From September 9 to 10, 2021, in Yaoundé, a workshop was organized to pre-validate the draft bill governing organic agriculture in Cameroon. Presided by Minister of Agriculture Clémentine Ananga Messina, this workshop was aimed at collecting the proposals of some actors to advance the draft project.
Once finalized, the project being carried out by the Cameroonian government, in collaboration with the German Cooperation Agency GIZ, will formalize organic agriculture in Cameroon but it will also open new avenues given the growing demand for those types of products in Africa.
“In Africa, a small number organic agriculture data is recorded in official statistics. Yet it is increasingly present in local and export markets. African consumers’ demand for those types of products is rising, providing a dynamic economic opportunity,” CIRAD explained in a paper titled “l’agriculture biologique en Afrique : un levier d’innovations pour le développement agricole” (Organic agriculture in Africa : A source of innovation for agricultural development).
According to the CIRAD, organic farming reduces the negative impacts of agriculture on the environment and health since there is no chemical input in the production process. Organic farming “improves the sustainability of the agricultural system. In some circumstances, its specific techniques can improve farm productivity even though yields are lower than the average recorded for mainstream agriculture.”
Despite its advantages and the growing demand, organic farming is still not promoted in Africa. According to the International Federation of Organic agriculture IFOAM and Research Institute FIBL, organic farms cover just 1.2 million hectares in the continent, representing just 0.2% of its cultivated areas.