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Organic and conventional agriculture : a useful framing?

By: Shennan, C.
Contributor(s): Krupnik, T.J | Baird, G | Cohen, H | Forbush, K | Lovell, R.J | Olimpi, E.M.
Material type: materialTypeLabelArticlePublisher: USA : Annual Reviews, 2017Subject(s): Organic agriculture | Alternative agricultureOnline resources: Access only for CIMMYT Staff In: Annual Review of Environment and Resources v. 42, p. 317-346Summary: In this review, we examine the debate surrounding the role for organic agriculture in future food production systems. Typically represented as a binary organic–conventional question, this debate perpetuates an either/or mentality. We question this framing and examine the pitfalls of organic–conventional cropping systems comparisons. The review assesses current knowledge about how these cropping systems compare across a range of metrics related to four sustainability goals: productivity, environmental health, economic viability, and quality of life. We conclude by arguing for reframing the debate, recognizing that farming systems fall along gradients between three philosophical poles—industrial, agrarian, and ecological—and that different systems will be appropriate in different contexts. Despite evidence for lower yields in organic crop systems, we found considerable evidence for environmental and social benefits. Given these advantages, and the potential for improving organic systems, we echo calls for increased investment in organic and ecologically based cropping systems research and extension.
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Article CIMMYT Knowledge Center: John Woolston Library

Lic. Jose Juan Caballero Flores

 

CIMMYT Staff Publications Collection Available
Total holds: 0

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In this review, we examine the debate surrounding the role for organic agriculture in future food production systems. Typically represented as a binary organic–conventional question, this debate perpetuates an either/or mentality. We question this framing and examine the pitfalls of organic–conventional cropping systems comparisons. The review assesses current knowledge about how these cropping systems compare across a range of metrics related to four sustainability goals: productivity, environmental health, economic viability, and quality of life. We conclude by arguing for reframing the debate, recognizing that farming systems fall along gradients between three philosophical poles—industrial, agrarian, and ecological—and that different systems will be appropriate in different contexts. Despite evidence for lower yields in organic crop systems, we found considerable evidence for environmental and social benefits. Given these advantages, and the potential for improving organic systems, we echo calls for increased investment in organic and ecologically based cropping systems research and extension.

Maize CRP FP1 - Sustainable intensification of maize-based farming systems

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