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What can organic agriculture contribute to sustainable development? – Long-term comparisons of farming systems in the tropics

Zundel, Ch.; Kilcher, L. and Mäder, P. (2008) What can organic agriculture contribute to sustainable development? – Long-term comparisons of farming systems in the tropics. Paper at: Cultivating the Future Based on Science. 2nd Conference of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR), in the Frame of the 16th IFOAM Organic World Congress, Modena, Italy, June 18-20, 2008.

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Summary

Despite the high demand for sound data on the agronomic, ecological and economic performance of organic agriculture in developing countries, systematic comparison of organic and conventional farming systems has not so far been carried out. The Research Institute of Organic Farming (FiBL), together with its partners, is presently establishing long-term comparisons of farming systems in various agro-ecological and agro-economic contexts to study the different parameters that are essential for sustainable development. To date, three study areas have been selected: (a) a sub-humid area in Kenya where farming is subsistence-oriented; (b) a semi-arid area in India where cotton is produced for the export market; and (c) a humid area in Bolivia where perennial fruits and cacao are produced for the domestic and export markets. The key elements in these comparisons are replicated long-term field trials. These are complemented by farm surveys and short-term trials under on-farm conditions. This network of comparison of farming systems in the tropics is expected to (1) put the discussion on the benefits and drawbacks of organic agriculture on a rational footing; (2) help to identify challenges for organic agriculture that can then be addressed systematically; (3) provide physical reference points for stakeholders in agricultural research and development and thus support agricultural policy dialogue at different levels.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:long-term experiments, system comparison, production systems, tropics, sustainability, Syscom
Subjects: Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy > Systems research and participatory research
Research affiliation: International Conferences > 2008: IFOAM OWC: Research Track / ISOFAR > 7.1 Production systems
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > International Cooperation
Related Links:http://www.isofar.org/modena2008/proceedings.html
Deposited By: Zundel, Christine
ID Code:11574
Deposited On:07 Oct 2008
Last Modified:14 Aug 2011 16:32
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted
Additional Publishing Information:This paper is published in the conference proceedings:
Neuhoff, Daniel; Halberg, Niels; Alföldi, Thomas; Lockeretz, William; Thommen, Andreas; Rasmussen, Ilse A.; Hermansen, John; Vaarst, Mette; Lück, Lorna; Carporali, Fabio; Jensen, Henning Hgh; Migliorini, Paola and Willer, Helga, Eds. (2008): Cultivating the Future Based on Science. Proceedings of the Second Scientific Conference of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR), held at the 16th IFOAM Organic World Congress in Cooperation with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and the Consorzio ModenaBio, 18 . 20 June 2008 in Modena, Italy.. International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR), c/o IOL, DE-Bonn, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, CH-Frick. http://orgprints.org/13672 and http://orgprints.org/13674

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