Organic agriculture is growing momentum in Africa as it is increasingly seen as significant for addressing food insecurity, land degradation, poverty, and climate change. It is becoming an important sector with demand for organic produce increasing in Africa and beyond.
Research and specific experiences of farm families engaged in organic agriculture show that organic agriculture offers African smallholders and family farmers a wide range of economic, environmental and social benefits by:
· Increasing yields in the long run through the use of affordable inputs largely based on local biodiversity;
· Improving livelihoods and food security;
· Building resilience to climate change;
· Reducing the financial risk by replacing expensive chemical inputs with locally available renewable resources;
· Integrating traditional farming practices;
· Allowing farmers access to new market opportunities: both at home and abroad;
· Combating desertification;
· Providing much_greater_resilience of the farming systems in times of climate extremes such as drought and heavy rains;
· Improving human health and maximizing environmental services;
· Contributing to climate change mitigation, as it reduces greenhouse gas emissions and affordably sequesters carbon in the soil.
Given its affordability and the valuable tool-kit provided by organic agriculture, government policies could significantly benefit from the integration of organic practices into their agriculture, climate change, food security, and rural development policies and action plans.