Analytical Note, May 2005

Current Trends in Organic Agriculture Markets and Their Implications for Farmers.

The market for organic agricultural products grew steadily during the nineties with global sales estimated at US$ 25 billion in 2003. The projected impressive growth of demand for organic products in the industrialised countries,notably the United States, European Union and Japan constitute an important pull factor for the increase in the production and international trade of organic agricultural products. Indeed, production of certified organic agriculture oriented towards exports has increased in many developing countries to respond to the demand for organics in the industrialised world.

On the other hand, significant extensions of land in developing countries are dedicated to non-certified organic agriculture or other traditional methods of production with little or no use of chemical inputs. The contribution of these systems of production to food security and sustainability in developing countries is significant but not always adequately recognised.

The reversal of current trends constitutes an urgent need but also a very difficult endeavour.

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