FAO in Tanzania

Press Release - Tanzania to hold its first ever national ecological organic farming conference

French Ambassador to Tanzania HE Frederic Clavier speaking during the press conference


Today, Thursday the 14th of November, 2019, The Representative of  the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Tanzania, Mr Fred Kafeero, and the Ambassador of France to Tanzania, H.E Frédéric Clavier, are holding a Press Conference ahead of the National Ecological Organic Agriculture Conference (NEOA) that will take place in Dodoma on 26th and 27th of November, 2019.  The  Minister for Agriculture Hon. Japhet Hasunga will attend this auspicious event as the Guest of Honor.

The conference aims at engaging key policy makers and stakeholders, including the government at central and local levels, the parliament, the development partners, the civil society, the private sector, academia, and the media, to exhibit and exchange best cases on how Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) is at the core of sustainable development through its multi-dimensional impact. To achieve this objective, the event will seek to link initiatives that support the scaling up of agro-ecosystems for increased productivity, in quantity and quality, while ensuring resilience and sustainability for achieving food security, poverty reduction, and enhancing the green and resilient economy. 

The conference will focus on three thematic areas:

(1)    Food security and safety: Achieving resilient and sustainable production of safe food throughout the seasons through Ecological Organic Agriculture practices and technologies.

(2)    Livelihood improvement and industrialization: Improving the livelihoods of grassroots communities and contributing to the industrialization agenda.

(3)    Resilience to climate change and environmental conservation: Making grassroots communities more resilient to climate change and extreme weather patterns, including prolonged drought periods and heavy rainfall, rising sea levels and cyclones.

FAO’s work around agroecology

There has been a growing interest in agroecology in recent years as an innovative and sustainable response to the challenges facing our food and agriculture systems. Important to note is the leading role played by FAO since 2014 in facilitating global and regional dialogues on agroecology; and spearheading the development of the 10 elements of agroecology which will be discussed by FAO Council. These aim to serve as a voluntary guide for policy makers, practioners,and stakeholders in planning, managing and evaluating agroecological transitions.

Agroecology is integral to FAO’s Common Vision for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, a key part of the global response to this climate of instability, offering a unique approach to meeting significant increases in food needs of the future while ensuring no one is left behind.

Last year FAO and UN Partners launched a Scaling Up Agroecology Initiative, marking a shift in focus from dialogue to action. There is therefore a drive to bring agroecology to scale and transform food and agricultural systems to achieve Zero hunger and multiple other SDGs.

This is why FAO in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, the French Embassy, SWISSAID, GIZ and other Ecological Organic Agriculture stakeholders, are organizing the two-day conference on Agroecology and Organic Agriculture in Tanzania.

Planned for 26th and 27th November, it aims to create a greater awareness of agroecology and its advantages among key government policymakers and technical persons; members of parliament; development partners; civil societies; private sector; academia; and media. Through exhibitions, it will showcase opportunities and potential for production and trade in ecological organic products at domestic, regional and international level.

The conference comes two weeks after FAO here in Tanzania teamed up with the Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM) to conduct a training on ecological organic farming to over 20 journalists from across the country that was held in Moshi, Kilimanjaro. The journalists, who are expected to be key promoters of agroecology in the country, also visited a Kihamba Agro-Forestry Heritage Site at Uru Shimbwe village in Kilimanjaro region which is one of the many local, regional and international sites of the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) supported by FAO.     

“It is our belief that outcomes of this conference and other efforts will put the country on the path of transforming food and agricultural systems that embrace the spirit of the 2030 agenda; and a much clearer understanding how agroecology facilitates and contributes to transition to food and agricultural systems that are environmentally sustainable, economically fair, viable and socially acceptable,” Mr. Kafeero said.

France agenda on climate change and biodiversity globally:

With an increased environmental ambition at the European level, the EU could change the agricultural policy led for decade since 1962: Agroecology could be a transition to less environmentally-damaging and more resilient agriculture while guaranteeing a decent income for farmers.

In  the “Beijing Call for Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Change”, the French President Emmanuel Macron and the Chinese  President Xi Jinping, on the 6th of November 2019, reaffirmed their commitments to enhance international cooperation on climate change and biodiversity conservation. France plays a key role at the international level to promote the statements of the Paris agreement on climate change.

France will host two major events on climate change in Year 2020:

The First event is “The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)” that will take place in June 2020. By hosting and co-organising this “World Conservation Congress”, France is proud to play its full leadership role alongside IUCN in protecting and valuing biodiversity.

The Second event is “The Organic World Congress (OWC)”, which takes place every three years.  Global agriculture and food stakeholders gather to the OWC.  For its 20th Edition the World Congress of bio will be held in France September, 2020, in Renne in France.  Nearly 2,400 international delegates from 50 countries, representing 815 organizations and thousands of professionals are expected to discuss challenges and solutions to a fundamental problem.

France in Tanzania:

The action of the French Embassy in the field of agriculture and biodiversity preservation reflects the ambitions of the French government on the agenda for climate change adaptation and mitigation. To demonstrate this ambition,  France supports a project with a grant of $1,000,000/- dubbed “Preservation of biodiversity and support to smallholder farmers towards an agro ecological transition”.  The projects involve 6,000 smallholder farmers, 269 farmers’ groups and 8 farmers’ associations benefitting from the projects based in Mtwara region.

The Forthcoming National Ecological Organic Agriculture Conference is organized in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture of the United Republic of Tanzania, the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Tourism and Natural Resources, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries of SMZ, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Marketing - Zanzibar, the African Union, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Embassy of France, BIORE FOUNDATION, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ),Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM), Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT), Tanzania Alliance for Biodiversity, Milele Zanzibar Foundation (MZF), Pelum Tanzania, ECHO, SWISSAID, BioreTz Foundation, Control Union (CU) and Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETHZ).

                                                                                                                          Dar es Salaam, 14th November, 2019

Press Release communicated by:

  • The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) , Dar es Salaam and
  • The Embassy of France in Tanzania