Crop yields can drop as much as 50% when conventional fields are converted to organic. While such decreases often even out over time, the figures have kept the organic movement largely on the sidelines of discussions about feeding the hungry.
However, researchers have told a UN conference that a large-scale shift to organic agriculture could help fight world hunger while improving the environment.
While total food production would fall, the amount per crop would be much smaller than previously assumed, and the resulting rise in world food prices could be mitigated by improvements in the land and other benefits, the study found.
A similar conversion to organic farming in sub-Saharan
Farmers who go back to traditional agricultural methods would not have to spend money on expensive chemicals and would grow more diverse and sustainable crops, the report said.
In addition, if their food is certified as organic, farmers could export any surpluses at premium prices.
Source: Associated Press