19th Organic World Congress (OWC)

7-13 November 2017, Noida and Delhi, India

The 19th Organic World Congress(OWC) brought into the collaboration among TOA partners, strengthening the organic network, learning and experiencing the OWC. The event was held on 7-13 November 2017 in Greater Noida and New Delhi, India. The schedule of the TOA delegation was planned briefly as follows:

5 NovemberMeeting and preparing for the trip in Bangkok
6 NovemberTraveling from Bangkok to New Delhi
7-8 NovemberExploring India and Attending pre-conference
9-11 NovemberAttending OWC and workshops
12-13 NovemberAttending General Assembly

On 5 November 2017, TOA team and our partners had met and got to know each other. We discussed and prepared for the trip together at SEM Office, Khlong Sarn in Bangkok. There were 8 people attending this trip consisting of:

Ms. Than Than SeinMyanmar Organic Grower and
Producer Association, Myanmar
Ms. Thi Thi Win

Kalayanamitta Development Foundation
(KMF), Myanmar 
Ms. Pavinee ChaiparkSeed Bank Network Thailand
Ms. Ngamjai Boonrahong
 
The Institute for a Sustainable
Agriculture Community, 
ChiangMai, Thailand
Mr. Jukkrit Poolsavatkittigool Organic Station, Suan Nguen Mee Ma, 
Thailand
Mr. Hans van WillienswaardTOA and School for Wellbeing, Thailand
Mrs. Dang To KienDeputy Director of Community
Entrepreneur for Development Institute
(CENI), Vietnam    
Mr. Tran Chi KienManager of HEPA Eco-farming School,
Vietnam

The OWC program consisted of three main activities, which were pre-conference, workshops and General Assembly described as follows:

1. Pre-conference

It took place the day before the official launch of OWC. It was a kind of special daylong event, held in different places with different topics. There were Speakers and participants from over 20 countries exchanging ideas, sharing experiences, and presenting best-case examples of each topic. It was a time to learn, share and network with community leaders, organizers, global and local policy makers, researchers,farmers and practitioners.

Due to topics of our interest, we attended the event of “Food System 3.0” and “Seed and Plant Breeding in Organic Agriculture”at the Constitution Club of India. For Food System 3.0, the topics included were – defining, envisioning, and developing sustainable organic food systems, sustainable diets, engaging with consumers and education, and whole-system transformation.

On the other hand, Seed and Plant Breeding in Organic Agriculture provided the space of farmers, NGOs and breeders sharing the ideas of common vision, new mainstream breeding techniques and GMOs, alternative approaches and case studies.

2. OWC Workshops

This section was organized in three days from 9 to 11 November in the Indian Exposition Mart. There were several activities such as workshops, exhibitions, fair trade, small events and four parallel conference tracks including – main, farmer, scientific and marketing tracks.

The main track was a kind of fishbowl discussions inspiring organic decision-making globally and locally while the others were a kind of sharing ideas, presentations and practices of guest speakers in each related topic in a big hall. In those three days, we had enjoyed attending different kinds of activities based on our interests. Besides the academic activities and intense discussions, there were also interactive activities like seed festival and a farm visit. We have had a chance to explore farming even further in India through real situations and practices.

3.General Assembly 

The General Assembly was organized as the last part of the OWC for electing a new World Board (WB) together with the host for the next OWC. The GA was an action called for a common voice for the organic movement and lively gathering all members, board and staff to continue working towards IFOAM vision. We could then see the cooperation of members from different nations working together to achieve common goals. As a result of the GA, the next OWC and GA in 2020 will be held in Rennes, France.

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