Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM) in collaboration with the government through the Ministry of Agriculture is planning to organise their second National Ecological Organic Agriculture Conference in October this year.
The conference that will be held in Dodoma and to be attended by over 300 participants from Tanzania and outside will among others, create awareness to the public on the importance of organic farming in further attempts to raise grassroots farmers’ livelihood.
Speaking to journalists in Dar es Salaam recently, TOAM Chairperson, Dr Mwatima Juma said apart from conserving the soil and its other biological organisms, organic farming that from time immemorial has been practiced by forefathers, also ensures farmers get fresh food crops.
“Organic farming helps to maintain environment health by reducing the level of pollution. It reduces human and animal health hazards by reducing the level of residues in the product. … It reduces the cost of agricultural production and also improves the soil health.
“In most cases it maintains and improves fertility, soil structure and biodiversity, and reduce erosion… reduces the risks of human, animal, and environmental exposure to toxic materials,” she added.
Equally, DrJuma noted that the main goal of the conference will focus on promoting natural and affordable agriculture to the farmers without chemicals’ applications to the soil in the name of fertilizers and pesticides, adding that such finally contaminate the soil.
“Apart from the fact that human beings who are the major consumers of the crops grown, those affected include also living organisms in the soil as well as other plants. We have a reached a point that even trees cannot grow naturally in the soil without being supported artificially by fertilizers and these trees have become addicted to the chemicals in the name of fertilizers,” she pointed out.
Elaborating she said that organic farming is a strategy set to the farmers to liberate them from being enslaved by other factors, which are not only expensive to afford, but also provide them with chemically laced foodstuffs.
“If we focus on organic farming system, the country will be free from dependency and limit diseases, which affect us as a result of consuming chemically grown crops. Imagine today all our crops and animals must depend on chemicals addressed as veterinary medicine and protected seeds.
“Organic farming is not only for crops but also for our livestock and it is a natural way of life. In this forum we will dig deep into organic farming, its importance to the society and the country,” said the chairperson.
Commenting, Crop Promotion Agricultural Inputs and Cooperatives Assistant Director, BeatusMalema said promoting organic farming is the only way to protect and conserve the soil without going for the industrial fertilizers.
“When we talk of preserving the environment, you will not that plots, which have been receiving industrially manufactured fertilizers for a long time to support their crop’s growth have become unproductive. The chemicals have destroyed the soil and their acidity contaminated and compromised with fertility of the soil, leaving the living creatures and plants growing on it uncertain,” he said.