Zanzibar's Trade Minister Voices Support for Organic Agriculture
"Organic agriculture means a perfect match of a profitable premium market and a healthy environment for our farmers and their families", her excellency Ms. Amina Ali, Minister of Trade for Zanzibar, stated.
Minister Ali joined the Continental Steering Committee of the Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative (EOA-I) which was founded by the African Union following a 2010 decision to mainstream organic agriculture in the policies of members states. The Initiative receives support from the Swiss Secretariat for Development Cooperation and the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation. IFOAM – Organics International's Executive Director, Louise Luttikholt, is a member of the Steering Committee.
The meeting, which takes place twice a year, was held from May 27-30 in Zanzibar, a region known for its spices. Minister Ali stated that, "a visit to the BIOFACH Trade Fair in 2017 opened my eyes on the potential of international trade in organic products for farmers' livelihoods".
In addition, Ms. Ali shared her vision of a completely ‘Green Zanzibar’, where pesticides would no longer be allowed and used. The current organic farmers are forerunners and leaders that are helping to spread agro-ecological practices and bring a pesticide-free island within reach.
The Steering Committee combined its meeting with a field visit to learn from lead farmers of Zanzibar's Organic Spice Group about their experiences and work.