IFOAM’s Message to Rio: “Organic Agriculture: Smart Solutions to Overcome Hunger and Poverty!”

IFOAM demands that the Rio+20 must include agreements that:

  1. Recognize agro-ecological based farming or organic farming practiced by small-scale farmers as the most effective approach in addressing climate change, food and water security, biodiversity loss, poverty eradication and sustainable development.
  2. State that the scaling up of organic agriculture through the reorientation of policies that support small-scale farmers is today’s most urgent food and agricultural challenge, and that a transition to an ecologically based, resilient, fair and fully inclusive and humane agriculture is essential if the goals of sustainability and poverty eradication are to be simultaneously achieved.
  3. Recognize the important role that governments and donors have to play in the transition to socially inclusive and ecologically based farming systems. Organic farming is knowledge-intensive rather than external input intensive, making it less attractive to private companies that develop and supply agricultural products. As a consequence, the transition will require public policies that support agricultural research and the wide dissemination of outcomes and outputs, including through the development of participative extension services.
  4. Establish a working program under the auspices of FAO that implements the findings of both the 2008 IAASTD report and the 2011 UN Special Rapporteur’s report on the Right to Food.
  5. Establish an ‘International Multi-Stakeholder Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems’, based on the IAASTD process and its objectives, that informs the transition to a green, fair, ecologically sound and humane agriculture. The panel would provide regular updates on agricultural knowledge, science and technology options that address food and water security within the context of sustainable development, complimenting the role of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) of FAO.
  6. Guarantee farmers the right to participate in all decision-making processes related to agricultural production, distribution, pricing, marketing, standard-setting and policy-making, as well as the regulation of the agricultural commodities market. They must also be empowered to exercise these rights.
  7. Ensure the removal of policies adverse to the well-being of agriculturally based communities, especially in Least Developed Countries (LDCs). These include, for example, perverse subsidies or restrictions on the use of plant varieties through patents on seeds, that undermine the livelihood.
IFOAM Board's Message to RIO+20

Organic Agriculture: Smart Solutions to Overcome Hunger and Poverty!