Africa in pole position to increase its organic food market share

One of the main reasons people eat organic food is because they believe it’s healthier for them. For this segment of the market, the primary objective is a healthy diet.

They may also believe that organic foods are more nutritious because they are grown under more natural conditions.

Organic foods are grown without the use of synthetic chemicals, such as man-made pesticides and fertilizers, and do not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

  • With the new global realignment, Africa is poised to tap into the EU organic food market, the continent already has organic food producers.
  • The global organic food and beverage market size was valued at US$ 188.35 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.0% from 2022 to 2030.

But who is the target market for organic products? Is it just a niche group of people interested in healthy eating, or is the target market much broader?

The global organic food and beverage market size was valued at US$ 188.35 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.0% from 2022 to 2030.

According to Grand View Research, fruits and vegetables have emerged as the major market sector and accounted for 40% of organic food revenue in 2021. The trend of organic vegetables has been launched in developed regions including North America and Europe, and has spread to emerging economies such as India and China. North America and Europe are the biggest consumers of organic food. Nevertheless, the consumption of organic meat, fish and poultry is expected to register the highest CAGR of 14.9% by 2030.

The demand for organic ingredients has increased over the past few years, driven by the desire to improve consumers’ overall health and awareness of the harmful effects of synthetic ingredients.

According to the FiBL 2022 survey, in 2020 the EU imported a total of 2.8 million tonnes of organic agri-food products. The most important countries were the Netherlands, followed by Germany and Belgium. Compared to 2019, organic imports decreased by 1.9% Imports of tropical fruits (fresh or dried), nuts and spices were the largest category, totaling 885,930 tonnes or 27.3% of imports total, followed by meals, cereals other than wheat, as well as rice and wheat. China was the biggest supplier of organic agri-food products to the EU, with 433,705 tonnes; this corresponds to 13.4 percent of the total volume of organic imports.

With the new global realignment, Africa is poised to tap into the EU organic food market, Africa already has organic food producers. In 2020, there were nearly 834,000 organic producers in Africa. The countries with the largest number of organic producers were Ethiopia (nearly 220,000), Tanzania (nearly 149,000) and Uganda (more than 139,000).

The latest report from the European Union shows that Ethiopia, Tanzania and São Tomé and Príncipe are among the African countries on the list of organic food producers.

The Ecological Organic Agriculture (Africa Initiative), EOA (-I), certification in Africa gained momentum through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the continental EOAI Secretariat led by the AU and hosted by Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT) and African Organization for Standardization (ARSO) aiming to develop a common continental EOA standard. The partnership will further link the EOA with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat to further engage in strategies to boost EOA trade on the continent.

In West Africa, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali and Togo reported an increase in the number of producers and hectares certified with Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS). 2021 was the last year of implementation of the Organic Markets for Development (OM4D) project, which supported the development of SGP initiatives in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo and Sao Tome and Principe, according to the FiBL survey 2022.

Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) are locally targeted quality assurance systems. They certify producers based on active stakeholder participation and are built on a foundation of trust, social networks and knowledge exchange.

African countries have continued to foster a policy environment conducive to the development of organic agriculture.


In Madagascar, the first law on organic agriculture was enacted in 2020. Based on this work, the first National Strategy for Organic Agriculture (SNABIO) will soon be adopted according to the FiBL 2022 survey. Madagascar is to set up a support policy for organic farming both for export and the domestic market, to democratize access to healthy and sustainably produced food and derive all the benefits from it. The main objective of the law and the SNABIO is to support the growth of exports, to promote the development of the national market and to guarantee the organic character of the products without hindering the growth of the sector.

Burkina Faso

In Burkina Faso, the Ministry of Agriculture, Hydro-agricultural Development and Mechanization is leading the development of a national agroecology strategy and an accompanying action plan. A commonly defined objective is to carry a coherent vision to make agroecology the driving force behind agro-sylvo-pastoral production that is ecological, sustainable, competitive, creates jobs and ensures food security for all. A recent evaluation conducted by the FAO on agroecology in Burkina Faso identified three major assets: political will, the dynamism and commitment of civil society, and the development of technologies and approaches by actors in the field.

At the same time, a new version of the national rural sector program (PNSR 3) is also underway. This program is intended to be the main federal strategy and action plan for sectoral policies, including agriculture, food security, value chains, land management and water management. The synergies between the national strategy for the development of agroecology and the PNSR 3 will offer a unique opportunity to align structuring investments in the productive sectors with agroecological principles.


In 2019, Uganda’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MAAIF) launched the National Organic Agriculture Policy (NOAP). Since then, steps have been taken to implement NOAP by consolidating a roadmap that prioritizes scaling up agroecology and organics at the farm level, chain development supply and market framework and strengthening the policy framework and stakeholder platform built according to the FiBL 2022 survey. assist in policy and technical matters as well as in the design, implementation, management and financing aspects of organic programs.


According to the FiBL 2022 survey, the government of Togo published its National Development Plan in 2018 (2018-2022 with a vision until 2030), which includes provisions for the development of the organic sector in the country. These documents indicate a political will to support organic farming with the primary objective of export but also the construction of the domestic market.

In 2019, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MAPAH) published a “concept note for the national conversion of the agricultural sector to organic” describing the key elements of the program. In this context, in 2020, MAPAH published the national strategy for the development of organic and ecological agriculture for the period 2020-2030.

About Alma Ackerman

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