Farming In Harmony with Nature






To commemorate International Mother Earth Day, the United Nations hosted its 4th Interactive Dialogue of the General Assembly on Harmony with Nature on April 22, 2014. OSGATA President and Maine organic seed farmer Jim Gerritsen presented “Advantages & Challenges of Organic Farming: A Farming System Based on Harmony with Nature” as part of the dialogue.

In his presentation [32:41 to 48:13 in the archived video], Gerritsen explains that organic farming is a sustainable agriculture system that seeks to be in harmony with nature. He says, “An organic farm is full of life: of soil life, plant life, animal and human life. Traditional human knowledge, elevating skills of husbandry and stewardship are recognized, valued and honored. Organic systems are biased towards long-term benefit and stability.”

Gerritsen also summarizes some of the challenges facing organic agriculture today, including the privatization of seed- a resource once held in the commons- and the patenting on life forms. Gerritsen spoke to OSGATA’s work addressing these challenges including the OSGATA et al. v. Monsanto lawsuit to challenge the validity of Monsanto’s GE seed patents and the recently published peer-reviewed handbook, Protecting Organic Seed Integrity: The Organic Farmer’s Handbook to GE Avoidance and Testing.

Read the full text of Gerritsen’s presentation, “Advantages & Challenges of Organic Farming” here.

Click here for a link to video of the presentation. Other panelists included: Professor Frank Biermann of the Earth System Governance Project and VU University in Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Professor Barbara Baudot of the Department of Politics at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire, USA; and Mr. Fander Falconί Benitez, Research Professor of the Latin America Social Sciences Institute (FLACSO).






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