Can Organic Farming Feed The Whole World

In recent years, there has been a significant push saying that organic agriculture cannot feed the world. That is purely speculative. To begin with, the idea that 100% of agriculture would be organic is so far from reality that it’s similar to discussing living on Mars. Second, numerous scientific and policy papers show the opposite. According to one United Nations Environmental Program research from 2008, implementing organic farming practices increased the harvest in 114 projects across 24 African countries.

According to the most recent Nature research, 100% organic is conceivable, but 50% may be preferable.

The authors found that a 100% organic conversion is theoretically conceivable if combined with less food waste, less animal feed production (which today accounts for 69% of agriculture), and hence less meat consumption. Such a change would be beneficial to our climate. According to the authors, the most difficult difficulty is getting enough nitrogen into the soil. One option would be to increase our consumption of legumes, and so consume more “veggie meat,” such as lupine. The research also recommended that livestock be given grass. A combination of different farming approaches (organic and non-organic) would result in the best long-term sustainable food system.

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In the long run, sustainability

Organic agriculture has the potential to remediate deteriorated soils and ecosystems caused by conventional farming. The monocultures of the chemical-industrial approach harm ecosystems and the climate. These monocultures rely on a finite supply of fossil fuels and pose significant challenges to food security. Natural resources must be preserved in the long run in order to feed the planet. This necessitates conservation agriculture with closed nutrient cycles and organic farming approaches. Aside from food security, there are other benefits such as improved farmer health, improved soil water storage, less climate harm, increased biodiversity, and food sovereignty of nations and peoples.

Differences in economic yield

This is the result of a 50-study literature review. Organic farming takes more expertise and labor, but it also necessitates less expensive inputs. This is consistent with the situation in poor societies, where there is frequently a surplus of labor but a scarcity of material resources. Organic practices are thus an ideal complement to self-sustaining agriculture. According to research by Brazilian professor Irene Cardoso, when Brazilian coffee growers switched from traditional to agroecological practices, their income increased significantly. There, coffee production decreased little, but their costs decreased significantly more, and their income from other products increased. Aside from a healthier and more enjoyable lifestyle, this also results in a greater income.

Can Organic Farming Replace Modern Agriculture?

Scientifically weighing in

This report included contributions from 400 scientists from all across the world. Here’s a brief (but still detailed) outtake. The report asserts unequivocally that the existing industrial method, which is causing soil degradation and resource depletion, would not be able to feed a world of 9 billion people in 2050. The research offers a case for organic pesticides to replace agrochemical pesticides, while also adding value to ecosystems and enhancing organic processes. According to the research, there has been a one-sided focus on growing output, and we now want a more systems-oriented approach with sustainable resource management.

In addition, a large portion of agricultural products is wasted as fuel and animal fodder. Food production has expanded dramatically since the advent of industrial farming, while global hunger has remained constant. At the moment, 1 billion people are hungry, and 1 billion people are overweight. Famine is common in countries that have neglected their domestic agriculture policies for decades as a result of international neoliberal politics. Hunger in the world is, first and foremost, an economic and political issue.

Even 50% organic would be fantastic

In the future decades, a universal conversion to organic agriculture is an implausible possibility. At the moment, certified organic production accounts for around 1% of total production worldwide. The International Food Policy Research Institute (Halberg et al., 2007) investigated the effects of organic conversion in various parts of the world. According to the study, a 50% conversion would have little effect on food production in Europe and North America. A 50% conversion could substantially enhance food production in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Conclusion

The yield per surface area differs between organic and conventional agriculture. Organic agriculture yields less than conventional agriculture produce in Western countries. Organic cultivation, on the other hand, has substantially higher yields than subsistence agriculture in third-world countries. Our goal should not be to achieve the highest level of output at any cost for future generations, but rather to achieve sufficient production in a sustainable manner.