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France partners African organic network greener agriculture Africa
On February 28th, the Minister of Trade and Industries in Zanzibar, Ambassador Amina Salum, inaugurated the Innovative Institutions for Ecological Organic Agriculture in Africa (IIABA) Project, in the presence of H.E. Frédéric Clavier, Ambassador of France to Tanzania, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations in Tanzania, the French Development Agency (AFD), Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO), SIMDA, Zanzibar State Trade Cooperation (ZSTC), Director of Crop Development from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Chairperson of the Parliament, Agricultural Committee.

IIABA project is financed by the French Development Agency (AFD) and coordinated by Tanzania-based organization African Organic Network (AfrONet). AFD has allocated a 1,498,000 Euros grant to AfrONet and its partners for the purpose of scaling up and out Ecological and Organic Agriculture across the African continent.

The project aims to implement institutional innovations that will scale up and out ecological and organic agriculture in Morocco, Tanzania and Uganda and at the same time consolidate the capacities of AfrONet and its members. Main areas of action in the IIABA project will involve building innovative markets, innovations for Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) and public policy analysis and support. These institutional innovations will then be disseminated to partner countries and within AfrONet.

Building innovative markets aims at establishing conducive and accommodative market opportunities for farmers of all levels to have platforms to sell their produce to willing buyers through formal and informal markets.

Innovations for participatory guarantee systems aims at studying existing PGS processes and operations and formation and devise mechanisms to improve on PGS operations in each country. Moroccan PGS experience is of higher level and thus a tool will be developed and shared to IIABA project for trials and if it fits, will be adopted.

Public policy area aims at studying existing policies in each country governing agriculture sector, develop position papers and share them out to stakeholder for their input and take it up with legislators to influence policy formulation to support ecological organic agriculture.

The project partners are: Moroccan Interprofessional Federation for Organic Agriculture (FIMABio), National Organic Agriculture Movement of Uganda (NOGAMU), Moroccan Network of Agroecology Initiatives (RIAM), Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM), French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (Cirad) and French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and Environment (INRAE).

H.E.M. Frédéric Clavier, Ambassador of France to Tanzania pointed out “the general support given by France to such initiatives, that foster global approach enabling to tackle economic and environmental major challenges". He added: “It is now becoming urgent to develop a family agriculture linked to other food producers and to practice a responsible agriculture that respects natural production cycles and soils conservation.”

According to AfrONet Director of Programs, Moses Aisu, “IIABA interventions will build the capacity of organic institutions to manage organic agriculture systems and stakeholders for effective management of organic and agro-ecological agriculture in project areas and Africa in general”. He also affirmed that “AfrONet is committed to ensuring that the IIABA project is implemented to achieve the set objectives and goals through ensuring the identified activities are implemented and best, convenient and affordable technologies are used by stakeholders.

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