The agribusiness and industrial farmers have for years expressed that organic farming is unprofitable, maybe OK as a tiny niche for those who are willing to pay high prices, but certainly not anything that would ever feed the world.
The view of agribusiness is probably not changing much, since they earn their money on selling their products to industrial farmers and their profits depend on the amount of products – hybrid and genetically modified seeds, pesticides of all kinds and chemical fertilizers. But as many smaller farmers show that it is actually profitable to farm organically and as more and more customers ask for organically grown products, and as the crop varieties for organic farming are developed, even some of the industrial farmers become interested in this.
There are examples of industrial strawberry farmers in Mexico, who have hundreds of hectare under production who have seen some of their neighbors produce organic strawberries on a much smaller scale, and can see that the profit per hectare is actually higher. Not just because there is a better price, but most of all because there are much smaller expenses of spraying chemicals.
The extra file connected to this task tells of some long-term trials to compare organic farming with conventional methods. They have run for more than 30 years at the Rodale Institute in the USA.
The conclusions of these tests are that:
• organic yields match conventional yields.
• organic outperforms conventional in years of drought.
• organic farming systems build rather than deplete soil organic matter, making it a more sustainable system.
• organic farming uses 45% less energy and is more efficient.
• conventional systems produce 40% more greenhouse gases.
• organic farming systems are more profitable than conventional.
This clearly shows that organic farming is better equipped to feed a growing population. But it also becomes clear that once again we have a situation of facing huge powers with other interests than feeding everyone on Earth in a sustainable way and with nutritious food – the interests of immediate profits.