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Organic Agriculture and Food Security

Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved.

Food security has been defined by the World Health Organization as "when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life."

Organic Agriculture and Pesticides

Pesticides are the only toxic substances released intentionally into our environment to kill living things. This includes substances that kill weeds (herbicides), insects (insecticides), fungus (fungicides), rodents
(rodenticides), and others. 

The use of toxic pesticides to manage pest problems has become a common practice around the world. Pesticides are used almost everywhere - not only in agricultural fields, but also in homes, parks, schools, buildings, forests, and roads, although they have a severe impact on our health as well as on our environment.

Fulfilling the Organic Vision

IFOAM - Organics International strengthens the organic movement from the grass roots up. Learn how we showcase the potential of Organic Agriculture to nourish the world, preserve biodiversity and fight climate change - to goverments, international associations and the United Nations. 

The Myths of Safe Pesticides leaflet

The Myths of Safe Pesticides leaflet outlines the serious deficiencies in the regulation of toxic chemicals used in our food supply. The leaflet summarizes the book by André Leu, President of IFOAM - Organics International, which explains why organic practices are the most viable farming methods for the 21st Century.

Organic Agriculture and Pesticides

The real solution to our pest and weed problems lies in non-toxic, ecological methods of agriculture, not in pulling the pesticide trigger. In organic systems, farms are managed to maintain and build soil fertility, improving the overall health of microbes, plants and animals as one ecosystem. 

Organic 3.0 Landmark

Organic 1.0 was started by our numerous pioneers, who observed the problems with the direction that agriculture was taking at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century and saw the need for a radical change.

Organic 2.0 started in the 1970s when the writings and agricultural systems developed by our pioneers were codified into standards and then later into legally-mandated regulatory systems.

Organic 3.0 is about bringing organic out of its current niche into the mainstream and positioning organic systems as part of the multiple solutions needed to solve the tremendous challenges faced by our planet and our species.

The Organic Business Guide

Sales of organic products are steadily increasing, and so is organic production in low and middle income countries. For good reason: for farmers it is an opportunity to increase their income and manage their land in a more sustainable way. Getting the produce from the field to the market requires a certain level of organization, management and finance; a well-functioning organic business. Whether set up in the form of a producer cooperative or a private company, the organic business needs to be efficient, well structured and profitable.

This guide is written for those who are actively engaged in setting up or managing organic businesses with groups of smallholders. It provides practical know-how and essential information for planning, managing and expanding such a business.

Covering topics from designing production and internal control systems to business planning and marketing, it attempts to be a comprehensive reference book for organic entrepreneurs, cooperatives and facilitators. The guide was developed in a participatory process involving people who are active and experienced in managing or supporting organic businesses in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. It draws on a wide range of practical examples and provides links to useful resources available on the internet.

Le Guide de l'Entreprise Biologique

Les ventes de produits biologiques, de même que la production biologique dans les pays à faibles et moyens revenus, sont en augmentation constante. L’explication en est simple : cela permet aux petits exploitants d’augmenter leurs revenus tout en gérant leur terre d’une façon plus durable, mais aussi d’accéder à des marchés locaux et internationaux prometteurs et d’améliorer leurs revenus.

Nombreux sont les exemples montrant de quelle façon ce potentiel peut se transformer en un secteur sain dont toutes les parties prenantes tirent profit. Il existe cependant également des expériences moins réussies qui ne sont pas parvenues à décrocher – et conserver - un marché. Parmi elles, le cas de certaines qui se sont battus longtemps pour parvenir à assurer leur indépendance sans aide extérieure. L’objectif principal de ce guide est d’augmenter le taux de réussite des initiatives d’exploitations biologiques dans les pays à faibles et moyens revenus.

Ce guide est destiné à aider tous ceux qui sont activement engagés dans le lancement et le développement d’entreprises biologiques avec des petits exploitants afin qu’ils se perfectionnent et qu’ils obtiennent de meilleurs résultats. Ils doivent savoir dans quelle direction ils s’engagent, être bien préparés et capables de garder une vue d’ensemble de la situation une fois qu’ils ont lancé le projet. Nous employons délibérément ce terme ‘entreprise biologique’ car nous croyons fermement que les initiatives dans le domaine de la production biologique, même si elles s’attachent à améliorer les moyens d’existence des petits exploitants, ne peuvent se développer et survivre que si elles sont économiquement viables. Vous trouverez donc dans ce guide des éléments pratiques de savoir-faire et les informations essentielles dont vous aurez besoin afin de mettre en place, gérer et développer votre activité dans le domaine biologique.

LA GUÍA DE NEGOCIOS ORGÁNICOS

La venta de productos orgánicos va creciendo a velocidad constante y se está incrementando además la producción orgánica en los países de bajos y medianos ingresos. Existen buenas razones para que los agricultores vean esto como una oportunidad para aumentar sus ingresos y administrar sus tierras de una manera más sostenible. Les permite el acceso a prometedores mercados locales e internacionales y obtener así mejores ingresos.

Hay muchos ejemplos exitosos de cómo este potencial puede convertirse en un negocio en el que todos los interesados se benefician. Sin embargo, hay también casos menos exitosos donde fue difícil aprovechar y mantenerse en el mercado, algunos pequeños agricultores luchan por largo tiempo para independizarse de la ayuda externa. El principal objetivo de esta guía es aumentar las probabilidades de éxito entre las iniciativas de agricultura orgánica en los países de bajos y medianos ingresos.

Esta guía ayudará a quienes participen activamente en el establecimiento o gestión de una empresa de pequeños productores orgánicos, a mejorar su trabajo y ser más exitosos. Estas personas sabrán perfectamente en qué se están comprometiendo, estarán bien preparadas y serán capaces de mantener una visión general apropiada una vez involucradas en una empresa orgánica. Nosotros utilizamos deliberadamente el término “negocio orgánico”, ya que creemos firmemente que las iniciativas de producción orgánica, aun cuando se centran en la mejora de la calidad de vida de los pequeños agricultores, sólo puede crecer y sobrevivir si son económicamente viables.

 

MANUEL DE FORMATION DE L’IFOAM SUR L'AGRICULTURE BIOLOGIQUE DANS LES PAYS TROPICAUX

Le manuel de formation a été développé avec l’objectif d’améliorer la qualité et la disponibilité des ressources didactiques traitant de l’agriculture biologique dans les pays tropicaux. Il propose une base de ressources aux formateurs, avec l’objectif d’encourager les adaptations et les l’ajout de compléments individuels selon les besoins. Le manuel de formation peut être utilisé comme guide et ouvrage de référence pour la conception des programmes de formation. Il facilite l’élaboration de la structure d’un cours de formation ou d’un atelier et fournit des matériaux et des idées pour l’organisation de telles formations. Le manuel peut également servir de manuel pratique pour les personnes désirant obtenir une idée plus claire et complète des bases de l’agriculture biologique

Le manuel de formation est conçu comme un outil évolutif, modifiable et adaptable par ses utilisateurs

Le manuel comprend les chapitres suivants:

Introduction
Principes de l’agriculture biologique
Fertilité du sol
Nutrition de la plante
La lutte contre les ravageurs, les maladies et les mauvaises herbes
L’élevage
Economie de la ferme
Annexes

Guía para el desarrollo de documentos de certificación

This guide has been written primarily to assist the establishment of organic certification bodies in regions of the world where organic certification is absent or at an early stage of development. Its focus is to guide a new certification body as it deals with issues related to the establishment of a Quality Management System and documentation. It should be seen as complementary to the IFOAM publication, Building Trust in Organics, published in 1998, which dealt with issues that certification bodies face when setting up an organic certification program.

The original concept for this project was simply to compile a dossier of Sample Documents which would serve as templates to be used in new certification programs. However, it was decided not to do this because there are so many variables when setting up a unique Quality Management System documentation. Templates encourage a misguided ‘off the shelf’ mentality which is unlikely to lead to an effective implementation of a Quality Management System. There are many ways to develop policies, procedures and Work Instructions. These may differ not only in content, but also in the format and the language used. Documents should be the thoughts of the people involved in an organization, that have been discussed, agreed and committed to paper. These choices make up the definition and identity of an organization. Nevertheless, some sample documents have been included in the last section of this publication as an indication of how such documents may look. These should be seen as examples only and not as templates.

 

IFOAM TRAINING MANUAL FOR ORGANIC AGRICULTURE IN THE TROPICS

The Training Manual was developed to improve the quality and the availability of didactic material on organic agriculture in tropical countries. It offers a resource basis for trainers with the idea of encouraging individual adaptation and further development of the material according to the needs. The Training Manual can be used as a guide and source book to implement training programmes. It will help develop the structure of a training course or workshop and provide material and ideas for its organisation. The Manual can also serve as a handbook for those who want to get a more clear and complete idea on the basics of organic farming.

The Training Manual shall be a living document, modified and further developed by those who use it.

Includes the chapters:

Introduction
Principles of Organic Agriculture
Soil Fertility
Plant Nutrition
Pest, Disease and Weed Management
Animal Husbandry
Farm Economy
Annex
 

IFOAM MANUAL DE CAPACITACIÓN EN AGRICULTURA ORGÁNICA PARA LOS TRÓPICOS

El Manual de Capacitación tiene por objetivo mejorar la calidad y disponibilidad de materiales didácticos sobre Agricultura Orgánica en los países tropicales. El Manual ofrece una fuente de información básica para formadores y capacitadotes, con la idea de promover su adaptación y desarrollo a las distintas condiciones locales, según las distintas necesidades locales. Puede ser usado como guía y fuente de información para la implementación de programas de capacitación. Ayudando a desarrollar la estructura de los cursos o talleres y ofreciendo materiales e ideas para su organización
El Manual de Capacitación debe ser un documento en constante evolución, modificado y desarrollado por aquellas personas que lo usan.
Incluye los capítulos:

Introducción
Principios de la agricultura orgánica
La fertilidad del suelo
Nutrición de Plantas
Manejo de Plagas, Enfermedades y Malezas
Crianza de Animales
Economía de la Finca
Anexos
 

IFOAM TRAINING MANUAL FOR ORGANIC AGRICULTURE IN THE TROPICS CH

IFOAM 热带湿润地区有机农业培训手册
-图文结合讲授

为提高热带地区国家有机农业培训培训的质量和实用性,特编写此教材。本教材只是提供了基础素材,培训人员也可以根据各地区具体情况和实际需要对已有的内容进行补充。在实际培训过程中,本教材也用作培训指南和参考教材,将有利于研讨班或培训课程的框架设计,同时对于培训的组织管理也有帮助。本教材也适用于想了解有机农业的人员,其中对于有机农业进行基本原理和观点也进行了详细的描述。

本教材灵活性很强,使用过程可进行修订或完善。.

本教材目录:

简介
有机农业基本原则
土壤肥力
植物营养
病虫草害管理
动物饲养
农场经济有效管理
附录

TRAINING MANUAL FOR ORGANIC AGRICULTURE IN THE ARID AND SEMI-ARID TROPICS

The Training Manual was developed to improve the quality and the availability of didactic material on organic agriculture in tropical countries. It offers a resource basis for trainers with the idea of encouraging individual adaptation and further development of the material according to the needs. The Training Manual can be used as a guide and source book to implement training programmes. It will help develop the structure of a training course or workshop and provide material and ideas for its organisation. The Manual can also serve as a handbook for those who want to get a more clear and complete idea on the basics of organic farming. This manual focuses on the arid and semi-arid ecosystems

GMO-FREE REGIONS MANUAL: CASE STUDIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

There is no doubt about the incompatibility of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) with organic agriculture.

In the Mar del Plata conference declaration (1998), the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) articulated a public position regarding GMOs. Consequently, the prohibition of the use of GMOs has been expanded upon in many IFOAM documents, such as the IFOAM Basic Standards.

Recently, the foundational elements of organic agriculture were laid down in the Principles of Organic Agriculture, approved by the 2005 General Assembly in Adelaide, Australia. The principles show that on all levels - Health, Ecology, Fairness and Care - GMOs are incompatible with organic agriculture.

IFOAM is well aware of mostly local and regional but as well national and international activities underway in the anti-GMO movement to set up GMO-free regions. This manual builds on existing expertise by making such experiences publicly available. The manual also provides comprehensive reports from different legal settings, as well as samples of letters and links to useful websites.

IFOAM GUIDE TO BIODIVERSITY AND LANDSCAPE QUALITY IN ORGANIC AGRICULTURE

The IFOAM Guide to Biodiversity and Landscape Quality in Organic Agriculture is designed to provide practical working examples and suggestions for farmers and advisers who are aiming for real positive change on farmlands world wide. Proven innovations from a wide variety of farms, traditions and agro-ecological zones are described, along with the underlying ecological and agricultural principles that make them effective. The more we all understand of the potential benefits and synergies of enhanced biodiversity and landscape quality within any and all types of agriculture, the more effective and appropriate the solutions that arise in our own contexts will be. This Guide provides a start for that process on which we can build, within the traditions of Organic Agriculture, but applicable for all rural land use.

 

BUILDING TRUST IN ORGANICS

This second edition has been produced by Gunnar Rundgren with Ong Kung Wai compiling case studies and commenting on the whole work. Further comments and suggestions have been received from Diane Bowen and Eva Mattsson.

The previous edition was edited and written to a large extent by Gunnar Rundgren with contributions from Bo van Elzakker, Jim Riddle, Ong Kung Wai, and Roberto Ugas. It also contains material (in the section in documentation and in part 6) from the Guide to Compiling Documentation for Organic certification bodies, published by IFOAM 2002 and compiled by Ken Commins with input from Krista Kennedy, Vitoon Panyakuul, Jorge Casale, Jochen Neuendorrf, Rochelle Bosche, Robert Simmons, and Virginia Zenteno.

Case studies have been written by Piyaphan Phinthuphan, Diana Callear , Laura Montenegro, Beate Huber, Marlene Heeb, Gergana Nentcheva, Yousef Ali Hamdi, Gunnar Rundgren, Xiao Xingji, Leonard Mtama and Miles McEvoy

In addition, it contains sample documents developed by Grolink AB.

HOW ORGANIC ARE AGROFUELS?

Energy produced from biomass, commonly referred to as bioenergy or biofuel1 , has been actively used and researched for the past few decades. Recently biofuels have gained a new level of political saliency. While in the last two decades most biomass research attention concentrated on solid biomass for electricity production or cogeneration2, recent attention has focused almost exclusively on the production of biomass-based transport fuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel. Crude oil prices have risen considerably, making alternative fuels more competitive than ever before. International concern over climate change is pressuring governments to adopt renewable energy targets; however, these new energy sources may not come without negative consequences to global food production.

In this paper the authors have consciously used the term agrofuels, as opposed to biofuels, for three reasons. First, to avoid confusion with organic agriculture products, because in many languages the prefix “bio” is used to signify organic3, and second, to limit the scope of the paper to address mainly energy systems derived from agricultural crops and crop residues, rather than wood product and forestry-based systems (although many of the same ecological principles can be applied to forest plantations). Finally, while high hopes are placed on the fact that woody and grassy non-food crops can be highly efficient the term agrofuels more accurately reflects the current use of corn, sugarcane, soybeans, and vegetable oils. The term agrofuels more accurately describes the use of food crops for fuel production, and the food security and socio-environmental risks associated with this trend.

THE ROLE OF ORGANIC AGRICULTURE IN MITIGATING CLIMATE CHANGE

There is dramatic evidence that various Greenhouse Gases are responsible for Global Warming and climate change. This study discusses the potential of Organic Agriculture both to avoid and to sequester Greenhouse Gases (GHG), and makes comparisons with conventional agriculture. The second part describes how Organic Agriculture can be considered within the implementation mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol. 

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