FAO Convenes International Conference to Demonstrate the Huge Potential of Organic Agriculture for Food Security

Bonn, May 3rd, 2007 -? From May 3rd until Saturday May 5th, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is holding an international conference Organic Agriculture and Food Security at its headquarters in Rome, Italy. The conference is organized in partnership with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). The results of the conference will be presented to the Committee on World Food Security.

The overall objective of the Conference is to shed light on the contribution of Organic Agriculture to food security through the analysis of existing information in different agro-ecological areas of the world. The conference will identify Organic Agriculture’s potential to address the food security challenges, including conditions required for its success.

According to the paper Organic Agriculture and Food Security that the FAO has published in connection with this conference, "The strongest feature of Organic Agriculture is its reliance on fossil-fuel independent and locally-available production assets; working with natural processes increases cost-effectiveness and resilience of agro-ecosystems to climatic stress." The paper calls on governments to "allocate resources for organic agriculture and to integrate its objectives and actions within their national agricultural development and poverty reduction strategies, with particular emphasis on the needs of vulnerable groups."

The outcome of the Conference will be a thorough assessment of the state of knowledge on Organic Agriculture and food security, including recommendations on areas for further research and policy development. The Report of the Conference will be submitted to the 33rd Session of the Committee on World Food Security, both to inform government delegations from around the world and to provide a basis for tangible actions to be taken by the FAO.

"Given the global conditions of war, climate change, disasters and inequity, food security is not just a matter of production figures," stated IFOAM Executive Director Angela B. Caudle,? noting that the positive contribution of Organic Agriculture to food availability, food access, food stability and food utilization - all aspects of food security - will be carefully analyzed and discussed during the conference. "IFOAM member organizations from all over the world will present their positive examples and share how the conversion to organic made a significant difference in the livelihoods of people," such as with the organic farmers’ organization AOPEB in Bolivia and with Masipag in the Philippines.

Representatives of all sectors of the IFOAM network will share a wealth of experiences and the challenges they face with participants – government delegates and country representatives to the FAO - and answer questions regarding Organic Agriculture that they might have.

>From May 7th to 10th,? IFOAM will advocate that the outcomes of the conference are taken into consideration by the 33rd Committee on World Food Security, which should result in policy changes within the FAO that favor Organic Agriculture.

For complete information about the conference, visit:

IFOAM Press Release, Responsible: Angela B. Caudle, Contact: Neil Sorensen

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