Published on December 29, 2007
Need for advisory services in organic farming: Need for advisory services in organic farming Doc. dr. Martina Bavec University of Maribor Faculty of Agriculture Opening Channels of Communication Between the Associated Candidate Countries and the EU in Ecological Farming Content: Content Introduction Role and types of advisory services Situation in Channel countries Need for organic farming advisory services - reasons Conclusions Introduction: Introduction Development of organic farming depends not only on: agriculture policy and direct payments or access to the market, but also to all other supports for farmers – f.i.: Knowledge - Education possibilities for farmers Information’s - Advisory services New ideas – New solutions – New concepts Introduction – case of Slovenia: Introduction – case of Slovenia Growth of financial support for OF 2003/2004 didn’t have influence on interest for conversion to OF Team for OF development in NE Slovenia was stopped in the end of 2003 Is Action plan without strong and efficient OF advisory service possible? For app.70.000 farms 300 advisors are employed in Agric. Chamber occupied mostly in administration for payments - 2 are employed for OF. Role of advisory services and methods: Role of advisory services and methods Support in solving problems Improvement of farmers position – conversion to organic farming? Agriculture advising includes education, advancing/promoting and advising. HOLISTIC approach is basis for agricultural advising on general and in OF, too. Types of advisory services: Types of advisory services advisors in agriculture chambers advisors in different state organizations - institutes NGO’s advisors (OF associations) Common projects and networks pool of local/state or international organic farming experts who are operating independent or are employed on the base of different projects in organic farming or supports for non-developed countries organic farmers are advisers – f.i. in BioAustria Association they are organized into regional and specialized working groups (10-30 members). Periodical meetings (3-4x per year) offer them the opportunity to discuss problems and exchange knowledge and experience. Situation in Channel countries: Situation in Channel countries Situation in Channel countries – contin.: Situation in Channel countries – contin. Organization of advisory services for OF: Organization of advisory services for OF In most cases the advisory service for OF is organized: in the same organisations as for other types of farming – mostly in agricultural chambers (Austria, Germany, Slovenia) or in different governmental organisations – institutes, centres (Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia) or even as a part of ministries (Cyprus, Malta) and in the other hand also in organic farming associations (Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Bulgaria) or organic farming advisors don't belong to any organisation (Estonia). Lack of advisors: Lack of advisors Even in countries with the most developed OF like Austria, there is a lack of advisors for OF – app. 600 organic farms per advisor. http://www.organic-europe.net/country_reports/austria/default.asp#12 In Bavaria, end of 90’s, 120 OF / advisor and for special plants 40-60 OF / advisor were available for organic farms. In fact, in many cases OF inspectors are the only OF professionalists who are coming regularly (at least once per year) to the farm, but according to the SIST EN 45011 they are not allowed to give any advices. Need for organic farming advisory services - reasons: Need for organic farming advisory services - reasons lack of knowledge in organic production methods, solving problems in conversion period, delivering quality and safe organic products with all hygienic standards, new marketing strategies for organic products, organic farming is in new EU members relative new farming system, Need for organic farming advisory services - reasons: Need for organic farming advisory services - reasons changing opinion about organic farming as in some countries it is still considered as “step back” and not as improvement in nature friendly agriculture practice oriented to the future, establishing new markets for organic products (not only export oriented in new EU members), covering niches in organic farming (organic seeds,…), protection organic farming and organic products against GMO contamination,… Conclusions: Conclusions Lack of specialized advisors for OF; Advisory methods used in agriculture should be adopted for OF and improved with new innovative methods and tools (like e-learning,…); “Good advisory practices” adopted in organic farming in different countries (like regional or specialized “working groups”, farmers are advisors,…) should be spread and used specially in new EU members. Slide14: Thank you for your attention!