Science Day 2018

Report from Science Day 2018 at BIOFACH

On February 16, 2018, the sixth Science Day took place at BIOFACH, the World Organic Trade Fair, in Nuremberg, Germany. It was a joint event of TIPI, the Technology Innovation Platform of IFOAM and TP Organics, the European Technology Platform for Organic Food and Farming.

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Organics in future EU Research & Innovation policy

TP Organics organized the morning session, which focussed on EU Research and Innovation Policy and was organised in cooperation with ERA-Net CORE Organic. Philippe Vinçon, General Director for Education and Research at the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food, called for a large research and innovation mission for the transformation of food and farming based on agro-ecological principles. Hanns-Christoph Eiden, President of the German Federal Office for Agriculture and Food, spoke about the target of the new German government to achieve 20% organic farmland by 2030, and the role of research and knowledge exchange in this. Participants also discussed the need for mild, and small-scale, food processing techniques for use by SMEs and on-farm; and explored how to improve communication towards consumers and the role of digitisation in this.

State of the art and research gaps in organic systems in the Global South

TIPI organized the afternoon session, which focussed on elaborate research gaps in organic food and farming systems in the Global South (100 questions to be addressed by novel organic food and farming systems).

After the welcome and introduction by Christian Andres (TIPI Scientific Secretary), Dr Monika Messmer (Senior Plant Breeder, FiBL, Switzerland), Prof Dr emer. Hans Hummel, (Distinguished Expert in Plant Protection and Biocontrol, University of Giessen, Germany) and Prof Dr Gerold Rahmann (Director, Thünen Institute of Organic Farming, Germany) gave input presentations on the biggest challenges and research gaps in the Global South for organic plant breeding, biological plant protection and organic livestock systems, respectively.

The follow-up workshop (World Café) aimed at contributing to the development of a strategic research agenda for organic food and farming systems in the Global South. The workshop (World Café) discussed the following questions:

  1. WHERE? How should we delineate the different regions (continentally, climatically, main crops)?
  2. WHO? Who should be the main actors to elaborate the strategic regional research agendas?
  3. HOW? How should be the main actors elaborate the strategic regional research agendas?

Finally, Dr Dora Drexler (Director, Hungarian Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (ÖMKi) & Vice President TIPI, Hungary) summarized the constructive discussions and inputs made during the afternoon in her closing remarks, and gave an outlook on further steps in the near future.

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