Without few exceptions, organic farming in Bangladesh is still on experimental basis. Based on International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movement (IFOAM) statistics, total land area under organic cultivation in Bangladesh is 0.177 million ha that is only 2 percent of the country’s total cultivable land and till the decade only 100 of its traditional farms have been converted into organic. Actually, organic farming has been introduced in the country particularly by the NGOs. Since the inception of organic farming in the country, still this movement is running with the direct leadership of different NGOs. According to IFOAM (1996), “138 NGOs are the member of the Forum for Regenerative Agriculture Movement (FORAM), 47 of them are engaged in practicing organic agriculture, 87 are intending to practice sustainable agriculture and 3 of them are engaged in advocacy, lobbying and campaign for sustainable development in Bangladesh”.
Aim and objective of OSP:
- Organize farmer group and conduct training on organic shrimp farming by OSP training team
- Assist and support farm to follow the organic shrimp culture practices like compost preparation, dyke greening, good quality PL stocking, proper post harvest management and documentation by the Follow up Team.
- Conduct yearly basis twice internal farmer inspection to every farmers by the Inspection Team (fill out inspection form and recorded GPS data for every farmers)
- Documented all farmers collected information data in the XL sheet and GPS data in the Google earth program by documentation Team.
- Establish the proper traceability system from PL to final finish product, each farmer have green book, ID number and ID card and GPS information.
- Organize a third party external inspection for Naturland certification or Organic certificate.
- Marketing the organic product in the European supermarket for create the image of Bangladesh
What is “ORGANIC”?
In general, “organic” defines everything that is compostable. But this is not the meaning of “organic”, when talking about organic food products. For food products like shrimp, we are talking about “certified organic” products.
To be “certified organic”, a product must be grown and manufactured in a manner that complies with standards set by the country they are sold in.
ORGANIC PRODUCT = CERTIFICATE
NO CERTIFICATE = NO ORGANIC PRODUCT
If the OSP BD wants to sell “certified organic shrimp” to the European Market Accordingly all shrimp must comply with the EU-Eco-regulation.
This regulation describes the requirements for the whole production and supply chain for organic products. It is not a production manual, but describes, what is allowed, what is not allowed and gives lists of allowed inputs and allowed techniques. How the production procedure is adapted to the regulation is up to the producer.
This regulation also describes how traceability must be maintained and many other details.
Traceability mean source of the product that is in case of shrimp PL to final product. Consumers want to know from where the products come from and way production technique.
– Farmer stocked PL from organic certified hatchery and designated hatchery (Source of PL is traceable)
-Farmer sells shrimp in the Collection Center (So product source that is from where we get the product that we know)
– Production in Collection Center group wise (we know how many CC from the CC group)
-Lot number (CC group wise, date of production etc)
– Sells in Europe the final packing.
So if the final customer want to know which farmer farm or hatchery produce PL later on shrimp he is eating it possible for him to find . This is call traceable product.
These regulations are mainly 3 documents:
- EC 834/2007: on organic production and labeling of organic products
- EC 889/2008: laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 on organic production and labeling of organic products with regard to organic production, labeling and control
- EC 710/2009: amending Regulation (EC) No 889/2008, as regards laying down detailed rules on organic aquaculture animal and sea weed production
These regulations build up on each other and can not be understood independently.
To control the compliance of any production to the organic standards, every country has accredited “control bodies”. These control bodies are entitled to carry out inspections and submit an inspection report. Based on this report it is decided by an independent committee if any farm, hatchery or processor can be “certified organic” or not. Example: of a control body – BIOSUISSE from Switzerland, Indocert from India etc.
- “Organic” is not a general term, but a protected and well defined term.
- “Organic” is defined by international legislation.
- To decide what is organic and what is not organic, external control bodies are accredited by the different governments of the respective country to carry out inspections.
- Every input, every procedure must be approved by these external control bodies prior to certification.
- If you are not 100% sure what practice is approved by the EC-Eco-regulations you have to ask before using any input in your farm to make sure you are following the standards.
- Non-conformity lead to sanctions and decertification
The 8 main issues for the OSP
(You always have be kept in your mind regarding the organic standards)
- Farmer has to attend training with farm worker and family member
- Farmer are not allowed to use any chemical fertilizer, Antibiotic or pesticide in his farm.
- Only certified organic feed can be used in his farm
- Only certified organic PL or PL from designated hatcheries (hatchery where production is properly controlled and documented to satisfy the regulations) can be used on organic farms. Wild catch PL is not allowed
- Parallel production is not allowed
Parallel production means that one farmer cannot culture the same species organic and non organic / conventional way either in same pond or different pond.
- Farmers have to make the dyke green
Greening of the dykes improves the environmental conditions of the pond, prevents from erosion, enhances biodiversity and also has a positive impact on the water quality. For these reasons the greening of dykes is a part of the organic standards and is controlled during inspections.
- Farmer has to ensure the top quality of the shrimp.
- Farmer has to maintain regular documentation about their farm
It is essential to be able to prove to the external control body and the customer, that your operation is 100% following the organic principle. Documented evidence and prove is better than 1000 promises given by words.
Process Flow of Organic culture certification:
- Farmer Selection:
- Individual Contract
- Farmer group meeting and selection of farmer
- Farmer contract sigh and Farmers registration
- Entry the Data in the XL sheet
- Farmer Training:
- Make sure farmer understand the organic regulation before start the project
- Train up farmer on technical issue that is culture organic shrimp
- Internal Inspection:
- After the farmers training the internal inspection is carried out
- On the Basis of the internal inspection Approved Farmer List (AFL) is prepared
- The AFL is submitted the control body prior to the External inspection.
- External Inspection:
- Inspection of the ICS
- Inspection of farms (random)
- Inspection of hatcheries, feed mills and processors
- Submit the audit report to the Certification committee
- Issuing Organic Certification:
Naturland/ EU will issue the group certification on the Basis of audit report
Environmental, social and economical responsibilities of Organic farming ( Organic Responsibility)
- Not only is the farm itself considered, but also the surrounding environment (environmental assessment). E.g. you cannot produce organic shrimp, if your rest of your farm is a rubbish dump, full of plastic, or is used as a latrine. Such a farm is not “organic”, even if you use organic feed, seed, do not use any fertilizers, no antibiotics etc.
- It is not allowed to destroy a natural ecosystem like mangrove forests, to build shrimp farms for organic production.
- The cultured species shall be a domestic species, to avoid any negative impact on the environment if your cultured species escapes.
- Water quality parameters are very important for the animal welfare and have to controlled, like: pH, Temperature, salinity. To ensure less stress for the animal and good growth.
- Natural resources like land/soil, water and other inputs like energy (also feed) have to used in a sustainable way, to insure also next generations can utilize these resources in the same way as we are using them today.
- Shrimp culture has to be based on the natural productivity of the pond and feed can only be given supplementary
- The use of genetically modified organisms GMO is not allowed, because today nobody knows the consequences of the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) for the environment.
- Organic farm management has to be socially responsible.
- The regulations also apply to the people working on organic farms.
- You cannot produce organic shrimp with child labour, or forced labour.
- Worker from different countries/regions believing in different religions have be treated equally
- Equal payments for women and man are required, even if they do the same work.
- Organic farm management has to be economically sustainable to insure a long term impact
- Payment terms shall be transparent and fair to all stakeholders
- Too low prices are not sustainable because the producers income is put at a risk, too high prices are not sustainable, because they put the consumer acceptance at a great risk