Tanzania: Embrace Organic Food Production, Farmers Advised
By Abdinego Martin in Arusha
An agricultural expert has urged farmers to embrace organic food production to lower costs of production.
East Africa Impact center (ECHO) Technical advisor, Charles Bonaventure observed that organic food production allows farmers to lower input costs and decrease reliance on nonrenewable resources in production.
According to Mr Bonaventure, such production is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides, oils, and farm machinery, and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony.
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“It is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity” he explained.
The principal guidelines for organic production are to use materials and practices that enhance the ecological balance of natural systems and that integrate the parts of the farming system into an ecological whole.
Organic agriculture practices cannot ensure that products are completely free of residues.
However, methods are used to minimize pollution from air, soil and water.
“The primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities to soil life, plants, animals and people” he noted.
The agriculture expert further pointed out that organic food emphasizes the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations.
The expert however suggested the need of communities to embrace food production without using most conventional pesticides, fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge, bioengineering.
According to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Organic agriculture is practiced in 187 countries in the world.
The global sales of organic food and drink reached more than 106 billion euros in 2019.
ECHO is an international nonprofit organization established to support East Africa and fight the food scarcity they face on a daily basis.
Working through regional impact centers around the world ECHO connects small-scale farmers, and those working to eliminate world hunger, with essential resources, and each other.
These resources include a vast knowledgebase of practical information, experienced technical support and an extensive seed bank focused on highly beneficial underutilized plants.