Poorer farmers benefit most from organic practices

Farmers in developing countries are reaping the benefits of adopting green agricultural practices far more than their western counterparts, suggests a report published today, Thursday 14 February.

The report by Nicolas Parrott at Cardiff Universitys Department of City and Regional Planning will be launched by German Agriculture and Environment Minister Renate Kunast, together with Greenpeace and the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM) at the Biofach 2002 conference in Nuremburg at 3.00pm on 14 February.

Mr Parrotts report The Real Green Revolution shows the extent and success of organic and agroecological farming techniques being practised in the developing world. The report gives analysis of the potential for new techniques and practices that work with the grain of nature, not against it, and generate food security and good yields. Case studies show that:

* In Madhya Pradesh, India, average cotton yields on farms participating in the Maikaal Bio-Cotton Project are 20 per cent higher than on neighbouring conventional farms.

* In Madagascar, SRI (System of Rice Intensification) has increased yields from the usual 2-3 tons per hectare to yields of 6,8 or 10 tons per hectare.

* In Tigray, Ethiopia, a move away from intensive agrochemical usage in favour of composting has seen an increase in yields and in the range of crops it is possible to grow.

* In Brazil, the use of green manures and cover crops has increased yields of maize by between 20 per cent and 250 per cent.

* In the highlands of Bolivia, the use of bonemeal and phosphate rock and intercropping with nitrogen-fixing Lupin species have significantly contributed to increases in potato yields.

The author, Nick Parrott of Cardiff University says: The Real Green Revolution shows how organic and agroecological farming can significantly increase yields for resource poor farmers, improve food security and sustain and enha

Contact: Debra Lewis
Cardiff University

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