ORGANIC FARMING: BETTER BALANCE, COMPETITIVENESS AND SUSTAINABILITY
Organic farming and consumption of products of biological origin is no longer an epiphenomenon. According to a study by the Agence BIO in 2014, consumption of French organic products represents about 3% of the total food consumption – with 88% of the French who regularly consume products of biological origin.
To the question Is organic farming more profitable than conventional agriculture? , a study published in May 2015 in the journal PNAS has just partially answered. The organic farming would indeed positive in many ways although product prices remain slightly higher and should remain to ensure its development.
ORGANIC FARMING VS CONVENTIONAL AGRICULTURE
More and more people are recognizing organic agriculture (AB) as being important for the future of global food security, while others are projecting an unpromising future. Far from the polemics and although organic agriculture is developing rapidly, this sector currently occupies only 1% of the cultivated land in the World.
If organic farming can continue to grow will probably be determined by the fact that it is economically competitive with conventional agriculture. In this model of thought and stake, researchers analyzed the financial performance of organic and conventional agriculture through 40 years of studies covering 55 cultures on five continents. They found that ” despite the decline in yields, organic farming was significantly more profitable than conventional agriculture and has room to expand globally. Furthermore, with its environmental benefits, organic farming can contribute a greater share of sustainable food in the world.”
Agriculture bio in the World
To promote food and ecosystem security, several innovative agricultural systems have been identified as promoters for a better balance of multiple sustainability goals.The most rapid and controversial growth of these systems is organic farming. Whether organic farming can continue to grow will probably be determined by the fact that it must be economically competitive with conventional agriculture. The study of the financial performance of organic and conventional agriculture through a meta-analysis of a global data set covering 55 crops on five continents has streamlined the current benefits and values of organic agriculture – weaker than conventional agriculture in a significant way. However, organic farming would be slightly more profitable, especially with higher “benefit/cost” ratios than conventional agriculture.
The researchers point out that the total costs are not significantly different, although the labor costs are clearly higher with the practices of organic farming compared to the so-called conventional agriculture. The studies in this meta-analysis did not represent either the environmental costs or the ecosystem services of good agricultural practices that are likely to favor organic farming.
With only 1% of the world agricultural area in organic production, the results suggest that organic farming should continue to grow; and that with their multiple sustainability benefits, organic farming systems can contribute to a greater share of global food supply.