Potentials and Challenges of Organic Agriculture in Developing Countries

Abstract: While much has been published on the advantages of organic agriculture, less has addressed its potentials and challenges to fight undernourishment in developing countries. This article aims at reviewing the main potentials and challenges of this approach when dealing with “undernourishment” as a multifaceted concept in developing countries. Accordingly, 2 main issues of the concept which are “food security” and “food safety” are discussed in the context of both developed and developing countries to understand their different food policies’ priorities. Next, the main potentials, challenges and tradeoffs of the organic approach are analyzed to understand whether the approach is capable to provide a secure or a safe food-production system which can meet the food policy priorities in developing countries. With respect to food security, the article concludes that conventional and biotechnological approaches still produce higher yields than organic agriculture. However, considering the many advantages of organic agriculture, it can in a long run, be more conducive than now to meet food security. Thus, conventional approaches to feed the hungers in developing countries. Accordingly, the article emphasizes on the importance of providing farmers in developing countries with the possibility of implementing different approaches. Therefore, policy makers should be aware of a realistic and gradual transition from the other approaches to the organic that should be projected only in “long run,” and after conducting a series of risk assessment studies on the bases of both “crop-case” and “region-case.”

Reference: Schoonbeek, S., et al. (2013). Organic Agriculture and Undernourishment in Developing Countries: Main Potentials and Challenges. Critical Reviews In Food Science & Nutrition 53(9): 917-928. Available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2011.573886