Saturday, 17 August 2013

Sustainable, Ecological Crop and Horticulture Conference - posted by AD Fosso

Sustainable, Ecological Crop and Horticulture Conference

For large scale farmers, 8-9 August 2015 Okahandja, Namibia
The conference on sustainable, Ecological Crop and Horticulture Conference took place from at Okahandja Country Loges, (Namibia) during August 8-9, 2013.
The conference was organized by the Namibian Organic Association, the Namibia Agronomic Board and the MAWF.
Scientists from different areas, technicians from the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry, lecturers from the Polytechnic of Namibia, Namibian training authority, Field workers, members of NGO’s, farmers, seed company suppliers(Aqualand, Agri-Gro), National Youth Service, traders, Agriculture training centre were invited to discuss different topics for 2 days. The conference was attended by
Conference Topics
Building soil fertility based approaches
Improving the water holding capacity of soils
Dynamics and importance of soil microbiology
Practical workshop: making small and large scale compost
(Compost Workshop, including practical demonstration)
Producing high-quality, disease suppressing compost:
The benefits of composting
Types of compost techniques
The basics of making compost
Microbial inoculation
Compost Pile Management
Quality Management
Sustainable agricultural production practices for climate change resilience
Case study: SEKEM – production in the Egyptian desert
Global G.A.P. standards
Pest and Disease Control
Ecological pest & disease control: main horticultural & fruit crops
Preparation of own pest control products
Overview of consumer behaviour changes in demand for fruit & vegetable products
Overview of (i) international, (ii) regional and (iii) local market demand for organic products
Earning income by trading carbon credits in sustainable agriculture
Procedures for the (i) local and (ii) international market
Objectives of the conference
Increasing agricultural production and share the latest information on sustainable, ecological agricultural methods.
To partner with research institution (FiBL, ifoam, Cirad, Global horticulture Initiatives, FAO….)
To develop long term applied research in Namibia with farmers who are involved in organic production
To develop a concept note need analysis for the mays production under organic in Namibia response to climate change
To network with expert around the world
Activities during the conference
Manjo Smith - Chairperson, Namibian Organic Association
What is sustainable Ecological?
Management and conservation, conserving land, water, plant.
Integrated production
Good Agriculture Practices
Low external input
Conservation Agriculture
Agroforestry and permaculture
Andre Leu – IFOAM
Andre Leu is the President of International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM), the world umbrella body for the organic sector. He has written and published extensively on many areas of agriculture including climate change, the environment, and the health benefits organic agronomy. He has over 40 years of experience in all areas of agriculture from growing, pest control, weed management, marketing, post-harvest, transport, grower organisations, developing new crops and education in Australia and in many other countries. His specialty is in all the forms of sustainable agrosystems, including organic, agroecology, permaculture, biological farming and conservation agriculture.
Stephen Barrow – Namibia Agroecological Services
Stephen Barrow is a strong proponent of agricultural production systems based on the principles and practices of establishing soil quality and health as one of the bases upon which sustainable systems can be developed.  His work has covered agricultural surveys, consulting, training and organic certification.  He has assisted the Namibian Organic Association establish their Participatory Guarantee System and currently heads up the Agricultural Training Centre, Krumhuk.
Tobias Bandel – Soil & More
Tobias Bandel, managing partner of Soil & More International. Soil & More develop large-scale composting projects around the world, deliver on-site technical assistance, develop emission reduction projects and sustainability footprinting.
Mike Prevost – Elgin Organics
Mike Prevost introduced organic fruit farming to Farm Lorraine in the Elgin valley in the Cape, South Africa, and founded the well-known organic fruit company, Elgin Organics. His methods are a model for sustainable farming.
Dr Irene Kadzere- The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL Switzerland
Lucas Lungameni General Manager, AMTA
Dr Peter Lenhadt Namibian Training Authority
Louis Peens-Managing Director, Fruit & Veg Namibia (Best retailer of fresh produce in Namibia)
Julia Nghituvali Nambili –Agronomist, Agribusiness presenting the green scheme project of the Ministry of Agriculture gave an overview of the green scheme.
Volkert Engelsman – Eosta
Volkert Engelsman founded Eosta, Europe's leading distributor of organically grown fresh produce to major retailers and natural food stores in Europe, the USA, Canada and the Far East. Eosta runs subsidiaries in Holland, Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, Argentina and South Africa.  Eosta was the first to obtain carbon credits on composting and on organic farming practices and to offer TÜV certified Climate Neutral products in the European food market.
Volker Engelsman gave an informative lecture on changing consumer preferences, influencing the way the farmers produce food to serve the market.
Danie Marais-Technical advisor Agronomy and Horticulture, Agra Professional Services.
Danie Marais explained about affordable, innovative small-scale drip irrigation for small scale farmers.
Conclusion and recommendation for the Congress
Polytechnic of Namibia (Agriculture department) should review the literature about what have already been done in Namibia on (mays production under organic in Namibia response to climate change)
Dr Irene Kadzere- The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL Switzerland will help Namibian Organic association to develop a concept note on mays production under organic in Namibia response to climate change
Help getting the funding, identify funding available.
Explore the sources of funding to set up trial in Namibia to help organic farmers
Develop agreement to start long term trial in organic to convince policy marker and farmers (Soil health, speed up the transition, cultivars recommendation for Namibia, involved many farmers
In a short term we also need to help the organic farms to control the pest and diseases (share experience with Australia)
What has been done in Australia (cultivars, shade net making)