Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Organic Food Popularity Creates New Market for West African Farmers

A $2.4 million program back by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has helped West African farmers enter the growing market for organic and fair-trade food items. The market for organic and fair trade is expected to grow 5-10% annually for the next three years. The program has assisted farmers in meeting specific organic qualifications and overcoming the high costs of initiation.

The FAO program focused on several areas of organic food production including harvesting, packaging, certification, and marketing skills. The program has also assisted in organizing farmers who now have greater power to negotiate contracts with exporters.

This specific program reached out to farmers in Burkina, Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. In Ghana alone, pineapple farmers increased their sales from 26 to 116 tons after receiving their organic certification.

-Michelle Leung

Source: Africa Good News