November 16, 2009
Organic farmers from around the globe observe the World Food Security Summit
World leaders and global agribusiness once again call for increased investment in agriculture at the World Summit on Food Security in Rome. In fact, investments in agriculture are four times more efficient in fighting poverty and hunger than in any other sector. “However, investments in Organic Agriculture are five to eight times more efficient”, says Markus Arbenz, Executive Director of IFOAM, the world’s umbrella organization of the organic movement. “And,” he adds, “these days we can’t afford climate damaging strategies any more.” James Benjamin Cole, an organic farmer from Ghana, who has traveled all the way to Rome to showcase his experience, is shocked about the priority given to industrial agriculture: “This pushes many smallholders out of their livelihoods and makes them even poorer and hungrier. Genetically engineered seeds, chemical herbicides and fertilizers will push my colleagues further into debt. These inputs will increase our vulnerability, further degrade our soils and eco-systems and suck much needed money from our local economies.”
Putting the last first
IFOAM calls for a paradigm shift in world food security policies based on the needs of rural communities.Organic Agriculture places the needs of local people at the centre of the farming system. Locally adapted technologies create employment opportunities and income. Organic Agriculture increases harvests through practices that favor the optimization of biological processes and local resources over expensive toxic agro-chemicals. Organic Agricultural practices bring land degraded by unsustainable farming practices, severe drought and soil erosion back into production. Given its affordability and reliance on local and renewable inputs Organic Agriculture is readily adoptable by the world’s 400 million small (less than 2 ha in size) and relatively poor farms. These small farms are the key to local food security throughout the developing world. Organic Agriculture can transform these farms like no other farming system towards greater productivity for the poor by increasing soil fertility and stability, optimizing water use, diversifying crops and building resilience to climate change.
For more information call Markus Arbenz, IFOAM Executive Director:
+49 160 804 15 57
|© IFOAM - International Federation of Organic Agriculture|