- IFOAM Press Release: Organic Agriculture Instead of Chemicals for Food Security in Africa
- OPPAZ Saddened by Death of Zambian President
- Discount Book Sales
- Aid for African Agriculture
- South African Small Farmers Pushed to Plant GM Seed
- Report on ZOPPA’s Strategic and Planning Meeting
- Upcoming Organic Agriculture Related Events
1. IFOAM Press Release: Organic Agriculture Instead of Chemicals for Food Security in Africa
| ||The third African Green Revolution Conference will take place 28 - 29 August 2008 in Oslo, Norway. High level representatives of banks and industry, most of them engaged in seeds and chemical fertilizers, are meeting to discuss action for an African Green Revolution. While IFOAM is welcoming the attention for the agricultural situation in Africa, it expresses its deep concern about the direction the talks in Oslo are taking: back to the past instead of looking at the future, neglecting recent scientific and societal findings.|
Moses Kiggundu Muwanga, IFOAM world board member and coordinator of the National Organic Agricultural Movement of Uganda (NOGAMU), says that: ‘The global food crisis has inter-linkages with other man-made crises and we should search for solutions that respond to them systemically. Focusing on chemical fertilizers does not make sense: they emit considerable greenhouse gasses, both through their production and their composition of mainly nitrous oxide, and so they contribute to climate change. With energy prices going up, the cost of synthetic fertilizers will increase even more and are unaffordable for most subsistence farmers.’
Recent international reports and studies support organic agriculture as a solution for the food crisis in Africa.
Read the full text of this IFOAM Press Release.
2. OPPAZ Saddened by Death of Zambian President
| ||The Board, Management, Staff and the entire membership of the Organic Producers and Processors Association of Zambia (OPPAZ) expressed profound sadness after learning of the death of the President of Zambia, Dr. Levy Patrick Mwanawasa. |
Dr. Mwanawasa died in France on August 19, 2008, at age 59 nearly two months after suffering a stroke during an African Union Summit in Egypt.
“Dr. Mwanawasa is considered in the Zambian Organic Fraternity as a practical promoter of organic practices and social justice. He was opposed to the use of unnatural ways of farming. He vehemently rejected use of transgenic materials in Zambia when some Western countries secretly donated genetically modified maize to feed the starving rural populations. Zambia and the organic world will definitely miss Dr. Mwanawasa’s practical support in the progression of the organic industry. The soul of the late Dr. Mwanawasa may rest in peace,” says Munshimbwe Chitalu, Chief Executive Officer of OPPAZ.
3. Discount Book Sales
| ||Stock clearing at Head Office: Books and magazines older than 2 years are available now in IFOAM online Bookstore at much discounted prices. This is your one and only chance!|
4. Aid for African Agriculture
| ||The UK Food Group has just published a report ‘More Aid for African Agriculture: Policy implications for small-scale farmers’.|
Aid to African agriculture is back on the international policy agenda in the context of climate change, the current food and energy price crises and the consequent demands new investment in agriculture. The big question is how much will be available in practice, for what type of investment and for whose benefit? Will increased aid for African agriculture actually benefit small-scale farmers in the long-term?
The report concludes that future aid and investment programs for agriculture need to change in response to the new challenges. Agriculture and rural development in Africa will have to concentrate on more people-centered, food-focused and environmentally sustainable approaches if the development of African agriculture is to serve the long-term interests of the majority of Africans.
The full report can be downloaded at: www.ukfg.org.uk/more-aid-for-african-agriculture.php.
5. South African Small Farmers Pushed to Plant GM Seed
| ||South Africa is the only country within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to grow genetically modified (GM) crops - maize, cotton and soya - commercially. Since 1997, GMO farming is regulated by the Genetically Modified Organisms Act.|
Lesley Liddell, director of Biowatch South Africa, an NGO promoting alternatives to GMO farming by encouraging farmers to inter-crop, use natural fertilizers and non-chemical crops, argues that small-scale farmers are being “lured” by the South African Department of Agriculture into planting genetically modified (GM) crops by promises of substantial bank loans and huge earnings. “But in the end, most farmers end up in huge debt, because they can't save seeds and are obliged to buy the matching GM fertilizers and pesticides,” says Liddell.
“It all looks very nice on paper, but it is actually a clever ploy to get access to people's land. Small-scale farmers who sign up for GM deals quickly lose control over seed management, production and eventually their land. This means they lose their food sovereignty,” says Mariam Mayet, director of the African Centre for Biosafety. “GMO marginalizes poor, small-scale farmers. We are in for hard times and need to fight for people's right to land and resources. But we won't give up," says Mayet.
For more information, please visit: http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=43256.
6. Report on ZOPPA’s Strategic and Planning Meeting
| ||From August 18th to 19th, 2008, the Zimbabwe Organic Producers' and Processors' Association (ZOPPA) brought together about 30 of its members to a strategic planning workshop. The meeting was funded by Hivos and aimed to:|
- Bring together key members of ZOPPA to deliberate on the future of the organization in terms of management, governance and identity.
- Clearly define the purpose, mission and objectives of ZOPPA.
- Define and outline the key program areas for the organization and the strategies for implementation.
- Develop a three year strategic plan that resonant with the overall vision and mission of the organization.
IFOAM was officially represented at the meeting by Moses Kiggundu Muwanga, IFOAM world board member and coordinator of the National Organic Agricultural Movement of Uganda (NOGAMU). Moses’ contributions on the experiences of NOGAMU were very inspirational to the participants as they worked out the best way ahead for ZOPPA.
The meeting agreed on the following conclusions:
For more information, please contact Fortunate Nyakanda.
- The revision of ZOPPA’s institutional structure should be pursued.
- ZOPPA should advocate the formulation of a strong government policy to enable Organic Agriculture at all levels development in Zimbabwe.
- ZOPPA should focus on increasing the awareness about Organic Agriculture among farmers and consumers.
- ZOPPA should develop national standards for organic production in Zimbabwe and a simplified certification process for the domestic market.
7. Upcoming Organic Agriculture Related Events
| ||Natural and Organic Products Exhibition|
October 17-19 2008
Cape Town, South Africa
IFOAM members will be granted a reduced stall fee of 10% at the exhibition!
National Organic workshop
October 23-26 2008
For more information, contact Andrianjaka Rajaonarison.
PELUM’s Triennial General Meeting (TGM) and International Diverse Food for Africa Symposium
October 27-30 2008
For more information, please contact Marjorie Chola Chonya.
West African Organic Summit
November 17-21 2008
Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria
For more information, contact Olugbenga O. AdeOluwa, PhD.
Towards Food Security and Sustainable Rural Development in Africa
November 23-27 2008
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
For more information, contact Sue Edwards.
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