Nelly Bassily | April 28, 2008
This story raises an important distinction between two types of organic farming – certified and non-certified. A large number of African farmers use traditional organic techniques to fertilize their crops and protect them from pests. They may not want or need to use chemical inputs, or they may not have access to them. Most of these farmers have non-certified organic farms.
Farmers who wish to access the expanding market for organically-grown food usually have to take the additional step of obtaining certification. As Jean Pierre Imele explains, receiving certification from the European Union requires adherence to exacting standards and compliance with regular inspections. Meeting these requirements is financially worthwhile for Mr. Imele and the farmers he trained.
You may wish to research and broadcast a story about organic farming techniques practiced in your area:
-What methods of organically improving soil fertility do farmers find most effective?
-What organic methods of pest control do they find most effective?
-Have any farmers or farmers groups developed or tried a new organic farming technique? Would they recommend it to other farmers?
-Do extension officers or NGOs in the area promote organic practices? If so, what are their best tips for local farmers?
-Are their any certified organic farms in your area? What steps did the farmer or farmers take to obtain this certification? What expenses were involved? Where do they sell their produce? What impact has organic certification had on their profit margin?
You may also consider broadcasting one of the following scripts about organic farming techniques:
-“Farmers can earn income producing compost” (Package 80, Script 3, March 2007)
-“Kenyan farmer uses organic farming practices” (Package 75, Script 7, June 2005)
-“A fertility trench holds water in drylands” (Package 44, Script 1, April 1997)
-“Where to find compost materials” (Package 33, Script 9, July 1994)