Why food security can only be done through organic agriculture


Organic agricultural practices that have access to proper resources and learn best practises are more likely to generate much higher crop yields. This allows farmers to not only secure enough for their own needs, but also to sell in local markets.


Can organic farming contribute to sustainable food security?

Organic farming is not the paradigm for sustainable agriculture and food security, but smart combinations of organic and conventional methods could contribute toward sustainable productivity increases in global agriculture. 1. INTRODUCTION Organic food is increasing in popularity.

Does organic certification improve food security and nutrition?

Several studies have also analyzed nutrition effects, suggesting that organic certification helps to improve food security and dietary quality in farming households ( Becchetti et al. 2012, Chiputwa & Qaim 2016, Meemken et al. 2017a ). Positive effects on dietary diversity can even occur in the absence of income gains ( Meemken et al. 2017a ).

Can organic agriculture alone feed the world?

Hence, the question of whether organic agriculture alone could actually feed the world with its 7.5 billion people today, and likely over 9 billion people by 2050, arises time and again ( Badgley et al. 2007, Connor 2008, Erb et al. 2016, Seufert & Ramankutty 2017, Muller et al. 2017, Taheri et al. 2017 ).

What is organic agriculture and why is it important?

“Organic agriculture is a holistic production management system which promotes and enhances agro-ecosystem health, including biodiversity, biological cycles, and soil biological activity.


How organic agriculture can help achieve food security?

Organic farms grow a variety of crops and livestock in order to optimize competition for nutrients and space between species: this results in less chance of low production or yield failure in all of these simultaneously. This can have an important impact on local food security and resilience.

Does agriculture lead to food security?

The livelihoods of most food-insecure households worldwide are still largely based on agricultural activities. Growth in the agricultural sector has a much greater effect on food security than growth in any other sector.

What is the relationship between food security and agriculture?

Agricultural development is critically important to improving food security and nutrition. Its roles include: increasing the quantity and diversity of food; driving economic transformation; and providing the primary source of income for many of the world’s poorest people.

What are the benefits of organic agriculture?

Compared with conventional agriculture, organic farming uses fewer pesticides, reduces soil erosion, decreases nitrate leaching into groundwater and surface water, and recycles animal wastes back into the farm. These benefits are counterbalanced by higher food costs for consumers and generally lower yields.

Why agricultural development is important for maintaining food security?

Agriculture has a special and important place in society because it ensures the production of food and fibre, is essential to food security and to social and economic development, employment, maintenance of the countryside, and conservation of land and natural resources, and helps sustain rural life and land.

How can we achieve food security?

How can food security be achieved in the future? Fair Trade. Local Food Security Reserves. Agroecology. Initiatives by and for small-scale farmers. Less food wastage.

What is the role of agriculture in food and nutrition security?

Physical and economic access to adequate and affordable nutritious food is primarily a function of the agriculture sector, through support to increased production, improved post-harvest storage and processing (including food safety issues such as aflatoxin control), and reduced transport costs which can lower food …

How does sustainable agriculture affect food security?

Sustainable agriculture and food systems such as organic agriculture and agro-ecology improve food security, eradicate hunger and are economically viable, while conserving land, water, plant and animal genetic resources, biodiversity and ecosystems and enhancing resilience to climate change and natural disasters.

Can organic farming be a sustainable method of food production for the future?

Since it does not include the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, organic agriculture is very sustainable in many aspects. Organic farms tend to have more fertile soil, use less energy, and sequester more carbon.

Why is organic food important?

Leave Chemicals Off Your Plate Certified organic agricultural operations (certified organic farmers) avoid the use of most synthetic pesticides found in conventional agriculture. Chemical pesticides and herbicides have been linked to birth defects, obesity, diabetes, ADHD, and other health problems.

How does organic farming protect the environment?

Here are some key reasons why organic farming can be described as a step towards sustainable agriculture –Reduces Exposure To Harmful Chemicals. … Consumes Less Energy. … Reduces Nitrogen Run-Off Induced Pollution. … Facilitates Healthy Soil Formation. … Combats the Effects of Global Warming.

How does organic farming affect the economy?

For instance, when households decide to allocate land, labor, and capital to organic production, the income from other economic activities may also be affected through resource reallocation and other types of spillovers. Several studies have analyzed the effects of organic certification on total household income, thus implicitly capturing spillovers. Again, the results are mixed and context specific. While some studies suggest that organic certification has no effect or even negative effects on income and the likelihood to be poor ( Barham & Weber 2012, Beuchelt & Zeller 2011, Chiputwa et al. 2015, Jena et al. 2017, Mitiku et al. 2017, Valkila 2009 ), others find exactly the opposite ( Ayuya et al. 2015, Jones & Gibbon 2011, Kleemann & Abdulai 2013 ).

Why is organic food so popular?

Organic food is increasing in popularity. The growing demand is mainly attributable to consumer concerns about negative implications of conventional agriculture for human health and the environment. Especially in developed countries, most consumers consider organic food to be safer and healthier than conventionally produced food ( Funk & Kennedy 2016 ). Rich-country consumers often also perceive organic farming to be better for the environment, climate protection, and animal welfare ( Seufert et al. 2017 ). In Europe in particular, organic farming has such a positive public image that it is commonly touted as the paradigm for sustainable agriculture ( Mercati 2016 ). A representative survey carried out in Germany showed that approximately 50% of the population considers wider adoption of organic agriculture as an important strategy to fight global hunger ( Klümper et al. 2013 ). The same survey revealed that agrochemicals and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are often perceived as major threats to food security. In developing countries, the awareness of organic agriculture is still lower, but European perceptions and food preferences are also starting to gain ground, especially among better-off urban consumers ( Greenpeace 2015, Probst et al. 2012 ).

How did organic farming start?

The idea of organic agriculture evolved in the early twentieth century in the context of urbanization and the increasing use of agrochemical inputs in farming. The organic movement started in German- and English-speaking countries and was influenced by different groups that promoted rural traditions and the use of biological (instead of synthetic) fertilizers ( Vogt 2007 ). For several decades, the organic movement remained very small, but it has gained popularity since the 1970s with rising public concerns about health and environmental effects of industrialized farming ( Lockeretz 2007 ). In the following decades, governments in several rich countries started to subsidize the organic sector. As a result, the market share of certified organic products increased. In the European Union and the United States, policy measures to support organic farming include governmental regulations and standards, direct subsidies to organic producers, research funding, and sponsorship of communication instruments such as promotion campaigns and organic labeling. The rationale for government interventions is to reward organic farmers for their superior environmental performance and compensate for related increases in production costs or decreases in yield ( Stolze & Lampkin 2009 ). More recently, policy support has also facilitated the adoption of organic standards in developing countries. Domestic governments and western development agencies have launched a number of projects to link smallholder farmers to organic export markets.

Why is soil unsuitable for agriculture?

Millions of hectares of previously fertile land have become unsuitable for agricultural production because of soil degradation (e.g., erosion), often as a result of mismanagement ( Halberg 2012 ). Organic practices such as the application of organic matter (e.g., green or animal manure) and longer and more diverse crop rotations with cover and catch crops can help to reduce soil erosion and fertility decline ( Lori et al. 2017, Niggli 2015 ). Meta-analyses and results from long-term field trials confirm that organically managed fields have higher contents of organic matter and larger and more active soil microbial communities ( Table 3 ), both key indicators of soil quality.

What are the measures to support organic farming?

In the European Union and the United States, policy measures to support organic farming include governmental regulations and standards, direct subsidies to organic producers, research funding, and sponsorship of communication instruments such as promotion campaigns and organic labeling.

How does agriculture affect the environment?

Agricultural production contributes to various environmental problems such as climate change, biodiversity loss, soil degradation, and water pollution ( Foley et al. 2011 ). It is widely believed that organic agriculture causes fewer negative environmental externalities than conventional agriculture, which is also the main reason why many governments subsidize the organic sector. In this section, we review the evidence of the effects of organic farming on various environmental aspects.

What are the yield gaps in organic farming?

Section 3 discussed the average organic yield gaps of 19–25% , which would mean additional land requirements of 23–33%. But in Section 3 we also discussed that yield gaps could increase if more farmers adopted organic agriculture. Organic farming is more knowledge intensive than conventional farming; therefore, there is little reason to assume that organic yields obtained on experimental stations or on 1% of the agricultural area could be extrapolated to all agricultural land worldwide. Larger yield gaps are especially likely when it comes to upscaling organic agriculture in the developing-country small farm sector, where levels of formal education are often low, and access to agricultural training is limited. Average yield gaps of 30–40% would already mean that 43–67% of additional land would be required to produce the same quantity of food with organic practices, implying a significant loss of natural habitats.

Why is organic farming important?

Organic agriculture is an accessible, affordable and empowering system for most smallholders given that its largely based on the use of local biodiversity and resources and incurs little external costs – particularly important for cash poor subsistence farmers.

What are the challenges of organic agriculture?

Organic agriculture can be a pathway to addressing not only hunger and malnutrition but also other challenges including poverty, water use, climate change, and unsustainable production and consumption.

How does input intensive agriculture affect the environment?

The negative impacts of input-intensive or industrial agriculture on the environment and health, its inefficacy to provide a decent income for farmers, its high reliance on fossil fuels and high vulnerability to climate change all show the need for change.

How much deforestation is caused by agriculture?

There are estimates that agriculture is directly responsible for 80% of deforestation worldwide. Farmers often bear the consequences of our unsustainable economies and lifestyles. They are some of the world’s poorest and most food insecure people, most severely hit by climate change.

How much of the $700bn a year given to farmers is used to benefit the environment?

Many of our policies only exacerbate the issues. According to a recent analysis, only 1% of the $700bn a year given to farmers is used to benefit the environment.

What does changing food systems mean?

Changing food systems also means changing conditions for farmers and food workers by placing greater emphasis on equity, social justice, and inclusivity. Changing our diets, for example, eating less meat, and choosing locally grown, seasonal, organic produce plays an important role as well. Our work on various topics.

How much of the world’s land surface is affected by land degradation?

Land degradation has reduced the productivity of 23% of the global land surface, up to US$577 billion in annual global crops are at risk from pollinator loss.


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