INOFO had its first online webinar on Participatory Guarantee System on 28 July 2020.
With this webinar, we aim to inspire organic farmers organizations by sharing how local initiatives strengthen local production, consumption and marketing of organically grown food and products to ensure the health and wellness of the citizens and provide income to farmers through PGS not only during this time of crisis but as a sustainable, reliable and earth-friendly food production system.
For those who could not join us for this Webinar on PGS in Asia and the Pacific along with the PGS initiatives from IFOAM Organics International, please click here for the recording.
Network of Organic Farmers Organisations (INOFO) recently participated at the 7th Global Meeting of the Farmers’
Forum (FAFO 2020) in the International Fund for Agricultural
Development (IFAD) headquarters in Rome. From February 6 to 11, IFOAM – Organics
International’s representatives emphasized the need to increase efforts to
promote organic practices in IFAD’s programs and projects.
FAFO 2020 aimed to strengthen effective partnerships and collaboration between
IFAD and farmer organizations in country programs and investment projects. With
more than 80 farmers’ leaders from around the world gathered at the event, INOFO’s
delegates didn’t miss the chance to advocated for organic.
During the opening session,
Shamika Mone, INOFO President, and member of the FAFO Steering Committee,
highlighted the need to recognize the role of “organic farmers as think tanks
of traditional indigenous knowledge” and support them to mainstream indigenous
seed varieties rather than spending loads of funds in creating genetic modified
crops. Thales Mendonça, INOFO Latin America Convener, asked on the need to
prioritize the inclusion of agroecology/organic practices and youth in the IFAD
programs and projects. Rowena Buena, INOFO Convener for Asia, represented the
voice of organic farmers at the Farmers Forum drafting committee.
Through their activities, the delegation also asked IFAD and the
governments to shift their approaches to strengthening organic farming as
industrialized farming systems using chemical and GMOs are not compatible with a
realistic solution to minimize the effects of the current climate crisis. As a
result, the FAFO 2020 statement urged IFAD and the
Governments of IFAD Member States to strengthen their support to small-scale
food producer’s initiatives based on agroecological, organic and other
sustainable food production systems and practices on lands, waters and forests.
FAFO also called for promoting the use of traditional genetic resources (seeds
and livestock) and recommended the acknowledgement of agroecology, organic, and
other climate-resilient sustainable food production models as key approaches
for both adaptation to and mitigation of climate change.
New Generations and the Future of
INOFO organized a side event on February 10. The “Youth in Agriculture
– An Organic Perspective” forum gave voice to organic farmers’ leaders who proposed
solutions for the permanence, with sovereignty and empowerment, and continuity
of youth in the farms and countryside.
During the event, Thales Mendonça highlighted the responsibility
of new generations to change the agriculture model in the world, “we take the
lead as organic farmers to farm in a holistic way together with all ecosystems
components”, he affirmed. Rowena Buena (MASIPAG, Philippines) encouraged young
farmers as “organic agriculture breaks the chains of continuous dependence to
harmful inputs, indebtedness and low productivity in the long run, young
farmers should realize that to achieve these requires their involvement, energy
and technology know-how”.
Senior organic farmers, as Charles Mubanga
(Mpongwe Bulima Co-op, Zambia), also participated. He underlined the role of
Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) on the future of local markets “PGS are farmer
friendly tools which enable farmers to develop their markets at affordable cost
with the participation of consumers who happen to be their customers”.
In line with the 3rd Strategy Workshop (1st to 5th April 2019) organised by INOFO with support from Andreas Hermes Academy, the Executive Committee plus two Task Force members visited the IFOAM Organics International, Bonn Office, that was awaited for several years. Finally, we had faces to the names we communicated with in the Office. It did help to fasten the communication between the organisations.
On the second day afternoon there were parallel sessions continent wise in the UN Decade of Family Farming launching event. INOFO (Intercontinental Network of Organic Farmers Organisations) was represented in Asia and Africa sessions. INOFO President (2017 -2020) – Ms. Shamika Mone, (OFAI, India) was in the Asia session along with 4 other panelists while Mr. Daniel Wanjama, INOFO Convenor from Kenya representing the SEED Savers Network was in Africa session with 7 other panelists. The rapp up session summaring the all parallel sessions can be found on the following webcasts : http://www.fao.org/webcast/home/en/item/4985/icode/
Some major points we put included: Even if we have majority of family farmers and youth in our continents in the south, majority of hungry also live in Asia Pacific, Africa and LA.
In asia, we had so called successful green revolution in 1960 to 1980s doubling agriculture productivity especially in Rice but has also brought about un-sustainable agrosystems, we have lost our biodiversity like in India 85% of traditional rice seeds, 90% of traditional cattle breeds, it has degraded our soils and ecosystems, made us dependent on chemical fertilisers, inputs, subsidies and trans-national companies and have put us in hands of big traders and companies.
Its high time we understand the importance of traditional knowledge with the family farmers and their skill of keeping and conserving traditional seeds on their farms for generations together. And organic farmers be considered as multiversities of knowledge and not just the benefices receiving information from Govt universities. Gave egs of how Green Revolution and how some acts in India reduced the biodiversity in all facets while efforts of the local community and organic small family farmers and seed keepers have played a pivotal role in maintaining the natural resources around them.
Some of the major issues discussed in the African regional group included seed laws, food sovereignty and their impact on biodiversity. Concerns were raised on lack of access to market by family farmers including the important role women and youth play in family farming.