Dr. Niels Halberg
International Centre for Research in Organic Food Systems
P.O. Box 50
8830 Tjele
Tel. +45 8715 8037

Africa at

Africa: First steps taken towards developing a research and innovation agenda for organic agriculture

At the occasion of the 2nd organic conference in Lusaka, Zambia, in May 2012, a number of organisations arranged a side event with the objective "to initiate a process for developing a common research agenda for Africa based on needs for the organic sector". Niels Halberg, Director of the International Centre for Research in Organic Food Systems (ICROFS) reports in the most recent newsletter of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research.


As an activity under the project "Implementing Ecological Organic Agriculture in Africa" (EOA), the workshop attracted more than 50 stakeholders to discuss the purpose and process towards establishing research agenda’s for different African sub-regions. The forum recognized that research and innovation with strong stakeholder involvement is a critical component of any action plan designed to promote ecologically sustainable development in agriculture in Africa.

During the main conference these ideas and discussions were carried on and resulted in the formation of a steering committee with the mandate to design and formulate a framework and develop a focus strategy and research agenda for promoting ecological organic research in Africa.

Regional coordination is a key pre-requisite to establishing an efficient and effective research, training and extension of EOA. The participants recommended that this could be quickly achieved by strengthening the existing Network for Organic Agricultural Research in Africa (NOARA) and that this be supported by the Institutional Capacity Development pillar and the Networking and Partnership pillar of EOA as well as the newly revived AfroNet.

NOARA’s role will be to:

  • Create an interactive platform to link all the role players in the development and implementation of the research agenda.
  • Initiate the process of developing research priorities, policies and system strategies –by developing joint guidelines for the regional nodes.

A team of committee members was drawn from the various regions of Africa - Eastern (4), Western (2 Francophone, 2 Anglophone), and Southern (3 people). The Tanzanian Organic Agriculture Movement's office will function as secretariat.

Source: ISOFAR Newsletter No. 14, Summer 2012

More information


  • Dr. Niels Halberg, ICROFS


Conference background

The Second African Organic Conference attracted some 300 scientists, activists, policy makers and farmers from 40 countries. It was organized by the Organic Producer and Processors Association of Zambia and Grow Organic Africa, in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, UNCTAD, FAO and IFOAM with technical assistance and support from among others ISOFAR. More than 60 papers and 35 posters were pre- sented. ISOFAR produced the abstract book, which can be downloaded at teh conference webiste.