This conference had 4 objectives : (1) assess actual knowledge of the functioning of organic rice production systems on different time and space scales. (2) Identify innovations being undertaken and obstacles that block the development of these systems. (3) Analyse the impact of markets and different types of organic rice production on food quality and health. (4) Analyse the impact of public policy and to propose guidelines.
Supported by numerous partners, the 1st international conference on organic rice farming and production systems brought together, in Montpellier from the 27th to the 30th of August 2012, one hundred and thirty participants representing 75 institutions or firms and 17 nationalities from northern and southern countries (*). There were 43 oral communicatons comprising 26 scientific papers and 17 presentations by rice growers and production chain professionals and 14 posters on display. From seed to the plate, from field to the territory, the communications showed the wide diversity of organic rice cropping and production systems. Session 1 centered on communications on cropping systems at the field scale was the most prolific. Weed management is a universal preoccupation in organic rice growing, numerous innovations « being undertaken » were presented and discussed, in order to propose solutions. On the processing/commercialisation and territory scales, the diversity of situations and the comparison of the dynamics in action stimulated debates echoed during the day trip to the Camargue to encounter local stakeholders, ricegrowers but also environment and territory administrators. The record of organic rice growing, not just in terms of yield, but also in terms of impact on the environment : biological activity in soils, water and air quality, and on biodiversity was able to be discussed underlining particularly convergences with themes linked to agroecology. The question of rice production systems using no chemicals by default, but uncertified, as for example in mangrove rice production, was also discussed. In a more limited manner characteristics related to technological and nutritional qualities were presented without however consumers’ points of view being associated to this analysis. This conference showed that an international meeting bringing together researchers and professionals involved in organic rice production had been long-awaited. It demonstrated the format adopted to be an excellent means of facilitating exchanges of knowledge and communication between scientists and production/commercialisation stakeholders permitting fruitful future collaborations to be envisaged.
(*) Countries represented : Argentina, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Cuba, England, France, Guinea, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Madagascar, Mali, Spain, USA
Numerous interviews and a survey carried out on the last day of the conference involving a majority of the participants unanimously indicated that :
A 2nd international conference was hoped for
within 2 or 3 years
on a similar format to that which was proposed in Montpellier : equity of expression between researchers and rice producers – sessions organised at different scales : cropping system, production system, processing/commercialisation chain and territories – all sessions plenary – field trip.
Project Number : 1200-004
Year : 2012
Type of funding : PC
Project type : SP
Research units in the network : CEE-M SYSTEM
Start date :
07 Mar 2012
End date :
31 Mar 2012
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