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Organic agriculture and rural livelihoods in Karnataka, India

Lukas, Martin and Cahn, M. (2008) Organic agriculture and rural livelihoods in Karnataka, India. Poster at: Cultivating the Future Based on Science: 2nd Conference of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research ISOFAR, Modena, Italy, June 18-20, 2008.

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Summary

The research explored the effects a change from conventional to organic farming had on the livelihoods of a group of farmers in Karnataka, South India. It involved semi-structured interviews with organic farmers, NGOs, consumers, marketing organisations, and the State Agricultural Department. The farmers in the case study perceived that they had improved their livelihoods over the long term by the conversion from conventional to organic farming. Reduced costs for external inputs and reduced labour requirements together with similar or higher yields and premium prices resulted in higher net-farm incomes. The conversion to organic farming reduced the reliance on credits and the risk of crop failure due to pests, diseases and droughts, thereby reducing vulnerability. In addition, the farmers mentioned enhanced natural assets, reduced risk of pesticide poisonings, improved food safety, higher levels of self-sufficiency, and the access to networks supporting knowledge exchange and political participation as important benefits of the conversion. However, almost all the case study farmers noted that the conversion period was difficult due to temporarily declining yields and a lack of information and experiences. This is likely to be a major constraint preventing asset-poor farmers from adopting organic agriculture.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Poster
Keywords:Organic agriculture, sustainable livelihoods, rural development, India, Karnataka
Subjects: Food systems > Food security, food quality and human health
Food systems > Community development
Farming Systems > Social aspects
Farming Systems > Farm economics
Research affiliation: International Conferences > 2008: IFOAM OWC: Research Track / ISOFAR > 1.3 Multifunctionality - Livelihood - Rural Development
Deposited By: Lukas, Martin
ID Code:11634
Deposited On:30 Sep 2008
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:35
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; Alfldi, Thomas; Lockeretz, William; Thommen, Andreas; Rasmussen, Ilse A.; Hermansen, John; Vaarst, Mette; Lck, 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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