The 3rd African organic conference (3AOC) was held in Lagos, Nigeria during 5 – 9 October, 2015, with 220 participants from 28 countries.

Acknowledging contributions to organic agriculture

Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Lagos, Nigeria was the venue for the 3AOC, which had the overarching theme “Achieving Social and Economic Development through Ecological and Organic Agricultural Alternatives”. The participants, totally 220 from 28 countries,  comprised governmental officials, international research organisations, farmers’ groups, NGOs, national organic agriculture movements,  women groups, youth movements and students. 

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Participants in the 3rd African Organic Conference, Lagos, Nigeria October 2015.

 

The high point of the Conference was the recognition of thirteen Organic Champions from seven different countries of the world for their outstanding contributions towards the development of organic agriculture in the world as whole and Africa in particular. The list of Champions included two past Presidents of Nigeria (Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and General Abdulsalam Abubakar).

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Champions displaying certificates of recognition for contributions towards development of organic agriculture.

 

The organization of the Conference was chaired by the African Union Commission (AUC). Active support was also acknowledged from IFOAM, FAO, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), African Organic Network (AfoNet), FiBL, Swiss agency for Development (SDC) and others.  

ISOFAR Activities

The International Society for Organic Agriculture Research participated actively at the 3AOC. ISOFAR Board was well represented by President Gerold Rahmann and board member Victor Olowe. Gerold  Rahmann was invited as keynote speaker on the topic “Ecological Organic Agriculture Knowledge, Information and Experiences”

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Gerold Rahmann gave a keynote presentation on“Ecological Organic Agriculture Knowledge, Information and Experiences”.

 

While rounding up his presentation, the President of ISOFAR seized the opportunity to announce the next World Organic Congress scheduled to hold in India in 2017

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The next World Organic Congress, with ISOFAR scientific contributions, will be in India in 2017, as presented by Gerold Rahmann.

 

ISOFAR was able to attract a total of 31 new members during the event. 23 came from Nigeria, 4 from Ethiopia and one from each of the countries Ghana, Mali, Benin, Kenya and Uganda. Eight of the new members were students. In total, 38 regular ISOFAR members and eight students participated in the conference. The ISOFAR booth was manned by Profs. Victor Olowe and Nkiru Meludu, and the place became a bee hive of activities throughout the Conference because many of the participants wanted to know more about ISOFAR. Promotional items such as Proceedings of the 4th Organic World Congress in Istanbul 2014, the ISOFAR Organic 3.0 Scientific Symposium, Goesan, Korea 2015, and ISOFAR flyers were displayed and distributed.

Organic livestock in focus

The Scientific Track Proceedings of the 3AOC featured 49 scientific papers, distributed on the topics agronomy – 21, socio-economics – 13, livestock production – 5, crop protection – 4, seed technology – 2, applied science – 1 and aquaculture – 1. There were also four posters. The spread of papers underlined the need to expand the scope of organic agriculture beyond the use of manure, compost or organic fertilizers into other aspects such as organic livestock and aquaculture within the continent of Africa. ISOFAR is proposing to publish a special issue of Organic Agriculture Journal with emphasis on use of organic soil amendments in organic crop production. About 10 – 12 papers will be selected and authors will be contacted to upgrade their manuscripts before they are subjected to the peer review process of the Journal. The aim is to publish these papers as issue 3 in September 2016.

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The audience at the 3AOC.


Acknowledgments

The significant contributions of ISOFAR to the successful organization of the 3AOC was publicly acknowledged by the Chair of the Organising Committee, Prof. Dr. John Omueti when he introduced Prof. Dr. Gerold Rahmann as the President of ISOFAR. The contribution of the International Centre for Research in Organic Food Systems (ICROFS), Denmark in facilitating the submission of papers through the platform of Organic E-prints (www.orgprints.org)  is also highly appreciated. The organizers are grateful for ISOFAR funding of printed conference proceedings, roll up banner and hiring of the booth.