#Farmers To Paris | Meet the Farmers accompanying us to the Cop21 Climate Conference!
#FarmersToParis - The organic farmers accompanying us to COP21 Climate Conference have been delegated by INOFO, the Intercontinental Network of Organic Farmers Organisations. INOFO is an autonomous self-organized structure within IFOAM - Organics International. It is the minimal infrastructure that belongs specifically to organic farmers’ organizations that can facilitate a relationship allowing them to consult, cooperate and, eventually, speak with a legitimate common voice on matters of common concern. The Network is currently undergoing capacity building, with help from IFAD & IFOAM - Organics international. You can learn more here.
Julie Matovu, Uganda
Julie is a practioner and advocate for organic smallholder farmers in Uganda and also in the East African Region in her capacity as the East African Convenor at INOFO - The Intercontinental Network for Organic Farmer Organizations. She is the Marketing Coordinator with Freshveggies, a local PGS initiative Wakiso, Uganda. The Freshveggies PGS is a loose network of organic smallholder farmers mostly women in the peri-urban districts surrounding Kampala, Uganda. The initiative aims to ensure sustainable agricultural production among smallholder farmers for increased household incomes as well as providing safe and healthy food to local consumers of organic products. It is a local market innovation that brings farmers together to generate a unified pool of resources for knowledge exchange and improved skills in organic agriculture as a means of linking them to markets for sustainable products. Commenting on her work she says “Helping fellow farmers earn the value of their hard work makes my day.”
Sylviane Chevaux, New Caledonia
Sylviane is involved in bee-keeping (also Apitherapy), varied fruit growing (with jam making), and Vanilla. All certified BioPasifika. She has participated in BioCalédonia (PGS) since it’s creation in 2009, first as assistant treasurer and now as vice-president. Awareness of organic farming has increased substantially in New Caledonia and it is now supported by the authorities and also recognised and respected by the public. Regarding her participation in the COP21 Climate Conference she says “I am aware of the importance of representing with humility the land that welcomed me, and Poetcom, which mobilises the organic movement in the South Pacific."
Gustavo Francisco Cornejo Soms, Chile
Gustavo is an Organic grower and active member of the Chilean Family Farmers Associations and was co founder of all Organic Farming Organizations in Chile. Currently, he is President of the Technical and ethical committee of Tierra Viva AG the Pioneer Organic Farming Cooperative in Chile since 1992. In terms of expecations from the climate talks in Paris he says “I expect the COP21 Climate Conference to help create a truly sustainable connection between the Chilean Agriculture Department and small farmer organizations. We need to create awareness amongst government agricultural officers of the importance of being part of climate change solutions e.g. it would to create attractive diversified areas as a source of alternative food and most importantly create harmony between families, farming, landscape, and the environment.”
María Eugenia Fraga González, Argentina
Maria is an agricultural engineer. She started working in organic farming, mostly in crops, and has also worked as an organic certifier and is a university Professor. She is part of the MAPO (Argentine Movement for Organic Production), the most important non-governmental organic organization Argentina whose fundamental objectives include the promotion of organic production and dissemination and demonstration of the benefits of the organic production system and organic food. On hopes for the conference outcomes she says “Our expectation for COP21 is to contribute solutions to climate change and to disseminate the positive aspects of organic production on this issue. Organic production mitigates the effects of climate change and flooding, does not pollute, helps solve social problems and feeds the world with healthy products.”
Goodson Kalolo, Zambia
Goodson has been an organic farmer since 2000 in the Chongwe district of Lusaka Province of Zambia. He is the Chairperson of Chongwe Organic Producers and Processors Association (CHOPPA) and a trustee of OPPAZ. He grows an assortment of crops and has livestock (pigs, chickens) on 5ha land. Commenting on expected results he says “The Zambian farmers and organic farming community expects the COP21 Climate Conference to come up with resolutions that adequately promote ecological farming in the light of low water availability for farming and power generation, erratic distribution and commencement of rain seasons and high ambient temperatures. Furthermore, we expect the international community will resolve to allocate adequate resources to support the above.”