illustrated training manual and a comprehensive online directory of organic agriculture in Africa to support smallholder farmers in implementing organic farming techniques, improving sustainability of agricultural production and increasing market opportunities. The partners include the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), the African National Organic Agriculture Movement (NOAMs) and agricultural experts from across Africa.
“Experts from our institute worked with African specialists to produce a manual of agricultural best practices for growers, farmer groups and extension workers”, explains FiBL project leader Lukas Kilcher. “One of our goals is to increase profitability for farmers by promoting improved technologies for organic production and market-driven organic production systems, that help make farmers more fit for successful business. The training materials will encourage application of sustainable soil management, resource-efficient farming and modern marketing techniques.”
The project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA)*.
A contribution to food security
“Critical, but enthusiastic teachers, advisors and farmers are today’s prime movers of agricultural development in Africa”, says FiBL Director Urs Niggli. “We are delighted to contribute our expertise to their efforts to promote sustainable farming practices with a growing number of research and extension activities.”
“This publication’s goal is to increase the sustainable agriculture options for African smallholders, and to help them become more successful farmers”, adds Niggli. “Our project contributes to food security in Africa by promoting improved production methods and strengthening market-driven farming systems.”
Lukas Kilcher, Head of Communications and leader of the African Organic Agriculture Training Manual project
The training materials and information on the procedure for validation are available for download on www.organic-africa.net
*FiBL’s African Organic Agriculture Training Manual is based on research funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture. The manual’s findings, conclusions and recommendations are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of either Foundation.