NAIROBI: Kenya will host an international conference mid November on the right to nutrition and the significance of ecological farming in alleviating poverty and promoting trade in Africa. The two-day conference will provide African national and regional policy makers, media and funding agencies with evidence based information on the multi-functional benefits of organic agriculture and its contribution to the challenges and needs in Africa.
The conference is convened by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) that unites some 750 member organizations in more than 100 countries in cooperation with the African Union, the Kenya Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN) and COLABORA. And the conference is hosted by UNEP. “This conference aims to re-address the balance and build awareness of accessible and resilient organic based production systems and position organic agriculture higher on the agenda of African governments, policy makers and the international donor community,” IFOAM said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
The Nov. 15-16 conference will also explore how various systems can be mixed, matched and adapted to provide a potential suite of integrated food production options for African regions and challenges. The conference will bring together technical practitioners, policy makers, funding agencies, NGOs, retailers and media from across the world.
Food security experts said the need for widespread adoption of sustainable farming is recognized, in practice, however, it is often very different. They said solutions for improved food security in Africa are often based on industrialized farming and the import of expensive production materials, instead of adapted, ecological production systems.
Key topics covered include questions of certification and the potential of ecological agriculture with respect to adapting to climate change. At the conference, Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and founder of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya, who recently passed away, will be posthumously honored with the One World Award.