The Annual National Organic Week 2019
ESAFF Uganda and partners are organising a one-week-long Annual National Organic Week starting 14th to 19th October 2019 in different parts of the country to celebrate organic farming, foods, products and the significant role small scale women farmers do towards food security and resilience to climate change. Agriculture plays an essential role in Uganda’s economy accounting for 20 per cent of the GDP and 43 per cent of export earnings, acknowledging that significant, yet accounting for over half of the poorest people in the country due to climate change, counterfeit inputs, poor extension and markets among others.
Small scale farmers have continued to state that organic agriculture plays a significant role in tackling some of these challenges despite the constant pressure to assimilate into modern agriculture and join the free-market and an essential economy.
Uganda as a country is ranked second to Tanzania in Africa in terms of acreage (standing at 262,282 hectares) while second globally to India in terms of certified farmers (210,352) engaged in Organic farming. Sustaining this system, therefore, provides Uganda with a comparative advantage to produce healthy food, employment creation, environmental conservation, increased household incomes and economic development. Further, with the National Organic Agriculture Policy (NAOP) with proper implementation and awareness mechanisms will give small scale farmers an opportunity to reap more from their gardens and lessen their dependence on global market for their incomes, which is often not enough to buy the food they once produced in ages.
We, therefore, celebrate this week to increase public awareness on organic foods and their contributions to food security, improved nutrition, and poverty alleviation and also provide a platform for knowledge and experience sharing on the current challenges facing organic farming and explore strategies for further promotion.
The national Organic week events are being hosted in different regions of Uganda like Kasese, Mukono, Mubende, Amuria, Gulu, Omoro, Amuru, Nwoya and Adjumani districts. Among the key activities being undertaken during the week include radio talk shows about organic farming practices, school chats/quiz, twitter chats, moving hotels to buy farmers organic foods, public awareness events, open dialogues and campaigns between sector players and Government leaders.