Be Smart About South Africa

Regulating West Africa’s Organic Craze

In Ghana and elsewhere in West Africa, organic food is growing in popularity as people try to stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. But organic produce is not easily regulated and consumers are paying extra for unverified claims. Farmers across the region have created their own system, with support from international bodies, to certify organic produce. Through the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS), farmers monitor each other to follow organic guidelines, with spot checks, reviews of practices and knowledge-sharing. Their products are then certified organic, to sell to local markets. PGS organic agriculture schemes are used across the world. This system is also used in Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo, Nigeria and Senegal. PGS was introduced to Ghana in 2017 by an international organics organization, with Abosede Olawumi Benedict hired as Ghana’s coordinator. While the program is in its early stages in Ghana, she hopes COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, will encourage more farmers to become interested.


Share with your network!