Comprehensive study gives the lie to claims that organic agriculture cannot feed the world because it gives low yields and there is insufficient organic fertilizer. Dr. Mae-Wan Ho
Two usual objections are levelled against the proposal that organic agriculture can feed the world. Organic agriculture, opponents claim, gives low yields, and there isn't enough organic fertilizer to boost yields substantially.
A team of scientists led by Catherine Badgley at the University of Michgan Ann Arbor in the United States has now refuted those common misconceptions about organic agriculture. Organic agriculture gives yields roughly comparable to conventional agriculture in developed countries and much higher yields in developing countries; and more than enough nitrogen can be fixed in the soil by using green manure alone.
The research team compared yields of organic and conventional agriculture (including low-intensive food production) in 293 examples, and estimated the average yield ratio (organic versus non-organic) of different food categories for the developed and the developing world. With the average yield ratios, they modelled the global food supply that could be grown organically in the current agricultural land base. The results indicate that organic methods could produce enough food to sustain the current human population, and potentially an even larger population, without increasing the agricultural land base.
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