Which type of agriculture will be needed to achieve sustainable agriculture? Rice cultivation in Indonesia.
Photo: © Stefan Schwarze


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A survey by Germany’s University of Göttingen demonstrates that only a combination of organic and conventional cultivation methods can guarantee a globally sustainable agriculture.

Agricultural economists at Germany’s University of Göttingen examining the influence of organic farming on the environment, the climate and health in various parts of the world have discovered that growing organic food requires too much land to have a globally beneficial impact on biodiversity. In addition, it is unsuitable for food security in poorer countries. The results of their research have been published in the specialist journal Annual Review of Resource Economics.

In comparison to industrial agriculture, growing organic food is commonly perceived as more friendly to humans, animals, the environment and the climate. Many studies attest organic farming greater biodiversity and lower levels of pollution in the field.

In order to find out whether organic farming can generally be classified as sustainable against the background of global challenges, Eva-Marie Meemken and Matin Qaim of the University of Göttingen evaluated  around 150 individual studies and meta-analyses on the effects of organic farming in various parts of the world.

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