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Tanzanian's interest in and access to organic food

Sogn, Øystein and Mella, Esther (2007) Tanzanian's interest in and access to organic food. Working paper, Bioforsk Organic Food and Farming (Norway), and Envirocare - Environment, Human Rights Care and Gender Organization (Tanzania). [Unpublished]

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Summary

Organic agriculture not only brings a number of benefits to humans and the environment, but also is a good form of guarantee to consumers’ on food safety. Tanzanian consumers deserve access to safe and high quality food which the organic production system can offer, with no risk of pesticide residues and other harmful effects. They deserve a reliable way to identify such food, and to be guaranteed that “organic” products are really organic. Basing on the survey that involved 130 individuals (55% men and 45% women) from Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro regions, about one-third of the Tanzanian consumers interviewed were not able to define organic agriculture precisely in line with the IFOAM principles. Despite difficulties in defining and identifying organic products because of a lack of certification labels and inadequate knowledge on organic agriculture, more than half of the consumers reported that they consume organic food, and have done so for more than ten years. Consumers claimed to identify organic products by taste, freshness, naturalness and appearance. Without any certified organic products in
the Tanzanian markets and many consumers still claiming they consume organic food, these results indicate that many people may not really be consuming organic food even though they believe they are. This is especially true for the people interviewed in Dar es Salaam, where consumers are stuck with a market situation in which food production that is organic “by default” is mixed up with other farming practices and is difficult to trace the origin of the products. To promote organic production and easy identification, an emphasis on increasing affordable organic certification is essential, and it is very fortunate that TanCert (the certification body) is already established to make the certification process more desirable and economically viable to small scale farmers. An increased emphasis on certification will increase the amount and quality of organic farming in Tanzania, and farmers will thereby become more skilled in understanding ecosystems and agronomy. They also will be able to get premium prices for their products, and consumers will have access to more healthful food.The potential for increased organic production is high, because people are concerned about their health and the environment. Although schools already teach environmentally friendly farming practices, more information about organic agriculture in schools and through extension services is
essential, since the current curriculum is not close enough to the organic concept. Hence, we suggest that initiatives be taken for further development of certification of organic agriculture in both urban and rural areas, in particular to serve the local markets with certified organic products,but also for export fuelling the economic commerce locally.


EPrint Type:Working paper
Keywords:Consumers, food safety, local markets, Tanzania, Africa
Subjects: Values, standards and certification > Consumer issues
Research affiliation: Norway > Bioforsk - Norwegian Institute for Agriculture and Environmental Research > Bioforsk Organic Food and Farming Division
Tanzania > Envirocare
Deposited By: Løes, Anne-Kristin
ID Code:10695
Deposited On:03 Apr 2007
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:35
Document Language:English
Status:Unpublished
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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