Introduction

Making the Case for Agroecology (MTC) is a long-term initiative to document and share success stories of agroecology from Africa. The initiative forms part on an Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) project, to raise the profile of agroecology. TOAM, as host organisation for TABIO - a coalition of 20 organizations in Tanzania, and AFSA member- is leading the collection, preparation and publication of the case studies.

Achievements

Now in its third phase, MTC has seen the collection of over 50 case studies from more than 20 African nations - accessible at: afsafrica.org/case-studies

10 of the best case studies were compiled into packs and launched at the First FAO Agroecology Conference in Africa.

Funded by:

The AgroEcology Fund is a multi-donor fund committed to supporting sustainable agroecological solutions across the globe.

Introduction:

The project was designed to create a One Stop Shop (an information and communication infrastructure) that will be the go-to resource for all queries in the Organic Sector in East Africa. By installing three national and one regional policy platforms, the project will also provide an influential joined-up lobbying and advocacy mechanism to tackle policy barriers on cross-border trade.

The One Stop Shop will be based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, with regional hubs in Nairobi and Kampala. It will gather and provide product and market information and support services; additionally supporting farmers’ markets in each capital city, directly linking producers, processors, aggregators, traders, exporters, and consumers via easy access to up-to-date production and market information.

Funded By:

The TradeMark East Africa Challenge Fund (TRAC) is a project funded by TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) aimed at boosting economic growth and regional trades in the East African Community (EAC) and the region’s trade with the rest of the world through innovative projects.

Achievements:

Since the inception of the project, the following has been achieved:

  • National baseline & policy studies implemented in each country
  • The creation of the kilimohai web portal
  • Development of 20 Fact sheets on organic agriculture
  • Construction of the East Africa online organic marketplace 
 

Funded By: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the African Union and, the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC)

Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative for Africa (EOAI) is an African led-­program aimed at implementing the decision of African Head of States on Organic -­ Doc. EX.CL/631 (XVIII). The African Union Commission with stakeholders designed this Initiative that is to be domesticated and mainstreamed in Country Programs Policies and Strategies. The key funders of the Initiative are the Swiss Agency for development and Cooperation (SDC), the African Union and the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC). Tanzania is among eight countries in Africa implementing this initiative since 2012 when it started as pilot project. Post-­pilot project interventions the Initiative run from 2014-­2018. Therefore, the overall goal of the initiative is to mainstream Ecological Organic Agriculture into national agricultural production systems by 2025 in order to improve agricultural productivity, food security, access to markets and sustainable development in Africa.

These 8 countries are categorized into the Eastern and the Western clusters. The Eastern cluster involves Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Uganda while the Western Cluster involves Benin, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal countries.

Under the SDC support, EOA has four pillars namely:

1. Research, Training and Extension (RTE): This pillar will be responsible for understanding gaps and implementing activities geared towards enhancing uptake of ecological organic agriculture practices along the entire commodity value chains. Attainment of this entails increasing knowledge from research into use, prioritising the needs about ecological organic agriculture practices and strengthening capacity of organisations and implementation of EOA practices. A systems-­wide approach will be used to examine and respond to issues facing smallholder farmers, processors and marketers, both women and men, and the youth. Demand-­driven participatory, interdisciplinary, and multicultural research will be conducted to inform planning and implementation of relevant training and extension activities that offer knowledge and skills to farming communities and other operators in organic value chains.

2. Information and Communication (IC): This pillar is complementary to the RTE through creation of increased awareness and knowledge of value and practices of EOA and strengthening extension support systems. The poor communication and lack of dialogue among research institutions, extension agents and rural farming communities has resulted in mismatch of demand and provision of appropriate technologies, consequently leading to perpetual food insecurity, low incomes and environmental degradation among smallholder farmers. Therefore, this pillar aims to use a range of information and communication strategies, products and technologies to share insights and lessons from experiences by farmers, processors, marketers, extension agents as well as researchers in order to sensitize the general public, including policy makers on the importance of EOA in general and organic agriculture in particular.

3. Value Chain and Market Development (VCMD): Agriculture being a socially and economically crosscutting enterprise, this pillar aims to promote interventions based on a holistic approach along the organic value chains to stimulate development of sustainable markets and to increase trade in traditional and high value agricultural produce and products at domestic and export levels. Internally, this process is based on the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS)/Internal Control System (ICS) that builds the social and entrepreneurial capacity of producers and processors to work together on agreed Organic standards. In this respect, there is a need for recognition and licensing the East African Organic Products Standard (EAOPS) also called ‘Kilimohai’, which was developed through a consultative regional public-­ private partnership and adopted as the official East African Community (EAC) organic standard in 2007.

4. Supporting and Cementing Pillar: Steering, Coordination and Management Promotion of Ecological Organic Agriculture is a complex and multi-­disciplinary process that calls for efficient cooperation and communication among relevant stakeholders at all levels including governments, farmers, civil society, private sector, and the international community as shown in the figure below. Thus, effective implementation of the EOA Initiative would require strong institutions with effective, functional and responsive administrative systems. This pillar has brings together components of the pillars aimed at developing capacities of implementing partners and institutions.

The Chololo Ecovillage has its own website.

Introduction

SWISSAID Tz has identified a need among its partner producer groups in Mtwara, Masasi and Nanyumbu Districts for capacity building on ecological and sustainable agriculture. It is recognized that existing service provision by local authority extension staff or the partner organizations themselves is uncoordinated and of varying quality and effectiveness.

Boundary Partners: Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement, NGOs and producers

TOAM has considerable experience of supplying training and market access services to small farmers associations and groups, specifically focussing on agricultural production, quality control, and market access. Other boundary partners will be SWISSAID Tz partner NGOs in Mtwara, and the producer groups that the NGOs support.

Outcomes

Agricultural yields increased through uptake of good ecological agricultural practices. Household incomes increased through improved access to markets.

Most important Changes brought about so far

Farmers skills have improved considerably and it is clear they are now applying a range of ecological practices including production and use of bio-pesticide and liquid fertilizer, mulching, nurseries for seedlings, crop rotation, intercropping, collecting crop residue - not burning, collecting and use of farmyard manure, growing several (5-8) different crops. Farmer Field Schools (FFS) are much more organised, beds are clean and well weeded, with good plant and seed diversity, using organic techniques, good group dynamics. Some groups have been taught how to select and store seeds by TABIO. Animators and groups are meeting regularly at FFS, there are a few test beds for comparison of technologies, animators are confident and knowledgeable, farmers express satisfaction with animators performance, farmers are enthusiastic