For years, there has been a belief that organic farming works better in highly developed Western nations. But this is seemingly not the case. Recent studies show that organic agriculture is easier for developing countries. Not only is this form of agriculture increasing its food supply, but it is also making farms more sustainable in developing countries.
According to research, in developed countries, organic agriculture yields 92% of the production of conventional farming. In developing nations, organic farming produces 80% more than conventional farms. The disparity in yields is caused by access to materials needed for organic farming. For example, in developing countries, chemical pesticides, insecticides, and fertilizers are expensive.
Conventional farmers cannot afford them. But if they want to go into organic farming, it is easier for them because they can produce their own organic fertilizers. In a sense, organic farmers in developing countries have an easier and cheaper way of going into organic agriculture.
The same cannot be said for those in developed countries. Not only is access to organic materials more difficult, but there are also more stringent government regulations that have to be followed. In developed countries, access to biosolids is restricted. There are a lot of permits and licenses that have to be complied with before an organic farmer can get access to organic materials.
Using this data, researchers looked into how organic farming can increase food production around the world. They found out that if farms worldwide use only an organic approach into farming, they would produce 2,641 to 4,381 calories per person per day. Currently, farms around the world produce an average of 2,786 calories per person per day.
This is what will happen with increased engagement in organic agriculture—better yields and more food supply. There are criticisms, of course, on how researchers arrived at this result. But they said that based even on the lower yields, it proves that this is sufficient enough to feed the world. Nutritionists agree that the average person needs only between 2,100 and 2,500 calories a day. The conservative yield for organic farming is 2,641 calories.
Precision Farming in Developing Countries
Small farms actually yield more produce per hectare of land. This is even truer in small farms in developing nations. It’s called precision farming and it happens because small farmers put more effort into managing their lands and produce. But farms can’t get into small-scale farming because of the rising cost of labor. In countries like China and India, laborers (farmers) are being pulled from the countryside to work on large farms.
What the researchers want to make clear is that conventional farming cannot be cheaper than organic farming. The cost of conventional agriculture to the health of the people and the environment shows that organic farming is a much superior farming method.