1st EU NACOA organic science conference, 11-12 November 2019, Marrakesh, Morocco

 

“Bridging the Gap, empowering  Organic Africa”

 

Background

Organic food production and farming systems have a significant  potential to meet the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Organic farming includes strategies for reduced hunger, climate mitigation, increased biodiversity, and responsible production with fair conditions for all involved by responsible consumption. FAO recently declared that organic farming can enhance food security, rural development, sustainable livelihoods and environmental integrity by building capacities of stock?Holders stakeholders? in organic production, processing, certification and marketing. While the growth of organic food systems has been impressive in Europe, it remains a niche market in African countries(too many words). The revised  EU regulation to be implemented in 2021 will affect the import of organic products from third parties, and there is a need to understand how.

While still a small sector, African Organic Agriculture is gaining success through the Ecological and Organic Agriculture Initiative (EOA-I) confirmed during the last African Organic Conference held in Sally-Dakar (Senegal) in November 2018. African organic stakeholders and decision makers along with scientists were unanimous that African Governments, continental and regional institutions, development partners, donors and private sector investors, should provide more support to the development of organic agriculture in Africa.

Many research institutes and scientists in Africa are developing innovative techniques for more productive  organic systems. These efforts deserve higher attention, in  a context of international research for development. Further,  there is an increasing gap between smallholder farms and industrialized organic farms. This is especially evident in Morocco, where the Green Moroccan Plan (Plan Maroc Vert) was launched in 2008. This plan has been a success in many ways, and is being scaled up to embrace more countries. However, also unintended effects of large plans need to be discussed in a scientific context.

The conference will increase the cooperation between organic stakeholders in Africa, which is already intense with many countries at the multilateral level. Organic expertise will be strengthened,  for the benefit of all African countries.  Organic farming in Africa should be further developed as a tool  to adapt to, and mitigate climate change as well as increase the productivity and resilience to ensure food safety for all.

Objectives of the conference

  • Merge a critical mass of scientific capacity and skills from Europe and Africa, to deliver sustainable solutions by working at practical and theoretical level;
  • Bring together high profiled scientists from both sides to discuss issues about organic inputs, and address recommendations to relevant certification and regulation bodies;
  • Link the organic farming sector closer to the issues of sustainability and climate change in the light of the recommendations of the COP22 held in Morocco in 2016;
  • Showcase the African organic experience and African organic farming know-how to the organic world community;
  •  Access to the world of organic farming beyond Africa’s borders;? Repeat?
  • Introduce the African potentials to expand traditional organic agriculture in terms of genetic, agroclimatic and sociocultural diversity; 
  • Implement within the African Organic Sector and other organizations as part of its "Organic Alternatives for Africa" initiative to facilitate the integration of organic agriculture into strategic policies and the agricultural development program : Including the Global Program for the Development of Agriculture in Africa (PGDAA);
  • Discuss how  organic agriculture in Africa can be further developed as a sustainable and reliable model for  resilient production, mitigating  climate change, increasing biodiversity,  and ensuring food safety for all.
  • Discuss how all contributions, organised in various tracks and sessions, answer to the question raised from the conference title: How can my/our research contribute to bridge the current gap between Africa and Europe, with respect to organic agriculture? 

Proceedings:

1st EU-NACOA scientific conference in November 2019 in Marrakesh, Morocco
Book Abstract EU-NACOA2019 FinalPrint.pdf (3.08MB)
1st EU-NACOA scientific conference in November 2019 in Marrakesh, Morocco
Book Abstract EU-NACOA2019 FinalPrint.pdf (3.08MB)



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