WAOC 2019 Participants Call for Affirmative Action
…………………As event ended in Accra
The heavily subscribed 5th West Africa Organic Conference and Exhibition(WAOC 2019) recently ended successfully in Ghana’s capital,Accra, with ‘The Accra 2019 Declaration on: Organic Agriculture:Live For All” as one of its major outputs.
The participants in the Declaration ,called for the setting up of a knowledge management instrument for effective communication and exchange of innovative technologies in organic agriculture to be extended to all West African countries.
They called for holistic demand driven research activities to be initiated to address the challenges of stakeholders in ecological and organic agriculture sector in Africa as well as appropriate sustainable technologies to upscale development in the sector.
They further called for the strengthening of national,regional and continental platforms and think-tanks for technology development in organic agriculture,appropriate platforms in West Africa to showcase and publicize technologies in organic agriculture, developed for the buying in of policy makers,organic stakeholders and the general public among other.
The participants resolved that all member countries within the ECOWAS region and beyond, strive to develop a vibrant organic and ecological agriculture sector that contributes much to improve life for all-the ecosystem,biodiversity,lives and businesses and leave a flourishing legacy for future generations.
They pledged that the organic sector as presented during the conference,will work hard and in harmony to achieve the above resolution while also acknowledging that some activities are already initiated in some countries to develop the required infrastructure,precondition to achieve the above intent.
They urged that appropriate governmental and non-governmental organisations in the region should ensure the setting-up of knowledge management systems for effective communication and exchange of innovative technologies in organic agriculture among stakeholders .
National,regional and continental research bodies with focus on West Africa(including NOARA) they further urged ,should ensure holistic demand-driven research activities to address the challenges of stakeholders in ecological and organic agriculture sector of Africa.
The ECOWAS Commission and the various national governments in the sub-region ,they also urged should strengthen appropriate organic and ecological platforms and think-tanks for technology development for organic agriculture in the region among others.
Drawing 250 participants from 30 countries across the world including Ghana,the five-day event was organized by the Ecological Organic Agriculture Platform of Ghana(EOAP-G) and the Local Organizing Committee(LOC),with support of the West Africa Organic Network(WafrONet),the African Union Commission (AUC) and ECOWAS Commission for Providing Leadership in Advancing the Implementation of the Decision of the African Heads of State and Government on Organic Farming (Doc.EX.CL/631(XVIII) who all played active roles towards the success of the event.
Collaborators of the conference included,GIZ Market oriented Agriculture Programme (MOAP) and a Agriculture and Finance Consultants GmbH(AFC),Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Netherlands and the European Union,Ghana Ministry of Food and Agriculture(MOFA),Agro Eco-Louis Bolk Institute,Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation(SDC),Swedish Society for Nature Conservation(SSNC),Network of Organic Agriculture Researchers in Africa(NOARA) among others.
The conference session was held alongside,an organic exhibition that attracted over 30 exhibitors representing organic input manufacturers,local distributors of organic inputs and products,,farmers,NGOs ,International organisations and banking Institutions ,etc.
Held under the theme,”Organic Agriculture:Life For All”, 54 technical presentations were made in all during conference session covering diverse topical issues relating to organic and ecological agriculture
CONFERENCE SUB THEMES
They included Research: “Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) research and its impact on life for all and its overall sustainability”,Technologies:”Innovative technologies that make the operation of EOA activities easier and more effective”,Livestock:”The contributions of EOA to a thriving organic livestock industry”,Market & business:”EOA market research and its impact on businesses and livelihoods”,etc.
Ghana’s Deputy Agriculture Minster,Hon Kennedy Osei Nyarko earlier in a keynote address read on his behalf by the Director of Crop Services Directorate of his Ministry to formally declare the event opened,dropped a hint that an ongoing Eco research project being implemented in collaboration with his Ministry and other partners, will influence policy decision and action.
He urged participants to discuss further the challenges facing not just West Africa’s organic agriculture sector alone, but that of the entire continent as a whole.
He also urged them to come out with practical recommendations with workable solutions that would yield positive results when implemented..
Neigbouring Burkina Faso it was agreed by the participants would host the 6th edition of the event in 2021.