| FAQ about Organic Agriculture
Can Organic farmers produce enough food for everybody ?
Food security is not only a question of the ability to produce food, but also of the ability to access food. Global food production is more than enough to feed the global population, the problem is getting it to the people who need it. In market-marginalized areas, organic farmers can increase food production by managing local resources without having to rely on external inputs or food distribution systems over which they have little control and/or access. It is to be noted that although external agricultural inputs can be substituted by organic management of natural resources, land tenure remains a main constraint to the labour investments needed for organic agriculture. Organic farms grow a variety of crops and livestock in order to optimize competition for nutrients and space between species: this results in less chance of low production or yield failure in all of these simultaneously. This can have an important impact on local food security and resilience. In rain-fed systems, organic agriculture has demonstrated to outperform conventional agricultural systems under environmental stress conditions. Under the right circumstances, the market returns from organic agriculture can potentially contribute to local food security by increasing family incomes. At the global level, however, and with the present state of knowledge and technology, organic farmers cannot produce enough food for everybody.
Organic agriculture and yields
The performance of organic agriculture on production depends on the previous agricultural management system. An over-simplification of the impact of conversion to organic agriculture on yields indicates that :
Organic agriculture and food security
Persisting world hunger has demonstrated that agriculture alone (be it conventional or not) cannot alone solve food insecurity. Still, many questions are asked with regards to the ability of organic agriculture to provide food - and many speculations are made, without any comprehensive data basis. No global evaluation on the contribution of organic agriculture to food security exists, essentially due to the small place it occupies within the agriculture sector as a whole. Projections are also difficult to make due to lack of data, lack of a common model for data collection and analysis, as well as rapid changes in agricultural technology and development policies.