First international conference

Organic Rice Farming and Production Systems

27th-30th August 2012

Montpellier - FRANCE

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Key dates

February 2012

Paper submission open

March, 26th 2012

Online pre-registration open

April, 30th 2012

Paper submission deadline EXTENDED

May, 9th 2012

Online registration open

May, 15th 2012

Notification of paper acceptance

June, 15th 2012

Submission of final papers

August 27th2012

Registration deadline

Sessions

The conference is organized into an introductory session followed by six theme based sessions. Each session is based on presentations combined with exchanges between scientists, rice growers and other stakeholders in the organic rice production and value-chain.

Opening session. Three keynotes about:

- The roots and dynamics of evolution of organic agriculture at the world level.

- Importance of rice production and challenges of organic rice development throughout the world.

- Two presentations of organic rice producers.

Session 1. Organic rice cropping systems.

Organic rice production faces technical obstacles, one of the most important being weeds management. Several research and experiments are being carried out in experimental stations and in real farms. The aim of this session is to draw a picture of the technical solutions and obstacles for organic rice production development. Here are examples of questions to be treated in presentations:

- What level of yields can be expected in organic agriculture compared to conventional or integrated agriculture?

- What practices (preceding crop, crop residue management, tillage, choice of varieties, crop establishment, date for sowing, water management and fertilisation management) for weed management in rice production?

- What performances can be expected for cropping systems with several successive organic rice crops?

- What practices can be developed for cropping systems based on rice production?

- Which knowledge and lessons can be learned from low input (and
sometimes not certified) cropping systems?

- What impacts does organic rice production have on the field biophysical environment?

Session 2. Organic rice within the farming system

The importance of organic rice production in the farming systems can vary a lot. Some farms are totally converted to organic production, others are partially converted (specific activities are organic, including rice production), while some associate grain production and livestock. These differences of systems correspond to different strategies and possible pathways for the development of organic rice production. Analysing these strategies at the farm level will allow enlightening issues such as:

- What are the socio-economic and environmental performances of organic farming systems? What are the differences between these farming systems and conventional and integrated farming systems?

- What are the technical, economic and organisational constraints that can limit the conversion to organic production, especially in rice production? What conditions are required to facilitate the conversion?

- What can be the place of rice in crop rotations? What sorts of crop/livestock associations can be envisaged, and with what consequences for the rice cropping systems?

- What role can the organic rice production and commercialisation chain play in the farming systems trends?

Session 3. The organic rice production system within the territory and the commercialisation chain.

In some regions, organic farming yet covers an important part of the lands. In other regions, its development is encouraged by great political efforts. However, what could be the consequences of the extension of organic systems at the regional level, for example on the employment, the environment or on the biotic pressures? The objective of this session is to synthesize knowledge about the consequences and conditions that would favour an important development of organic farming, and especially of organic rice systems, in the regions of production. Some questions that could be the object of presentations are for example:

- What could be the consequences of different scenarios of organic farming development on the economic development of a region?

- What could be the issues related to the coexistence of organic and non-organic production in regions?

- What could be the environmental consequences? Is it possible, in case of a total conversion, to maintain the area under rice cultivation and the needed infrastructure for irrigation?

- How the transition toward organic systems can be accompanied at the regional level? What role for the value-chain?

- What can be the influence of the stakeholders of the value-chain on the development of OF?

- Which policies to encourage the development of organic rice systems?

Session 4. Organic rice production contribution to sustainable development

The objective of this session is to identify the possible contributions of organic rice and farming system to the objectives of sustainable development. Communications are expected in themes related to consumers’ expectations, on the possible organization between production and consumption, on questions related to food and nutrition, and on questions related to sanitary and food consumption in link to organic rice at the national and world levels. Some examples of questions to be tackled are:

- Will organic rice production be able to meet the demand for rice in 2030 or 2050?

- What could be the impacts of the development of organic rice production in comparison to the conventional production on the health of producers and consumers? On employment? On the biodiversity? Etc.

Session 5. Round table

The round table will bring together speakers from the first four sessions in order to synthesize the state of the art and bring out the hot topics for further research on:

- What are the natures of the links between organic rice production and sustainable development?

- What technical and economic levers to assist the development of the organic rice production and value-chain?

- Which stakes for the future of organic rice production? Which perspectives?

Conclusions

Synthesis of the challenges, issues and objectives for research and development of organic production.

Session 6. Field visit, 28th August 2012 (see program)

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