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The Real Green Revolution Organic and Agroecological Farming


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  • 1. The Real GreenRevolutionOrganic and agroecologicalfarming in the SouthNicholas Parrott &Terry MarsdenDepartment of Cityand Regional Planning,Cardiff University
  • 2. Greenpeace Environmental TrustCanonbury Villas, London N1 2PN, United 2002Published by Greenpeace Environmental TrustCanonbury Villas, London N1 2PN, United KingdomRegistered Charity No. 284934© Greenpeace Environmental Trust 2002A catalogue record of this book is available from the British LibraryISBN 1 903907 02 0Design by Paul Hamilton at One AnotherPrinted in the United Kingdom by Russell PressPrinted on 100% post-consumer recycled paperFront cover image © Pasha SaaleBack cover image © 2001-Greenpeace/Lopez
  • 3. Table of contentsForeword 4Food security for all the world’s peopleDr Doug Parr, Greenpeace Chief ScientistAcknowledgements 81 Methodology and approach 1.1 Context 10 1.2 Aims and objectives 10 1.3 Scope and definitions 11 1.4 Research methods 162 The world grows organic. 2.1 Estimating the extent of global organic production 18 2.2 External stimuli for the development of organic agriculture 21 2.3 Towards a typology of incentives and constraints to‘grow organic’ 233 Regional perspectives 3.1 Africa 36 3.2 Asia 45 3.3 Latin America 514 Key themes 4.1 Productivity and sustainability 61 4.2 Organic agriculture and diversity 66 4.3 Natural methods of enhancing soil fertility 73 4.4 Natural regimes of pest and disease control 80 4.5 Markets and premia 90 4.6 Certification 93 4.7 Institutional and political issues 98 4.8 Social and cultural issues 1015 Conclusions and recommendations 5.1 Creating a coherent ‘alternative’ agricultural movement. 107 5.2 Promoting OAA: defining objectives 108 5.3 Global research and advocacy 108 5.4 Building local capacity. 109Bibliography 112Glossary of abbreviations and acronyms 128Appendix 1 – Electronic resources for OAA 130Appendix 2a – Research institutes and consultancies 137Appendix 2b – NGOs and producer groups 138Endnotes 144 The Real Green Revolution 1
  • 4. List of case studies Case Study 1 The Chagga Home Gardens (Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania) 14 Case Study 2 Organic cotton production in India, Peru and Mali 24 Case Study 3 Cuba: towards a national organic regime? 27 Case Study 4 World Food Day Farmers’ and Fishermens Movement (Indonesia) 30 Case Study 5 Ambootia Tea Estate (Darjeeling, India) 35 Case Study 6 Zaï: a traditional method for restoring degraded land 39 Case Study 7 Organic and ethical banana production 58 Case Study 8 New developments in rice production 63 Case Study 9 Ecological land restoration in Tigray 77 Case Study 10 Sekem (Egypt) 932
  • 5. List of tables and figuresTable 1 Key aims, principles and management practices of organic farming 12Table 2.1 Certified organic land by country (hectares) 19Table 2.2 Certified organic land by country (% of agricultural land) 19Table 2.3 IFOAM members by country 20Table 2.4 Incentives and constraints to organic farming 23Table 2.4 The sustainable agriculture and rural development prize 26Table 3.1 Organic farming statistics for Africa 37Table 3.2 African organic agricultural products on international markets 37Figure 3.1 Illustration of Zaï or planting pit 39Figure 3.2 The push-pull method for controlling maize stemborer 42Table 3.3 Organic farming statistics for Asia 45Table 3.4 Organic farming statistics for Latin America 52Table 4.1 Examples of yield increases attributable to adoption of OAA 62Table 4.2 Risk reduction strategies of traditional farmers 66Table 4.3 Annual soil loss (tons/ha) at Ibadan, Nigeria 67Table 4.4 Effects of A. Albida on millet yield in Senegal 69Figure 4.1 Influence of trees on maize cropping in Tlaxacal (Mexico) 72Table 4.5 Nutrient management strategies 75Table 4.6 Plants with pest controlling properties 78Table 4.6 Premia generated by organic producers 81Table 4.7 A flow chart for identifying synergies in OAA research 99Table 4.8 Textures of folk knowledge 102 The Real Green Revolution 3
  • 6. Foreword still largely overlooked by policy-makers, this Food security for all the world’s people movement presents a hopeful alternative to a world that would be dominated by corporate Dr Doug Parr, Greenpeace Chief Scientist agrochemical giants and monocultural The crisis in Argentina in late 2001 agriculture. And, as this report shows, organic illustrated again a frustrating and unjust farming is not simply a passing fad for reality: there is no direct relationship consumers in the rich world. Put into practice between the amount of food a country in the South, it can increase food security, produces and the number of hungry people reduce poverty and protect environmental who live there. In 2001, Argentina harvested resources for the future – unlike its enough wheat to meet the needs of both conventional alternative. China and India. Yet Argentina’s people were Organic increasing hungry. Argentinas status as the worlds second largest producer of GM crops – This report identifies some of the positive largely for export – could do nothing to trends currently emerging, for example: solve its very real hunger problems at home. For fifty years conventional agriculture has • Latest estimates of land managed according been getting less and less sustainable. to ecological principles vary from 15.8 to 30 Chemical pesticides, fertilizers and hybrid million hectares (equivalent to about 3% of seeds have destroyed wildlife and crop agricultural land in the South). diversity, poisoned people and ruined the This figure would almost certainly be much soil. Now that the organic movement is higher if de facto organic agriculture taking off in the industrialised world, practiced by traditional subsistence farmers governments, international agencies and were to be included. global agribusiness corporations must stop promoting this destructive system in the • Two thirds of new members of the South. Instead, there must be coherent and International Federation of Organic long-term support – in practice as well as in Agricultural Movements (IFOAM) principle – to enable the nascent ecological come from the South. farming movement in poorer countries to continue to grow into the future. • International agencies – principally the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) The world is on the brink of a second ‘Green and the Centre for Trade and Development Revolution’, which – unlike the first – has the (UNCTAD) – have woken up to the potential to truly live up to its name. This is not potential of organic farming in raising a revolution in biotechnology; still less has it farmers’ incomes, creating jobs and anything to do with genetic engineering. enhancing food security. Instead, it is a global move towards ecological agriculture, which promises to both feed a • Cuba has been moving towards a growing world population and to do so nationwide organic system, and 65% of its sustainably – without compromising the needs rice and nearly 50% of fresh vegetables are of future generations to feed themselves. now produced organically. Argentina now has the largest area of land under organic Working in tandem with nature and cultivation of any country in the world after encouraging biodiversity and local self-reliance, Australia. this new trend towards organic and agroecological farming is vibrant through Africa, Latin America and Asia. Although4
  • 7. Greater diversity peasant farmers, who are intuitively awareMaintaining agricultural biodiversity is vital to of the dangers of monocropping.ensuring the long-term food security of all the Working with ecologyworld’s people. This report also shows thatagroecological farms exhibit a much greater This report shows how organic andarray of biodiversity than conventional agroecological approaches to agriculturechemical-dependent farms, with more trees, are helping to conserve and improve farmers’a wider diversity of crops and many different most precious resource – the topsoil. In contrastnatural predators which control pests and help to the problems of hardening, nutrient loss andprevent disease. In many parts of the South, the erosion experienced by conventional farmers,diversity of crop species on organic and organic managers across the South are usingagroecological holdings typically numbers in trees, shrubs and leguminous plants to stabilisethe hundreds, in stark contrast to the and feed the soil, dung and compost to providemonoculture encouraged by conventional nutrients, and terracing or check dams tosystems. For example: prevent erosion and conserve groundwater. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ strategy, and the• Indigenous farmers in Peru cultivate best approach varies with local expertise and more than three thousand different types ecological conditions. of potato. Increasing yields• More than five thousand varieties of sweet The widespread assumption that converting to potato are cultivated in Papua New Guinea. organic means a decline in yields has been proven to be false, a conclusion supported• In West Java, researchers have identified by overwhelming evidence contained in this more than 230 species of plant within a dual report. Case studies from many different cropping system, which includes countries – involving radically different ‘agroforestry’ home gardens and outfields. practices, local conditions and crops – show In Mexico, the Huastec Indians manage dramatic increases in yields as well as benefits a number of plots in which up to 300 to soil quality, a reduction in pests and diseases species are cultivated. Areas around the and a general improvement in taste and house may contain between 80-125 useful nutritional content of agricultural produce. species, many with medicinal properties. For example:This diversity is maintained through traditionalseed-swap networks, which are now being • In Brazil the use of green manures and coverextended and encouraged by the organic and crops has increased yields of maize byagroecological movement. Whilst global between 20% and 250%.industrial agriculture has led to a situationwhere the world’s population gets 90% of its • In Tigray, Ethiopia, yields of crops fromfood calories from a mere 15 species of crops, composted plots were between three andorganic and agroecological farmers are five times higher than those treated onlyproviding a vital service in maintaining genetic with chemicals.diversity for the future –a service increasingly threatened by genetically- • Yield increases of 175% have been reportedmodified pollution and corporate biopiracy. from farms in Nepal adoptingThe maintenance of a wide range of crops agroecological management practices.provides food security throughout the year, anoverwhelmingly important consideration for • In Peru the restoration of traditional Incan The Real Green Revolution 5
  • 8. terracing has led to increases in the order of • The overwhelming majority of Southern 150% for a range of upland crops. organic produce is still sold as unprocessed primary commodities, leaving poorer The importance is not just that yields are farmers still exposed to the vagaries of increased – important as that undoubtedly is – world markets, and meaning that the but that the increases are much more under the benefits of processing and value-adding control of the farmers and communities that remain in the North. produce them, in contrast to a high input agricultural model where the benefits go to the • Much Southern-based organic production is equipment and chemical manufacturers and for export to the industrialised world, seed merchants. raising the issues of ‘food miles’ and how best to protect local food security and self- Economic drivers reliance. However, local and national Across the South, engagement with the organic markets are developing in many lucrative and rapidly growing organic foods poorer countries, notably Brazil, Egypt and market in the industrialised world is still the Argentina. main driving force behind the development of the certified organic sector. Organic certification • Expertise in certification is still can generate big premia for primary producers, overwhelmingly concentrated in the especially from export markets. Although some industrialised world, and achieving governments are now recognising the export certification is a major barrier to many potential of organic produce, its development farmers in poor countries who lack literacy so far has been driven almost exclusively by the and other skills and facilities necessary. NGO sector – often despite official hostility. What is needed Remaining challenges This report makes some clear and practical This report goes on to show that some key recommendations for how organic and challenges remain, however. These include the agroecological agriculture should be supported following issues: and promoted. Some of these are highlighted below. • Hostility from conventionally minded Southern governments and established • Governments in the South should rethink corporate and bureaucratic interests are still the promotion of artificial pesticides and holding back the potential of organic and fertilisers on poorer farmers through agroecological agriculture. extension workers, subsidies and media campaigns, and at the very least remove • Many Southern-based NGOs promoting some of the barriers to NGO activity that organic and agroecological approaches face currently hinder the growth of the organics crippling funding shortages, and are sector. At best, Southern governments should prevented from continuing their work often begin to re-orient their priorities – for want of very small amounts of money in educational, institutional and legal – comparison to that spent in the promotion towards promoting ecological and of conventional agriculture. sustainable agriculture. • Mechanisms for transferring indigenous • Where de facto organic farming is practised, knowledge from one locale to another need it is vital to help farmers develop self- further development and resourcing. confidence in their traditional knowledge so that they do not immediately switch to chemicals once they can afford them, as a6
  • 9. result of having been told for years that how the movement develops over the industrial farming is ‘more modern’. coming years, and developing synergies between social and environmental objectives.• Security of land tenure is essential for farmers to have sufficient incentive to • In addition, an agreement within the organic develop long-term organic management movement itself is needed on the inclusion of strategies, and in areas where inequality wider social and environmental criteria such of ownership is especially pronounced land as ‘food miles’ and workers’ rights. reform will be necessary for ecological Looking to the future farming to become widespread. The dominant international worldview amongst• Much greater support must be devoted to policy-makers and opinion-formers still holds those grassroots NGOs and projects that are that food security for a growing world the driving force behind the development of population can only be achieved by promoting organic agriculture in the South. This ever more intensive chemical-dependent requires a further mobilisation within agriculture. The evidence from this report is Northern-based agencies to develop their that this viewpoint is dangerously flawed. own projects and work with Southern-based Firstly, the relationship between food security partners, and – crucially – greater financial and food production is complex – famines support from the relevant funding bodies. occur because people lack the money to buy food, not solely because their own crops have• Various successful projects are beginning to failed. Secondly, chemical-dependent agriculture transfer the economic benefits of food is fundamentally unsustainable. It exchanges processing to organic farmers in the South. long-term ecological health (involving issues These include the making of fruit into like biodiversity and topsoil quality) for short- conserves in the Andes to the extraction of term productivity gains, and new developments sunflower oil from hand-powered mills in in the genetic manipulation Kenya. More resources and investment in of plants and animals are set to worsen this these frequently low-tech solutions could disastrous trajectory. Thirdly, food security have significant paybacks for ecological is endangered by encouragement for farmers farmers across to opt for high yielding mono-crops requiring the Third World. substantial inputs. If the crops fail farmers are in danger of losing their land to cover bad• Better links need to be fostered between debts – further contributing to rural-urban drift different disciplines and approaches within in the South. the ‘alternative’ agricultural movement – bringing together (for example) foresters, Ultimately, we believe the key aim at a practical researchers, livestock producers and level must be to knit together the different horticulturalists in regional, national and aspects and drivers of the organic and international networks. agroecological approach into a coherent international movement which is capable of• The development of certification capacity in providing an alternative to the conventional the South – by governments working in system. As ecological agriculture becomes more tandem with established NGOs – needs successful economically, and an increasing to be boosted to prevent the need for costly number of farmers throughout the South decide external inspections. – independently or with assistance from NGOs – to jump off the chemicals treadmill, the• Joined-up thinking between the organic and chances of this real Green Revolution fair trade movements could be crucial in succeeding become greater every day. The Real Green Revolution 7
  • 10. Acknowledgements Development, Togo), Mª Fernanda de A. C. Fonseca (Brazil). We extend our grateful thanks to the following individuals who have helped with N M Abdul Gaffar (Stassen Natural Foods, this project, primarily through responding to Sri Lanka), Yvan Gautronneau (INRA, Lyon, our survey, but in other instances through France), Maheswar Ghimire (Ecological helping us make contact with key individuals, Services Centre, Nepal), Boghos Ghougassian providing access to libraries and databases, (Middle East Centre for the Transfer of and acting as translators. Alternative Technology, Lebanon), Nicolien van der Grijp: (Vrije Universiteit, Jacqueline Haessig Alleje (Rizal Dairy Farms, Amsterdam), Papa Gueye, (Fédération des Philippines), Mustafa Akyuz (ETKO, Agropasteurs de Diender, Senegal), Carolyn Turkey), Kossi Ahonyo (Centre de Promotion Foster (University of Wales, Aberystwyth). des Initiatives de Base et de l’Environnement, Togo), Marta Astier (Interdisciplinary Group Rob Hardy (Soil Association), Dr. Zahid for Appropriate Rural Technology, Mexico). Hossain (Proshika, Bangladesh), Liz Hoskins (Gaia Foundation). Reena Bansal (Ambootia Tea Estates, India), David Barkin (Universidad Autonoma Rosie Jackson (Soil Association), Pauline Metropolitana, Mexico), Birgitt Boor (Bioherb, Jones (Kitty Seed Project, Gambia), Mariam Germany), Angelina M. Briones (MASIPEG, Jorjadze (Elkana, Georgia). Philippines), Edith Lammerts van Bueren (Louis Bolk Institut, Netherlands), Helen J.G. Kanyi (Green Farming Group, Kenya), Broutschert (Cardiff University), Kath Burton J.J. Kanjanga (Lipangwe Organic Manure (Soil Association), Everard Byer (Trinidad and Demonstration Farm, Malawi) Nichole Tobago Organic Agriculture Movement). Kenton, (IIED), Mustafa Koc (Ryerson K. Cadoret (Henry Doubleday Research University, Canada) Avaz Koocheki (College Association), of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University, Iran) Jon Koshey (Spices Board of India) Tadeu Caldas, (Ecotropic, UK), Daniel Mones Cazon (FAEA, Argentina), Oscar Mao Lamin (Zhejiang Camel Transworld Mendieta Chavez (Assoc. de Organisationes Organic Food Company Limited, CHINA), de Product Ecologicos de Bolivia), Fernando Nic Lampkin (University of Wales, Cruz (Cosecha del Sol, Mexico). Aberystwyth). Marcos Lena (Brazil) Huafen Li (Agroecology Research Institute, China Alexander Daniel (Institute for Integrated Agricultural University), Judy Longbottom Rural Development, India), Sue Edwards (IIED), Emile Lutz (Planeta Verde, Brazil). (Institute for Sustainable Development, Tigray, Ethiopia), Marck van Esch (Bo Friedel Mallinckrodt (SARD Prize), Justo Weevil, Holland), Bo van Elzakker (Agroeco, Mantilla (Ecological and Medicinal Plant Netherlands), Lal Emmanuel (Nagenhiru Institute, Peru), P. Mariaselvam (People’s Foundation, Sri Lanka). Agricultural Farm, Tamil Nadu, India), Laura Martinez (Cardiff University), Prof. Peter Caporali Fabio (Universitia degli studia della Midmore (University of Wales, Aberystwyth), Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy), Ali Faisal (Hyderabad, Luiz Carlos Mior (Cardiff University), India), Luciano Florit (Universidade Regional B. Mohan (Indian Bio Organic Tea de Blumenau, Brazil), Komla Foly Association). (Groupement des Jeunes pour l’Entraide et le8
  • 11. Elizabeth Nabanja-Makumbi (Mirembe Self (Greenpeace), Anna J. Wieczorek (VrijeHelp Organisation of Uganda), Mamseedy Universiteit, Amsterdam), Jean Marc von derNjai (Gambia Agricultural Extension Service), Weid (Assessorias e Servicios a Projectos emGunnel Axelsson Nycander (Swedish Agricultura Alternitiva, Brazil), JohnInternational Development Agency). Wilkinson (Brazil).Sunny Okwudire (Regfos Green Virginia Zeneteno (Organic Chile Certifier),Commission, Nigeria). Anke Zimpel (University of Wales, Aberystwyth).Suzanne Padel (University of Wales,Aberystwyth), Fernando Pia (CIESA, Particular thanks are due to Bernward GeierArgentina); Carlo Ponzio (Sultan Organic and Camilla Toulmin (of IFOAM and IIEDFarm, Egypt), Kranti Prakash (Ragavendra respectively) who generously acceptedNiwas, India). invitations to referee this report. We are indebted to them for their insights and adviceVanaja Ramprasad (The Green Foundation, on improving the content and presentation ofBangalore, India), Sarath Ranaweera this report. Any outstanding errors remain(Biofoods, Sri Lanka) C. Sundara Rao the responsibility of the authors.(Enfield Agrobase, India), Paul Richards(Wageningen Agricultural University, The The authors welcome feedback andNetherlands), Esther Roycroft (Henry comments on this report which can beDoubleday Research Association) Guido addressed to (Wageningen AgriculturalUniversity, The Netherlands).Abdoulaye Sarr (Recours a la Terre, Senegal),Guillermo Scarlato (CIEDUR, Uruguay),Carsten Schuettel (Rapunzel, Germany),Albert Schwarz (Shiré Highland OrganicGrowers Organisation, Malawi), NadiaScialabba (FAO), Jata Shankar (Mana Seva,India), Vandana Shiva, Research Foundationfor Science, Technology and Ecology, India)C. Shastry, (Phalada Agro ResearchFoundations, India), Richard Soita (HopeCommunity Development Programme,Kenya), Erika Sosa (GreenAqua, Ecuador),Roland Sturm (Hess Natur-Textilien).Laura Thornton (DfiD).Narayana Upadhyaya (Skal, India), Fr.Gregorius Utomo, (The World Food DayFarmers And Fishermens Movement OfIndonesia).Ong Kung Wai (HUMUS Consultancy andMarketing, Malaysia), Fred Wajje (WorldVision, Uganda), Stokely Webster The Real Green Revolution 9
  • 12. 1 – Methodology and approach (Sen, 1986). In this sense arguments as to whether different forms of agriculture, such 1.1 – Context as GM, intensive or organic systems can ‘feed At the dawn of the twenty-first century two the world’ are somewhat simplistic (Geier, competing agricultural models are 1998). Other significant intermediary factors positioning themselves in an attempt to win influence access to, and distribution of, food loyalty, support and commitment from on the global and regional scales, and within farmers, policy makers and consumers individual communities (Woodward, 1998). (Marsden, 2001). One, a biotechnology-led This said, different models of food extension of the Green Revolution, holds the production do play a role in shaping these promise of feeding the world through entitlements: through making use of different improved yields, greater resistance to diseases mixes of labour and capital (and increasingly and greater efficiency through the nowadays, intellectual property); of locally manipulation of the genetic structure of produced and imported inputs and; different plants (Pretty, 1998). Critics argue that the market orientations. risks involved in releasing GMOs into the environment are unknown and unpredictable Such differences are also reflected in the (ESRC Global Environmental Change research structures that help inform and Programme, 1999). Moreover, particularly develop these different models. Conventional in the South, the adaptation of GMO agricultural research tends to be technology implies a huge and unacceptable laboratory/experimental farm based, often transfer of intellectual property rights (and aiming at producing universally applicable, thus power) from farmers to seed companies context-breaking solutions (e.g. hybrid and laboratories (Shiva, 2001). seeds). Organic research, by contrast, tends to be more diffuse, ‘farm based’, The other model, which we explore here, of participatory and draws upon local organic and agroecological farming is based knowledge and tradition. Significantly, it is upon developing and maximising the use of also focused upon ‘public goods’, resources locally available natural resources to and techniques that are not readily maintain and build soil fertility and to deter patentable but which are, generally, freely pests and diseases. It is a decentralised, available. This may significantly contribute bottom-up approach to improving to explaining why organic research attracts agricultural capacity that relies upon, only a fraction of investment from private promotes and celebrates diversity. Critics of sources compared to conventional and this approach claim that reliance on natural biotechnological approaches. and often traditional, production systems 1.2 – Aims and objectives will prove inadequate in the task of feeding the world either now or in fifty years time – This report was commissioned to provide an when world population levels are predicted overview of the ‘state of the art’ of organic to have doubled (Pinstrup-Andersen, 2000). and agroecological farming systems in the ‘South’ (see below for an explanation of this The ghost of Malthus appears to still haunt terminology). The primary focus of the debates about food security, despite report is on identifying systems, technologies widespread recognition that it is not food and methods which are proving effective in production per se which determines whether increasing yields, eliminating (or significantly the world is fed or not (Grolink, 2000), but reducing) the need for chemical inputs and the political and economic structures which (as a ‘second tier’ objective), in increasing provide, or deny, access to ‘food entitlements’ farmer incomes.10
  • 13. The aims of the report are: engaged with OAA are twofold: those of• to identify specific (and recently disseminating existing knowledge through developed) projects/systems and, through training, participatory research and this, identify possibilities for developing experimentation, and differentiating OAA and supporting initiatives that have produce through effective yet economic hitherto been neglected or underdeveloped certification processes. at both research and project level; Recent years have witnessed a surge of• (in line with the above) to seek to identify interest in and rapid development of OAA gaps in current knowledge and support; in many parts of the South. The convergence of several sets of interests (commercial,• to provide indicators of likely future developmental, and environmental) around developments (both in research agendas the OAA agenda is in itself encouraging. and project development). After years of being marginalised OAA is becoming increasingly accepted by theIn meeting the first aim we provide a broad ‘mainstream’. The most significantoverview of the state of development of manifestation of this is the recognition byOrganic and Agroecological approaches the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation(OAA) across the South, focusing on (FAO) of the role that OAA can play incountries where a critical mass has begun to promoting ‘sustainable agriculture’. Givendevelop and where innovative new this growth of interest we anticipate aapproaches are being put in place. We significant expansion in both levels ofidentify a number of case studies where OAA production and the ‘knowledge base’is presently proving successful in meeting a surrounding OAA in the very near future.range of diverse objectives: improving yields, This notwithstanding, there remainfood security, farmers’ incomes and health significant practical and attitudinal barriersstatus, and reversing established patterns to its further expansion.of land degradation. We identify in our 1.3 – Scope and definitionsrecommendations potential avenues forassisting with the development of OAA: For the purpose of this study we havebuilding links with existing research and stepped aside from debates over whatextension networks, engaging with constitutes a ‘developing’ or ‘Third World’established grassroots NGOs, and country and opted for a broad geographicalstrengthening effective advocacy of the need definition of the ‘South’: one which coversfor, and benefits of, OAA amongst policy all of Africa, Asia (with the exception ofmakers, farmers and consumers. Japan), Latin America and the Caribbean. This approach gives us the scope to examineIdentifying gaps in knowledge has proven a a wide range of organic and agroecologicalmore challenging task. The nature of OAA, practices existing in different climatic,rooted in specific ecological, agronomic and topographic and socio-economic situations.cultural contexts, militates against identifying The systems and methods that we havesingle key research issues that can provide examined vary significantly from, at oneuniversal solutions. For this reason we have extreme, those that primarily meet householdnot singled out specific research issues food requirements where surpluses arerelating to say, soil fertility or pest bartered or sold, to market (often export)management. Our overriding impression focused production systems. These differentfrom the literature reviews and responses to orientations imply quite different rationalesour survey is that the main priorities of those amongst producers and lead us into a The Real Green Revolution 11
  • 14. discussion of the similarities and differences weeds and other pests.’ between organic farming and agroecology. (USDA, 1980 cited in Scialabba and Aubert1998) Legal definitions of organic produce are codified in a number of formal standards that Table 1 (below) expands on this definition by define the regimes that producers (or exploring some of the key aims, principles processors) need to work within in order to and management strategies employed in claim organic status. Globally there are more organic agriculture. than 100 different organic certification Table 1: Key aims, principles and systems in place (Van Elzakker, cited in management practices of organic farming Scialabba and Aubert, 1998). Of greatest Aims and principles importance are the international standards: To develop, as far as possible, closed flows of the EU Organic Directive Regulation (CEC, nutrients and organic matter within the farm and 1991), the IFOAM (International Federation therefore promote the ecological resilience of the of Organic Agricultural Movements) Basic farm unit. Standards (IFOAM, 1999) and the guidelines produced by the FAO/WHO Codex Maintenance and improvement of soil fertility Alimentarius Commission (1999).1 By nature • Mixed livestock and arable farming these are prescriptive, defining the applications • Use of farm compost, mulches and green manure (e.g. pesticides and fertilisers) and processes • Recycling and composting of vegetative matter (e.g. irradiation and genetic modification) (including ‘off-farm’ materials) which are and are not permitted in food • Use of crop rotation, fallows and strip cropping described as ‘organic’. These standards are • Use of nitrogen-fixing plants concerned primarily with consumer protection • Mixed cropping to maintain soil cover and and intended to provide unambiguous maximise nutrient availability guarantees to consumers who are in general • Use of deep-rooting plants to recycle nutrients prepared to pay premium prices for organic • Agroforestry produce. Detailed analysis of these standards, and of the differences between them, serves • Use of contour bunds, terracing and other mechanical methods to prevent soil loss little purpose here. Of more interest are the characteristics, principles and working Pest and disease control practices involved in organic production,2 which we explore below. • Crop rotations and intercropping (both of different species and geni) One widely used definition of organic • Companion planting production is that provided by the United • Use of resistant varieties States Department of Agriculture (USDA): • Use of alleopathic / antagonistic plants • Use of physical barriers ‘A production system which avoids or largely (e.g. tree breaks or insect traps) excludes the use of synthetic compounded • Use of natural pesticides fertilisers, pesticides, growth regulators and • Use of biological controls, such as predators livestock feed additives. To the maximum • Control of carriers extent feasible, organic farming systems rely upon crop rotations, animal manures, • Hand picking legumes, green manures, off-farm organic Adopted from Harris et al.., (1998) wastes and aspects of biological pest control and Scialabba, (1999) to maintain soil productivity and tilth, to supply plant nutrients and to control insects,12
  • 15. Notably both the definition and the key aims, ‘organically produced’, and de facto organicprinciples and management practices provided production. Certified organic productionabove make no reference to social justice or forms the basis of what is now aeconomic viability, both of which are key phenomenally rapidly growing market.features in determining the acceptability of This may however represent just the tip ofOAA to consumers and producers alike. the iceberg in terms of land that is managedThe importance of these issues is addressed according to organic precepts but is notlater in the paper – for the moment we (like certified as such. Such de facto organicthe authors above) confine ourselves to farming appears to be particularly prevalentdiscussing the agronomic aspects of OAA. in resource-poor and/or agriculturally marginal regions where local populationsThe characteristics and management principles have a limited engagement with the cashdiscussed above are not solely restricted to economy. In such situations, farmers haveorganic farming. ‘Conventional’ farmers may little alternative but to rely upon locallywell employ some of these techniques. For available natural resources to maintain soilexample, livestock and/or green manures are fertility and to combat pests and diseases.used in many ‘conventional’ farming systems In some instances sophisticated systems ofas a means of building or maintaining soil crop rotation, soil management and pest andfertility. However, they are increasingly being disease control have evolved solely on thereplaced by artificial inputs, as the logic of basis of traditional knowledge. The first casespecialisation in a globalised market place study in this report, of the Chagga Homefavours the development of monocultural Gardens in Tanzania (see over) provides anfarming systems at the expense of mixed ones. example of an intensive, sustainable, multi- functional organic system. Such systems areInnovations in organic farming methods associated with remote areas, often involving(often driven by the need to meet standards) culturally homogenous populations.have a relevance that potentially extends Although primarily subsistence-oriented,beyond the organic sector (FAO, 1998 p.9). these systems often also produce a range ofIn Israel, for example, greenhouse cash techniques pioneered by organicfarmers have now become widely adopted by As in many instances there is no officialconventional farmers (Raviv, 2000).3 recognition of the organic status of this land,Similarly, principles of community ecology there are very few reliable estimates of thedeveloped to control pests in European extent to which de facto organic farming isorchards have also benefited ‘conventional’ practised in the South. Estimates of the extentgrowers (Brown 1999a and b). While of de facto organic farming vary widely. Ourconventional producers may adopt some impression is that the amount of land in theorganic techniques, organic farming remains South farmed on this basis exceeds, probablydifferentiated from conventional approaches by a significant factor, land that is formallyby virtue of its exclusive reliance on natural certified as being organic.4 Kotschi (2000),methods of building soil fertility and claims that ‘80% of registered organic landcombating pest and diseases. in the Third World has not undergone any change in management practice’, suggestingAgricultural systems that rely exclusively on that there is a large pool of organicallynatural methods of building soil fertility and managed land which is not recognised as such,combating pests and diseases fall into two that could readily be certified if marketcategories: certified organic production, conditions permitted.which has been inspected and is verified as The Real Green Revolution 13
  • 16. De facto organic farming is an approach that for staples (e.g. millet, beans and sorghum) is embraced and celebrated by agroecology. and fodder. It is their home gardens that are of This approach shares much common ground primary interest as they embody many key with the ‘standards-driven’ organic model. elements of organic and agroecological Both promote a ‘closed system’ approach, management strategy. The features of the use multiple and diverse cropping and rely Chagga Home Gardens include: on biological sources for building soil fertility and controlling pests and diseases. • Capture of snowmelt water for irrigation Agroecology, however, is more specifically through an elaborate system of rooted in the experience of the South channelling (particularly Latin America), and places greater emphasis in ‘acknowledging the • A diversity of cropping for cash and socio-cultural and ecological co-evolution consumption purposes, including bananas and inseparability of social and natural (15 varieties), coffee, yams, beans, systems’ (Norgard, 1987). Thus, agroecology medicinal plants, bees and livestock (see contains a more explicit social component below) than the organic approach, whose focus is more upon verifiable technical standards. • Maintaining cattle, pigs and poultry that Further, agroecological research is more provide both protein and manure. strongly orientated towards the social (Mammals are stall-fed with fodder from sciences, embodying a ‘human ecology’ the trees and grasses from the plain and approach (Glaeser, 1995). Agroecological the manure recycled, providing an research is more culturally specific and more ongoing source of fertility) explicitly adopts a ‘farmer first’ philosophy. Agroecological systems do not however • A design to maximise diversity – elaborate provide internationally recognised standards patterns of vertical zoning exist – and therefore do not provide the same providing niches within the gardens for opportunities for attracting market premia as different species and a range of sunny / certified organic systems. While some tension cooler conditions exists between the ‘standards driven’ approach of organic production, and the • The use of a wide range of woody species more culturally relativist approach of (Fernandes identifies and lists the agroecology, practitioners and advocates of functions of thirty nine), many of which the two approaches share a broadly common are multifunctional, providing fruit, philosophy and agenda, and in many fodder, fuel and medicines as well as instances work closely together. nutrients and crop protection Case study 1: the Chagga Home Gardens • Cropping patterns designed to maximise (Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania). continuity of yield The Chagga Home Gardens provide an • Bees, used to provide honey and for excellent model of integrated and sustainable pollination. land management systems that use a minimum of external inputs. The Chagga people farm The area is one of the most densely the southern and eastern slopes of Kilimanjaro populated in rural Africa with about 500 (900-1900m above sea level). Most also have people per square kilometre. Average plot lowland plots on the drier plains, within 20km sizes are small, just over 1 hectare, and of their home gardens. These are mostly used support households with, on average, 914
  • 17. family members. The system has been sustainable agriculture is an extremely weakmaintained in a stable form for more than form of agroecology, which ‘fails to address100 years. Although individual crops may either the rapid degradation of the naturalsometimes fail, multiple failures are resource base, or resolve the debt trap andunknown. Growing a range of cash crops profit squeeze in which many farmers find(bananas, coffee and, in extremis, timber) themselves trapped’.also provides some protection against marketprice fluctuations. While there are some Sustainable agriculture may be likened toconcerns that the system is approaching its a broad church, which attracts a diverseproductivity limits within the present congregation with a range of different ‘coremanagement regime, strategies for further beliefs’. They include those whose primaryenhancing management techniques may yet concerns are with ecology and ‘farmer first’be developed. Some believe that the approaches, but also ‘high –tech advocatesprinciples of this management system could who propagate a second green revolutionbe successfully transferred to similar upland with gene technology and a new generationareas in other parts of Africa: particularly of agrochemicals’ (Kotschi, 2000 p.653).Rwanda, Ethiopia and Kenya, although local The attempt to include all these interestscultural and ecological differences would under a single defining banner leads toneed to be taken into account. sustainable agriculture ‘lacking a clear profile’ (ibid.) and lacking clear indicators(Sources: Fernandes (undated), Harrison (1987), or definitions of how it differs fromKüchli (1996)) ‘unsustainable agriculture’.A third approach, incorporating elements ofboth the organic and agroecological models, These disagreements aside, organic,is that of ‘sustainable agriculture’. This has agroecological and sustainable approachesbeen a focus of activity and research within to agriculture share common methodologicalthe ‘development’ field for at least a decade. and theoretical ground in their use ofIt is focused around three core principles: participative approaches to agriculturalthose of ‘ecological soundness, social (and rural) research and development.responsibility and economical viability’ This participative approach to research and(Thrupp, 1996). Many projects and development has, in the last two decades,programmes under the rubric of sustainable grown into a significant discipline in itsagriculture explicitly aim to eliminate or own right, generating a substantial bodyreduce the use of artificial inputs, use local of literature. (For examples of work in thisresources to build soil fertility and increase area see: Haverkort et al.. 1991; Alders etdiversity within farming systems (for al.. 1993, Conway 1985; van Veldehuizen,examples of such projects see Thrupp 1996; 1997; Gündel 1998; Pretty et al.., 1999 andWhiteside 1998; Pretty and Hine 2000b). Bainbridge et al.. 2000). With a focus on theHowever, both the organic and importance of traditional knowledge and onagroecological movements experience some innovation, experimentation and diffusion ofunease about the looseness of definitions agricultural techniques, this body of literatureembraced by sustainable agriculture. As with contains much of relevance to understandingmany other applications of the term how OAA can be better promoted, and we‘sustainability’, tensions can often arise over draw upon it where it specifically relates tooperational definitions of ‘ecological organic / agroecological systems.soundness’, ‘social responsibility’ andeconomic viability (Butler-Flora 1998). In this report we focus both on ‘whole farm’Rosset and Altieri (1997, p.283) argue that systems, and on individual techniques. Whilst The Real Green Revolution 15
  • 18. the first group represents exclusively organic of ‘grey literature’ in providing current and or agroecological approaches, the latter informed commentary on developments in group may form component parts of organic, the field. Many key texts were only identified agroecological or sustainable farming as a result of the survey that we conducted. systems, be transferable across all three Many were e-mailed to us as ‘works in agricultural approaches and, in many cases, progress’ or internal reports prepared as also be applicable to conventional and more funding bids or project evaluations and not intensive systems. originally intended for publication. We acknowledge the invaluable contribution of 1.4 – Research methods the many individuals and agencies who took The information presented in this report has the trouble to assist our project in this way. been generated by a desk-based literature Thus, in drawing together this literature review, supplemented by a semi-structured review we have tapped into, and sought to survey of organic organisations, NGOs and synthesise, a highly fragmented but rapidly academics and a selected number of face-to- growing knowledge base. face and telephone interviews. Details are provided below of the work undertaken in Survey each of these three areas. In addition to the literature search a survey was undertaken of organic organisations, Literature reviews development and environmental agencies The literature relating to organic and with an involvement in OAA, and informed agroecological farming is spread across academics. The initial sample frame for the a number of sources. At the outset three core survey was compiled from the IFOAM sources of literature were identified: the membership directory (IFOAM, 2000), from organic movement’s own publications which we selected all IFOAM members in (particularly those from IFOAM), those of the South, together with those in the development and environment agencies, industrialised world claiming to have active and broader academic literature. In addition involvement in the South. Relevant a number of electronic information resources development and environmental were visited, including remote access organisations and academics with a known catalogues, the Web of Science and the Index interest in the field were identified and added of Theses.5 Keyword searches were to the list. Requests for information were undertaken on ‘organic farming’ and also sent out on the networks of the ‘agroecology’. Between them these sources International Sociological Association RC40 provided threads into a varied and eclectic group and the food network of the range of fields of literature. International Human Development Project. Throughout the project, a ‘snowball’ effect The role and potential of OAA in the South was generated as feedback from these initial is attracting interest from a range of contacts continued to generate further disciplinary backgrounds including: suggestions of individuals and organisations agricultural, plant and soil science, rural and to contact and which continued to elicit third world development, rural sociology, responses throughout, and beyond, the geography and marketing. Moreover, the contracted period of research. literature is spread across a range of types of sources: academic journals, trade Given the time constraints of this project, publications, conference proceedings and and the broad range of interests of the agency reports. As the study progressed we organisations and individuals whom we became increasingly aware of the importance wished to contact, the survey itself was16
  • 19. carried out on an informal, semi-structured • Voluntary Services Overseas, Londonbasis. In preference to a questionnaireformat, which may well have limited the • International Institute for Environmenttypes and range of responses elicited, a letter and Development (Camilla Toulmin, Judywas written (and translated into French, Longbottom and Nichole Kenton)Spanish and Portuguese) outlining the projectand requesting details of projects, good • The Gaia Foundation, London (Lizpractice, policy and research issues. More Hoskins and Sue Edwards, Institute forthan 400 copies were sent out throughout Sustainable Development, Tigray)December 2000 and January 2001 (the vastmajority by email) and more than 150 • International Human Developmentresponses received by the end of February. Centre, AmsterdamInterviews and visits • University of Cordoba (Prof. EduardoIn addition to the literature review and Guzman)survey, a limited number of visits were madeto institutions identified as having specialist • The Soil Association, Bristol (Rob Hardy)knowledge or expertise relevant to this study.These are listed below. In most cases these In addition to these, a visit was made tovisits had the dual purpose of using library Biofach (the World Organic Trade Fair) heldresources and meeting with informed at Nürnberg, Germany in February 2001.individuals working at those institutes – This proved particularly fruitful, enablingin all cases these interviews were of an contact to be made with many producersinformal nature. from the South and with representatives from several leading international organic• The Welsh Organics Centre, Aberystwyth organisations.6 These meetings and (Nic Lampkin, Suzanne Padel, Peter conversations significantly helped shape the Midmore and Anke Zimpel) final structure and emphasis of the report. The Real Green Revolution 17
  • 20. 2. The world grows organic of the extent of organic production on a global basis. Drawing upon the ITC report 2.1 – Estimating the extent of global organic (1999) and other data sources, they identify production around 15.8 million hectares of land around Only in recent years has published data the world that are managed organically. regarding the extent of organic agriculture Argentina is clearly the largest certified in the South become available. The organic producer in the South with 3 million International Trade Centre (ITC) recently ha. (1.77% of its total agricultural land) published a directory on products and under organic production. This accounts for market development in the organic sector almost 19 % of total global organically (1999) with the aim of fostering trade managed land. Other Latin American opportunities, especially for developing countries account for around 1.3% of the countries. This provides a country-by- global total of organically managed land. country analysis of organic production and Africa and Asia account for only fractions demand, together with details of available of a percent (0.14% and 0.33% respectively) produce and the principal trading and (Willer and Yussefi, 2001, p.28).9 development organisations. It also provides some details (though sketchy in places), Whilst these figures provide a useful about the profiles of ‘non-certified’ activity. overview, there are evident omissions in the data. For example, there is no data for many More recently the German organic countries known to be exporting organic organisation, Stiftung Ökologie & Landbau produce to the industrialised world. Walaga (SÖL) published a statistical digest of global (2000) identifies a number of African organic production (Willer and Yussefi, countries which are known to be exporting 2000, 2001). These figures provide the basis organic produce but which do not appear in for a more comparative analysis of the extent these tables. These countries include: Algeria, of organic production in different parts of Benin, Burkina Faso, Comoro Islands, Ivory the world (see tables 2.1. and 2.2, below for Coast, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, summaries). A further useful data source is Senegal and South Africa (see table 3.2). Such the annual IFOAM members Directory discrepancies occur due to a number of (IFOAM, 2000), which lists members by factors. In part there is the problem of a time country, thereby permitting proxy estimates lag in data collection. Even in the EU, which of activity rates. 7 has a strong data gathering capacity, it is difficult to collate information that is less The FAO has also prepared a number of than two years out of date (Foster, pers. studies of organic systems on a global scale comm.). The rapid expansion of certified (FAO, 1998, 1999, 2000a; Scialabba 1999, organic production in the South and the 2000; Scialabba and Aubert, 1998).8 They more limited capacity for data collection have recently commissioned a number of mean that the figures provided in Tables 2.1 specialist reports and are in the process of and 2.2 are almost certainly underestimates. constructing a database of organic literature Other factors may play a key role: the cost (FAO, 2001). Thus the literature providing and other constraining factors of certification global perspectives on OAA, while not (discussed in section 4. 6), means that such extensive, is rapidly growing and is likely data is only likely to be collected for land to be more substantial in forthcoming years. where much, or all, of the crop is destined for export markets. The only likely exceptions to The SÖL reports (Willer and Yussefi, 2000 this are those few countries that have & 2001) provide valuable early estimates established their own (IFOAM accredited)18
  • 21. Table 2.1 – Certified organic land by country (hectares) Latin America Africa Asia>1 Million ha. Argentina (3M)100,000 – 1 M ha. Brazil25-100,000 ha. Mexico5-25,000 ha. Paraguay, Peru, Tunisia, Uganda Turkey, China, Japan Costa Rica, Bolivia, Guatemala 101-5,000 ha. El Salvador, Chile, Tanzania, Egypt, Papua New Guinea , Nicaragua, Uruguay Zimbabwe Israel, India, Taiwan<1,000 ha. Suriname, Colombia Cameroon, Mauritius, Republic of Korea, Malawi Sri Lanka, Honk Kong, Lebanon, PhilippinesKnown existence of Ecuador, Honduras Burkina Faso, Ghana, Pakistanorganic production but Zambiafigures not availableAdapted from Willer and Yussefi, (2000 & 2001)Table 2.2 – Certified organic land by country (% of agricultural land)Organic land as % ofdomestic agricultural total Latin America Africa Asia> 1% Argentina (1.77%)0.5 – 0.99% Papua New Guinea0.15-0.5% Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mauritius Japan Surinam, Guatemala0.025-0.14% Paraguay, Mexico, Tunisia, Egypt, Uganda Turkey, Republic of Brazil, Peru Korea, Lebanon<0.025% Bolivia, Nicaragua, Tanzania, Cameroon, Sri Lanka, China, India Chile, Uruguay, Zimbabwe, Malawi ColombiaAdapted from Willer and Yussefi, (2000 & 2001)certifying bodies, where certification costs are (see Table 2.3, over). These provide a usefullikely to be more in line with the premia that proxy method for estimating levels of OAA,producers can expect to obtain on local which cover both certified and informal,markets.11 Organic production systems which ‘de facto’ approaches. Although in somework on a ‘trust’ basis, agroecological and cases IFOAM membership figures fortraditional ‘de facto’ organic systems will not individual countries correspond with thebe included in these figures. Between them amount of certified organic land, there arethese are likely to significantly outweigh many instances where they do not. Forformally certified holdings.12 example, IFOAM has members in many countries that are not identified as havingAn alternative approach to gauging levels of any certified organically managed land.OAA is through analysis of IFOAM Some of these countries (notably Kenya,(International Federation of Organic Senegal, Venezuela, the Philippines and SouthAgricultural Movements) membership figures Africa) have a relatively high number of The Real Green Revolution 19
  • 22. Table 2.3 – IFOAM Members by Country No. of IFOAM members Latin America Africa Asia 39 India 18 Argentina 16 Kenya China 10 Senegal 9 Venezuela Philippines 8 Chile, Mexico 7 Brazil Burkina Faso, Egypt Turkey 5 Bolivia South Africa Sri Lanka 4 Ecuador, Peru Malaysia, Pakistan 3 Costa Rica, Guatemala, Benin, Cameroon, Indonesia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Paraguay Congo, Ghana, Malawi, Thailand Togo, Uganda, Zimbabwe 2 Columbia, Uruguay Bangladesh, Israel, Vietnam 1 Cuba, Trinidad and Algeria, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Korea, Tobago Ivory Coast, Lebanon, Palestine, Madagascar, Mali, Taiwan Nigeria, Somalia, Tanzania Adapted from IFOAM (2000) IFOAM members, yet there is no data organic farming is practised, although the available for organically managed land balance of views suggests that the amount within these countries. Many of the of de facto organically managed land almost organisations affiliated to IFOAM are quite certainly outstrips ‘certified’ organic land, evidently community and/or peasant farming probably by a considerable amount. Informal organisations who would be unlikely to have use of OAA appears to be concentrated in to have much engagement with export specific countries and particularly in certain markets. Thus the IFOAM Directory types of area (discussed in section 2.3 arguably provides a more realistic assessment below). It is often a ‘hidden’ form of of levels of the existence of non-export agriculture, rarely the subject of interest from oriented OAA within individual countries. government extension agencies and only Differences between data contained in tables sometimes the focus of development and aid 2.1 and 2, and table 2.3 offer clues as to projects. It is likely to be oriented primarily countries where de facto organic agriculture towards local and regional markets, which may be practised on a significant scale.13 further obscures information gathering as to the extent to which it is practised. In view Such deductive reasoning is useful since there of these factors, the development of any are few other ways of identifying the extent definitive global estimates of the extent of de and existence of de facto organic farming. facto and uncertified OAA is an unlikely Our literature review and survey both prospect in the foreseeable future. strongly suggest that OAA is practised more extensively than official certification figures One recent report partially fills this gap by suggest. Opinions vary significantly (see providing estimates of the amount of land chapter 3) as to the extent to which de facto managed according to precepts of20
  • 23. ‘sustainable agriculture’. Pretty and Hine growing demand for organic produce in the(2001a) undertook a major survey that industrialised world is opening up newidentified 208 sustainable agriculture projects market opportunities for producers in theand initiatives, involving almost 9 million South (FAO, 1999; ITC, 1999). In response,farmers, managing almost 30 million a new breed of ‘ecological entrepreneur’ ishectares of land on a ‘sustainable basis’. emerging, seeking out producers able toThe authors estimate that this is equivalent provide consistent supplies of organicto c. 3% of arable and permanent cropland produce to specified quality Asia, Africa and Asia. Some reservations, This process involves identifying or, in manyhowever, should be expressed over the instances, setting up producer groups whocomprehensiveness and interpretation of are willing and able to meet this demand.these figures. The great majority (70%) In so doing these entrepreneurs often becomeof land that they identified as sustainably involved in areas traditionally associated withmanaged is under new ‘zero-till’ and crop agricultural extension or developmentalcover management regimes which are not work, providing training, research andnecessarily either organic or agroecological. sometimes credit facilities.Moreover, as the authors point out, in mostinstances the ‘conversion’ to such methods Many of the entrepreneurs involved inhas occurred in the 1990s. Thus the promoting the growth of ‘certified’ organicemphasis of this data is very much on produce across the South are based in the‘projects and initiatives’, with the inevitable industrialised world. Swiss, German, Britishimplication that sustainable, agroecological and Dutch companies and individuals areand organic systems that have been particularly active in seeking sources ofdeveloped by farmers, independently of organic produce. Some Southern-baseddevelopment agencies, extension services or entrepreneurs and community groups areNGOs are likely to remain unrecorded. also recognising this potential. However, state support for promoting organicIn conclusion, large and probably production remains limited to a fewunanswerable questions remain over the countries (notably a few countries in Southextent to which OAA is practised in the America, Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt and China).South, particularly on an informal basis.In the remainder of this section we turn Few Southern countries have put in placeour attention to identifying the main factors measures to safeguard and support theirwhich are driving the growth of OAA, organic farming systems (i.e. legislation andexamining the role of external stimuli and extension services). Fewer still havethe incentives for, and constraints upon, developed the capacity to undertakefarmers in the South adopting OAA. certification activities, and most work of this nature is undertaken by Northern-based2.2 – External stimuli for the development consultancies (see section 4.6 for a moreof organic agriculture detailed analysis of the issues that this givesIn recent years there has been a rapid growth rise to).15 Increasingly, trade promotionin the interest shown by the South in the organisations, such as the Internationalpotential of OAA. Two thirds of the recent Trade Centre (Geneva) and the Centre forgrowth in IFOAM membership is due to new the Development of Industry (Brussels) arerecruits from the South (La Prairie,14 cited in becoming involved in promoting andScialabba & Aubert, 1998). Several vectors of developing organic linkages between thethis growth can be identified, market forces ‘First’ and the ‘Third’ worlds.being among the most important. Rapidly The Real Green Revolution 21
  • 24. National and international development agriculture programme , recognising that:16 agencies are a second force that is encouraging the adoption of organic ‘it plays an important role in developing production in the South. Here the primary innovative production technologies, concerns are with enhancing food security, providing new market opportunities for increasing farmers’ incomes and halting (or farmers and processors, and generally reversing) environmental degradation. Such focusing attention on environmental and projects often, but by no means always, social concerns. COAG (the FAO’s focus on maximizing use of local resources Committee on Agriculture) will consider the and knowledge in order to achieve these need for an FAO-wide, cross-sectoral aims. Some projects promoted under this programme on organic agriculture that agenda will be wholly organic, but the would provide information and discussion majority of such projects are neither forums on production and trade, supply explicitly, nor wholly, organic, although they advice and technical assistance, develop may incorporate significant elements of standards and use pilot projects to improve organic practice within them. organic farming techniques.’ (Eric Kueneman,17 1999) The role of organic farming as a ‘development strategy’ has been gaining increasing credibility Since adopting organic agriculture within its in recent years. In 1996 a UNCTAD report remit, the FAO has developed a medium highlighted the role that organic agriculture term plan intended to raise the profile and can play in trade, environmental improvement support the development of organic farming and social development in the third world. systems through developing dissemination Although the report expressed some misgivings and networking vehicles, commissioning about economic viability and technical studies, and providing effective decision feasibility, it concluded that: support tools (FAO, 2001).18 However, the FAO’s support for organic farming maintains ‘Organic production has an undeniable edge an element of caution. For example, in over conventional farming in terms of its several publications they argue for partial beneficial impact on the environment and conversion to offset potential loss of yields. human health. Moreover, it can also contribute to higher incomes, better food Other government-financed development security and creation of employment.’ agencies are also taking a keen interest in (UNCTAD, 1996) organic systems as a tool for development. In the UK, DfID recently commissioned the The report also commented upon the Henry Doubleday Research Association ‘flawed’ basis upon which comparisons (HDRA) to undertake reports into farmer are made between conventional and organic demand and potential for development of agriculture, stating that: organic farming in sub-Saharan Africa (Harris et al.. 1998) and on management ‘if an internalisation of environmental and of manure in the Kenyan Highlands (Lekasi social costs and benefits were to take place, et al.., 1998). A forthcoming DfID handbook organic farming would appear economically for advisors will contain information on justifiable’ (ibid.). evaluating organic projects. A further publication on the role of ‘socially Since then the role of organic agriculture has responsible’ business as a development tool been recognised by FAO, who in 1999 will include a chapter on organic production included it within their sustainable (Agroeco, 2001, van Elzakker, pers. comm.)22
  • 25. The German, Swiss, Swedish, Belgian and and Cotton project, which specificallyDutch government development agencies addresses the potential of organic cottonare all sponsoring research and/or projects, farming practices – reflecting concern aboutwhich have led (or are intended to lead) the impacts of cotton on water cycles (WWF,to the establishment of commercially viable 1999; Bärlocher, 2000).export-oriented organic developmentprogrammes.19 In some respects therefore, we are witnessing a blurring between what might be regardedA third driving force behind the growth of as developmental/environmental andOAA is the ‘nature conservation’ agenda. commercial approaches to promoting OAA.Though less significant than the previous Many of the development and environmenttwo, it is still worthy of mention. Our agencies are adopting a market-orientedliterature survey highlighted a number of approach in an attempt to secure betterexamples where nature conservation market prices for organic produce. At theorganisations are working closely with local same time many ecological entrepreneurs arefarmers who live in or close to areas of taking on some responsibilities of extensionsignificant nature conservation interest (see workers, and are providing training, advicefor example, Stein 1996; Flores-Escudero; and sometimes credit facilities to theirPanuncio; Pryor; Vreeland, all 2000). Here producer groups.the aim is to maintain the integrity of 2.3 – Towards a understanding of incentiveslandscapes, habitats and biodiversity, and at and constraints to ‘grow organic’the same time ensure that local communitiesare able to maintain or improve their All these external influences must belivelihoods. The recent Vignola Declaration considered in the light of how OAA coincidesand Action Plan (in Stolton et al., 2000a; or conflicts with farmers’ perceptions of the2000b) marked the beginning of what may risks and benefits involved in different farmingprove to be a powerful coalition of interests strategies. In a summary of the potential ofbetween the international organic and nature organic farming in Africa, Walaga (2000)conservation movements (Stolton & Dudley, identifies a range of incentives and constraints2000). On a commodity (rather than site- on farmers’ adopting organic practices.specific basis) the World Wide Fund for We use this typology as a basis for discussionNature (WWF) has established a Fresh Water of the topic in a more global context.Table 2.4 – Incentives and constraints to organic farming 20Incentives ConstraintsDisillusion with ‘Green Revolution’ technologies and Growing rural populations place traditional forms ofan awareness of the dangers of intensive agriculture, agriculture under strain and encourage movesincluding resource degradation. towards intensification.The (increasing) cost of Green Revolution The high cost of certification (especially in regard totechnologies makes them inaccessible to the large local wages / incomes) undertaken by outside 21majority of farmers. organisations.Organic farming draws upon (and valorises) Low literacy levels in rural areas make record-indigenous knowledge. keeping a problem.The influence of the environmental and development Lack of trade liberalisation in some countriesmovements has led to organic systems being prevents development of export markets.introduced to combat erosion and desertification.Growing awareness that international organicmarkets offer premia and the opportunity for farmersto increase incomes.From Walaga (2000) The Real Green Revolution 23
  • 26. 2.3.1 – Incentives for adopting OAA respiratory illness amongst the workforce, Disillusion with ‘Green Revolution’ improvement in the quality of drinking water technologies and the improved stability of steep hillsides This is most likely to affect farmers with as three key benefits flowing from their direct experience of participation in conversion to biodynamic practices. Second conventional chemical-dependent farming generation environmental problems such as systems that have given rise to what these have often coincided with declines in Paarlberg (1994) terms ‘second generation (or stagnation of) yields obtained from rural environmental problems’. These intensive farming practices and/or declining include: world market prices. Individually, or in combination, these forces are influencing • diminishing returns from repeated many farmers engaged in commodity- pesticide and fertiliser applications orientated production to jump off the treadmill of conventional agricultural • deterioration of soil and water quality production and convert to more sustainable methods. • health-related problems Case study 2 – Organic cotton production in • declining groundwater levels India, Peru and Mali • loss of biodiversity Cotton is one of the most demanding of crops in terms of pesticide and insecticide • increased risk of crop disease. applications. The effect of these on watercourses, human health and ecosystem Part of the problem lies in the toxic nature diversity has increasingly become a cause of of many forms of pesticides and fertilisers, concern (Myers and Stolton, 1999). In many but is compounded by inadequate methods of areas cotton pests are becoming increasingly technology transfer. For example, one report resistant to spraying, and despite increased from Algeria suggests that only a small frequency of pesticide applications, farmers minority of hill farmers read and follow face declining yields. One response is a shift instructions that accompany purchased to organic cultivation, as shown in these agrochemicals (Moali-Grine, 2000). three case studies. The problems outlined above have proved The Maikaal Bio-Cotton Project, Madhya particularly acute in relation to cotton, which Pradesh, India accounts for 2.4% of global arable land but In 1992 an alliance between local farmers, 24% of the insecticide market (Bärlocher, their local spinning mill, sales agents and an 2000). Despite the intensity of agrochemical organic consultancy set about creating an use in conventional cotton projects, organic organic cotton project. Farmers were approaches to cotton growing have been experiencing severe pest problems, despite developed in many parts of the world, repeated pesticide applications: whitefly had creating environmental and economic developed pesticide resistance and many benefits (see case study 2, over). Another of farmers were abandoning cotton production our case studies, of a tea estate in India, also altogether, due to declining returns and highlights the health and environmental toxicity problems. Government researchers benefits of switching to organic production. and extensionists were sceptical of the Managers at the Ambootia Tea Estate (see initiative and suggested changing crops case study 5) identify reductions in rather than method of production. There24
  • 27. were no other certified organic projects in Sugar cane yields are 30% higher. SugarIndia at the time, and a feeling that the mills also pay a premia for the organicproject was attempting the impossible. cane as it has a higher sugar content. Other products, particularly wheat, attractIn the first year an experimental plot was local market premia because of itsestablished at the mill’s own small farm, superior act as a reference point for farmers.The following year two hundred farmers • Soils have become softer and more crumblyjoined the trial, applying a range of solutions and do not crack as much in the dry season.that had been developed through a series of Farmers attribute this to composting, whichmeetings between consultants and farmers. leaves residual fertility in the ground forSeven years later more than one thousand next year’s crop. Composting also reducesfarmers, cultivating more than 15,000 acres, the need for weeding, as it reduceshave joined the scheme. Organic cotton is availability of weed seeds.the main crop, accounting for around halfof this. It is grown in rotation with a wide • Irrigation requirements have been reducedrange of food crops. due to the increased moisture-retaining capacity of the soil.An extensive infrastructure has been createdto support the project. There is a team of • Pest incidence has been reduced to abio-agricultural extension officers located in minimum. Pest control management iseight extension centres, which serve between now one of the least important discussioneight and fifteen villages each. Regular topics at meetings. Natural predators aremonitoring is undertaken and practical and now very common on organic land andtheoretical training is offered to farmers. A farmers have learned how to monitor andrange of biodynamic and organic techniques encourage their development. Some havehave been developed. These include the use developed these techniques so successfullyof trap and host crops (the latter to provide that they no longer need to purchasehabitats for predators), compost making and biodynamic preparations. By contrast,use of biodynamic preparations. The latter conventional farmers are facing increasingare prepared locally (generating more jobs), pest incidence.and credit for farmers and distribution isarranged. Farmers have a guaranteed market • Most of the farmers have been usingand receive a 25% premia. biodynamic preparations on their land for seven years and are happy with theParticipant evaluation seven years after the results.project was initiated showed a remarkablydiverse set of achievements: • Labour requirements are substantially reduced and production costs for organic• Average cotton yields on participating cotton are 30-40% of those for farms are on average 20% higher than conventional production. on neighbouring conventional farms. These tend to increase with length of • Given the reduced costs, equivalent / higher participation in the programme. yields and market premia, farmers’ margins are now significantly higher than before.• Yields of other rotational crops (wheat, soya and chilli) are equal to or up to 20% • Wider, knock-on effects have been higher than those on conventional land. observed. Farmers not involved in the The Real Green Revolution 25
  • 28. project have halved their pesticide use. Yields are relatively low, about half of Shops that previously sold pesticides now conventional systems, but cotton is often also sell products acceptable within a intermingled with other crops. The unique biodynamic system, and some merchants pigmentation of these varieties, which come in have joined the project, solely selling a variety of hues (including greens, browns and organic and biodynamic inputs. purples), offers a potential for generating premia prices, regardless of formal organic (Caldas, 2000a; Baruah, 2000) status (most of these systems are de facto Organic and native cotton in Peru rather than certified organic). (Vreeland, 1996) Two different ecological cotton-growing regimes are being established in Peru – one in Organic cotton production in Mali the arid coastal lowlands, the other in the Andes. They have very different characteristics Cotton is a significant cash crop in Mali, and have been developed for different reasons. contributing 10% of GDP and 50% of export revenues. Mali is the largest producer of cotton Most cotton production in Peru is in the arid in sub Saharan Africa, with more than half a coastal plain and therefore utilises irrigation. million hectares given over to its production. Production has been in serious decline, As in other areas this has given rise to a influenced by changing policy, markets, number of health and ecological problems. In patterns of land tenure and problems with response to these problems, Helvetas (the Swiss pests and disease. By 1993 production had Association for International Development) declined to less than a quarter of its 1963 undertook a feasibility study and in the levels, and yields (per ha.) had declined by following year initiated trial organic plots 5%. Faced with these problems many coastal involving 10 producers. strip farmers are turning to organic cotton production. These farmers are achieving Yields in the first year were around half of yields 10-20% higher than the national those on the conventional plots maintained average (although not too much should be by the same farmers. Methods of pest control read into these benefits as this group are using neem extract were experimented with, considered to be more innovative and but were not entirely successful. Input costs productive farmers). By utilising varieties were significantly reduced, but labour costs that produce high quality fibre (in terms of rose. Despite poor yields in the first year, all staple length, strength, fineness and the farmers involved plan to continue with whiteness) they are able to generate market the scheme, which will be expanded to premia on quality grounds and through use include 30-40 farmers in 2000. of organic methods have reduced the need to (Source Valenghi et al., 2000) purchase external inputs. The inaccessibility of ‘Green Revolution’ In the High Andes, traditional swidden systems technologies of Native Indians continue to make use of In many countries the cost and availability of Peru’s unique naturally pigmented varieties of hybrid seeds and agrochemicals has become a cotton, ensuring their survival. Growing cotton major constraining factor on their use. One in a humid environment at high altitude poses survey from two regions of Kenya showed a number of problems and these varieties are that the proportion of farmers using arguably best suited to such environments. agrochemicals more than halved (from 97% Low crop density and a shifting pattern of to less than 40%) over the 1990s (Wachira, cultivation minimise problems with pests. 2000). This decline is often a direct result of26
  • 29. the removal of state subsidies and other food needs is, nonetheless, mechanisms such as distribution(Scoones and Toulmin, 1999, p.60). Much of Cuba was driven to make such changes bythe literature and many responses to our circumstance rather than choice. The collapsesurvey suggest that in many areas (and of the Soviet bloc, its main customer for sugarespecially poorer marginal ones with limited (at rates well above world market prices),market access) the use of artificial inputs is meant it was no longer able to purchasedeclining from an already low base, almost expensive inputs or, more importantly, importentirely due to economic circumstance. Harris food to meet domestic requirements (60% ofet al.’s study (1998) of the potential of Cuban food requirements were previouslyorganic farming in sub-Saharan Africa imported). In response to this crisis Cuba hasconfirms the importance of this factor. Two developed a number of programmes, whichthirds of farmers using organic methods said take it at least part of the way down the roadthat they did so because they cannot afford to being organic.fertilisers, pesticides or medicines for animals. One of the key changes made in this respectThe financial risks associated with has been the development of a programmeagrochemical use can be severe. In India the of Biological Pest Control. Cuba had threenumber of peasant farmers committing relative advantages in this field: a strongsuicide because of debt problems (and, in a scientific community, long-standingbitterly ironic twist, often using pesticides to experience in this field (some biological pestdo so), has become a national scandal (Shiva control techniques have been in use since theet al., 2000). In another instance we heard 1930s) and a research programme thatof farmers in Tigray incarcerated due to already prioritised this area. As a result Cubacrop failures that prevented them from is now without doubt established as a worldpaying debts on chemicals and seeds leader in this area. Solutions that have been(Quinones, et al.. 1997 cited in Scoones successfully developed include:and Toulmin, 1999; Edwards, pers. comm.).Such experiences are driving many farmers • Lixophaga diatraeae – a parasitic fly usedto adopt a less intensive and often de facto in nearly all sugar cane areas since theorganic approach to farming. Without 1930s to control cane borer.doubt, the largest-scale and most-studiedexample of an economically driven shift to • Trichogramma – a genus of parasiticorganic farming methods is that of Cuba wasps used to control lepidopteran pests(see case study 3).22,23 (butterflies and moths– principally Mocis latipes) in improved cattle pasture andCase study 3 – Cuba: Towards a national more recently used in tobacco, tomato,organic regime? cassava and other crop systems to control Heilothis spp.Cuba has often been cited as an exampleof the first country to attempt a nationwide • Pheidole megacepheal – a species ofconversion to organic agriculture. These predatory ant used to control the sweetclaims may be an exaggeration, but the potato weevil, which has an efficacy rateCuban experience in shifting from a highly of up to 99%.intensive, export-oriented, plantation-basedagriculture to a lower input mixed system of • Bacillus thuringiensis – a bacteria effectivefarming which embodies many elements of against many lepidopteran pests on aorganic practice and meets most domestic range of crops including cabbage, The Real Green Revolution 27
  • 30. tobacco, corn, cassava, squash, tomatoes The highly centralised state farms did not and improved grassland. It is also proving fare well in adjusting to the change to effective against mosquito larvae that organic agriculture, the logic of large-scale carry human diseases. plantations and centralised management being antithetical to the principles of organic • Beauvaria bassiana – effective against management. In 1993 Cuba radically coleopteran pests (beetles) such as the reorganised some state farms into small sweet potato and plantain weevils. co-operative production units, still owned by the state and required to meet production Little reliable data is available concerning the targets, but managed on a decentralised basis volume of production or the efficacy of these with surpluses free to be distributed as co-op treatments. Their method of production is members saw fit. The number of draft of some interest, as they are produced in animals (oxen) has more than doubled over more than 200 ‘artisanal’ production units, the past five years, reflecting the need to spread around the country and specialising minimise fuel imports and providing valuable in products sources of fertility. In addition, family-run food gardens (Autoconsumos) in cities have required in their area. They employ a become an important source of food supply. mixture of graduate technicians and high school graduates and are probably the only Despite these moves towards a more organic places in the world where ‘the sons and system of agriculture, the system retains a daughters of local campesinos make modern dependency on artificial fertilisers and breaking biotechnological products for local use’ up a long established mono-crop plantation (Rossett and Benjamin, 1996). economy is a lengthy process. Despite this 65% of Cuba’s rice and nearly 50% of fresh This system is not without its weaknesses: vegetables are now produced organically. quality control can be difficult to manage Many of the technological and management within a decentralised system, and shortages practices adopted here may have a broader of raw materials (both natural and relevance for other regions and countries. manufactured) can hinder production. In the Exports of biocides and technical know-how first few years following the US-led embargo, and the publication of a Journal ‘Agricultura Cuba’s crop yields fell dramatically and there Organica’, all contribute to Cuba playing a were significant food shortages, especially for leading role in the organic movement. protein. Since that time there have been (Sources: Rossett and Benjamin 1994, Echevarria marked differences in the success of the et al. 2000a & b; Institute for Food and different sections of agricultural economy. Development Policy 2000; Scialabba, 2000, Production in the private sector (a mix of Kilcher, pers. comm.) individual campesinos and co-operatives) recovered rapidly and now exceeds pre-crisis Valorising indigenous knowledge levels. Here, peasant farmers drew upon The cultural importance of organic traditional knowledge (of their parents and agriculture and agroecology lies in their grandparents), and the agricultural ministry ability to draw upon and validate local and ran agricultural workshops to help people traditional forms and sources of knowledge rediscover (and then disseminate) this (Kotschi, 2000). This point is frequently knowledge, which has been supplemented reinforced throughout the literature by access to new biotechnology in a fruitful (especially that of agroecology) and is a marriage of science and tradition. theme that frequently occurs within our case studies. A number of important consequences28
  • 31. flow from this. First, it emphasises the the absence of proactive government policiesimportance of participatory development, towards OAA, NGOs are of criticalwhere ‘learning from’ farmers is as importance in promoting the uptake of OAAimportant, if not more so, than ‘teaching’ through research, training, education andthem. Second, it implies an end to unilateral political lobbying. Section 3 of this reporttechnology transfer from the industrialised contains numerous examples of the activitiesNorth to the South (Kotschi, 2000). Third, of such groups in Africa, Asia and Latinit implies an engagement with the value America. Case study 4 (over) illustrates thesystems of rural communities, which will activities of one national group in Indonesia,almost inevitably extend beyond mere issues which is involved in promoting organicof agricultural productivity and embrace a agriculture as well as a range of otherwhole range of other activities, strategies ‘farmer first’ development strategies.and values that promote household security.Finally, it promotes and reinforces local Indigenous NGOs have a number ofculture and know-how and thus helps build particular strengths. First, they arecommunity self-confidence and their capacity established to address specific issues and dofor addressing other issues (Boshoff, 2000). so from a culturally rooted context. Second, they are more inclined to have a longer-termThe influence of the environment and perspective on the issues than Northern-development movements based NGOs. Finally, by using local capacity,The influence of Northern-based they are less likely to raise expectations whendevelopment and environment movements a project is set up or to create ‘projecthas already been discussed above (in section dependency’ (Kanyi, Okwudire, Schwarz, all2.2). We should not, however, overlook the pers. comm.). However, in many cases theyrole of indigenous Southern-based are seriously under-resourced. Throughoutdevelopment and environmental NGOs. In our survey we received many responses fromTable 2.4. The Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development Prize2000St. Jude Training Centre for Sustainable Integrated Agriculture (Uganda)Geo Farm (The Philippines)Program of Ecological Agriculture of GIRA (Interdisciplinary Group for Appropriate Rural Technology)(Mexico)1999The Indian Institute for Integrated Rural Development (IIRD) (Maharashtra State, India)The Infanta Community Development Administration Inc (ICDAI) (The Philippines)The African Network for Development of Ecological Agriculture together with the Ghana Organic AgricultureNetwork (GOAN)1998ADASF/Gallé (Mali)CET/CLADES (Chile)Bio-Dynamic Institute for Rural Development (Brazil)1997Egyptian Bio-Dynamic Association (EBDA/SEKEM)The Sustainable Agriculture Programme (ASAP) in the International Institute for Rice Research (ThePhilippines)Harmonie du Développement du Sahel Group (Mali)1996Agricultural Renewal Consortium in India for a Sustainable Environment (ARISE)The Kenya Institute of Organic Farming (KIOF)The Cuban Organic Farming Association (ACAO)SARD (2001) The Real Green Revolution 29
  • 32. NGOs unable to realise their projects and They also act as important publicity and programmes due to a lack of funding – often, recruitment opportunities. by industrialised country standards, involving very small amounts of money. The main aims of WFDFFM are set out in ‘The Ganjurun Declaration’. They include Knowledge in the industrialised world of promoting sustainable patterns of NGO activity in the South can never hope production and consumption and, through to be complete, but this report has identified these, promoting ‘total sustainable human a number of different and innovative projects. development’. One Northern initiative to help promote recognition of the achievements of Southern The main activities in which the WFDFFM NGOs working in this field (which also Secretariat is involved include: provides them with some financial assistance in the form of prize money) • Gaduhan: an initiative that helps poor is the Sustainable Agriculture and Rural farmer groups obtain cattle, with the aim Development Prize (SARD). This prize, of increasing incomes and soil fertility. initiated in 1997 by a German agronomist, The WFDFFM loans cattle to farmers Frederick von Mallinckrodt, is an groups for two breeding seasons. The agroecological equivalent of the ‘Right progeny are then shared. Livelihood Awards’ and helps draw attention to the successes and achievements of Southern • Community-based seed bank: this activity NGOs (Ecology and Farming, 2001). begins by helping develop farmers’ awareness of the importance of their Case study 4 – World Food Day Farmers’ and seeds. Trial farms / plots are then Fishermen’s’ Movement (Indonesia) established with farmers’ groups to experiment with seed and plant breeding. This case study focuses on the activities of Results are discussed after harvest and the one Southern NGO, to illustrate how the favoured crops are saved in a village seed support and development of organic farming bank. The final stage is that of breeding forms part of far broader ‘farmer first’ rural and distributing the seeds. As well as development strategies. Though organic developing seed banks, this activity also agriculture is important it is also inextricably develops local capacity in seed breeding. interwoven with other development objectives and strategies. • Assistance with organic/sustainable farming: this programme explains the The (Indonesian) World Food Day Farmers’ drawbacks of conventional farming and Fishermen’s Movement (WFDFFM) systems and provides advice, assistance is part of an international movement and visits to demonstration organic farms, celebrating the role of, and contribution so farmers can learn alternative methods made by, food producers across the world. for themselves. It was founded in October 1990 on the first celebration of World Food Day, which • Promoting ‘alternative’ marketing: coincides with the founding of the FAO. through an attempt to build alternative These annual celebrations continue to be marketing links, based around the a focal, festive event in the calendar, when Japanese teikei model, adapted to local local, regional and national events are held. situations. These festivals help farmers and fishermen experience a sense of global solidarity. • Advocating farmers’ rights: WFDFFM30
  • 33. advocate farmers rights in the face of of entry to export-oriented markets (e.g. cost increased pressure from companies of certification, low literacy levels and lack seeking to register intellectual property of trade liberalisation). These can represent rights over commonly held and used real barriers and are dealt with in some detail genetic resources. in sections 4.6 and 4.7. There are a number of other more fundamental constraints to the(Source: Utomo, pers. comm.) adoption of OAA, which we address below.24Premia market opportunitiesThe incentives offered by premia export Lack of knowledgemarkets have been explored above, in section Although the importance of local knowledge2.2. But there is a potential for domestic as basis for developing OAA has beenmarkets also providing incentives for farmers discussed, there are many situations whereto adopt organic practices, although this is such knowledge either does not exist or haslimited at present. . Incomes in most been lost. There is a clear difference withindeveloping countries are low and the most the literature between those who emphasisepressing issue for many is that of securing the value, extent and, sometimes,access to food. In addition there is a lack of sophisticated level of local understandingawareness of the potential health issues of OAA principles and techniques, and thosesurrounding intensive agriculture production, who argue that such knowledge is oftena widespread perception that ‘all food is partial, incomplete or lacking altogether. Inorganic’ and poor infrastructures – all of this vein, Harris et al. (1998, p.1) found that:which contribute to constraining the growthof domestic markets. Strong internal markets ‘Isolated techniques are sometimes practised,for organic produce are beginning to emerge (but) there is a general lack of an integratedin some countries, most notably Brazil, approach to soil fertility and crop protectionArgentina and Egypt. . In China there is a management and under-exploitation of thegrowing demand for the half way house of full range of techniques which would“green food”, in which only non-persistent, maximise the benefits of locally-availablenon-toxic and non-accumulative natural resources’.agrochemicals are used in limited quantities(Li, et al.. 2000). In many other countries (see They also reported that more than 60%section 3, below) there are signs of the of farmers claimed that it was lack ofemergence of a health-conscious organic knowledge that prevented them adoptingmarket and of producers mobilising to meet organic methods, four times more than forthese demands. In general however, certified any other single cause (ibid. p. 12). Yet, theorganic produce finds its principal outlet (and same group of authors (Lekasi et al. 1998)certainly attracts more substantive premia) in in discussing manure management in theexport markets. For farmers (especially small- Kenyan Highlands also reported thatscale ones), the problems of how to identify ‘farmers reveal an impressive range of ideasand gain entry to these markets represent a for the management of solid manures’.major constraint. The potential for developing These apparently contradictory observationsstronger home markets is illustrated in case suggest that there are a wide range ofstudy 10 on Sekem in section 4.5. different pre-existing knowledge levels of OAA, which are likely to be both process2.3.2 – Constraints on adopting OAA and culturally specific. It is certainly notThe constraints that Walaga (op. cit.) possible to generalise about either a wealthidentifies around conversion to organic or an absence of indigenous knowledge.farming are mostly focused around problems However, it would appear that in many The Real Green Revolution 31
  • 34. circumstances lack of knowledge, inadequate being supportive of (or sympathetic to) training and lack of extension facilities act as organic farming and agroecology. In areas major constraints to the adoption of OAA. where pro-OAA policies have been adopted they can make a substantial contribution in Economic and political advocacy providing appropriate research and extension Political and economic structures and services, creating an affordable regulatory institutions play a significant role in infrastructure and promoting export determining the choices available to farmers opportunities. In most instances such and their knowledge of the available options. governmental interest in OAA is driven by a As mentioned earlier many governments have desire to tap into the economic opportunities historically helped subsidise and distribute that organic produce offers. The non-market agrochemicals in order to increase benefits, such as natural resource agricultural productivity. Whilst such conservation and protecting the livelihoods intervention is generally declining, many of resource-poor farmers, are less often governments still exhort their farmers to realised or pursued (Scialabba, 2000). In make use of agrochemicals through media many more cases the attitudes of other campaigns and the advice proffered by governments range from the unsympathetic extension workers. to the outwardly hostile. The perception of the superiority of agricultural Elias (2000 p.77) quotes the example of Mr. ‘modernisation’ remains a powerful influence Munae, a farmer in the Ethiopian lowlands, amongst many politicians, policy-makers and whose farm was used as a demonstration field workers, and is a formidable barrier to plot by the local extension services. He did the more widespread adoption of policies his own comparative trials with organic and that would help the spread of OAA. inorganic fertilisers and concluded that organic inputs were superior. They improved The recent recognition by the FAO of the texture and water retaining capacity of organic agriculture as a useful mechanism for the soil, were locally available and avoided promoting sustainable agriculture may go indebtedness. He wanted to stop using some way to softening attitudes towards artificial fertilisers altogether, but the OAA on a global scale. On a more localised extension staff forbade him from doing so, basis, authorities in some districts and or from telling other farmers about his regions where organic pilot projects have findings, for fear that it would reduce the been established have been persuaded not receptiveness of the local community to the o run campaigns promoting fertiliser and fertiliser package that they were promoting. pesticide use, in order to avoid sending Whilst this may be an unusual and extreme contradictory messages to the farming example, it highlights how deeply ingrained community (Edwards, pers. comm.). In other professional and institutional resistance to cases, district authorities who were initially OAA development can be. opposed to organic projects have subsequently adopted ‘pro’-OAA policies The purpose of this report is not to provide where the beneficial results of these projects a comparative assessment of agricultural have been visible (van Elzakker and Tulip, policy in the South. However, such policies 2000). Despite these small gains, the task of clearly impact on the support, both practical legitimising OAA – which in many circles is and ‘moral’, that OAA is likely to receive seen as representing a reversion to tradition – from national and regional governments. may prove to be a long and uphill struggle. The country profiles in section 3 provide some examples of governments who are One important constraint holding back the32
  • 35. adoption of OAA is the shift in the resourcing interest in adopting OAA. These hingeof agricultural support services that OAA around combinations of two factors: the levelappears to require. Under the present system, of farming intensity and the marketboth research and extension facilities can be orientation of existing systems (ibid. p.7).at least partially underwritten by profits from They identify three broad types of (small-sales of seeds and agrochemicals. The scale) farming systems according to theseemphasis of OAA on developing closed cycles criteria:and using locally available resources restricts(though does not completely negate) the Farmers practising unimproved traditionalscope for selling inputs to farmers. A shift to farmingOAA would appear to imply higher levels of This group relies largely, if not completely,public funding to support research and on fallowing to maintain soil productivity.extension work. Yet in many cases these These farmers tend to be in remoter ruralservices are already under strain. Badejo, areas where population pressure is low and(1998) notes that in some parts of Nigeria the there is only limited engagement withratio of extension workers to farmers is in markets. These farmers have limited accessexcess of 1:17,000. Even where these figures to agrochemicals and are likely to haveare not so unfavourable, extension workers relatively little motivation to innovate, atare often ‘poorly motivated, demoralised and least while their traditional systems show noover-stretched because of lack of adverse effects. In these situations someinfrastructural support such as vehicles for scope may exist for identifying andtransportation and inadequate transport promoting simple organic techniques,allowances’ (ibid. p. 217). especially for enhancing soil fertility.26In addressing the issue of advocacy, the role Farmers engaged with markets and usingof the agrochemical industries and seed limited amounts of agrochemicalssuppliers cannot be ignored. Whilst not This group is thought to be typical of thewishing to enter into the realms of debate vast majority of small-scale African farmers.regarding the ethics or business practices of Having reached the limits of productivitythese companies, the strength of their through traditional means, the farmers haveinfluence on agricultural practice should not integrated new technologies (usuallybe overlooked. They are able to send clear agrochemicals) with traditional ones. Use ofmessages to farmers via advertising agrochemicals has been quite limited, andhoardings and the advice of salesmen and farmers have not normally been exposed tomerchants.25 At the same time they will have their negative effects and thus have a limiteda clear interest in influencing government awareness of the comparative advantagespolicy to create a climate that is favourable and disadvantages of organic and inorganicto their trading activities. systems. Many farmers within this group have withdrawn from (or significantly2.3.3 – Assessing incentives and constraints reduced) fertiliser use as prices have risen,according to farm type but at the same time lack an awareness of The relative contribution of the factors how to intensify their use of locally availableoutlined above in influencing uptake of OAA resources. There is a considerable potentialwill not be uniform but will vary according for developing programmes to encourageto the situations faced by individual farmers. organic techniques amongst this group.Harris et al.’s (1998) study of sub-SaharanAfrica usefully identifies a range of different Farmers practising intensive agriculturescenarios likely to affect farmers’ potential This group relies heavily on agrochemicals, The Real Green Revolution 33
  • 36. but also employs ‘sophisticated and intensive’ Plantations organic techniques of soil fertility At the other end of the spectrum we find management. They appear relatively traditional export-oriented plantations, uninterested in adopting exclusively organic usually producing a single commodity. techniques, although they are likely to have Whilst the monocultural nature of these observed the negative side effects of intensive systems appears to run contrary to many of agrochemical use. There is potential for the principals of organic farming, there are developing more intensive soil fertility many factors that may encourage plantation techniques amongst this group, although their owners to consider adopting OAA. As interest in adopting OAA may vary according market (and often export) oriented to the cost of artificial fertiliser. This group enterprises, they are more attuned to market consider organic pest and disease control signals, aware of growing demand for methods to be ineffective and further research organic produce in the industrialised world, and more conclusive field trails would be and face the possibility of declining yields (or required to convince them otherwise. More financial returns) from established systems of strongly market-orientated than the other intensive cropping. Although a shift to OAA groups, these farmers would be more likely to implies a major re-adjustment of the farming adopt organic practices in response to system (and the introduction of more diverse evidence of changing consumer demands. cropping patterns), plantations often have the financial and professional resources to We find this framework a useful one, but experiment with such a transition. The case believe that there is a case for including two study of the Ambootia Tea Estate in India further categories of farming systems, (over) illustrates the benefits and problems outlined below. of undertaking such a conversion. Summary Traditional intensive farming systems These systems have often evolved in A number of complex, interacting factors relatively remote areas where farmers have, influence the way in which organic and by virtue of necessity, developed agroecological farming practices are taking sophisticated, complex, productive and self- root, or becoming re-established, in the sustaining agricultural systems. These are South. On the one hand there are farmers often associated with ‘tribal’ and minority who are consciously adopting organic cultures. Whilst primarily sustenance- management strategies in order to gain oriented, they also often contain elements market advantage or improve food security. of cash cropping. These systems can be On the other hand, there are probably many regarded as repositories of traditional more who are jumping off the agrochemical knowledge, with a potential for treadmill largely for economic reasons, but transferability. Our first case study, of the sometimes due to adverse health and Chagga Home Gardens in Tanzania, provides environmental impacts. This latter group one such example. Other examples can be represents a clear potential ‘organic found in different parts of the developed constituency’. However, their withdrawal world including South America and Asia (see from agrochemical use does not necessarily for example: Jiménez-Osornio and Silvia del mean that they have the skills or knowledge Amo; 1986; Silvia del Amo, et al. 1986; base to introduce productive OAA. The Faust, 1996 and Ross, 1996). relative size of this group and the potential that they have for implementing organic management techniques are both relatively unknown quantities.34
  • 37. • embarking on an extensive programme ofCase study 5 – Ambootia Tea Estate pruning and replacing unhealthy plants –(Darjeeling, India) pruned areas are treated with BD bark paste, a biological disease inhibitor.The Ambootia Tea Estate covers 350hectares and is one of many tea gardens in The initial years of conversion saw a 17%the foothills of the Himalayas. In common drop in output, but this was offset by higherwith most other estates it has faced declining prices achieved through access to fair tradeyields as a result of over-intensive farming. markets. Development of a new pruningDepletion of soil fertility and decreased regime is beginning to bring yields back toresistance to disease were major concerns. their former level, but it will be some timeLabour relations were also very poor, as a before this regime is established across themudslide had recently destroyed the living whole plantation. Ambootia Teas now havequarters of many plantation workers. Faced biodynamic and fair trade certification andwith these issues a new management team new product lines are being developed. With(with a historical association with the the additional resources two 100KWgarden) decided to adopt a socially and hydroelectric schemes are in preparation toenvironmentally sustainable approach to help meet the Estate’s electricity requirementsthe estate and with some assistance have and help stabilise landslide prone areas.developed a biodynamic management systemthat also meets fair trade requirements. Ecologically, the shift to biodynamic methods has significantly improved immunity toKey features of the farming system include: diseases, reduced problems of soil erosion and risk of landslide and increased retention• use of locally-gathered compost: making of soil moisture (in an area with very 2,100 tonnes of compost per year; seasonal rainfall). The social benefits have also been substantial. A shift to using local• almost doubling the size of the dairy herd, resources has increased labour demand by providing additional milk and manure; 35%. Milk supplies have increased, improving workers’ diets and allowing them• use of leguminous species to provide to augment their incomes. The abandonment nutrients and ground cover and of local of pesticide use has helped improve water herbs for biodynamic preparations; quality and reduced the prevalence of respiratory diseases.• extensive tree planting to provide shade (Source: Maxted Frost (1997) and R. Bansaal and stabilise the hilly land; (pers. comm.))• using soil covers and contour planting to prevent run off – the harvesting of the soil cover plants provides compost material;• promotion of ecological diversity strengthens natural pest control leading to increases in ladybirds which feed on major pests, such as thrips, aphids and red spiders; The Real Green Revolution 35
  • 38. 3 – Regional perspectives producing a range of crops for internal and external consumption. Many countries are This chapter builds upon the information highly dependent on overseas earnings from on global organic production provided in commodity exports and their agricultural section 2.1. It outlines levels of organic policies often reflect this. At present there activity on the three Southern continents is very little certified organic production and describes in more detail a range of within Africa. Table 3.1 (over) shows the current initiatives and projects in countries most recent statistics for organic production where OAA appears to be attaining a critical in countries for which data is available. mass. These profiles are not comprehensive This suggests that only ten African countries overviews of all the organic initiatives within are presently engaged in organic production, the selected countries. Such analysis would and provides details of activity in only seven. require more detailed and in-depth In terms of certified land, Tunisia, Uganda, investigation. What it does do is provide a Tanzania and Egypt emerge as the main snapshot of some of the high-profile success actors. Madagascar, Cameroon and Egypt stories from within these countries. Much of fare well in terms of the number of farms this information, particularly regarding the and farmers involved. It is likely that these work of NGOs, was derived from responses figures were incomplete at the time of to our survey and to our knowledge has not publication and, given the growth of interest been bought together before. in sourcing organic produce, are likely to now be quite outdated. Table 3.2 (over), 3.1 – Africa shows that the range of organic produce Africa is the poorest of the continents and exported from African states (in 1999) the one which has most frequently (and often suggest a wider engagement with organic horrifyingly) suffered from food shortages farming than the figures derived from Willer and famines. Increasing population pressure, and Yussefi. diminishing soil fertility and, in many areas, irregular patterns of rainfall combine to Exports to the industrialised world, and create difficult circumstances for farmers in particular Europe, are likely to account attempting to meet present and projected for a large proportion of certified organic food needs. The ‘Green Revolution’ has had production in Africa. Domestic markets are a limited impact in Africa, and much relatively underdeveloped due to a agricultural production is small-scale, combination of low incomes, a general traditional and unimproved. Some argue perception that most agricultural produce that the introduction of high technology is organic, and a poor infrastructure. agriculture into Africa has not only failed Exceptions to this are South Africa, which to resolve existing problems but has actually has a growing organic market (and imports made the situation worse, contributing to the from neighbouring countries) and Egypt, rapid development of new kinds of problems. where Sekem have been at the forefront of These include: developing a strong domestic demand, and market their produce (organic teas, cotton ‘marginalization, the raising of export and phytoceuticals) to around 10,000 production, a falling level of self sufficiency, outlets. Other attempts to develop local and an increase in environmental problems’ markets are being fostered in parts of West (Njoroge, 1997) Africa (Anobah, 2000; Crole-Rees, 2000) and there is evidence of informal markets Yet at the same time, there are also highly developing in Senegal (Anon, 1999). productive and intensively-farmed areas36
  • 39. Table 3.1. Organic Farming Statistics for AfricaCountry (date of data) no. of farms ha. % of ag. land mean farm size (ha)Cameroon (1999) 303 719 0.01 2.4Egypt (1999) 220 2667 0.08 12.1Madagascar (1998) 1000 - - -Malawi (1998) 2 80 0.002 40.0Mauritius (1995) 3 175 0.15 58.3South Africa (1998) 35 - - -Tanzania (1998) 4000 0.01 -Tunisia (1999) 90 8000 0.09 88.9Uganda (1999) 7000 5250 0.06 0.75Zimbabwe (1999) - 1000 0.005 - 27adopted from Willer and Yussefi (2000 & 2001)Table 3.2 – African organic agricultural products on international marketsProduct / Country ALG BEN B.F. CAM COM EGY GHA I.C. MAD MAL MAU MOR MOZ S.A. TAN TUN UGA ZAM ZIMAvocados # #Bananas # #Cashew Nuts #Cocoa # # #Coconut # #Coffee # # #Cotton # # # # # #Dried Fruit # # # # #Herbs # # # # # #Honey # # # #Olive oil #Palm Oil #Pineapples # # # #Sesame # # # #Spices # #Sugar # #Tea #Vanilla # #Vegetables # # # # #Abbreviations for countries: Algeria; Benin; Burkino Faso; Cameroon; Comoros; Egypt; Ghana; Ivory Coast; Madagascar; Malawi; Mauritius; Morocco;Mozambique; South Africa; Tanzania; Tunisia; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe. The Real Green Revolution 37
  • 40. While some question marks remain over the Whilst these global perspectives cast a extent of certified organic farming in Africa, somewhat contradictory picture, our there is more uncertainty over the extent to impression is that the low use of artificial which de facto organic agriculture is inputs is due more to the high price of, and/or practised. Willer and Yussefi (2000) claim difficulty in obtaining, fertilizers and pesticides that much agricultural produce sold on rather than a result of conscious decisions to conventional markets in Africa is in practice adopt organic techniques. (See for example organic, although it is rarely certified as Harris et al., 1998, Scooles and Toulmin, such. The Ghanaian Organic Agriculture 1999; Wachira, 2000). In the remainder of Network (GOAN), estimates that there are this section we focus upon those countries around 250,000 families in south and east where OAA is being more consciously Africa farming around 60 million hectares promoted, where it appears to be gaining on an organic basis. GOAN claim that these a ‘critical mass’, and where successful and farmers produce double the average yields innovative strategies are being developed. of conventional or traditional farmers (cited in Scialabba, 2000). Anobah (2000) Burkina Faso was the first African country estimates that over one third of West African to host the biennial IFOAM International agricultural produce is organically produced. Scientific Conference, where the Declaration of Ouagadougou, which states that ‘organic In contrast, one recent survey of farming agriculture in developing countries is not a practices in sub-Saharan Africa (Harris et luxury but a precondition for attaining food al.., 1998) found organic farming to be security’, was launched (see Djigma et al.. extremely uncommon: 1989). Rediscovery of traditional techniques (such as Zaï – see case study 6, over) have ‘We found no examples of organic farming proved of benefit in restoring desertified to standards specified in developed countries… land, improving yields and establishing food There was little understanding of the concept security. Their use is now spreading to of organic farming as a holistic approach to neighbouring countries. There is evidence agriculture… Understanding of the inter- of some governmental support for organic relationships of component parts of the initiatives through the Ministry for Peasant farming system was also limited… However, Co-operative Action (Ouedraogo, 1989a). some farmers did appreciate such interactions In addition a number of NGOs, women’s and farmers did use organic techniques to and farmers’ organizations are involved in varying degrees, but without perceiving this to promoting organic, participative agriculture be organic farming.’ (ibid. p.2) primarily for environmental and food security reasons (Ouedraogo, 1989b). The same authors also found: The Ligue des Consommateurs in ‘Use of agrochemicals is widespread amongst Ouagadougou promotes organic agriculture farmers throughout [sub-Saharan Africa]. and defends consumers’ rights (ITC, 1999). Amongst [those surveyed] there is little More recently a pilot centre for technological evidence of knowledge and adoption of soil training in organic food processing has been fertility management and crop protection set up by AVAPAS under the aegis of the practices of a non chemical nature.’(ibid., p.1) IFOAM OA2002 programme. At the same time we have come across studies and received several responses to our survey which suggest that in many African countries the use of artificial inputs is relatively low.38
  • 41. mouth, even to neighbouring countries suchCase study 6 – Zaï: A traditional method for as Niger, where some 5,800 hectares ofrestoring degraded land degraded land has been restored using the same technique. Thus this simple andZaï (or tassa) is a traditional agricultural traditional technique is proving of multiplemethod used in Burkina Faso to restore arid benefit in increasing yields, restoringand crusted areas of fields. The technique degraded land and, by generatinginvolves making seed holes 20-30 cm wide employment opportunities, helping slow theand deep and using the earth to make a process of rural/urban migration.raised ‘demi-lune’ barrier on the downslope (Sources: Harrison 1987; Ouedraogo 1989a;side. Compost and/or natural phosphate is Hassan 1996; Kassaogué et al.. 1996; Ouedraogoplaced in each hole and sorghum or millet & Kaboré 1996; Wedem et al. 1996; Reij et al.seeds planted when it rains. This technique 1996; Pretty & Hine; 2001b)improves the organic structure of the soil,helps retain moisture and, through Figure 3.1 – Illustration of Zaï or planting pitpromoting termite activity, increases waterfiltration into the soil. The crops are plantedrelatively densely to increase ground coverand prevent water loss throughevapotranspiration. Stones removed from thefield while digging the holes are often usedto make contour bunds to further stabilizethe soil and reduce run-off and erosion.Estimates of the success of this techniquevary, but all suggest very favourable results.Ouedraogo (1989a) estimates yield increasesof 30-35% and emphasizes the resilience ofthis system especially in dry years. Otherreports suggest that Zaï, combined withcontour bunding, can lead to yield increasesfrom an average of 150-300 kg/ha to 440kg/ha in a dry year and 700-1000 kg in awet one. Reij (1996) estimates that the Source: Kassaogué et al.. (1996)families using these techniques move from anaverage cereal deficit of 644 kg p.a. Egypt has what is probably the most(equivalent to more than a 6 month developed organic sector in North Africa.shortfall) to a 153 kg surplus. Initial interest in organic production was triggered as a reaction to increasing healthThe system is labour intensive and best suited problems experienced by farmers and ruralto farms with a labour surplus. Because of dwellers from pesticide poisoning, and cottonthis it is also generating new opportunities for yields remaining constant or declining despitework locally, encouraging some young men to increased use of pesticides. Aerial spraying ofstay in the region rather than migrate to the cotton is now banned in Egypt and muchcities in search of work. In Burkina Faso pest control now done through the use ofsome 100,000 hectares of degraded land have pheromones, even though systems are notbeen restored over the past decade. Use of the wholly organic (Scialabba, 2000).technique has largely spread via word of The Real Green Revolution 39
  • 42. The NGO Sekem has been responsible for Ghana. The Ghanaian Organic Agricultural most of the early development of the organic Network (GOAN) is a grouping of organic movement in Egypt (see case study 10). It NGOs. They were joint winners of the SARD established its first biodynamic farm in the prize in 1999 and have worked actively with late 1970s and has since helped build up the the Henry Doubleday Research Association biodynamic movement. It has established the (HDRA) in developing a range of Egyptian Biodynamic Association, which programmes to support OAA. The Ghanaian offers training and extension services for government provides some support services, biodynamic farmers and those considering including research, but these are inadequately conversion, and an independent certification funded (Scialabba, 2000). The country has a agency: the Centre for Organic Agriculture favourable climate and produces a wide in Egypt (COAE). More recently a second range of fruits and vegetables. ITC (1999) organic NGO, the Egyptian Centre of claim that there is very limited use of Organic Agriculture (ECOA), was established chemical inputs in Ghanaian agriculture and to promote the organic sector, provide a strong potential for developing a thriving training and support for organic farmers, organic sector. There is some demand for promote conferences, seminars and research organic produce in Accra. Water resource and act as a local certification and inspection disputes (arising from deforestation and body (El-Araby, 1999). ECOA are also inappropriate farming) led to the establishing an international presence, having establishment of one organic farming project, recently run workshops and training combined with forestry, nurseries and seminars in Tunisia and Palestine, helped training. The system brings rewards (premia establish an organic project in Bosnia and for organic cashews) and is leading from a trained organic inspectors from eight other shift from slash and burn to sedentary African countries (ibid.). agriculture (Scialabba, 2000). Egypt now has more than 200 organic and Kenya has a very active organic sector, with biodynamic farms, covering more than 2500 more IFOAM members than any other hectares. Many of these farms are ‘desert’ African country, the majority of these being farms, using irrigation from the Nile. They NGOs. There was a strong response to our grow a wide variety of crops, including fruit, survey from Kenyan organizations and a vegetables, cereals, spices and tea, as well as relative wealth of literature and case studies non-food crops such as cotton and medicinal regarding the development of OAA in Kenya. plants. While much produce is exported, One of the leading organizations in Kenya is primarily to Europe, there is also strong the Kenyan Institute of Organic Farming demand within Egypt and other parts of the (KIOF), founded in 1987 by Dr. Njorogye in Arab world for a number of products. Today response to the problems of declining yields the majority of Sekem’s production is aimed faced by small-scale but highly intensive and at domestic markets, which offers it the productive farmers in the Kenyan highlands. opportunity to add value through processing KIOF’s mission is fivefold, including: rather than exporting commodities. In the training, extension, information early days Sekem’s ratio of domestic sales to dissemination, external consultancy and exports was 1:4. It has now reversed this and outreach (Stolton, 1997). Methods advocated only exports 20% of its produce, relying on by KIOF include composting, double deep domestic markets for the large majority of its digging and water harvesting. KIOF offers sales (Abouleish, 2001). training and extension facilities and to date it has trained over 200 farmer groups with over 5000 individual members (Ker, 1995;40
  • 43. International Development Research Centre, Greater continuity of food supply has led to1997). Its training programmes range from a noticeable improvement in children’s healthweek-long courses for interested farmers and a reduction in susceptibility to diseasethrough to a one and a half year certificate (Pretty and Hine, 2001b).course for school leavers. Kenya is also blessed with a number ofKIOF was one of the first winners of the international research institutes with aSARD prize. It has recently been involved in commitment to promoting sustainablea research project with the Dutch-based agriculture. Some of their work is havingconsultancy Education Training Consultants major impacts in promoting organic farmingto assess the potential and limitations of methods within Kenya and creatingorganic farming in different agroecological initiatives that are being taken beyond itsand socio-economic conditions within Kenya. borders. The International Centre for InsectPrior to this study it had been assumed that Physiology and Ecology (ICEPE) 28 has doneorganic farming was most suited to ‘high pioneering work in controlling ‘stemborer’,potential’ agricultural areas. The study which causes major yield losses in subsistenceshowed that medium potential areas are also cereal production throughout sub-Saharanvery suitable for organic agriculture. This Africa. It has developed a push–pull systemstudy found that maize cultivation using for controlling damage to maize andcompost alone fared significantly better than sorghum. Field margins are planted withthat with manure / fertilizer mixtures (Stolton, ‘trap crops’ that attract stemborer: the two1997). Overall, organic systems were found to most successful species used have beenbe producing good yields, significantly out- Napiergrass (Pennisetum purpureum) andperforming conventional systems in some Sudan grass (Sorghum sudanensis). The cropsareas in terms of grain yields, net cash benefits themselves are inter-planted with molassesand returns to labour and capital. It also grass (Desmodium uncinatum) and twofound that women were particularly drawn legume species: silverleaf (D. intortium) andto organic farming systems (Scialabba, 2000). greenleaf (S. hermonthica).The Association for Better Land Husbandry The International Research Centre into(ABLH) is another NGO promoting low-cost Agroforestry (IRCAF) is currently doingmethods of conservation-based farming. It research and extension work on the use offocuses on developing local skills, knowledge leguminous tree fallows such as Sesbaniaand social co-operation to develop Sesban, Crotolaria Grahamiana and Tephrosi.sustainable agricultural systems. Its approach These species recycle up to 150 kg of nitrogenrequires nearly no cash investments, but per tree per annum – enough to significantlyinstead considerable initial labour input. increase soil fertility and productivity. IRCAFIt particularly promotes the use of double has also introduced a tree species (Calliandradug beds, incorporating compost, animal and calothyrsus) from Mexico which providesplant manures. Members of groups working animal fodder at a low cost, thereby increasingwith ABLH find that the investment made in milk and manure yields. Farmers who havetheir land provides a better return than adopted this species on their holdings talk oftaking outside jobs: it enriches the soil and a move from ‘subsistence’ to ‘sustenance’enables them to grow vegetables well into agriculture (Collis, 2000). Elsewhere in Kenya,the dry season. One review (of 26 districts the Coffee Research Council has introducedinvolved with the scheme), found that 75% a species of naturally pest-resistant coffeeof households have attained all-year food (discussed in section 4.2) which has now beensecurity, and the proportion buying in adopted by one third of small coffee growers.vegetables has declined from 85% to 11%. The Real Green Revolution 41
  • 44. Figure 3.2 – The push-pull method for Senegalese NGOs to publicize their work. controlling maize stemborer Badji (1989) describes an urban rubbish composting project in Louga (population 70,000) in the Sahel. The scheme was developed as a reaction to the declining adequacy of traditional techniques (fallowing, straw burning and use of manure) to cope with pressure for growing more food. Component activities of the project involved collection and sieving of rubbish (93% of rubbish from samples was compostable), experimenting with composting techniques and evaluating the chemical and physical properties of the compost. Though short on qualitative data, the paper notes three main benefits: (Source: ICIPE (2001)) improved sanitation in the town; creation of a productive green belt, which also According to local sources (Mulagoli, pers. protects against desertification; and the comm.), the emphasis of the government creation of new jobs and market gardening agricultural extension service is primarily opportunities. upon meeting food security needs, with export promotion being a secondary priority. Since this time the US-based Rodale Institute The government has a long tradition of has become involved in promoting urban supporting soil and water conservation composting schemes in Senegal. It was measures and since the start of the 1990s recently awarded the ‘President’s National has moved towards whole river-basin water Prize’ for work with women’s groups on catchment strategies, utilizing participatory developing composting techniques. It is also techniques to engage the farming involved in regenerating agricultural areas communities on their own terms (Pretty and characterized by sandy soils. It conducts Hines, 2001b). Moreover, ‘the ministry projects with around 2000 farmers in 59 extension service includes organic farming groups promoting stall-fed livestock, messages in its training curriculum’ (ibid.). composting systems, use of green manures, Since 1998 some government programmes water harvesting systems and rock have been introduced to provide support for phosphate. Yields of millet and peanuts have farmers reverting to organic management increased dramatically by 75-195% and 75- strategies. This includes the development of 165% respectively. Because the soils have a ‘farmer extension workers’ whose plots often greater water retaining capacity, fluctuations serve as demonstration farms. Thus the in yields are less pronounced between high government’s position on organic agriculture and low rainfall years. is moving from one of hostility to one of support (Wachira, 2000). Thiam and Dieng (1989) provide an account of a market gardening project in the fertile Senegal has an active NGO sector with more ‘Niayes’ coastal strip area of Senegal, set up IFOAM members than any other African in response to problems of agrochemical use country, with the exception of Kenya. The and declining soil fertility. The project 1989 IFOAM conference in nearby Burkina includes manuring and biological pest Faso presented an opportunity for several control regimes, field afforestation and42
  • 45. monitoring production data. At the time of issued draft legislation to enable organicwriting, more funding had been obtained to and biodynamic certification. Local effortsextend the project with the aim of are afoot to set up a national certifying bodydisseminating the results through the to reduce costs. A few larger farmers are nowextension service. Monneveux (1989) reports beginning to get involved as they recognizeon a peasant-centred development opportunities here, but few smaller farmersprogramme in which local peasants identified are pursuing this approach, seeingthe social, economic and environmental conventional intensification as the line topressures that they were facing and success (ibid.). South Africa is also a marketintroduced a programme of measures to destination for organic produce from nearbyaddress them. These included the southern African states, particularlyintroduction of a composting/manuring Mozambique.scheme, a nursery and tree planting to fencefields – reducing erosion and providing There are also several NGO projects ofprotection against livestock. interest, most with an emphasis on building food security. Auerbach (2000) describes aToday a number of indigenous NGOs pilot project in which an existing wetlandpromoting OAA are operating in Senegal. has been used as a reservoir, yielding enoughThese include Recours à la Terre, which runs water to irrigate 3 hectares of previouslya 5 hectares organic demonstration garden rain-fed land. Combined with organicand experiments with organic techniques management practices (composting andappropriate to the marâichage. These include mulching), farm income increased fromsoil fertility, water conservation techniques 1,000 rand to 30,000 rand per year. Thisand experimentation with species that pilot project is now being extended to sixty-provide protection against salt winds. It has five other sites within the same riverengaged in joint projects with the Institut de catchment area.Recherche Agricole on the use of Sesbania(a nitrogen fixing bush species), the banana Boshoff (2000) describes the activities of theproducers group of Senegal and regional Food Garden Foundation, which encouragesproducer groups (Sarr, pers. comm.) poor households to adopt trench gardeningElsewhere the Federation des Agropasteurs methods using domestic and locally-availablede Diende is engaged in experimenting with compost materials. Their activities helpimproved composting techniques (including provide food security, improved health andthe use of fish meal) and in developing rice additional income to almost 300,000 peoplecultures in saline and poor farming areas in Guateng Province (one of the poorest in(Gueye, pers. comm.). In addition Senegal is South Africa). The programme also helpsthe home of one of the regional offices of restore soil fertility, conserve water andAgroecol, a centre which gathers and empowers people.disseminates information about OAA acrossWest Africa. . Tunisia is trying to take advantage of its proximity to the EU market. It has developedSouth Africa has had an organic farming standards that comply with EU ones andmovement for many years, although it has established a national commission for organicgrown in ‘fits and starts’ (Geernat, pers. agriculture. Budget allocations include helpcomm.). The leading organic organization is with up to 30% of investment costs tothe Biodynamic Agricultural Association of farmers and 70% of certification costs overSouth Africa. The government is committed the first five years. One constraint facedto promoting intensification but has also within Tunisia is a poor supply of organic The Real Green Revolution 43
  • 46. fertilizer, but research is being undertaken organic cotton and sesame over more than as how to best utilize waste from the food 100,000 acres. This project was initiated by processing industry (Scialabba, 2000) a foreign development agency but has experienced problems through growing too Uganda is highly dependent on agriculture, fast. For example, it has had problems in which accounts for 45% of GDP, and securing access to markets and providing employs 80% of the population. Coffee is sufficient infrastructure – both in terms of a major crop, accounting for 40-70% of storage and processing capacity and export earnings. In the past, political extension facilities. Management of the instability over two decades hindered project has recently been taken over by Bo agricultural modernization, and in Weevil who are trying to put the project back consequence fertilizers and pesticides are not on a sound footing and seeking the necessary widely used except on tea, coffee and other finances to provide the infrastructure to meet export crops (e.g. tomatoes and salads). In the expectations of farmers who have general, most farms are small-scale and converted to organic production. The organic by default. Many small farmers do Ugandan organic movement believes that not keep livestock and therefore face a 10-15% of Uganda’s coffee exports could problem in building and maintaining soil realistically be certified as organic within fertility. The government is deeply committed 5-10 years (Wajje, 2000), but the lessons of to modernizing agriculture, to drawing it out Lango show it is not only the farming of subsistence mode, eradicating poverty and element that needs to be developed in order increasing capacity for agri-food processing. to establish successful schemes. However, they intend doing this along a conventional high input/output model. At the There is also a strong NGO sector promoting same time state support is being cut back, organic agriculture within Uganda. Luyiga so responsibility for extension will fall (1997) identifies thirty NGOs directly increasingly to the private sector. These involved in this field. Church organizations elements of policy are antithetical to the (of a number of different denominations) are development of an organic movement which heavily represented and play an important feels it could otherwise fill the government’s role in fostering rural development. The objectives of reducing poverty and hunger. Department of Social and Economic The task facing the organic movement in Development (SED) is one such organization. Uganda is to convince the state and farmers It runs an organic demonstration farm and not to go down this path but to focus on has trained over 300 animateurs and almost developing natural methods of building soil 1600 farmers in soil fertility techniques, soil fertility and controlling pests (Wajje, 2000). and water conservation, agroforestry, pest The Ugandan organic movement held its first control methods and the role of livestock. conference in January 2001 to mobilize Those who have been involved in the project support and unity across the sector. It intends have noticed increases in food production to set up a certification committee, which and household nutritional status (Luyiga, aims to develop domestic capacity for 1997). Other NGOs include the Anziaceni standard setting and certification. Integrated Rural Development Project in Arua, which works with school drop-outs – Organic coffee, sesame and cotton are teaching them the principles of sustainable already grown and exported (van Elzakker agriculture and environmental protection – and Tulip, 2000). One project, run by the the and the Bukonzo Sustainable Agriculture Lango Co-operative, has more than 12,000 Development Association, which promotes farmers in 266 villages involved in growing organic dairy farming in Kasese (ibid.). More44
  • 47. recently the Kulika Charitable Trust has that SÖL has collected, although this mostlyrelocated to Kampala, where it intends to occurs on a very small scale.provide year-long training courses in organicmethods (Cadoret, pers. comm.). Data on IFOAM members (see Table 2.4) roughly corresponds with these statistics.3.2 – Asia India has by far the highest representationAsia is the world’s largest and most populous of IFOAM members (39), followed by Chinacontinent. Many areas, particularly in the (16), the Philippines (9), Turkey (7), Srisouth and south-east, are densely populated Lanka (6), Malaysia (5) and Pakistan (5).and there is high pressure on land use. ‘Green ANGOC’s Directory (1997) of NGOsRevolution’ technologies have taken root in involved in promoting sustainable agriculturethese countries to a far greater extent than reveals a somewhat different pattern, withelsewhere and in consequence a shift to other countries having a high level of NGOorganic agriculture may be more problematic activity: Thailand (with 41 identified NGOs),than in other areas. Willer and Yussefi’s Cambodia (23), the Philippines (20)29,figures (2001) show that Asia’s share of global Bangladesh (14), Nepal (9) and India (8).organic production is very small, although thisis almost certainly a gross underestimate of de Although the formal organic sector in Asiafacto organic production. is relatively undeveloped at present, there are signs that it is a rapidly growing areaTable 3.3 (over) shows that Turkey has the of activity. China, India, Malaysia, themost developed organic sector, with more Philippines and Thailand are all workingthan twice as much land in organic towards establishing national standards inproduction as any other Asian country. order both to facilitate export opportunitiesLimited as they are, these figures suggest that and to satisfy domestic general, holding sizes are small: 5 hectares Organizations in China and Thailand areor less in all cases except the Philippines. among the few from the South to haveITC’s report (1999) suggests that organic applied for IFOAM accredited certificationproduction is more widespread than the data status (IFOAM, 2001).Table 3.3 – Organic farming statistics for AsiaCountry (date of data) No. of farms ha. % of ag. land Mean farm size (ha)China (2000) 8508 0.002Hong Kong (2000) 8 122 15.25India (1999) 304 1711 0.001 5.0Japan (1999) 5083 0.09Kazakhstan (1998) 20 30Rep. of Korea (1998) 1,237 902 0.04 0.73Lebanon (1999) 100 0.03Papua New Guinea (1995) 4625Philippines (1999) 9 95 10.6Sri Lanka (1999) 172 550 0.02 3.2Taiwan (2000) 1240 31Turkey (1997) 7,500 18,000 0.05 2.4 32adopted from Willer and Yussefi (2000 & 2001) The Real Green Revolution 45
  • 48. Japan represents one of the largest global China. The growth of organic agriculture in markets for organic produce, estimated at $3 China in recent years has been phenomenal. billion (Masuda, 2000), much of which is According to Chinese sources, certified imported. This represents an important organic production (which was non existent market opportunity for south-east Asian in 1995) now exceeds 40,000 hectares organic producers. Japan’s organic sector has (Organic Food Development Centre- OFDC, its own individual characteristics, with ten 2001). There are now more than 100 certifying bodies all employing different enterprizes certified as growers, processors or standards. It also has a tradition of exporters (ibid.), producing nearly 100 community-supported agriculture schemes varieties of organic produce (OFDC, called teikei, which provide very strong links undated). There are several dedicated organic between producers and consumers processing and export companies. Zhengfang (Hashimoto, 2000). Teikei systems are reputed and Wei (2000) estimate that around 10,000 to have more than 1 million regular customers farming families in China are now involved (more than 1% of the population), yet have in organic production and that the current no formal certification processes, relying export value of the organic sector exceeds instead on mutual trust. They potentially £12 million, and shows an annual growth provide a model for alternative ways of rate of 30% (OFDC, undated). developing organic markets based on close personal contact and mutual trust, which China is in the unusual position of having avoid the need for certification processes. two separate certification systems, run by two different government departments. As in the previous section we provide here a ‘Organic Food’ is run by the Environmental number of ‘snapshots’ illustrating initiatives Protection Agency. The Ministry of and developments in OAA in a selected Agriculture runs ‘Green Food’, a scheme with number of countries. These profiles draw on two categories: ‘A’ which allows limited published and ‘grey’ literature and responses agrochemical use (if of low toxicity and received to our survey. persistence), and ‘AA’, equivalent to IFOAM basic standards (Li, et al.. 2000). While the Bangladesh has been facing a situation of two schemes were set up separately, there are stagnant or declining yields for a number of indications that the two agencies are now years, despite increasing fertilizer application. working more closely together. Proshika, a local NGO, has been trying to introduce agroecology to the country since The OFDC have established an eight year 1976. By 1988-99 around 10,000 farmers collaborative programme with the German had received formal training in ecological Development Agency (GTZ) developing agricultural practices. Proshika finds that the national certification and labelling issues involved in promoting agroecology are programmes, providing extension and complex. There is limited availability of fuel training services and building links with for cooking, which places competing and agricultural universities (OFDC, undated). more urgent demands on manure and crop To date, branches have been established in residues. Proshika encourages farmers to use 18 provinces and demonstration farms in 28 green manure crops, compost, quick provinces. In addition they have organized compost, rice straw and water hyacinth as seven national workshops on organic food alternative methods for developing soil development and four training courses for fertility. There is also a move to afforesting organic inspectors (OFDC, 2001). They farmland to provide fodder, fuel and living publish two quarterly magazines (Organic fences (Hussein, 2000). Food Times and Organic Fields Newsletter).46
  • 49. A separate organic food advisory centre was Agricultural Holdings Ltd, 2000). For theestablished in 1999 to provide research and Chinese the allure of premia markets in theadvisory services. developed world is clearly a major incentive for shifting towards organic production.China’s interest in developing an organicsector is primarily driven by a desire to India. In some respects India can be regardedincrease foreign earnings. However, there is as one of the homes of organic agriculture.also recognition of the environmental and At the turn of the century Lord Albertpoverty alleviation benefits implicit in Howard, a colonial administrator who wasadopting OAA. To date, state-initiated sent to India to help ‘modernize’ agriculturalprojects have attempted to avoid areas where techniques, developed an interest inthere is intensive agrochemical usage, focusing traditional Indian agriculture. He returned toupon areas where the social benefits will be Britain a convert to natural farming practices,greatest and conversion less problematic. going on to become one of the founders of the Soil Association (Research FoundationThe development of a viable organic for Science Technology and Ecology andagricultural sector is not without problems, Navdanya, 2000). Equally the concepts ofeven when the state is able to mobilize organic agriculture resonate strongly withconsiderable resources and draw upon the traditions of Ayurvedic medicine and thelegacy of a network of co-operatives with Gandhian philosophy of ‘sarvodaya’, whichestablished chains of command and often emphasizes self-reliance (Daniel, 2000).common processing and/or marketingfacilities. The costs of certification represent At present India does not have any formala major problem, as do the differing certification system in place, and producerequirements of different certification bodies. destined for export is mostly certified byLiteracy levels and requirements for external agencies.33 Initial discussions havetranslation also raise handicaps to the taken place between the government andeffective communication and dissemination producers, processors and exporters, but theof ideas (Zhengfang & Wei 2000). In establishment of a fully-fledged organicaddition, there is a need to strengthen agency is expected to take several more yearstechnical support. The physical remoteness (Sathayanarayana, 2000, Wai, pers. comm.).of much of rural China makes it difficult for For the time being the Indian government hasmany areas to engage with export-oriented placed responsibility for developing theproduction (Lamin, pers. corr.). There is a organic sector with the Agricultural andsignificant potential for developing this Processed Foods Export Developmentorganic production. ITC (1989) suggests that Authority (Mohan, pers. corr.), a decision30% of the tea from Anhui and Zhejiang which speaks volumes about how theprovinces could relatively easily be converted government perceives the role of organicto organic produce. One Chinese company, farming in India. Other export-focusedChaoda Modern Agricultural Holdings Ltd, agencies, such as Indian Spice Board and theintends to promote high technology Tea Board of India, are already supportive ofbiological farming and through this ‘become organic farming – having recognized itsthe flagship of China’s agriculture strategy earning potential. Some specialist groups haveand to rank among the 500 largest recently emerged, such as the Indian Bio Teaenterprises in the world within ten years’. Its Organization and the Peermade Developmentcurrent plans include trebling the amount of Society, an organic spice farmers consortiumland it currently has in organic production based in Kerala (George, 2000).by the end of 2002 (Chaoda Modern The Real Green Revolution 47
  • 50. India has a number of high profile, large of farmers (i.e. 5 million) in his part of Bihar scale organic production facilities and farm organically, a practice assisted by the networks. This report profiles two Indian annual flooding of the river (the Nepli), case studies – the Ambootia Tea Estate and bringing tons of topsoil from the Himalayas the Makaii bio fibre project. Other and providing a convenient, if not significant projects include: sustainable, source of fertility (Prakash, pers. comm.). Venkatesh (in Institute for • The Dooars Tea Plantation in Bengal, Integrated Development, 2001), estimates producing half a million kilograms of tea than only in one in five dryland farmers in p.a. (Mohan, pers. corr.); India use chemical inputs, the great majority relying upon manure and green compost for • The Peermade Development Society, maintaining soil fertility. whose membership has risen from less than 200 to more than 1000 between Notably India has almost twice as many 1997 and 1998 (George, 2000), and; IFOAM members as any other developing country, and a large majority of these are • Enfield Agrobase, a private company in NGO advocates of OAA, working to develop Tamil Nadu, with 175 acres of organic technical, advisory and logistical support for farms. At present this group of farms India’s farming community. The Institute for grows cashews, mango, coconut, Integrated Rural Development in India is one sugarcane, groundnut, sesame and paddy of the main NGOs involved in promoting rice and maintains a herd of fifty cattle for OAA. It provides training and extension milk and manure. The farms have services, runs a three year diploma course in established facilities for processing jaggery organic agriculture, and has been involved in from sugarcane, for processing coconut oil setting up local organic food markets. In and shelling and grading coconuts. They January 2001 it promoted the first all-India intend to expand to 500 acres in the next Organic conference (ibid.). The Research year and to establish facilities for Foundation for Science, Technology and processing cashews. All of their produce is Ecology adopts a more overt lobbying role presently aimed at domestic markets as and has published a series of publications they feel that they are too small to questioning the wisdom and sustainability of compete on international markets (Rao, chemical-dependent farming practices (Shiva pers. comm.). et al. 2000, Shiva, 2001).34 It also promotes organic practices, particularly the maintenance Such examples represent only the most of biodiversity through seed exchange visible facet of organic production within networks (Shiva et al. 1995). We received India, and are almost certainly only the tip reports about a recently published all-Indian of the iceberg. Despite official support for directory of NGOs engaged in sustainable the ‘Green Revolution’, traditional farmers agriculture, but were unable to locate this. have maintained a resistance to adopting such techniques. In such a vast and varied Some local commentators (Mohan, pers. country it is difficult to estimate the extent of corr., Faisal, pers. corr.) criticized the lack of de facto organic production, especially as resources made available to conduct scientific such forms of agriculture have been neglected research into technical aspects of organic by development and extension services. Some farming. Whilst not doubting that this is an responses to our survey suggest that de facto under-resourced area we did nonetheless find organic farming is extremely widespread. evidence of some significant research One survey respondent estimated that 40% capacity and interest in this area through48
  • 51. independent institutions and the academic fertilizers sixfold over the next 20 The Central Arid Zone Research On the other it has recognized the adverseInstitute (CAZRI) in Rajasthan has environmental effect of such chemicals andundertaken work in encouraging the has stated that it will not encourage farmersdevelopment of organically grown medically to use hazardous pesticides (Ghimire, pers.beneficial plants (Sharma, 1998) and in comm.). The desire to avoid the use ofintegrated resource management for pesticides has led to the creation of Integratedsustained crop production (Gupta and Pest Management (IPM) schools being set upAgarwal, 1992). The Central Research in 26 districts (Sharma, 2000).Institute for Dryland Management in AndhraPradesh has also undertaken research on One criticism of state agricultural policy isgreen manuring (Reddy et al.. 1991). Gupta that it is nationally focused and does not payand Patel (1992a & b, 1993a & b, 1994, sufficient attention to the significant regional1995, 1996, all cited in Stoll 2000), have variations that exist within Nepal. Forwritten extensively about farmer innovations example, the intensity of farming variesin Gujarat State. A Bangalore-based NGO significantly between the upland areas, where(Agriculture, Man and Ecology) is centrally forestry resources can be drawn upon, andinvolved in IFOAM’s global research the intensively populated and cultivatedprogramme in the sustainability of different plains, where farms have to rely more uponfarming systems in different parts of the farm sources for building soil fertility (ibid.)world (Chinnakonda and Lanting, 2000). A Equally these different farming systems haverecent Tamil language publication different levels of market engagement. In(Srinavasan et al. 2001) argues the case for remote upland areas transport andeco-farming and provides detailed examples communication networks are virtually non-of crop and pest management. existent and the exchange and bartering of commodities within and betweenThere is some evidence of a growing communities is the main form of exchange.domestic demand for organic produce (Baksi, Lowland areas have a stronger engagement2001). Most trade in organic produce is done with markets and some non-certified organicon the basis of ‘self- certification’ and mutual produce is traded, particularly to the touristtrust (Prakash, pers. comm.), although more and hotel sector in Kathmandu and otherorganized attempts at building more visible popular destinations. Only very limitedoutlets for organic produce are now amounts of high value produce (e.g. tea,emerging (Daniel, 1999; Sathayanarayana, coffee and spices) is certified and traded2000). With a substantial middle class there internationally (ibid.).is undoubtedly a potentially large demandfor such produce. One of the main NGOs promoting OAA is the Ecological Services Centre, which claimsNepal is a remote and landlocked kingdom, to have worked with more than 10,000with one of the lowest levels of per capita farmers. The approaches that it promotesGDP in the world. Significant proportions of vary according to agroecological zones. Inthe population are rural based and dependent hill regions, where significant ‘off farm’upon agriculture for their livelihoods. resources may be used, the emphasis is onAccording to Sharma (2000), agricultural agroforestry, homestead gardening,productivity is in a state of decline. composting, green manuring and natural pestGovernment response to this problem appears control. In lowland regions, soil fertilityvery mixed. On the one hand the state has management through composting and greenadopted plans to increase use of artificial manuring and natural pest control methods The Real Green Revolution 49
  • 52. are the main priorities. Other organizations families are involved in the projects and involved in promoting OAA in Nepal include around 2000 hectares have been converted the Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, the to organic methods (de la Merced, 2000). Permaculture Group and the Nepal MASIPAG has initiated a farmer-scientist Community Support Group (ibid.). partnership since 1986, which works directly with small farmers on alternative ways of Sharma suggests that significantly improved conducting research, training, education and yields have been obtained through conversion marketing. The British VSO program is also to agroecological approaches, quoting involved in sustainable agricultural activities increases of up to 175% in some instances. (Briones, pers. comm.) The International However, details of crop types and changes in Institute for Rural Reconstruction, set up in management practices are not provided. 1960, also exists to promote OAA. Wai identifies several exemplary Filipino NGO The Philippines. The formal organic sector in initiatives, including Agtalon, AVDF and the Philippines is small. It does however Alter Trade. Sampson et al. (2000), report produce around 20,000 tonnes per year of on a project in Negros, where a group of organic coffee (Cannono, 2000) and some former hacienda workers bought their estate muscovado sugar (Haessig Alle, pers. comm.). and have converted it to a green village using Some coffee and sugar is also produced under organic agriculture. fair trade labels. Some vegetables, fruits and dairy produce are produced for local Responses from the Philippines indicated consumption, although rarely certified as that although there is an impressive array organic. The main markets are within and of NGOs actively promoting OAA, the sum around Manila (ibid.), although production is total of their efforts does not make much still on a small scale, it is growing at 10-20 % impression in such a large and populous per year and could be substantially accelerated country. This is especially the case since most by government support (Canono, 2000). funding remains directed toward the promotion of conventional and industrial Interest in OAA is largely driven by ‘NGOs, agricultural production (Briones, pers. eco-friendly advocates and religious comm.). Assistance with setting up domestic organizations’ (ibid.). Most of the research in certification capacity is regarded as a high alternative farming methods, training, priority by those in the commercial and NGO extension and marketing activities is being sectors (ibid. and Haessig Alle, pers. comm.). done by NGOs and farmers’ organizations. Publicly-funded research institutions and Thailand. Organic farming in Thailand universities remain firmly rooted in research, emerged in the 1980s as a grassroots farmer development and extension for conventional reaction to the effects of chemical-dependent agriculture and, more recently, supporting farming (Phinthupan, 2000). It is part of a the commercialization of GM crops (Briones, broader agenda for developing alternative pers. comm.). forms of agriculture, which includes more sustainable and equitable (i.e. fair trade) There are numerous self-help groups in the approaches. The Alternative Agriculture Philippines practising OAA. They include: Network, which has 85 member NGOs, has BIND, which is working with peasant created Organic Agriculture Certification farmers in Negros Occidental, providing Thailand (ACT) to establish a domestic credit facilities and training in ecological pest benchmark for organic produce. Green Net management, lowland rice cultivation, was set up as an alternative trading composting and recycling. More than 500 organization in 1994. It handles over 30050
  • 53. product lines, including organic food, organic production and trade. Working tohandicrafts and fair trade products. The EU standards, it has independent certificationvolume of fair trade rice that it exports has status and a dedicated research groupincreased from 15,000 to 225,000 tonnes per (Scialabba, 2000). In Iran, concern aboutannum over the ten years leading up to 2000. levels of pesticide use (as residues areIt is also promoting fair trade projects with inhibiting exports) has led to a phasedproducers of soy beans, organic vegetables withdrawal of subsidies on their use.and palm sugar (Panyakul, 2000). Organic The government has undertaken a feasibilityproduction in Thailand is still relatively study on global organic agriculture to test itslimited. Phinthupan (2000) identifies 85 relevance to Iran and established a Nationalcertified organic farmers, managing 160 Committee to consider the type of support tohectares with a further 90 hectares in offer peasants (ibid.) One group of producersconversion, although the number farming on a in Iran is involved in manufacturing rosede facto basis is certainly larger than this. The water. Previously involved in poppy growing,Bangkok Post recently ran an article outlining they now find that organic production isthe development of organic farming in Chiang more profitable (Hardy, pers. comm.). In theMai Province. Assisted by the Thailand Lebanon, the Middle Eastern Centre forResearch Fund, the group is attempting to Transfer of Alternative Technologydevelop mixed organic farming systems, local (MECTAT) is trying to encourage the growthoutlets and is seeking certification. This report of the organic sector. It is an active memberillustrates the difficulties as well as benefits of of IFOAM and is applying for EUchanging production methods, as many development aid to help establish an organicfarmers have become disheartened by their sector (Ghougassian 2000).initial lack of progress. Those who have stuckwith the project are beginning to enjoy the 3.3 – Latin Americabenefits of a more productive system, saferfood for their families and premia on local As indicated earlier, Latin America has themarkets (Anon, 2000a). most developed organic sector in the South. Table 3.4. provides more detailed informationElsewhere in Asia, Sri Lanka appears to have about numbers of farms, land under organica relatively well-developed organic sector, management and average farm size.with more than 4000 smallholders currentlyengaged in certified organic production, Argentina stands apart from the other Latinmostly of herbs, spices, fruits, nuts and tea American countries with 3 million hectares(Williges and Sauerborn, 2000). There ar e of land under organic management. Thisalso several NGOs, such as Gami Seva makes it the country with the second largestSevana and the Nagenahiru Foundation, amount of organically managed land in theinvolved in promoting organic practices as a world after Australia (Willer and Yussefi,form of rural development strategy (Wai, 2001). Other countries in Latin America withpers. comm., Emmanuel, pers comm.). There substantial amounts of organically managedare also signs of emerging organic land include Brazil and Mexico, both ofmovements in Korea (Anon, 1995), Malaysia which have more than 85,000 hectares.(Singh, 2000), Pakistan (Wai, 1995) and Costa Rica and Surinam both have moreVietnam (Caldas, 2000b). than 0.25% of their agricultural land under organic production. Notably there isIn the Middle East a number of initiatives are relatively little recorded certified land in theunderway. In Turkey, the government has Caribbean, where there is reliable data forincreased its policy interventions to support only three countries. The Real Green Revolution 51
  • 54. Table 3.4 – Organic farming statistics for Latin America as % of mean farm Country no. of farms total ha. ag. land size (ha) Argentina (2000) 1,000 3,000,000 0.22 3000.0 Bolivia (1997) 3 8000 0.02 2666.7 Brazil (1999) 1,200 100,000 0.04 83.0 Chile (1998) 200 2,700 0.02 13.5 Colombia (1999) 185 202 0.0004 1.1 Costa Rica (1995) 4,000 9,000 0.32 2.3 Dominican Republic (1997) 1,000 El Salvador (1996) 4,900 Guatemala (-) 7,000 Mexico (2000) 27,282 85,767 3.1 3.1 Nicaragua (-) 1,400 Paraguay (1998) 19,218 Peru (1999) 2,072 12,000 0.04 5.8 Surinam (1998) 250 0.28 Trinidad and Tobago (1999) 80 Uruguay (1999) 150 1,300 0.01 8.7 adopted from Willer H. and M. Yussefi. (2000 & 2001) Latin America exhibits great contrasts in maté, dairy and meat products, honey and terms of the size of organic holdings, wool (ITC, 1999). Organic production has reflecting in large part the highly inequitable developed especially rapidly in Argentina, distribution of land, which is a feature of with a fifty-five fold increase in the past much of the continent. In some countries the decade. Mexico and Brazil have also seen a average size of holdings under organic rapid development in their export markets. management is extremely large – cocoa The Interamerican Development Bank (Banco plantations of more than 3,800 hectares in Interamericano de Desarrollo), has recognized Bolivia, and average unit sizes of 3000 the importance of the organic sector, recently hectares in Argentina (mostly due to the publishing a report on the sector as part of its large size of organic ranches in the pampas). Global Project series (Marsden et al. 2000). By contrast, average organic holding sizes in Though primarily export-orientated, there is Colombia, Mexico and Costa Rica are all growing domestic demand (O’Connor and under 2.5 hectares. Farmers working on Silva, 1999) and many supermarkets, these very different sized holdings face especially in Argentina and Brazil, stock disparate challenges in their agricultural and organic produce. In other areas local markets marketing practices. and box schemes provide links between consumer and producer. There is currently Much Latin American agricultural production much sociological interest in the mechanisms is export-orientated (Berdegué & Escobier being employed to develop links between 1997) and this is reflected in the organic consumers and producers (Florit 2000; sector (ITC, 1999; Willer and Yussefi, 2001). Fonseca et al. 2000a; Fonseca and Teixera, The main organic export crops include cane 2000; Guivant et al., 2000; Paula et al.., sugar, cocoa, coffee, cotton, fruits, grains, 2000). For small-scale producers, especially52
  • 55. those in more marginal areas and often 1000+ families participating in the projectlacking formal certification, the challenge of have seen their production increase to ahow to successfully market ecological produce level sufficient to meet their annual foodis a pressing one. Many innovative forms of requirements, and other local NGOs areassociation and co-operation are emerging as now adopting and disseminating thesesmall-scale farmers group together to find techniques. This is beginning to haveeconomic ways of marketing their produce. knock-on effects, enabling farmers to diversify from staple to cash cropThe profile of IFOAM members within Latin production, raising wage levels by 50%America shows a higher proportion of for the landless and near landless andcommercially-oriented organizations than for reversing a long-established trend of ruralAfrica or Asia. This is largely due to higher out-migration.levels of engagement with export markets,but also partly due to the fact that many • The re-establishment of traditionalNGOs in Latin America involved in patterns of Incan agriculture, which arepromoting OAA align themselves more being promoted by a number of NGOs.readily with agroecology networks rather These include the re-establishment ofthan the ‘formal’ organic movement (Barkin, raised bed systems at altitudes often up topers. comm.). While there is considerable 4000m. These systems traditionallydata available on certified organic produced bounteous harvests in adverseproduction, there is much less on climatic conditions. Reconstruction ofagroecological production which has yet to be terracing, canal networks and of raisedsubject to ‘comprehensive or systemic’ studies beds requires major initial investment of(Wilkinson, pers. comm.). Latin America has labour but contributes to significanta long-standing tradition of de facto organic increases in yields and farmer incomes.agriculture which dates back at least twomillennia through the Inca civilization and • In Cuba, the Organic Agriculturalbeyond. Many native Indian peoples are now Association (ACAO) has played a lead roleconsciously aligning themselves to the organic in establishing integrated farming systemsand agroecological movements, recognizing in the province of Havana. These systemsthe market opportunities and renewed self- incorporate a number of key agroecologicalrespect that they bring. features, including tree planting, planned crop rotation, polycultures and use of greenAltieri (2001) provides some examples of the manures. These have resulted inrange and effectiveness of de facto organic significantly higher yields and, as theagricultural systems being promoted by systems have become established, inNGOs in Latin America. These initiatives diminishing labour involve almost 100,000 farmingfamilies/units and cover almost 1.5 million • In the highlands of Bolivia, the use ofhectares of land. Specific projects identified bonemeal and phosphate rock andby Altieri include the following: intercropping with nitrogen-fixing Lupin species (L. mutablis) have significantly• A project in the Honduras, which contributed to increases in potato yields. emphasized soil conservation practices such as drainage and contour ditches, Altieri’s work provides evidence of the grass barriers and rock walls, and the use tangible benefits of agroecological projects of organic fertilization methods and led to within Latin America, which significantly a tripling or quadrupling of yields. The contribute to increased yields and incomes The Real Green Revolution 53
  • 56. for resource-poor farmers and enhance mostly beef cattle, but also some sheep and sustainability. Despite the impressive dairy. The organic beef sector in Argentina numbers of farmers engaged in formal OAA has grown particularly rapidly. This is partly projects, they represent only a tiny fraction due to the existence of the fertile grazing of Latin America’s estimated 16 million lands of the ‘pampas’, but also attributable to peasant farming units (Altieri, 2000). In view farmers’ attitudes. Many of the farmers who of this, there is considerable scope to have converted to organic production in ‘promote the right policies and institutional recent years have longer-standing membership partnerships that can scale up ecologically of the Association for the Promotion of based agriculture so that its multi functional Intensive Rotational Grazing (APPRI), set up impacts are spread across the rural in 1965 to develop ecological management landscapes of Latin America’ (ibid. p.630). systems for herds and pastureland. With a In the remainder of this section we outline long history of resisting the use of synthetic a range organic and agroecological initiatives chemicals and the routine use of antibiotics, within a sample of Latin American countries. these farmers were already predisposed to adopting organic management practices Argentina’s interest in organic production (Harriet-Walsh, 1998). Export markets are a began in the 1980s and it is now the second key to the success of organic livestock largest organic producer (in terms of land production. The Argentinean beef sector ships mass) in the world. The country has now up to 2000 kilos of prime beef per week to developed a significant competitive edge over Belgium, sends an eleven tonne container to its rivals. It is the only country in the South Italy every six weeks and 700 kilos of prime to have obtained ‘Listed Country’ status with beef to Swiss Air on a monthly basis (ibid.). the EU, which greatly facilitates export procedures, as the certification systems of The main organic crops in Argentina include Listed Countries are regarded as equivalent sunflowers, olives, wheat, soya beans and to EU standards. 35 It is also one of the very fruits (ITC, 1999). Argentina is also few Southern countries to have a certification developing a significant capacity for body (Argencert) with IFOAM accreditation. processing organic food. Pais (1996) identifies some of the lines now being produced in There has been significant state support in Argentina, often in significant quantities: developing the organic sector in Argentina. The government was one of the first in the • 2 million litres of olive oil per year from South to pass legislation regarding organic three major processors standards, and national and regional levels of government provide marketing support for • daily milk sales of two and a half million export-led organic production. Recently a litres through ‘La Serenisima’ number of national and regional agencies came together with MAPO (Moviemiento • 150,000 litres of wine produced per Argentino para la Produccion Orgánica) to annum by Valle Orgánico produce a promotional CD, showcasing Argentina’s organic sector and potential • 200 tonnes of wheat used annually in an (MAPO, 2001). organic bakery Hager and Balbi (2000) estimate Argentina’s • Organic honey production in excess of 40 organic production to be currently worth $20 tonnes per annum. million, 85% of which is exported. More than 90% of organic land is dedicated to livestock,54
  • 57. The commercial development of the organic have the means to engage with the proceduressector in Argentina is perhaps the great necessary to acquire formal certified status.success story of the organic sector in the Despite having a relatively large area ofSouth. Yet there is also much interest in the formally certified land and its ownrole of small scale agroecological schemes as certification body (Instituto Biodinamica),a means to promoting the livelihoods of Brazil has only recently establishedfarmers in impoverished and marginalized provisional regulations defining organicregions. A system of organic orchards has production methods (Fonseca, pers. comm.).36been established by Pro-Huerta with supportfrom the Ministry of Social Development. As the largest country in Latin America,This is designed to improve nutritional status Brazil contains a wide variety of ecological,of the poorest rural communities and has climatic and agricultural conditions and itbenefited 2 million people since 1996 makes little sense to talk of national(Scialabba, 2000). In Patagonia, which priorities or programmes. Significant interexperiences harsh climatic conditions and has and intra-regional variations in incomeseen significant rural exodus over the past levels, land holdings and (farmers’) access todecade, the Centre for Investigation and resources mean that both market andTeaching on Sustainable Agriculture (CIESA) development-led approaches to promotinghas been involved in developing small bio- OAA have relevance. This country profileintensive plots designed to maximize food focuses on a few of many projects currentlyyield using minimal external resources. Their in place across Brazil.experiments in using double dig methods onplots of less than a hectare yield sufficient The Rio Agroecology Network (RAN) wasproduce to feed a family of four for six set up in 1998 as a partnership between amonths, and create a cash income of $2- number of governmental and non-3,000 from vegetable sales. Productivity on governmental organizations all working tothese plots increases over time as the organic promote agroecology. Its objectives included:soil content of the soil increases. CIESA is strengthening the role of agriculture in thecurrently working with the provincial region, promoting greater sustainability andgovernment to extend this work and sustain improving farmers’ income, increasing therural livelihoods (Pia, 2000). Other NGOs supply of organic produce, training farmersactive in promoting OAA as a mechanism for and technicians in agroecological cultivationrural development include the Environment systems and consolidating an existingAction and Study Centre (CEAA) and Eco reference centre on agroecology andVer (Harriet-Walsh, 1998). appropriate technology. The network has two main arms. One is concerned with theBrazil has a tradition in organic agriculture social economy, with a focus on participator ygoing back to 1973 and today has a large diagnostics, market research andnumber of co-operatives, smallholders and dissemination. The second has a morecompanies practising organic farming. Most technological focus, developing integratedcertified produce is destined for export. The agroecological systems, participatory fieldmain export commodities include fruits, research and validation of technologies,vegetables, wheat, tea, coffee, sugar, nuts, certification and the production ofsesame, palm oil and essential oils. There is agroecological inputs. After just two yearsalso a growing internal demand (ITC, 1999). the project has recorded a number ofFinding ways of developing and accessing successes. The number of certified organicinternal markets is particularly important for farmers in the region have increased fromsmall-scale producers who are less likely to twenty to almost one hundred and fifty. The Real Green Revolution 55
  • 58. The local university has seen seven theses on of biological activity and water-retaining agroecology completed, with eighteen more capacity. Yields of maize and soybeans have in progress. Food with the regional organic increased by 66%. Significant labour savings logo is now available in several supermarkets have been achieved through a reduction in in the city of Rio and there is a growing the need to plough and weed. Reviews of demand for organic produce within the state. this work suggest that maintaining soil cover However, the project is a relatively short- is more important in combating erosion than term one (in terms of external funding), and more intensive methods such as terracing or has experienced a number of organizational bunding. More than 38,000 farmers have problems largely related to the differing benefited from these services since 1991 institutional cultures of the organizations (Guijt cited in Altieri, 2001). concerned and the issues involved in reconciling these (Fonseca et al.., 2000a). In the hot and dry Ceara region another NGO, ESPLAR, has been involved in a state- In the north-east of Brazil, a region dominated wide agroecology development programme by large-scale sugar cane plantations, AS-PTA promoting a training programme for village have been involved in promoting the ‘Paraiba’ leaders. This programme has resulted in project. This aims to promote the sustainable adoption of a number of agroecological use and conservation of natural resources and practices across the state, including: increase farmers’ incomes. Over a few years they have succeeded in establishing • Return of arboreal cotton cultivation to community seed banks for beans and yams, mixed cropping systems. Together with the latter particularly significant as an integrated control of boll weevil this has opportunity for farmers to access an enabled restoration of abandoned cotton important market for cash crops. The fields. scheme’s other priorities include helping install domestic water storage facilities for sixty • Enriching grazing areas with selected households and developing and testing new varieties of seed, permitting a 50% approaches to livestock management and increase in stocking rates. agroforestry techniques. Local confidence and capacity is increasing. As with many NGO • The introduction of herbaceous legumes projects, it is small-scale in nature and lacks for fodder in crop mixtures and rotation the resources to expand its influence so as to systems, and make a significant impact on rural poverty (Sidersky, pers. comm.). • The use of small dams to provide irrigation for vegetable production. In the southern state of Santa Catarina, the (von der Weid, 1994, cited in Altieri, 2001). State Extension and Research Service works with farmers. The focus of their work is on Costa Rica has almost 4,000 organic farms soil and water conservation in micro- and with the exception of Argentina has the watersheds, using contour grass barriers, highest proportion of land under organic contour ploughing and green manures. Some management of any country in Latin sixty different crop species, leguminous and America. Bananas are the main crop, non-leguminous, have been experimented although cocoa, coffee, fruits, vegetables, with. These are inter-cropped or planted herbs and spices are also important. during fallow periods in a wide variety of According to ITC (1999), there is a strong cropping systems. The experiments have had interest in organic agriculture in the country. major impacts on yields, soil quality, levels The University of San José has a research56
  • 59. programme on organic agriculture and Soil organic content had decreased from 5%several other research projects are being to 2% and the lack of ground cover createdcarried out under the auspices of NGOs. the potential for soil erosion. Strategies for replenishing the soil included addition ofThe Costa Rican government has a history chicken manure (available only in limitedof combating environmentally damaging quantities) and developing composts usingagricultural development.37 This approach citrus residues from the processing plant.has translated into active support for the One of the main issues that faces theorganic sector. The Ministry of Agriculture management is the question of how to re-has recently established an organic establish ground cover without creatingdepartment and has drafted regulations on competition for available nutrients. Locallyorganic production, labelling and occurring grasses have been sown in ancertification. The organic producers’ attempt to provide ground cover and the siteassociation has established a national is being monitored for the effects on localprogramme and a certification agency. insect populations. The attempt to convertThey are working in collaboration with the a perennial monoculture system to organicnational coffee institute to develop facilities production is not straightforward and therefor processing organic coffee. The Costa is a need to exchange information andRican Chamber of Commerce promoted an research findings from similar trade fair between 1995 and 1997in collaboration with GTZ, the German The Dominican Republic has been involveddevelopment agency (Geier, 1996). The in organic agriculture since 1982. It is anConsortium of Coffee Co-operatives of important producer of organic coffee,Guanacaste and Montes del Oro is a bananas and sugar. Organic bananacoalition of six coffee co-operatives in a production first began here in 1989 and nowremote rainforest area of Cost Rica providing involves 2,500 small farmers (see case studyan example of a joint organic/fair trade 7, below). A co-operative of 12,000 familiesinitiative. It has developed a partnership with has converted half of its sugar production toEqual Exchange (USA) and exports over 4 organic methods. It is estimated that aroundmillion pounds of coffee at guaranteed fair 20% of the Republic’s fruit and vegetabletrade prices to North America. The benefits exports are now organically produced andinclude additional incomes to the farmer and the premia generated are making a majorpreservation of the surrounding rainforest. impact in alleviating poverty in rural areas (Holderness et al. 2000).Chubb (2000) writes of a 3000-plus hectarecitrus estate, owned by the Commonwealth Involvement in these new markets has ledDevelopment Corporation (a UK to the development of producer co-government-owned corporation) in the north operatives, whose work extends beyondof the country that recently converted more agricultural issues and covers ruralthan 500 hectares to organic production. development in a broader sense. ITC (1999)The estate already contained many fingers of identifies nine groups involved in producingforest (following the lines of watercourses), and/or marketing organic produce, most ofbreaking up the plantations and allowing a whom have a broader rural developmentfree flow of flora and fauna (including role. GRAN has about 1000 farmers spreadnatural predators) into the citrus groves. across 12 villages. It supports organic andA history of regular application of fertilizer biodynamic agriculture and provides credit,and herbicide had acidified the soil, which technical and marketing assistance andrequired routine applications of limestone. certification services. Conacado is another The Real Green Revolution 57
  • 60. producer group promoting organic The organic sector in Mexico is thought to agriculture, which has a membership of have a good potential for growth (ITC, 1999). around 2000 small and medium size farmers There are extreme disparities of wealth within involved in coffee and cocoa production. Mexico and many farmers, especially indigenous peoples, face extreme poverty and Mexico has a very active organic sector, and a lack of resources. In many instances fair is Latin America’s biggest supplier of organic trade schemes which offer access to credit coffee. Russell (2000) estimates that there is and non-exploitative access to processing and currently 55,000 hectares of land under marketing facilities have been seen as more organic management and 28,000 registered relevant to the problems of the rural poor. In producers. 98% of organic producers are some instances these may be joint fair smallholders, although there are also some trade/organic initiatives. The collaboration large fincas engaged in organic cocoa, sugar between Equal Exchange and the Union of and coffee production. Organic production Indigenous Communities of the Isthmus currently generates $70 million per year in Region (UCIRI) is one example. UCIRI were export earnings. Joint ventures between US- the first group of farmers in Mexico to export based importers and small producers are coffee under a fair trade label. Since then common, especially important in providing incomes for the 3000 farmers in 53 villages specialized inputs such as seeds, packing has doubled, enabling them to establish the materials, agronomist advice and first public bus service, the only public certification (Scialabba, 2000). Mexico’s secondary school in the area and build a proximity to the US and its membership of community health clinic. They have also built NAFTA both contribute to its ability to tap their own community-owned clothing factory into this important export market. The (Equal Exchange, 2000). Other co-operatives, Forest Stewardship Council has its head such as Unión de Ejidos Maravillas Tenejapa office in Oaxaca and has a high profile and Campesinos Ecológicas de la Sierra within the country. Madre de Chiapas (both in Chiapas) are struggling to gain entry for their organic The Ministry of Social Development is produce in export markets (ITC, 1999). particularly supportive of organic agriculture and provides assistance to several producer Case study 7 – Organic and ethical banana groups. AMEA (Assn. de Agricultores production Ecológicos) was founded in 1992 to provide an umbrella organization for the organic Bananas are the fourth most important food movement. It has influenced the Ministry of crop in the world in terms of value of Agriculture to develop a regulatory production. They are grown both as a staple framework for organic agriculture. This was and an export crop. More than 85% of established in 1995 and amended in 1997. A bananas sold on the world market come national certification body was established at from Latin America and the Caribbean, a around the same time. However, the Mexican trade which generates export earnings of regulatory framework has not achieved more than $4 billion for the region. More equivalence with EU standards, so external than 80% of bananas destined for export inspection agencies are still used for produce come from large plantations using destined for European markets. Some conventional farming methods and relying European buyers and certifiers have now set heavily upon chemical fertilizers and sprays. up regional offices in Mexico, including There are environmental concerns about the Naturland, the world’s largest coffee certifier. effects of intensive farming and deforestation in these areas, which are exceptionally rich in58
  • 61. wildlife and are often described as The Windward Islands were identified as‘biodiversity hotspots.’ There are also social a particularly favourable area for organicconcerns over working conditions within banana production. With a relative absenceplantations and over the effect of of Black Sigatoka, they also have an existingliberalization of global markets in exposing banana culture, networks of farmerssmall-scale producers, especially in the associations and young farmers who appearCaribbean, to competition from larger scale, interested in pursuing organic production.more cost-efficient plantations. In response The removal of ‘favoured trading’ status withto these concerns a number of different the EU provides an incentive for these islandscertification schemes are emerging. These to seek alternative markets and there is ainclude organic, fair trade and possibility of linking organic production with‘environmentally friendly’ labels, and eco tourism initiatives.combinations of these. Elsewhere in Latin America the RainforestThe Dominican Republic has been an Alliance and Fairtrade Labellingimportant innovator in organic production. Organization have joined forces to create theIts experiences hold valuable lessons for ‘Better Banana Project’ (BBP), the world’sother countries in the Caribbean considering largest eco-labelling system for bananas.adopting pro-organic policies. In 1999 a Criteria for inclusion cover environmentalworkshop on the production and marketing and social considerations. These include:of organic bananas was held to review theexperiences of the Dominican Republic and • Eliminating use of the most harmfulassess their relevance and replicability pesticides and encouraging overallelsewhere in the Caribbean. A number of reduction in pesticide use.technical and social issues were identified: • Implementation of soil conservation,• Problems of controlling Black Sigatoka, a waste management and wildlife protection fungal disease, which affects bananas. The plans and reforestation programmes, Cavendish variety, one of the most widely particularly along stream edges. grown varieties, is particularly susceptible to this disease, but can be substituted by • Provision of decent wages, safety other more resistant varieties. equipment and training for workers, and of medical care, housing and education• The urgent need to provide training to for the families. farmers considering conversion. One recommended avenue for this is the To date more than 150 farms, across four selection of ‘leader farmers’ as focal points countries (Ecuador, Panama, Colombia and for training and using them to disseminate Costa Rica) have joined the scheme. Between this knowledge in their communities. them they cover 74,000 hectares. Dozens more small farms in Honduras and• The use of producer co-ops to overcome Guatemala have enrolled and are in the certification costs was recommended, as process of complying with requirements. was the development of links between the BBP production now exceeds 60 million organic and fair trade movements, to boxes per year, about 10% of the total improve market access and premia. Where export production in Latin America and the possible the same certifiers should be used Caribbean. Some of the largest banana to reduce costs. producers have joined the scheme. Chiquita Brands International are committed to The Real Green Revolution 59
  • 62. certifying all of their plantations by the end compete with ‘environmentally friendly’ of 2001, and Reybancorp, the second largest ones, and both attempt to set minimum banana producer in Ecuador, has also signed social criteria for inclusion within their up to the scheme. The scheme is not only labelling programmes. Consumer and aimed at large plantations but also includes customer recognition of these different many co-operatives of smaller producers. brands will prove to be a particularly important test. The interplay and competition between (Sources FAO, 2000b & c; Holderness et al. 2000; these different labelling systems may raise Scialabba 2000; Wille, 2000.) interesting questions, as organic systems60
  • 63. 4.1 – Productivity and sustainability4 – Key themes OAA differs from conventionally intensiveIn this section we explore the main benefits agriculture in that it seeks to achieve optimalof, and obstacles to, the uptake of OAA in the sustainable yields rather than maximizingSouth. The first four of these themes relate to output. Perceptions of the potential ofthe natural world, focusing on agricultural organic farming to meet world food demandand ecological aspects of OAA. First, we have largely been based upon the experienceexamine evidence regarding comparative (in the industrialised world) of conversionyields from OAA and conventional systems from one system (and set of aims) to theand discuss alternative approaches to other. Transitions to organic farming haveevaluating farm performance. Second, we turn therefore often resulted in a net loss of yieldsto look at what we believe to be a key being recorded, often by as much as 15%defining characteristic of OAA, the promotion (Grolink, 1999). These declines are mostand maintenance of agrobiodiversity, that is marked in the initial years of conversion,biodiversity within farming systems. We then when soil fertility needs to be built up and theturn to examine issues of promoting and farmer has to learn new managementmaintaining soil fertility and of natural forms strategies. They are also more noticeable withof pest and disease control. some crop types, particularly grain. In the industrialised world, declining yields and theThe second set of themes relates to the social resultant loss of income to the farmer canworld and examines the social, economic and often be compensated for through apolitical benefits and challenges associated combination of state subsidies (justified onwith the adoption of OAA. In the first environmental grounds) and premia forinstance, we look at the issues of trade and organic produce. With the exception of themarket premia, paying particular regard to premia available through export markets,the question of the orientation of trade neither of these safety nets is generally(between local and international markets), available in the South. Thus, a conventionaland the implications that this has for wisdom has emerged that countries withproducers wishing to develop the capacity to pressing food security problems would be illadd value at a local level. We also examine the advised to contemplate a shift to organiccomplex and sometimes contentious issues practices and that farmers would suffer ifsurrounding certification where there appear they were to adopt these practices (seeto be inherent tensions between maintaining Woodward, 1998). FAO identify this aseffective and verifiable quality assurance possibly the single biggest factor holding backwithout inhibiting the participation of small the development of the organic movement:producer groups. In the final two sections werevisit some of the questions raised in previous ‘most people in all kinds of areas, includingchapters that concern ‘macro’ and ‘micro’ scientists, researchers, extension workers andinfluences on the adoption of OAA. These politicians strongly believe that organicrange from the policy orientations of agriculture is not a feasible option togovernments to more finely-textured local improve food security’. FAO (1998, p.12)factors. We pay particular attention to theimportance of developing appropriate This belief however is largely misplaced, as itmethods for tapping into existing layers of is underpinned by the erroneous assumptionknowledge where it exists, augmenting it that farmers in the South will be convertingwhere required and promoting its transfer, from ‘intensive’ systems. In what is probablywhere it is incomplete or absent. the majority of instances, this is not the case. What then is the effect of switching from non- The Real Green Revolution 61
  • 64. intensive, and often under-capitalized farming In this research we have found many examples systems to organic methods? There is as yet where the adoption of OAA has led to insufficient evidence to provide conclusive significantly increased yields. Table 4.1 (over) answers, largely due to the relative infancy of provides examples of such evidence. Whilst not the organic movement and the lack of a comprehensive review of comparative comparative research in this area (Scialabba, studies, it does suggest that in many 1998). In general however, it is thought that circumstances the adoption of OAA can OAA can bring significant increases in yields significantly increase yields, particularly in in comparison to conventional farming comparison to unimproved traditional practices. Compared to ‘Green Revolution’ practices. Case study 8 (over), provides a more farming systems, OAA is thought to be detailed illustration of two new approaches to neutral in terms of yields, although it brings rice cultivation which have had significant other benefits, such as reducing the need for impacts on yields and disease resistance. external inputs (Grolink, 2000). Table 4.1 – Examples of yield increases attributable to adoption of OAA Altieri (2001) quotes several examples from Latin America where adoption or recreation of OAA has resulted in significantly increased yields for farmers. In Brazil the use of green manures and cover crops in maize/wheat cropping systems has led to increases in yields of between 20-250%. Similar yield increases for maize crops have been achieved in Guatemala and Honduras through the use of soil conservation and green manuring. In Peru, the restoration of traditional Incan terraces has led to increases in the order of 150% in a range of upland crops. In Mexico, Oaxacan co-operatives have seen similar yield increases in their coffee harvest through adaptation of composting, contour planting and terracing. Edwards (2000) compares figures from composted, chemically fertilized and unimproved (control) plots in Tigray from 1997-8 (see case study 9). In all instances composting led to yield increases of between 3 and 5 times the untreated plots. Yields on the composted plots were generally better than on the chemically fertilized ones. Figures in parenthesis show the range of yields for composted plots in comparison to artificially fertilized ones: Barley (+9 / -0.5%); Wheat (+20 / -0.2%); Maize (+7 / -21%); Tef (+107%); Finger millet (+3%); Kerka’ta (-8%). Due to shortages of compostable material, only half the recommended rate of 16 tonnes / ha. of compost was applied on most plots and the full potential of the organic approach was not realized in these trials. Hödtke, et al. (undated) experimented in Brazil on intercropping maize with legumes (Vigna unguiculata and Canavalis ensiformis) and ploughing these back in as green manures. They found that grain yield and total nitrogen content of leaves were significantly increased. Ogol et al. (1999) found that alley cropping systems in Kenya reduced pest numbers in comparison to monocropping and yields were higher despite planting densities in the alley cropping systems being 25% lower. Rist (2000) reports on AGRUCO’s development and extension work with ‘de facto’ organic farmers in Bolivia, which has increased potato yields by 20% and more. Sharma (2000) reports yield increases of 175% on farms in Nepal adopting agroecological management strategies (crops not specified). Soto-Pinto et al. (2000) studied outputs from shade-grown coffee production in Mexico and found that shaded groves had yields 23-38% higher than exposed plots. The role of trees in harbouring predators of pests and diffusing sunlight are thought to be the main contributory factors. Wai (1995) reports on work at a demonstration farm on reclaimed saline land near Lahore (Pakistan). This incorporated a number of techniques including fish farming, afforestation and a biogas digester for fermenting slurry and manure. Rice yields were 23% greater than under conventional systems and wheat yields 25% higher.62
  • 65. • The third change is that of spacing plantsCase study 8 – New developments in rice more widely apart, at densities of 15-20production per square metre as opposed to the 50- 100 common in other systems. ThisTwo recent developments in rice production provides individual plants with a largertechniques from different sides of the globe area from which to draw nutrients and theshow the importance of innovation and opportunity to develop a more robust rootexperimentation with new techniques for system.growing the most important staple crop inthe world. • The fourth change is that of periodic drying of fields. From observation andSystem of Rice Intensification (SRI) discussions with local farmers, FatherMadagascar Laulanie began experimenting withSRI was initially discovered by a development periodic drying of fields so that they wereaid worker, Father Henri du Laulanie, and not continually submerged. It is thoughthas been subsequently developed by an NGO, that this changed practice contributes toAssociacion Tefy Saina, and two Malagy plant development through increasingUniversities. Its methods have led to aeration and subjecting the plant toremarkable increases in yields, from the 2-3 periodic (but not excessive) stress, whichtons per hectare common in most parts of encourages growth.Madagascar, to yields of 6, 8, or 10 tons perhectare. This has been achieved on nutrient • This system involves more regular weedingdeficient, acidic soils. SRI uses commonly than flooded paddy systems, whichavailable germplasm but changes rice suppress weed growth. Experiments havecultivation techniques in fundamental ways, shown that greater frequency of weedingdescribed below. also helps plant development due to greater aeration of the roots of the plant.• The first of these was discovered by accident, as a result of attempting to • Finally, SRI is practised using manures double production from a seed nursery in and composts. Initially chemical fertilizers response to a drought that threatened to were used, but as prices rose in the 1980s shorten the growing season. Rice seedlings experiments with compost were were transplanted after 15 days, as undertaken. It has not yet been established opposed to the normal 30. The plants did whether compost and natural fertilizers so well that the technique was repeated are more or less effective in this system again in subsequent years and further than artificial inputs. experiments were done planting at 12, 10 and 8 days, all producing positive results. IRS has evolved over almost twenty years in Madagascar and been used in many different• The second change in practice is planting ecological and climatic conditions. Farmers single seedlings rather than the using SRI on the borders of a national park conventional practice of planting groups of (with particularly poor soils) have recorded three or four, which is designed to ensure yields 50-60% higher than those on survival of at least one or two plants. More demonstration farms in fertile areas managed care has to be taken with single planting, by private companies experimenting with but if done properly it encourages stronger input intensive systems and hybrid seeds. and more vigorous plants, through Labour inputs for SRI are significantly higher reducing intra-species competition. than under conventional systems, but are The Real Green Revolution 63
  • 66. more than rewarded. Farms with labour area, the more effective the technique shortages find that it is more profitable to became. Gross income per hectare increased cultivate part of their land under SRI rather by 15%, not including savings on fungicides, than the whole farm under conventional and there was a reduction of fungicide runoff management techniques. While spectacular, into local water-courses. Though not the successes of SRI have not yet been fully necessarily an organic production system, the explained. Uphoff provides rationales for experiment demonstrates the benefits of the some of the success of this approach, though application of one of the principles of OAA – others require further research and the promotion of diversity. explanation. Regular weeding and aeration (Source: Stott, 2000) appear to be strongly correlated with yields, but the synergies between the different Indicators used to evaluate conventional elements of the management techniques are agriculture often give primacy to single crop not yet fully understood. More critically, SRI yields as the main criterion of efficiency. Yet has not yet been experimented with, nor the such measures are often inappropriate for results replicated, outside Madagascar. both organic and traditional forms of Agronomists have arguably been wary of farming. As noted earlier, traditional farmers taking up research that challenges orthodox are often more concerned with avoiding risk practice. The rice research community is now rather than maximizing output. Farmers beginning to respond to these challenges by often sow different varieties of the same crop attempting to replicate and explain these to insure against the risk of drought or successes. The evolution of these systems disease. They do so knowing that their yields illustrates the potential of farmer / NGO-led will be lower, but that they are minimizing experimentation to evolve new farming exposure to the calamity of losing a whole approaches with potentially wider harvest. Equally, farmers may well choose applicability. lower-yielding grain varieties if they have other desirable characteristics. For example, (Source: Uphoff, 1999; Pretty and Hine, 2001b) in India many farmers choose varieties of rice Intercropping as a strategy against disease that produce good quality fodder for The second innovation is a system of inter- livestock and an acceptable grain yield cropping developed by Prof. Chris Mundt (Shiva, 1995, p.85). (Oregon State University) and the International Rice Research Institute. Single crop yields are not the only criteria by Farmers in Yunnan Province (China), were which agricultural productivity should be persuaded to interplant their traditional judged. Other ‘output based’ approaches such sticky rice crop, prone to the fungal disease as net farm productivity, return to capital, rice blast, with a disease resistant hybrid. land or labour, are also important indicators The two varieties were planted in alternating of farm productivity. These measures are blocks and the hybrid seeds acted as firewall likely to be more relevant to small-scale against the disease. In the first year of the farmers growing a range of crops, often from experiment rice blast was reduced by 94% limited resources. One study in South India and yields were up by 89%. Neighbouring compared seven paired farms (one ecological townships joined the experiment the and one conventional) with similar following year and by the end of this period, agroecological characteristics and market 60,000 ha of rice were being grown by this orientations. It found no significant economic method. Fungicides (previously applied eight differences between the two sets of farms, times a season) were no longer required and with gross income and margins, variable it was found that the larger the experimental costs, net cash income, days of labour per64
  • 67. land unit and returns to labour all within a and capital); and social aspects (e.g. equity,similar range. The two sets of farms did, community participation, food self-however, vary in a number of other respects. sufficiency) (ibid.).Ecological farmers cultivated a broader rangeof crops with more mixed intercropping, The aim of this approach is not to providesystems using a wider range of species and a ‘single index’-based comparison betweenmore varieties of the same species. The different farming systems (which wouldecological farmers were less dependent upon inevitably involve value judgements aboutexternal sources of nutrients and used a wider the weighting given to different measures),range of techniques to maintain soil fertility but to be able to compare how differenton a larger and more efficient scale. There farming systems perform according to thesewere no significant differences between yields criteria. Use of the FARMS programmeon the two sets of farms, with the exception (Chinnakonda, 1997) enables intra and inter-of rice yields, which were higher on the regional comparisons to be made againstecological farms (der Werf 1993). baseline sustainability criteriaWhilst comparative evaluations of farm Studies employing this methodology areproductivity are important in assessing currently being carried out with partnerreturns to farmers in the short to medium organizations in ten countries across theterm, broader and longer term measures of South: in Africa (Ethiopia and Kenya); Asiasustainability also need to be considered. Of (China, India, Nepal, The Philippines, Sriparticular interest are those which take into Lanka) and Latin America (Costa Rica, Elaccount the ‘environmental services obtained Salvador and Nicaragua). Some initial resultsfrom complex, integrated agroecological from the first phases of these comparativesystems featuring many crop varieties surveys were presented at IFOAM 2000.together with trees and animals’ (Altieri, Chinnakonda and Lanting (2000) describe2001, p.1). Conventional measures of farm some of the initial findings. They identify someoutputs and returns tend to neglect these general criteria of sustainability where organicnon-monetized aspects of farm productivity, farms perform better than conventional ones.although they are critical in maintaining These include energy use, nutrient sources,productive capacity. New measures are being mixed cropping and the generation ofdeveloped which take such features into livestock feed. In low-rainfall areas, the useaccount. A partnership project between of organic matter is a crucial determinant ofIFOAM, LEISA and FAO is developing a sustainability, as it plays a central role inuniversal methodology for comparing farm helping reduce loss of soil moisture. In humidperformance against parameters of zones with high levels of tree cover, bothsustainability.38 The factors considered in this organic and conventional farms exhibit highmodel include: capital assets; renewable levels of biodiversity. Organic andenergy use; energy, water and nutrient conventional farmers within the same areasbalances; organic vs. chemical nutrients; also exhibit similar levels of dependency onorganic matter applied; market dependence; external inputs and markets, suggesting thatexternal input dependence; area under trees; prevailing market systems influence thesenumber of species; and degree of mixed parameters more than the farming methodscropping (Witte 1999). In addition, wider adopted. Interestingly, the study also found aimpacts of the farm and farming system are lower participation rate of women andconsidered, including: agricultural succeeding generations within organic farms,biodiversity; environmental impacts; financial leading the authors to question theperformance (productivity of land, labour sustainability of organic farms as enterprizes. The Real Green Revolution 65
  • 68. These findings are preliminary and based upon services beyond the production of food, a limited number of case studies where including the recycling of nutrients, sufficient data has been gathered and regulation of microclimate and local processed. This research programme, still in its hydrological processes, suppression of early stages, has the potential for providing a undesirable organisms and detoxification ‘system’ rather than output-oriented analysis of of noxious chemicals.’ (p.19) the performance of agricultural approaches.39 In time, it may provide a more informed basis The emphasis that proponents of OAA lay for evaluating the contested benefits and upon maintaining and enhancing diversity is drawbacks of organic and conventional in stark contrast with the monocultural farming systems in a range of agroecological approach favoured by industrial models of contexts. Some of the differences in the agriculture. It has much more in common parameters may only become visible in the with traditional farming systems which longer term. Indicators such as soil fertility employ strategies which ‘have more to do and biodiversity can only really be assessed with minimizing the risk of failure rather over the medium to long term. Others, such than maximizing yield per se’ (Kinnon and as yields and returns also require a longer-term Bayo, 1989 p.58). Two specific forms of ‘risk perspective and need to be averaged over a reduction strategy’ employed by traditional number of years, as they are influenced by farmers across the world are set out in Table exogenous factors such as climate and, in the 4.2 (over). Each has a compelling logic for later instance, market conditions. traditional farmers and emphasizes the importance of maintaining sustained yields in 4.2 – Organic agriculture and diversity preference to maximizing outputs. The maintenance and promotion of diversity is arguably the single key defining Different levels of sophistication may exist in characteristic of OAA. According to Altieri the employment of both phased and mixed (1999) there are a number of reasons why cropping regimes. In some cases, simple diversity is important within individual combinations of two or three crops may be agroecosystems. used to spread risk, maintain soil cover, suppress weeds, increase soil fertility and/or ‘Research suggests that the level of internal deter pests. An illustration of how regulations of function in agroecosystems is agrobiodiversity at this simple level helps largely dependent on the level of plant and maintain ecosystem stability is shown in animal diversity present. In agroecosystems, Table 4.3, which compares annual rates of biodiversity performs a variety of ecological topsoil loss in Nigeria under a monoculture Table 4.2 – Risk-reduction strategies of traditional farmers Mixed planting: Phased planting Ensures a continuing and varied supply of food Minimizes risks, especially from climatic throughout the year. uncertainties. Increases overall production units per area. Provides phased harvests. Helps reduce incidences of pests and diseases. Evens out labour demand over the year. Enables planting to take account of soil variations. Reduces land preparation costs Provides soil cover against erosion. Provides ground cover. Assists with weed control and reduces labour inputs. Adopted from Kinnon and Bayo, (1989)66
  • 69. Table 4.3 – Annual soil loss (tons/hectare) at Ibadan, Nigeria Cassava Slope (%) Cassava only and maize Difference 1 3 3 0% 5 87 50 43% 10 125 86 32% 15 221 137 38%Aina et al. (cited in Kinnon et Bayo, 1989).of cassava and under a joint cassava/maize the topsoil and reduces runoff, suppressesregime. On slopes of 5% or more the inter- other weeds, is used as fodder or beddingcropping system resulted in soil loss rates for animals and then returned to the land asbetween 30-40% less than the monoculture, compost (Pandeya, 1995).as the former provides more effective andcontinuous ground cover. Thus inter- Studies by the International Institute ofcropping has an important role to play in Tropical Agriculture have found that basichelping safeguard the existence of the cereals (such as maize and cassava)primary natural resource upon which intercropped with ‘Egusi’ melonagriculture depends – the topsoil. (Cucumerospis mannii) need weeding only once every two to three weeks instead ofIntercropping can also have major benefits weekly. The ground cover provided by thefor weed control, a major problem in most ‘Egusi’ suppresses weed growth until theagricultural systems. In some places the melons are harvested, by which time thelaborious work of hand-weeding can account cereals have established themselves andfor more than 80% of labour demand in developed their own canopies (Akobundu,traditional low input farming systems 1993). Other experiments have shown(Abbiw, 1989). In other areas the labour mulching to reduce weed biomass by up torequired for weed control constrains the 90% (Thijssen 1995). Mulching can alsoamount of land that families choose to farm. contribute to changes in the composition ofUse of cover crops or ‘live mulches’ can weeds. In an inter-cropping system (involvingsignificantly reduce the burden of weeding, Gliricidia, Leucaena and Cassia species) infreeing up time for other, more productive Kenya, weed composition changed fromactivities. Blench (1997) identifies a number grasses to broad-leaved weeds, which are farof leguminous species which are being used easier to control (ibid.).to improve fallows and control weeds.Species used include the velvet bean (Mucuna The effectiveness and choice of intercroppingspp.), jack bean (Canavalia ensiformis), systems depends upon many factors. Blenchtropical kudzu (Pueraria phaseoloides), and (1997) argues that the multi-functionality ofperennial peanuts (Arachis pintoi). The these crops are important factors inpractice of using velvet bean is to control determining their attractiveness to farmers.imperata grass (Imperata spp.), which is Many of these crops, such as the ‘Egusi’spreading throughout Togo, Benin and melon, the high altitude scarlet runner beanColumbia. Velvet and jack beans are being (Phaseolus coccineus) and the widely usedused in Panama to control paja blanca velvet bean (Mucuna spp.), also produce(Saccharum spp) and nutgrass in several food for human consumption. Othersother countries. In Nepal, gandhejhar is left provide animal feed. In Campeche (Mexico),in fields until ploughing starts. It stabilizes the seed of the velvet bean is cooked, ground The Real Green Revolution 67
  • 70. and mixed with maize to provide pig fodder, water. The deep rooting systems of trees help and while most leguminous mulches do not recycle nutrients by returning leached cations graze well, they can be cut and used for to the soil as leaf litter. The ability of certain fodder after even months of drought (ibid. species to survive the dry season and and Abbiw, 1989). maintain their green leaves means that there will be active roots in the soil when there is At a more complex level, experiments a flush of mineralized nitrogen at the start of conducted by the International Centre for the rains. The roots act as a safety net Insect Physiology and Ecology (see section capturing the nitrogen that would otherwise 3.1) illustrate how mixed cropping and the be leached away.’ use of ‘host’ and ‘trap’ crops can contribute to pest control, suppress weeds and provide Trees also serve other functions, providing valuable additional forage for cattle. More the farm with fuel and construction sophisticated practices such as ‘alley materials, attracting birds and wildlife and cropping’, involve planting parallel lines of ‘providing shade for livestock and people’ legumes, staple crops and bushes, together (Kenyan farmer, quoted in Collis, 2000). In with nitrogen fixing and/or fruit bearing Kenya the International Research Centre into trees. Such systems are widely employed in Agroforestry is doing research and extension different parts of the world, with alley work on the use of leguminous tree fallows cropping methods recorded in Brazil which recycle 100-150 kg nitrogen per tree (Bertalot et al.., 2000), Cameroon (Adesina p.a.. They have also introduced species from et al., 2000), Kenya (Ogol et al., 1999), Mexico, which provide animal fodder at low Nigeria (Cashman, 1987) and Sri Lanka cost, increasing milk and manure yields (see (Sangakkara and Ratnayake, 1989). Kho section 3.1). In the area around Debre Zeit (2000) suggests that alley intercropping (Shoa Province, Ethiopia), self-seeded Acacia would be viable in around 15% of land in Albida trees are maintained by peasant the tropics. He suggests that such systems farmers who recognize their capacity to have significant benefits for nitrogen enrich and stabilize the soil and provide retention/accumulation, but not for other fodder (Harrison, 1987). Research from nutrients. Alley cropping can have some Senegal (see table 4.4), shows the beneficial drawbacks in that trees may compete with effect of this species on millet protein yields. crops for scarce water supplies. Islam and Weil (2000) found that reafforestation with acacia species in Trees can play a key role in helping maintain Bangladesh significantly improved soil the diversity and productivity of farms. As quality. However a similar study in Costa Edwards (2000, p.8) notes: Rica found agroforestry systems had not significantly improved soils compared to ‘In windy areas the windbreak effect of trees adjacent pastureland (Tournquist, 1999). can significantly reduce the loss of water This suggests that agroforestry is not a through evapotranspiration. Trees also universal panacea. In general however, maintain and restore soil fertility and control intercropping of trees and annual crops erosion. Their leaves can be used as fodder produces a number of beneficial synergies, as well as for composting. They provide soil illustrated in Figure 4.1 which shows the cover when the pruned branches and leaves influence of trees on the growing are left on the soil. These increase soil environment of maize in Tlaxacal, Mexico. nutrients, suppress weeds and improve soil structure. Tree roots help bind the soil Despite the known beneficial effects of trees together and promote the infiltration of in the farm environment, tree cover in arid68
  • 71. Table 4.4 – Effects of A. Albida on millet yield in Senegal Near tree trunk Edge of tree canopy Outside tree canopyMillet protein yield (kg/ha) 180 84 52from Charreau and Vidal (cited in Kinnon et Bayo, 1989)zones is being lost at an alarming rate. Kenya (Maathai, 1986) have a specific focusClimate change, pressure from overgrazing on encouraging tree planting on aand the over-riding need for fuel are all community basis. Other institutes, such ascontributory factors. Once lost, tree cover is the International Centre for Research intousually difficult to re-establish. Moreover, the Agroforestry (Collis, 2000) and the Henrydivision of administrative responsibilities Doubleday Research Association (Harris etbetween farming on the one hand and al., 1989) undertake research and extensionforestry on the other, means that there is work on the tolerance and effectiveness ofrarely much governmental support for different species of tree. Badejo (1998)dispersed tree planting programmes. Some identifies more thirty species of trees endemicNGOs, such as the Green Belt Movement in to savannah ecosystems, which play a majorFigure 4.1 – Influence of trees on maizecropping in Tlaxacal (Mexico)(from Farrell, 1984, reprinted in Farrell, 1987) The Real Green Revolution 69
  • 72. role in increasing fodder available to sepa with pepper. Pepper as a climbing plant livestock, provide coppicing materials and in particularly suits to be integrated into many instances have nitrogen-fixing capacity. agroforestry systems (sic); it climbs on fruit trees most of the time. This way the farmer One piece of research from South India, makes double the profit from one area (fruits comparing seven pairs of ‘conventional’ and and spices) and takes no economic risk in ‘ecological’ farms found that the greatest case of bad pepper prices. The bottom layer difference in the agronomic characteristics of is planted with low growing species, in terms the farms was the density of tree cover. of spices, cardamom (which prospers in Ecological farms had an average tree density woody structures), ginger or turmeric; in of almost 200 per hectare, but conventional terms of fruit pineapple or starchy plants like ones less than 40 per hectare (der Werf, colocasie (Colacasia esculenta) and cassava 1993). This suggests that organic farmers (Manihot esculenta).’ more fully appreciate the multi-functional benefits of trees than their conventional General overviews of the extent and range of counterparts. Our impression is that there is agroforestry across the world can be found insufficient research in this area, that in Farrell (1987) and Egger (2000). While extension services are lacking and that both there is a long history of research in this area activities are poorly integrated with (see for example; Ruthenberg, 1971), it was agricultural development programmes. until recently thought that ‘these systems (while) of great historic interest, could not Agroforestry provides an example of the most provide any advice for actual agricultural diverse and complex type of agroecosystem. development’ (Egger, op. cit.). The Agroforestry systems consciously mimic the International Centre for Research in multi-storeyed patterns of surrounding forests. Agroforestry (ICRAF) in Nairobi exists to They have nearly closed cycles of biomass and promote and disseminate information and nutrient production, provide year-round research in this field. supplies of food, and permanent ground cover (Harrison, 1987). Crops are grown at Agroforestry systems tend to be more closely different heights, with the tree canopy aligned with agroecological than organic managed so as to provide both shaded and production, although several ‘agroforestry sunny areas. The density of vegetation assists systems’ are organically certified, including with microclimatic regulation in terms of the Chagga (for their coffee) and the Meru temperature, humidity and rainfall absorption. (for dried herbs). ‘Shade-grown’ coffee and The case study of the Chagga Home Gardens cocoa, even if not certified as organic, also provides but one example of the complexity generate premia from environmentally- and diversity of agroforestry systems. Hampl minded consumers in the North and (2000, p.427) describes the complexity of a contribute to maintaining biodiversity (Johns, typical agroforestry spice field in Zanzibar: 1999). Soto-Pinto et al. (2000) identify several benefits of shade-grown coffee production ‘The highest layer of 20m height is composed systems in Mexico, which help reduce pest of coconut trees and various fruit trees such problems and, through filtering excessive as malayan apples (Eugania jambos), mango sunlight, contribute to yield increases. They fruit (Mangifera indica), jackfruit calculate optimal shade cover as being (Artocarpus heterophylla) etc. The between 23 and 48% with yields declining at succeeding layer of clove trees is about 12- higher shade densities, although this figure 15m high; below that grow papayas (Carica probably varies according to heat/sunlight papaya), banana trees and often Glyricidia intensities in different climatic zones.70
  • 73. Although agroforestry systems normally plant species worldwide provide 90 per centresult from human management of existing of the calories used to feed the world’ (Souleforests, there are several examples of such et al., 1990, cited in Kirschenman, 1998).systems being established from cleared land. In this respect, it might be argued that poorIn Burma in the 1930s, the landless poor peasant farmers do more to maintain globalwere encouraged to plant food crops for a biodiversity and the resilience of the geneperiod of four years on cleared forest land. pool than publicly and privately fundedNo rent was charged for the use of the plot, institutions put together. They do so out self-instead the farmers were obliged to plant and interest. The use of what Blench (1998)protect young trees for this period, thus terms ‘minority and neglected species’ is aenabling regeneration of the forests. In necessary survival strategy for many farmers,Brazil, recent experimental work using especially those maintaining a livelihood inagroforestry techniques has led to the harsh, marginal environments.rehabilitation of cleared land into productiveand diverse usage, without the use of ‘(Minority) species are strongly associatedexternal inputs (Peneireiro et al.., 2000). with marginal environments; regions where extreme heat, poor soils and access problemsAgroforestry systems generally exhibit a make the large scale production of worldgreat range of species diversity. For example, crops and livestock uneconomic. Thesethe Chagga cultivate 39 species of woody (species) play a disproportionately large roletrees and shrubs, and 15 varieties of bananas in food security strategies. Plants that willin their home gardens (Fernandes, undated). grow in infertile or degraded soils, andIn West Java, researchers have identified more livestock that will eat degraded vegetation,than 230 species of plant within a dual are often critical to household nutritionalcropping system, which includes strategies.’ (ibid.)‘agroforestry’ home gardens and outfields(Christanty et al., 1986 cited in Blench, Recent years have seen a growing interest1998). In Mexico, the Huastec Indians amongst Southern-based NGOs inmanage a number of plots (home gardens, developing and maintaining seed exchangeforest plots, and agricultural and fallow networks. In so doing they are formalizingfields) in which up to 300 species are a strategy that resource poor farmers havecultivated. Areas around the house may practised for millennia. In Peru for example,contain between 80-125 useful species, many indigenous farmers cultivate more than threewith medicinal properties (Alcorn, 1984, cited thousand varieties of potato. More than fivein Altieri, 2001). Local knowledge of the thousand varieties of sweet potato areproperties and characteristics of such a cultivated in Papua New Guinea (Shiva,diverse range of species represents a 2001). In southeast Ethiopia, the Konsosignificant repository of knowledge, often cultivate 49 species of plant, shrub and tree,orally maintained, which has potential global and 24 different species have been countedsignificance. In this respect the discipline of within one 0.2 hectare field (Harrison,ethnobotany has much to contribute to the 1987). Such diversity has only been achievedpromotion and dissemination of knowledge through constant exchange, development andregarding OAA. experimentation with seed varieties, where peasant farmers select and adapt the mostThe diversity of species maintained within suitable varieties to grow under a range oftraditional farming systems is in stark conditions. Today more formalized, better-contrast to the dominant pattern of intensive documented, approaches to seed exchangeagricultural practice, in which ‘15 varieties of are being developed. The Real Green Revolution 71
  • 74. Several of the NGOs responding to our plants, but also to livestock. Animals play a survey see their work in developing seed crucial role in the strategies of many peasant exchange networks as a key activity, crucial farmers, converting otherwise inedible to maintaining the productive resource base vegetable matter to protein, providing much- available to farmers (see, for example, case needed manure and also often acting as beasts study 6 on the World Food Day Farmers’ of burden. Their role in recycling nutrients and Fishermen’s Movement in Indonesia). In and maintaining soil fertility is particularly many cases, seed exchanges are organized important and is considered below. through ‘market days’, where farmers can bring seeds and swap experiences (Shiva, As with crops, the conventional focus upon 1995; Intermediate Technology Research high-yielding animal species, which also Group, 1999). In other cases there is an often require high inputs, has led to the emphasis on building national databases neglect of ‘minority species’ which are often from existing, but often orally maintained, more adapted to local habitats and local and regional knowledge. For example, agroecological circumstances (Blench, 1998). in India, Navdanya have established a The FAO has documented 5,000 Community Agricultural Biodiversity domesticated livestock and poultry breeds, of Register. This has been developed to facilitate which one third are in danger of extinction. exchange of information, protect endangered It is believed that these indigenous species are plant varieties and most importantly, currently disappearing at a rate of one a establish intellectual property ownership week (Anon, 2001). In many instances such rights for the Indian peasantry (Shiva, op. cit. species play a central role in maintaining the p.78).40 Shortly after its establishment it had economic well-being and cultural identity of already recorded 250 varieties of rice in use marginal farming or pastoralist communities by peasant farmers across India, as well as (see for example Köhler-Rollefson; Rathore; dozens of varieties of other grains and pulses. Yakshi et al.., all 2001). Locally preferred species, which require low inputs and are Whilst the use of traditional seeds and adapted to specific socio-ecological niches varieties has a very important role within are often neglected from research OAA, this does not mean that there is no programmes (Blench, 1998). 41 Such role for the development of new species. programmes often focus upon issues such as Indeed there is a potential for developing how to introduce and adapt species that have synergies between traditional and scientific proven successful under high input systems in approaches. A new coffee variety, Ruiri 11, the industrialised world (ibid.). In so doing which is pest-resistant and does not require they ignore both the multifunctional role of any chemical spraying, has been developed animals within the domestic economy and by the Coffee Research Foundation. After the inappropriateness of promoting high some initial scepticism this variety has now input/high output into low input economies. been adopted with considerable success by one in three Kenyan smallholders (Gathimbu, In India, attempts are being made to preserve 2000). Successes such as this appear and reintroduce indigenous species and to relatively isolated however, with Southern improve and develop relevant (and low cost) NGOs increasingly vigilant to the threat of animal husbandry techniques (Daniel, 1989; ‘biopiracy’ (Shiva, 1985) Harbola and Kumar, 2000; Köhler-Rollefson; Yakshi et al. and Rathore, all 2001). A recent The importance of species diversity as a international workshop, held in Rajasthan strategy within organic, agroecological and and involving NGOs, herders, scientists and traditional farming does not just apply to others, discussed the relevance of local72
  • 75. livestock breeds for sustainable rural Food movement recently established a prizedevelopment. This workshop led to the to honour and reward individuals activelyissuing of the ‘SADRI Declaration’, which involved in this field (Scaffadi, 2001). Of thoseacknowledges the importance of indigenous nominated for the first annual prize in 2000,breeds for rural development in India and half are involved in promoting traditionalrecommends a series of measures designed to knowledge systems of agriculture and/orenhance the survival and well-being of these methods of production in the South. In 2000,species and the peoples who depend upon nominated projects of this kind included:them (Anon 2001a). Elsewhere theimportance of ethnoveterinary medicine is • A company pasteurizing and selling milkbeginning to receive scientific recognition from nomadic herdsmen in Mauritania(Mathias, 2001a). An annotated bibliographyof ethnoveterinary medicine is due to be • two biologists working in Mexico topublished by the Intermediate Technology preserve an indigenous species of fish andGroup in London. 42 the ecosystem on which it dependsTwo other complementary and synergistic • the promotion of traditional vanillaproduction systems are also worthy of cultivation in Mexicomention – those of aquaculture andapiculture. Both have long established • maintenance of an endangered bee speciestraditions in many different parts of the in Turkey, which produces a unique formglobe. Bergleiter and Stiedle (2000) explore of honey.the potential of organic aquaculture systems 4.3 – Natural methods of enhancing soiland Stoll (2000, p.96) notes that rice/fish fertilityinter-cropping is particularly effective inprotecting rice against stemborer and Maintenance of soil fertility under organicplanthoppers, and also reduces numbers of and agroecological approaches is aleafhoppers and leaffolders. Fish also help particularly complex topic, involving a widereduce the prevalence of a number of rice range of variables. Natural variations in soildiseases and viruses such as sheath blight, types, climate, mineralization rates andbacterial leaf blight and rice stripe. Published cropping systems all affect levels of soilevaluations of sustainable rice/fish culture fertility and trends of nutrient depletion orsystems exist for Thailand (Mackay et al.., accumulation. The availability of local1986) and Bangladesh (Thrupp, 1996). In resources (both on and off-farm) for buildingEcuador an organic shrimp farming and maintaining fertility helps determine theenterprise has recently been established range of viable strategies for the maintenance(Bergleiter, 2001), an innovation which is and improvement of soil fertility. Socialattracting interest from other parts of the factors influence the social appropriatenessworld, not least because of the often and acceptability of different soil fertilitycatastrophic consequences of conventional management techniques. These will include:shrimp harvesting on mangrove eco-systems. the intensity of existing farming practice;Apiculture (bee-keeping) also plays a structure of farm holdings (including tenuresignificant role in farm ecosystems, and the availability and division of labour);particularly via the important role of bees levels of local knowledge and social co-in helping pollination (Weiler, 2001). operation; and the existence, or otherwise, of technical support. Unlike conventionalIn recognition of the vital role of biodiversity agriculture with its ‘one size fits all approach’,and its preservation, the Italian based Slow there are no single recipes for success and The Real Green Revolution 73
  • 76. ‘extensive experimentation work and a key role in transforming otherwise inedible creativity are required’ (FAO, 1998, p.10). grasses and crop residues into manure (and protein). This role is especially important Traditionally in many areas, especially in when animals are grazing marginal or more arid zones, soil fertility has been otherwise unproductive land. Mixed farming maintained by extended fallow periods, patterns incorporating livestock and cropping often in association with slash and burn are commonplace across the globe (but rare techniques. However, with growing in humid tropical zones, owing to the population pressures these fallow periods prevalence of tryponosomiasis) and might be are in many cases becoming shorter (or non- regarded as forming the basis of sustainable existent) and more proactive strategies for organic farming practice. In some areas, such managing soil fertility are required. These as Java, farmers attach as much importance may draw on traditional practices and local to the manure produced by livestock as to materials, rely on industrial inputs, or a the protein. Their strategies for managing mixture of the two. Hilhorst and Muchena livestock are geared towards maximizing (2000) identify a number of different soil manure production; essential to ‘maintaining nutrient management practices available to one of the world’s most intensive smallholder farmers (see Table 4.5, over). Although this farming systems’ (Tanner et al. 2000). The range of practices was identified as part of a management of animal waste and its use in study of nutrient dynamics in Africa, it does promoting soil fertility is a key topic in its seem to reasonably comprehensively cover own right (see, for example, Lekasi et al.. the range of options open to farmers.42 43 1998, for a discussion of strategies amongst We use it here as a basis for discussion of upland farmers in Kenya). The issue of some of the issues and constraints involved maintaining soil fertility in areas that cannot in using natural techniques as the basis for support large ruminants is more problematic. managing soil fertility. The inclusion of artificial fertilizers in Table The effectiveness and popularity of the 4.5 (above) is useful, in that it highlights techniques described below will vary some of the advantages and disadvantages according to natural and social constraints implicit in their use, and by extension some and opportunities. In hilly areas, and/or those of the constraints and incentives to with heavy periodic rainfall, construction of converting to OAA. This is an important bunds and terraces may well be the most issue to consider in seeking to understand important mechanism for preventing erosion how farmers evaluate between the range of and maintaining the presence of topsoil. options open to them. For farmers, more However, the willingness of farmers to invest concerned with obtaining a decent harvest in these labour-intensive solutions is likely to than with ecological purism, artificial depend on a number of factors – especially fertilizers are another potential tool available their security of tenure, for there is little point to support their struggle to make a living in investing heavily in land improvements if from their land. Cost and limited availability there is insecurity over land rights. Such a may often be constraints on their use, but lack of security can also be a disincentive for there are other disadvantages too: they need other labour intensive approaches, such as annual applications, can get washed away in tree planting or double dug beds. heavy rains, potentially damage crops in dry periods and contribute to a hardening of the The availability of livestock can play a key soil. However, their consistency and the ease role in determining soil fertility management of transporting and applying them can make strategies available to farmers. Livestock play them an attractive option in some situations,74
  • 77. Table 4.5 – Nutrient management strategiesNutrient management strategies Advantages and relevance Disadvantages and constraints1. Adding nutrients1.1 Fallowing Traditional method often Population pressure leaves less associated with cut and burn. land available to fallow (or for less time). In response, farmers have sometimes moved to less productive soils and accelerated soil degradation. Cut and burn is now discouraged by many governments.1.2. Use of mineral fertilizers Encouraged by many Need to be purchased governments, often through in advance. Price increases subsidy or state organized have restricted use in many distribution systems. Easy to places: often they are used transport, apply and of only on cash crops, where consistent quality. the outlay will be recouped. They require annual application. Farmers may be aware of some negative effects on soil quality, especially in dry areas where they may harm (burn) crops.1.3. Use of rock phosphates Helps recapitalize soils Works best in combination with through a one-off application. other fertility techniques Currently being promoted in (chemical or organic). Africa under a number of Distribution systems have proved different schemes. inadequate. Use of phosphate not An indigenous resource to fully understood by farmers. several developing countries.1.4. Inflows of nutrients from grazing Important and traditional More available to wealthier farm technique of maintaining soil households who own (more) fertility which efficiently cattle. Livestock less common in utilizes local resources. humid areas due to problems of disease.1.5. Cultivation of nitrogen-fixing crops Mixed cropping incorporating As pressure on land increases, legumes has a long tradition. legumes are given lower priority Use of nitrogen-fixing trees in cropping system. and leguminous species within or on the edge of fields is being pursued in some areas, often with considerable success.2. Minimizing nutrient loss Advantages and relevance Disadvantages and constraints2.1 Controlling erosion, run There is a long tradition of Historically such approaches haveoffand leaching preventing soil erosion often been top down and not through building bunds and been adequately maintained in terraces. In many areas ‘post project’ phases. They are interest is being revitalized labour intensive processes and as soil erosion and nutrient mobilizing resources can be loss become more pressing problematic. concerns.2.2 Trees in fields A traditional approach that Only practised in some areas. In can help stabilize soils, fix other areas extension workers nutrients, create fertile niches have encouraged tree clearance. in fields and provide timber, fodder and shelter. The Real Green Revolution 75
  • 78. 2.3 Double dug beds Double digging aerates the Very labour intensive and only soil, improves water absorption generally used on high value and retention, promotes cash crops. stronger root growth and encourages more ready uptake of nutrients. 3. Managing internal flows 3.1 Use of manure, slurry & urine See 1.4. above. Techniques for See 1.4 above. managing animal wastes vary considerably according to intensity of system and assets of individual farmers. Applications do not need to be made annually. 3.2. Recycling and composting Widely used and on the Labour intensive and bulky to organic materials increase, particularly amongst transport (especially when farmers with little or no holdings are dispersed). livestock. Applications do not Sometimes availability is limited. need to be made annually. Quality can be variable. Often selectively used, particularly on ‘home gardens’. 3.3. Incorporating crop Improves soil fertility, water Not widely used (in Africa). residues into the soil holding capacity and other Crop residues more often soil characteristics. used for fodder. Labour intensive if done manually. 4. Increasing efficiency of nutrient uptake Advantages and relevance Disadvantages and constraints 4.1 Selecting crops to match Popular and widely used Requires detailed knowledge of soil fertility levels technique- which accords with soils and plant characteristics. mixed cropping strategies. 4.2 Concentrating nutrients Widely used in response to As above. in certain fields crop types and accessibility of different parts of the farms. Often used at a micro level – selectively improving the quality of small areas. 4.3 Managing application of nutrient Makes careful use of scarce Can be labour intensive. to crops (organic or artificial inputs) resources by fertilizing selectively, e.g. placing compost in a pit under the Zaï system. From Hilhorst and Muchena (2000) particularly, as Hilhorst and Muchena note, problems by cooking the seeds (Dalzell et al., in remote ‘bush’ fields. 1987; Ozores–Hampton 1998). But in some areas competition for biomass can be severe. Organic techniques for improving soil Overgrazing and the need for fuel (both fertility have a number of competing wood and dung) can both exert extreme attractions: they often can be made on the pressures on local bio-productivity, leading to farm (thus obviating the need to purchase net nutrient loss and reducing the amount of inputs), their effects last for more than one available compostable and recyclable organic year, they help improve the moisture materials.46 Buerkeri et al.. (2000) argue, retaining capacity of the soil and improve quite logically, that where soils have a low soil structure. Composting can also and declining nutrient status, recycling per se significantly help with reducing weed cannot add to this. They go on to argue that76
  • 79. in such situations, inputs of artificial ecological land management techniques andfertilizers are necessary to build up soil water conservation are helping to bring backfertility (p.21). Given that these communities hope to marginal farming communities in theare likely to be resource poor in the first highlands of, it is not apparent how they wouldafford such inputs. It is not clear either, that Case study 9 – Ecological land restoration ineven if they were donated, whether such Tigrayinputs would represent the most appropriateform of assistance. Use of nitrogen-fixing Tigray is the northernmost province ofleguminous species would arguably provide a Ethiopia. More than 85% of its populationmore sustainable solution than ‘fertilizer depend upon agriculture. As a result offixes.’ Other soil amendments, such as rock serious land degradation crop yields are low.phosphate, might be used to remedy other The Tigray Agriculture Bureau (TAB) hasforms of nutrient deficiency. In eastern Africa adopted the ‘Sasakowa Global 2000’reasearch has identified shrubs (Tithonia package as a solution to these problems.diversifolia and Lantana camara), which This is based on high input-demandingcontain high proportions of both nitrogen varieties and chemical fertilizers. Theand phosphorous in their leaves and so can Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD),make a useful mulch and address nutrient has entered a partnership with TAB todeficiencies (Niang, 1996). experiment with alternative approaches including compost making and soil andNatural techniques for replenishing the soil water conservation through physical andcan also be used to help stabilize swidden biological means.agriculture. In the north of Guatemala,farmers previously engaged in slash and burn Four small pilot areas (about 50 hectareshave found that through planting velvet bean each) were selected to be representative ofthey can grow maize on the same fields year conditions within Tigray. Three were in, orafter year, with some long term increases in adjacent to, mountainous areas and sparselyproductivity (Blench 1997). In Ghana, populated. Soil quality and fertility levelsfarmers are adopting an unusual approach varied between the areas, being poor in twoto stabilizing fertility – one involves densely and relatively good in one. All hadplanting Leucaena trees (up to 30,000 per experienced problems of vegetation loss fromhectare) and lightly burning them every year- hillsides and were experiencing significanta practice which has enabled farmers to grow problems with gullying and soil erosion. Inmaize on the same land for 20 years in one case, gullies were eating away at farmers’succession (ibid.). fields. The fourth area was more fertile, more densely populated and has a high cattleOrganic and agroecological systems certainly density. It was chosen due to its location ondo not provide panaceas for areas with the edge of the only lake in Tigray. This lake isdepleted and declining nutrient status. situated in a closed basin, with no outlet, hasHowever, as two of our case studies (in a good stock of fish and attracts many wildBurkina Faso and Tigray) show, they can birds. This site was selected due to concernssignificantly help address problems of that intensive agrochemical usage would harmdeclining soil fertility. In so doing, they focus the ecology and productivity of the lake.upon building up local productive capacity(both ecological and social), rather than TAB seconded an experienced extensionrelying upon external inputs. Case Study 9 worker to work as animateur and co-(over) provides an illustration of how ordinator for these villages, who was put The Real Green Revolution 77
  • 80. through an intensive OAA orientation ISD have found that it is easier to work in programme. Meetings were held in villages partnership with villages that are ‘on the to identify issues and possible solutions. edge’. They have little to lose and are Many villages adopted schemes that prepared to experiment. Even so, contained similar features. Check dams were compensation is available if the experiment built in the gullies, wherever possible, to doesn’t work. Most villages have well- reduce run off and erosion. Small reservoirs structured committees who will discuss the formed behind these and the water retaining ways and means of implementing schemes capacity of the soils around the gullies was beforehand. Through discussion, potential vastly increased, leading to a spectacular re- adverse effects are more likely to be vegetation of the banks and significant recognized. Travelling seminars and improvements in size and yield of crops demonstration farms are proving useful closest to the gully. Stone bunds were methods of dissemination. On the evidence introduced to slow down erosion. Trench of the success of these four pilot villages, bunds, incorporating compost, have also another 40 have now come forward to been constructed. Sesparai sesban bushes develop OAA solutions to environmental were planted to help fix nitrogen, provide degradation and declining yields. TAB have fodder to animals and stabilize the soil. agreed not to promote Sasakowa Global 2000 technologies in experimental villages There is very little tradition of composting and are beginning to take an interest in the in Tigray and villagers were initially reluctant potential of the schemes. to adopt this technique. Some villagers, (Source: Edwards, 2000 and interview) however, were prepared to experiment, and others, seeing their success, followed suit in Strategies required to address the problems subsequent years. Compostable materials are of restoring marginalized or degraded land in short supply, mostly derived from local need to draw upon local knowledge and weeds and kitchen waste. In some instances traditions, upon experience of dealing with grass seeds were collected from hilltops and similar situations in other geographic sown locally to increase compostable material. locations and upon awareness of prevailing In others, villagers used small amounts of ecological and socio-cultural constraints. nitrogen fertiliser to encourage the growth of Steiner (1998), Scoones and Toulmin (1999), local grasses and form a basis for composting. and Hilhorst and Murchena (2000) all provide examples of where such strategies All villages have seen an increase in yields, in have successfully been deployed. the range of crops that they can grow and in the vegetative structure. Farmers have learnt Three further strategies for improving soil that they don’t need to manure plots every fertility are worthy of mention, although year, as they do with artificial fertilizers. One these are not discussed in Table 4.5 above. village worked together to build a communal First is the use of (solid) human waste. compost pit. They ran their own experiments The omission of this from Table 4.5 is in one dry season, finding that composted understandable, as this practice is extremely crops thrived (due to increased water retention rare in Africa, due to cultural aversion for capacity of the soil) but that artificially working with human excrement. However fertilized ones ‘burnt out’. Although the in many other parts of the world, especially composting levels that they are using are only Asia, there is a long-standing traditions in half the recommended rates, yields from these gathering and recycling ‘night soil’. We were fields often exceeded those from artificially surprised to find very little mention of this fertilized ones (see Table 4.1, above). practice in our literature survey. We only78
  • 81. came across one paper which stressed the A third mechanism for promoting soil fertilityimportance of utilizing human waste as an is through the use of purchased organicintegral part of closing nutrient cycles compounds – e.g. concentrated plant extracts.(Cheong and Cheong, 2000). We can only This is unlikely to be a viable solution for poorspeculate as to whether this is due to the farmers and to some extent runs against thepractice being largely abandoned, or whether closed cycle philosophy of organic is one that is rarely written about it. We Such an approach may nonetheless provesuspect that it is probably the latter and feel useful in rectifying mineral or nutrientthat this is an important gap in the literature. deficiencies on a one–off basis. In our webIssues of management of night soil on searches we found several companies based indifferent spatial scales (i.e. household, village the South specializing in the manufacture ofand peri-urban), on safe composting such products, providing evidence of antechniques and the benefits which such emerging market for these products.practices bring appear to be very littlereported. Further research, documentation In summary, there is a wide range of naturaland dissemination of such practices may well and organic techniques available to farmersbe of value. for maintaining soil fertility. Their relevance to good farming practice lies not only inA further source of fertility inputs, widely maintaining soil fertility, but also helping toavailable in urban and peri-urban areas is build soil structure and water retentionthrough the recycling of biodegradable waste capacity. The use of manure, mulches,material. Several successful urban composting composts and nitrogen-fixing species is notschemes have been set up in Senegal (see restricted to farmers who rely on OAA but issection 3.1 above) which utilize waste from also widespread amongst farmers who usedomestic sources and markets. In much of the agrochemicals. The benefits of suchSouth the proportion of organic matter within techniques are widely appreciated by farmersthe waste stream is relatively high. Allison et of all types across the world. Improvingal. (1998), recently conducted a global research knowledge about, and access to informationproject on the recycling of compostable urban concerning the efficacy of differentwaste. They identify a number of successful techniques is likely to have widespreadprojects as well as a range of constraints – benefits for the global farming community.technical, logistical and social – facing such Two projects currently under way offer theinitiatives. More recently a workshop was held promise of substantially improving access toin Accra on the same theme (Pay and Kunze, knowledge in this field. One, a joint1999). In other instances, compostable programme between Wye College andmaterial is recovered from food processing UNESCO’s Tropical Soil Biology and Fertilityactivities (see for example, Kufa et al.., 2000). Programme in Nairobi, is building an organicSolutions such as these are generally more resource database containing details ofapplicable to urban and peri-urban areas, nutrient content, decomposition rates andwhich often generate high volumes of organic other key features of tropical plant specieswaste and frequently have pressing food which can be used for compost. Its aim is tosecurity needs. The intensification of local advance soil fertility improvement fromagriculture and promotion of the efficiency of empirical knowledge to predictive gardens through the use of locally To date it has tested and registered over 300available organic waste could bring significant plant species and is inviting contributionsbenefits as demonstrated by the Food Garden from other researchers (Palm et al.., 2001).Foundation’s activities in South Africa At the time of writing the FAO is currently(Boshoff, 2000). planning a comparative survey of the The Real Green Revolution 79
  • 82. performance of different organic fertilizers repellent and trap crops. In general, OAA (FAO 2001). Both these programmes are relies upon preventive measures of pest likely to contribute to increasing the control in preference to curative ones. Stoll availability of information on the relative (ibid. pp. 88-92) identifies nine main benefits of the use of natural techniques for principles of preventive crop protection, maintaining soil fertility, thereby promoting summarized below. the objective of developing closed cycle farming systems. Knowledge of agroecosystems: the agricultural ecosystem and the environment 4.4 – Natural regimes of pest and in which it is embedded are the primary disease control factors determining pest pressure on crops. Regimes of pest and disease control under organic management systems are highly The following aspects are of particular context specific: different diseases and pests importance: may attack different crops under different climactic conditions. In view of this, this • The biology of pests and their enemies, section of the report does not set out to including life cycles, breeding behaviour, provide a comprehensive guide to pest and feeding habits, etc. disease control. Rather, it seeks to identify some general principles of organic methods • the seasonality of pests and their enemies of pest and disease control and illustrate these with some specific examples. In so • the season and stage of development when doing it draws heavily upon what is plants are most susceptible to attack considered to be the authoritative guide to natural crop protection in the tropics (Stoll, • conditions (climatic and physical) under 2000).47 48 Aimed primarily at fieldworkers, which pests thrive the book is divided into four main sections. The first provides guidance on how to • alternate host plants, which will attract a recognize and guard against crop specific pest away from a crop, or harbour the pests. The following two sections of the pest at other times of the year. guide examine methods of protection in the field and in storage. The final section While farmers may have some knowledge of provides case studies of participatory these issues, they will rarely have it all. For research projects that have enabled farmers, example, farmers’ knowledge about the life extension workers and scientists to develop cycle and habits of predators is often far from new approaches to pest control. The complete, or they may not know about appendices of the book contain more than certain forms of pathogen that can control or 700 references to scientific papers, and repel pests. In such situations, the exchange identify more than 60 web sites related to of different forms of knowledge, local and integrated pest management (IPM), scientific, can generate new methods of entomology, plant toxicology, ethnobotany dealing with specific problems. It can also and methods of storage protection. lead to farmer experimentation on the most effective ways of applying solutions that have Preventive measures in the field been found to be useful elsewhere. The Some examples of pest and disease methods used to exchange knowledge and management in the field have already been engage farmers in this process are particularly described in earlier sections of this report. important. Stoll’s book contains eight case They include inter-planting and the use of studies on how synergies between local and80
  • 83. scientific knowledge have been generated rice stemborer. Similarly, in Ghana, farmers(ibid. pp. 264-338). Elsewhere in the organic only plant maize in the main rainy season,and agroecological literatures a great as the crop suffers high infestation from stememphasis is laid on participatory approaches borer in the lesser rainy exchanging knowledge, reflecting thegeneral importance of using appropriate Crop rotation: This is one of the key featuresmechanisms for teaching and learning. of OAA, important both for maintaining soil fertility and controlling pests. It isHealthy plants and soils: Plants that are over particularly effective for controlling pestsor under-nourished are more prone to that live within the soil, such as nematodes,infestation. There is a close relationship wireworms and cutworms. Rotationbetween the physiology of a plant, its interrupts the life cycle of these pests andlocation, soil structure, nutrient availability, helps prevent their numbers building up totype of agricultural practice and infestation. a critical mass that could severely damage aAccording to Chaboussou (1987, cited in crop. Rotation is also an important strategyStoll, p. 89), plants with high levels of water for maintaining soil fertility.soluble substances, such as sugars, aminoacids and glycosides in their cells are more Mixed farming and diversification:prone to attack as pests prefer to feed on Intercropping strategies, using ‘companionthese substances. Field trials in Latin America planting’ techniques can be used to detersuggest that crop infestation by stemborer, pests. These can work through a numberfall army worms and aphids is encouraged of mechanisms:by high levels of application of nitrogenfertilizer (van Huis, 1982, cited in Stoll, • Physically camouflaging the main crop,2000). Farmers in Latin America have found e.g. planting bean seedlings amongst ricethat incorporating organic matter into the stubble, or beans amongst maize. Insoil provides an effective means of avoiding Colombia, damage to beans from jassidsattack from white grub, which ignores the is reduced by two thirds by planting maizeroots of crops if there is sufficient organic 20-30 days before the beans: the maizematter in the soil. The relationship between provides shelter for the beans, making itsoil treatment and the susceptibility of plants harder for predators to identify themto pests and disease is explored in more (Stoll, 2000 p. 90).detail in a number of papers in Allen and vanDusen (1986, pp. 553-606). • Creating mechanical barriers that restrict the dispersal of pests. For example, grassNatural rhythms and optimal planting times: borders deter leafhoppers and in WestOutbreaks of pests and diseases are often Africa farmers dig small, steep sided pitsassociated with particular climatic conditions to provide physical traps for grasshoppersthat may correspond with vulnerable stages (Kinnon and Bayo, 1989).in the life cycles of a crop. Knowledge of thelife cycles of pests and disease can help • Creating physical environments whichfarmers plan their planting so as to minimise discourage pests: for example aphids aredamage. Different strategies may be more attracted to cole crops grown on aemployed and Stoll identifies several bare soil, as opposed to a weedy or moreexamples. In South East Asia, traditional rice diverse background; red and opalgrowers only plant one crop in the rainy coloured plants deter some types ofseason (even though it is possible to harvest insects; mixing plant leaf shapes andtwice), so as to interrupt the life cycle of the textures can also deter some pests. The Real Green Revolution 81
  • 84. • Masking or diluting the attractant stimuli of California found that cultivating strips (e.g. leaf shape, texture, or scent) of host of alfalfa increased the population of insect- plants. eating spiders by a factor of ten (Rincon- Vitova, 1995, cited in Stoll, 2000 p.91). • Producing repellent chemical stimuli e.g. the strong odours of garlic, leek, coriander In many areas ants have been found to be or basil. effective in managing a range of different pests. Sugar solutions can be used to attract • Diverting the pest to a more attractive ant populations (as well as other useful ‘trap crop’. For example, fruit borers can predators, such as ladybirds and spiders). be attracted away from tomatoes by In one experiment in the Honduras, sugar marigolds. water solutions were applied weekly for the first five weeks after the maize crop emerged. Host plant resistance and tolerance: In On average twice the number of predators natural systems plants rely upon their own were found in the treated areas as in the defences to ward off predators. These may untreated ones, leaf damage was 35% less in include chemical defences which are bitter the treated areas and whorl infestation was tasting and/or toxic. These self-defence 18% less (Cañas and O’Neil, 1998, cited in mechanisms may take many forms: pests may Stoll, 2000). Indian farmers employ a similar be deterred from feeding or laying eggs on practice of using a combined sugar/ghee these resistant varieties, they may sicken after solution to attract ants to control beetles feeding on the host plant, or the host plants preying on mango trees (Gupta and Patel, may be able to tolerate feeding and recover 1991, cited in Stoll, 2000). again. However, the orientation of breeding programmes towards high-yielding varieties Farmers in Vietnam use weaver ants to control has contributed to a loss of these self-defence citrus pests. In two years of trials the ants mechanisms. Seed exchange networks, which have been shown to reduce infestation by preserve indigenous varieties that may have citrus stinkbug by 94%, of swallowtail pest resistant characteristics, are a useful butterfly larvae by 92%, of citrus aphids by mechanism for maintaining and distributing 67%, and to reduce leafminer damage by these more robust varieties. Science can also 12%. In addition, crops with a weaver ant play a role in helping develop pest resistant presence also yield shinier fruit, and have varieties (for example the development of greater appeal to consumers (Stoll, 2000, Ruiri 11,discussed in section 4.2. above). p.99). In Tanzania, farmers also use weaver However, the development of successful ants to protect fruit crops and encourage them breeding programmes for such varieties is to them colonize trees by building artificial a costly and lengthy process (Hillocks et al.., ‘bridges’ with steel or plastic wires (ibid. 1996 cited in Stoll, 2000) p.100). In Kenya, farmers facing infestations of caterpillars and grasshoppers will set traps Managing natural enemies: Maintaining for soldier ants and release them in the area diversity within an agroecosystem can also that they want cleared (ibid.). In other places help provide habitats and food sources for farmers attract birds to control natural the natural predators of pests. By managing predators. In India, turmeric rice is used to the farm environment in this way, the farmer attract birds to castor fields infested with can effectively recruit an ‘unpaid army of castor semiloopers. When a sufficient farm workers’, who will undertake much of population of birds has been attracted and the the work involved in managing pests. For rice supply exhausted they then prey on the example, experiments from the University larvae of this pest (ibid.).82
  • 85. In other areas, natural predators may be bred 1997-8 the government conducted a nationaland released into the wild in order to manage campaign against rodents, encouraging peoplepest populations or as agents for controlling to catch them and substantially reducinginvasive weeds (see Julien, 1992 for details of rodent numbers.potential of the latter strategy). In Cuba,different species of flies, ants wasps and Protecting newly planted seeds: One of thebacteria are all bred and released in areas most vulnerable times in the cropping cyclewhere there are specific predator problems is when seeds have just been planted. Farmers(see case study 3). In sub-Saharan Africa one adopt a range of mechanisms to increase thespecies of wasp (E. lopezi) has been identified chances of survival of freshly planted seeds.which controls the mealybug, a major threat In many countries, food particles are scatteredto cassava, one of the staple crops of the area around or over seedbeds when they have just(Kinnon et Bayo, 1989, p.67). This has been been planted to provide an alternative foodsuccessfully released in twenty-five countries source for ants. Farmers find that the smallerwith very successful results (Schulthness et the particles of food, the more effective theal., 1997). Hoffmann et al.. (1998) identify strategy in ensuring that ants are kept awaypromising results from a programme from the crop (Stoll, 2000, p. 97).involving the release of leaf-feeding beetles(Leptinotersa texana) to control the spread It is common to soak seeds in water for a fewof silver leaf nightshade, an imported and days before planting them. This gives them ainvasive species which has caused problems small head start, and means that the seedbedsin Southern Africa. Large-scale programmes have to be protected for less time. In parts ofsuch as these last two involve co-ordinating West Africa, farmers select seed by soakingresources and research in ways that are not them in a 10% salt solution with the ones thatgenerally available to local farmer groups. float being discarded as damaged or diseased (Njai, pers. comm.). In the same area seeds areField sanitation: This can be important in often mixed with ash to give them a darkercontrolling the life cycle of pests. Measures colour and make it more difficult for birds tomight include the removal or destruction of find them. They may also be soaked in aprematurely fallen fruits (which may harbour water/neem leaf mixture to make the seedspupae or larvae) and of infected harvest taste bitter and unattractive to termites andresidues. Trap crops should also be removed other pests (Kinnon et Bayo, 1989). Stollat appropriate times of the year so that they reports a number of methods of pre-treatingdo not harbour pest populations for the seeds before planting in order to make themfollowing year. Stoll (2000) also identifies less attractive to a range of pests. Thesedistance between infested fields and plant involve soaking seeds in infusions of plantnurseries as a factor that can contribute to extracts (such as neem, gliricidia, papaya,cross-infestation. sweet flag), cow dung slurry or petrol (in minute quantities), in order to make themSocial (collective) action: Some pests range less palatable to pests.over large territories and their numbers cannotbe managed effectively by farmers working Botanical defence systemsindividually. Stoll illustrates how variegatedgrasshopper populations can be controlled by In addition to these preventive measures aseeking out and destroying their nests (usually number of plants are known to have pestno more than 1 per square kilometre). If done and disease controlling properties. Theseeffectively over a large area this can reduce plants can often be grown locally and thenumbers by 70-80%. Similarly in Vietnam in relatively simple preparations made in situ The Real Green Revolution 83
  • 86. by farmers themselves. Stoll identifies a range solar drying equipment can all be employed of plants and plant extracts, used in different to accelerate the drying process or make it parts of the world to control insects and more effective. Farmers may treat only part other pests. Table 4.6 (over) identifies the of their crop in these ways, using less plants most commonly used to control pests intensive methods for crops intended for and diseases within the tropics. short and medium term domestic consumption and paying extra regard to that Methods of storage protection portion of the crop destined for longer term storage (e.g. seed for next year). In areas of the world lacking modern day storage facilities, such as refrigeration or Storage facilities may vary in size and scope, controlled temperature/humidity granaries from communal buildings (such as the rice the threat of losing crops after harvesting barns constructed by the World Food Day remains a significant one. According to FAO Farmers’ and Fishermen’s Movement in estimates around 15% of annual global food Indonesia – see case study) to home built production is lost in storage, almost half of sandpits or even gourds. Hygiene is always that lost to pests and diseases in the field at a premium. The removal of old stored (FAO, 1998, cited in Stoll, p. 10). Whilst produce, thorough cleaning and protection often overlooked in the literature, storage from damp and rodents are all essential techniques remain a critical component in preparations. Checking produce and terms of promoting global food security. removing damaged or potentially infested grain/vegetables is also an important Many of the principles involved in successful precaution. food storage start in the field. Harvesting at the correct time, when crops are less likely to A number of different preventive approaches become damp, and eliminating infestations to infestation can be employed. Several that may already have occurred in the field plants identified in Table 4.6 (above) are are both critical factors. Choice of effective against storage pests. Basil is used in appropriate species and varieties is also several countries to suppress bean bruchids. important. For example, some farmers prefer Chilli is used in many forms to prevent crop traditional varieties of maize, as the cob infestation. In Nigeria, farmers protect husks have a more closed profile than cowpeas by sprinkling chillies among them. modern day hybrids and provide better In the Philippines, farmers dry and fumigate natural protection from maize weevil their grain at the same time by adding chillies infestation. For grain, relative humidity is a to the fire used for drying. The fish bean particularly important factor. Stoll (2000, plant is used to control bruchid infestation in p.231) suggests that grain should be stored Zambia and, in Latin America, muña is at a humidity level of between 8-10%. widely used to protect stored potatoes. Beyond this level the possibility of insect Neem, sweet flag and velvet leaf are other infestation greatly increases. At 13% botanical sources used in differing quantities humidity the risk of mould developing is to protect against post-harvest infestation greatly increased. (after Stoll, 2000) (examples from Stoll, 2000, pp 235-252). Farmers often use a range of drying Vegetable oils are often also used as a techniques. The simplest of these is exposure mechanism for reducing risk of infestation. to sun and wind. Other more capital/labour They include oils made from coconut, cotton, intensive techniques, such as heating in sesame, neem and other locally-available simple ovens, boiling and drying, or use of species. Some of these oils have a toxic effect84
  • 87. Table 4.6 – Plants with pest-controlling propertiesField insects A B C D FB Ga Gi Gl IP Ml Mm Mg N Pa PL Po Py Q R S SF Ti To TuAmerican bollworm x x x x x x xAnts x x xAphids x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x xArmyworm x x x x x x xAsian corn borer x xAvocado lacebug xBanana pseudostem borer xBean aphid xBean fly xBean pod borer xBean pod weevils x x xBeet armyworm xBeetles xBlack carpet beetle xBlack rice bug xBlister beetle x xBrown planthopper x x xBrown rice planthopper x xBunch caterpillar xCabbage aphid xCabbage looper x x xCabbagehead caterpillar x x xCabbage worm x x xCastor caterpillar x xCaterpillars x x x x x x x x xChrysanthemum aphid xCodling moth xCitrus aphid xCitrus leaf miner x x xCitrus psyllid xCitrus red mite xCitrus scale xCitrus thrips xCockchafer grub xCockroaches xCoffee grubs xCoffee greenscale x xColorado beetle x x x x x The Real Green Revolution 85
  • 88. Field insects A B C D FB Ga Gi Gl IP Ml Mm Mg N Pa PL Po Py Q R S SF Ti To TuCorn rootworm xCotton stainer x x x x xCotton semilooper xCucumber beetle x xCutworms x x x xDesert locust xDiamondback moth x x x x x x x x x x x x xEggplant fruit & shoot borer xEuropean corn borer x xFall armyworm x x xFalse codling moth xFleas xFlea beetle x x x x x x xFlower thrips xFruit flies x x xGall midge xGram pod borer xGrasshoppers x x x xGreen bugs, xGreen leafhopper x x x x xGreen peach aphid xGreen rice leafhopper, x x xGreen scale xGreen stinkbug xHairy caterpillar xHairy chinchbug xHouseflies x xImported cabbage worm x x x x xLarge cabbage worm x xLeaf beetle xLeaf bug xLeaf cutting insects xLeaf eating caterpillars xLeaf hoppers x xLeaf miners x x x xLocusts xMaize stalk borer xMaize stemborers x xMango leafhopper xMealybugs x 86
  • 89. Field insects A B C D FB Ga Gi Gl IP Ml Mm Mg N Pa PL Po Py Q R S SF Ti To TuMediterranean fruitfly x x xMelon aphid xMelon fly xMelon worm x x xMexican bean beetle x x xMigratory locust x xMites x x x x x x xMosquito xMoths xMustard sawfly xOnion thrip xOriental fruit fly x xOriental fruit moth xPink bollworm xPotato aphid xPotato jassid xPotato tuber moth x x xRed ants xRed coffee mite xRed crevice tea mite x xRed pumpkin beetle, xRed spider mites xRed tea mite xRhinoceros beetle xRice bug xRice caseworm xRice gall midge x xRice leaf folder x xRice leaf roller xRice stalkborers xRice stemborers x x x xRice thrips xSawflies xScales x xSilkworm x xSlugs xSorghum shootfly xSouthern armyworm xSquash bugs x xSpider mites x The Real Green Revolution 87
  • 90. Field insects A B C D FB Ga Gi Gl IP Ml Mm Mg N Pa PL Po Py Q R S SF Ti To TuStemborers x xStink bugs x xSweet pepper weevils xTent caterpillar xTermites x x xTicks xThrips x x x x x xTobacco budworm xWhite backed rice planthopper x x xWhite cabbage butterfly x xWhitefly x x x x x xWhite grubs xWireworm xRodents xNematodesRoot knot nematode x xVarious xField diseasesBacteria xBacterial blight xBasal stem rot xBean anthracnose xBrown leafspot on rice x xBrown rot xCoffee berry disease xCoffee rust xCucumber mosaic virus xCucumber ringspot virus xCucumber scab xDowny mildew xGrey leaf spot xKasahui (fungal disease of potatoes) xLeaf curl virus xLeaf rust xMango anthracnose xMosaic virus xPowdery mildew x x xRice blast xRust in beans and wheat xTobacco etch virus x 88
  • 91. Field insects A B C D FB Ga Gi Gl IP Ml Mm Mg N Pa PL Po Py Q R S SF Ti To TuTobacco etch virus xTobacco mosaic virus xTobacco ringspot virus xTomato blight xViruses (not specified) xFungal diseasesAsperhillus flavus xPyriculria oryzae xStorage insectsAduki bean weevil x x x xAngoumois grain moth x xBlack carpet beetles xBruchids xCowpea weevil x xGrain weevils x xKhapra beetle xLarge grain borer xLesser grain borer x x x x xMaize weevil x x xRed flour weevil xRice flour weevil x xRice weevil x x x x xSaw toothed grain beetle xWarehouse moth x(after Stoll, 2000)on the predators themselves, others inhibit such as these are effective in inhibiting thethe hatching of eggs and all make it harder movement of insects and pests, reducing theirfor eggs to be laid on the grains of the chances of breeding and of laying their eggstreated crop. widely. Some fine-grained particles abrade the skin/shell surfaces of pests, thus furtherInert dusts, including sand, wood ash, kaolin weakening them. In Benin, farmers use aand paddy husks are often used as a combination of these techniques, mixing drytraditional method of storage for grains and earth and chillies to protect their beanvegetables. Their wide availability and the low harvest. As with other organic techniques andopportunity cost involved in gathering them methods, experimentation andmake them a particularly attractive storage communication are key factors in promotingmedium for poor farmers. For example, in and disseminating good practice for theWest Africa, farmers store beans in fine sand management of both field and storage protect them against beetle infestation(Kinnon et Bayo, 1989). Fine-grained particles The Real Green Revolution 89
  • 92. 4.5 – Markets and premia This creates new opportunities for producers There has been a noticeable and rapid in the South to tap into potentially lucrative growth in the demand for organic food in markets, especially through providing exotic recent years, with the biggest markets and and ‘out of season’ produce. This fastest growth rates occuring in the engagement with Northern markets is the industrialised world: the USA, Japan and main driving force behind the development particularly the EU. Demand for organic of the certified organic sector in the South. produce in some Northern countries has Such is the demand in the industrialised almost doubled in the past three years, and world that many companies are actively some estimates suggest that the organic share seeking out producer groups to supply them. of total food retail sales could increase from Recognition of the commercial and foreign 1% to 10% over the next ten years earnings potential of export-oriented organic (International Trade Centre 1999). Such production provides by far the most growth rates in food demand are almost important motivation in the South for state unprecedented, and the organic sector is involvement in promoting organic inevitably attracting many new entrants. production (FAO, 1998; Scialabba, 2000). Large multinational companies including It is no coincidence that poorer countries Nestlé, McDonalds, Novartis, Heinz, Kraft, that are geographically and culturally closest Unilever and General Mills are beginning to to the affluent markets of the North (e.g. develop organic lines or buying up existing Turkey, Tunisia, Mexico and Argentina), are organic processors (Willis and Yussefi, 2000; often those with the most developed organic Pollan, 2001). In Germany, 80% of baby sectors (Barkin, pers. comm.) food is now organically produced and 30% of all bread distributed around Munich is There is much evidence to suggest that organic now organic (Geier, pers. comm.). Organic certification can generate significant premia produce is no longer a niche market, but is for primary producers. Table 4.6, below, now thoroughly in the economic mainstream. provides some examples of premia achieved Table 4.6 – Premia generated by organic producers UNDP (1992) found that 9 out of 11 organic projects studied showed an increase in net income and only 2 a decrease. Deducting organic premia, 5 of the 11 showed higher returns than non-organic farms. Gugal (2000) identifies a group of organic/fair trade pepper growers in Brazil who benefit from 35-40% premia. van Elzakker & Tulip (2000) identify 15-30% premia gained by organic coffee, cotton and sesame producers in Uganda and Tanzania, with a knock-on benefit of increasing local market prices. Cheong & Cheong (2000) describe a village that has converted to organic production and also manufactures medicinally beneficial teas made from local weeds for export to Japan. Farmers in this village earn four times as much as conventional rice farmers in other parts of Korea. Zonin et al.. (2000) discuss a farmer-led agroecology project in the Erexim region of Brazil, which markets locally and has resulted in significant increases in farmers’ incomes in an area previously subject to significant rural exodus as a result of lack of opportunities. Faisal (pers. comm.) describes how rice grown on his own farm achieved a 30% premia on local Indian markets because of its better taste and quality, although it was not formally certified as organic. Hardy (pers. comm.) describes an organic rosewater co-op in Iran, which is more profitable than previous poppy growing related activities. Myers (pers. comm.) describes a herb growing project in a remote and often inaccessible part of Kenya (Meru) which is so successful that it is attracting economic migrants back from the slums of Nairobi.90
  • 93. by organic growers, mostly from export counterpart. The overwhelming majority ofmarkets but occasionally from domestic ones. organic produce from the South is sold as unprocessed commodities or primaryDespite these encouraging examples, there is processed foodstuffs. International tradean inherent danger in embarking upon a tariffs, lack of capital to develop processingtransition to organic farming solely because facilities, and to a lesser extent, a lack ofon the promise of premia for certified awareness of rigorous levels of qualityproduce. First, certification can often be a assurance expected by Northern customers,difficult obstacle to negotiate (see following all present significant barriers to producerssection). Second, as commodity producers in poorer countries being able to add valuehave found to their cost in the past, to their produce. While there are somedependency on export markets is not risk-free. exceptions to this rule (for example high-A decline in the rate of growth of demand in value added phytoceuticals, aimed at nichethe rich world, a rapid expansion of supplies health markets), the structure of the globalfrom the South and the possibility of trading economy makes it problematic forcertification procedures being discredited,49 producers in the South to engage withcould all (singly or in combination) potentially anything more than primary production.undermine the benefits currently accruing toexport-oriented organic producers. A further handicap to engagement with world markets is the general lack of infrastructure inOrganic production systems do however many parts of the South. Several surveyoffer some cushion against the vagaries and respondents identified poor accessibility andcentralizing tendencies of global markets. communications as major barriers to entryThe nature of organic farming, with its into export markets. This is a particularemphasis on mixed systems, means that problem for landlocked countries in Africafarmers are less likely to be solely reliant (Schwarz, pers. comm.), but one that occursupon one crop and less exposed in times of in many remote regions. In parts of China,crop failure or oversupply and low prices. where much organic tea is grown, the harvestBecause organic farming relies more on has to be carried down the mountain by handlocally-available natural resources and labour or pack animal (Lamin, pers. corr.). Equally,inputs than conventional agriculture, the in the Gambia one attempt to establish anbenefits are likely to be more equitably intensive farm up-country foundered becausedistributed than under more capital intensive of the quality of the roads: ‘they were sendingsystems. And in some instances farmers out crates of tomatoes from the farm, but itgrowing ‘minority species’ (who are more was nearly purée by the time it arrived inlikely to be small-scale producers in marginal Banjul’ (Njai, pers. com.).areas) can, through niche marketing, achieveadditional competitive advantage through Access to primary processing facilities and aselling organic ‘exotics’ (Blench, 1998). For focus on high value-to-volume ratio can helpexample, in Latin America Mayan Indians overcome some of these obstacles. The Meruaccrue such advantages through marketing region of Kenya is often inaccessible duringorganic Aloe Vera and Mayan oranges, a the rainy season but a project for growingthin-skinned and very sweet variety, which and drying herbs that can be delivered in theare often processed into jams and preserves dry season when the roads are passable is(Neugebauer and Mukul-Ek, 2000). improving the incomes and opportunities for the local community (Myers, pers. comm.)In many other respects however, organic Simple processing facilities can open up newagriculture in the South suffers from the market opportunities. SAFLEG, in Togo,same structural handicaps as its conventional grow and dry organic pineapple for export as The Real Green Revolution 91
  • 94. ‘health’ snacks and muesli ingredients. With organic methods of storage and processing juicing machinery they are able to use (FAO, 2001). ‘outgrade’ fruits to produce fresh juice for local markets (Centre for the Development of There is a growing awareness of a pressing Industry, 1999). Simple processing facilities need to stimulate and develop local markets also have other benefits. They permit longer- within producing countries (Guivant, et al.. term storage, an important factor in areas 2000). In Egypt, Sekem have pursued a where access is an issue. They can also bring strategy of developing local markets and ecological benefits. Primary processing capacity for value-adding (see case study 10, facilities, close to point of production, will over). There are however, evident difficulties generate significant quantities of compostable in building markets in countries where the waste material that can be used to help vast majority of people live in poverty and maintain soil fertility instead of being often struggle to satisfy basic nutritional exported out of the region or country (see for needs. Equally, in much of the South there example Anobah 2000; Kufa et al.. 2000). may not be a strong awareness of the difference between conventionally and The importance of developing processing organically produced crops. These issues facilities was highlighted in several responses notwithstanding, many poorer countries do to our survey.50 Soita (pers. comm.) wrote of have urban elites who may be prepared to the substantial benefits to farmers within the pay extra for the health, environmental or HOPE Foundation in Kenya, who had been taste benefits of organic produce. One study able to acquire small hand-powered mills to in Santa Grossa (Brazil) found that ‘most process sunflower seeds into oil. This enabled consumers were prepared to pay 20-30% farmers to gain a far better return on their premia and change their shopping habits in produce than they would otherwise receive order to have agroecological produce’ from selling to a ‘middleman’. Simple (Santos et al.., 2000) [our emphasis]. technologies such as these can vastly improve Interestingly this report found that one of the earning capacity of small-scale farmers. the key determinants of people’s willingness In many cases, the difficulties involved in to pay was concern over the health impacts obtaining credit and sometimes accessing of agrochemical use on farm workers, an appropriate machinery often pose serious issue which rarely surfaces in discussions handicaps to realizing this potential. about the benefits of organic production in the industrialised world. In Senegal, one Several projects have recently been commentator found that some people prefer established to develop local value-adding organic potatoes, as ones grown with capacity in the organic sector. In West Africa, fertilizers are thought to be too ‘fluffy’ pilot centres for technological training in (Kenton, pers. comm.). organic food processing have been set up in Ghana, Burkina Faso and Senegal (Anobah, Tapping into consumer loyalties through 2000). In Mali, an association for naturally a combination of taste, health and drying mangoes intended for domestic and philanthropic concerns does not necessarily export markets has been set up (Crole-Rees, require certification, especially where 2000). In the High Andes, efforts are being relatively direct marketing links can be made to process fruits into conserves, which established between producer and consumer. have better storage life and are more readily Such links might more readily be achieved in marketed (Zaurez, 2000). Recognizing the the South, where food supply chains tend to importance of this part of the food chain, the be shorter and relatively little processed food FAO is planning to undertake research into is consumed. There are reports of informal,92
  • 95. trust-based, organic distribution networks Sekem’s activities are not restricted tospringing up in many poorer countries, agriculture and extension work, and it hasincluding Senegal, (Anon, 1999) Brazil and also been involved in value adding activities.Argentina (Florit, 2000; Willer and Yussefi, It has established its own fruit and vegetable2001) and India (Baksi, 2001). packing company that exports to the EU. It cultivates plants with medicinal propertiesThe ability to tap into premia exports and has secured a licence with Weleda tomarkets in the rich world may be a key manufacture and market cosmetics in Egypt.driving force behind the expansion of organic It cultivates and manufactures phytoceuticalsagriculture in the South at present. However and essential oils. It was also one of the firstit is not the only benefit that accrues to organizations in Egypt to start growingproducers. As one group of farmers in cotton organically, again adding value byMadhya Pradesh (India) testifies: manufacturing and exporting finished garments. It now markets these products‘(When) asked what they would do if there under four separate brands and is establishedwas no premium paying buyer for their as a ‘brand leader’ in these fields in produce, they stated veryemphatically that they were producing better, Sekem is also actively involved in developingcheaper crops under their present system and domestic markets for its food, herbalit would not matter if they were not attached remedies, cosmetics and clothes. It operatesto an export chain.’ (Caldas, 2000a). its own shops in the suburbs of Cairo and its products can be found in thousands of shopsCase study 10 – Sekem (Egypt) across Egypt. More than 65% of its produce is now sold domestically, distancing it fromSekem (meaning life force) is an Islamic the uncertainties of the global marketplace.cultural and social movement, based inEgypt, in which biodynamic farming plays a With more than 2000 employees, Sekem iskey role. The Sekem Farm was founded in actively involved in cultural and social1977 on 70 hectares of desert near Cairo. development programmes, as well asUnder the guidance of a German agronomist, providing benefits such as clinics, schools andbiodynamic methods adapted for their kindergarten to its members. It is widelyeffectiveness in arid zones were employed. viewed as a major force for social change andThis former desert site is now a thriving farm improvement within Egypt, the basis of whichsupporting crops, livestock and bees. Sekem is rooted within its successful biodynamichas developed an organic agriculture agriculture and associated activities.advisory service (the Egyptian Biodynamic (Source: Maxted Frost 1997, Abouleish, 2001).Association), which through its extensionprogrammes, has contributed to the 4.6 – Certificationconversion of more than 150 farms covering4,000 hectares to biodynamic farming Certification is at the very heart of the processpractices. In partnership with two of increasing organic produce’s value, at leastinternational organic organizations it has within market economies. As with all formsdeveloped an independent inspection and of quality assurance, organic certificationcertification body, the Centre of Organic serves to protect the propriety and reputationAgriculture in Egypt (COOA), subsequently of the products concerned. Only throughappointed by the Egyptian Ministry of certification can the standards associated withAgriculture as the national accredited organic farming be protected from dilutioninspection body. and misrepresentation. Yet at the same time, The Real Green Revolution 93
  • 96. it can also raise barriers to market entry. This country (Argentina) has acquired this status aspect of certification is particularly keenly (Suma, 2000). A few countries, including felt in the South, where the cost, complexities China and Mauritius, are in the process of and logistics of the systems are frequently applying for Listed Country status. Most seen as providing real barriers to participation countries have yet to pass relevant legislation in organic markets. This issue was the focus although some are in the process of doing so of much debate at the most recent IFOAM (Lernoud, 2000). conference (Alföldi et al. 2000), where some commentators likened the new certification Producers in Listed Countries have a agencies to ‘a new breed of missionaries and relatively quick and cheap method of settlers’ (Boersma, 2000). There is also a accessing European markets. It does however widespread view that the ‘interpretation of require that government takes an interest and certification can be and is used as a trade becomes involved in establishing a regulatory barrier’ (Suma, pers. comm.) and that framework. Yet few governments in the ‘existing approaches do not lend themselves South view the promotion of organic to participation by Southern stakeholders’ production as a priority. Many see it as a (Blowfield, 1999). Yet certification is a marginal activity, whose potential does not necessary process, required to justify the warrant the time and expense necessary to premia that consumers are prepared to pay put such structures in place. In other for organic produce and which producers countries, still committed to agricultural benefit from. Indeed the issue of certification ‘modernization’, the organic message may and standards is so important that a new fall on deaf ears. In such cases producers journal dedicated specifically to the topic has have to pursue other avenues to secure just been published.51 market access. A second approach available to producers in the South is the licensing of To understand the issues surrounding individual inspection bodies to operate in a certification systems, a brief discussion of the third country at the request of an EU mechanisms through which they operate is member state. This approach has only been required. By way of example we focus upon used on one occasion (in Turkey) and the the European Union, which has the longest implications of it have not yet been fully established international standard, granting explored. In principle this method should access to the world’s largest organic market. offer similar benefits to Listed Country status For producers located outside the EU the (Suma, 2000). legislation can be particularly complex. It offers three routes for organic producers A third approach, known as the ‘back door from outside the region who wish to gain mechanism’, was designed as a derogation access to European markets. The first of for importers but now accounts for 80% of these, intended as the principal mechanism, organic imports into the EU (ibid.). Under is for produce from ‘Listed Countries’. To this system, importers within member states achieve this status, countries must have may market organic produce if they can enacted legislation equivalent to EU prove that the produce has been inspected by standards and established a recognized a system equivalent to the EU regulation. certification body. Once approved by the EU This creates opportunities for registered these bodies can then undertake all necessary certifiers in industrialised countries to act as inspection work and issue certificates for all brokers for importers, either by directly consignments. However, the application inspecting producer groups and issuing process is lengthy, and ten years after the EU certificates or by setting up branch offices in legislation was passed only one Southern the South. As individual certifiers and EU94
  • 97. member states have slightly differing The remainder of this section addresses theseregulations, this can create a complicated issues in turn.regulatory environment for producers. Forexample, import licences to individual groups One of the main issues of contentionare issued for different time periods, ranging surrounding organic certification at presentfrom five years to less than one year. The is the concentration of competence inproblems involved in gaining certification certification in industrialised countries. Ofcan lead to expensive and time-consuming the sixteen accreditation bodies recognizedproblems for producers (see in particular, by IFOAM, only three are located in theWilhelm 2001).52 Nycander (2000) recounts South (one each in Argentina, Bolivia andone such incident: Brazil, IFOAM 2001). 53 The lack of certification capacity in the South raises cost‘In September 1999, the first organic certified and logistical barriers for producers. The costRobusta coffee in Uganda was ready for of certification, almost invariably theexport. But when import clearance in the EU responsibility of ‘First World’ certifiers canwas held up, the customer lost interest. Five be prohibitively expensive for many smallmonths later the two containers were still at ‘Third World’ producer groups. Even whenthe factory in Kampala.’ locals are employed to do much of the inspection work, average external inspectors’A number of different and sometimes costs of around $300 per day (plus travelcontroversial issues surround the inspection expenses) are considerably more than theand certification processes. These include: annual incomes of many of those whom they are inspecting. Fonseca (2000) estimates that• the current concentration of the cost of certification for small-holders in internationally recognized certification Brazil varies between 0.5 and 2.5% of bodies in the North business turnover, making it difficult for some of them to maintain organic status.• the difficulty of agreeing protocols for inspection (particularly for large co- Two different approaches to reducing the operatives) scale of this problem are currently being developed. In many instances industrialised• the difficulties that producer groups have country certifiers are setting up regional in coming to terms with the detailed offices in the South and employing local staff. paperwork necessary to satisfy This brings a number of advantages: local certification proceedings staff members will have more detailed knowledge of local social, agricultural and• the extent to which organic standards ecological practices; they will command wage should incorporate social criteria (and levels commensurate with the value added by thereby develop synergies with fair-trade local organic production; and, by virtue of labelling) having local offices, the certifiers will attract more custom. Whilst certification competence• a broader range of ethical issues largely remains a Northern monopoly, there is surrounding organic production, related a growing trend for Northern-based certifying to issues such as food miles and agencies to sub-contract much of the work to ‘seasonality’. Southern-based offices. However, this does not negate the need for annual inspections from the ‘head office’. The Real Green Revolution 95
  • 98. A second approach for driving down costs systems, in which every farm is inspected by of certification (and marketing) is through local inspectors, and limiting the role of the the formation of co-operatives and producer outside inspector to that of primarily checking groups. This is common practice in many the efficacy of this system (Heid, 1999; Anon poorer counties, particularly where there are 2001b). This approach however has yet to be a large number of producers in the same agreed or ratified. In the longer term these region producing the same export issues might be resolved when developing commodities. The question of how to countries establish their own legislation and manage the inspection of large producer co- certification authorities. At present most of ops has been a particularly contentious one the interest in establishing certification bodies in recent years. National (and individual in the South comes not from governments but certifying bodies’) standards regarding the from NGOs (FAO, 2001), and the prospect of proportion of farms which should be subject exporting countries having their own to external inspection vary substantially. One certification systems in place in the near the one hand there is a (natural) desire to future seems remote. have stringent inspection requirements before granting certification. Yet at the same time, A further and related issue is that of the this must be balanced by the economics of technical complexity of the certification inspection. Some producer co-ops in poorer process. This can represent particular countries may include several thousand small problems in areas with low literacy rates, farms, scattered across several villages over where certification forms and other areas of up to 10,000 square kilometres paperwork may be difficult to understand. (Heidi, 1999). Recent debates have focused This problem may be compounded by around the question of the percentage of language and translation issues. One farms that should be subject to external commentator claims that at least ten small inspection and the flexibility that should be organic producer groups in Mexico lost their attached to this. organic certification in 1999 because of their inability to deal with and process all the Many certifying bodies argue that minimum relevant paperwork (Boersma, 2000, p.571). percentage inspection rates are likely to be The author contended (somewhat self-defeating targets. For example an rhetorically), that not only do farmers have inspection rate of 20% (the mid range of to be literate to be organic farmers under EU current figures) would impose intolerable rules but that they also require a computer to financial costs upon a producer co-operative keep up with the administration – clearly not with, for example, 1200 members, yet would a realistic option for most Mexican be inadequate for a co-operative of ten or campesinos. The development of locally- twenty members. Moreover, in the reality of managed quality control and inspection the South any minimum inspection rate would systems (discussed above) may significantly be likely to result in international inspectors reduce this problem. visiting the most accessible (by road) farms and neglecting distant farms which are only A further issue of contention is the sensitivity accessible by foot. The danger of this scenario of standards of local situations and practices. would be that the accessible farms would Most organic standards have evolved in the become inspection ‘show farms’ and that far- industrialised world under specific farming flung farms would be subject to minimal systems and are now being applied to very inspection and regulation. A consensus different farming systems and socio-economic appears to be emerging that the best solution contexts in the South. There is a clear tension is to increase the capacity for internal control here between the desire for flexibility, which96
  • 99. reflects local and traditional practices (as less exploitative than some conventionaladvocated by agroecologists), and the need to farming systems. This creates something of amaintain standards that are respected in dilemma, as there is a widespread acceptancedestination markets (the organic approach). that organic consumers also wish to beAlthough there is some guardedness between ethical consumers and often assume thethese two approaches, we have not found produce that they buy is ‘fair traded’. To aany concrete examples of substances or lesser extent the reverse also holds truepractices employed in agroecological systems (Browne et al., 2000). These assumptions arethat would not be permitted in organic ones. not necessarily correct, and accreditation under both forms of certification can bringThere is a potential for such tensions to arise. significant benefits. The Ambootia Tea EstateThe use of indigenous botanical extracts as found that the premia on fair trade tea madepest and disease controls provide one up for losses in yield while they were in thepossible cause, as some of these are unlikely process of conversion to a biodynamicto be known or tested in the North.54 Under system. Gugal (2000) reports on a fairEU regulations preparations for pest and trade/organic producer co-op in Brazil,disease control must be on an approved list growing hot peppers for export and domestic(as opposed to fertility-promoting substances, consumption, that yields a 35-40% premiawhich can be used as long as they are not over and above normal market prices. Inproscribed (Hardy, pers. comm.)). As the cost Nicaragua, small-scale coffee farmers haveand time implications of testing such been assisted to shift to organic/fair trade‘traditional’ materials is likely to be high, this schemes (and increase their incomes) by themay act as a deterrent to the use of Co-operative League of the United Statestraditional, geographically and culturally (CLUSA) (Maxted-Frost, 1997). Yet atspecific methods of pest and disease control. present only a limited amount of produce isA second potential source of tension is the traded under both labels (see Equalplanned removal (in 2004) of some non- Exchange, 2001; and case studies 5 and 7)organic compounds from the approved lists and these often involve separate certificationof substances. This includes copper-based procedures, which adds to transaction costs.substances, which are often used to combatfungal disease. This change is likely to affect For the most part, producers in the Southproducers in the North and the South face uncertainty as to the relative benefits ofequally. On the balance of evidence that we these different accreditation schemes in termshave discovered it is difficult to evaluate of securing access to markets and addingwhether there are real conflicts likely here or value to their produce (FAO, 2000). Awhether resistance to standards is rooted in growing literature is emerging about the‘agroecologists’ aversion to the normative possibility of joining the two schemesorganic approach’ (Caldas, pers. comm.). together, or at least creating links between them (Blowfield, 1999; Browne et al. 2000;A further substantive issue is the question of Biofach 2001). This is especially relevant forwhether and to what extent standards should traditional plantation crops such as sugar,include social criteria. At present, organic tea, coffee and bananas.standards are almost exclusively process-oriented agricultural ones with little or no At present the organic movement seems tosocial content. Thus there is a limited basis be keener to incorporate social values intofor guaranteeing that organic produce is its accreditation processes than the fair tradegrown under conditions that are (dangers movement is to adopt practices of organicfrom pesticides and insecticides aside) any management. Several organic certifiers (e.g. The Real Green Revolution 97
  • 100. the Soil Association) already have a policy significantly expand the current legal scope regarding ‘social justice’ within their of organic standards, will be universally standards, although these are generally not accepted.56 What might emerge from this well developed. IFOAM has a chapter on debate is a ‘gold’ organic standard, which social justice within its present standards,55 incorporates these broader issues and would but wishes to strengthen it and make it more be aimed primarily at ‘core’ organic specific. IFOAM is in negotiations with the consumers.57 Fairtrade Labelling Organization (FLO) over 4.7 – Institutional and political issues this issue (Cierpka, 1999; Biofach 2001) and the FAO (2000a) recently held a seminar on Certification issues aside, there are very real integrating the two systems in banana institutional and political barriers to the production. This, while generally in favour of development of OAA. At present, developing links between the two governmental involvement in promoting approaches, identified some difficulties in OAA is quite rare and in most instances doing so successfully. In particular, trade-offs motivated by a desire to tap into the earnings were identified between the ‘efficient’ potential of export markets. Other potential development of standards and stakeholder benefits of OAA, such as increasing food participation and between specificity in security, village self-reliance, environmental standards (which might disadvantage some resilience and biodiversity are rarely groups of farmers) and flexibility (which considered as explicit reasons for its might undermine the credibility of the adoption (Scialabba, 1998). Governments scheme). Thus while there are intentions of in the South are with few exceptions at best achieving a closer alignment between the two indifferent and at worst hostile to the approaches to certification, there are some development of organic and agroecological difficulties in doing so. farming systems.58 Often such approaches run counter to the policy initiatives which A final interesting twist in the discussion they are supporting or financing: initiatives about standards concerns the issues of food that frequently involve promoting the miles and seasonality. The organic movement intensification of agricultural systems, has long valued the importance of local and usually through increasing the uptake of seasonal produce. However these concerns fertilizer, pesticide and hybrid seeds. In have rarely been codified into standards. consequence, the promotion of OAA in the With the increase in global organic trading, South is almost exclusively led by NGOs such values are at the risk of being and ‘ecological entrepreneurs’. In the case marginalized (see, Köpke, 2000; Banks and of non export-oriented production systems, Marsden, 2001), as food travels long under-resourcing of research and extension distances by fossil fuel-powered transport – activities often proves a major constraint, as producing pollution and contributing to with very few exceptions NGOs have limited climate change. Questions are now being financial resources and scientific expertise asked as to whether existing standards can (Vos and Plowright 2000). satisfactorily incorporate issues such as ‘food miles’ and the substitution of domestic and Governments could play a significant role in seasonal produce with imports (Geier, 2001). advancing the cause of OAA within their With the growing involvement of large countries. Areas of activity where corporations in the organic market and governments are arguably better placed than increased competitiveness between NGOs in promoting OAA include those certification bodies, it would appear unlikely which involve a more systematic and better that issues such as these, which would resourced (particularly in terms of scientific98
  • 101. expertise) approach to research and research, but also for research which is trans-extension. Such areas of activity would disciplinary. For example, Vos and Plowrightinclude: (2000) identify ‘a strong need for research that integrates soil fertility and pest• Identifying areas where organic and management [since] farmers have a basic agroecological approaches (including ‘de understanding of pest and soil fertility issues facto’ organic farming) are already [but] little understanding of interactions practised, the effectiveness of existing [between the two]’. Indeed this call for trans- practices, the depth of the knowledge and disciplinary research should arguably be the problems experienced. extended to include four key and often inter- related objectives (see table 4.7 below).• Identifying areas where traditional and/or Rather than pursue these objectives chemical-dependent farming practices no individually, there is often scope for adopting longer provide adequate solutions . management strategies that produce synergies between them. The importance attached to• Developing ‘bottom up’ capacity (e.g. field the these objectives will clearly vary in schools and demonstration plots) for different circumstances, as will the constraints addressing problems identified in the two upon realizing synergies between them . items above. Table 4.7 – A flow chart for identifying synergies in OAA research.• Reorienting the priorities of state-funded research and educational institutes so as to include topics and issues relevant to OAA.• Exploration of the possibilities for developing urban composting schemes to develop the potential for producing of food close to population centres.• Giving consideration to the market potential of OAA in both local and international contexts and in terms of primary and value-added produce.• Providing support (legal and logistical) to enable the development of organic standards and the capacity for carrying out inspection and certification work Growing recognition by international domestically. agencies (especially the FAO, and some foreign donors) of the potential for OAA to• Giving fuller consideration of the potential address a number of inter-related problems role of livestock (including poultry) may, in the long term, result in governments aquaculture and agroforestry within in the South adopting a more sympathetic existing cropping systems. and pro-active approach to OAA. It is likely that this will only occur on an incrementalOne frequently recurring theme within the basis. On this, the macro-level, there is aliterature is the need not only for participative need for the organic and agroecological The Real Green Revolution 99
  • 102. movements to work together and develop a and NGO activities provide a reasonably capacity for ‘global advocacy’, to publicize good advisory service on OAA to farmers. the ‘how, what and why’ of OAA. Thus different countries face very different scales of challenge. However, influencing established institutions may prove to be a long and slow process. Any shift towards promoting OAA has The spread of OAA poses threats to vested implications for the funding and structures interests, both financial and professional. of extension and research facilities. As Manufacturers and distributors of fertilizers, knowledge about OAA and the resources pesticides, herbicides and hybrid seeds all that it employs are both, almost exclusively, have a strong financial incentive in public goods, there is less incentive for the maintaining the status quo. Similarly, policy private sector to engage in or support advisers and scientists who have dedicated research and extension activities. A shift their professional careers to promoting towards OAA therefore implies a need for conventional agricultural ‘modernization’ greater public funding of these activities. This are unlikely to be sympathetic to new is not necessarily easily achieved when there schools of thought and practice which are many competing claims on government contradict many of the premises upon which budgets. Indeed, it is one that is likely only their professional lives have been based. to be justified through providing hard, Both these sets of actors, therefore, are likely empirical evidence of the multiple benefits to raize objections to the advancement of that a shift to OAA can bring. OAA. One of the major tasks facing advocates of OAA will be overcoming the Yet the spread of OAA is not solely entrenched prejudices which appear to be dependent upon financing and training prevalent in many political, scientific and ‘armies’ of extension workers. Alternative agricultural communities. However, this models can and are being employed. In barrier is not an insuperable one. The US- Kenya and India some NGOs train farmers based International Fertilizer Development in OAA techniques on the understanding that Center (with a branch in Togo) has moved they will then go and train other farmers in from a very pro-fertilizer stance to one their locality, or use their plot as a which has a much more balanced approach demonstration farm (Njoroge 1996; in favour of mixed organic and inorganic Mariaselvam pers. comm.). This ‘snowball’ approaches to promoting soil fertility approach has a potential for significantly (Toulmin, pers. comm.). decreasing the costs of an extension service once a basic structure is in place. Some of Breaking down these prejudices will not, the more successful innovations in OAA may however, automatically result in a flow of need very little institutional support to funds for the promotion of OAA. In many become accepted. The practice of digging zai countries extension services are poorly funded (case study 6) has spread across and beyond and motivated (Badejo, 1998) and there is a Burkina Faso, largely via word of mouth – lack of trained extension workers (FAO, through farmers observing how successful 2000b). The extent of the problem varies the method is and deciding to emulate it. In between countries. For example, van Elzakker China, paddy farmers have spontaneously and Tulip (2000) claim that extension services adopted ‘fire break’ cropping patterns as a in Tanzania and Uganda are virtually non- result of seeing their neighbours’ successes existent. By contrast, in neighbouring Kenya with a simple and virtually cost-free reports suggest (see section 3.1) that a technique (see case study 8). combination of government extension services100
  • 103. A shift to OAA also implies changes in the study of the Chagga is but one example.ways in which ‘know–how’ is transmitted, Upawansa (2000) identifies more than 500with a shift from vertical patterns of indigenous practices that could informknowledge transfer to horizontal ones.59 organic and biodynamic practices in SriThis implies involving different actors in Lanka. Gupta and Patel (1992a & b, 1993a,the information exchange process and/or & b, 1994, 1995, 1996, all cited in Stollequipping them with different skills. In the 2000) have written extensively about farmerSouth there is a particular need for extension innovations in Gujarat (India). Norton et al.workers to be able to combine ‘traditional’ (1998) describe how the Zuni’s sophisticatedand ‘scientific’ forms of knowledge. This is knowledge of local soil quality in Newnot always an easy balance to strike as Mexico enables them to farm in an arid and‘scientific’ and ‘folk’ knowledge can take inhospitable area.very different forms. The latter is highlycontext dependent. The ability to understand On the other hand, many other reportspeasant knowledge systems and rationalities suggest that lack of information andcan challenge the scientific world view of awareness is the principal barrier to theresearchers, who are more accustomed to adoption of OAA. In a survey of Africanseeking universally applicable solutions and farmers, Harris et al. (1998, p.1) found ‘littleless attuned to the resource constraints faced evidence of knowledge and adoption ofby small farmers. Reliance on contrasting improved soil fertility management and cropforms of knowledge often leads to different protection practices of a non-chemicalapproaches to resource management, as nature’. Farmers in this survey cited a lack ofVivan (2000) demonstrates when comparing knowledge of organic management techniquesagroforestry management strategies preferred four times more frequently than any otherby agronomists and peasants in Brazil. reason as the main reason for their non-Approaches to evolving the best of both adoption of OAA (ibid. p.12). Toulmin (pers.worlds are discussed in the following section. comm.) writes of how fifty years of chemical- dependent cotton growing in Mali have all4.8 – Social and cultural issues but destroyed local traditional knowledge.Knowledge and other resources fordeveloping OAA Paradoxically, very contrasting levels of knowledge can exist almost side by side.This report has identified what are often Verkerk (1998) writes of visiting two organiccontradictory reports and interpretations farms within three kilometres of each otherabout the cultural and knowledge-based in Zimbabwe. The first was organic byimplications of adopting OAA. On the one default and gave the appearance of near-hand, many accounts extol OAA as fitting dereliction: aphids were rampant on matureclosely with the priorities and cultural values plants, there was clear evidence of nitrogenof resource-poor farmers. Advocates of OAA deficiency, no evidence of organic matterargue that these approaches bring social as having been applied into the soil or ofwell as agricultural and environmental attempts to control weeds, mulch the soil orbenefits. They extend and ‘revalorize’ provide shade. The vegetables weretraditional knowledge and practices and help discoloured and malformed, and would havestrengthen social capacity and community not been acceptable on local markets. Byself-confidence. There are many examples of contrast, a nearby organic farm had healthyfarming communities with sophisticated plants and a thriving nursery, showedlevels of knowledge and experience in evidence of extensive composting andmanaging complex agroecosystems. The case mulching and of successful pest management. The Real Green Revolution 101
  • 104. Similarly, the properties of Cassia levels of knowledge? Bentley (2000) didymobotrya in treating skin and intestinal addresses this problem in a systemic manner, problems in animals are well known in providing a typology of folk knowledge, western Kenya but unrecognized in central described in terms of textures. Based on Kenya, where ‘it is considered to be just a work from the Integrated Pest Management shrub that smells bad’ (Thijssen, 1995). School in Honduras, he proposes four Thus, knowledge about OAA can vary different types of farmers’ knowledge, greatly, even within confined geographic summarized in Table 4.8 (below). Awareness areas. Getachew (1996) confirms this, of these can help develop appropriate observing the highly fragmented nature of patterns of information exchange between knowledge about OAA, where different skills farmers and extension workers. are found in scattered localities with little cross-reference or communication between Given the contrast between the great stores them. Though it may seem a paradoxical of knowledge in some areas and the almost suggestion, information and awareness may complete absence in others, it would appear simultaneously represent the largest single almost impossible to make bold constraint upon, and the most significant generalizations about the role of knowledge resource for, the development of OAA. and information as a resource for, or a constraint upon, the development of OAA. How then can we usefully conceptualize, and The challenge lies in developing practices and more importantly assist with the networks that are able to gather and development and transfer of such differing disseminate local information, and Table 4.8 – Textures of folk knowledge Knowledge type Example Ideal field worker response Thick: important and easy to observe. Honduran farmers know Learn from farmers. Local people may know more about more about wasp honey, Validate their knowledge and the topic than scientists do. Local and how to harvest it, techniques. knowledge can be empirically than entomologists do. verified by scientific methods. Farmers also know about non-lethal techniques for controlling bird predation, such as stringing tape from old cassettes, like ribbons, across fields. Thin: unimportant, but easy to observe. Honduran farmers know After learning local systems, Local people know about a topic in a many predatory insects by teach people the missing ideas. way that scientists can understand, but folk names, but do not Add to their folk knowledge. local knowledge is less complete than realize that they are that of scientists. beneficial, natural, enemies of herbivorous insects. Empty: unimportant and difficult Honduran farmers are Fill in the gaps in local knowledge, to observe. Local people know little unaware of the existence teach them about the existence (and or nothing about the topic. of parasitic wasps. role of) parasitic wasps, etc. Gritty: important but difficult The belief that insect pests Be careful. Avoid contradicting to observe. Local people have are spontaneously beliefs unless it matters to the beliefs and perceptions that are generated by the use of programme. Learn the belief and the at odds with scientific notions. insecticides and chemical reasoning behind it, which is often These ideas cannot be verified fertilizer is quite logical but based on incomplete by scientific methods. widespread amongst facts. Use local rhetoric to explain smallholder farmers in he scientific perspective. Teach these Honduras. ideas with respect. (Source: Bentley 2000)102
  • 105. supplementing this with knowledge from suited to the needs and circumstances ofother areas. specific peasant groups has been obtained’.This in turn raises the question of how to The need to disseminate information aboutpromote more context-sensitive forms of technical aspects of organic farming (e.g.research. There are many examples of optimal patterns of rotation, varieties to use,farmer-oriented research and dissemination optimal planting times, soil fertility and pestactivity projects (see for example Stoll, pp management practices) is likely to be most264-366). We noted earlier that participatory pressing during early periods of conversion.farmer research forms a significant sub- Learning and using farmers’ vocabularies fordiscipline in its own right. Some writers pests, predators or soil characteristics arequestion how effectively and whole-heartedly critical elements of this communication processthe lessons learnt from such research are (Steiner 1998, Meir, 2000). As OAA spreadsbeing applied within the organic movement. within a locality this knowledge should becomeLockeretz (2000), for example, detects more widespread and part of ‘local folklore.’elements of rhetoric in claims ‘that organic Finding the resources to start communities offresearch is farmer-oriented, holistic, multi- on this learning curve is arguably the mostdisciplinary and systems-oriented’, believing problematic issue facing the development ofthat organic research methods currently OAA in many parts of the world.employed are ‘not significantly different fromconventional agricultural research’. Knowledge is not the only resource that needs to be shared. In an earlier section we discussedUndoubtedly the main issue in this regard is the importance of minority and endangeredto develop research capacities that can help species. Exchange of seeds has long been ansolve locally-identified problems. Because important though informal form ofOAA is so context specific, both ecologically networking amongst traditional farmers. Inand culturally, there are no uniform more recent times more formal Seed Exchangesolutions. Problem analysis needs to be Networks (SENs) have been set up, such as‘user’, rather than ‘resource’ specific PELUM (based in Zambia, and covering(Scialabba, 1998). This in turn implies a need South and East Africa) and Navdanya infor participatory, not top down, approaches India. Several of the NGOs who responded toto research. Sharing and enhancing our survey saw this as their most importanttraditional knowledge in developing area of activity, as it maintains and expandscountries is of critical importance in organic the resource base on which locally-specificagriculture (FAO, 1998, p.9). As Altieri forms of agriculture depend.(2001, p.1) notes: Access to organic inputs can also be‘most agroecologists recognize that problematic. Whilst organic farms shouldtraditional systems and indigenous ideally be able to draw on their ownknowledge will not yield panaceas for resources to maintain soil fertility or controlagricultural problems… but the most pests, there are clearly occasions whenrewarding aspect of agroecological research external inputs are needed. For example soilhas been that by understanding the features amendments (e.g. rock phosphate) may beof traditional agriculture, such as the ability needed to rectify nutrient deficiencies. Into bear risk, biological folk taxonomies, the other cases the process of collecting orproduction efficiency of symbiotic crop preparing botanical treatments for pestmixtures, etc., important information on infestations may require skills, equipment orhow to develop agricultural technologies best labour inputs that individual farmers lack. The Real Green Revolution 103
  • 106. There is thus a need to develop marketing new jobs, in Senegal the establishment of an and distribution networks through which urban composting scheme has had the same such inputs can be acquired at reasonable effect and in Meru (Kenya) the opportunities prices. One successful example is the created by an organic herb project attracted development of a neem seed processing unit villagers back from the city. These increases in Kenya which provides ‘ready-to-use’ pest are attributable to increased productivity, control materials to organic farmers (Förster improved access to markets or strategies of 2000). In India, when the Maikaal bio-cotton import substitution and are a result of the project grew to a critical mass, local traders improved economic capacity created by the were influenced to start carrying biodynamic adoption of OAA. Many factors, such as the preparations as well as or instead of degree of intensity of the existing farming conventional ones in response to the risk of systems, are likely to play a key role in going out of business (Caldas 2000a). determining how adopting OAA affects labour demand. Employment, land tenure and the domestic division of labour Security of land tenure can significantly influence farmers’ willingness to invest either There is a general consensus that organic time or money in achieving long term systems require a greater labour input than improvements in land fertility. Established conventional farming, although labour land rights (not necessarily the same as requirements are more evenly spread across ownership) are a prerequisite for developing the year because of practices such as multi- effective long-term organic management cropping (Lampkin and Padel, 1994; FAO, strategies. Issues of equity of land 1998b). Recent research goes some way to distribution and security of tenure will challenging this view, at least as a universal critically influence farmers’ decisions generalization. Garcia and Brombal (2000) regarding the extent that they are prepared recently analysed labour requirements on to invest in OAA techniques which may only conventional and organic farms in Sao Paulo yield long term benefits (Teshome, 2000). State (Brazil) and found no significant Even where land security is not an issue the difference in total labour requirements physical structure of farms may influence the between the two systems, although there extent to which farmers are prepared to were differences in the timing of labour adopt organic management strategies. In inputs (with the organic system being more some parts of the world, particularly where evenly spread). The main difference between radically different ecological and climatic farm labour requirements was attributable to zones exist in close proximity to another, the different crop types. Equally, data for farms may be dispersed across two or more labour requirements gathered from India and plots of land (e.g. ‘home gardens’ and bush Nicaragua as part of IFOAM’s OA ’99 fields’). Differences in accessibility may well Programme (see section 4.1., above), showed influence farmers’ willingness to engage in no consistent pattern of differences in labour fertility building techniques. For example, demand between organic and conventional ‘bush fields’ may be several miles from a systems (Witte et al., 2000). farmer’s home, raising obstacles to transporting compost. Several of the projects and initiatives reviewed in this report suggest that the Domestic divisions of labour can also adoption of organic methods can generate influence the uptake of organic systems new employment opportunities. For example, and adopting OAA can, by the same logic, in Burkina Faso, the digging of Zaï generates impact on domestic divisions of labour.104
  • 107. Traditionally many agricultural tasks are has led to them taking control of the familydivided along gender lines. To oversimplify farms, hiring labour and even purchasingsomewhat, men often assume responsibility vehicles to take produce to market.for cash crops and women for the kitchengardens which feed the family. Commonly ‘Thinking organic’these two different production systems aremanaged under different regimes, with scarce We earlier argued that much ‘de facto’cash resources used to buy fertilizer for cash organic farming occurs by default, ascrops and de facto organic systems employed resource-poor farmers cannot afford to buyon home vegetable gardens. artificial inputs. The question therefore arises of whether farmers, driven solely byGiven the frequent gender division between economic necessity, will start using artificialthese activities, it is argued that women are inputs if and when their circumstancesmore likely to be engaged with de facto improve. In other words, will organicorganic farming and will have a greater management prove to be a short-termaffinity with organic approaches (Moali- palliative that is abandoned for moreGrine, 2000; Njai, pers. corr.),60 and may conventional practices in a few years time?have pools of knowledge that can more fullybe drawn upon. Despite this, some For many in the organic movement, thecommentators point out that the role of exercise is not merely one of increasing thewomen in organic agriculture is often number of certified (or ‘de facto’) producers’overlooked, especially by extension services worldwide, but of winning over the hearts(Kinnon and Bayo, 1989; Kachru, 2000). and minds of producers (and consumers) to a more ‘holistic’ and ‘inclusive’ world view –Women represent an important potential a world view which seeks to promoteconstituency for extension services, although ecological and economic self-reliance. Onebuilding effective contact with women organic key to this endeavour is that of strengtheningfarmers can sometimes be problematic, social capacity and self-confidence. Manyespecially in societies that are rigidly divided adherents of OAA believe that thesealong gender lines. For example, in Zimbabwe approaches can play a key role in the Southwomen growing organic cotton faced a in helping promote self-reliance and reducingproblem in becoming certified producers, as dependency on the ‘expertise’, technologiesthey traditionally have no land rights. A new and markets of the industrialised world. Atmechanism, granting ‘Wife’s Special the same time OAA can help valorize localExemption’ was created to meet certification and traditional knowledge and practices. Asrequirements. Reliance on freely available local Boersma (2000) notes, ‘for native Indiansresources assisted these women to enter the being an organic farmer is also an expressioncash economy without any initial investment – of art and beauty.’an extremely significant development in aregion where one third of households are While such attitudes may be prevalentheaded by women (Page, 2000). amongst those groups with an established tradition of organic farming, those who farmIn Kenya, participation in organic farming conventionally do not necessarily share them.has created a new status for women, with Interviews by Harris et al. (1998, p. 9.)those participating no longer feeling identify some resistance to organic farmingthemselves to be ‘just housewives, but family because it is perceived as requiring moremanagers who are economically empowered’ work. One farmer in Tanzania was(Njoroge 1996, p. 27). In some instances this reportedly reluctant to go organic as The Real Green Revolution 105
  • 108. ‘collecting and preparing ingredients needed The extent to which adopting OAA helps for organic farming is tedious and time generate ‘alternative’ world views, whereby consuming.’ Another in Ghana expressed traditional farmers and policy-makers view similar views, stating that ‘the practice of indigenous knowledge and resources with organic farming is tedious to undertake’. By pride as opposed to shame, is perhaps one of contrast, one farmer in Senegal was delighted the key criteria in its ability to bring about with the benefits that organic farming lasting change. This broader socially created. ‘Before, I used to spend 4200CFA transformative role of OAA is often [about £5.00] on the fertilizer needed to help overlooked in discussions about its potential. bring on my crops: with biological farming I It is nonetheless one that resonates strongly spend almost nothing, except for some with the development agenda in its widest manure and green compost. I am able to sense. It is therefore in some respects spend that money on other things and it is paradoxical that one of the main driving more than recovered through the sale of forces for the adoption of OAA in the South biological produce’ (Anon 2000, p.8). remains the prospect of a greater engagement Clearly attitudes towards the benefits and with markets in the North. drawbacks of organic farming vary as much according to the individual temperaments of farmers as to other factors.106
  • 109. 5 – Conclusions and approaches vary significantly. Formal organicrecommendations approaches to farming are generally adopted to gain access to and/or competitive advantage in5.1 – Creating a coherent ‘alternative’ export markets. Where governments areagricultural movement involved in promoting organic farming it isThe evidence in this report suggests that there is generally with the aim of boosting agriculturala rapidly growing interest in the South in the export earnings. Other actors, however, arepotential of OAA as a means for achieving a promoting OAA for very different reasons. Anumber of objectives. These include: range of rural development and environmental agencies and NGOs are beginning to use OAA• increasing farmers’ incomes as a tool to meet a range of broader developmental and environmental objectives.• increasing yields and productivity in The emphasis of different programmes and traditional, marginal, agricultural systems projects may vary, but there is evidence that they often yield multiple benefits. At the same• improving soil fertility and long term time farmers in many developing countries are sustainability of farming systems withdrawing, either partially or completely, from the ‘agrochemical treadmill’. Thus there is• reducing farmers’ dependency on artificial a clear convergence of interest between the inputs and the exposure of rural populations agendas of different agencies and many farming and environments to their side effects communities. Such a convergence could lead to a widespread uptake of OAA in what might• assisting with the restoration of degraded or prove to be a truly green ‘Green Revolution’. In abandoned land our opinion the potential of these individual approaches and the synergies between them has• maintaining and improving biodiversity yet to be fully explored.• promoting and valorizing local knowledge Because the issues and agencies driving the and building self confidence. uptake of OAA are many and diffuse, information regarding the incidence andKnowledge of the extent to which OAA is successes of OAA, and the constraints it faces,practised in the South is far from complete. is spread across many different sources.Official data relating to land under certified Differing approaches to OAA, (e.g. certifiedorganic management suggests that organic organic, agroecology, agroforestry, and ‘defarming is still very much a minority activity. facto’ organic practices adopted inOnly one country in the South (Argentina) has rural/participatory development programmes)more than 1% of its agricultural land under mean that there are many professionalorganic management. While such data may be groupings who have knowledge and experienceincomplete, there is a far bigger gap in our of the issues, but who do not necessarily shareknowledge of the extent to which de facto these resources or experiences with colleaguesorganic and agroecological systems are in other fields.employed throughout the world. Evidencesuggests that these two latter approaches are Rist (2000) identifies that the lack of co-much more widely practised than the formal ordination and communication betweenorganic approach, although there is no reliable different disciplinary approaches (such asmeans of estimating by how much. agriculture, livestock production, forestry, agroforestry, research, education andReasons for adopting these different agricultural extension) provides a major The Real Green Revolution 107
  • 110. obstacle to developing more robust forms of • Which areas of work do we wish/feel best OAA and in communicating the benefits of able to support (e.g. pure and/or OAA to a broader audience. Greater cross- participative research, promoting knowledge disciplinary and cross-professional transfer, supporting training and extension communication would significantly enhance the programmes, assisting with the development comprehensiveness of current knowledge of the of mechanisms for inspection and benefits and potential of OAA. Whilst this may certification, or education and advocacy)? be difficult to achieve on a global basis, it may be possible to create linkages between different • What criteria will guide our choice of professional groupings involvement (e.g. promotion of conservation on local, regional and, sometimes a national interests promoting food security, restoring scale. This would be a valuable first step degraded land, promotion of specific OAA towards creating a more unified and coherent techniques)? ‘alternative’ agricultural community, one which shares broadly similar values but has yet to • Do we have the capacity to build direct links learn to work together in the pursuit of with grass-roots organizations in the South, common goals – something which would or would we rather work with ‘first world’ enable it to share experiences and present a institutions with proven expertise and more unified front to the world at large. existing links? 5.2 – Promoting OAA: defining objectives • Do we wish to work in areas where OAA A central objective of this report was to identify has established itself and where there is a mechanisms through which relevant funding baseline of local expertise and institutional and advocacy bodies might best engage with capacity, or to develop seed-corn projects in promoting the development of OAA. We regions where OAA has yet to achieve believe that there are two main avenues a critical mass? through which such efforts could be channelled: through global advocacy and Such questions are best answered by supporting grassroots initiatives. Each organizations themselves in view of their aims, approach has its attractions and drawbacks (see objectives and capacities – we do not presume Schoones and Toulmin, 1999, in chapter 7 for to advise on such issues. What follows is a a general discussion of these issues). Before discussion of two broad approaches to discussing these approaches in any detail we promoting OAA, those of advocacy and raise a number of questions (below) regarding building local capacity, which might be pursued organizational capacity and priorities – in isolation or combination. questions that we feel will help organizations 5.3 – Global research and advocacy clarify the issues and choices involved in selecting the most appropriate approach (or In this report we have identified a range of combination of approaches). projects and initiatives that illustrate the benefits and potential of OAA in a range of • Which geographic areas can we most different ecological, agricultural and socio- effectively work in? economic contexts. We have identified a number of ways in which these methods and • How can we most effectively work (e.g. approaches can address a range of problems direct involvement in research and projects facing farmers, rural (and sometimes urban) or financing and contracting others to do communities and policy-makers in the South. so)? Yet we are acutely aware that the desk-based108
  • 111. nature and relatively short time span of this Such research would also be of potentialstudy have limited its scope and interest to the academic community, as itcomprehensiveness. We are also aware that the resonates with a number of key currentreport raises more questions than it can answer. concerns within the social sciences including:We feel that further research in this area haspotential in at least three respects, outlined • How communities and decision-makers inbelow. the South evaluate and implement competing models of ‘traditionalism’,Firstly, we believe that such research and ‘ecological modernization’ and the (GM-led)advocacy has value in informing the debate ‘second Green Revolution’about global food security, sustainability andthe relationship between the two. One of the • How different ‘quality conventions’ aremain constraints on the development of OAA negotiated and implemented along foodappears to be the attitudes of governments and supply chains and how these affect access to,other policy makers – who are often indifferent, and competitiveness within, marketsand occasionally hostile, to OAA. The FAOnotes that there is a ‘widespread belief among • The relevance and effectiveness ofmany sections of society that organic ‘oppositional’ strategies to globalization andagriculture is not a feasible option for commodification, particularly in relation toimproving food security’ (1998, p.12). This it issues of agrobiodiversity.argues is a major constraint upon gaininggreater support for OAA. The growing In relation to the issues discussed in this report,recognition afforded to OAA by international two potential research areas emerge that mayagencies (such as the FAO and UNCTAD) and prove of interest to the rural developmentforeign donors may well result in governments research community:in the South adopting more sympathetic andpro-active approaches to OAA. The organic • The existing common ground, tensions (andand agroecological movements could help potential for resolving these) between theaccelerate this process through building up and organic, agroecological and sustainablemaintaining a capacity for ‘global advocacy’: approaches to agriculture and specifically,publicizing the ‘how, what and why’ of OAA. how these are played out on the ground inThe task of promoting diverse and self-reliant project development and prioritizationsystems of food production becomes ever moreurgent given the dominant trends of • Whether and how OAA can develop as acentralization and commodification within food ‘paradigm of innovation’ which can build anproduction systems and the vested interests effective strategy of research andwhich promote these processes. development capable of widely diffusing best practice while absorbing new lessons fromResearch of this nature is also of considerable those areas where it is being adopted.potential interest to practitioners in the field. As 5.4 – Building local capacitywe noted earlier, one of the paradoxessurrounding OAA is the variation in the levels As well as developing a capacity for globalof knowledge available to different advocacy, there is clear need for further supportcommunities. Gathering (and disseminating) in developing local abilities to implement OAAinformation about best practice is one crucial techniques and systems. Two differentway of improving the knowledge base within approaches might be adopted which help toknowledge-poor areas. build such capacity. The first involves working with established Northern-based agencies The Real Green Revolution 109
  • 112. (consultancies, NGOs etc.) who have component but are rarely solely, or even experience and links in the South. The second primarily, geared towards these types of project. involves working directly with grassroots NGOs in the South. Two private charities (SARD and the Amber Foundation) are primarily oriented towards This study identifies a number of agencies with supporting NGOs and producer groups a proven track record in researching, involved in OAA. SARD have established an developing and disseminating information annual prize, worth $10,000 and normally split regarding organic and agroecological practices. between three winners every year. Thus they Individually and collectively they have a wealth simultaneously lend financial support to of experience in developing programmes for grassroots NGOs and also publicize and research and development, training, extension celebrate the successes and achievements of and marketing. A number of these NGOs in providing workable, sustainable organizations are identified in Appendix 2a. solutions. They include research institutes, international NGOs, and private sector consultancies. Most Throughout this project we identified a number of these agencies are dependent on external of grassroots organizations often in need of funding (from either the commercial or public funding to develop projects and research sectors) to carry out their work. Inevitably in initiatives. Most frequently the concerns of their work, they will have identified projects, these groups fell into one of three areas: schemes and initiatives which they feel merit further investigation and/or development for • Developing educational/training/extension which they may have been unable to attract and marketing facilities to support farmers funding. Thus they are well placed to advise on wishing to convert to organic and specific projects with development potential as agroecological methods of production well as those that have a potential for transferability. Organizations with little prior • Developing certification programmes so as experience in this area are likely to find that to put OAA on a formalized basis in order institutions such as these are well placed to to maintain standards markets, the identify, develop and execute projects and credibility of organic produce in domestic programmes. markets and enable participation in export markets A second option available to organizations wishing to involve themselves in this area is • Building up infrastructure to permit organic that of building direct contact with NGOs in and agroecological producers to add value the South. This is clearly the most attractive to and more effectively store or market their option in terms of providing value for money produce. and producing direct benefits on the ground. Yet it is also a relatively high-risk strategy, as it Some NGOs and producer groups who replied involves identifying and selecting groups who to the survey took the opportunity to send have the administrative capacity to manage detailed (and sometimes costed) project funds and to monitor and evaluate project proposals (although we assume that they were performance. Some governmental not drawn up solely in response to our request developmental agencies and many development for information). More commonly, these charities work on this basis (although more organizations discussed plans and aspirations often they have local field staff overseeing and the problems of accessing funds to develop projects). The projects that they finance may their capacity as effective ambassadors for include those with a significant OAA OAA. Appendix 2b contains summary details110
  • 113. of, and contacts for, NGOs responding to oursurvey. Inclusion within this list does not implyany seal of approval of the organizations onbehalf of the authors (nor does omission fromit imply disapproval). Rather the list providesan overview of NGO activities.This information might be used to identifydirect opportunities for supporting grassrootsorganizations or, more generally, to identify thepriorities of such groups with a view todeveloping programmes that effectively addressissues of prime concern. The Real Green Revolution 111
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  • 130. Glossary of Abbreviations FLO and Acronyms Fairtrade Labelling Organisation ABLH GET Association for Better Land Husbandry Greenpeace Environmental Trust ACAO GM / GMO The Cuban Association for Organic Agriculture Genetically Modified / Organisms AGRUCO GOAN Agroecologiciá Universidad Cochabamba Ghanaian Organic Agriculture Network (Bolivia) GTZ APPRI Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Association for the Promotion of Intensive Zusammenarbeit – (The Germany Agency for Rotational Grazing (Argentina) Technical Co-operation). BBP HDRA Better Banana Project Henry Doubleday Research Institute BD ICIPE Biodynamic International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology CIESA Centre for Investigation and Teaching on ICRAF Sustainable Agriculture (Argentina) International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (Kenya) COAE Centre for Organic Agriculture in Egypt IFOAM International Federation of Organic DfID Agricultural Movements Department for International Development IIED ECOA International Institute for the Environment and Egyptian Centre of Organic Agriculture Development ESRC ILEIA Economic and Social Research Council Information Centre for Low-External-Input and Sustainable Agriculture (The Netherlands) EU European Union ITDG Intermediate Technology Development Group FAO Food and Agricultural Organisation (United LEISA Nations) Low External Input and Sustainable Agriculture SRI128
  • 131. System of Rice Intensification (Madagascar) USDA United States Department of AgricultureISDInstitute for Sustainable Development (Tigray) WHO World Health OrganisationITCInternational Trade Centre (Switzerland) WFDFFM World Food Day Farmers’ and Fishermen’sKIO MovementKenyan Institute of Organic Farming WWFMAPO World Wide Fund for NatureMoviemiento Argentino para la ProduccionOrganicNGO(s)Non Governmental Organisation(s)OAAOrganic and Agroecological ApproachesOFDCOrganic Food Development Centre (China)SARDSustainable Agriculture and Rural DevelopmentPrize.SÖLStiftung Ökologie and LandbauTABTigray Agricultural BureauUCIRIUnion of Indigenous Communities of theIsthmus Region (Mexico)UNCTADUnited Nations Centre for Trade andDevelopmentUNDPUnited Nations Development Programme The Real Green Revolution 129
  • 132. Appendix 1 – Boweevil Electronic resources for OAA Associated with the good food foundation Bo weevil (named after the Cotton Boll Weevil) Agexpront works with cotton producers in the South. This Guatemalan base export business. site also explains the problems of conventional cotton production and is well illustrated. Agro Eco Consultancy htm Dutch based agroecological consultancy who have experience in Africa, Latin America and CAB International Asia. They have involvement in Forestry and This site, launched by CAB International (and the EPOPA programme (Export Promotion of funded by MAFF) in October 2000, provides Organic Products from Africa) financed by the news, details of research, training and job Swedish government agency, SIDA. They have opportunities. It is mostly focused on Europe also contributed a chapter on evaluating and North America, but plans are afoot to organic projects for a DfID handbook and have launch an internet based searchable database published material on developing organic covering research in Spring 2001. Subscription cotton systems. They have branch or associated based but offers a free trail. offices in Argentina, Uganda and Zimbabwe and have worked in partnership with many overseas NGOs. Centro Interdisciplinario de Estudios Sobre el Desarrollo,Uruguay (CIEDUR) Assoc. de Organisaciones de Productores Uruguayan NGO with a specific focus on Ecologicós de Bolivia sustainable development. Bolivian organic producers association. Site lists 41 members (producers and consultants) and presentation.html details of their publications, technical services and forthcoming events. Chaoda Modern Agricultural Holdings Ltd. (China) Home page for Chinese production and Bioherb distribution company. Their mission is ‘to German based consultancy working mostly in promote hi technology biological farming and tropical countries supporting producers and within ten years become the flagship of China’s processors of organic, medicinal and aromatic agriculture strategy and to rank among the 500 plants. They currently are involved in projects largest enterprises in the world’. They presently in China. Madagascar and Bolivia. Other have c.1,000 Ha. of land in agricultural countries in which they have experience include production, in 7 provinces , but mostly Nepal, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, Tanzania, Peru concentrated in and Malawi. Their site also contains a directory Fujian and Jiangsu provinces. They plan of third world organisations involved on trebling this figure by 2002 on the basis of land organic production and marketing. already in conversion. Their also provides links to over 30 Chinese companies and agencies (presumably with an interest in organic production).
  • 133. City Farmers Food and Agricultural OrganisationWeb page from Canada’s Office of Urban The FAO is the largest autonomousAgriculture. Has links to Urban farming news / organisation within the United Nations.sites in the third world. Its mandate is to raise levels of nutrition and standards of living, improve agricultural productivity, and better the condition of ruralDaabon Organic populations. In 1999 the FAO Committee onColombian organic traders and certifiers. Agriculture (COAG)(English language) approved FAO involvement in organic agriculture. Undoubtedly FAO’s support forEldis organic agriculture will give added legitimacyGateway to many development organisations and weight to the organic movement. Alreadyand topics. its web pages on Organic agriculture some of the most comprehensive to be found on theEgyptian Centre of Organic Agriculture internet and include a facility to search on lineEgypt’s accreditation organisation for organic for bibliographic resources.farms and processors. Little Information here. Other FAO sites worth visiting are: The David Lubin Memorial LibraryEqual Exchange based ‘fair trade’ organisation, which and WACIENT (World Agriculturalfocuses on organic and ‘shade grown’ coffee. Information Centre)Interesting information about coffee growing and details of their projects / partners default.htmorganisations in Latin America, Tanzania, Indiaand Indonesia. GaMa Brazilian importers and exporters, specialisingEuropean Universities Consortium for a in Soya products. Curriculum in Ecological AgricultureProvides links to Universities in the EU who Global Agricultural Information Networkprovide organic and agroecological courses and (GAIN)do research in the field . This site is a subsidiary site the ES Federal Agricultural Service (FAS). It mostly providesning/consort.html links to reports of relevance for export of US agricultural produce. It has some useful market intelligence on organic production in demand in some developing countries. Use the subject search ‘Organic. ’ html The Real Green Revolution 131
  • 134. Good Food Foundation the UK and abroad, where they also offer a Dutch based co-operative project for promoting tropical advisory service, which has provided organic production in the third world. information and advice since 1992 on tropical Members are mostly food traders who work to organic agriculture to individuals and secure supplies to meet domestic demand. They organisations in the tropics and sub-tropics. mostly work in Turkey, but have other projects The aim is to give small-scale, farmers the in Sri Lanka and China. Their site also gives knowledge and skills to enable them to links to a wide range improve existing farming systems, increase food of other organic organisations. security, increase safe food production and contribute towards environmental protection. It runs a tree seed distribution programme, GreenAqua supports a seed saving programme and has Ecuadorian based organic aquaculture helped establish the Ghanaian Organic company Agricultural Network Green Foundation Overseas Research includes: Site of an Indian based (Tamil Nadu) NGO who work closely with small and marginal • Organic agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa: farmers in the dry-land regions of South India. farmer demand and potential for Their main focus is on seed conservation / development exchanges., promoting agri-biodiversity, traditional knowledge systems and organic • Manure management in Kenya farming practices. • The use of urban waste in peri-urban agricultural systems Green Trade Net German based site providing a showcase for • Optimisation of neem products: value to organic products. It includes details of reports poor farmers and constraints to covering 18 of the most important tropical development imports. • Prosopis juliflora and related arboreal species: a monograph, extension manual and Grolink database Swedish based consultancy primarily aimed at promoting organic agriculture, developing • Ethical trading: definition, practice and certification schemes. They also provide possible links with organic agriculture training courses for those wishing to develop their experience in promoting organic systems • Assessment of the needs of Cuban urban in the third world. Much, but not all of their agriculture work is marketing oriented. Site also contains a list of publications and details of their training • Composting workshops in Palestine programmes. Henry Doubleday Research Association Hess Naturtextilien An organic gardening research group based in German based organisation trading in England. It is involved in the preservation of organically produced textiles (German language endangered vegetables and fruit species. They only) are extensively involved in organic research in132
  • 135. Incatops development issues.Peruvian based and IFOAM registered A searchmanufacturer of Alpaca tops. on the keywords ‘organics’ or ‘agroecology’ yielded 45+ hits, but very few more recent than 1997.Information Centre for Low-External-Input andSustainable Agriculture (ILEIA) Institute for Organic Agriculture, BonnEstablished in 1982 with Dutch government Mostly European focused research institutefunding, ILIEIA is now an independent –although has scientific research projectsorganisation. Its is to promote Low External ongoing in the South, mostly in Latin America.Input and Sustainable Agriculture (LEISA), Instituto Biodinamico• Collecting and exchanging information Brazilian Biodynamic Organisation. Have 60 staff provide advice and consultation and run• Facilitating Farmer Guided Research to their own certification scheme. They report assess the viability of LEISA production having 230 producer (groups) across South systems and America, covering 62,000 ha.• Contributing to the political debate on International Centre for Research into sustainable agriculture. Agroforestry (ICRAF), Nairobi The International Centre for Research inIt has a library / documentation service on Agroforestry (ICRAF), established in Nairobi inecologically-oriented agriculture, with around 1977, is an autonomous, non-profit research7000 documents. (Which can be searched body supported by the Consultative Group onremotely at ). It International Agricultural Research. ICRAFpublishes aims to improve human welfare by alleviatinga quarterly newsletter in English and Spanish poverty, improving food and nutritionalwhich is distributed free to institutions and security, and enhancing environmentalindividuals in the third world. resilience in the tropics. ICRAF conducts strategic and applied research, in partnershipILEIA has recently reviewed of its activities with national agricultural research systems, forreviewed its activities and intends to strengthen more sustainable and productive land use. Itits links with filed level development workers, has five research and development themes:while at the same time developing stronger diversification and intensification of land usecommunication links with staff in academic through domestication of agroforestry trees;and research institutions and policy makers. soil fertility replenishment in nutrient-depletedField workers will however remain its core, lands with agroforestry and other nutrienttarget audience. To develop this new inputs; socio-economic and policy research toprogramme allow policies that will benefit smallholderit is presently looking find a new donors to farmers; acceleration of impact on farm bycontribute to an anticipated $2M p.a. budget ensuring that research resultsrequirement. are used; and capacity and institutional strengthening through training and theInstitute for Development Studies dissemination of information.Based at the University of Sussex, the British http://www.icraf.cgiar.orgLibrary for Development Studies at ISD claimsto have the largest Library in Europe on International Development Research Centre The Real Green Revolution 133
  • 136. Canada’s development agency – has a good International Institute for Environment and series of thumbnail sketches of projects Development (IIED) ‘adventures in development’, including organic UK based charitable body with impressive track and sustainable agricultural approaches. record of instigating research and project on a range of issues relating to sustainable development in the third world. Their current International Federation of Organic research projects include a multi country study Agricultural Movements (IFOAM) on ‘Policies that work Sustainable Agriculture Represents the world-wide movement for and Regenerated Rural Economies’. Their organic agriculture. It has more than 730 current publications list relating to agriculture member organisations in more than 100 contains a number of studies of soil fertility and countries. It publishes the global basic organic sustainable standards, and has been influential in the land use issues, particularly in Africa, often negotiations with the WTO / WHO codex undertaken from a participative, bottom up alimentarius committee. It also promotes perspective (in Tigray, Benin, Malawi and annual trade fairs and bi-annual conferences, Kenya). publishes a world-wide directory of member organisations, proceedings of its conferences International Rice Research Institute (The and a quarterly magazine ‘Ecology and Philippines) Farming’ Not an organic organisation, indeed they do much work on promoting GM variants. International Food Policy Research Institute However their Sustainable Agricultural (IFPRI) development Programme did win the SARD IFPRIs Research focuses on economic growth Prize, reflecting the value of work that they do and poverty alleviation in low-income in this field. countries, improvement of the well-being of poor people, and sound management of the natural resource base that supports agriculture. Isic Tarim Ürünleri AS Though they have little specifically focused on Organically certified Turkish fruit packing organic farming or agroecology agriculture, company. they have a strong research profile in relevant fields. Louis Bolk Institute Dutch based research institute with interests in organic food, agriculture and anthroposophical medicine. Most of the site is in Dutch but their last two annual reports are available in English Naturland, German association promoting organic agriculture. Involved in certifying, inspection and advocating organic agriculture. Naturland have strong links with many third world countries. www.naturland.de134
  • 137. Organic Cotton Site Pusat Pendidkan Lingkungan HiduupThis site dedicates itself to ‘all the farmers, Network of Indonesian environmentalmanufacturers, activists, retailers and others who education centres, which includes amongst itsare devoting their energies to making organic programmes the promotion of organic farming.cotton a viable agricultural and economic’. Links range from details about pestsand pesticide use to the design and fashion end of Priya Chemicalsthe supply chain. It is Californian based. It has Commercial web site for companydetails of the BASIC (Biological Agricultural manufacturing and exporting amino acid basedSystems in Cotton) programme designed to move bio-stimulants for agricultural and veterinarianfarmers from chemically intensive to organic purposes. http://www.priyachem.comsystems, a system which may be transferable /applicable in other situations. Rapunzel (Germany). Mostly German language site from commercial suppliers www.rapunzel.deOrganic Crop Improvement AssociationUS based association, the world’s largest Rapunzel (Turkey)organic certification agency. They have chapters Commercial site for group claiming to bein Latin America and claim (in IFOAM Turkey’s longest established and leading organicDirectory) to have an interest in third world product development production. It is difficult to find much of this on these web pages Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL),Organic Farm and Garden Supplies Swiss based consultancy who are extensivelyCommercial site for South African based involved in agricultural research, certificationsupplier of organic activators, water treatment and marketing. They have strong links with thesystems and feed supplements for animals (TM: Swiss development agency who finance manyPenac). projects on which FiBL are engaged. Standards Resource Efficient Agricultural ProductionOn line journal maintained by Grolink (REAP) (Canada)dedicated to discussing issues surrounding An independent, non-profit organisation thatorganic standards has been working since 1986 with farmers, scientists, NGOs and industry, to advance thePhalad Agro Research Foundation development of sustainable farming systems.Commercial site for an Indian producer of They work with rural communities, bothorganic fertilisers and nutrients. domestically and internationally, to environmentally sound development to address societys need for food, fuel and fibre.Planeta Verde http://www.reap.caMultilingual site of a Brazilian organic brownsugar producer. The Real Green Revolution 135
  • 138. R.I.O IMPULS Stiftung Ökologie and Landbau (SÖL) Swiss based (and German language only) forum (Foundation for Ecology and Agriculture) for economics and ecology. Contains some A charity founded in 1961 and initially active information about organic cotton / textile in the education and health. It has worked projects. specifically on organic agriculture since 1975. It supports numerous projects and studies related Rodale Institute to organic agriculture. US based Foundation, set up in 1940s and An important aim is the effective dissemination originally called the soil and health foundation. of the knowledge gained. Many of SÖLs Focuses on promoting organic agriculture and activities relate to information about / for consumption. It places an emphasis on organic farming. Their publications include a education and has a number global database about organic farming and the of projects in the South, including Guatemala German language "Ökologie de facto and Senegal. The Institute was recently Landbau" awarded a national prize by the President a quarterly journal, which covers all aspects of of Senegal for its work with a with a local ecology and farming. womens group on the regeneration of community waste management through Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development composting. Prize A privately funded prize (guaranteed for ten Sekem years at a level of US$ 10,000) rewarding land A cultural and social project, based upon stewardship with impact on the life of rural biodynamic farming. They now cultivate more poor. http://www.sard- than 2000ha, including significant amounts of organic cotton. They have both economic and cultural influence within Sustainable Agriculture Network /Research and Egypt and are well thought within the organic Education (SAN / SARE) movement as an example of sustainable US based network with few foreign links, development. but some projects possibly of interest Skal Dutch based inspection and certification Tropical Research Institute organisation. Dutch based Institute specialising in promoting international co-operation and intercultural Spice Board, India communication. It has some experience in The site contains much of interests about the supporting agroecological projects and an importance and history of spices in general and extensive library. includes details of the recent developments in organic spice growing, the certification United Nature initiatives and lists of growers and exporters. German based organic trading company m136
  • 139. Appendix 2A International Centre for Insect Physiology andResearch Institutes and Consultancies Ecology (ICIPE). Dr. Hans Herren, Director General hherren@icipe.orgThis listing, which is by no means exhaustive, International Research Centre into Agroforestrydetails contacts for research institutes, (ICRAF) Contact via agencies and consultancies. It ismostly drawn from responses to survey work Malaysiaand articles written by staff members. These HUMUS Consultancy and Marketing. Hasorganisations have an international focus and, a good knowledge of the organics sector in S.E.for ease of reference are listed under their home Asia. Ong Kung Wai, , Fuller details of their activities orresearch expertise can either be found in the The Netherlandsmain body of the text or in Appendix 1. Agro Eco Consultancy. See entry under resources. Bo van Elzakker office@agoeco.nlCanada Bo-Weevil. Marck van Esch boweevil@xs4all.nlCity Farmers. Experience in urban farming Good Food Foundation. Jan Schrijverprojects in the first and third world. Contact info@goodfood.nlvia web pages Information Centre for Low-External-Input and Sustainable Agriculture (ILEIA) ContactResource Efficient Agricultural Production. via web site .Sustainable agriculture NGO. Contact via web SwedenChile Grolink. Gunnar Rundgren, info@grolink.seMovimento Agroecologico en America Latina yEl Caribe. Pan Latin American OAA network. SwitzerlandMario Ahumada Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL). Swiss based consultancy with extensiveGermany involvement in development projects. ContactBioherb: Consulting for Organic Agriculture. via web site Helberg, bioherb@t-online.deFair Trade Labelling Organisation. United KingdomInternational co-ordinator for fairtrade Ecotropic. UK based biodynamic consultancylabelling. Carol Doyle with extensive experience, including assisting conversion of two case studies described in thisInstitute for Organic Agriculture, Bonn. project: Ambootia Tea Estate and the MaikallContact via web site http://www.uni- Cotton project. Tadeu Caldas, tcaldas_ecotropic@compuserve.comInternational Federation of Organic Henry Doubleday Research Association. SeeAgricultural Movements (IFOAM). Contact via resources for details. Contactweb site IACR Rothamstead. Prof. John PickettItaly and Agricultural Organisation. NadiaScialabba, Environment Officer International Institute for and Development. contact via web site Twin Trading a Fair trade group who also The Real Green Revolution 137
  • 140. promote organic produce. Alex Holmes Appendix 2B – NGOs and producer groups United States This listing, which is by no means exhaustive, Equal Exchange. Fairtrade organisation details contacts for NGOs and Producer with several organic projects. J. Rosenthal Groups whose activity is mostly within their own countries. It is mostly drawn from responses to survey work and articles written Rodale Institute. Involved in projects, primarily by staff members. in Senegal. See resources and section on Senegal Description of the work of these groups is for details. Contact Amadou Dipo generally included within the main text of the or info@rodaleinst report or in Appendix 1. Only where these details are not included in earlier sections is a description of the groups activities included. Inclusion or exclusion of groups on this list does not constitute a value judgement on the authors behalf as to their ‘worthiness’ Africa Burkina Faso Raw Bio Process – producer group also covering Niger and Mali. Contact Egypt Centre for Organic Agriculture in Egypt (COAE). Helmy Abouleish Egyptian Centre of Organic Agriculture. Y.A. Hamadi Egyptian Centre of Organic Agriculture Society. Ahmed El-Araby Ghana Ghanaian Organic Agricultural Network (GOAN). Emmanuel Antwi Kenya Association for Better Land Husbandry. Promotes organic and sustainable farming in Kenya on a ‘near-nil investment’ basis. Receive some support from DfID. They are also developing a certification programme for Kenya and promote OAA. Jim Cheatle PO Box 39042 Nairobi. Green Farming Group. Small community farming group with a 16ha. demonstration farm in Othaya. They are mostly involved138
  • 141. in teaching farmers about composting and Techniques. Rural development groupwater conservation techniques. John Kanyi, promoting OAA. Yacouba Tangara BP 2502,Green Farming Group, P.O. Box 897, Othaya, Bamako, MALIKENYA.Hope Community Development Programme Mozambique(Misikhu) A training organisation based in Organic Cotton Project. Group involved inwestern Kenya involving >1000 farmers, with promoting organic cotton growing and otherfour extension workers. They have recently set forms of organic agriculture. Norbertoup a small sunflower oil processing unit for Mahalambe lampab@zebra.uem.mzlocal farmers (with aid from ICCO, a Dutchfunding organisation). Contact Richard Soita. Regfos Green Commission. Established NGO.Itemeini Organic Farming Self Help Group. Sunny Okwudire 7/13 Murtala MohammedWaikwa Stephen Wachira Way, PO Box 531 Jos, NigeriaKenyan Institute for Organic Farming (KIOF).See text for details. Dr. John Wanjau Njoroge, SenegalDirector Agriculteurs Naturalistes. El Hadj Hamath Hane, agrinat@enda.snMadagascar Association des Jeunes Agriculteurs deAssociation Tefy Saina Principle movers behind Casamace. Lamine Biaye, BP11 Sedhiou,the development of intensive rice growing Senegaltechniques in Madagascar. Sébastian Centre d’Initiatives et de Recherches PaysannesRafaralahy. PROMABI. pour l’Environment et le DéveloppementJean Claude Ratsimivony Durable. Ibrahima Seck iseck@moncourrier.comMalawi Federation des Agropasteurs de Diende: farmerLipangwe Organic Manure Demonstration based research extension and experimentationFarm, Lomadef. The only agroecological group. Papa Gueye, Keur Abdou NDOYE,demonstration farm in Malawi. Have a Route de Kayar, Régionmembership of 1000+ members who come for de Thies, Sénégal.on farm training. Other Malawi based NGOs Recours á la Terre. Run a 5 ha. demonstrationsend their staff and farmers there for training. garden and experiment with locally appropriateIn operational terms the biggest problem faced forms of organic production and have runby the farm is lack of transportation for collaborative research and extensionextension work and monitoring. The biggest programmes with national and regionalproblem faced by local farmers is lack of (seed producer groups. Abdoulaye SARR, BP 290corn) capital Tambacounda, Sénégal. Senegalaise pour leto purchase farm implements. J.J. Kanjange Promotion de l’Agriculture Biologique. Sheikh(Director) PO Box 26, Matale, Ntcheu, Tidiane Dramé, aspab@telecomplus.snMalawi.Shiré Highland Organic Growers Organization. South AfricaGroup of certified organic growers in Malawi- Biodynamic Agricultural Association of Southmostly on expatriate farms but attempting to Africa. Intending to set up a certification andoutreach to indigenous farmers. Arthur inspection agency in South Africa. PieterSchwarz. PO Box 930, Blantyre, Malawi. Geernat PO Box 115, Paulshof 2056, South Africa.Mali Food Gardens Foundation. NGO promotingGroupe de Recherches et d’Applications food self-sufficiency in poor townships and The Real Green Revolution 139
  • 142. rural areas. Allda Boshoff SAPRD) and are expanding their role from a The Rainman Landcare Foundation. NGO regional to national level. They are also involved in promoting water harvesting and centrally involved in setting up the first national organic agriculture. Dr. Raymond Auerbach, organics conference and trying to develop the P.O. Box 2349, Hillcrest 3650, South Africa. organic sector. Elisabeth Nabanja-Makumbi PO Box 18272, Kayunga-Bugere UGANDA. Togo World Vision, Contact Fred Wajje, who is also Groupement des Jeunes pour l’Entraide et le IFOAM co-ordinator for anglophone African Development (GJED) Young peasant farmer countries. P.O. Box 5319, Kampala UGANDA group promoting organic farming in the Western plateau area of Togo. The main aims of the group are experimentation with OAA Zimbabwe and dissemination of successful methods Zimbabwe Organic Producers and Processors amongst villages. They have established a Association. Tom Deiters primary school where organic garden and teachings are at the heart of the curriculum. Asia Although they intended this to be a pilot project, they have not yet raised funds to Bangladesh replicate the venture in other villages. They Proshika. NGO seeking to promote have also established an information / economically viable ecological farming practices documentation centre where people can come into Bangladesh. and find out more about agroecology. They are seeking funding to translate key texts and information into local languages so that China villagers can more readily avail themselves of Agroecology Research Institute, China this resource. Komla FOLY Agricultural University, Beijing. One of China’s; leading agroecological research centres. Li WWOOF Togo – the only ‘Working Weekends Hufaen On Organic Farms’ group in the South that is China Green Food Development Centre, Shi registered with IFOAM. Yawo Tonato Agbeko Songkai China National Green Food Corporation, Shi Yongzhu Uganda Kulika Charitable Trust. Training organisation Intercontinental Centre for Agroecological recently relocated to Uganda. Industry Research and Development. Li Zhengfang Mirembe Self Help Organization of Uganda. Nanjing Global Organic Food Research and An active NGO group within the Ugandan Consulting Centre Xi Yunguan, OAA scene. They established a demonstration farm for organic farming and Agroforestry in Organic Food Development Centre of China, 1992 and provide extension and training Xingji Xiao, facilities. Their interests also cover appropriate technology and are renowned for having India developed a cassava flour substitute for cement. Campaign for Organic Farming. Kranti They have now been elevated by the Prakesh, government to the status of The National Green Foundation. Vanaja Ramprassad Resource Centre for Sustainable Agriculture and Participatory Rural Development (NRC- Institute for Integrated Rural Development.140
  • 143. Alexander V. Daniel Sungwon B’D 2/3 Garak Dong Songpa GuInternational Society for Nature Farming. I.S. Seoul 138-160, KoreaHooda Korean Society of Organic Agriculture – aNavdanya. NGO supporting the development more academic based organisation, that hasof community seedbanks. Vandanya Shiva promoted a number of national Development Society. C.K. George The Middle Eastern Centre for AppropriatePeople’s Organic Farm. Established in 1981 Technology. Lebanese based but pan Arabicand initially focused on establishing collective NGO interested in promoting OAA. They havefarm units. Have subsequently developed already undertaken some preliminary researchwatershed management, herb based community into potential of OAA and submitted a fundinghealth and conservation of medicinal plant bid to the EU to help promote OAA in theprogrammes. Are currently considering Lebanon and Syria. Boghos Ghougassiandeveloping organic agriculture as they recognise is the only way forward for Indianpeasantry to escape cycles of indebtedness. MalaysiaThey are currently developing local farmers Centre for Environment, Technology andgroups to experiment with biodynamic Development (CETDEM) have amethods. Hey are establishing a revolving demonstration organic farm with members(repayable) fund to facilitate farmers to make who visit for advice and training. They havethe initial labour inputs to developing also organised Malaysia’s first organic farmingcomposting systems. It is intended that those exhibition and are in discussion with theinitially involved in the project will go onto to government over drafting national standards.train other farmers, thereby creating a self- G. Singh Malaysiansustaining network. P. Mariaselvam, People’s Organic Farming Network. Choo Ghee SeklAgricultural Farm, 34 S. S. Nagar, Nizam, Pudukotti 622 001. India.Research Foundation for Science Technology Nepaland Ecology. Research and advocacy on the Ecological serves Centre, Kathmandu.dangers of corporatist agriculture. Vandanya Nationwide NGO promoting OAA. ProvidesShiva advice, training and extension to farmers working in a range of agroecologicalIndonesia conditions. Have supported more than 10,000Pusat Pendidkan Lingkungan Hiduup. farmers since they were set up. ContactNetwork of environmental education centres, Maheswar Ghimire. an interest in organic farming. Contact via Institute for Sustainable Agriculture Nepal (INSAN). Promoting permaculture in Nepal.World Food Day Farmers and Fishers Have recently undertaken major review of theMovement. See case study in main text. state of Nepalese agriculture (see main text forGregorius Utomo a summary). Bharat Shrestha or Govinda Sharma,Korea INSAN, PO Box 8126, Kathmandu, Nepal.Korea Organic Farming Association.Established in 1978 against government Pakistanopposition to organic practices. Currently Sustainable Development and Policy Institute.provides training to the National Co-operative Subsidiary of the Pakistan AgriculturalFederation groups. Jin Young. 4th Floor, Research Council, arranges seminars and links The Real Green Revolution 141
  • 144. for government functionaries, donor agencies demonstration farm where the techniques can and NGOs. be displayed. Lal Emmanuel (President) It is does not deal directly with the farming community. Nature Farming Research Centre. A research Thailand institute at the University of Agriculture, Green Net. Vitton Panyakui Faisalbad, which is said to have a good track record in demonstrating successful organic techniques, but is less successful at Turkey disseminating results to the farming ETKO. Currently has two projects: one in the community. southern part of Turkey where rural poverty is Pakistan Organic Farmers Association. Syed a harsh reality, the second in the mountainous Asad Husain 78 West Wood Colony, Lahore, western of Turkey, mostly focused on fruit 53700 producing (apples, pears, plums, cherries etc.). Both need assistance in agricultural advice and Palestine marketing. Mustafa Akyuz Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees. Ismael Daiq Vietnam Mountain Resources and Environment Centre. The Philippines Based at Thai Nguyen University in the north Broad Initiatives for Negros Development of Vietnam. The centre is committed to (BIND). See section on Philippines in main text. developing economically and environmentally Eva de la Merced, BIND Rm, 2F CGT Bldg. sustainable framing systems for this lagging Locsin cor. Luzuriaga Sts. Bacalod City, Negros region. It currently has a partnership Occidental, Philippines programme with International Global Change Flora Community. See section on Philippines in Institute in New Zealand, main text. Loiue Amongo c/o Masipag, 3346 in which they are seeking to promote organic Aguika Street, Rhoda Subd. Bgy. Anos, Los agriculture and address the needs of women, Banos, Laguna 4030, Philippines. the poorest, least educated and ethnic minority MASIPAG. See section on Philippines in main groups in the region. Nguyen Thi Mao, text. Angelina M. Briones (as above). MERC, College of Agroforestry, Thai Nguyen University, Thai Nguyen City, Vietnam. South Korea Coopération International pour le HanWooMool Farming Co-operative – Développement et la Solidarité. Nguyen Than involved in promoting organic agriculture through extension and schools, and Latin America manufacturing traditional herbal remedies for export to Japan. Argentina Centre for Investigation and Teaching on Sri Lanka Sustainable Agriculture (CIESA). NGO Gami Seva Sevana. NGO with interest in promoting OAA as a rural development promoting organic agriculture and village self- strategy. Fernando Pia reliance. L. Ranjith S. de Silva Moviemiento Argentino para la Produccion Nagenahiru Foundation. Conduct farmer field Organic (MAPO). Umbrella grouping for research in indigenous and agroecological organic movement in Argentina. More practices in remote parts of Sri Lanka. They commercially oriented. Rodolfo Tarraubella. attempt to disseminate results of best practice within local communities and run a142
  • 145. BoliviaAssoc. de Organisaciones de ProductoresEcologicós de Bolivia. Francisco e Servicios a Projectos emAgricultura Alternitiva (ASPTA). Jean Marcvon der Weid Aspta@ax.apc.orgAssociaçâo de Agricultura Organica (AAO).Wanderley das Neves or Ricardo Biodinámico. Biodynamicdevelopment and certification agency, whichalso runs a organic seedbank. RicaAsociación Nacional de Agricultura Organica.Gabriela Soto Munoz, working with some 45,000peasant farmers in Honduras and Guatemalapromoting sustainable (predominantly OAA)agriculture. Roland Interdisciplinario de Tecnologia RuralAproprida. Mexico’s appropriate technologygroup, involved in promoting OAA. MaterAstier, de Educación Capacitacion yTecnologia Campesina. Rural developmentNGO with an interest in OAA. Andres T.Wehrle cectec@sce.cnc.una.pyTrinidad and TobagoTrinidad and Tobago Organic AgricultureMovement. Everard Nicholas The Real Green Revolution 143
  • 146. Endnotes Argentina), Lukas Kilcher 10 Although normally (FiBL, Switzerland), Dr. Uli considered part of Oceania, 1 And, given the importance Zerger (SÖL, Germany), for the purpose of this of the European market, the Torsten Piecha (The Amber analysis, Papua New Guinea EU standard is at present the Foundation, Germany), has been included within most important. Carlo Ponzio (Sultan Farm Asian statistics. Co. Ltd., Egypt), Tadeu 2 11 The term organic Caldas (Ecotropic, UK) and At present there are only production also includes two John Myers (Soil three countries that have slightly more esoteric Association). achieved this status, approaches, ‘biodynamics’ Argentina, Bolivia and 7 and ‘permaculture’. A further IFOAM Brazil, all of whom rank publication, the organic highly amongst the top 3 As Raviv (op. cit.) points training directory (IFOAM, dozen organic producing out, this simultaneously 1995) was considered as a nations. brings general environmental potential resource, but is 12 and health benefits but also both out of print and quite For example, Scholer undermines the attractiveness dated. (2000) suggests that mor e of organic produce to than 90% of coffee grown in 8 consumers in the long term. The earlier of these were Ethiopia is probably de facto commissioned as part of the organic. If included in the 4 In this discussion we process of informing FAO’s figures this would probably exclude traditional decision over whether to exceed all the certified ‘extensive’ farming systems include organic agriculture organic land in Africa. such as ‘slash and burn’ or within its sustainable 13 extended fallowing, which agriculture programme. The However interpretations of do not incorporate soil more recent reports follow these statistics should be fertility management on from their decision to do treated with some caution as practices. Such systems often so, and are concerned with cultural, linguistic, rely on low (human) identifying a strategy for geographic or historical population density for their promoting OAA. factors may account for viability (Harrison, 1987) different organizational 9 and, as population pressure In some instances our structures in different increases, are becoming less surveys identified higher countries. sustainable. levels of certified organic 14 land than the work IFOAM President at the 5 As the project evolved, undertaken by SOL, time. numerous other web sites, particularly in the case of 15 mostly belonging to organic China and Uganda. In the Although increasingly these and rural development interests of consistency (and consultancies are opening agencies, were visited. An because we have not verified regional offices in the South annotated catalogue of these these figures through other and employing locally-based sites is provided in appendix sources) we retain SÖL’s staff (Hardy, Pers. Comm.) 1. estimates for this 16 comparative estimate, At the same time they also 6 These included: Bernard although discuss the other recognised and accepted the Geier (Director, IFOAM), figures in the country profiles potential value of GM Rodolfo Tarraubella elsewhere in the report. agriculture. (President MAPO,144
  • 147. 17 22 26 FAO Agriculture Although commentators We note here that given aDepartments Senior closer to the ground argue lack of use of artificialTechnical Advisor that these claims have been inputs, conversion can be significantly exaggerated and achieved relatively quickly.18 As well as studies while Cuba has achieved a 27referenced in this report FAO transition to a more In addition to thesehave recently published and / sustainable and less intensive countries the authors identifyor are presently preparing pattern of agriculture it is, that organic farming isreports on: factors with the exception of practised in Burkina Faso,influencing organic policies isolated initiatives, far from Ghana and Zambia,with a focus on developing organic (Kilcher, pers. although no figures arecountries; organic agriculture comm.,). Senegal; methodology for 23 28comparative analysis of Another example of Full details of ICIPE’sorganic, traditional and economic circumstance research activities can beconventional (sic) driving a change to organic found in their Business Planagriculture; a comparative methods is reported from and Research Outlook,study of different organic (the former) East Germany. (ICIPE, 2001).fertilisers; technical When barley growers 29Guidelines on Conservation couldn’t afford fungicides Given that the Directory isand processing of organic they inter-cropped different produced in the Philippinesfruits and vegetables and on barley varieties. Mildew this figure may reflectorganic horticultural infection fell from around stronger local affiliations.production. 50% to 10%, but after the 30 fall of the Berlin Wall they According to ITC, the19 Some schemes have a reverted to mono-cropping Korean Organic Associationspecific focus on increasing because the brewers has more than 17,000farmer incomes through preferred single variety grain members, so the level ofhelping them access premia (Stott, 2000). activity estimated here couldmarkets, for example be a substantial 24Swedish Government Equally, we find that underestimate.financed “Export of Organic Walaga’s argument that 31Produce from Producers in population pressure is ITC estimate that the landAfrica” – EPOPA. encouraging farmers to in organic production had intensify traditional systems increased by 25% by the end20 In our opinion Walaga not entirely convincing, as it of 1998.overlooks some constraints, might equally well act as an 32which are identified by other incentive to adopt (more The authors also identifyauthors and discussed later sophisticated) organic the existence of organicin this section. practices, especially given the farming in Pakistan and problems associated with Taiwan, but without21 Although, with a growing purchasing artificial inputs. quantifying its importance.tendency for setting up 25 33regional offices, employing One Senegalese farmer is Although both Soillocal staff, this is becoming a memorably quoted in Thiam Association and the Swissless pressing issue. and Dieng (1989) ‘without certifiers IMO have partner / chemical fertiliser it is better branch offices in India. to go to bed than to cultivate.’ The Real Green Revolution 145
  • 148. 34 See section 4.3 for more patent. They were supported reduce competing pressures details of this initiative. by a petition signed by half a for compostable material million Indian citizens. They (Omili et al, 1999) 35 See section 4.6 for a successfully managed to get 47 discussion of the issues the patent revoked by the Originally published in surrounding certification. European Patent Office on 1986, the new edition had the grounds that there was been significantly updated 36 Regulations are established no inventive step involved in and expanded. within some Provinces, the ‘invention’ (Anon, 48 including the State of Rio de 2000b). Other key texts in this Janeiro. field, identified but not 41 According to Blench the consulted by the authors, 37 For example it is not International Livestock include: Elwell and Maas’s permitted to clear forest Centre for Africa until (1995) practical guide to pest within 50m of running water recently discouraged research control in South and East (Chubb, 2000). on donkeys camels, pigs, Africa and Hoffman and rodents and indigenous bird Frodsham’s (1995) manual of 38 Earlier models have also species. natural enemies of vegetable been proposed, see for insect pests. 42 example Shiva, 1995. An ethnoveterinary 49 medicine mailing list has also Technical solutions to 39 A number of recently been created which detect attempts to cheat methodological issues need can be joined by sending a certification systems have resolving. For a discussion of blank email message to been developed by Terra these see Robens and Preservada Alimentos Lanting, 2000. Orgânicos in Brazil to 43 With some important monitor for GM 40 The issue of intellectual exceptions, discussed below. contamination of soybeans property rights of plants has (Colkusi & Grüninger 2000). 44 been a politically sensitive Whilst this report was in In Sri Lanka tea buyers are one in India since the 1990s press the authors’ attention experimenting with when W.R. Grace won a was drawn to a new comparative time series data patent for a fungicide derived publication (Giller, 2001) to spot likely cheating and from the seeds of the Neem addressing the issue of reduce the frequency and tree. This species was already nitrogen fixing in tropical cost of inspections. Farmers commonly used for this cropping systems. whose yields are significantly purpose in India and above local/regional averages 45 elsewhere in the world Omile et al (1999) note or past levels of production (Bullard, 1995). A coalition that in Ethiopia many would be subject to more of Indian-based NGOs, the farmers complained that soil rigorous/frequent inspections Research Foundation for erosion negates the potential (Ranaweeera and Thatill, Science Technology and benefits of applying artificial 2000). Natural Resource Policy, fertilisers. supported by IFOAM and 46 the European Parliamentary Thus strengthening the Green Group, mounted a argument for tree planting in campaign against the such regions which would, in granting of a European the medium to long term,146
  • 149. 50 55 This despite the emphasis At present the IFOAM standards, making it difficultof the original letters of charter includes a to advertise food that is bio-inquiry being upon commitment to: ‘allow dynamically or locally grownagriculture rather than everyone involved in organic (Burton, pers. comm.).upstream and value adding production and processing a 58activities. quality of life conforming to Cuba aside, one notable the UN Human Rights exception to this is the recent51 Published by Grolink and Charter, to cover their basic (and unprecedented) decisionavailable electronically at needs and obtain an by the parliament adequate return and Zanzibar to convert to 100% satisfaction from their work, organic agriculture, though it52 This derogation is due to including a safe working remains questionable howexpire at the end of 2004, environment’. (IFOAM, readily this can be achievedwhich raises questions about 1996) (Hampl, 2000).how producers from non 56 59listed countries will be able Notably, however, one See Morgan and Murdochto secure market access Swiss certifier will not permit (2000) for a discussion ofthereafter. organic produce to be air- this issue in a Northern freighted (Hardy, pers. context.53 A further three Southern comm.) 60organizations: in Argentina, This popular notion is, 57China and Thailand, are in This will only be possible however, challenged bythe process of applying. in some situations. There is Chinnakonda and Lanting some concern over the (2000).54 See Stopes et al. (2000) for organic standards introduceda more detailed discussion of in theUSA, which some fearthe regulation of biocides. might place a ‘ceiling’ on The Real Green Revolution 147
  • 150. Nicholas Parrott is a Research Associateat Cardiff University, studying the linksbetween organic and quality foods andrural development. His doctoral thesiswas on the environmental impact of roadschemes in rural Wales. Otherpublications include work on craftsproducers, artisanal cheesemaking,farmers markets and a walking guide The West Yorkshire Way.Professor Terry Marsden is Head of theDepartment of City and RegionalPlanning at Cardiff University. He ispresently Special Advisor on rural affairsfor the National Assembly of Wales,Special Advisor to the Welsh Affairs SelectCommittee and co-director of theEconomic and Social Research CouncilsResearch Centre for BusinessRelationships, Accountability,Sustainability and Society. His reasearchinterests are focused around ruraldevelopment, agro-food studies andenvironment policy and planning.
  • 151. For some, talk of sustainableagriculture sounds like a luxury thepoor can ill afford. But in truth it isgood science, addressing real needsand delivering real results.New ScientistGreenpeace Environmental TrustCanonbury Villas, London N1 2PN, United 3 12 ISBN 1 903907 02 0