- Organic Farming Continued Growth in Africa
- IFOAM’s Plans for the UNFCCC Climate Change Negotiations in Bonn, Germany
- New Publications Available at IFOAM Bookstore
- Organic Agriculture Enhances the Livelihoods of 5,000 Farmers in West Africa
- New Book Release: Entering The Organic Export Market
- Genetically Modified Crops Not the Answer to Address World Hunger
- New Fellowship Programme: Call for Applications
Organic Agriculture Related Events
1. Organic Farming Continued Growth in Africa
| ||According to IFOAM and FiBL survey, organic farming is practiced in more than 150 countries by almost 1.4 million organic producers. Currently, 35 million hectares of agricultural land are certified according to organic standards (data as the end of 2008). In addition, more than 31 million hectares were certified for organic wild collection and bee keeping. Global organic food and drink sales continue to grow surpassing 50 billion US Dollars in 2008. |
In global terms, Africa accounts for 2.5 percent of total certified organic land. Currently, 39 African countries are engaged in certified organic agriculture and about 1 million hectares is certified organic, constituting an increase of more than 10,500 hectares compared with the previous survey (2007 data). This land is managed by at least half a million producers. Agricultural land is mainly used for permanent crops, principally cash crops like coffee and olives.
The leading country in terms of organically managed agricultural land is Uganda with 212,304 hectares. However, when organically managed land is measured as a percentage of each country’s agricultural area, Sao Tome and Prince rank highest with 5 percent. Uganda, however with 181,000 farms has the largest number of organic farms.
In addition to the 1 million hectares of certified agricultural land, 10 million hectares of land are dedicated to organic bee keeping, forest collection and wild collection areas. The largest beekeeping areas are in Zambia (5 million hectares). The largest wild collection areas are in Namibia (3 million hectares) and Morocco (600,000 hectares). Medicinal plants like Devil’s claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) play the most important role for wild collection.
In addition to certified organic agriculture covered by this survey, it should be noted that much organic production is also taking place in Africa without certification. There are a large numbers of African organic farmers for whom formal certification does not have any advantages. This is true for farmers who practice subsistence farming for the food security of their families or their community. Unfortunately, there are no official statistics to quote on this type of organic production.
Detailed African statistics are available at: www.ifoam.org/africa.
The book “The World of Organic Agriculture - Statistics and Emerging Trends 2010” may be ordered via the IFOAM web shop at: http://shop.ifoam.org/bookstore.
2. IFOAM’s Plans for the UNFCCC Climate Change Negotiations in Bonn, Germany
| ||From May 31 to June 11, 2010 the Thirty Second Session of the UNFCCC Convention Subsidiary Bodies (SB 32), the tenth meeting of the ad hoc working group on Long Term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) and the twelfth meeting of the ad hoc working group of the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) will be held in Bonn, Germany. These three side by side meetings have the potential to put in place, ready for sign-off by heads of state in Cancun, Mexico in December (CoP16), a full operational architecture to implement enable effective, collective climate action. However there is still much negotiating to be done to bridge the gap between the views of developing and developed countries in particular and to reach agreement on more ambitious emission reduction targets.|
IFOAM will be present to get the message across that Organic Agriculture is a sustainable and affordable mitigating and adapting solution to climate change as well as to provide governments from developing countries with advice on mitigation and adaptation strategies. In addition to having a booth at the conference venue during the first week, IFOAM will hold a side event on Thursday June 3rd 2010 that will encourage delegates from developing countries and NGOs to integrate organic farming into their climate change policies and action plans.
IFOAM will also be working with lobby partners including FiBL (The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture) and IATP (Institute of Agriculture Trade Policy) to help ensure that the negotiations on agriculture are favorable to small holder farms and farmers, to local people including indigenous people and that policies are incentivize sustainable and fair agriculture and promote local food security and local livelihoods. Until recently agriculture was a side issue but now it has entered centre stage both within the LCA and KP negotiating streams.
We are interested to hear from anyone planning to attend SB 32 as well as of government representatives that we should approach in Bonn.
For further information, please visit www.ifoam.org/partners/advocacy/CC_Campaign.html or contact Robert Jordan: email@example.com.
3. New Publications Available at IFOAM Bookstore
| ||The Organic Business Guide: Developing Sustainable Value Chains with Smallholders (French & English, 160 pages)|
This guide is written for those who are actively engaged in setting up or managing organic businesses with groups of smallholders. It provides practical know-how and essential information for planning, managing and expanding such a business. Covering topics from designing production and internal control systems to business planning and marketing, it attempts to be a comprehensive reference book for organic entrepreneurs, cooperatives and facilitators.
Purchase the English version here or the French version here.
The World of Organic Agriculture (225 pages)
The 11th edition of the IFOAM/FiBL statistics book, documenting recent developments in global Organic Agriculture, was presented at BioFach Nuremberg in February and is now available for sale at the IFOAM bookshop. It includes contributions from representatives of the organic sector throughout the world and provides comprehensive organic farming statistics that cover surface area under organic management, numbers of farms and specific information about land use in organic systems. The purchase of the book includes a free download of the PDF version, access to excel sheet with selected data and PowerPoint presentations.
For more information or to purchase the book, please visit: http://shop.ifoam.org/bookstore.
4. Organic Agriculture Enhances the Livelihoods of 5,000 Farmers in West Africa
| ||According to a recent FAO press release, FAO projects have enhanced the livelihoods of approximately 5,000 farmers in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal und Sierra Leone. The projects’ outcomes include: |
For more information, please visit: www.fao.org/news/story.
- Producers gained access to higher value organic markets in the industrialized world and could provide their families with a richer and more varied diet.
- Organic agricultural practices learned through the projects were transferred to the production of subsistence crops, improving productivity and local food security.
- Income from higher value markets was used to send children to school, pay medical expenses or improve the overall productivity of the farm, thereby improving living conditions and food security.
5. New Book Release: Entering The Organic Export Market
| ||Agromisa Foundation and CTA have recently published a practical guide for farmers' organizations “Entering the organic export market” on starting an organic export enterprise. This manual is based on the experience of the “Export promotion of Organic Products from East Africa” (EPOPA project) which has enhanced the livelihoods of approximately 110,000 smallholder farmers in Uganda and Tanzania. |
The report is available at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Genetically Modified Crops Not the Answer to Address World Hunger
| ||Concern has been raised over a bill at the US Senate – the Global Food Security Act - because it contains a clause stipulating that foreign aid dollars are directed to the development of genetically modified (GM) crops. No other agricultural technology is mentioned in the bill, which biotech giant Monsanto has reportedly lobbied extensively on.|
They point to the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), the most comprehensive assessment of agriculture to date. This four-year study was conceived by the World Bank and UN agencies and conducted by more than 400 scientists and development experts from 80 countries. The IAASTD report has been approved by 58 governments. The IAASTD found that reliance on resource-extractive industrial agriculture is risky and unsustainable, particularly in the face of worsening climate, energy and water crises. It noted that expensive, quick fixes - including GM crops - fail to address the complex challenges that farmers face, and often exacerbate already bad conditions.
Instead, the IAASTD highlighted the need to build more resilience into food systems by increasing investments in agro-ecological sciences, small-scale biodiverse farming methods and farmer-led participatory breeding programs. These can deliver far better results, without the risks and high input costs that accompany GM seeds.
For more information, please visit: http://thehill.com/opinion/.
7. New Fellowship Programme: Call for Applications
| ||The Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC) is now calling for applications under its Early Career Fellowship Programme. The program is a new FAC capacity building initiative for the next generation of researchers working on issues of agriculture policy research. The program focuses on early career professionals who have recently graduated from post-graduate studies and are starting on their careers. |
The deadline for applications is June 30, 2009.
For more information, please visit: www.future-agricultures.org.
8. Upcoming Organic Agriculture Related Events
| ||UNFCCC Climate Change Negotiations|
Monday 31 May to Wednesday 11 June 2010
IFOAM plans to be active in this event to get the message across that Organic Agriculture is a mitigating and adapting solution to climate change as well as to provide governments from developing countries with advice on mitigation and adaptation strategies.
Training Workshop on Development of Organic Agriculture, Certification and Trade in Africa
June 1-4, 2010
Head Office Contact Information
53113 Bonn, Germany
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International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) e.V.
Trial Court Bonn, Association Register no. 8726