Skip to main content

Did you know that more and more governments are introducing policies that foster the growth of agroecology and organic agriculture?

In the most recent edition of ‘The World of Organic Agriculture’, our Policy and Guarantee team, Xhona Hysa, Vladislav Zhmailo and Gábor Figeczky highlight the initiatives and programmes introduced by Argentina, Ghana, India, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Tanzania.


The National Directorate of Agroecology of Argentina (DNAE) was created in 2020 by the National Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries to consolidate the gradual, integral and articulated development of public policies to achieve the diffusion of agroecology nationwide. In two years, 120 groups of more than 1,000 producers were created to carry out this transformation that lowers costs, strengthens production models, emancipates producers and reduces risks.

The DNAE, assisted by an integrated advisory council of producers, scientists and social movements, compiled a guide of recommendations and a participatory conceptual framework to accompany the promotion of agroecology at a local level. This led to the signing of a proposal by 100 Argentine municipalities, with the potential to convert 38.6 million hectares to agroecology, benefiting the 5.6 million inhabitants living there. This network represents 12 percent of the country’s population and 14 percent of the national surface area.

Boosting agroecology will lead to an increase in the availability of sustainably grown food on the market © Alejandro Duarte


The Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy I and II (FASDEP II) is the overarching policy in the Ghanaian agricultural sector. For the past two years, the National Medium-Term Development Plan for implementing the FASDEP II has been the Investing for Food and Jobs (IFJ).

The IFJ is an agenda by the Government of Ghana to transform agriculture through a private sector-driven approach to improve self-sufficiency in food production as well as food and nutritional security. This is done through generating jobs, value addition to agricultural products, export enhancement and import substitution and increased incomes for all actors along commodity value chains. The IFJ has been reviewed, and a draft sector plan for the next medium-term has been prepared, called IFJ II.

The principles of IFJ II embrace the advancement in organic agriculture growth, where Public Sector Support Systems ostensibly support the guaranteed principles of organic soil fertility management and practices as well as environmentally acceptable pest and disease control management, more importantly on fruits and vegetable production. Even though the Government’s position on production in the agriculture sector does not discriminate between organic and inorganic agriculture, the theory of change behind the IFJ II generates keen interest and opportunities associated with the growth of organic agriculture in Ghana. Between 2021 and 2022, government officials encouraged farmers to adopt and intensify the use of organic manure, such as poultry manure, to enrich their soil fertility and improve the economics of production. Some actions the government will focus on in the medium to long term include promoting increased use of organic fertilisers by:

  • Supporting the private sector to establish organic fertiliser processing plants and improve the quality of organic fertilisers in general
  • Establishing an assured raw material base suitable for organic fertiliser production
  • Exploring incentives for domestic organic fertiliser producers
  • Reviewing and enforcing the regulatory framework for the production and trading of organic fertilisers
  • Promoting the adoption of organic agricultural inputs by farmers across the country.

Organic practices have positive effects on the soil and biodiversity


Since 2020, natural farming has been expanded in India with the involvement of central and state governments. Under the centrally sponsored programme – Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) (i.e. the Traditional Agriculture Development Programme) – natural farming is promoted as the «Bharatiya Prakritik Krishi Paddhati Programme» (BPKP) (i.e. the Indian Natural Agriculture Programme).

The BPKP aims to promote traditional indigenous practices that reduce externally purchased inputs. It is based mainly on on-farm biomass recycling, with emphasis on biomass mulching, the use of on-farm cow dung formulations, periodic soil aeration and the exclusion of all synthetic chemical inputs. The BPKP is being upscaled as National Mission on Natural Farming (NMNF) for implementation nationwide. NMNF aims at creating institutional capacities for documentation and dissemination of best practices while making practising farmers partners in the promotion strategy, ensuring capacity building and continuous handholding and finally attracting farmers to natural farming willingly on the merit of the system.

To date, the following states declared the adoption of the BPKP programme: Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The federal government is planning to make funds available for all Indian states to promote both organic and natural farming in 2023, which will likely result in further growth of sustainable agriculture and food production in India. Environmental programmes are also on the rise in the country, e.g. the Namami Gange Programme aims to reduce pollution, conserve and rejuvenate the river Ganges. The catchment area is to be free of chemical residues used in agriculture.

Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal have been involved in the programme with different components of chemical-free agriculture. In India, Traditional Organic Areas have been identified by the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) to be converted into certified organic production hubs through the “Large Area Certification” (LAC) scheme. An area of 14,491 hectares in the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands has become the first large contiguous territory to be awarded organic certification under the LAC scheme of the PGS-India certification programme. Similar work is underway in the Union Territory of Ladakh in Jammu & Kashmir.

Upholding traditional indigenous practices increases resilience and food security © Deepak kumar


In 2018, Mexico made a change to favour food security and food sovereignty policies. This transformation of food systems was undertaken inter-institutionally through a political strategy, with the implementation of joint actions to transform food systems. This transformation has demonstrated its potential impact with internationally recognised actions such as:

  • The implementation of food warning labelling (especially to control ultra-processed foods)
  • The ban on the use of glyphosate and transgenic maize
  • The support of more than two million farmers in the transition to agroecology
  • Increasing local production of organic fertilisers and other bio-inputs
  • Promoting a health system that prevents poor nutrition, including school education at all levels
  • Working on the regulatory changes needed to support agroecology and organic inputs, among others
  • Two main programmes of the Presidency: (Producción para el Bienestar ) and Sowing Life (Sembrando Vida), both with a budget of over 1 billion USD in 2022

More than two million farmers will be supported in the transition to agroecology © Uriel Soberanes

Saudi Arabia

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has increasingly turned its attention to sustainable agriculture and environmentally friendly farming practices. In 2005, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA) adopted the Organic Agriculture Law to support the organic sector. The government established a functional institutional framework made up of:

  1. The Department of Organic Production, as the competent authority within MEWA
  2. The Saudi Organic Farming Association, a private, independent non-profit organisation uniting all private actors related to organic agriculture
  3. The National Center for Organic Agriculture as a research institute.

The Saudi Organic Regulation was adopted in 2014 with a national organic agriculture logo serving as the legal framework for the certification of organic farms. So far, six certification bodies have been authorised to operate in the Kingdom. A national policy for organic agriculture and an executive action plan were passed and approved in 2016 and 2018, respectively, to support the development of the organic sector.

Local organic production increased by more than 130 percent between 2018 and 2021, exceeding 105,000 tonnes in 2021. Organic agricultural land increased by more than 45 percent and reached 27,100 hectares in 2021, cultivated by 400 farmers. This remarkable growth is a result of the implementation of the Organic Agriculture Policy Executive Action Plan, which includes measures aiming at raising awareness of organic agriculture and food, enhancing the supply chain and marketing, supporting research and organic inputs and sharing responsibilities amongst all stakeholders.

Organic agricultural land increased by more than 45 percent and will continue to © Uhgbh


The Tanzanian government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, in cooperation with stakeholders in the organic sector, is currently developing the National Strategy for Ecological Organic Agriculture 2022-2030, which aims to improve the agricultural sectors by protecting soil and water, promoting biodiversity and respecting the environment. The strategy will be instrumental in implementing the policy statement of the 2013 National Agricultural Policy, which envisages the promotion of organic agriculture to increase foreign earnings and household incomes from the export of high-value organic products through an increased supply.

Additionally, the National Environmental Master Plan 2022 provides strategic interventions that consider spatial variations and appropriate policy options to guide environmental management at all levels. Practices include agroforestry, soil conservation, soil fertility management, promotion of sustainable agriculture (e.g., conservation agriculture, climate-smart agriculture and organic agriculture), protection of biodiversity, ecosystem services and livelihoods. In 2022, the Horticulture Development Strategy 2021-2031 was also finalised and launched, which is meant to boost the competitiveness of the horticulture sub-sector in national, regional and international markets in a sustainable way over the next ten years. The strategy includes a strategic intervention to create awareness and promote the production and productivity of organic horticultural crops.

The government’s national strategy aims to protect soil and water, promote biodiversity and respect the environment © Haihaji Msuya