A Global Vision and Strategy for Organic Farming Research

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A Global Vision and Strategy for Organic Farming Research

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A Global Vision and Strategy for Organic Farming Research 2012

Urs Niggli, Brian P. Baker, Gerold Rahmann, Eduardo Cuoco, Carolin Möller, Brian
Ssebunya, Shaikh Tanveer Hossain, Maria Wivstad, Jennifer Chang, Gabriela Soto,
David Gould, Nic Lampkin, Mahesh Chander, Karen Mapusua, Els Wynen, Yuhui Qiao,
Reza Ardakani, Marco Hartmann, Toshio Oyama, Otto Schmid and Helga Willer

1. Executive summary
Organic agriculture world-wide offers the promise of a future to produce and distribute food and
other farm products in a healthy, ecologically sound, truly sustainable and fair way. The full
benefits of organic agriculture are just now being realized—from ecosystem services to the
provision of healthier food - yet, to reach its full potential organic farming needs to address
many challenges. While organic agriculture has grown in strength and is in the most favorable
position it has ever been in with respect to market conditions, government policies and
international institutional support, it still does not have adequate resources to continue its
expansion.
The Technology Innovation Platform of IFOAM (TIPI) has developed a vision and an agenda to
advance organic agriculture through research, development, innovation and technology transfer.
TIPI’s vision recognizes that current technologies based on heavy use of external inputs that are
toxic and pollute the environment come with a price. Investments in ecosystem services and the
development of technologies that are productive, stable, adaptable, resilient, and fairly shared
are much more likely to sustain the world’s population in a rapidly changing environment.
Sustainable pathways to innovation will require engagement of all stakeholders in a sciencedriven
multi-disciplinary approach. Such an approach seeks to
(1) Empower rural areas,
(2) Provide eco-functional intensification that produces food and ecosystem services, and
(3) Provide food for the health and well-being available to all.
Organic agriculture must build the capacity to fulfill the world’s food needs for the entire
population if it is to fulfill its mission.
The new paradigm proposed by TIPI is founded upon a whole systems approach, the
engagement of farmers, researchers and other practitioners in a co-innovative approach; and
open access technologies that are readily adapted to local conditions. While there are barriers
and bottlenecks that will need to be overcome for this vision to be realized, TIPI calls upon the
organic community to support its 14 point action plan to advance organic agriculture in a
forward-thinking and innovative way.