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Organic Farming and Small-Scale Farmers: Main Opportunities and Challenges

Zeynab Jouzi, Hossein Azadi, Fatemeh Taheri, Kiumars Zarafshani, Kindeya Gebrehiwot, Steven Van Passel and Philippe Lebailly

Ecological Economics, 2017, vol. 132, issue C, 144-154

Abstract: Producing enough food to meet the needs of a growing population has always been the greatest concern of food policy-makers around the world. Given the increasing attention to organic farming (OF), we conducted this study to investigate the main opportunities and challenges of the food production system of small-scale farmers in developing countries with an emphasis on their livelihoods. The study showed that the most significant advantages of OF are environmental protection and a higher resilience to environmental changes, increasing farmers' income and reducing external input cost, enhancing social capacity and increasing employment opportunities. A s well as enhancing food security primarily by increasing the food purchasing power of local people. However, the main challenges of this food production system include lower yields in comparison to conventional systems, difficulties with soil nutrient management, certification and market barriers, and the educational and research needs of small-holders. The paper concludes that even though OF might present some significant challenges to small-scale farmers, it could/should still be considered as a part of the solution and means of improving their livelihoods.

Keywords: Sustainable agriculture; Organic farming; Food security; Food safety; Population growth; Sustainable livelihood (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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