The Organic Alternative For Africa (TOFA) aims to make sure that decision makers are aware of the organic alternative and its benefits for empowering Africans especially smallholder family farmers, pastoralists and women and youth in both rural and urban communities. Awareness of the wide diversity of organic production, distribution and marketing models and their suitability for enabling sustainable development and addressing key agriculture related challenges such as hunger, malnutrition, water scarcity, climate change, land degradation and poverty is key to understanding the potential of the organic alternative.
The campaign helps governments and other stakeholders understand the entry points for developing their sectors and identifying networks for implementation. TOFA proactively brings the organic alternative to farmers and communities throughout Africa through the forging of new partnerships and alliances with organizations that can help the African organic movement reach and support them with appropriate practices and markets to strengthen their livelihoods.
One of the key objectives of the campaign is to mainstream Organic Agriculture into African governmental, United Nations’, civil society and private sector policies and initiatives – including the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP).
Lead by the Africa Office, TOFA builds on almost a decade of work and learning’s by the IFOAM Africa office. TOFA both influences and utilizes all the other IFOAM advocacy campaigns to establish a coherent basis for the Organic Alternative for Africa. At the Continental level TOFA interfaces with the African Union Commission, the African organic umbrella organization ‘AfroNet’ and the Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) Initiative. At the regional level TOFA collaborates with regional organic networks such as the West African Network for Organic Agriculture Research and Training (WANOART) and the Southern African Network for Organic Development (SANOD). At the national level the campaign interfaces with the various National Organic Agricultures Movements (NOAMs) and at the local level with key organic stakeholders.
TOFA adds value to the key organic initiatives and institutions in Africa by reaching out to non-organic specific organizations (e.g. African farmers organizations and humanitarian agencies) and regions where organic initiatives are comparatively less well developed such as in central Africa. TOFA also facilitates the representation of key African stakeholders in international policy processes, provides advocacy training and encourages the uptake of organic alternatives through south–south collaboration, especially in the sharing of experiences.