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Christian Andres
Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL
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TIPI fostering the research-policy-practice nexus in New Delhi, India

Report from the pre-conference and the Organic World Congress (OWC), that took place 08 – 11 November 2017 in New Dehli, India.

Audience at the TIPI pre-conference . Photo: Christian Andres, FiBL

Panel discussion at the TIPI pre-conference. Photo: Christian Andres, FiBL

Dr Verena Seufert expressing her views during the panel discussion at the TIPI pre-conference. Photo: Christian Andres, FiBL

Participants expressing their views on how to accelerate innovation during the workshop at the TIPI pre-conference. Photo: Christian Andres, FiBL

Presentation given during the Scientific Track of the Organic World Congress. Photo: Christian Andres, FiBL

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On 08 November, TIPI, the Technology Innovation Platform of IFOAM - Organics International, organized the pre-conference “Accelerating Innovation – the Role of Science, Policy and Practice”, and from 09 – 11 November, TIPI took centre stage as a co-organizer of the Scientific Track at the Organic World Congress (OWC) 2017.

TIPI preconference: Accelerating Innovation

During the pre-conference, eminent experts from science, policy and practice discussed the most pertinent questions and challenges relating to innovation in organic food and farming systems.

Speakers stressed that the main challenges lie not only in the field of technical innovations to increase productivity (e.g. breeding suitable varieties and developing adequate organic pest control products), but institutional, ecological and social innovations are equally important (see weblinks to presentations below).

As innovation does not always follow a linear path from invention through design to commercialization, but may be a multi-actor networked path (co-creation), we equally need to analyse and address problems with an integrated, multi-stakeholder approach. This includes the role of markets to promote sustainable agriculture in the Global South, and institutional innovations to clarify roles and forms of interactions between actors involved in the innovation process.

As the organic community, we need to distance ourselves from the black and white discussion of conventional vs organic farming, as comparisons are very complex and highly context-specific. Rather, we should do our part to render conventional farming more “organic”, or, say, sustainable, and we urgently have to address the lack of evidence on the performance of organic farming in the Global South.

To address these challenges, we need more capacity in organic farming research worldwide, and governments should allocate the necessary resources for the recruitment of more scientists working on sustainable agriculture. Highlighted success stories included PlantWise and Access Agriculture’s video-based farmer-to-farmer training system. All the presentations can be downloaded below.

Scientific Track at the OWC 2017

As a co-organizer of the Scientific Track, TIPI was very active in the elaboration of the proceedings that include all the contributions made to the Scientific Track. The two volumes can be downloaded frpm Organic Eprints (see links below).

TIPI led a plenary session entitled “Organic and agro-ecological systems: potential to address global challenges and associated research gaps” on 10 November.

After Dr Verena Seufert (KIT, Germany) had summarized the context-dependent performance of organic agriculture, Dr Gurbir Singh Bhullar (FiBL, Switzerland) illustrated the potential contribution of organic agriculture to sustainable development in the tropics, and Christian Andres (TIPI & FiBL, Switzerland) outlined the most important knowledge gaps in organic food and farming systems worldwide. (See slides below)

The follow-up discussion focused on how the organic community can address these knowledge gaps quickly and efficiently.

Author: Christian Andres, FiBL, TIPI coordinator

More information

Contact

  • Christian Andres, FiBL
  • Helga Willer, FiBL

Weblinks

Download of presentations

TIPI preconference "Accelerating Innovation – the Role of Science, Policy and Practice"

Morning: “Science & Policy”

Afternoon: “The role of innovation platforms to accelerate innovation”

Organic World Congress

Proceedings of the Scientific Track of the Organic World Congress

  • Rahmann, G; Andres, C.; Yadav, A.K.; Ardakani, M.R.; Babalad, H.B.; Devakumar, N.; Goel, S.L.; Olowe, V; Ravisankar, N.; Saini, J.P.; Soto, G. und Willer, H. (Eds.) (2017) Innovative Research for Organic 3.0 - Proceedings of the Scientific Track. Volume 1.  Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, Braunschweig, 1, Thünen report, Nr. 54, S. 1-511. Proceedings zu: Organic World Congress 2017, Delhi, India, 9-11 November 2107.
  • Rahmann, G; Andres, C.; Yadav, A.K.; Ardakani, M.R.; Babalad, H.B.; Devakumar, N.; Goel, S.L.; Olowe, V; Ravisankar, N.; Saini, J.P.; Soto, G. und Willer, H. (Eds.) (2017) Innovative Research for Organic 3.0 - Proceedings of the Scientific Track. Volume 2. Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, Braunschweig, 2, Thünen report, Nr. 54, S. 512-808. Proceedings zu: Organic World Congress 2017, Delhi, India, 9-11 November 2107.

TIPI Plenary session entitled “Organic and agro-ecological systems: potential to address global challenges and associated research gaps