By Kiflemariam Amdemariam in Rio
Already there’s been some really meaningful discussion on one of the most important aspects of food security: sustainable farming. On Friday I attended a side event on ‘Mainstreaming organic agriculture as a means of implementation’ – the purpose of the event being to bring together key sustainable agriculture and food security stakeholders to explore the potential of organic agriculture as a means of achieving better food security.
The keynote speakers at the event were Loretta Dormal Marino, Deputy Director General for Agriculture and Rural Development with the European Commission, Dr Elise Golan, Director for Sustainable Development with US Department of Agriculture and Mr Andre Leu, President of IFOAM.
I shared the panel with representatives from the World Food Programme, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, the Avalon Foundation and VSO Ireland. Our discussion ranged from organic farming as one of the means for enhancing sustainable development, the current level of investment in organic farming, opportunities to raise income through the value chain, the challenges such as certification of organic products in Europe and avoidance of policies that negatively affect organic farming.
The event provided a good opportunity to share and promote the IFRC’s priorities on food security are and to discover and suggest areas of activity for future partnerships. Some of the areas of collaboration that we see include working together with a focus on most vulnerable; global strategic collaboration on livelihoods as part of a broader approach to addressing food security and joint advocacy to influence MDGs, SDGs, CFS, SBSTA and other key platforms.
I look forward to the coming days at Rio+20 and trust that momentum will build as discussion continues.