Tag Archive: organic agriculture

Dec 10

Ganja Agribusiness Association, a Promoter of Organic Agriculture in Azerbaijan

 

Ganja Agribusiness Association (GABA), located in Ganja, Azerbaijan, is a national non-governmental organization whose mission is to promote sustainable development of the country’s agrarian sector through human potential development, knowledge and resource transfer. GABA has supported small-enterprise development in Azerbaijan since 1999 by means of building the capacity of targeted entrepreneurs with the purpose of their effective social and economic growth through training, information support and resource mobilization.

GABA was subsequently founded by those scientists who assisted the newly formed government in agrarian reform and the division of Azerbaijan’s agricultural land. A predecessor organization was first formed in 1996 by these leading scientists. Three years later, working with the Eurasia Foundation and funded by USAID, Ganja Agribusiness Association was created; one year later it was registered by the Minister of Justice of Azerbaijan.

GABA is the primary organization in Azerbaijan promoting organic agriculture. In the year 2000, GABA assumed a leadership position by initiating the promotion of organic agriculture. Organic agriculture came in response to environmental issues as well as to the fact that Azerbaijani farmers were still suffering from the reorientation and restructuring process – the conversion of the land from the collective farms to individually owned land in 1996.  Access to farm resources especially fertilizers, pesticides, and veterinary products were difficult to obtain and/or expensive. Organic agriculture provided an option for the Azerbaijani farmers to develop a sustainable agriculture production system in an environmentally supportive and economically sound way.  Since its initiation in 2000, more than 2000 farmers have been trained in organic agricultural methods and 332 have advanced to the stage of applying for organic certification of their products. The last several years have been very productive for GABA’s organic initiative, multiple organic agriculture projects were initiated in 2004, GABA initiated the study of Organic Agriculture Management at the Azerbaijan State Agrarian University, and the organic certification body AZEKOSERT and soil laboratory were established in 2006.

GABA is Azerbaijan’s first NGO to pursue this quality management system. On August 13, 2010, GABA was notified that Swiss certification body SGS had certified GABA under ISO 9001-2008 system of certification.

www.gaba.az

 

 

Nov 15

A Story of Sustainable Production in Vietnam

“No agro-chemicals? We cannot produce!”

This was the biggest challenge when we persuaded farmers in Thanh Xuan commune (at Soc Son district, Hanoi, Vietnam) to convert the conventional production to organic production within the Project of Organic Agriculture Development supported by ADDA. They couldn’t believe that they were able to produce without using agrochemicals. They said chemical fertilizers helped crops grow faster, pesticides effectively protected plants from pests and diseases. They had used them for a long time. “It is unfeasible to do without them”, they concluded.

However, after being encouraged by the local government, and receiving explanations from the Project Officers about the benefits of organic production, and particularly about the commitment to buy the entire production at a higher price in comparison to the prices of the local market, farmers had made the expected decision with a huge doubt.

Just one year later, the farmers recognized that they were able to implement organic production without agrochemicals. All the chemical inputs had become unnecessary due to the technical guides that assured enough nutrition for plants and minimized the damage from pests and diseases in organic production. Furthermore, by eliminating agro-chemicals, they had more stable and a bit higher incomes, as well as healthier, better working conditions. At present, we use this story as the most powerful evidence on the ability of farmers to convert to organic production. Every time the story is repeated, the farmers who strongly doubted at that time smile and tell us “we were really stupid back then”.

 

Vietnam PGS Coordination Committee, Hanoi, Vietnam
www.vietnamorganic.vn
www.pgsvietnam.com