The Lusaka Declaration on mainstreaming organic agriculture
into the African development agenda
We, the 300 participants from over 40 countries gathered at the 2nd African Organic Conference held in Lusaka, Zambia 2-4 May 2012 on the theme “Mainstreaming Organic Agriculture in the African Development Agenda”.
We agree that organic agriculture plays a key role in sustainable development, food security, poverty reduction, environmental security, climate change adaptation, human health, preservation of indigenous knowledge, plant varieties and animal breeds as well as socio-cultural development. We shared international research results confirming that the adoption of organic agriculture practices significantly increases yields in Africa. Based on locally available renewable resources instead of purchased chemical inputs (over 90 percent of which are imported in sub-Saharan Africa), organic producers are less vulnerable to international input price volatility. Moreover organic agriculture is climate smart agriculture, as it produces lower emissions and also provides much greater resilience in times of climate extremes such as drought and heavy rains.
We applaud the great efforts made by all national, regional and international organizations to support the development of ecological organic agriculture in Africa.
We welcome the institutionalization of AfroNet (African Organic Network) — the umbrella organization uniting and representing African organic stakeholders. We encourage all stakeholders to engage in and support AfroNet.
We call for the implementation of the AU Heads of State and Government Decision on Organic Farming (Doc. EX.CL/631 (XVIII). The Summit decision requests that the African Union Commission (AUC) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) to initiate and provide guidance for an AU-led coalition of international partners on the establishment of an African organic farming platform based on available best practices; and to provide guidance in support of the development of sustainable organic farming systems.
We call upon the AU to mainstream organic agriculture into all areas of its work, including the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and to take the lead in the implementation of the African Organic Action Plan (and its associated Pillars), in close collaboration with AfroNet and other partners
The six pillars of the African Organic Action Plan are:
1. Research, training and extension: To conduct participatory, interdisciplinary, multi-cultural research that informs stakeholder training and offers appropriate knowledge and skills and innovative solutions to the community.
2. Information and communication: To develop information and communication strategies to sensitize the stakeholders and the general public on the value and practices of ecological organic agriculture.
3. Value chain and market development: To increase trade in ecological/organic products from Africa at domestic, regional and export markets.
4. Networking and partnership: To strengthen synergies among stakeholders and beneficiaries to support ecological organic agriculture through networks and partnerships.
5. Supportive policies and programmes: To support the development and implementation of enabling policies and programmes.
6. Institutional capacity development: To establish, develop and support ecological/organic agriculture institutions in Africa
We appreciate all support received to date. We note that the coordination and implementation of the African Organic Action Plan will require strengthening the capacities of AfroNet and the AU Commission.
We call upon all African stakeholders and development partners to support the implementation of the African Organic Action Plan from technical, financial and institutional perspectives. These partners include but are not limited to the European Union, UNCTAD, FAO, IFAD, UNEP, ITC, World Bank, the European Union, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Grow Organic Africa, the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, Sida, HIVOs, NORAD, Swiss Development Cooperation and the Government of Austria.
We request continued funding of existing initiatives falling under the framework of the Action Plan, including the Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative. We further encourage the design and implementation of more initiatives at every level, from continental to grassroots communities.
We call upon the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to mainstream organic agriculture into existing Regional Agricultural frameworks and initiatives including the Regional Compacts, Research for Development, Advocacy, outreach and Communication, media, publications, capacity building, technical cooperation and intergovernmental meetings.
We applaud the efforts made by the growing number of Members States that have embraced the concept of Organic Agriculture and in developing policies and programmes to support the organic agriculture sector.
We urge all African Governments to include organic agriculture in their policies and programmes, in consultation with the organic/ecological agriculture stakeholders in their countries. The UNCTAD-UNEP "Best Practices for Organic Policy" (UNCTAD/DITC/TED/2007/3) can provide useful guidance.
We express interest in exploring and harnessing the potential of possible synergies with other related initiatives, programmes and projects in Africa, while remaining true to our core values.
We request the European Union and other actors of the global trade partners to take all possible steps to facilitate the participation of Africa in global organic markets. This includes a request to recognize as equivalent the East African Organic Products Standard (EAOPS), which was developed through a consultative regional public-private partnership and adopted as the official East African Community organic standard in 2007.
We welcome the recent equivalency agreements on organic trade between the EU, the United States and Canada. We further request that these equivalency agreements include full recognition of organic import systems, so that approval as organic in one market, leads to access to all three.
We thank the organizers of this conference, including the AU Commission (AUC), Organic Producers and Processors Association of Zambia (OPPAZ), the Zambian Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Grow Organic Africa, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and those who provided financial and technical support.
We express our sincere appreciation of the support and attendance of Kenneth David Kaunda, OPPAZ Patron and First Republican President of Zambia.
We look forward to continue to work together as one united and ever-growing African Organic Team.
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