- Qualifiers to be awarded certificates on 6th August
- Hon. Johannes Rauch from Austria to be guest of honor
After pioneering alternative organic certification schemes in East Africa in 2012 with the first group in the region, this year 741 farmers from 32 farmer groups who have well established Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) got external inspection and for groups that qualify, will get organic certificates and license to use the East Africa Organic Mark (EOAM).
This intensive exercise with a team of 3 external inspectors started at SAT farms on 6th June 2018, then continued till 18th June with 32 farmer groups producing different vegetables, fruits, spices, rice among others.
The inspection involved inspectors visiting farms for further detailed assessment. Here a lot of things happen, such as discussion with the group upon farm history, group history, activities, leadership, organic agriculture practices, adherence to organic principles and the East Africa Organic Products Standards (EAOPS).
The Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM) congratulate SAT for big efforts to impart organic agriculture skills to farmers. Furthermore, they were happy to see how farmers come to adopt Organic Agriculture techniques through SAT facilitation in remote areas.
6th August is the celebration day, Hon. Rauch from Austria will be the guest of honor
Big celebration is expected to take place on 6th August at Nanenane grounds in Morogoro as farmers who qualify for organic certification and licensing will be granted/awarded
certificates and licenses. Hon. Johannes Rauch, Member of the Vorarlberg state government in Austria, is expected to be guest of honor.
Stakeholders including members of press, government officials, TOAM, MVIWATA (farmers’ groups network), Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM) , Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA), Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO), Wami Ruvu Basin Water Office, Traders, processors and members of the public are invited.
PGS is now widely recognized, adhered to and accepted by international organic movements such as the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
PGS is built on trust and integrity of the primary stakeholders, i.e. farmers and consumers who conduct the certification process themselves, through adherence to certification standards, guidelines, regulations and processes similarly observed by third party certification.
Why farmers are getting organic certification?
In addition to the benefits for the environment and health, “there are advantages in the price received by the producer,” says Rehema Idd, Member of Twikinde Group, a women group based in Diovuva Kenge village in Morogoro, insisting that her life has changed in terms of income after she started to practice organic agriculture.
Pius Paulini (53), secretary of Maendeleo farmers group based in Morogoro, who has been producing organically since 2010 says, “I can sell 1kg of beetroot from Organic Production for 2000Tsh and there are buyers as far as Dar Es Salaam. For 1kg of beetroot from conventional cultivation barely get 500 to 1000Tsh”.