Ecological Organic Agriculture in Africa

Project completed

Under the leadership of the African Union the Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) Initiative will mainstream EOA into national agricultural policies and production systems. National multi-stakeholder platforms will be instrumental to facilitate and promote this process. SDC’s contribution allows the EOA-Initiative to expand from its actual pilot focus on East Africa to a total of eight countries in East and West Africa. In addition the EOA will be strengthened with scientific evidence from Kenya and Ghana provided by the Swiss-based Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL).


Country/region Topic Period Budget
Agriculture & food security
Agricultural policy
Agricultural development
Agricultural research
01.08.2012 - 31.12.2019
CHF  8’290’000

The current agricultural and food supply systems rely greatly on non-renewable external inputs. They impact negatively on soils, water and biodiversity, and systems lack resilience against external shocks. Related policies and institutions are inadequate. EOA considers the agro-ecosystem in all its diversity. It focuses on biological diversity, healthy use of soils, air and water and relies on renewable resources in locally organized agricultural systems and minimizes the use of external inputs. Agro-ecologically based production systems are capable of ensuring local food security and sovereignty, ecosystem services for rural welfare and biodiversity conservation. Evidence presented by the UN Special Rapporteur reveals that smallholder farmers can double food production within three to ten years in critical regions when ecological methods are applied.


To improve agricultural productivity, food security, access to markets and sustainable development in Africa by mainstreaming EOA by 2025 into:

  • national agricultural production systems,
  • public policies and investment plans,
  • technical standards and certification procedures,
  • research agenda and training curricula,
  • advisory and information practices,
  • the organization of markets and value chains.

National multi-stakeholder platforms will be instrumental to mainstream the application of EOA approaches and practices along the entire commodity value chains. This aims to improve smallholder households’ food security, incomes and nutrition as well as the environmental sustainability of agricultural production.

Target groups

The final beneficiaries are mainly but not exclusively Africa’s smallholder families and farmer groups working as associations, cooperatives, etc and community based organizations, youths and their groups in areas where food security, rural welfare and environmental sustainability have not been established yet. A special emphasis is put on maximizing the involvement of women as producers, processors and marketers. Furthermore, the EOA-Initiative addresses consumers and drives the demand-side.

Medium-term outcomes


  1. EOA related knowledge along the value chain is increasingly documented and actors are capacitated to translate it into practices and to apply them.
  2. Producers are systematically informed and made aware of the EOA approaches and good practices, and motivated to apply them by better access to strengthened advisory and support services.
  3. Increased access to market information and capacity of value chain actors lead to a substantially increased share of organic quality products at the local, national and regional markets.
  4. Fully functional multi-stakeholder platforms at the national, regional and continental levels lead to EOA positive changes in public policies and investment plans, in technical standards and certification procedures, in research agenda and training curricula, in advisory and information practices and in the organization of markets and value chains.

ProEcoOrganicAgri project in support of the EOA:

  1. Increased availability of scientific and sound evidence on the potential of intensified organic agriculture to improve and sustain incomes, as well as food and nutrition security of smallholder farming households.
  2. Organic practitioners have increased capacity and knowledge for effective promotion of innovative organic agriculture practices through use of research outputs.
  3. Policies towards ecological organic agriculture are supported at national, sub regional and regional levels through the EOA Initiative.



Results from previous phases:  

Formulation of the intervention strategy i.e.

  1. the process of mainstreaming EOA facilitated and promoted by national multi-stakeholder platforms,
  2. the development of capacities of the relevant actors,
  3. sharing of experiences (at all levels),
  4. extending the focus on East Africa of the (SIDA/SSCN financed) pilot phase to West Africa.


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
Swiss Academic and Research Institution
  • Research Institute for Organic Agriculture
  • Other international or foreign NGO North
  • Biovision Africa Trust, Nairobi (under the operational steering of the African Union Commission chaired Central Steering Committee)

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    8’290’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    8’265’006
Project phases Phase 2 01.05.2019 - 30.06.2024   (Current phase)

Phase 1 01.08.2012 - 31.12.2019   (Completed)