Thursday, January 08, 2009
"Organic green revolution" can solve global hunger
In a new report, the Rodale Institute calls for a dramatic shift from costly, chemical-intensive industrial farming systems to regenerative organic systems, which it says can help the world feed itself. The report cites a study of small-scale farmers in 57 countries whose yields increased by an average 79 percent when they used sustainable agriculture techniques and other research in developing countries that found organic farming was two to three times more productive than conventional farming. Organic farming methods restore nutrients and carbon to the soil, resulting in higher nutrient density in crops and increased yields. Organic soils also contain more beneficial microorganisms, are less vulnerable to erosion, and retain moisture better to help plants survive drought conditions. A 28-year side-by-side comparison of organic and conventional practices on Rodale's research farm in Pennsylvania has found that organically grown corn and soybeans are more resistant to drought, outperforming conventional crops by 30 percent and 50 to 100 percent respectively. Read the report (pdf).
From The Union of Concerned Scientist