"The Organic Center" is partnering with the "USDA", "FiBL", "ISOFAR", and "The Climate Collaborative" for their annual Organic Confluences Conference on September 11, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. This year’s conference will focus on how organic can both adapt to our changing climate and be a force for climate change mitigation.  

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The conference intends to answer the following question: How can research contribute to bridge the current gap between Africa and Europe, with respect to organic agriculture?

 

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Even optimistic assumptions about population growth, agricultural productivity and potentially available cropland, produce a grim image for the future food security and sovereignty, in particular for sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. The challenge is to have enough, healthy and affordable food for everyone in 2100. Since the current methods of organic agriculture will not suffice to produce enough food in countries like Nigeria in 2100, it is necessary to find new solutions. 

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The conference intends to answer the following question: How can research contribute to bridge the current gap between Africa and Europe, with respect to organic agriculture?

 

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FLYER EU-NACOA2019-VF Side 1

 

 

Organic farming systems and food production are crucial for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. FAO recently declared that organic farming can enhance food security, rural development, sustainable livelihoods and environmental integrity by building capacities of stakeholders in organic production, processing, certification and marketing worldwide. As African Organic Agriculture (OA) is concerned, it’s is gaining success through the Ecological and OA Initiative (EOA-I), but stakeholders and decision makers along with scientists should provide more support to develop OA in Africa. In the other side of the Mediterranean, EU regulation has been revised and yet to be implemented in 2021, what will affect the import of organic products from third parties mainly from African countries.

 

Many research and development institutes and scientists in Africa are developing innovative techniques for more productive organic systems. These efforts need to be embedded in an international research context. A further challenge is how to reduce the gap between smallholder farms and industrialized organic export farms.

 

The objectives of the conference are:

  • Merge a critical mass of scientific capacity and skills from Europe and Africa, to deliver sustainable solutions by working at practical and theoretical level;
  • Bring together high profiled scientists from both continents to discuss issues about organic inputs, innovation, organic research funding, ethics and address recommendations to relevant certification and regulation bodies;
  • address and confront African potentials to expand traditional organic agriculture in terms of genetic, agro-climatic and sociocultural diversity;
  • Strengthen the "Organic Alternatives for Africa" initiative and to facilitate the integration of OA into strategic policies and the agricultural development program
  • Discuss how OA in Africa can be further developed as a sustainable and reliable model to ensure food safety for all, in the framework of the AAA Initiative following the COP22 recommendations (Marrakech, Morocco 2016).

 

The conference website will be launched in few days.

 

Abstracts to be sent to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

 

Relevant links

http://www.agriculture.gov.ma/en/pages/strategy

http://www.aaainitiative.org/

 

 


Author information

Azim Khalid

Researcher in Organic Horticulture and Composting Optimization

INRA-Agadir

Morocco

Even optimistic assumptions about population growth, agricultural productivity and potentially available cropland, produce a grim image for the future food security and sovereignty, in particular for sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. The challenge is to have enough, healthy and affordable food for everyone in 2100. Since the current methods of organic agriculture will not suffice to produce enough food in countries like Nigeria in 2100, it is necessary to find new solutions.

ISOFAR LandLessFood concept

From the 14th to 16th of November 2019, a joint workshop by  Thunen Institute and ISOFAR will be held in Marrakesh, to develop and discuss a concept for a circular agricultural system in which landless and land-based, organic food production are combined. Besides typical organic topics, like which plant and animal systems are best suited to provide enough healthy food and to protect soils and climate in the future, it will be discussed which landless production systems are best suited for effective nutrient circulation within the whole food system. This includes mushroom cultivation (especially for the recycling of plant-based agricultural residues and animal manure), biogas reactirs (for the recycling of sewage, manure and municipal waste streams) and photobioreactors (for further recycling of waste water and spatially efficient biomass production to alleviate the pressure on soil). The graphic below summarizes the basic concept that will be discussed at the workshop.

The results of the workshop will be summarized in a cumulative publication after the workshop. The goal of the workshop is not only to produce a viable theoretical concept but also to initiate research projects that will help us feed the world in 2100.


Author information

Daniel Grimm (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Junior researcher at the Thuenen Institute of Organic Farming and administrative assistant for ISOFAR.

The first call for contribution for the Organic World Congress 2020 is now open: https://owc.ifoam.bio/2020/conference-fora

 

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