Africa's Organic Farms

Posted by Beverly Lwenya on

Here's a very interesting article in the International Herald Tribune about debate over organic farming as an "idealized food system".  This farming system, however, is still used in Africa, but not because it is trendy or healthier, but because there is no other option.  The author makes a good point about the West's disdain of genetically modified foods as detrimental to African farmers who might find crops that can withstand pests and drought, useful.  However, I think the best option is to build on the current advantage of farming organic products in Africa, by investing in farming technology as well as educating farmers on ways to enhance crop yield.  There are several studies, like this one by Organic Exchange, that seem to suggest that  farmers can actually make more money with organic products as well as help business in the long term by using environmentally sustainable methods that don't deplete soil. According to the article:

"Take a trip to Africa. The small farmers who populate the continent's impoverished countryside are living out something close to this post-materialist fantasy."

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