It is celebration time for the 694 farmers from 29 groups in Morogoro Region who got certified organic after successfully establishing Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) and complying with the East Africa Organic Products Standards (EAOPS). The certified farmers got licensed to use the East African Organic Mark (EAOM) in marketing their organic products.
Supported by SAT under Uluguru Spice Project (USP) and the Farmers & Pastoralists Collaboration (FPC) project, the farmers are now producing organic products for the local consumption. They provide affordable and healthy organic food for Tanzanians who benefit from agrotoxin-free food and from environmental services. The farmers themselves benefit from resilient production which provides steady income and hence improves their livelihoods.
“This award encourages us to have more strength and desire to go forward, I benefited already a lot with doing organic farming and I manage to sustain the family income and bring my children to a boarding school in Morogoro town through my poultry and horticulture enterprises.” states the Muungano farmer group secretary, Lidya Kivia.
The guest of honor Johannes Rauch, Regional Administrative Secretary from Vorarlberg, alerts Tanzanians that “Austria was having good climatic conditions with rains throughout the production season, but due to climate change the weather is becoming more and more unpredictable. A severe drought was bringing this year hardships to Austrian farmers. A solution to this challenge is climate change adaptation. This can take place through organic agriculture which keeps the water in the soil through extremely hot periods and can as well absorb water during floods. Moreover it mitigates climate change through sequestering carbon into the soil.”
He further mentioned that Austria is Europe’s organic farming country number one. Over 20% of its farmers are practicing organic agriculture. Through this they build and maintain soil quality, and use water in a responsible way. But nevertheless Austria still has to continue to convert conventional into organic agriculture for having a resilient food system, being capable to provide food as well for the further generations.
Ernest Mkongo, Assistant Regional Administrative Secretary from Morogoro, praises SAT for playing a big role in facilitating organic agriculture knowledge to farmers in Tanzania. TOAM Program Manager, Bakari Mongo, urges Tanzanians to engage into organic agriculture, saying that it helps to produce on one side food and on the other side to protect and conserve our environment.
SAT CEO Janet Maro, indicated that the certified farmers have what it takes to reach markets as consumers who look for certified products can purchase the farmers’ products with confidence that they are grown using acknowledged organic standards.
The organic products from the farmers are available in SAT Organic Shop which is as well provides healthy vegetables, grains and spices as well as home delivery.
This project is supported by: