The winners of the 2021 Organic Farming Innovation Awards (OFIA) were announced on 19 August at an awards ceremony hosted by the Rural Development Administration of South Korea and IFOAM – Organics International.
Winner of the OFIA Grand Prize
The OFIA Grand Prize (10,000 US$) for innovations in applications of organic farming was awarded to Tani Organik Merapi, represented by the founder and director Untung Wijanarko.
The farming institution, Tani Organik Merapi (TOM), founded in Indonesia in 2008, has taken on a range of innovative practices in its production, marketing, and community development to become a network of organic farmers in the area around Selem, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
The TOM Network, established by the farming institution Tani Organik Merapi (TOM), is a partnership system between Tani Organik Merapi and local farmers, to produce organic vegetables, and with bamboo packaging craftsmen and women to make eco-friendly vegetable packaging
Through this network, TOM has been able to increase the number of farmers that can switch from conventional to organic farming in the region, while at the same time meeting the market demand for organic products from supermarkets.
Winner of the OFIA Science Prize
The OFIA Science Prize (5000 US$) was jointly awarded to Gebhard Rossmanith, CEO of Bingeheimer Saatgut AG and Michael Fleck, Executive Director of Kultursaat e.V. from Germany.
For decades, more or less unnoticed by the public, the partnership of plant breeders of the network Kultursaat e.V. and the organic seed company Bingenheimer Saatgut AG have developed and established biodynamic open-pollinated vegetable varieties as an ecological alternative to conventional hybrids.
This unique interaction and cooperation of breeders, seed producers and commercial gardeners has provided the basis for the maintenance, development and utilization of open-pollinated and biodynamic varieties, as well as the independent and economic livelihood of all partners.
The Kultursaat association has successfully registered more than 100 new open-pollinated vegetable varieties on the German national list and on the European Union's common catalog of vegetable varieties until 2020. Eight new varieties are developed each year at the 30 open-pollinated vegetable farms.
The seed company, Bingenheimer Saatgut, has achieved market relevance progressively, being the alternative and ecological seed company in Germany, providing the vegetable varieties and the urgently needed amounts of organically produced seeds for the commercial market gardeners as well as for the private gardeners.
What are the Organic Farming Innovation Awards?
The Organic Farming Innovation Award is the prize of the organic movement to highlight organic innovations by scientists, extension agents and practitioners. OFIA is an initiative of the South Korean government in remembrance of the Organic World Congress (OWC) 2011 held in its Gyeonggi Province. The OFIA committee gives a signal for the research and extension community worldwide and emphasizes the need for innovation for the development of organic agriculture worldwide.
Once every three years, accosiated with the Organic World Congress, IFOAM – Organics International and the Rural Development Association (RDA) award great organic innovations and their discoverers to boost their uptake and to motivate other stakeholders to push innovation forward for the benefit of organic farming.
For more information, visit https://ifoam.bio/ofia or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.