Lack of official data, open registers, access to organic seeds – and the absence, or rather low, level of state support in EaP countries all contribute to poor traceability and public awareness, heard the participants of Eastern Partnership (EaP) Panel on Organic Agriculture. Representing Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF), Katerina Shor (Information Center “Green Dossier,” Ukraine) and Georgeta Mincu (Pro Didactica, Moldova) encouraged the adoption of national legislation based on EU laws, in order to improve the collection and public availability of statistics in the organic sector. What is more, EaP countries need to control the use of pesticides and GMOs – which, in varying degrees, continue to pose a problem across the entire region.
Adopting legislation to redress these issues may could also include preferential support for organic farmers – through the introduction of financial mechanisms (e.g. subsidies), learnt the Panel participants. The EaP CSF presentation consisted of a brief analysis of the data collected on organic farming in all countries of the EaP region. The presentation also introduced a set of recommendations for EaP governments, and the EU, in regards to the challenges common to all six EaP countries, uncovered by the data analysis. The EaP Panel on Agriculture, focusing on Organic Agriculture took place between 25-26 April 2019 in Tartu, Estonia. It was hosted by the Ministry of Rural Affairs of Estonia, bringing officials from the European Commission (DG AGRI), the Ministry of Rural Affairs of Estonia, as well as participants from the EaP countries and Estonian organic farming organisations.