- News from the Organic Africa Pavilion at BioFach 2008
- The publications “Organic Agriculture and HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa” and “Building Sustainable Organic Sectors” are available in IFOAM bookstore
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: $306 Million Commitment to Agricultural Development
- Pre-UNCTAD XII Event: Making sustainability standards work for small-scale farmers
- Organic Work Camp
- New Book Release: The Impact of Trade Liberalisation on Agriculture in Developing Countries: The Experience of Ghana
- International Seminar on Organic Farming - Principles & Practices For East African Countries in Israel
- Upcoming Organic Agriculture related events
- Not yet a member of IFOAM, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements? Time to join and be proud to be part of it. Affiliate with IFOAM!
1. News from the Organic Africa Pavilion at BioFach 2008
| ||For the first time at BioFach, the largest organic trade fair in the world, African exhibitors were grouped together in an “Organic Africa Pavilion”. Under the theme: “Taste, Smell, See, Feel & Hear”, this fantastic initiative brought more visibility to African exporters and was a great success. At this year’s Africa Pavilion, about 87 exhibitors from 13 African countries were displaying the specialties from the Sub-Saharan countries ranging from fresh and dried fruits, herbs, spices to essential oils. Over 3000 people visited the Pavilion and talked directly to the exhibitors. About 175 African participants joined within the Africa Pavilion to learn about organic produce, to meet and share experience with each other, and to explore marketing opportunities overseas. Cultural performances by well-known African musicians and storytellers rounded the experience off.|
The African countries present at this year’s Africa Pavilion were Burkina Faso, Benin, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
A high-profile International Symposium on Opportunities and Challenges for the future of Organic Agriculture in Africa held on 23rd February attracted more than 70 people. Participants vividly exchanged experiences with the expert speakers, reflecting on the impact of Organic Agriculture on smallholder farmers; what is being done to further promote organic by governments, private sector and development partners; business and trade for development opportunities as well as how organic practices can contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
All the presentations of the symposium are now available at: www.organicafrica2008.com/symposium.htm
2. The publications “Organic Agriculture and HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa” and “Building Sustainable Organic Sectors” are available in IFOAM bookstore
| ||Both reports were commissioned by IFOAM.|
Organic Agriculture and HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa
This report provides a deeper understanding and brings fresh perspectives and clarity on the role of Organic Agriculture and its relation to sound nutrition and food security, particularly in mitigating the impacts of poor people living with HIV and AIDS in SSA. It also informs and provides recommendations to governments, international organizations and donors on the contribution of organic farming techniques, food and nutrition when placing health and agro-biodiversity as main objectives.
The report is authored by Julia Wright from the Henry Doubleday Research Association, England.
The printed copy of this publication costs 9 euros, the CD-Rom - 7 euros and the download version - 5 euros.
Building Sustainable Organic Sectors
In various countries and regions where the Organic Agriculture sector is emerging, governments as well as organizations and institutions are looking for competent advice on how to develop the sector. This information package gives guidance for appropriate development options for the emerging organic sectors, with a focus on developing countries. It includes recommendations on possible options for governments, the private sector, development agencies, and consultancies on how to achieve sustainable development of the sector. The recommendations are to a great extent the result of ten analytical cases studies, reflecting experiences from various countries. As a second element, the information package presents guidelines for the whole process of developing the emerging organic sector.
The report is authored by Inger Källander and Gunnar Rundgren from Grolink, Schweden.
The printed copy of this publication costs 12 euros, the CD-Rom - 8 euros and the download version - 8 euros.
Both publications may be ordered via the IFOAM web shop at: http://shop.ifoam.org/bookstore/.
3. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: $306 Million Commitment to Agricultural Development
| ||In January 2008, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Bill Gates, announced a $306 million package of agricultural development grants designed to boost the yields and incomes of millions of small farmers in Africa. The aim is to provide the rural poor with better seeds, healthier soil and access to new markets for their crops.|
The foundation’s largest grant - $164.5 million – will go to Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to establish a Soil Health Program that will complement its existing Seeds Program and help small-scale farmers make full use of new high-yielding varieties of Africa's staple food crops. The $164.5 million are in addition to the initial $150 million investment from the Gates and Rockefeller foundations for the establishment of AGRA in 2006.
The other five grants - $141.5 million in total - will go to CARE, Heifer International, International Development Enterprises, International Rice Research Institute, and TechnoServe.
For more information, visit: www.gatesfoundation.org/GlobalDevelopment/Announcements/Announce-070125.htm
Many African representatives and others have already expressed their worry that the AGRA initiative would include a large-scale application of a technological package comprising new seed varieties, often including genetically modified seeds, industrial farm inputs and massive agricultural infrastructure. This package might benefit the multinational agro-chemical corporations and destroy Africa’s genetic agro-biodiversity at the expense of the environment and small farmers which the program is claiming to target.
For further reading:
“Ten Reasons Why the Rockefeller and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations’ Alliance for Another Green Revolution Will Not Solve the Problems of Poverty and Hunger in Sub-Saharan Africa” www.foodfirst.org/files/pdf/policybriefs/pb12.pdf
“Unmasking the new green revolution in Africa, Motives, Players and Dynamics”
This book was published by the Third World Network (TWN), Church Development Service (EED) and African Centre for Biosafety and can be ordered at: www.twnside.org.sg
4. Pre-UNCTAD XII Event: Making sustainability standards work for small-scale farmers
| ||From 7-9 April, 2008, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is organizing in partnership with IFOAM, UNEP, FAO, ITC, IISD, BOKU, IIED, TOAM, ISEAL, EPOPA with the financial support of the Governments of Austria, Norway and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) a Pre-UNCTAD XII Event on "Making sustainability standards work for small-scale farmers" in Arusha, Tanzania. |
The meeting will aim to:
- Identify the impact of the spread of sustainability standards on smallholder farmers in developing countries, particularly in Africa.
- Map effective strategies to minimize the costs and maximize the benefits of this persistent and important global trend for smallholders.
- Identify real economic, social and environmental win-win-win opportunities and related supportive policies and supportive/flanking measures.
The Conference will provide a platform for dialogue between experts from the public and private sector in Africa as well as selected international resource persons. Moreover, as this is a pre-event to the large UNCTAD XII Conference (20-25 April 2008 in Accra, Ghana), key messages from the meeting will be transmitted to UNCTAD XII.
Participation in the meeting is subject to invitation by the organizing committee.
More information will soon be available on UNCTAD website at: www.unctad.org/trade_env/meeting.asp?MeetingID=233
5. Organic Work Camp
| ||From July 7-28 and August 4-25, 2008, IFOAM Members CFAPE-Togo and CGPA-Kloto are organizing an organic work camp in Kpalimé, 120 kilometers from the capital Lomé. The camp will focus on information and experience exchanges on organic farming, sustainable development and the protection of the environment.|
For more information, please contact:
Simon Anoumou Todzro
Centre de Formation Agricole et de Production Ecologique du Togo
BP 222 Kpalimé – Togo
Phone: +228 9294024
For CGPA – Kloto
Pierre Awlui Kafou-Owossayo
Collectif des Groupements pour les Produits Agricoles du Kloto
Phone: +228 925 11 67
E mail: email@example.com
Contact in Germany
79106 Freiburg Ibr.
Phone: +49 76138337304
Contact in the Netherlands
Helma Ineke Schenkeveld
6. New Book Release: The Impact of Trade Liberalisation on Agriculture in Developing Countries: The Experience of Ghana
| ||The Third World Network has recently published a new book titled: “The Impact of Trade Liberalisation on Agriculture in Developing Countries: The Experience of Ghana”.|
For more information, visit: www.twnside.org.sg/title2/books/Ghanarevised.htm
7. International Seminar on Organic Farming - Principles & Practices For East African Countries in Israel
| ||From September 9-24, 2008, Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Center for International Cooperation (MASHAV) and the Centre for International Agricultural Development Cooperation (CINADCO) organize an International Seminar on Organic Farming - Principles & Practices For East African Countries.|
The seminar aims to identify problems pertinent to organic farming that are of common interest to the participating countries, as well as to review modern methods for solving these problems on the basis of an exchange of accumulated knowledge and experience in the field of Organic Agriculture.
The seminar is designed for professionals from public institutions, private companies and non-governmental organizations from East, West and Central Africa that are involved in organic farming.
Application forms and other information can be obtained at the nearest Israeli Embassy and at Israel’s Foreign Ministry web site: http://mashav.mfa.gov.il (in Contact Us - Information and Registration).
8. Upcoming Organic Agriculture related events
| ||Pre-UNCTAD XII Event: Making sustainability standards work for small-scale farmers|
7-9 April 2008
Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania
Participation in the meeting is subject to invitation by the organizing committee.
The 16th IFOAM Organic World Congress: Cultivate the Future
June 18-20 2008
Food Sovereignty Indaba
June 20-21 2008
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
For more information, contact Monique Salomon at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
IFOAM General Assembly
June 22-24 2008
Organic Work Camp
July 7-28 and August 4-25 2008
Contact information is listed in section 4 above.
Organic Agriculture Development Training Program
July 25th to August 10th 2008, in Sweden, and
January 22nd to February 4th 2009, in Uganda
International Seminar on Organic Farming - Principles & Practices For East African Countries
September 9-24, 2008
CINADCO’s International Training Centre at Kibbutz Hotel Shefayim, Israel
For more information, contact the nearest Israeli Embassy or visit the Israel’s Foreign Ministry web site at: http://mashav.mfa.gov.il (in Contact Us - Information and Registration).
9. Not yet a member of IFOAM, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements? Time to join and be proud to be part of it. Affiliate with IFOAM!
| ||IFOAM needs your help to defend the Principles of Organic Agriculture! Joining IFOAM is easy and an important move for any organization involved in Organic Agriculture. Whether you are a processor, producer, buyer, trader, consultant, retailer, researcher, certifier or are otherwise involved in the organic movement, it's in your best interests to be a part of the solution by joining IFOAM to add your voice to the growing number of organizations worldwide who are shaping the future of the organic movement. Transform your passion for Organic Agriculture into meaningful action and join IFOAM today. Your membership is just a click away: www.ifoam.org/about_ifoam/membership/index.html - or contact our Membership Department, e-mail: email@example.com.|
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International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) e.V.
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Executive Board: Gerald A. Herrmann, Alberto Lernoud, Mette Meldgaard