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Title: Developing organic farming in Portugal: challenges to training and extension
Authors: Cristovão, Artur Fernando Arede Correia
Koehnen, Timothy Leonard
Ribeiro, António
Boas, Dulce
Issue Date: 2002
Abstract: This study provides an overview of the evolution of organic farming in Portugal. It shows that this special farming sector is still very small, representing a limited number of operators and farmed land. It shows, as well, that major progress has occurred in recent years, especially since the mid 90's, and that there are favourable conditions to promote the use of organic production methods. However, the involvement and commitment of public authorities is still very incipient, far from the desirable. Most public institutions, namely those within the Ministry of Agriculture, lack specialised staff, and efforts in such fields as research, education, training and extension have been reduced. In the Regional Agricultural Services there are no extension agents dealing with organic farming, neither are consistent efforts made to implement experimentation or demonstration projects. The growing number of vocational schools and higher education institutions involved in organic farming should be underlined. There are new courses being created or planned, at undergraduate or graduate level. There is a growing number of researchers and projects, in line with a need to increase the consistency and quality of the programmes, and to build strong networks of concerned people. In the private sector, AGROBIO, has been, since 1985, the key actor. It has promoted training, dissemination of information, and stimulated field trials. It has worked with farmers, consumers, researchers, technicians and political decision makers. It has collaborated intensively with other Associations. Step by step, farmers, consumers, development agents and other actors have been building a framework to sustain the development of organic farming in Portugal. But the road ahead is still quite long, as many initiatives are new and there is a lack of qualified people.
Peer Reviewed: yes
Document Type: Article
Appears in Collections:CETRAD - Artigo publicado em Revista Científica Indexada

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