What is the Organic Farming Innovation Award?
The Organic Farming Innovation Award (OFIA) is the prize of the Organic Movement to highlight organic innovations of scientists, extension agents andpractitioners.
Once every three years, at the Organic World Congress (OWC), IFOAM and the Rural Development Association (RDA) award great organic innovations and their discoverers to boost their uptake and to motivate other stakeholders to push innovation forward for the benefit of organic farming.
OFIA is an initiative of the government of Korea in remembrance of the OWC 2011. As such, the OFIA committee gives a signal for the research and extension community worldwide and emphasizes the need for innovation for the development of organic agriculture worldwide.
Recent developments of organic farming and consumption show a dynamic growth of the markets, with however a fairly slow new uptake of organic agriculture by farmers.
For example, in 2010, the global market growth was over 5%, while the agriculture area stayed the same or even decreased in some regions. Bottlenecks of the uptake of organic farming are often production problems or lack of trust by the farmers that organic methods can solve farming problems, such as fertilization, plant protection, animal health, efficient use of workforce, marketing diversity etc.
While in some cases those problems can be solved through learning existing and regionally practiced methods, innovations are imperative to make organic farming competitive and a viable alternative farming system holding the promises of organic farming for producers and consumers.
Innovations play a crucial role for local adaptations of a sustainable and regenerative way of farming for expanding to more farmers and regions, but also for expanding to other organic products.
The OFIA Awards 2014 celebaration will take place at the Organic World Congress on October 13-15, 2014, in Istanbul, Turkey, attracting more than 2,000 participants from all over the world.
Papers submitted to the Organic World Congress and accepted by the reviewers are automatically considered as an application if they describe an innovation applicable in organic farming. Other stakeholders are encouraged to submit their applications for innovations directly to the OFIA committee. The deadline of application for the next Award is: March 1, 2014
Innovativeness: How innovative is the idea presented?
Applicability: Can the idea be well applied in organic farming (or processing, trade and sector development depending on the concept)?
Relevance: Can the innovation solve real problems or explore potentials?
Impact potential: Has the innovation the potential to have a great impact
OFIA Awards 2011
The first OFIA Awards celebration 2011 took place on September 30, 2011 during the Organic World Congress in Namyangju City, South Korea. It was the most important event during the official conference dinner of the OWC.
The winner of the Systems Value Track (Grand Prize) was Dr. Shaikh Hossain from Bangladesh with his paper “Organic Sack Garden Ensuring Nutrition and Improve the Food Security on Small Scale Households”
The Research Track (Science Prize) went to Dr. Soonbae Kwon from South Korea for his paper “Inhibitory effects of the extract from Quercus dentata gallnut against plant virus infection”
On the road to the OFIA Awards 2014, the OFIA secretariat and committee are organizing events to explore the areas in organic agriculture that are in need of innovative solutions. It is also an opportunity to present the past and present innovations to a larger public.
Starting from 2012, IFOAM and RDA organize an innovation summit every year. Highlighting the need for innovations and highlighting the impact of outstanding innovations and to learn from them is the purpose of this small but strategically important and far-reaching event. The first OFIA Summit took take place on September 12, 2012 in Hamburg, Germany, during the 2nd IFOAM Organic Animal Husbandry Conference gathering more than 200 participants from the organic research community, as well as organic farmers.
For more information and updates about OFIA, please contact the IFOAM Head Office: Charles-de-Gaulle Str. 5, 53115 Bonn, Germany Tel. +49-228-92650-10 | Fax. +49-228-92650-99 Email: headoffice [at] ifoam [dot] org
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