Coronavirus pandemic leads to demand increasing for organic food in China
Bai Keyu 1 ,Zhang Zongwen 2, Li Guanqi 3
1 Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, Beijing office, Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, 100081, China
2 Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, Beijing office Institute of Crop Sciences Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, 100081, China
3 Famer’s Seed Network, Nanning,530007,China
The spreading of the coronavirus has caused raising the public awareness of the nutritional food, which can be used to increase their immunity, more and more consumers are caring about the value of organic food, and many studies also back up the idea confirming the health benefits organic food. People in some countries have reported making healthier eating choices during the coronavirus crisis. New research also found that people facing stay-at-home orders tried cooking new healthy things and threw away less fast food.
In China, both organic agriculture and ecological agriculture are facing the problem of obtaining and using safe ecological seeds. The seeds cultivated for organic and ecological conditions are hard to guarantee. With the support of Oxfam Hong Kong, the Farmers’ Seed Network has launched a pilot project of ecological breeding, knowledge sharing and policy improvement to promote the green transformation of agriculture and build a sustainable food system.
Based on this background, the launching workshop was held on Sharing Harvest CSA Farm, Shunyi, Beijing on August 22nd. 2020. This kick off workshop aims to 1)clarify the objective and strategy of participatory ecological breeding, and establish the mechanism for technology and knowledge sharing; 2) organize technical training on agroecosystem and ecological agriculture, and establish standardized monitoring system; 3) introduce the good practices of pilot farm, and identify the key restricts.
The workshop also invited experts in the field of eco agriculture and agrobiodiversity to provide conceptual and technical training for the project partners. Before that, the Farmers’ Seed Network has successfully completed 10 projects supported by OXFAM Hong Kong since 2015. The project covers the theory of small holder farmers seed conservation and utilization, the practices of participatory guarantee system and plant breeding, suggestions on policies and regulations and the establishment of national and international sharing and exchange networks. With project successfully implementing, and remarkable achievements have been made in terms of theory, methodologies and good practices, policy suggestions, knowledge sharing and regional cooperation. All these good practices will be very useful for promoting the ecological seed used for organic farmers, expanding the market for organic agriculture and organic products, developing the linkages between small holder farmers with market, and integrating traditional seed protection with national agricultural policies and planning. All these could be a good starting point for further increasing the public awareness for organic foods, and find a good solution for the human being facing the challenge from coronavirus.