The Conference with the theme “Opportunity of niche creation for employment and investment” was successfully held in Bamako, Mali on Dec. 5 – 6, 2017 to appraise the development of organic agriculture in the sub-region and also marshal a way forward.

Opening ceremony   The Conference was attended by over 140 participants from fourteen countries: Mali, Benin, Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands. Renowned National, Regional and International Organisations such as Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), IFOAM-Organics International, FiBl, Swiss Agency for Development Corporation (SDC), African Organic Network (AfrONet) and National Organic Agriculture Movements in Africa (NOAMs) also participated at the Conference. West African Organic Network (WafrONet) organised the Conference which was declared open by the representative of the Minister of Agriculture of Mali (Mr. Seidu Keita). During the opening ceremony, the representative of ECOWAS, Mr. Enerst Aubee informed that the Regional body has earmarked the sum of €8M for the development of ecological organic agriculture in five francophone member states namely: Mali, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Togo and Burkina Faso. Furthermore, ECOWAS has directed the fifteen member states in the sub-region to factor in organic agriculture into their future plans, partner with relevant bodies in the continent and invest in agriculture budget of their states. Thereafter, a group photograph of participants was taken and the conference later continued.

Plenary session

The plenary session featured the presentation of three papers titled “Global developments of organic agriculture and opportunities for west Africa” by Mr. Markus Abenz (IFOAM-Organics International), Organic agriculture development in west Africa: Successes, Challenges and Way forward by Dr. O. AdeOluwa (Nigeria) and Opportunities for organic agriculture development within ECOWAS by Mr. Ernest Aubee. After the lunch break, participants continued the session under three parallel groups namely i. Strategic production of cotton In west Africa sub region, ii. Climate change and ecological organic agriculture and iii. Institutionalization of Networks and Markets. Prof. Dr. Victor Olowe led a discussion on Climate Change, Ecological Organic Agriculture: Contribution of research in ecological and organic agriculture and food security, and poverty alleviation. Plenary session continued on Day 2 of the conference with feed backs from the three parallel groups. Thereafter, the conference communiqué draft was presented and discussed.

Closing ceremony

The next hosting right of the Conference was awarded to Ghana against 2019. Chairman of EOA National Platform in Mali expressed his profound gratitude to all participants and the Conference was declared closed by the representative of the Minister of Agriculture, Mali.     WarONet General Assembly

WafrOnet GA was chaired by Mr. Ernest Aubee (representative of ECOWAS) on Day 3 (Dec. 7, 2017) to discuss the following:

  1. ECOWAS engagement in ecological organic agriculture at the sub region
  2. Synthesis of progress reports by Country Lead Organisations (Senegal, Nigeria, Benin and Mali) 
  3. West African cluster management
  4. Secretariat of EOA and its management in the sub region   

The Board members of WarONet were tasked to achieve some stipulated milestones before Cameroun2018 (4African Organic Conference) and Ghana2019.

Relevant links:

www.wafronet.bio www.afronet.bio www.eoai-africa.org

Author:

Prof. Dr. Victor I. Olowe

Agronomist, Institute of Food Security,
Environmental Resources and Agricultural Research (IFSERAR),
Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), P.M.B. 2240,
Abeokuta, Nigeria This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  +234 803 3928 111

www.funaab.edu.ng