How can we ensure that health, food systems, and sustainable agricultural systems mutually reinforce one another?

Organic farming for improved livelihoods, health and food security in tropical smallholder farming communities

Basement Room A-126 September 6, 2017 11:00 to 12:30 - 14:00 to 15:30

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Gurbir Singh Bhullar01, Monika Schneider01, Noah Adamtey01, Irene Kadzere01, Gian L. Nicolay01, Laura Martinez Armengot01, Thomas Bernet01, Christian Schader01, Richard Asare02

1Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, FiBL, Switzerland, Switzerland; 2International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ghana


This session aims to provide evidence that organic farming and agroforestry systems (in cocoa) can improve livelihood and food security. This will be addressed from the point of view of the productivity, profitability, sustainability, ecosystem services and social learning aspects and how these components interact and influence the livelihoods and welfare of smallholder farming communities in Africa, Latin America and Asia. The following key messages will be highlighted through the sessions:

  • Organic farming shows the potential of producing comparable yields and similar or higher economic returns to conventional farming.
  • Organic farming and agroforestry (in cocoa) improves resource conservation, soil fertility and soil health and thus in the long term contributes in making production systems more sustainable.

Additionally, insights on the challenges faced during conversion and research and the uptake by farmers of more sustainable practices will be showcased.

The format of the session will be traditional presentations with moderation. There will be one keynote presentation to provide a global overview on organic farming contribution to livelihoods and food security. This will be followed by 5 presentations each for 12 minutes (3 of which will be for questions and clarification). At the end, the participants will spend 20 minutes on general discussions, touching on all the 5 presentations. The different topics will be feed with sound evidence/results from different on-going projects such as SysCom (, Syprobio (, ProEcoAfrica /OFSA (, ORM4Soil (, IITA projects in West Africa, among others.