FOR the first time in 40 years, the Organic World Congress (OWC) is coming to India, with the event scheduled to take place at the India Expo Centre and Mart, Greater Noida, from November 9 to 11.
Talking about the effort here on Monday, Dr Claude Alvaries, Director, Organic Farming Association of India and Umendra Dutt, Executive Director, Kheti Virasat Mission said, “The 19th IFOAM Organic World Congress will write a new chapter to the country’s efforts to encourage agriculture without damaging soils, plants, water, wildlife and people’s health. Around 3,000 organic farmers, scientists, agricultural research agencies, institutions of the Government of India and State Governments, including registered delegates from more than 110 countries, will take part in the grand event. In addition, organic trade missions from some 40 countries are attending the trade fair. We have a large representation of organic farmers from Punjab and Haryana and are proud of the fact.”
The Organic World Congress, said Alvaries, will play a critical role in strengthening the world organic farming movement and tilting India’s agricultural policy firmly in the direction of organic farming. “Demand for organic farming is steadily increasing and a large numbers of farmers will benefit from the event,” said Alvaries.
OWC is a global sammelan dealing exclusively with organic farming. This global event is held once every three years in a different country. The last Congress was held in Istanbul, Turkey in October 2014. The other unique aspect of this OWC is the huge effort made by the Indian organisers to bring organic farmers for the first time centre stage at the event. This will lead to a massive exchange of organic agriculture innovations, particularly advanced organic techniques. The event will witness 150 photographic PPTs from organic farmers; 160 papers on scientific research into organic agriculture. This year, the OWC has received more than 300 papers for consideration from scientists across the world.
The OWC food menu will enable delegates to taste original and traditional Indian foods, all organically grown. The seed exhibition, plus demonstrations of how to generate recipes for living soil (jaivik khad) and other innovations will take place outside the halls and will be free and open to the general public. “The number of organic farmers in Punjab is growing and it’s time we save our fields and people by growing and eating safe food,” summed up Alvaries.