Bogota, Colombia — Organics Alliance of Colombia (AOC) says the country’s ag-ag law will lead to “massive growth” in organic agriculture, and farmers’ unions are pushing to have it implemented as early as 2018.
Organic Alliance President Rafael Garcia said the law was the “largest victory” for farmers in Colombia since the ag-nag law was enacted in 2014.
“It’s a huge victory for farmers,” Garcia told ESPN Crikey on Tuesday.
“It’s the biggest victory in our history.”
The law, which was passed in December and comes into effect immediately, bans any type of commercial exploitation of agroecological resources.
The ag-ags law is aimed at limiting waste and environmental degradation caused by agrochemical use.
Garcia said it will lead farmers to “the best possible soil and agroforestry.”
The ag-a-gags law, however, also targets certain industries that the AOC said are heavily reliant on agro-products.
It bans the use of chemicals that are not certified organic, and it mandates that organic production must be conducted in a way that avoids environmental degradation.
The agags law has sparked a huge debate among farmers.
Some say it will negatively impact agroeconomic growth, while others say it is a great opportunity to boost organic agriculture.
“We’re in a transition phase, but the agag law is a huge win for our people,” Garcia said.
“And we want it to continue.
The law is the best possible way to create a sustainable future for our farmers and the economy.”
In October, Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos signed into law the Organic Act.
The act, which also allows the use and sale of GMO-free seeds, stipulates that “the ag- ag-AOD (Agro-Direct Marketing Office) shall be responsible for ensuring the compliance of organic agricultural production.”
Organic farmers argue that this law, as well as a raft of other ag-laws, unfairly targets their livelihoods.
According to the Agro-Eco-Diaspora, an NGO that tracks ag-products, organic food production in Colombia has declined by 22 percent over the past two years.
The organization also points to a recent poll that showed that more than 70 percent of Colombians supported the agroag-ag legislation.
“In Colombia, there’s an absolute war on ag-GMOs,” Garcia argued.
“If you take a poll of farmers, 70 percent say they want to continue growing the food, the economy will be stronger.
They’ll be able to support themselves more.”
Garcias, however is not convinced that the ag gag law will bring back the farm economy.
“There’s no real possibility,” he said.
“[It will] cause a lot of destruction.”