Low Organic Food Yields Not Enough to Feed to the Population

Published By : 13 Jul 2015 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

The demand for organic food is on the rise and not in just developed countries, but in developed countries too. In supermarkets, there are dedicated aisles for organic products. The rising awareness of organic food along with its increasing visibility and availability is fueling this demand. However, the trend that the demand for organic food in several countries is that the demand is exceeding supply. Amidst such demand-supply imbalance, is it possible for organic food to feed the entire world’s population?

Many think that organic farming will eventually replace the traditional farming practices. However, there are several technological limits that undermine this. Furthermore, the increasing number of standards and polices make it difficult for small farmers to comply with these standards and provide organic produce. Cost is another factor associated with organic farming, which tends to hamper the capacity for these farmers to implement organic farming practices.

The sale of organic beverages and food have spiked five times in the period of 1999 and 2013, according to the Swiss-based Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL. However, the most contentious issue related to organic food is the yield. If the same product is grown then the organic produce yield is around 8 to 19 per cent lower compared to traditional farming yields. And this is dependent on the cropping systems. Furthermore, organic farming can achieve a higher yield if there is government research funding which is at par with the support that conventional farming receives. For instance, in the United States, lower than 2 per cent of the USDA budget is dedicated to research, education, and extension for certified organic farming.

Besides the yield, another issue is that presently much more food is produced than necessary. 43 per cent of the cereal grains are produced globally for the population, while 35 per cent for the livestock, and 10 per cent for biofuels, processed products, and high fructose corn syrup. And not very surprisingly one-third of the food made for human consumption goes to waste. By reducing this waste and putting organic food on the priority it is possible to increase these yields and feed the world’s population.
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