WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE OFIA 2020 CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
Every three years, IFOAM - Organics International, the South Korean Rural Development Administration, and IFOAM's Technology Innovation Platform join together to honor the most outstanding organic innovators with the Organic Farming Innovation Award (OFIA). We call on the organic movement to bring our attention to the excellent work of organic innovators around the world!
OFIA applications may be submitted in English, French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, or Korean. For more information, please visit our application page. All applications are welcome.
The application deadline is April 1st, 2020.
About the award
Every three years, at the Organic World Congress (OWC), IFOAM - Organics International, the Rural Development Administration of South Korea (RDA), and the IFOAM Technology Innovation Platform (TIPI) award outstanding organic innovators with the Organic Farming Innovation Award (OFIA). OFIA is an initiative of the government of the Republic of South Korea in remembrance of the 17th OWC held in 2011 in its Gyeonggi Province.
The overall goal of OFIA is to contribute to solving problems and exploring the potential to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity of Organic farming, improve viability for the environment, plants, animals, and human beings. OFIA will highlight outstanding innovations and incentivize organic innovations among researchers, extension agents, and practictioners.
Award applications should meet the following criteria:
innovative: are new in their context
applicability: are applicable to organic farming, processing and trade
relevant: are relevant for solving real problems or exploring new potentials
impact potential: have the potential to have a great impact.
By highlighting the innovations through OFIA, the global organic community emphasizes the key role innovations play in accelerating the adoption of organic agriculture worldwide. Further, it has the mission to motivate innovations, and to boost the uptake of the innovations highlighted. An increased awareness on innovations inside and outside the organic community and a higher attention and esteem for innovators helps to inspire more innovations and shape the research agenda favourably towards more innovations.
OFIA PRIZE categories
OFIA is awarded in two categories:
- The Grand Prize, and
- The Science Prize
A selection committee will choose one Grand Prize and one Science Prize winner based on the criteria of innovativeness, applicability, relevance and impact potential. Winners will receive a monetary award (Grand Prize: $10,000 USD / Science Prize: $5,000 USD) and a specially commissioned statue.
Winners will also be invited to the 20th edition of the Organic World Congress (OWC 2020) to showcase their work! The next OFIA Ceremony will be held at OWC 2020 between September 21-27, 2020 in Rennes, France. Travel, accommodations, and OWC registration expenses will be covered for winners. This platform provide winners greater visibility and will help them spread their messages to a wider audience.
OFIA Selection Committee
The current OFIA Committee consists of Dr. Uygun Aksoy (ISOFAR), Dr. Shaikh Tanveer Hossain (TIPI), and Mike Hands (OFIA Grand Prize Winner, 2017).
OFIA 2017 winners with OFIA Committee members
The need for innovations in organic agriculture
Worldwide, there is an urgent need for sustainable solutions to poverty, food insecurity, soil erosion, biodiversity decline and climate change. Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and nutrients, energy and water cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than on the use of external inputs with adverse effects.
Organic agriculture – identified as a package of intelligent and innovative farming techniques, sustainable and fair food chains based on principles that strengthen small-scale farmers and empower rural economies - are being adopted globally by governments and local authorities, carried out by millions of farmers and supported by a rapidly increasing number of consumers. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment, promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved.
High quality foods provide access to valuable national and international markets, and therefore play a crucial role in wider poverty reduction (UNCTAD-UNEP, 2008*). The contribution of organic agriculture to poverty reduction is acknowledged by FAO (Diouf, 2009°), documented by numerous case studies on development projects where the principles and practices of organic agriculture have been successfully implemented.
The organic market has been steadily expanding globally due to consumer awareness, rise in health concerns and environmental issues. Every year, the sector registers dynamic growth due to increased consumption. One of the bottlenecks to the development of the sector is the stagnant uptake of organic farming in practice.
Innovations in organic agriculture have a crucial role in the search for local or scalable solutions for a more sustainable and regenerative farming. It is one of the main functions of agricultural research, and farmers are often the innovators. Innovations addressing health and environmental concerns, the needs of farmers and consumers, combined with the facilitation of their uptake by more farmers in more regions will contribute to the development of organic agriculture.
The Organic Movement – under the lead of IFOAM – Organics International took up various think-tanking processes towards Organic 3.0. While these think tanks are still in their creative phase, it is already clear that they took up the OFIA messages, and has identified that innovation must be an important pillar of Organic 3.0.
* UNCTAD–UNEP (2008). Organic Agriculture and Food Security in Africa. (UNCTAD/DITC/TED/2007/15). www.unep-unctad.org/cbtf/.../UNCTAD_DITC_TED_2007_15.pdf
° Diouf, 2009, Agriculture 2050- the challenges ahead, FAO, http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/36193/icode/