Lauren C. Ponisio
28th December 2014
The apparently lower productivity of organic farming systems is caused by research bias, writes Lauren C. Ponisio, and the far greater research spending on ‘conventional’ agriculture. Funds should be redirected to agro-ecological methods that are highly productive, sustainable and maintain biodiversity.
We can develop highly productive organic farming methods if we mimic nature by creating ecologically diverse farms that draw strength from natural interactions between species.
The unintended consequences of our agricultural food system – polluted air and water, dead zones in coastal seas, soil erosion – have profoundimplications forhuman health and the environment. So more sustainable agricultural practices are needed as soon as possible.
Some farmers have turned to less chemically-intensive techniques to reduce the negative impact of agriculture, such as organic farming, which has been shown to outperform conventional farming by many standards of environmental sustainability.