Title: Institutional Development of Organic Agriculture in Syria
Objectives: The overall development objectives of the project were to prepare the ground for the establishment of the legal, institutional and scientific platform where researchers, producers, processors and traders can fully implement their potential, in order to improve their revenues, the global economic situation of the country and contribute to environmental improvement. During Phase I of the project the following has been achieved:
The draft text of the proposal for a national law on defining organic farming, including implementing regulations, standards and and the overall institutional organization, has been prepared through a consultative process. A blueprint for the government regulatory/monitoring function, along with the rules for certification bodies, have been included in the draft OA Law and Implementing Regulations. In addition, a group of programme managers and technicians were trained on international organic control and certification procedures through in-country seminars as well as study tours and a stage at a certification body abroad. Furthermore, a multi-level cadre of trained technicians, trainers and and scientists has been created, spanning several different national institutions and organizations, through international and in-country training, able to support the development of organic farming under Syrian conditions. Finally, a website on organic agriculture, in Arabic and English language, has been developed as an interactive instrument for communications on OA development addressing also market opportunities for Syrian products.
The overarching aim of a second phase (2010-2013) was to capitalize on the achievements of Phase I and to provide further institutional strengthening and technical guidance in strategic areas in order to increase the output of certified organic agricultural production in Syria, with a progressively growing involvement of interested farmers and other private sector stakeholders.