Kazakhstan: Government Giving Organic Support
Kazakhstan exported organic products worth about US $5 million last
year, according to Zeinulla Sharipov, head of the Economic
Integration Department at Kazakhstan's Agriculture Ministry.
"Exports of such products are not limited. They are certified by foreign
companies and freely sold in Europe and the US according to the
requirements of these markets," Sharipov said at a roundtable on organic
agriculture development in Kazakhstan on November 26. He also said that
the government will give state support to organic producers in
Kazakhstan and develop national standards for organic products.
"We will study the international experience for further promotion of our
products on the international market. It will take a year or two, not
less," he said.
The Senate of the Kazakh parliament approved the law "On production of
organic products" on October 29. During the roundtable it was said that
the world market of organic products is currently estimated at above $60
billion and 43 million hectares of farmland is used for organic
production worldwide. Kazakhstan's Deputy Agriculture Minister Yermek
Kosherbayev earlier said that there are around 30 producers of organic
products in Kazakhstan, most of which are located in the northern
Kazakhstan has around 300,000 hectares of organic agricultural land. At the same time,
there is no exact statistical data as to the number of farms that have
international certificates for organic production (some 20 enterprises
have such certificates according to various estimates). According to a
parliamentary committee data, organic products account for 0.1 percent
of all products consumed in Kazakhstan.
Organic products produced in Kazakhstan mainly include grain and
oil-bearing crops, as well as cereals, organic vodka and wine. The main
obstacle to the organic market development in Kazakhstan was the absence
of legislative regulation of organic production.
The Times of Central Asia
Thailand: New GMO Bill Raises Concerns
Concerns have been raised over the irreparable damage that genetically
modified organisms (GMOs), legalised by the cabinet-approved Biosafety
Bill, could bring to local agriculture.
The bill - nicknamed the GMO bill - proposed by the Ministry of Natural
Resources and Environment (MNRE), has been approved by the cabinet amid
protests from civic groups and governmental offices.
The bill will next come under scrutiny by the National Legislative
Assemble (NLA). The bill proposes to legalise all GMO plants and
animals, except those used for medicinal experiments on humans and
The committee for the biosafety bill, chaired by the the ministry's
permanent secretary, will be set up to regulate GMOs. Col Sansern
Kaewkamnerd, spokesman of the Prime Minister's Office, insisted there
was no objection from the cabinet when the bill was approved.
If endorsed by the NLA, it will come into effect a year after being
declared in theRoyal Gazette, he said. Witoon Lianchamroon, director of
Biodiversity Action Thailand, AKA BioThai, said the bill permits the
agricultural use of GMO plants and animals that are proven to be safe
for human health and the environment. But if the GMOs contaminate the
environment, the owners don't have to take any responsibility for
damages, he said.
"Small farmers whose produce will be affected by GMOs unintentionally
will have to handle the burden themselves, even though their rights have
been violated by the GMO producers," said Mr Witoon.
Organic farming products contaminated by GMOs won't be able to sell in
the market or be exported, especially if a ban on GMOs becomes a global
trend, he said. In addition, local farmers won't have rights to the new
breeds of produce or animals contaminated by GMOs, if big agricultural
companies hold the patents, he added.
According to a cabinet source, government officers raised concerns over
the negative impacts of the bill during the hearing process. A draft of
the bill had earlier been sent to various agencies for suggestions
between Sept 26 and Oct 6.
The Office of the National Economics and Social Development Board (NESDB)
said the bill would have consequences for various sectors, especially
organic agriculture, the source said. The NESDB said encouraging GMOs
will limit Thailand's capacity to develop agricultural products and
narrow down its potential market share. It proposed GMO production,
imports and exports be permitted on a case-by-case basis.
The NESDB also said operators should be responsible for any damages that
occur if local breeds are contaminated by GMOs, to protect local
agriculture. If GMO development is necessary, it should only be for
experimenting with non-food ornamental products, such as orchids, in
government labs, said the NESDB.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) said the eco-system was
already contaminated by GMOs after Thailand legalised some imported GMOs
The legalisation of GMOs will undermine Thailand's policy to boost
organic and eco-friendly food and agricultural products, said the MoC.
It urged regulations for the GMO production process, including
transport, storage, packaging, labelling and documentation.
Source: The Bangkok Post
Become Organic State
Sikkim will be the India's first state to produce everything from
maize and rice to orchid and ginger by organic farming in 2016.
Prime minister Narendra Modi may declare Sikkim as an organic state in
January after almost all agricultural land holdings are certified as
free from chemicals, sources said. The states agriculture secretary
Khorlo Bhutia confirmed that the prime minister has been requested to
make the announcement.
There are 77,190 hectares of farmland in Sikkim where both agricultural
and horticultural crops such as rice, maize, orchids, cardamom, ginger,
mandarin are grown. Out of that, around 44,000 hectares are currently
certified as organic while the remaining will get certified by December
31, Bhutia told Financial Chronicle.
These areas are registered with agricultural and processed food products
export development authority (Apeda). The state has already enacted the
Sikkim Agricultural and Horticultural Input and Livestock Feed
Regulatory Act effective from January this year, which prohibits use of
chemicals fertilisers, he said. Violation of the law attracts
imprisonment of three months and a fine of Rs 1,000,000, he said.
We are preparing in a big way with two large shows of fruits,
vegetables, spices at one place and flowers at another, for the day when
it will be announced. We can now claim practicing 100 percent organic
farming, he said.
"Sikkim is a small state. It is sparsely populated. But is set to become
a fully organic state soon. This is a matter of pride," the prime
minister had said in the Lok Sabha in June last year. There is a major
demand for organic produce in the world today and people are willing to
pay large sums of money for such products, he had said, while assuring
that the Centre would help Sikkim make a big dent in the global market.
The state has 185 clusters where it is mandatory to hold four awareness
campaigns in a year so that all farmers get the latest information on
organic farming. Though maize and rice are grown in about 50,000
hectares, the main cash crops are cardamom, flowers and mandarins,
It is a wrong notion that the yield drops when you start growing through
organic methods. After the third year from the time you stop chemicals,
the yield gradually goes up, he said.
If the state is to achieve 100 percent organic, the yield is just one
aspect, Bhutia said and added that the income levels of farmers will go
up, as they will get a premium for their produce. The soil health will
improve and air and water will be free of chemicals, he said.
The number of tourists will go up when the state will be environmentally
clean with air and water and it will also generate more employment, he
said. The state government does not view the entire organic farming only
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