Point of view: What the war in Ukraine teaches us about the global limits of organic agriculture

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The war has revealed hard truths. One of them is that Europe, which presents itself as a pioneer in green energy, is heavily dependent on Russian gas. The war reaffirmed the fundamental reality that fossil fuels remain crucial to the vast majority of global needs. And the emerging food crisis is now revealing another hard truth: organic farming cannot feed the world and could even make future crises worse.

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Although long a fad for the 1% of the planet, environmental activists have increasingly promoted the seductive idea that organic farming can solve the problem of hunger. The European Union is actively pushing to triple organic farming on the continent by 2030; while most Germans believe organic farming can help feed the world.

However, research conclusively shows that organic farming produces far less food per hectare than conventional farming. Additionally, organic farming forces farmers to rotate land from production to pasture, fallow or cover crops, reducing its effectiveness. In total, organic methods produce between a quarter and half the amount of food as science-based conventional agriculture.

[Editor’s note: This article has been translated from Spanish and edited for clarity.]

This is an excerpt. Read the original article here

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