Organic crops might ease rural poverty in Ivory Coast

Farmer Agathe Vanie is the president of Walo, a non-profit organisation she founded to bring women from the southern-central Ivory Coast city of Divo together to grow and sell organic crops.

Their eggplants, peanuts, peppers, turmeric and okra come from fields farmed by some 2,000 women around Divo.

Even if this produce is priced higher than conventionally grown plants, their organic status attracts many customers, which is an important sign of growing sensitivity about food quality in this West African nation.

“The chemicals that we use to spray the soil, the plants, the fruits, give us diseases,” farmer Marie Michele Gbadjeli said. “Since I discovered this shop, I’ve been eating healthy food.”

According to channelstv.com¸ Ivory Coast’s major agricultural export is cocoa, with the country accounting for more than 40 percent of the world’s market.

Still, Vanie’s hope is that diversifying to cleaner crops will prove a more sustainable choice for their wallets and the environment.

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