African Organic Product Standards for the African Continent? Prospects and Limitations
Organic agriculture is a sustainable agricultural system with high environmental protection and animal welfare. In 2015, the world organic agriculture covered 50.9 million hectares with Oceania as the biggest regional producer with 22.8 million hectares and Africa as the least regional producer (1.7 million hectares). While organic agriculture may not be the only solution for African farming, it aligns with sustainable economic development and does not involve chemical inputs. Whereas there are different private standards, not all African countries have national organic standards and there are no pan-African organic standards. This paper discusses the need to address the proliferation of organic standards as a trade barrier through pan-African organic standards and inspire the development of harmonised domestic standards. It examines the prospects for pan-African organic standards, their limitations and makes recommendations for the making, the contents and implementation of such standards domestically and national measures to support African organic agriculture.
Keywords: Organic agriculture; certification; pan-African organic product standards; private organic standards; national organic regulation.