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1st International Conference on Agro ecology Transforming Agriculture & Food Systems in Africa

Calendar
Events
Date
06.18.2019 - 06.21.2019
Author
Mike

Description

                                                An Action towards sustainable Health, Nutrition, Consumption and Trade 

 

1st International Conference on Agro ecology Transforming Agriculture

& Food Systems in Africa

 

Reducing Synthetic Fertilizers and Pesticides through Scaling Up Agro ecology, Promoting Ecological Organic Trade 

 

Safari Park Hotel & Casino, Nairobi, Kenya  (18th - 21st June, 2019)

 

Organized by the World Food Preservation Centre, Biovision Africa Trust and IFOAM Organics International with their partners

 

 Prepared by Biovision Africa Trust Nairobi, Kenya

 

 

           

Table of Contents

1  Background................................................................................................................... 3

1.1  Revisiting Synthetic Pesticides and Fertilizers.............................................................................................. 3

1.2  Agro ecology.............................................................................................................................................. 3

1.3  Global Advocacy Project (GAP).................................................................................................................... 4

1.3  The Organic Trade and Value Chain Development in East Africa (OTEA) Project........................................... 4

1.4  Rationale for merging of the Pesticide Congress and Eastern Africa Agro ecology and OTEA ..........................

Conference....................................................................................................................................................... 5

2  Conference Objectives................................................................................................... 6

2.1  Overall objectives....................................................................................................................................... 6

2.2  Conference Participants.............................................................................................................................. 7

2.3  Main Indicators.......................................................................................................................................... 8

3  Organizational Set up and Management....................................................................... 8

3.1 Operational structure and TOR of the various implementers........................................................................ 8

3.2 Partnership Arrangements........................................................................................................................... 9

4 Theme and Content........................................................................................................ 9

4.1  Conference Narrative................................................................................................................................. 9

4.2  Scaling up Agro ecology and Organic Agriculture....................................................................................... 10

4.3 Exhibitions................................................................................................................................................ 10

4.4 Thematic Areas......................................................................................................................................... 11

5  Events Concepts and Program..................................................................................... 13

5.1  Overall Conference Program..................................................................................................................... 13

5.2  Conference Program................................................................................................................................. 13

5.2.1 Overview...................................................................................................................................... 13

5.2.2 Plenaries...................................................................................................................................... 14

5.2.3 Conference tracks for breakout sessions........................................................................................ 14

5.3 Exhibition Program.................................................................................................................................... 15

5.4 Side Events................................................................................................................................................ 15

6 Logistics....................................................................................................................... 15

6.1  Venues..................................................................................................................................................... 15

6.2 Participant management........................................................................................................................... 16

6.3 Information management.......................................................................................................................... 16

6.4  Sponsored participants............................................................................................................................. 16

6.5  Services.................................................................................................................................................... 16

6.5.1 Transportation and accommodation.............................................................................................. 16

6.5.2 Interpretation............................................................................................................................... 16

6.5.3 Food and beverages...................................................................................................................... 16

6.5.4 Media/advocacy services.............................................................................................................. 16

7  Marketing and Communication................................................................................... 16

7.1 Registration............................................................................................................................................... 16

7.2 Promotion................................................................................................................................................. 16

7.3 Sponsors and partners............................................................................................................................... 17

8 Important links and information.................................................................................. 17

Principles of Agro ecology............................................................................................................................... 17

Principles of (Ecological) Organic Agriculture................................................................................................... 18

 

 

1        Background

1.1          Revisiting Synthetic Pesticides and Fertilizers

Worldwide, an estimated 3.5 billion kilograms of pesticides is applied to crops each year, and that number is steadily increasing as developing nations are steadily transitioning over to chemical-based agriculture in a misguided and misinformed effort to increase yield and lower cost. The use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides has been linked to a number of environmental problems and issues. The chemicals contained in them not only stay on the plants they are used on, but also seep into the soil, the ground water, and are carried by the breeze sometimes for miles where they then contaminate other plants. The risk these chemicals pose to human health is even more worrying. According to the UN, 90% of synthetic pesticide fatalities come from developing countries and estimated costs from synthetic pesticide poisonings in sub-Saharan Africa now exceed the total annual overseas development aid given to the African region for basic health services. By 2020, if not curbed, the accumulated cost of illness and injury linked to pesticides in small-scale farming in sub-Saharan Africa could reach US$90 billion. Moreover, the future of food production will not and cannot look like current conventional agriculture. The negative externalities of just one part of that system–synthetic nitrogen fertilizer– is compounding and accelerating the interrelated problems of fossil fuel dependency, soil degradation, water pollution, human health, and global warming. To reduce the increasing negative effects of the chemical-based agriculture, various partners coordinated by the World Food Preservation CenterLLC (WFPC) decided to organize the “All Africa Congress on Synthetic Pesticides, Environment, Human and Animal Health” aimed at reducing the deadly impact of synthetic pesticides in Africa. It is the first congress of its kind, to bring together experts from the agricultural, environmental, and health sectors to strategically and effectively tackle this "wicked" problem.

The upcoming congress considers for the first time the total impact of synthetic pesticides on African populations, their animals, their living environment, and government/household economies. The most effective technologies and strategies to mitigate the negative impact of synthetic pesticide contaminations will be explored and recommendations made.

1.2         Agro ecology 

There has been a growing interest in agro ecology in recent years as an innovative and sustainable response to the challenges facing our food and agriculture systems. In particular, this has been since 2014 with FAO playing a leading role in facilitating global dialogue on agro ecology.

Through a series of 9 regional and international multi-stakeholder meetings, more than 2,100 participants from 170 countries have come together to discuss the potential of agro ecology to transform food and agriculture systems, as well as identify needs and priorities to scale up agro ecology as a strategic approach to achieve Zero Hunger and the SDGs. This process culminated in the 2nd International Symposium on Agro ecology in April 2018 in Rome, where FAO and UN Partners launched a Scaling Up Agro ecology Initiative, marking a shift in focus from dialogue to action. 

With the Scaling Up Agro ecology Initiative by FAO, there is drive for sharing enough evidence of how application of knowledge and practices of agro ecology are creating impact to inform policy and continued wide-scale application by farmers. This further is pushing the need for:

  1. Harnessing the growing body of evidence demonstrating positive impacts of agro ecology using a unified and robust framework to allow for local context – specificity analysis and flexibility for data aggregation and meta-analysis on the multi-dimensional performance of agro ecological systems to inform practice and policy action.
  2. Sharing success practical examples of agro ecological systems and practices demonstrating multiple benefits (economic, environmental, social, cultural, etc.) to motivate wide-scale adoption and application.
  3. Strategies of using evidence and successful cases to promote scaling up of agroecological systems.
  4. Strategies to promote local and export marketing and utilization of produce from Agroecological practices.

1.3          Global Advocacy Project (GAP)

 The “Global Advocacy Project(GAP) 2017-2020” implemented by  Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT) and PELUM Kenya, funded by SSNC and others aims at contributing to the Scaling up Agro ecology Initiative and at bringing the agro ecology discussion to policymakers and other key stakeholders in Eastern Africa, particularly Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda. The planned conference is a key moment to spread the ideas to stakeholders, media, policy makers and interested public.

It is also a key output for the SSNC supported GAP project. The outcomes of this activity directly influence Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) at national, regional and continental levels. Thus, the GAP project offers complementary and side support to the EOA six pillar work through civil society support action. Through the GAP project BvAT and PELUM Kenya are supporting the advocacy component of the EOA work. The integration of a trade component as envisaged in the OTEA regional conference is considered appropriate for strengthening organic markets and trade.

During the conference BvAT will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary and will be happy to do so with some of its partners. The anniversary shall be a side-event to this conference and shall be used as a networking forum for engaging with the partners. 

1.3          The Organic Trade and Value Chain Development in East Africa (OTEA) Project

The Organic Trade and Value Chain Development in East Africa (OTEA) project is the last phase of a long standing (starting with the EPOPA project in the late 1990s) investment by SIDA, Swedish International Development Cooperation and Agency. The project is implemented across five East African countries: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi through the National Organic Agriculture Movements (NOAMS). The main objective of OTEA is “to increase trade with organic products, by supporting development of enabling regional policies, a capacitated production and trade environment, and an increased consumer awareness”. 

The following aspects are in focus:

  1. Emphasizing the policy / advocacy component at local, national and regional level and facilitating processes for organic policies to mainstream organic agriculture.
  2. Supporting regional African processes to better exchange information, learn from each other and identify most critical issues to be addressed.
  3. Inclusive approach: involving governments, private sector representatives, NGOs, and considering gender and youth aspects.

During the final year of the project it is planned to conduct a regional conference that will focus on showcasing the OTEA achievements and good practices at grassroots level up to the national and regional policy dialogue. It is expected to pave the way for a sustainable organic trade development in East Africa in particular and Africa in general.

The OTEA conference had been planned for May 2018 to be held in Uganda. However, Uganda facing challenges with its National Organic Agriculture Movement (NOGAMU) brought up again the discussion of venue. The conference is meant to be a key output of the OTEA project and the location plays a crucial role to assure a substantial display of organic products and participation of operators in the organic value chain. The conference is to be used as a platform for sharing the results of OTEA project. SIDA has granted a No Cost Extension (NCE) for the OTEA project until July 2019.

1.4 Rationale for merging of the Pesticide Congress and Eastern Africa Agro ecology and

OTEA Conference  

World Food Preservation CenterLLC (WFPC) organizing The “1st All Africa Synthetic Pesticide Congress” and Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT) and IFOAM Organics International (IFOAM OI) organizing the Eastern Africa Conference on “Scaling up Agro ecology and Ecological Organic Trade” have decided to merge their planned events and join forces with their partners in Africa and worldwide in order to use synergies for the complementary objectives. The two groups now have a joint conference called the “1st International Conference on Agro ecology, Transforming Agriculture & Food Systems in Africa: Reducing Synthetic Pesticides and Fertilizers by Scaling up Agro ecology and Promoting Ecological Organic Trade”. The conference will be held at the Safari Park Hotel & Casino, Nairobi, Kenya on June 18th -21st, 2019.

The “1st All Africa Congress on Synthetic Pesticides, Environment, Human and Animal Health” has expanded its goals by the recognition of Agro ecology as a means of combatting synthetic pesticides and fertilizers contamination on the African continent and ensuring actions towards true sustainable agriculture and food systems. The “Agro ecology and Ecological Organic Trade Conference” equally sees the need to address threats posed by reliance on synthetic pesticides and fertilizers to sustainable agriculture and food systems.  

The motivating idea is therefore to organize an inclusive event that attracts many stakeholders in order to make it an effective moment for transformational change in agriculture, value chains, and food systems in Africa. This stems from the following thinking:

  1. The organizers for OTEA and agro ecology conference are partly the same targeting almost the same participants from the same region and with similar objectives. Holding one conference will help participants to focus their perspectives, create more synergies and strengthen partnerships and collaboration.
  2. A joint conference would help thrash out the confusion brought about by use of different terminologies and clarify the systems, concepts and practices used by different stakeholders by articulating areas of convergence and avoiding confusing policy makers and practitioners. (Importance of policy formulation and articulation)
  3. A joint conference will foster cost sharing and increase value for money. This will also optimize the impact by concentrating efforts (emphasizing on trade, production, consumption, etc).
  4. The event provides the opportunity for the GAP and OTEA projects to showcase their achievements.

2        Conference Objectives

2.1          Overall objectives

The overall objective of the merged Conference is to facilitate the establishment of truly sustainable food and agriculture systems in Africa on grassroots, trade and policy levels. The event aims at:

1.  Reducing synthetic fertilizers and pesticides

  1. Raising awareness of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers contamination in the African continent through data and information sharing.
  2. Document the impact of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers contamination on human/animal health and environment in the African continent.
  3. Identify and disseminate appropriate and effective technologies and practices to reduce synthetic pesticides and fertilizers contamination in the African continent.
  4. Identify synthetic pesticides and fertilizers ‘skill gaps’ and ‘knowledge gaps’ in Africa’s educational and extension systems.
  5. Identify effective strategies and policy interventions.
  6. Provide platform for participants to build networks and partnerships for resource mobilization geared towards synthetic pesticides and fertilizer use reduction.
  7. Generate a comprehensive action plan for the reduction of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers contamination in the African continent
  8. It is increasingly recognized that technologies, practices and innovations drawn on agro ecology provide the "solutions" to synthetic pesticide contamination.

 

2. Launching the FAO Scaling up Agro ecology Initiative in Eastern Africa

  1. To provide opportunity for sharing concepts and frameworks for implementing and analyzing impacts of agroecological based systems.
  2. To provide a platform for sharing successful processes and cases of agroecological based systems and interventions to motivate information exchange and sharing, scaling up and replication.
  3. To provide opportunity for networking – sharing knowledge and solutions
  4. To provide a forum to stimulate a multi-sectoral policy dialogue in Agroecological based systems and interventions to contribute to influencing policy decisions and actions towards mainstreaming at local, national and regional levels.
  5. To provide an opportunity for a multi stakeholder engagement with Women, Youth, NGOs, Private sector, Governments etc to promote and sustain future partnerships in Agro ecology.

 

3. Showcasing opportunities and potential of Ecological Organic domestic and regional trade in East Africa

  1. To provide evidence of achievements and effectiveness of best practices in processing, marketing and trade;
  2. To highlight best policy development tools and best practices for supporting public and private sectors;
  3. To share and facilitate business development opportunities and access to knowledge and networks;
  4. To highlight consumer concerns and solutions how to address those in Eastern Africa.
  5. To discuss private sector needs to accelerate ecological organic trade.

 

Outcome of the Conference: 

At the end of the conference we expect to come up with: 

  1. A communique of Action Plan for Change
  2. Documentation of the conference through Photography and videography
  3. Conference Proceedings Report

2.2          Conference Participants

The conference will be graced by keynote speakers renowned for their various outstanding achievements for a fair and better world for all. Such speakers include Professor Hans Herren, the first Swiss to receive the 1995 World Food Prize and the 2013 Right Livelihood Award (alternate Nobel Prize) for leading a major biological control effort, Professor Tyrone Hayes, UC Berkley, who has pioneered in establishing that the herbicide atrazine is an endocrine disruptor that demasculinised and feminizes male frogs; and Prof. Zeya Khan who has led advances and developments in the agro ecology-based Push-Pull technology controlling some of the major challenges to agricultural development. Other keynote speakers at the congress are on the forefront of research on the impact of synthetic pesticides and GMOs on the health of humans, animals, and the environment; role of policies and businesses in scaling up agro ecology. Also, world leading scientists will be speaking on regenerative agriculture and food sovereignty. 

The participants include the implementing partners and extended network of the two undertakings, OTEA and GAP projects as well as interested other parties. Those providing experiences from a production, scientific, advisory and other sector services, business and (inter)governmental policy perspectives are equally important just as newcomers to agro ecology wanting to explore the opportunities of the strongly growing organic sector. Participants find inspiration, answers to questions, new contacts and the opportunity to join a global initiative for the individual, local, national and East Africa regional benefits. The audience also includes (international) guests that want to witness and support agro ecological/ecological organic progress. Participants will be drawn from:

  • Farmers and Farmer Organizations
  • Researchers, extensionists and practitioners
  • Civil Society and NGOs
  • Traders and private companies in Organic Industry
  • Consumer associations
  • Strategic partners and donor agencies
  • Policy makers (Ministries of Agriculture and related line ministries and agencies)
  • Academia (Universities and research institutions)
  • Institutional and individual donors (e.g. SDC, SSNC, Biovision)
  • Local, national, regional and international media

Expected number of participants is 500 out of them is expected 30 VIPs (donor agencies, high-level business people, government representatives, African Union representatives).

2.3          Main Indicators

Participation: Number of participants, number of exhibition booths registered and set up. B2B meetings held, in the various formats, countries of origin, number of youths and women participants. 

Engagement: National and international partners in the various categories.

Message and advocacy: Participation of policy makers, media coverage, and number of success stories shared.

Satisfaction: Feedback from delegates and partners. 

Economic viability: Profit or loss, budget line monitoring of expenditures and income.

3        Organizational Set up and Management

3.1          Operational structure and TOR of the various implementers

The conference will be steered by three structures:

  1. Joint Conference Secretariat (JSC)
  2. Local Organizing Committee (LOC)
  3. Regional Organizing Committee (ROC)

 

The main organizers establish a Joint Conference Secretariat (JSC), consisting of organizations that are recipient of funds and bear the biggest economic risk. (BvAT, WFPC and IFOAM OI).

Local Organizing Committee (LOC) and a Regional Organizing Committee (ROC). The JSC and LOC are also part of the ROC. The JSC takes relevant decisions on budget, has oversight on the management and takes the overall responsibilities. The LOC supports the JSC and ensures that all logistics and practical considerations of the conference are well handled.  The ROC is an advisory committee that provides ideas, makes recommendations and mobilizes its stakeholders.

The LOC consists of one representative of BvAT, OTEA, IFOAM OI, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Trade (Export Processing Council). The ROC includes representatives of Pelum Kenya, AfrONet, KOAN, TOAM, ROAM, BOAM, ISD, AFSA, Ministry of Agriculture, Kenya, Ministry of Trade, Kenya, the African Union, SSNC, Biovision CH, SDC, SAT, BIOFACH and FAO. The ROC meets via the Internet (the Nairobi based organizations meet in person). The members of the committee are volunteering for the event and don’t get compensated for costs and time. 

The Conference manager is a non-voting member of both committees. The Conference manager is staff of BvAT and he/she leads the management team and the operations. 

BvAT is mandated to organize the event and implement operations. It can draw on services from professional conference organizers. BvAT works in compliance with the agreements with the various donors and sponsors (SSNC, SDC, Biovision CH, IFOAM OI/Sida, BIOFACH, etc) and reports to them.

 

3.2          Partnership Arrangements

        1. Joint Conference Secretariat

The organizers are the main responsible and bear the economic risk: Biovision Africa Trust and IFOAM Organics International.

  1. Local organizing committee

The Local organizing committee (LOC)- BvAT, IFOAM OI, PELUM Kenya, KOAN, MOA-Kenya, Ministry of Trade (Export Processing Council).

          3. Regional Organizing Committee

The Co-organizers profile themselves as organizations, benefit from visibility and contribute with advice. They mobilize their networks and communicate content. Co-organizers don’t pay and don’t get paid.

KOAN, TOAM, ROAM, BOAM, NOGAMU, ISD, Pelum Kenya, AFSA, AU, FiBL,  FAO Rome and FAO Kenya office, AfrONet, RSC, CSC, OTEA, BvAT and PELUM Kenya.

         4. Donors, Sponsors and Advisors

Donors and sponsors contribute financial means and get visibility. Their content advice and mobilization of networks is also appreciated. SSNC, Sida, SDC, Biovision CH, ProFound, etc.

         5. Private and public sector partners/exhibitors 

Private and public sector partners participate actively in the trade forum with a poster/roll up banner. Exhibition delegates get visibility in the conference program.

Companies (OTEA partners to identify), institutions, ProFound, Green Rhino.

          6. Science and policy dialog partners

Science and policy dialog partners are made visible in the conference program and participate as speakers. We try to engage leading organizations. No fees apply to them.

ICIPE, ILRI, BMZ/GIZ, CIAT, Access Agriculture, KALRO, CABI International, Bioversity International, Hivos, Global Landscape Forum, IPES Food, Global Alliance for the Future of Food, SOCLA, Agro ecology Europe etc. 

  1.   Media

The Organic Farmer, Organic without Boundaries, Organic Market Info, etc.

 

4        Theme and Content 

 

4.1          Conference Narrative

The world faces challenges: poverty, hunger and malnutrition are prevailing, the global society has unfair distribution of wealth and power, we lose biodiversity of life forever, the natural resources like soil and water are deteriorating and the planet ́s climate is changing.  

Agriculture and related value chains, as presently practiced, are among the main causes of the above-mentioned challenges and are responsible for bringing the planet to its limit. There is a wide consensus that we need to move towards more sustainable agriculture and food systems and that business as usual is not an option any more. 

 

But it’s also recognized that agriculture, done differently, can also be part of the solution. If we get it right with agriculture and food systems, we get it right for people and the planet! Agro ecology including Ecological Organic Agriculture offer practical solutions to address major global challenges. 

Previous conference organizers (Addis Ababa Declaration on Agro ecology, Ecological Organic Agriculture and Food Sovereignty: The Way Forward for Nutrition and Health in Africa: November 2016) have urged the African continent leadership, the private sector, the farmers and their associations, the development partners and other actors to adopt and support a compelling, appropriate and inclusive narrative for sustainable and equitable food systems in Africa.  

Based on evidence of successful practitioners in the field and in the trade around the world, based on the calls of world leaders in agriculture including from FAO and African Union, we believe that agro ecology/ecological organic production systems are the true future of East Africa’s food systems. These systems are very knowledge intensive and take advantage of both traditional knowledge and modern science through collaboration between farmers and researchers based on mutual respect. They can deliver not only on economic objectives, but also on environmental, social, cultural, nutritional and health objectives. 

Such new strategies acknowledge that small-scale farmers already produce 70% of the world’s food, and that following agro ecological and organic principles and practices, African small- scale farmers can produce adequate food to feed the continent sustainably, provided they have secure access to land, water, seeds/breeds and other natural resources. Acting responsibly, the private sector and its processing food and trade activities can contribute to wealth without hampering ecological, social and economic environments.

This Conference will underscore the call for private and public decision makers to support food and agricultural systems and practices that are healthy, equitable, efficient, resilient, and culturally diverse, using renewable energy resources. The Conference also shall emphasize and strongly support women’s role in the production of nutritious food, recognizing the importance of engaging the women, youth and communities as active partners in sustainable food systems. Finally, the Conference shall endorse the right of people, communities and countries to define their own food systems, which are ecologically, socially, economically and culturally appropriate to their unique contexts, and to empower producers and consumers to make better decisions and choices. 

 

4.2         Scaling up Agro ecology and Organic Agriculture

FAO calls for a scaling up agro ecology. The vision is to bring agro ecology to scale and transform food and agricultural systems to achieve the SDGs. It states that agro ecology is key to transforming food and agricultural systems that embrace the spirit of the 2030 agenda and it sees growing scientific evidence and local experiences that demonstrate how agro ecology facilitates and contributes to transition to food and agricultural systems that are environmentally sustainable, economically fair, viable and socially equitable. http://www.fao.org/3/I9049EN/i9049en.pdf  

The Global Organic Movement (IFOAM OI) approved in 2017 its Organic 3.0 roadmap which aims at enabling the widespread uptake of truly sustainable farming systems and markets based on organic principles. https://www.ifoam.bio/sites/default/files/summary_organic3.0_web_1.pdf  

 

4.3          Exhibitions

There are long term plans to establish the BIOFACH Organic Trade Fairs in Africa. Initial conversations proposed the use a conference or a small trade fair to start slowly with moderated exhibition/trade activities that provide an attractive offer to private sector stakeholders to establish an organic Business to Business (B2B) platform in Africa. Nairobi, Kenya has been identified as the more appropriate host city for the fair in Eastern Africa. 

There are clear synergies between BIOFACH Africa and the objectives of making the scaling up of agro ecology a reality and the ambition to make the OTEA investments and achievements sustainable.

This event is an opportunity for carefully planting the first seed for a BIOFACH Africa for which a launch is planned in 2020. This Conference will hence include exhibitions by BIOFACH Management (the BIOFACH management to be invited to present), branding, and poster presentation space.

 

4.4          Thematic Areas

  1. Reducing Synthetic fertilizers and pesticides
    1. Impact of synthetic inputs.
    2. Alternative environmentally based technologies and methodologies to reduce synthetic pesticide use and contamination
  2. Scaling up Agro ecology
    1. Frameworks, methods of performance assessment and scaling up strategies for Agro ecology.
    2. Partnerships, networking and financing innovations.
  3. Best practices towards food security, nutrition, consumption and health
  4. Strengthening Ecological Organic Trade, Markets and Economy
  5. Policies and legislation success efforts in synthetic fertilizers and pesticides reduction, Agro ecology and Ecological Organic Trade.

Thematic Area 1: Reducing Synthetic fertilizers and pesticides

Current research demonstrates that agro ecology and biologically diversified farming systems can meet global food needs sustainably and efficiently, as they outperform chemically managed monocultures across a wide range of globally important ecosystem services while producing sufficient yields and reducing resource waste throughout the food system. Research and development related to diversified systems, however, commands less than two percent of public agricultural research funding. Such “knowledge gap” underpins the “yield gap” that is often raised as the impediment to transitioning a greater share of global agriculture to diversified, agro ecological production. Under this theme presentations will be made to demonstrate the impact of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers on human, animal and environmental health and the possible mitigation measures to reduce the health risks to health of Humans, Animals and the Environment.

Thematic Area 2: Frameworks, scaling up strategies and methods of performance assessment of Agro ecology/EOA practices and systems

Demonstrating the impact of agro ecology and ecological organic agriculture to provide solutions in sustainable agriculture through interdisciplinary collaboration has been underscored in various forums including those by FAO. Efforts are being made to develop tools to support evidence-based decision-making including an analytical framework to assess the multi-dimensional impacts of agro ecology and a supporting database. The ultimate purpose is to demonstrate evidence on the multi-dimensional performance of agro ecological systems and to use this evidence to influence policy-making. This conference welcomes presentations on available frameworks around agro ecology /ecological organic agriculture practices and systems that can support efforts of deriving a unified and robust framework to allow for local context – specificity analysis and flexibility for data aggregation and meta-analysis on the multi-dimensional performance of agro ecological systems to inform practice and policy action. Scaling up agro ecology and EOA matches the transformative ambitions of the global SDGs, continental, regional and national agendas and will support countries to meet their commitments. Transitions require innovations in policies, rural institutions and partnerships, as well as in the production, processing, marketing and consumption of nutritious food, leading to sustainability and equity throughout the entire food and agricultural systems. Scaling up agro ecology and EOA requires overcoming key challenges while harnessing emerging opportunities. Transitions require putting in place long-term processes that must start urgently.

Thematic Area 3: Food security, nutrition and Sustainable Consumption

Agro ecology plays a key role in enhancing food security, nutrition and sustainable consumption; all which are key development goals in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS).  The Food and Agriculture Organization defines food security to having physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food, which meets the dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Nutrition security means access to adequate utilization and absorption of nutrients in food to be able to live a healthy and active life. Sustainable consumption refers to the use of products and services that have minimal impact to the environment for both present and future generations. Increasing sustainable consumption patterns around the world contributes to reduced pressure on the planet and its natural resources and environmental destruction with agro ecology being a key contributor.

Thematic Area 4: Strengthening Ecological Organic Trade, Markets and Economy

Based on evidence of successful practitioners in the field and in the trade around the world, agro ecology/ecological organic production systems have proven to be more sustainable in terms of productivity and profitability. They deliver not only on economic objectives, but also on environmental, social, cultural, nutritional and health objectives. All outlets that sell organic products in East Africa always report under supplies, inconsistent supplies, difficulties in aggregating produce from small holder farmers among other challenges. This conference will provide a platform to share successful marketing models and identify solutions to the recurrent challenges of marketing organic produce from small holder farmers including consumer concerns of quality, consistency and accessibility among others.

Thematic Area 5: Policies and legislation success efforts in synthetic fertilizers and pesticides reduction, Agro ecology and Ecological Organic Trade.

There is need to showcase successes and efforts being made to create a viable policy and legislation environment for agro ecology/EOA. Policies being advocated for should have a multi-sectoral approach from production to market. Some key priority policies being pushed by FAO focus on food security, internal and local markets and support to family farmers and small- scale producers. There is therefore need to demonstrate successful cases of agro ecology and EOA policies and legislations in the continent. This thematic area calls for successful examples of agro ecology that exist at local and national levels that provide innovative and contextualized solutions, based on the combination of science with traditional, indigenous, practical and local knowledge and such cases should have been scaled up with the support of public policies, networks of knowledge exchange, strengthening rural institutions and improving access to markets.

 

 

5        Events Concepts and Program

5.1          Overall Conference Program 

Date/time

Event

Venue

17th June 2019

Arrivals, meetings of special groups, welcome panel

 

18th June 2019

Morning

Opening and keynotes

Plenary

Afternoon

Breakout sessions and facilitated  exhibitions

Plenary and breakout session

19th June 2019  

          Morning/Afternoon

Breakout/exhibition area               and facilitated exhibition

 

                    Evening

BvAT 10th Anniversary Gala

Gala venue

20th June 2019

Morning

Plenary and breakout session and facilitated exhibition

Breakout/exhibition area

Afternoon

Final keynotes and declaration

 

21st June 2019

Full Day

Excursions and special conferences

 Farm tour

 

5.2          Conference Program

5.2.1     Overview

Time slots

18th   June 

19th June

20th  June

21st June

9.00-9.45

 Opening and keynotes 

Media conference

Plenary

 

 

 

Excursions and

Special programs

9.45 – 10.00

Plenary

Coffee Break

 

 

 

 

10.00-12.00

Break out

Opening and keynotes

Breakout 4

 

 

12.00-13.30

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

Breakout

sessions and

facilitated             

 

 

 

 

13.30-14.50

Breakout 1

Breakout/Exhibitions 5

14.50 – 15.10

Coffee Break

Coffee Break

15.10-16.20

Breakout/Exhibitions 2

Breakout/Exhibitions 6

16.20 – 16.40

Breakout/

exhibition area

                                 

exhibitions

Coffee Break

Coffee Break

 

16.40-18.00

Breakout/Exhibitions 3

Closing plenary

18.30-22.00

Welcome panel

BvAT anniversary Gala

 

 

5.2.2     Plenaries

There are 3 plenary sessions:

Opening Plenary for 2 hours: Opening with AU/FAO/Gov and organizer reps and 2 keynotes. 

Second day Plenary for 45 minutes: Summary of the breakouts and 1 inspirational keynote. 

Closing Plenary for 1.5 hours: 1. presentation of Agro ecology upscaling claims by various stakeholder groups 2. Final keynote from AU and 3. Final panel discussion of important conference speakers (organizers, keynote speakers, policy reps).

 

5.2.3     Conference tracks for breakout sessions

During the breakout sessions the various stakeholders discuss their specific issues and pursue their objectives. The thematic areas/forums will be organized to have four sessions. The thematic areas will be organized along scientific paper presentations, project achievements, discussions and exhibitions. Participants can choose which thematic area to follow or they can switch from session to session.

 Overview of the Five (5 sessions)

 

Thematic areas/Forums

Methodology

Presenters and Key speakers

I.

Reducing Synthetic fertilizers and pesticides: Impact of synthetic inputs and alternative environmentally based technologies and methodologies to reduce synthetic pesticide use and contamination 

Presentations, Panel and Fishbowl discussions including policy debates

-    WFPC

-    EOA-I

-    Researchers

-    Academicians

-    Farmers 

 

II.

Frameworks, scaling up strategies, and methods of performance assessment of Agro ecology/EOA practices and systems. 

Presentations, Panel and Fishbowl discussions including policy debates

-    FAO 

-    EOA-I

-    Researchers

-    Academicians

-    Farmers 

III.

Food security, nutrition, consumption and health. 

 

Scientific papers

Country reports and development of

recommendations

 

Presentations about a) science in Africa b) evidence for practitioners and policy makers

-    National Organic Agriculture Movements (NOAMs)

-    EOA-I

-    AFSA

-    Consumer Associations

-    Researchers

-    Academicians - Farmers

-    Policy makers

IV.

Markets, trade and economy. 

 

Project presentations 

 

Fishbowls and facilitation of trade exhibition with various methods

-                 NOAMS

-                 Certification bodies

-                 Private companies

-                 Researchers

-                 Academicians - Farmers

-                 Policy makers

V.

Policies and legislation success efforts in Agro ecology/EOA and trade. 

 

Presentations about successful cases of agro ecology and EOA policies and legislations

 

Panel and Fishbowl discussions including policy debates

-    Policy makers 

-    NOAMS

-    Researchers

-    Academicians

-    Farmers

The use of art will be explored to make the conference more attractive and appealing to the youth and all other participants.

5.3          Exhibition Program

Private sector actors are invited to get an exhibition pass. They get the right to get a small high table (e.g. round with diameter of 60- 70 cm) and to put information materials, products and 2 roll up banners in the exhibition area. The facilitation of the exhibition is part of the trade forum organized by IFOAM Organics/OTEA/. The exhibition has 2 areas a) Third party branded (promotion of certified OA) and b) PGS branded (e.g. using Kilimohai logo) and non-branded (non-certified).

5.4          Side Events

The organizations get the opportunity to make their own side events (if desirable it may be mentioned in the official program) at their own costs on 17th and 21st of June. Examples of such meetings may include but not limited to the EOAI Continental Steering Committee (CSC), INOFO gathering, World Board meeting, African Knowledge Hub meeting, AFSA meeting, AfrONet meeting etc.

Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT) is organizing its 10th anniversary gala on the evening of the first conference day (25th of June) to which participants are invited. BvAT is a not-for-profit organization, established in Kenya in 2009 by the Biovision Foundation for ecological development in Switzerland. For 10 years, the trust is contributing to alleviate poverty and improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Kenya and other African countries through supporting dissemination of information and knowledge. Its programs effectively disseminate relevant information to the farmers and the institution looks back to a very dynamic and impressive development with a stark growth of its activities and impacts.

The anniversary shall be a side event to this conference and be used as a synergy. It shall make at the same time make the conference attractive to the participants and attract new participants.

The conference offers an excursion (with extra fee) for participants. Visit to agroecological farms and research partners.

6        Logistics 

6.1          Venues

Host city is Nairobi. The venue is Safari Park hotel & Casino, Nairobi, Kenya.

6.2          Participant management

Participants need to register online on the conference Website (hosted by BvAT). They are entitled to get an invitation letter for facilitation of Kenyan Visa. 

6.3          Information management

Logistic information is made available on the Conference Website. 

6.4          Sponsored participants

The conference does not have the possibilities to sponsor participants on its budget. The organizations and donors are however encouraged to invite participants. Project stakeholders (e.g. OTEA, EOAI etc.) get their costs reimbursed through the projects and not the conference.

6.5          Services 

6.5.1     Transportation and accommodation

Participants need to find their own ways to Nairobi and find their own accommodation. They are informed about their options through the Website.

6.5.2     Interpretation

The conference is in English language and no interpretation is provided.

6.5.3     Food and beverages

The conference registration includes 2 lunches and coffee/tea during 2 day. 

6.5.4     Media/advocacy services

The conference has a media/advocacy service room with information about agro ecology/OA evidence and media texts to be used. All organizers/co-organizers have the right to put their information there. There is a media conference right before the first plenary.

7        Marketing and Communication

7.1          Registration

Registration including and exhibition table: 

  • Associates Delegates $400 (it will have a caption that says, ‘For $400 you get to sponsor one student to the conference’)
  • General delegates Early Bird Registrations $ 200 after deadline it goes up to $ 250  Students & Farmers $ 100  Exhibition USD 500.

 

7.2          Promotion

BvAT sets up a Website with all required information and then uses social media to create traffic and to motivate people to register. There is an option to subscribe to conference news with e-mail address and What’s App phone number.

The organizers prepare

a) a conference visual

b) shots for social media use. They have a section on the Website where people can state that they go to the event and encourage their friends/peers/followers to go, too.

7.3          Sponsors and partners

Sponsors and partners are part of the conference visual and are promoted. BvAT discusses the promotion strategy with each partner in order to fully use the potentials of mobilization.

8        Important links and information

Biovision Africa Trust homepage

https://biovisionafricatrust.org/  

Biovision Agro ecology Resource page

https://www.agro ecology-pool.org/

Website of IFOAM Organics International

https://www.ifoam.bio/

OTEA Project Website

https://www.ifoam.bio/en/organic-trade-andvalue-chain-development-otea  

AfrONet Website

http://afronet.bio/  

Biovision Switzerland

https://www.biovision.ch/en/home/  

FAO Agro ecology

http://www.fao.org/agro ecology/home/en/  

 

Principles of Agro ecology

Understanding of agro ecological and its practices including EOA is based on fundamental principles. There is no single definition of agro ecology, but the series of regional and international multi-stakeholder meetings on agro ecology have helped to identify 10 elements of agro ecology that characterize agro ecological systems, their attributes and their properties.

a)      Principle of diversity

    Diversification is key to agro ecological transitions to ensure food security and nutrition while conserving, protecting and enhancing.

b)      Co-creation and sharing of knowledge

    Agricultural innovations respond better to local challenges when they are co-created through participatory processes.

c)      Synergies 

    Building synergies enhances key functions across food systems, supporting production and multiple ecosystem services.

 

d) Efficiency

       Innovative agro ecological practices produce more using less external resources.

 e) Recycling

        More recycling means agricultural production with lower economic and environmental costs.

 f)       Resilience 

Enhanced resilience of people, communities and ecosystems is key to sustainable food and agricultural systems.

g)       Human and Social Values

    Protecting and improving rural livelihoods, equity and social well-being is essential for sustainable food and agricultural systems.

 h)      Culture and Food Traditions

    By supporting healthy, diversified and culturally appropriate diets, agro ecology contributes to food security and nutrition while maintaining the health of ecosystems.

 i)       Responsible Governance

    Sustainable food and agriculture requires responsible and effective governance mechanisms at different scales – from local to national to global.

 j)       Circular and Solidarity Economy

    Circular and solidarity economies that reconnect producers and consumers provide innovative solutions for living within our planetary boundaries while ensuring the social foundation for inclusive and sustainable development.

Principles of (Ecological) Organic Agriculture

 https://www.ifoam.bio/en/organic-landmarks/principles-organic-agriculture and https://www.ifoam.bio/sites/default/files/poa_english_web.pdf  

 

 

 

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