Tag Archive: development cooperation

Nov 25

Rural Development Administration. The Organic Paradigm

South Korea has successfully experienced the green revolution; it broke out chronic hunger after the colonial period and the Korean War. The economic success of Korea was supported by stable food supply from farmers and advanced R&Ds by RDA. However, we should not fall into the inertia, because our planet is challenged by food security, climate change, mass extinction of species from decrease in biodiversity, oil depletion and soil and water pollutions. RDA is finding a solution to the global issues with the help of innovative R&Ds in organic and sustainable agriculture, conservation and careful use of natural resources.

Governmental support for organic farmers makes us expect that organic and sustainable farming products would reach 10% of total agricultural products in 2013. Still, organic farmland represents only 0.8% of the total farmland in Korea, and farming technology and its distribution strategy should be innovated to increase organic farms. Organic agriculture division of RDA is a key organization for the innovation of R&Ds in organic farming. RDA selected an agenda for organic and sustainable agriculture in 2008, and has supported many collaborative research projects from university, industry and even organic farmers.

In September 30, 2011, RDA and IFOAM signed an agreement on the collaboration for management of the Organic Farming Innovation Award (OFIA) and for distribution of innovative organic agricultural technologies. OFIA will be presented every three year in the Organic World Congress. RDA and IFOAM will continue to cooperate in operating OFIA. The OFIA will be a channel to support the R&D for developing the global organic agriculture. RDA and IFOAM will carry out diverse cooperation projects for the organic paradigm.


Minho Lee
RDA-IFOAM Collaborative project coordinator
Organic Agriculture Division, National Academy of Agricultural Science (NAAS), RDA,
Republic of Korea
E-mail: mhlee@korea.kr

Nov 19

From a Strong Supporter of IFOAM’s Poverty Eradication Policy, a Message to the Organic Community

Poverty eradication still remains the over- riding priority for developing countries including Turkey and the greatest global challenge is, we have to care about Mother Nature that nurtures us. With the recent global economic crisis, financing for development of the developing world by the developed countries has been increasingly coming under acute pressure and requirement of enhanced development assistance is all the more critical when developing countries are faced with curtailed capital flows, austerity measures and increased programming requirements. Even the EU Food Program is under threat. Development operational activities of the Global System under UN policies must have the ability to respond and adapt to the evolving environment and expectations of individual countries, scientific communities, NGOs (as IFOAM did) stressing that the programming activities need to be harmonized with the budgetary plus other precautions and policies.

IFOAM recognized that agro-ecological based farming (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. World population reached over 7 billion in 2011 and 880 million rural poor people living on less than $1.0 per day/Per Person and 70 percent are partially or completely dependent on agriculture, livestock and food security.  IFOAM came up with a slogan and sent a message through Rio+20 in July 2012 Organic Agriculture: Smart Solutions to Overcome Hunger and Poverty and have been cooperating with local and international members, working with international organizations: FAO, the World Farmers Organization, UNCCD and others. IFOAM is trying to eliminate GMOs and antibiotics use, fighting against industrial harassment and aggressive policies of agriculture industry (i.e. Monsanto.).   That is why it is worth to declare IFOAM “SELIKOFF* OF THE WORLD ORGANIC AGRICULTURE AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION” because in a broad spectrum its purpose is to eliminate “Hunger, poverty, natural disasters and feeling powerlessness and hopelessness that represent biggest threat to the world peace” aiming to raise healthy generations by practicing healthy organic agriculture principles.

“The Right to Food” principle stimulated IFOAM’s efforts by prioritizing increased investments in local food production, smallholders, youth, indigenous farmers and paying special attention to women and a commitment to ensure proper nutrition for all. 17th of October is the International Poverty Eradication Day that tries to help “Ending the Violence of Extreme Poverty: Promoting Empowerment and Building Peace” where IFOAM dedicated itself to serve to this purpose.  Despite some important gains, several critical gaps remain that may be solved through the application of the organic agriculture principles through women, standards, flexibility and adaptability is the key to the success.  Increasing opportunities for women in organic agriculture and livestock production can have a powerful impact on productivity and agriculture-led growth.  Women tend to devote a larger fraction of their income to their children’s health and nutrition, laying the foundation for their children’s lifelong cognitive and physical development.

The Rio+20 efforts and the followed correct policy provided by IFOAM which involves scaling up pilot programs to create transformational changes: Legal reforms, especially related to land rights, are often important to ensuring access and use. Expand leadership and participation of women in organic agricultural decision making at all levels and in all institutions related to its policies “Feed the Future” will ensure the food security programs.  The problem is complex, however IFOAM is working on creative solutions that will help women, families and smallholders attain long-term food security for happier and healthier lives of all. Happy 40th anniversary IFOAM, the job is well done.  Thank you and congratulations!


Associate Professor Sümer Hasimoglu, MS, PhD
Adviser to Dogu Anadolu Tarim ve Besiciler Birligi Dernegi (DOGTARBESBIR- Eastern Anatolian Agriculture and Livestock Producers Association) Erzurum, Turkey/ Schafer Str. 20, 19053 Schwerin, Germany,


* Dr. Irving Selikoff: He began to publicize his famous research on the health effects of asbestos in 1964.  The industry started a multiyear attack on him and his research. To his credit, Dr. Selikoff endured this sustained industry-generated harassment.  While asbestos is still being exported from and used in some countries, credible scientists agree on its devastating health effects.Similarly to above, it is also worth to mention that one of the research scientists Prof. Dr. Onur Hamzaoglu is chosen as Selikoff** of Turkey who is prosecuted by the Turkish Government and the University administration because he published and explained his research findings and declared that Izmit Province industrial waste is a threat to the health of the people (Increased number of the cancer incidences) live in the area. He was harassed and accused that he had intended to cause panic among people (Cem Terzi, 2012)


Nov 07

Bugday Association’s Contribution to the Organic Movement in Turkey: ‘Sowing the Seeds of Change’

The certified organic farming in Turkey started in 1984. Organic production began with the regulation based on European standards and the demands from abroad. Almost the whole amount of ecological goods produced has been exported, although thanks to efforts of Bugday, the domestic demand and consumption is increasing. Ever since its foundation in 1991, Bugday has been supporting ecological, local and fair food production and responsible consumption by implementing model projects and creating awareness.

The basis of the ecological farmers network in Anatolia was set up with TaTuTa Project, (agro-ecotourism) initiated by Bugday in order to share the experiences and knowledge about ecological living. The focus of all this work was to popularize organic production and to remove the obstacles to enable the public reaching them.

At this period, the idea of ecological public markets was the only solution to create internal organic markets. Turkey’s first 100% ecological farmers’ market was set up in Şisli, Istanbul in the leadership and coordination of the Bugday Association in 2006. Whilst there were 20 stalls at the beginning, in five years, the number of stalls has gone up to 200. Today, the number of markets increased to 6 in Istanbul. Diverse Ecological markets have been set up in Izmir, Samsun, Antalya, Bursa and Ankara.

In its efforts for creating awareness on organic & ecological food, Bugday works with the national media closely, writing and sending press releases on a weekly basis. Bugday is also one of the few associations that have created its own media – the quarterly Ecological Life Guide, weekly newsletter and its through website constantly promotes ecological food and living.

Now we are in a “new” period. Small farmers’ life is not easier but there are more people who understand them. The return from city to village has begun, there are a few and small countryside living places that urbanite lives. Local seeds are sown, harvested and shared in these fields. Topics like traditional agriculture, permaculture, ecological living is interesting more and more people, the knowledge about self-sufficient agriculture and the harmony with nature is gaining momentum. The IFOAM Organic World Congress that will be held in Istanbul in 2014 (www.owc2014.org) and organized by Bugday will be the occasion to share with representatives of the world organic movement, experiences and know-how to pursue the goal of sowing seeds for change.

Güneşin Aydemir
Bugday Association for Supporting Ecological Living

Sep 03

Helvetas Nepal: Nepali Organic Coffee – Promotion, Potential and Prospect

A cup of fair-trade organic coffee a day changes producer’s lives!

Organic agriculture practices are part of agriculture systems in Nepal from time immemorial. Coffee, an exotic crop, however, quite suitable to soil and climate of Nepal has been able to generate curiosity, enthusiasm and sustainable income for the smallholders within a decade. Efforts and initiatives of the Coffee Promotion Program (CoPP) of HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal, on capacity building of the smallholders on production, processing, marketing and institutional development has made organic coffee a sustainable income generating crop. Moreover, for over a decade ago it would be strange talking about promoting organic coffee in the mainstream agricultural policy deliberations and forum. Nevertheless, CoPP has been able to mainstreaming coffee at the policy level having its recognition as a high value export potential crop.

CoPP now actively supports smallholders through their cooperatives and associations producing high quality specialty organic coffee (in an altitude range of 800 to 1600 m.) in the mid hills  of central and western Nepal. Coffee growing is quite compatible with the existing agricultural system while enhancing food security from the additional income derived from certified organic coffee sales. “Life was difficult particularly to cope with the ever increasing family expenses before the good income from sale of coffee” says Sabitri Jamakatel from Thula Durlung – a smallholder in remote village south of Kathmandu valley.

Specialty organic coffee is now sold in local urban markets and is exported to fair trade markets abroad. Now more and more farmers are associated in the organic coffee cooperatives because of increasing demand at domestic and international level. With hard working farmers in the background, Nepal’s organic coffee has a bright future for the benefit of both producers and the country itself; however, challenges still lie to expand this economic opportunity in other potential districts.