Title: Exploring organic agriculture in Iceland through the lens of ecological ethics: implications for Kyrgyzstan

Author(s): Igor Taranov
Final project
Year of publication:
organic agriculture, ecological ethics, Iceland, Kyrgyzstan


In view of global climate change and the pressing issue of land degradation, sustainable agricultural practices such as organic farming represent one of the viable solutions. This research contributed to better understanding of the concept of sustainability by placing emphasis on the ethical aspect in organic farmers’ decision-making and elaborated on the thresholds and opportunities for organic agriculture development in Iceland and Kyrgyzstan. The study employed semi-structured interviews and a literature survey for data collection. Twelve stakeholders in the organic sector from varied geographical regions of Iceland were interviewed. A thematic analysis of the interview transcripts was conducted. The respondents reported that organic farmers’ mindsets could be characterized through their ethical values connected to nature and society. Among the key values participants mentioned were care for the environment, with the accent placed on soil and human health, respect for nature, dedication and commitment to organic principles, and fairness to customers. The following main thresholds for the enhancement of organic agriculture in Iceland were identified: a public policy vacuum, lack of a strategic vision and political leadership, poor linkages among the stakeholders of the organic agriculture sector, inadequate system for financial support to stimulate organic conversion, and unrealized organic market potential. Based on these thresholds, recommendations for the organic sectors of Iceland and Kyrgyzstan were formulated. Specific recommendations for the Kyrgyz organic sector included prioritization of organic farming in policies, organic market development, promotion of role modeling, establishment of an interactive platform for the stakeholders, and greener agendas in research and education. The findings indicate that ethical values are essential aspects of organic farmers’ decision-making and should be considered in the policy-making process. On a larger scale, this research illustrates the importance of farmers’ ethics in reaching sustainability and tackling environmental issues.

Documents and links