The Market Oriented Agriculture Programme (MOAP) supported the Ghana Ecological and Organic Agriculture Platform (EOAP) in the organisation of the 5th West African Organic Conference. The 5-day event was held from 12-16 November in Accra, Ghana. About 350 participants from the West African sub-region and beyond convened to discuss the latest development of the organic sector.
Day One was devoted to research. The presentation of the scientific papers provided an opportunity to scientists from the sub-region to interact and discuss their latest research results.
Day Two focussed on policies and markets for organic products. The host, the Ghanaian Ministry for Food and Agriculture, commended the organisers for the commendable implementation of this event. In their opening speeches, representatives of the African Union (AU) and the Economic Communities of West African States (ECOWAS) emphasized the need to develop local, regional and international markets through strong and robust business relationships, certification processes and demand-oriented production. Among others, the Import Promotion Desk (IPD) provided an insight into their support for enterprises intending to enter the European markets.
During Day Three, farmer innovations were the centre of attention. Innovations and training materials were presented in plenary session and discussed in depths during numerous seminars. For instance, the training film on conservation agriculture – produced by MOAP – was launched in one of the sessions (Link).
The event was accompanied by an exhibition of private and public exhibitors. Several international buyers were also present and utilized the event for sourcing missions and to get easy access to the West African organic community in one place.
The official end of the programme was marked by different field trips to organic farms around Accra. This provided a first-hand experience of the status of the organic sector in the country. The “Organic Fun Day” in Accra’s Botanical Garden formed the final activity of the Conference and provided an opportunity for the public to be part of the organic movement. At the end of the conference, the resolution was endorsed to further develop and strengthen the organic movement in West Africa. It was also announced that the next West African Organic Conference will take place in Burkina Faso in 2021.