Discussion Paper : Organic Agriculture: An option for fostering sustainable and inclusive agriculture development in India

02 Jun 2015

Land scarcity, degraded ecosystems and climate change are pressures that the agriculture sector confronts in the 21st century whilst needing to meet demands for food, feed and fibre, preserve natural resources as well as ensure profitability, economic and social equity (FAO, 2015). Industrialized agriculture,1 which is capital intensive, substituting animal and human labour with machines and purchased inputs (IAASTD, 2009) has been the favoured model for agriculture development due to its tremendous success in increasing food production. With a principal focus on enhancing yields, industrial agriculture is typically illustrated in large sized mechanized farms that are chemically intensive, mono-cropping production systems. While these systems are dominant in the developed world, the Green Revolution technologies introduced in Asia including India in the 1960s also promoted input intensive approaches to farming as a way to achieve food self-sufficiency. Yet, although industrial modes of agriculture have led to a significant growth in food production and therefore a decrease in the proportion of the world's hungry (Godfray etal., 2010; World Bank, 2008), hunger and malnutrition continue to persist in today's world. The current level food production is 1.5 times greater than what's needed to feed the world. It is thus sufficient to feed 10 billion people which is the projected population peak of 2050 (Holt-Gimenez, 2012). Yet one in nine people remain hungry in the world today (FAO, IFAD, and WFP, 2015).

Organic farming
Organic agriculture
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