BOKO – Agathe Vanie looks proudly at the products on the shelves of her shop, the first organic stall in the southern central Ivory Coast city of Divo.
“We can make money,” she says.
A farmer by profession, Vanie is the president of Walo, a non-profit organisation she founded to bring local women together to grow and sell organic crops.
The eggplants, peanuts, peppers, turmeric and okra come from fields farmed by some 2,000 women around Divo who have joined forces through Walo, which means “love” in the local Dida language.
And, even if the veggies are priced higher than conventionally grown plants, their organic status attracts many customers — 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 told AFP. “Since I discovered this shop, I’ve been eating healthy food.”