The Community Markets for Conservation COMACO has attained international organic certification for groundnuts by selected COMACO-supported farmers in Eastern Province.
These farmers who grow groundnuts without chemicals instead they use natural, and nature-based farming practices.
COMACO Communications Outreach Specialist Peter Frank Banda says This achievement is the first for Africa.
Mr Banda says COMACO’s groundnut production system was assessed for organic certification by ECOCERT, an international certification company based in France.
He says Despite an involved and time-consuming process to train farmers and monitor their compliance throughout the farming season, COMACO achieved the highest organic certification standards for its farmers.
Mr Banda says This certification will allow COMACO to export these groundnuts to international markets that offer top value and return this added value to the farmers who commit to nature-based farming without chemicals.
COMACO Founder and Chief Executive Officer CEO Dale Lewis says that it is exciting for staff and farmers to become the first in Africa, which was done by dedicated field staff and support from GIZ.
Mr Lewis says that such an important by-product of this effort will reduce pressure on Zambian’s forests and healthier soils to sustain higher yields at reduced costs to the farmer.
He says COMACO is committed to ensuring small-scale farmers receive top market value for their commitment to conservation and have more income and more food by adopting chemical-free organic farming practices.
Organic groundnuts are grown following strict rules that ensures that the crop is free from chemical contaminations as well as contamination from other crops.
A total of 650 farmers out of the registered 4004 took part last season 50% being women.
This is contained in a Press release made available to Feel Free news by COMACO Communications Outreach Specialist
Peter Frank Banda.