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Organic food systems meeting the needs of Southern Africa.

Book cover for Organic food systems meeting the needs of Southern Africa.


This book reports on long-term comparative organic farming systems' research trials carried out over the last 5 years in the Southern Cape of South Africa, as well as research into the successes and failures of the organic sector and the technical tools required for sustainable development in South Africa, Zambia, Uganda and Tanzania. It includes 24 chapters organized into 4 parts. Part 1 (Chapter...


Chapter 16 (Page no: 209)

Factors contributing to adoption or disadoption of organic agriculture in Zambia.

The negative effects of conventional agriculture on the environment in terms of land degradation and pollution have accelerated efforts to develop sustainable agricultural systems. In Zambia the last 20 years or so have seen the promotion of organic farming as a sustainable farming system option, with many farmers adopting the system, but some certified organic farmers later allowed their certification to lapse. This chapter presents a synopsis of the current situation, and examines these developments. Data were collected from secondary sources, focus group discussions and by administering a structured questionnaire. There are approximately 250 farmers (both adopters and disadopters of organic farming); of these the accessible population of adopters and disadopters was 50 farmers selected across identified areas using systematic random sampling methods. The number of organic farmers in the country has been declining, which has affected production. This chapter describes what practices are working effectively in organic production in Zambia, and how they have contributed to adoption. Factors that have enhanced adoption of organic practices were: (i) farmers know that organic farming encourages biodiversity on the farm such as trees, soil microorganisms, plants and animal life; (ii) food produced through organic farming is perceived to be free from harmful substances such as fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides; (iii) organic farming helps in reducing the effects of global warming and climate change; (iv) manures and composts are much cheaper than synthetic fertilizers where these are available on the farm as local residue materials; (v) in many instances organic farming helps reduce soil erosion on the farm; (vi) it is believed organic foods are comparatively richer in nutritional value when compared with conventional foods; and (vii) organic farming systems do not permit the use of genetically modified organisms. Some of the reasons contributing to disadoption included: (i) absence of effective organic farming extension services; (ii) it is easier to access inputs for conventional agriculture from government and private companies promoting outgrower schemes; (iii) organic inputs such as manure are bulky and not easy to transport; (iv) making compost from manure in organic farming is seen as both labour intensive and expensive when compared to using synthetic fertilizers; (v) consumers are unwilling to pay premium prices for organic products; and (vi) the local population at present do not appreciate organic foods hence they cannot differentiate them from conventional foods. It is anticipated that these findings will contribute to developing interventions to improve production and productivity of organic farming systems. Although organic farming is promoted as a plausible production system for sustainable agriculture, it will require comparatively more structural support including specialized extension, certification systems and input providers if its full potential is to be realized and the noted decline in numbers of growers is to be halted.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 3) The developing organic sector in Southern and Eastern Africa: what have we learned about sustainable development? Author(s): Auerbach, R.
Chapter: 2 (Page no: 21) An overview of global organic and regenerative agriculture movements. Author(s): Leu, A.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 32) Organic research contributes to sector development and good organic policy: the Danish, Swiss, American and African case studies. Author(s): Auerbach, R.
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 42) The Organic Academy of IFOAM-Organics International: training multipliers in the developing world. Author(s): Hauptfleisch, K.
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 51) Understanding a food systems approach. Author(s): Strassner, C. Kahl, J.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 60) BERAS - a global network of food systems with examples from Sweden, Haiti, Tanzania and India. Author(s): Hertwig, J.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 81) The likely impact of the 2015-2018 drought in South Africa: lessons from the 2008 food price crisis and future implications. Author(s): Auerbach, R. Piek, H. Battersby, J. Devereux, S. Olivier, N.
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 100) The use of participatory rural appraisal (PRA) to support organic food systems in Africa. Author(s): Auerbach, R.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 113) Strengthening participation in the organic value chain for small-scale farmers in Southern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Author(s): Troosters, W. Auerbach, R. Haysom, G.
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 130) Participatory Guarantee Systems as an organic market entry point for small-scale farmers in South Africa. Author(s): Mashele, N. J. Auerbach, R.
Chapter: 11 (Page no: 139) Development of an inclusive value chain for peri-urban micro-farmers. Author(s): Purkis, M.
Chapter: 12 (Page no: 151) Supporting vulnerable communities in the Eastern Cape: assessing the rainfall evidence. Author(s): Auerbach, R.
Chapter: 13 (Page no: 176) Water efficiency, energy efficiency and suburban vegetable production. Author(s): Auerbach, R. Caude, A.
Chapter: 14 (Page no: 185) Experiential training of farmers and university diploma students in KwaZulu-Natal and the Southern Cape. Author(s): Auerbach, R.
Chapter: 15 (Page no: 199) The National Organic Agriculture Movement of Uganda. Author(s): Nalunga, J. Auerbach, R. Ssekyewa, C.
Chapter: 17 (Page no: 217) The rapid incineration field test as an accurate, cost-effective and practical tool for estimating soil carbon in Africa. Author(s): Ackhurst, A. Auerbach, R. Louw, J.
Chapter: 18 (Page no: 233) The Nelson Mandela long-term comparative organic farming systems research trials: baseline study and trial design. Author(s): Auerbach, R. Mashele, N. J. Eckert, C.
Chapter: 19 (Page no: 250) Comparative water use efficiency and water retention in the Mandela trials. Author(s): Eckert, C. Auerbach, R. Lorentz, S.
Chapter: 20 (Page no: 264) Biological and chemical soil fumigation and pest and disease management comparisons in the Western Cape. Author(s): Niekerk, A. van Auerbach, R. Lamprecht, S.
Chapter: 21 (Page no: 284) Initial assessment of selected biological soil health indicators in organic versus conventional cropping systems in field trials in South Africa. Author(s): Sibiya, M. Habig, J. Storey, S. Labuschagne, N.
Chapter: 22 (Page no: 303) Soil fertility changes and crop yields from the first 4 years of the Mandela trials. Author(s): Swanepoel, M. Auerbach, R. Mashele, N. J.
Chapter: 23 (Page no: 327) Urban agriculture: challenges and opportunities in urban water management and planning. Author(s): Wesselow, M. Kifunda, C. Auerbach, R. Siebenhüner, B.
Chapter: 24 (Page no: 337) A future strategy for organic development in Southern Africa. Author(s): Auerbach, R. Purkis, M.

Chapter details

  • Author Affiliation
  • Klein Karoo Seed Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia.
  • Year of Publication
  • 2020
  • ISBN
  • 9781786399601
  • Record Number
  • 20193449016