This report is based on a survey of eighty-five local market initiatives, case studies of a handful of the initiatives, the market strategies of the National Organic Agriculture Movement (NOAM), the consultantsí experiences and a literature review.
Organic markets in Africa are still in their infancy except in South Africa and Egypt. In most countries exports are much bigger than domestic sales. However there are a number of initiatives, mainly in two categories:
- Organic shops and other outlets operated by private entrepreneurs
- NGO-driven initiatives to link farmers to markets
Key challenges are a lack of reliable supply, lack of demand, deficient supply chains and a lack of business interest. Key strengths are the engaged people and the existence of an organic export sector with good supply capacity. Many African countries donít have a unified national organic movement. Such a movement can be pivotal for the development of domestic markets, as it provides a neutral platform for the sector to cooperate and communicate with stakeholders, including buyers and consumers.
The role of NGOs in the marketing is not without problems, and NGOs should be careful not to take over the roles of other market actors, be they farmers, traders or retailers. However, where the market is weak and the sector badly developed, NGOs do have a role to play for market information, market links, training of the actors in the value chain, and promotion.
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