Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Tuesday, October 15, 2019 11:38:17 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Organic food policy working

By
06th-Nov-2018       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Maged Srour :
Many countries and farmers around the world are not readily making the switch to organic farming. But the small Himalayan mountain state of Sikkim, which borders Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan, is the first 100 percent organic farming state in the world.  Earlier this month, Sikkim, won the Future Policy Award 2018 (FPA) for being the first state in the world to declare itself, in 2015, 100 percent organic.
Its path towards becoming completely organic started in 2003, when Chief Minister Pawan Chamling announced the political vision to make Sikkim "the first organic state of India". The FPA, also known as the 'Oscar for Best Policies' is organised every year by the World Future Council (WFC). The aim of the FPA is to investigate solutions to the challenges in today's world. The WFC looks at which policies have a holistic and long-term outlook, and which protect the rights of future generations. And once a year the WFC awards showcases the very best of them.
This year, in cooperation with IFOAM-Organics International (IFOAM) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the FPA decided to focus on the best policies to scale up agroecology.
In 2004, one year after the vision was announced, Sikkim adopted its Policy on Organic Farming and in 2010, the state launched the Organic Mission, an action plan to implement the policy. In 2015, thanks to strong political coherence and strategy planning, the goal was achieved.
Among the noteworthy measures adopted by Sikkim during that decade, the fact that 80 percent of the budget between 2010 and 2014 was intended to build the capacity of farmers, rural service providers and certification bodies. The budget also supported farmers in acquiring certifications, and had various measures to provide farmers with quality organic seeds.
The WFC has also rewarded other government policies with Silver Awards, Vision Awards and Honourable Mentions. Among the Silver awardees was Denmark's Organic Action Plan, which has become a popular policy planning tool in European countries over the last decade. Almost 80 percent of Danes purchase organic food and today the country has the highest organic market share in the world (13 percent).
"What has made Danish consumers among the most enthusiastic organic consumers [in the world], is that we have done a lot of consumer information and we have worked strategically with the supermarkets to place organics as part of their strategy to appeal to consumers on the value of food, putting more value into food through organics," Paul Holmbeck, Political Director of 'Organic Denmark', told IPS. The policies of Sikkim and Denmark, as well as those of Ecuador and Brazil - countries that also received Silver Awards - are steps towards a world where agroecology becomes widespread and practiced globally. In fact, to conceive cultivated land as ecosystems themselves, in which every living and nonliving component affects every other component, is vital to obtain not only healthy and organic food, but also to preserve our environment. Indeed, it would be a mistake to think that having organic products on our tables necessarily means having solved all problems related to intensive agriculture and to the damages on the environment.
"Agroecology is one approach that applies ecological concepts and principles to food and farm systems, focusing on the interaction between micro-organisms, plants, animals, humans and the environment, to foster sustainable agriculture development, in order to ensure food security and nutrition for all, now and in the future," Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director General, told IPS. "It is based on co-creation of knowledge, sharing and innovation, combining local, traditional, indigenous practices with multi-disciplinary science."
According to the report, The World of Organic Agriculture 2018 - Statistics and Emerging Trends, released earlier this year and authored by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and IFOAM, 57.8 million hectares (ha) worldwide were farmed organically in 2016. This is an increase of 7.5 million ha (or 13 percent) compared to the previous year.
In 2016, the share of land dedicated to organic farmland increased across the globe: Europe (6.7 percent increase), Asia (34 percent increase), Africa (7 percent increase), Latin America (6 percent increase), North America (5 percent increase).
Australia had the largest agricultural area farmed organically (27.2 million ha), followed by Argentina (3 million ha), and China (2.3 million ha). In 2016, there were 2.7 million organic farmers. Around 40 percent of whom live in Asia, followed by Africa (27 percent) and Latin America (17 percent). According to the report, the total area devoted in Asia to organic agriculture was almost 4.9 million ha in 2016 and there were 1.1 million organic producers in the region, with India being the country with the highest number of organic producers (835,000).
So the success of Sikkim is not surprising considering that the Asian continent can be considered among the regions at the forefront of organic production. However, favouring the scale up of agroecology, which includes producing organic products, is unfortunately not that simple.
"To harness the multiple sustainability benefits that arise from agroecological approaches, as enabling environment is required, including adapted policies, public investments, institutions and research priorities," said Semedo.  "However, this is not yet a reality in the majority of countries."
Indeed, poverty, malnutrition, unfair distribution of wealth, decreasing of biodiversity, deterioration of natural resources like soil and water, and climate change are significant challenges in most countries.
Agriculture will become one of the greatest challenges, if not addressed properly. Therefore, moving towards more sustainable agriculture and food systems is certainly a potential part of the solution, not only for our health and wellness but for the planet itself.
"It's vital for everyone to be organic [and] for every person to eat organic because otherwise people would eat poison and basically writing a recipe for chronic diseases. It could be cancer [as well as] neurological problems," warned Vandana Shiva, a food and agriculture expert and member of the WFC, told IPS during the ceremony of the Future Policy Award 2018 at FAO headquarters in Rome this October. "Organic is the only living solution to climate change. Chemical farming is a very big contributor to greenhouse gas emissions but organic farming takes the excess carbon out of the atmosphere and puts it in the soil," she added.
However, there seems to be a large consensus with the fact that the planet needs to move towards a more sustainable way of living and this is a reason for optimism.
"I'm very optimistic about organics [because] we are creating new solutions for climate and animal welfare, sustainability and good soil every single day," said Holmbeck. "Governments are starting to see that organic food policy works: it is good for farmers, for consumers and for the planet."
-IPS

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Sports »

'Best ever' Biles hails record 25 world medals


US gymnastics star Simone Biles won her fifth gold medal in the women's floor final Sunday to conclude her "best ever" world championships and take her career record to 25 medals.Biles, who won the beam title earlier in the day, also claimed an unrivalled 19th world gold following her previous ...

City »

President M Abdul Hamid witnessing the progress of different ongoing development projects in Itna Upazila of Kishoreganj on Monday.


International »

Any attempt to split China will be ‘crushed’, Xi warns during maiden visit to Nepal


PTI, Kathmandu :President Xi Jinping warned on Sunday that anyone attempting to "split" China will be "crushed" as he held wide-ranging talks with Nepal's top leadership and the two countries elevated their bilateral ties to strategic partnership and signed a slew of agreements, including a plan to build a trans-Himalayan ...

Editorial »

Expand infrastructural facilities in the universities


WHEN most of the country's public universities are going through a crisis situation at that time fresh unrest that erupted among the female students of Chattogram University has drawn the attention of concerned circles. Newspaper reports said female students of CU padlocked the gate of Jananetri Sheikh Hasina Hall on ...

Entertainment »

Ankhi Alamgir: Uncontested singer on stage performance


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Ankhi Alamgir is such a singer who always gets priority from the audience to perform on the stage shows. She has a capability to enthrall the audience by virtue of her outstanding performance. In fact, most of the senior and junior singers love her lot. Ankhi is ...

Entertainment »

Mouni Roy rubbishes rumours of dating a Dubai based banker


Mouni Roy has a made a smooth transition from television to films and is now promoting Made in China with Rajkummar Rao. But just like every actor has to face the brunt of controversies, one seems to have fallen right into Mouni's lap. She's been in the news for allegedly ...

Editorial »

Income inequality is the main barrier


THE number of bank accounts having more than Tk 1 crore in deposit has increased almost three times along with a five times rise in the deposited money in those accounts over the last 10 years. Economists said that such rise in high net-worth population indicated that the rich are ...

Sports »

Medvedev thumps Zverev to win Shanghai Masters title


Daniil Medvedev won his fourth title of a spectacular year with a thumping 6-4, 6-1 victory over Alexander Zverev in the Shanghai Masters final on Sunday.Victory for the 23-year-old Russian, contesting a sixth final in a row, was more evidence that he is the prime contender to join the "Big ...

Football »

Italy clinch place at Euro 2020 as Spain have to wait


Italy became the second team to qualify for Euro 2020 after a 2-0 win over Greece on Saturday, while three-time champions Spain edged closer to the finals despite conceding a stoppage-time equaliser away to Norway.Chelsea midfielder Jorginho dispatched a second-half penalty as Italy, wearing green kits for just the second ...

International »

Impeachment probe overshadows US 2020 Democratic race


Joe Biden faces scrutiny over Ukraine, Elizabeth Warren is surging and Bernie Sanders had a heart attack, but recent developments in the Democratic presidential battle are getting minimal attention, swamped by Washington's impeachment obsession.Most Democratic candidates are pounding the pavement in early voting states like Iowa, but they are finding ...

International »

Britain's PM Johnson pushes for last-ditch Brexit deal


Prime Minister Boris Johnson was to brief his ministers Sunday on progress in Britain's last-ditch efforts to strike a new Brexit agreement with the EU.Negotiators went behind closed doors for intensive talks in Brussels after Johnson outlined a new set of divorce terms to Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on ...

City »

President asks govt officials to perform duties at designated places


President M Abdul Hamid on Sunday asked government officials to do their jobs properly staying at their assigned places to gear up the development of local areas as well as the whole country."Do your job properly staying at your respective assigned places. . . If you don't have such mentality ...

Editorial »

Steps needed to keep prices stable in kitchen market


THE prices of vegetables, fish and meat went up in the city's kitchen markets over the week ending Friday. Traders said that prices of most of the vegetables increased as the supply of summer vegetables became near end and the winter vegetables started hitting the market. The prices of most ...

Sports »

Boxer Fury to make pro wrestling debut in Saudi Arabia


AFP, Las Vegas :A pair of pugilistic big men will clash in a cross over of combat sports as former boxing champion Tyson Fury fights Braun Strowman in Saudi Arabia later this month.Fury will make the brief switch to professional wrestling when he fights on a World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. ...

International »

US bolsters Saudi defense against Iran with jets, missiles


AP, Washington  : The U.S. is deploying dozens more fighter jets and additional air defenses to Saudi Arabia, beefing up efforts to defend the kingdom against Iran even as President Donald Trump repeatedly insists that America must get out of endless Middle East wars.Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced the deployments Friday ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news