Representatives from the Lao People's Democratic Republic and Uganda involved in developing organic agriculture with UNCTAD support, and other stakeholders including international organizations such as the International Trade Centre, will participate in a Trade and Development Board session in Room XXVI at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on 22 September from 1pm-3pm.
On 23 September these delegations will take the opportunity to visit and draw ideas from organic farms in the Swiss regions of Satigny and Meinier. The visits are held in close cooperation with the Swiss Research Institute on Organic Agriculture (FiBL).
The objective of these events is to:
Discuss opportunities and challenges in promoting organic agriculture as a development driver in the Lao People's Democratic Republic and Uganda.
Highlight the outcome of the Third Lao Organic Agriculture Forum held in Vientiane in July 2014.
Share lessons learned from Lao People's Democratic Republic and Uganda for other developing countries and "least developed countries" such as the United Republic of Tanzania which will benefit from the support of UNCTAD and UN partner agencies in developing organic agriculture potential.
UNCTAD has been active in promoting organic agriculture as a means to increase the income of rural communities while improving environmental sustainability and assisting developing countries in accessing markets where organic produce commands price premiums.
Since 2004, UNCTAD activities carried out in East Africa and Asia have covered issues such as:
Organic standards harmonization and equivalence
Global organic market access (GOMA)
Private standards (UNFSS)
Developing linkages between organic agriculture and tourism industries
Assistance for the expansion of organic agriculture movements and policy to expand organic agriculture
Under the aegis of the UN inter-agency cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity, UNCTAD contributes to an inter-agency project on "Enhancing sustainable tourism, clean production and export capacity in the Lao People's Democratic Republic".
This project operates in close cooperation with the International Labour Organization, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the International Trade Centre and the United Nations Office for Project Services), with financial support from the development agency of the government of Switzerland (SECO).