Book of Abstracts
11th IFOAM Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996, Copenhagen, Denmark
Sustainable Agriculture and rural development initiative (Sardi) P.O. Box 499, Nakuru, Kenya.
For many years, African Government agencies, Churches, NGO's and lobby groups have concentrated efforts towards the promotion of conventional agriculture practices.
This practices are imported from the West and give emphasis on the following: 1. The use of heavy agricultural machinery and irrigation systems all of which are imported. 2. The use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides all imported from the West. 3. Use of hybrid seeds and animals sometimes not suited to the local environment. 4. Use of non-renewable fossils fuel.
All through this development agent have overlooked the following factors: 1. The economic ability of the small scale farmers. 2. Population growth verses the diminishing land parcel. 3. The relationship between development and environmental degradation. 4. Rural-Urban migration and the rising unemployment. 5. Indegenous knowledge of the local population.
This situation has given rise to the following undesirable consequences: 1. Increase in pests and diseases build-up. 2. Declining production per unit area of land arising from financial inability of the small scale farmers. 3. Environmental degradation as a result of excessive use of chemicals and the non renewable fossil fuel. 4. Rural-urban migration in search for gainful employment. Organic Agriculture has been confronted by the following problems: 1. Working with government agents strongly guided by conventional Agriculture policies. 2. Reluctance y the third world government to change policies due to their nature of indebtness. 3. Lack of support by international funding agencies to the community based grassroot projects dealing with organic Agriculture. Funding oftenly arranged on bilateral terms between Donor Agencies and the Recipient governments. 4. Lack of sufficient information on organic Agriculture. Research and information documentation needs be intensified.