The debate continues about the sustainability of Organic agriculture as compared to conventional.
In the Express Tribune today there was an interesting article in Food for thought: ‘Pakistan should switch to non-organic crops’ Prof. Khan said that Europe was a food sufficient region and was now shifting to organic crops but the same model could not be applied for countries and regions with food shortages in Africa and the Middle East.
It is very important to offer the best forecasts and suggestions for policy from whatever perspective. However, this position is clearly an economic focused one. Supporting GM and conventional agriculture practices do not serve to help developing countries deal with food security issues.
The unsustainable yields of GM crops will not solve food shortage issues in Pakistan or elsewhere in developing countries. It seems that the best way to move forward is to spread the word and the science. We need to spread the word that unsustainable yields of GM crops will not solve food shortage issues. Organic is a much more sustainable solution for agricultural production in developing countries. Organic often out performs conventional and it creates opportunities within the development context . The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) has a brief on food security and Organic agriculture which lays out the basic facts . The research clearly shows that Organic is a viable and sustainable solution. A study done in 2008 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP-UNCTAD) Capacity-building Task Force on Trade, Environment and Development found that Organic has great potential and actually contributes to food security in Africa. The Environment and Natural Resources Service Sustainable Development Department found that organic is a viable solution for development as it contributes to to ecological health, international markets and local food security. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) International Conference on Organic Agriculture and Food Security in 2007 pointed out the many facets of the potential for Organic to contribute to food security around the world.
The following literature offers more support for Organic in a development context:
Environmental, Energetic, and Economic Comparisons of Organic and Conventional Farming Systems http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1641/0006-3568(2005)055[0573:EEAECO]2.0.CO;2
Organic agriculture and the global food supply