Can organic agriculture feed the world’s hungry?

According to recent research conducted by scientists at the University of California Berkeley, small farmers could play an important role in saving world hunger, after all. The study, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society earlier last month found that when organic farmers utilized certain diversification methods, the yield gap between organic and conventional producers essentially vanished, proving what organic food devotees the world over already suspected — that organic food can help to feed the world. The UC Berkeley study “found relatively small, and potentially overestimated, differences in yield between organic and conventional agriculture, despite historically low rates of investment in organic cropping systems.”

One of the most important merits of organic agriculture on a global scale is that, unlike conventional methods, organic agriculture doesn’t rely on synthetic chemical inputs, and is therefore much easier on the environment than conventional farms. Since agriculture is one of the largest contributors to climate change, the idea that organic agriculture could compete with its conventional counterparts is monumental.

The report notes that while our current, conventional agricultural system is “tremendously productive,” it also “causes many environmental problems, often trading off long-term maintenance of ecosystem services for short-term agricultural production.”

Click here to read the complete article at wallstcheatsheet.com.

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