Organic Food Systems

Meeting the Needs of Southern Africa

Edited by Raymond Auerbach
December 2019
More details
  • Publisher
  • Published
    26th December 2019
  • ISBN 9781786399601
  • Language English
  • Pages 272 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"

Organic agriculture world-wide allows farmers to produce healthy food with low levels of external inputs, and often shortens the value chains, giving farmers a higher share of the consumer dollar. This book reports on long-term comparative organic farming systems research trials carried out over the last four years in South Africa's Southern Cape, as well as research on the organic sector and the technical tools it requires in South Africa, Zambia, Uganda and Tanzania. The trials show how the yield gap between organic and conventional crops was closed over 3 years. Water use efficiency was also greater in the organic farming system, and pests and diseases were effectively controlled using biological products. Farmer training approaches, soil carbon analysis, participatory guarantee systems, the Zambian organic farming sector (agronomy) and Ugandan organic farmer training support, and a sector plan for southern African organic farming are examined.

Part I: Conceptual and Global Perspectives
1: The developing organic sector in Southern and Eastern Africa; what have we learned about sustainable development?
2: An overview of global organic and regenerative agriculture
3: Organic research contributes to sector development and good organic policy: the Danish, Swiss, American and African case studies
4: The work of IFOAM/Organics International in training organic farmers and leaders in the developing world
5: Understanding world food systems
6: BERAS - a global network of food systems with examples from Sweden, Haiti, Tanzania and India
Part II: Capacity building and climate change
7: The likely impact of the 2015/18 drought in South Africa: Lessons from the 2008 food price crisis and future implications
8: The use of Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) to support organic food systems in Africa
9: Strengthening participation in the organic value chain for small-scale farmers in southern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
10: Participatory Guarantee Systems as an organic market entry point for small scale farmers in South Africa
11: Development of an inclusive chain for peri-urban micro-farmers
12: Supporting vulnerable communities in the Eastern Cape: Assessing the rainfall evidence
13: Water efficiency, energy efficiency and suburban vegetable production
14: Experiential training of farmers and university diploma students in KwaZulu-Natal and the Southern Cape
Part III: Supporting organic farmers
15: The National Organic Agriculture Movement of Uganda
16: Agronomic practices affecting adoption and disadoption of organic agriculture in Zambia
17: The Rapid Incineration Field Test as an accurate, cost-effective and practical tool for estimating soil carbon in Africa
18: The Nelson Mandela Long-term Comparative Organic Farming Systems Research Trials: Baseline study and trial design -
19: Comparative Water Use Efficiency and water retention in the Mandela Trials
20: Biological and chemical soil fumigation and pest and disease management comparisons in the Western Cape
21: Initial assessment of microbiological soil health indicators in the Mandela Trials
22: Soil fertility changes and crop yields from the first four years of the Mandela Trials
Part IV: Upscaling the organic sector in Africa
23: Challenges and opportunities for urban and peri-urban areas of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), and the implications of climate change for food security
24: A future strategy for organic development in Southern Africa

Raymond Auerbach

Raymond Auerbach is Project Leader for the African Organic Farming Systems Research Project, and Principal Investigator (Food Production) for the Centre of Excellence for Food Security (both funded by the SA National Research Foundation), based at Nelson Mandela University (George Campus) in South Africa's Southern Cape. Having studied Biodynamic Farming in Australia in the seventies, he has worked in organic farming for 48 years, first as a farmer, then as a farmer trainer and over the past 10 years as a researcher and policy adviser in agro-ecology. As the African Board Member for the International Association for Farming Systems Research and Extension in the 1990s, he advocated a Farming Systems Research and Extension approach to agricultural development in Southern Africa, and in 1991 was part of a pioneering group which invited Jimmy Mascarenhas to South Africa to carry out the first Participatory Rural Appraisal training. This resulted in the spread of PRA as a tool-kit for rural community development. He received the lifetime award from the African Union Commission in Nigeria for 'Services to Ecological Organic Agriculture in Africa' in 2016, and received an award for Innovation in Research Engagement from Nelson Mandela University in 2015, and the Individual "Excellence in Engagement" award in 2016. He is on the Board of the South African Organic Sector Organisation, Treasurer of SA Participatory Guarantee Systems Association (PGS) and Chair of Eden PGS. He is a Trustee of the Garden Route Botanical Garden Trust, with the Environmental Education Centre and Fundraising portfolios.