Science Day 2017 at BIOFACH

  • 24th February 2017
  • by secretary

15 -18 February 2017. Nuremberg. Biofach 2017.  

Organic food and farming systems have great potential to meet global challenges – such as population growth, climate change, environmental pollution and deterioration of natural resources – while being economically attractive to farmers. However, organic food and farming Systems remain a niche category with less than one percent of the global farmland certified, and only a small share of

the global population consuming organic produce. 

Sourcing from Central and Eastern Europe – risks and benefits
15 February. This session presented and discussesed the latest developments, trends and the potentials of the Organic Sector within the CEE. General and in-depth information is shared at the level of specific countries – Hungary, the Ukraine, Slovakia, Czech Republic.

  • Prof. Dr. Urs Niggli, Director, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Switzerland
  • Dr. Dóra Drexler, Ungarisches Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau (ÖMKI), Hungary
  • Dr. Toralf Richter, Berater Naturkostfachhandel, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Switzerland
  • Magdalena Lacko-Bartosova, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Slowakia
  • Jan Gallas, Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republik
17 February. Research institutes and scientists in low- and middle-income countries working on novel knowledge and techniques of organic systems face challenges. The ability of organic agriculture to address international development is not being given the access needed to the funding, facilities, and other resources to live up to its full potential as a solution to rural development. Furthermore, within OFFS there is a widening economic disparity between smallholder/family farms and industrialised production that threatens to undermine that potential.

Financing Organic Agriculture in Africa: Mapping the Issues, 10 pages
“Research grants are perceived as one the least available 
funding instruments to support OA development.”

17 February 2017. Nuremberg, Germany. Building on the vision and strategic action plan of TIPI
(the Technology Innovation Platform of IFOAM – Organics International), a workshop identified the research gaps in organic food and farming systems in the context of international cooperation. The Science Day was organized by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL in collaboration with IFOAM EU.

  • Hans-Jörg Lutzeyer, European Commission, DG Research & Innovation
  • Annette Schneegans, European Commission, DG Agriculture and Rural Development
Building on the vision and strategic action plan of TIPI (the Technology Innovation Platform of IFOAM – Organics International), the science day identified the research gaps in organic food and farming Systems in the context of international cooperation, which will contribute to the development of a strategic research agenda for organic food and farming systems.

  • Which thematic fields should be prioritized in different regions (continents) to collect evidence about the benefits and needs for improvement of organic food and farming Systems (100 questions to be addressed by novel organic food and farming systems)?
  • Who should set these research priorities, and how (i.e., how much should research priorities and innovations be farmer-, policy-, market- or funder-driven)?
  • How can the organic community and its constituents effectively advocate for organic food and farming Systems research?
15 February 2017. Launch of the 2017 edition of
“The World of Organic Agriculture”
Statistics and Emerging Trends 2017.
Helga Willer and Julia Lernoud (Eds.)
Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Frick and IFOAM – Organics International, Bonn

The study (336 pages) contains reports, authored by experts, on the organic sector and emerging trends in all regions and selected countries. The statistics are supported with graphs and tables. In addition, background information on issues such as standards and legislation is provided. New additions to this edition are an article on organic cotton from the Textile Exchange and a chapter reviewing the organic and Fairtrade markets.

Extract: Latest Developments in Organic agriculture in Africa (Jordan Gama) (pages 161-174)

  • The African Organic Network (AfrONet) 
  • Strategic Plan (2015-2025) for the Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative (EOAI) for Africa 
  • New UNCTAD study “Financing Organic Agriculture in Africa: Mapping the Issues” 
  • Outlook 
The African organic network

AFRONET has been endorsed to be the continental alliance of Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) stakeholders in Africa. The meeting that endorsed was held on 1st May 2012 and attended by 42 partners across Africa. Represented by NOAM, PELUMs, PROPAC, IFOAM and Associations/Institutions from Africa and partners.

In 2008 national organic agriculture movements (NOAMs) in Eastern and Southern Africa met in Nairobi where the idea for an African Organic Agriculture Network imaged and resolution to work towards its being a reality was passed. This resolution was shared with other like-minded actors in West Africa during the Nigerian Organic Summit 2008 and it was approved at the 1st African Organic Conference in Kampala in 2009.

Further discussion was held at Biofach 2010 and the IFOAM/UNEP conference in Nairobi, 2011. Need for strategic Alliance of EOA actors in Africa are felt as a network for Organic Agriculture Research in Africa was launched during the organic conference in Kampala.

The Cotton made in Africa initiative has set itself the goal since 2005 to sustainably improve the living conditions of cotton farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa.

  • African smallholders learn about efficient and environmentally friendly cultivation methods through agricultural training provided by our experts. 
  • At the same time, an international alliance of textile companies is established which purchase the Cotton made in Africa raw material and pay a licensing fee to use the seal. 
  • The proceeds from licensing fees, in following with the workings of a social business, are reinvested in the project regions of Sub-Saharan Africa.