About 1,634 people, including academics, producers, processors, and marketers from the region, were connected in the First Organic Conference, Regional Experiences and Regulatory Framework, to promote and promote the consumption and production of organic food.
This event was the first of a series of six virtual conferences that will take place during July, August, and September, organized by the Agency for the Regulation and Control of Phytosanitary and Animal Health (Agrocalidad) with the support of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Inter-American Commission on Organic Agriculture (CIAO).
Graciela Lacaze, executive secretary of the organization, stated that the CIAO represents 91% of the area certified as organic, 96% of certified producers and 42% of the global distribution of the retail sales market.
“The global growth trend, and especially in the pandemic period, made the consumer choose healthy products that strengthen their body. On average, the growth of organic production is 10% per year compared to conventional agriculture, which is almost 3%”, said Lacaze, who highlighted the attributes of this socially, environmentally and economically sustainable production system that promotes peasant family farming and gender equity.
For his part, Julio Paredes, executive director of Agrocalidad, indicated that in Ecuador there are 47,898 certified hectares, of which 39,033 are organic and 8,865 are in transition from conventional to organic agriculture, which represents 0.9% of the agricultural area dedicated to food production, managed by 12,434 producers, of which 98% belong to family farming.
According to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), the provinces with the largest organic production area in hectares are: Guayas (15,211), El Oro (9,262) and Esmeraldas (8,757). The provinces with the highest number of organic producers are: Napo (3,334), Guayas (1,782), Loja (1,409), Chimborazo (1,335), Zamora Chinchipe (1,239), Manabí (1,199), Esmeraldas (1,171) and Pichincha (1,045); the rest are distributed in other provinces of the country.
Meanwhile, the successful experiences in the region were presented by the governor of the Huancavelica region of Peru, Maciste Díaz , who presented the strategies established in favor of the 74,900 families in the region , which involve the issuance of decrees, ordinances and resolutions , as well as alliances and agreements with public and private institutions and non-governmental organizations, for the connection with the international market, capacity building, execution of plans, programs and projects with which the modernization, conservation and optimization of the water resources, the empowerment of women in agro-productive, processing and marketing businesses.
Among these regional experiences, Nancy Caichug, legal representative of Sumak Life, an organization dedicated to the production of quinoa and its processed products for export, benefits more than 3,000 families directly and 10,000 people indirectly, in four Chimborazo cantons, of which 57% are women, benefiting from a total of $ 7 million in three years of certification.
In this framework, Agrocalidad presented the actions carried out in conjunction with the certification bodies to cope with the pandemic through remote and hybrid inspections, which focused mainly on the issuance of measures to be taken, so that national and international processes Marketing does not stop, and the supply of organic products is not affected.
The operation of the certification system and the registration to obtain the Organic Agricultural Producer (POA) code in the Guide System was also presented: https://guia.agrocalidad.gob.ec/agrodb/ingreso.php
The remaining days will be carried out through the Agency’s Facebook Live platform from 09:00 to 11:00, in order to promote organic production in Ecuador, to be held on July 21, August, August 25, September 8 and September 22, 2021.