||Posted: May 04 2007,15:01
The following report comes to us via The Good News Agency which is available on the Internet at http://www.goodnewsagency.org.
Meeting the food security challenge through organic agriculture.
States should integrate organic agriculture objectives within national priorities, FAO says.
Rome, 3 May – “Organic agriculture is no longer a phenomenon in developed countries only, as it is commercially practiced in 120 countries, representing 31 million hectares and a market of US$ 40 billion in 2006,” FAO underlines in a paper Organic Agriculture and Food Security presented here at an International Conference on Organic Agriculture and Food Security (3-5 May 2007).
The paper identifies the strengths and weaknesses of organic agriculture with regards to its contribution to food security. analyzes attributes of organic supply chains against the Right to Food framework and proposes policy and research actions for improving the performance of organic agriculture at the national, international and institutional levels.
“The strongest feature of organic agriculture is its reliance on fossil-fuel independent and locally-available production assets. working with natural processes increases cost-effectiveness and resilience of agro-ecosystems to climatic stress,” the paper says.
“By managing biodiversity in time (rotations) and space (mixed cropping), organic farmers use their labour and environmental services to intensify production in a sustainable way. Organic agriculture also breaks the vicious circle of indebtedness for agricultural inputs which causes an alarming rate of farmers’ suicides.”
The paper recognizes that “most certified organic food production in developing countries goes to export” and adds that “when certified cash crops are linked with agro-ecological improvements and accrued income for poor farmers, this leads to improved food self-reliance and revitalization of small holder agriculture.” (…) Organic Agriculture website: http://www.fao.org/organicag/
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