Germany: organic agriculture gains importance in policy
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Organic agriculture can play an important role in fighting hunger and in the adaptation of agriculture to climate change. It is particularly suitable, even in challenging environments, to stabilise yields, and hence also income, create jobs and afford people with opportunities in their home countries. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) therefore invests in the strengthening of organic agriculture in Africa.
On Friday, 8th of September, the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Dr. Gerd Müller, has participated in the ‘One World Award’ ceremony in Legau, the headquarter of the organic pioneer Rapunzel. The Bund Ökologische Lebensmittelwirtschaft (BÖLW) and IFOAM - Organics International have welcomed that the Minister has highlighted the potential of organic agriculture to address global food security in his speech.
The Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development said: “We must design progress in agriculture in a manner that is sustainable and takes into account specific climates. Produce more using less resources – that is the challenge.” Dr. Felix Prinz zu Löwenstein, Chairman of BÖLW and himself a former development worker explained:
“Organic agriculture has experience gained over decades on how natural control mechanisms can be used intelligently. Particularly smallholder farmers in the global south can achieve higher and more secure yields through organic methods.”
Dr.Gerd Müller (BMZ, German Ministery of Development) and Joseph Wilhelm, Rapunzel at the One World Award 2017 (© Rapunzel).
Representatives of the Ministry and of associations met for a round table only a few weeks earlier in order to explore the potential roles of agroecology and the value chain of certified organic agriculture in German development cooperation.
Markus Arbenz, Executive Director of IFOAM - Organics International knows of such examples from around the world, involving farmers from organisations that are members in IFOAM – Organics International. “It is impressive how soil fertility and climate resilience can be built up in this way. On top of that many farmers have the possibility of earning additional income through the sales of high-quality certified organic products both for export and for their national market!” Federal Minister Dr. Gerd Müller concluded: “Experiences like these can enrich our projects. We want to use this knowledge to reduce hunger and poverty,”