USP Lautoka Campus

USP Lautoka Campus

Panel Discussion: Organic and Regenerative Agriculture

Global surge of Organic Market

A high powered panel discussion on Organic and Regenerative Agriculture at the University of the South Pacific Lautoka Campus on 07th August, 2019 has revealed that organic farming and buying organic products is becoming a global phenomenon now.

USP Lautoka Campus and the Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises & Development (FRIEND) jointly organised the event.

Chair of the panel discussion and World Member of IFOAM Organics and International Founding Member of POETCom, Karen Mapusua revealed that with the realization that the new chemical based production system is having negative impact, it is the time now to mainstream organics and recognise that organics has solutions to many of the challenges we face in the region such as climate change and loss of biodiversity.

Panellist and Managing Director of AgriBusiness Group Jon Manhire informed the seminar that Pacific or the Oceania is seen and recognised as the leading space for organic production.

Mr Manhire informed that Samoa has the second highest percentage of organic land in the world which is a real success for the Pacific.

He revealed that in the world there is around 2.9million organic farmers and the organic market is rapidly growing.

He also informed that in terms of organic retail sales, the organic market has been growing faster than any other food commodity or brand in the world
“The organic market has been growing consistently for the last 25 years with major markets countries being the USA, Europe, Germany and France.

“But what we are seeing now is countries that in the past didn’t even register, places like China are now buying organic products. "

Manhire revealed that one of the breakthroughs they have been able to achieve in Fiji is the drafting of the National Organic Policy late last year.

He stressed that one of the best strategies to get progress on organics nationally was to obtain support from government agencies and incorporate organics into overall government policies.

Another panellist and International Director of Regeneration International and former President of IFOAM Andre Leu also revealed that the organic market has been growing in double digits and no other market is growing like it.

Mr Leu pointed out that this humungous growth is due to the consumer demand as buy organic is a consumer drive revolution.

He informed that last year IFOAM grew 200,000 new farmers last year which no other organization did and young people to taken back to their villages to do organic farming.

Mr Leu emphasized that the consumers have the power to make the change by buying organic product and do the revolution that will change the whole world for everyone.

The panel discussion also heard that usage of modern day pesticides and weedicides highly contributes towards increase in deathly diseases such as cancer.

USP Lautoka Campus Director Dr Pramila Devi pointed out that the panel discussion clearly demands people to become more proactive and make a timely switch to organic products.

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