African Organic Agriculture Training Manual: Conversion to Organic Farming

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Conversion to organic farming describes the process of learning and implementation of changes on the farm towards a more sustainable and natural way of farming. The form the process takes depends on the local circumstances and the predisposition of the farmer or the community, and it varies from farm to farm. The more knowledge a farmer has about the concepts and practices of organic farming, the more he or she relies on farm own or local resources to maintain soil fertility and on natural processes to manage pests and diseases, the closer the farm is to ‘organic’ and the easier conversion to organic farming will be. Even if organic farming does not depend on specific land conditions to start with, if soils are depleted for example, it may need greater efforts and require more patience to establish a sustainable production system and realize satisfying harvests.

Learning targets for farmers:

  • Understand the key challenges related to conversion to organic agriculture and recognize possible approaches in the local context.
  • Know how to plan and implement a step-by-step approach to conversion of farms to organic farming.
  • Understand how to cooperate with other farmers to scale-up organic production.
  • Know where to get support during the conversion process.

Download Slides: click here

Hervé Bouagnimbeck
Brian Ssebunya
Gilles Weidmann
FiBL, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, Switzerland