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Organic Agriculture and Food Availability

Zundel, Christine and Kilcher, Lukas (2007) Organic Agriculture and Food Availability. Paper at: International Conference on Organic Agriculture and Food Security, Rome, Italy, May 3-5, 2007. [Unpublished]

[thumbnail of zundel-kilcher-2007-food-availability.pdf] PDF - English
[thumbnail of zundel-kilcher-2007-food-availability.ppt] PDF - English

Document available online at: ftp://ftp.fao.org/paia/organicag/ofs/OFS-2007-1.pdf


Food availability, access, stability and utilization are all part of the multi-dimensional nature of food security. The “availability” aspect, discussed here, refers to the availability of sufficient quantities of food of appropriate quality, supplied through domestic production or inputs.
Productivity is usually considered the ultimate benchmark when comparing the performance of agricultural systems. For example, those involved in agricultural research and development want to know how much yield would be reduced if conventional agriculture were converted to organic agriculture. While rigorous research has been done in developed countries to address this question, scientific evidence from developing countries is rare. This paper compiles the information available on productivity of organic systems and draws on current experiences to make assumptions.
However, measurement of productivity alone is not sufficient to evaluate the performance of an agricultural system. When natural resources are limited and production decisions are made on the basis of the economic resources available, resource efficiency is as important a criterion as productivity for evaluating a system’s performance. Thus, this paper discusses adapted technologies considers the achievements of organic agriculture in terms of both productivity and resource efficiency.
Specific attention also is given to peri-urban agriculture. In terms of the high and rapidly increasing population density in urban areas, peri-urban agriculture has the potential to minimize transportation of food products and organic waste, yet supply food to a large part of the population.
Finally, the paper discusses how organic agriculture makes diverse food available at
household, community, national and international levels. Furthermore, a summary of the organic food market is provided with most recent figures on market size and available organic food.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:Food Availability, Organic Farming, Nachhaltigkeitsanalyse
Subjects: Food systems > Food security, food quality and human health
Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > International
Related Links:http://www.fao.org/organicag/ofs/index_en.htm, http://www.fibl.org/english/cooperation/projects/system-comparision.php, http://www.fibl.org/english/cooperation
Deposited By: Zundel, Christine
ID Code:10753
Deposited On:01 May 2007
Last Modified:22 Oct 2010 07:22
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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