Organic farming is an integrated method of farming that strives for sustainable production in agriculture, enhancement of soil fertility and biological diversity while prohibiting, with rare exceptions, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics, genetically modified foods and growth hormones.
Top organic producers by percentage in the world, Africa is second in line with 30% after Asia at 35% under which Uganda in Eastern Africa takes the lead, followed by Tanzania, Ethiopia and finally Tunisia which is found in the Northern part of Africa.
Nearly 200,000 Ugandans are small-scale organic farmers, the highest number of organic farmers after India.
Uganda is the top country for organic farming due to the government support that it receives. The Ugandan government strictly prohibits the use of synthetic inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides, and drugs. The objective of the prohibition is to promote sustainable agriculture growth for the long-term improvement of people’s lives.
Tanzania comes in second with the country’s farming being championed by the Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM). It has resulted in fertile soils, great ecosystems, and a healthy population. TOAM came into being in 2005. Since then, its role has been to facilitate and coordinate organic farming in President Magufuli-led country.
Growth of organic farming in Tanzania is also attributed to the growing support received from the consumers and stakeholders.
The area of land that is used for organic farming in Ethiopia amounts to 164,777 hectares. It is the third top African country in organic production.
According to the data by Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis, the organic food produced for the export and domestic markets totals at least five million tonnes annually in Kenya. There are at least 250,000 consumers of organic produce comprising of local citizens and tourists mainly in Nairobi.
The organic food consumers have been identified as such from being regular customers at the organic markets and outlets.
Since most of the current organic farming takes place in Central Kenya, a lot of potential for production exists in other regions such as the Coast, Eastern, Rift Valley, Western, Nyanza and North Eastern.