ISOFAR workshop proposals for the 2nd Organic Expo 2022 in Goesan, Korea, submitted


ISOFAR was the International partner of the 1st International Expo 2015, and is proud to be the partner of the 2nd International Expo 2022, again. ISOFAR, as global and independent network of Organic Farming scientists is organizing the scientific workshops at the IFOAM Organic conference - who is celebration their 50th anniversary with the Expo – from October 1-3, 2022 in Goesan, Korea.

Workshop targets

The ISOFAR workshops will focus on scientific discussion for future needs to develop Organic agriculture to be a global option to tackle future challenges in food production and consumption. This is understood as contribution for the movement, for decision makers and scientists to design and implement healthy food systems with the support of scientific recommendations. Therefore, the participating scientists are invited to contribute to conceptional discussion for Organic Agriculture of the future: environmentally sound, efficient and enough, healthy and affordable food for everyone on the earth. Not only scientists from Organic farming research, but also from other disciplines, conventional agricultural science and inventors from private business and farms will be invited to participate and contribute. The results of the workshops will be published peer-reviewed after the event.

Workshop topics

Six topics have been selected for six workshops:

Workshop 1: Up-scaling Organic: Who to increase Organic farming in Korean?
Acronym: Up-scaling
Chair: Tanveer Hossain (Bangladesh/Japan)

Organic Farming in South Korea has developed incredibly in recent decades. It is one of the emerging countries in the global organic sector in terms of movement, consumer awareness, and government supports. Some good organic programs and practices are already highlighted, such as local governments initiatives, school meal programs, research and development such as organic seed production and seedling techniques, organic fertilizer & biopesticides, multi-functionality of organic agriculture, bio-engineering, organic cooperatives, and consumer organization in the high level of a global perspective. The environment-friendly (organic plus pesticide-free) products sales reached around 1.13 billion euro in 2020 (Korea Rural Economics Institute, KREI). Despite these achievements, Korea most recently reported around 38,000 hectares of certified organically managed land. The country's overall organic coverage is about only 1% of the cultivated land. Climate change adaptation, carbon neutrality, organic breeding programs, animal husbandry, consumer outreach, producers' socio-economical aspects could get more attention and focus on rice with other high-value crops for improving the organic sector. The workshop will cover and showcase the domestic Korean organic industry's success areas and best practices to disseminate the knowledge to the audience. It will also discuss how to improve the current continuous progress and possible ways to improve the productivity and profitability of the organic agriculture of Korea in the coming years.

Workshop 2: From farm to fork organic healthy Organic food systems?
Acronym: Healthy organic food systems
Chair: Wahyudi David (Indonesia) 

The global food system is complex and facing a wide range of social, cultural, political, economic, health and environmental challenges. Therefore, there is the need for models and frameworks that contribute to solving these problems and which indicate how to establish a sustainable food system that integrates sustainability in all its dimensions. Before investigating to what degree organic food systems may be used as such models, a model for organic food and farming as a system is needed. Thus, we consider organic food and farming through a food system lens and describe organic food system elements such as boundaries, actors, and sub-systems as part of an aggregated model. The workshop will discuss about how organic food/agriculture as a system contribute as a pilot model and living laboratory for sustainable food systems. The model would demonstrate drivers of sustainable food consumption and to link this to real-world examples of sustainable production and consumption. It is important to understand that the organic food system as a kind of window for exploration but not as the exclusive solution.

Workshop 3: Climate neutral Organic food chains, who to do?
Acronym: Climate smart Organic
Chairs: M. Reza Ardakani (Iran) and Sabine Zikeli (Germany)

Global climate will change in the coming decades, with heavy impacts in many regions of the world. The international community has agreed to keep global average temperature increase by 1.5°C. Organic agriculture has to contribute to this goal, mainly by reducing CH4, CO2 and N2O emissions. In any case, organic agriculture has not achieved the target to be a climate neutral food production, what is not achieved by any food system, yet. On the one hand, science and organic farming practice need to think out of the box to test new approaches for GHG mitigation. On the other hand, weather extremes will appear more often (droughts, heavy rains, thunder storms) and the resilience of food and farming systems will be increasingly challenged – this will also put some organic farming systems at risk. Therefore, the organic sector needs to move forward to meet the challenge of climate change adaption.

Workshop 4: How to make Organic more productive?
Acronym: Para-Organic
Chairs: Daniel Neuhoff (Germany) and Jochen Meyer (Switzerland)

Sufficient and stable crop yields are the basis for feeding a growing world population Limited cropland, climate change, loss of soil fertility and biodiversity coupled with excessive use of non-renewable resources require new solutions for future cropping systems beyond existing management practices. World population is expected to peak at about 2065 with large regional variations (Vollset et al. 2020). The average available cropland per capita decreased in the last 50 years by 50% from 0.45 ha / capita (1961) to 0.21 ha / capita (2016) with high regional variation. Today average yields of organic cropping systems may achieve 80% of conventional systems depending on site and cropping intensity . However, large differences exist between crop types. Organic non-legumes yields may achieve 75%, whilet legumes up to 90% of the conventional level. In highly productive regions with high attainable yield levels, e.g. the Paris Basin or the Cologne bay, yield gaps can be much greater. Here organic systems often achieve only 50% of cereal and 55% of potato farm yields . Also, within the group of non-legumes, the yield gap may differ largely. An evaluation of long-term cropping system experiments with a duration of more than 15 years show that wheat achieved about 70 %, potatoes 75%, but maize 82% of conventional yields. Beside sufficient yield levels, a key question is how yields develop in the long-term in different cropping systems. In addition, temporal yield stability is crucial for regional food security. Organic cropping systems show here, per unit yield, a 15% lower temporal static stability.  Fertilisation, mainly nitrogen, is the main driver for the yield gap between the systems. The basis for yield level is nutrient supply (fertilisation), while stability is mainly determined by crop protection.
The future challenge will be to reduce the yield gap between organic and conventional systems by a substantial yield increase in organic systems without trade-offs between productivity and sustainability of agricultural management. The main drivers are an improvement of nitrogen availability and a synchronisation between supply and crop demand. Further improvements in weed control by new technologies and crop protection by cultivars that are more resistant or by crop diversification will be a key measure of future management. Does increased productivity in OA necessarily mean lower ecological services? The aim of the workshop is to discuss options for improving productivity in organic farming systems without significantly affecting ecosystem services.

Workshop 5: Novel Organic and urban agriculture innovations for global food security?
Acronym: Novel food systems
Chair: Gerold Rahmann (Germany)

Organic and urban agriculture are both innovators of novel and innovative food systems. Organic is more rural and farming related, while urban agriculture is innovation with same targets (healthy and sustainable food production) and appart from farm land (in-door, balconny, vertical, container, hydro, roof, cellar, …). Both food chain innovations are rarely exchange ideas and results. The future challenges of food chains are limitations of farm land, sustainable food production, affortable food for all, production-consumption chains, philosophy of food culture and habits. Novel foods (mushrooms, invertebrate protein, algae) and food habits (vegan, vegetarian, etc.) are popular in urban agriculture. Urban agriculture is very efficient in space (yield per m2) and nutrients (close systems). Organic can learn a lot about those ideas and results. Vis-a-versa, urban agriculture is limited in mass production, usually high-tech related with a lot of energy and technology needs. Urban agriculture food is usually expensive and could learn a lot about food production and chains from Organic. The standards and regulations hinder joint action and marketing. Science can help to identify mutual concepts and joint structures for a modern urban and rural life and links.

Workshop 6: Organic research needs on a global scale?
Acronym: Research needs
Chair: Amber Sciligo (USA)

In response to continual population growth, food production must keep pace not only by increasing efficiency, but by simultaneously increasing environmental sustainability, while securing future generations of farming families. Organic farming offers a viable solution to meet these needs by producing food in ways that reduces climate impacts and chemical pollution of food growing regions and farming communities. But despite the increase in demand, the organic system continues to face a variety of challenges that constrain its growth. To meet goals to improve organic yields, research addressing climate change mitigation as well as adaption to climate change is critical. The development of equitable, accessible agricultural technology developed with organic needs in mind will also be key to tackling challenges association with weeds, pests, soil fertility and water management, as well as delivering food from the farm to the table. While many organic research gaps have been identified, a collective mapping of the greatest needs from around the world will identify the research most critical for organic to fulfill its potential.