- IFOAM calls for urgent support for small food producers to increase food security and resilience through organic and other agro-ecological farming systems
- Burundi organic agriculture week: Increase awareness of the diversity of organic consumption and production models and their multiple benefits
- A new IFOAM Global Organic Research Network (IGORN) under development
- 2nd West Africa Organic Conference: Growth in the West African organic sector unity
IFOAM calls for urgent support for small food producers to increase food security and resilience through organic and other agro-ecological farming systems
A strong IFOAM delegation headed by IFOAM President Andre Leu was this month at United Nations in Rome at the 39th Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) – the most important meeting in the global agricultural calendar. This is particularly important for Africa where the great majority of farmers are vulnerable and poor small scale farmers in rural areas that rely on agriculture for their livelihoods and as solutions proposed for increasing food security are sometimes based on the industrialization of African agriculture and the intensification of costly external and ultimately unsustainable inputs.
The major outcome for IFOAM and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in general was the adoption by the CFS of the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition (GSF). The GSF, as the overarching framework, will be the primary global reference for coordination and coherence in decision-making on food and agricultural issues. It is built upon the human rights approach, women’s rights and the recognition of the central role of smallholder farmers, agricultural and food workers, artisanal fisher folks, pastoralists, Indigenous Peoples, landless people, women and youth to food and nutrition security. The GSF is aimed at enhancing action by a wide range of stakeholders in support of global, regional and country-led actions to prevent future food crises, eliminate hunger and ensure food security and nutrition for all human beings.
IFOAM food security campaigner Cristina Grandi through IFOAM’s FAO liaison office in Rome campaigned for over one year to ensure that the approved GSF recognized the role of organic agriculture in increasing agricultural productivity and production in a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable manner. The GSF also recognizes that formal employment of rural workers and assurance of minimum living wages is key for food security and nutrition.
Given its principal users will be decision-makers and policymakers in countries responsible for the development and implementation of policies and programs for delivering food security and nutrition and the progressive realization of the right of adequate food, the GSF will be an important advocacy tool for all food security stakeholders at the local, national and international level.
IFOAM Advocacy Manager Robert Jordan participated in the CFS negotiations on climate change where a number of decisions of particular importance to addressing rural poverty and hunger in Africa were made. In particular the CFS called for governments to facilitate, as appropriate, participation of all stakeholders in food security policies and programs to address climate change recognizing the contribution of all farmers and food producers, especially small-scale producers, to food security, by:
- encouraging multi-stakeholder fora at local, national and regional levels to promote broad participation of local communities and the most vulnerable groups, as well as the private sector, in decision-making processes;
- supporting CSOs, notably those representing the most hunger-affected populations, small-scale producers’ organizations, and women farmers’ organizations, to participate in decision making and the implementation of food security policies and programs to address climate change.
The policy frameworks and recommendations of the CFS are important developments that can facilitate the uptake of organic agriculture in Africa, provide new opportunities for the organic movement to bring affordable, resilient and productive practices to farming communities. The report of the 39th CFS meeting can be found here:
In order to inform the discussion during the meeting, IFOAM prepared the following three documents that can be downloaded at: www.ifoam.org.
- Organic Agriculture and Food Security
- How Organic Agriculture can feed the world
- Organic Agriculture and Climate Change
These documents can also be used to continue advocating for the Organic Alternative for Africa. For example, by sending them to a comprehensive range of stakeholders capable of unlocking the potential that ecological systems offer Africa.
Burundi organic agriculture week: Increase awareness of the diversity of organic consumption and production models and their multiple benefits
| ||From November 12 to 18, 2012, the IFOAM OSEA project is organizing a Burundi organic week in Bujumbura, Burundi. The event aims at increasing awareness of the opportunities presented by organic production and trade with the aim of increasing food security and improving livelihoods in Burundi. The program will be as follows: |
The event will provide an excellent platform for experience sharing and discussion on best practices, trade, sector mobilization, local and regional market development as well as supporting the Burundi Organic Agriculture Movement (BOAM) and other local stakeholders in their efforts of mainstreaming organic agriculture into national policy and development programs.
- November 12: Sensitization workshop, field trip & gala dinner with influential government stakeholders (Ministries of trade, agriculture and environment);
- November 13: OSEA Management Committee Meeting;
- November 14: Join Mark Committee Meeting;
- November 15: Capacity building workshop on Organic Agriculture for traders, NGOs and donors;
- November 16: Technical workshop on Internal Control Systems (ICS) and Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS). Trainers will be Hervé Bouagnimbeck from IFOAM and Omer Ntawe from Food for the Hungry.
- November 17: Field trip
The Burundi organic week fits nicely with the objectives of IFOAM’s Organic Alternative for Africa and IFOAM therefore looks forwards to contributing to the success of the event.
The OSEA II Project is implemented by IFOAM and the National Organic Agriculture Movements in Burundi (BOAM), Kenya (KOAN), Rwanda (ROAM), Tanzania (TOAM) and Uganda (NOGAMU) in close cooperation with the organic stakeholders and governments in the East African countries. It is financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida. IFOAM contracted Grolink for the Project Management and Gunnar Rundgren is the Project Leader.
More information: www.ifoam.org/partners/projects/osea.html
A new IFOAM Global Organic Research Network (IGORN) under development
| ||IFOAM is currently developing an international research network to coordinate and advance the sharing of information between various research institutions that are conducting research on organic farming and food systems around the world. |
The network’s objectives are:
- To be a network of exchange and collaboration between Organic Research Institutions and scientific partners throughout the world.
- To develop organic food and farming science, knowledge, and technology innovation within the global organic movement.
- To serve as a global technology platform for the application of knowledge derived from scientific research through farmer-driven innovation and information dissemination.
- To enable IFOAM policies to be based on good science.
- To establish research priorities with the various stakeholder organizations in IFOAM.
- To enhance the sustainability of all agriculture based on the principles of organic agriculture.
- To build capacity and mobilize partnerships for organic farming research that assists small-scale producers in developing countries alleviate poverty, establish food sovereignty, and meet food security and nutritional needs through healthy, ecologically sound and socially just farming systems.
- To represent IFOAM members that conduct and apply research, develop technologies, and disseminate information as a sector group.
At this stage, IFOAM wishes to engage with organizations and groups that are interested to work with IFOAM in the framework of IGORN. We would like to work further with those partners on the design of an appropriate strategic approach.
More information: www.organic-research.org/1903.html or contact Brian Baker, Ph.D (firstname.lastname@example.org).
You can also exchange ideas and discuss the latest important topics related to organic agriculture research at:
There is no doubt that once established, IGORN will provide farmers, national and regional policy makers and key stakeholders (e.g. media and funding agencies) with more evidence-based information on the multi-functional benefits of organic agriculture as well as identifying and addressing major research priorities in Africa that will help underpin the Organic Alternative for Africa.
2nd West Africa Organic Conference: Growth in the West African organic sector unity
| ||The second West African Organic Conference was held in Ibadan, Nigeria, from September 10 to 13. |
Some 91 participants from 11 countries attended the conference, including representatives from governments, NGOs, private sector, universities, and research institutions.
The conference was organized by IFOAM member the Nigerian Organic Agriculture Network (NOAN) with the financial support of the African Union Commission. The conference was an excellent platform for experience sharing and discussion on best practices, trade, policy formulation and other development initiatives.
The conference had a number of important outcomes such as the launch of the West African Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative. This regional initiative will be led by a committee composed of 8 representatives in the region:
The 3rd West African Organic Agriculture Conference will be held in Benin in 2014.
- Simplice Davo VODOUHE, PABE, Benin
- Sidi El'moctar N'Guiro, MOBIOM, Mali
- Ibrahima Seck, FENAB, Senegal
- Olugbenga AdeOluwa, NOAN, Nigeria
- Kadidja Koné, Inades Formation, Côte d’Ivoire
- Ramatou Abdou, PFPN, Niger
- Samuel Adimado, GOAN, Ghana
- The representative of CNABIO (Burkina Faso) is still to be appointed.
The launch of this committee is a significant outcome for the continuous networking efforts of the West African organic initiatives and their international partners such as IFOAM.
IFOAM is therefore ready to work with the Committee, the Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative as well as AfroNet, (African Organic Network) – the umbrella organization uniting and representing African ecological/organic stakeholders and other agencies in the framework of its Organic Alternative for Africa Initiative to make African governments aware of the diversity of organic consumption and production models and their multiple benefits in order to mainstream organic agriculture into African governmental, civil society and private sector policies and development strategies – including the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).
For more information about the conference, please contact Olugbenga AdeOluwa, Ph.D (email@example.com).
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International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) e.V.
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