|Biological farming in Europe - Agriculture biologique en Europe (REUR Technical Series 12) (1990)|
H. Vogtmann, C. Stopes, H. Olez, J.-M. Besson
Approved by the Participants of the Consultation
The Expert Consultation gave a valuable opportunity for experts throughout Europe to exchange ideas and informations on all areas of biological/organic agriculture, and noted with satisfaction that this farming system is developing and gaining throughout the European region.
National participants described the situation in their own countries, outlining the state and size of the market, policy options for encouraging support and current research activities and methodologies.
The Consultation urgent the FAO Regional Office for Europe to encourage all European governments to offer the fullest support possible for the continued development of biological/organic farming throughout the European region.
The meeting concluded with a unanimous acknowledgment of the value of this Consultation and offered a vote of thanks for the generous support of FAO in making this Consultation possible.
The Expert Consultation welcomed the offer made by the Minister of Economic Affairs of the Bundesland of Saarland, Federal Republic of Germany, to host a meeting with the following title: "Government Policy Options to support Biological/Organic Farming". It is hoped that this offer will receive full support from all European governments.
The recommendations of the Consultation whereas follows:
1. There is an urgent need to open up a dialogue between researchers in "conventional" and "biological/organic" agriculture.
2. The Consultation recommended the establishment of a network of specialists in the field of extension to further improve the exchange of ideas and information for extension work in biological/organic farming. This should draw upon specific climatic regions. Mr. T. Aanger from the National Board of Agriculture, Sweden, offered to undertake the organization of this, and will contact FAO to explore the potential for cooperation in this matter.
3. The Consultation recommended the implementation of a workshop to explore the appropriate educational methodology for all areas of training, extension and education for biological/organic farming. Mr. van Mansvelt, Wageningen University, the Netherlands and Mr. Raupp, University of Munich, Federal Republic of Germany offered to undertake the organization of this and they will contact FAO to explore potential for cooperation.
4. The Consultation recommended that a workshop on nitrogen cycling in biological/organic farming systems would offer a valuable opportunity to bring together researchers from conventional and biological/organic agriculture to discuss current research, appropriate methodology and future areas of interest.
Mr. P. Koestler of the Royal Danish Veterinary and Agricultural University of Copenhagen and Mr. A. Granstedt of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences of Upsala offered to undertake the organization of this. They will contact FAO to explore potential for cooperation.
5. In addition to the above specific topics the Consultation identified a number of other topic areas of urgent interest. These where as follows:
5.1 Plant protection (pest, disease and weed control) in biological/organic farming systems.
5.2 The development of appropriate biological/organic livestock systems.
5.3 The development of stockless biological/organic farming systems.
5.4 The development of appropriate models for technology transfer between farmers and researchers to encourage appropriate farming systems based on research.
6. The Consultation recommended that a meeting be organized on aspects of animal husbandry with a view to developing appropriate standards within the EC to rectify the current absence of livestock production standards within the current EC regulation.
7. The Consultation recommended the establishment of a comprehensive database on research results relevant to biological/organic farming to encourage full cooperation and collaboration within the international research effort.