- Organics Met in Modena: Four Principles for Cultivating the Future
- IFOAM General Assembly Successfully Concluded: New World Board Elected
- Introduction of Moses Kiggundu Muwanga, New IFOAM World Board Member
- A Green Revolution for Africa: Hope for Small-scale Farmers?
- FAO's New Publication on "The right to food and the impact of liquid biofuels (agrofuels)"
- Southern Africa: Region Seeks to Tap Into European Demand for Organic Products
- Upcoming Organic Agriculture Related Events
1. Organics Met in Modena: Four Principles for Cultivating the Future
| ||From 16 to 20 June 2008 more than 1.700 experts, practitioners and producers from 108 countries met in Modena/Italy for the 16th IFOAM Organic World Congress to discuss most pressing concerns of humanity, even beyond agriculture, such as biodiversity, food safety, sowing, growing and harvesting techniques, market opportunities, verification methods, and technological innovations. |
The 16th IFOAM Organic World Congress, taking place every three years, was co-organized by IFOAM and Consorzio ModenaBio. Financial, logistical, and in kind support by numerous sponsors in the Emiglia Romagna region was a major contributor to the success of the Congress. Local authorities, artists, and the population of the region enhanced the event with colorful cultural performances, children’s activities such as an organic flea circus, and organic food markets. The bidding countries for the 2011 Organic World Congress (South Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines) enchanted participants with cultural performances, informative displays and organic culinary items from their respective homes.
During the Congress, high-level keynote speakers, such as Vandana Shiva, Frances Moore Lappé, Tewolde Berhan Gebre Egziabher, and Howard-Yana Shapiro reflected the Principles of Organic Agriculture (Health, Ecology, Fairness, and Care). These principles are the outcome of a democratic multi-stakeholder process, and were adopted by IFOAM’s General Assembly in Adelaide/Australia in 2005. The principles serve as guidance for the organic movement as well as for governments, the private sector and civil society. IFOAM’s mission is leading, uniting, and assisting the growing organic movement in its full diversity. IFOAM’s goal is the worldwide adoption of ecologically, socially and economically sound systems that are based on these principles.
Thematic conferences surrounding the congress dealt with important subjects such as organic markets (mainstream certification, short supply chains and participatory guarantee systems) and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). The newest biotechnologies and their impacts, advocacy strategies against GMOs, and organic farmers’ daily practices in a world where GMOs are unfortunately grown were the focus of many lively debates. Participants from all over the world also dealt with viable seed for organic agriculture, an opportunity to exchange experiences from participatory plant breeding projects and seed saving initiatives. Other important issues tackled comprised the adaptation and mitigation of climate change in agriculture, and research on the effects of biodiversity loss. A lot of attention was paid to the relation between Organic Agriculture and Health, by sharing experiences in sustainable agriculture, agroforestry systems, plant genetics and food production systems. Of major concern are the human-made causes of hunger and the significance of our everyday choices. Coordinated by the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR), the congress included the 2nd International Conference “Cultivating the Future based on Science”. Important current research had been presented and discussed both from an academic as well from a practitioners perspective, such as soil organic matter management, comparison of cropping systems, health and safety of organic products, welfare indicators and welfare promotion of organic sows and piglets, to name just a few.
During a festive organic Gala Dinner, attended by 850 participants, the winner of the One World Award Lal Emmanuel from Sri Lanka, and the winner of the One World Lifetime Achievement Award Prof. Boehnke from Germany were announced. The occasion was graced by Graziano Pogglioli Minister of Agriculture of the Province of Modena, Mrs. Renate Kuenast the former German Minister of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs and numerous other dignitaries.
IFOAM is committed to take up the challenges emanating from the Organic World Congress and is geared to cultivate the future.
2. IFOAM General Assembly Successfully Concluded: New World Board Elected
| ||The IFOAM General Assembly has evolved through tradition and experience, always remaining grounded in grassroots democracy unrivalled by other non-profit organizations. IFOAM, through its General Assembly, is the guardian of organic credibility and integrity, and that without this democratic platform, the development of organic markets and regulations would not have been possible.|
The participants debated and decided on motions regarding various topics of concern for the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, and the new ten-member World Board was chosen in free and fair elections:
1. Katherine DiMatteo from the USA
2. Jacqueline Haessig Alleje from the Philippines
3. Moses Kiggundu Muwanga from Uganda
4. Masaya Koriyama from Japan
5. Ong Kung Wai from Malaysia
6. Andre Leu from Australia
7. Urs Niggli from Switzerland
8. Fabio Piccioli from Italy
9. Vanaja Ramprasad from India
10. Roberto Ugas from Peru
This truly international result is the best reflection of the diversity of the global network represented through the IFOAM membership. From the previous World Board three members ensure continuity: Katherine DiMatteo, Ong Kung Wai and Jacqueline Haessig Alleje. The new members have both strong roots in the organic movements of their home countries and regions as well as vision for the global movement and will bring a new spirit in the leadership of IFOAM for the next three years.
The new World Board elected amongst itself the new Executive Board: the two Vice Presidents are Roberto Ugas and Urs Niggli, and the new IFOAM President is Katherine DiMatteo. This is the second time that IFOAM members had elected a woman as a President.
A record attendance of 192 persons attended the General Assembly in Vignola, some of them had proxy voting rights, which represented a total of 344 members making a quorum of 60 %, the largest member representation of any IFOAM General Assembly in the past 36 years.
In a festive spirit, the Assembly thanked the outgoing World Board members: Gerald A. Herrmann, Antonio Compagnoni, Brendan Hoare, Johan Cejie, Prabha Mahale, Alberto Pipo Lernoud and Mette Meldgaard for their dedication in promoting the organic movement.
By majority vote, the participants of the General Assembly decided that the 17th IFOAM Organic World Congress and General Assembly will be held in South Korea in 2011. Other bidders were Taiwan and the Philippines.
3. Introduction of Moses Kiggundu Muwanga, New IFOAM World Board Member
| ||Moses Kiggundu Muwanga is Ugandan aged 35. He is currently the National Coordinator of the National Organic Agricultural Movement of Uganda (NOGAMU) and has been involved in the organic movement for the last 12 years. “My work has spanned from working in the first organic certified export company in Uganda where I was responsible for setting up the main organic system in the company, to offering technical and organizational advice to current and emerging organic projects, to getting involved in the setting up and running of the national organic agricultural movement of Uganda (NOGAMU), of which I am one of the founder members,” Moses explains. NOGAMU is the umbrella organization that brings together the producers, processors, exporters, NGOs and other institutions involved in organic agricultural development in Uganda. |
Moses’ involvement in the organic sector has been twofold: Firstly by offering technical and advisory support in the areas of designing and developing organic out grower schemes and businesses, developing adapted and customized quality control systems that facilitate smallholder farmers to comply with Organic Certification and market requirements of major export markets, as well as identifying areas of competitiveness of smallholders in the domestic and export markets. Moses points out that “he has also used his professional experience to assist in designing and setting up of produce handling chains, initiating and setting up practical and bottom-up food safety and produce quality assurance procedures based on the concept of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), as additional complementary efforts to increase the competitiveness of organic exports from Uganda and hence generate more income for the participating smallholder farmers and other actors”. Secondly he has made key contributions to the structural designing and setting up of an effective National Organic Agricultural Movement, not only in Uganda, but also in the other sister countries in the East African region. He has also served on the IFOAM task force for the development of Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS), and also participated on the steering committee of Organic Standards East Africa (OSEA) a project run by IFOAM, and was a member of the regional standards technical working group, that drafted the East African Organic Products Standards (EAOPS).
While serving on the World Board Moses will contribute to innovative ways of bringing all key stakeholders especially organic actors in the developing world and, particularly, in Africa into being active players in the world organic movement. He likes to contribute “to shaping innovative approaches in IFOAM that will see and ensure that decisions and strategic direction of the movement is determined through a more bottom up mechanism and that the channels and mechanism of communication are more appropriate and allow participation of more members from the developing countries.”
Moses holds a Masters Degree in Post-Harvest Horticulture and Marketing from the University of Greenwich, United Kingdom, a Post Graduate Diploma in Project Planning and Management from the Uganda Management Institute, and A Bachelors degree in Agriculture from Makerere University, Uganda.
4. A Green Revolution for Africa: Hope for Small-scale Farmers?
| ||This article has been authored by Kenton Lobe, policy advisor at the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. It looks critically at what a green revolution might mean for African farmers. According to the author, agricultural extension agents and non-governmental organizations working with small-scale African farmers need to carefully consider the impacts of new technology before endorsing them. The negative impacts of theGreen revolution in Asia are well known (farmers’ dependency on subsidies, land degradation, destruction of soil fertility, desertification, dramatical decrease of ground-water level, suicides, etc.). The same future is a real possibility for Africa with the package of seeds, fertilizers and other inputs now being promoted by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa.|
To read the article, please visit: www.foodgrainsbank.ca
5. FAO's New Publication on "The right to food and the impact of liquid biofuels (agrofuels)"
| ||The report is authored by Asbjørn Eide, senior fellow of the Norwegian Center for Human Rights at the University of Oslo. The study examines the impact of liquid biofuel production on the enjoyment of the human right to adequate food and the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger. It explores the extent to which biofuel production has undermined, or is likely in the future to undermine, access to food for vulnerable people, and whether there are any overriding ethical concerns that can justify biofuel production even if it harms access to food to avoid hunger.|
The report can be downloaded at: www.fao.org/righttofood/publi08/Right_to_Food_and_Biofuels.pdf
6. Southern Africa: Region Seeks to Tap Into European Demand for Organic Products
| ||Organically grown products have been identified by Trade advisors as potentially lucrative exports for countries in Southern Africa that are aiming to boost their competitiveness in the European market.|
In a move to expand their traditional product range, these countries hope to benefit from the high demand for organic fruits and vegetables which has increased across Europe in recent years. Horticultural products, particularly flowers, have also been earmarked as other exports for these countries to consider trading. This move is one of a number of areas countries from Southern African Development Community (SADC) - Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Tanzania - are looking at to improve their trade relations and competitiveness in Europe.
For more information, please visit: http://allafrica.com/stories/200806200869.html
7. Upcoming Organic Agriculture Related Events
| ||Information and training Day on Organic Agriculture and FairTrade|
July 18 2008
For more information, contact Andrianjaka Rajaonarison.
Fiermada (Rural Economy International Fair)
August 6-10 2008
For more information, contact Andrianjaka Rajaonarison.
ZOPPA Stakeholders and Strategic Planning Workshop
August 18-21 2008
For more information, contact Fortunate Nyakanda.
African Green Revolution Conference
August 28-29 2008
IFOAM plans to be active in this event to promote Organic Agriculture as an alternative to the industrial agriculture model promoted by AGRA.
International Seminar on Organic Farming - Principles & Practices For East African Countries
September 9-24 2008
CINADCO’s International Training Centre at Kibbutz Hotel Shefayim, Israel
For more information, contact the nearest Israeli Embassy or visit the Israel’s Foreign Ministry web site at http://mashav.mfa.gov.il (in Contact Us - Information and Registration).
Natural and Organic Products Exhibition
October 17-19 2008
Cap Town, South Africa
National Organic workshop
October 23-26 2008
For more information, contact Andrianjaka Rajaonarison.
West African Organic Summit
November 17-21 2008
Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria
For more information, contact Olugbenga O. AdeOluwa, PhD.
Head Office Contact Information
53113 Bonn, Germany
© 2009 IFOAM - All rights reserved.
International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) e.V.
Trial Court Bonn, Association Register no. 8726
Executive Board: Gerald A. Herrmann, Alberto Lernoud, Mette Meldgaard