Book of Abstracts
11th IFOAM Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996, Copenhagen, Denmark
Spanish Society of Ecological Agriculture (SEAE), 28040 Madrid.
The official regulation of ecological agriculture in 1989 meant the beginning of a new period in the development of ecological agriculture in Spain. One of the main changes was that the associations gave up their control and certification schemes on behalf of a single national authority (CRAE), which later on gave way to regional authorities dependent of the Departments of Agriculture of the Regional Governments (Spain is divided in 17 Regions). The associations participate actively in the elaboration of national and regional regulations, and keep their specific formation, advice, promotion and marketing activities.
The registered certified surface has reached 20.000 ha in 1995. The production is mainly sold in foreign markets and this is the reason why the farms are mostly concentrated in the Mediterranean (warm) region. However, the creation of regional control authorities is promoting the development of ecological agriculture in regions where it was little significant.
Unfortunately, the number of technicians with formation and experience in ecological agriculture is small and insufficient to satisfy the present needs of experimentation, advice and formation. Besides, the official research programs still do not recognize ecological agriculture as an specific research line. To change this situation, researchers, university professors and technicians created in 1992 the Spanish Society of Ecological Agriculture (SEAE), a national level non-governmental organization. It has 150 members and promotes actions to improve research, formation and advice in ecological agriculture. SEAE organizes courses, conferences, workshops and holds, every two years, a Scientific Congress. SEAE is also setting up a documentation center and a database specialized in ecological agriculture, located at the Polytechnic University of Madrid.