global food shortages

Can Organic Farming End the Global Food Shortages?

Organic farming has been the talk of the town ever since we have faced the problems like food shortages and climate change. For a very long time, you must have heard about the impending food crisis that will likely impact our lives in 2050.


The fear of producing less for the 9 billion mouths in 2050 brings us to increase the yield of our crops. Some scientific fraternity advocates using genetically modified food to cope with the hunger crisis.


Moreover, they have been vocal about the widespread use of pesticides to increase crop production. Also, they question using natural fertilizers and techniques to produce organic food.


On the other side of the fence, compelling evidence of natural farming helping sustainable agriculture baffles our minds. Divided by fairly reasonable arguments, we end up in confusion.


This article will help you find out the truth amid diverging voices. Before jumping into the subject matter, we must address some questions about food security.


Is increasing the yield at the stake of soil fertility and environmental degradation solves our problem? Do we have enough food production to solve the food security issue?


Let’s take a closer look at the use of organic farming as a means of a sustainable future. This article will help you get an evidence-backed answer to your questions. Let’s dig deeper.

Do We Produce Enough for the Growing World’s Population?

organic food crisis

 According to FAO, the world needs to supercharge its crop production up to 70% more to meet the hunger crisis in 2050. 


But, the problem doesn’t lie in just producing more and more. There are a whole lot of factors that need to take into account.


International organizations have been helping the marginal societies in Africa and other developing countries to combat the hunger crisis.


Still, the recent figures show a depressing picture, UN sustainable development goals 2 (SDG2) defined the goal to end food storage and malnutrition by the end of 2030.

But, the recent joint report of FAO, UNICEF, IFAD, WFP, and WHO states that we are moving backward in removing world’s hunger, let alone combating the food security issue. It states that more than 800 million are struggling for food worldwide.

The same goes for the USA. Though we are the world’s largest exporter of food, we have a huge bulk of the population starving. 


Around recent figure states that 41 million Americans live in food-unsecured households. Thus, food security is one of the biggest problems of today.


That’s because they are unable to access the food. Also, the food prices have soared high, making them unable to buy food amid high inflation. 


So, the problem of food security isn’t that of crop yield. It has more to do with organizational and structural changes than agricultural ones.


The world has narrowed down its efforts to enhance productivity in the so-called Green revolution. But, still, we lag in the race to create a sustainable food world where every individual lives in harmony with their community.

Effects of Green Revolution on Organic Farming and Food Shortages:

The initial success of genetically modified wheat grain in Mexico made it the world’s largest wheat exporter in 1940.


Later, the USA adopted modern methods to germinate seeds for massive crop production.

With big corporates like Rockefeller and Ford Foundation coming in, the USA transformed its agriculture from a wheat importer to a wheat exporter in the 1960s.


That was the kickstart of the Green Revolution. Till then, it’s widespread across the world. Even developing countries have increased their crop yield and preempted famines with modern, mechanized cultivation strategies.

 So, is the Green revolution the remedy to our food shortage problem? The answer is a blunt no.

The aftermaths of using GMOs, animal-induced antibiotics, and artificial hormones have done more than good.


The solution isn’t to produce more food. Even wheat exporter countries have millions starving from food. 


The green revolution shifted the food supply chains from farming communities to large corporations, pushing the small farmers to the grind of bad economic conditions.


There is compelling evidence stating the adverse effects of modern agri-practices on our lives, economies, environment, and food production.

Reduces the Soil’s Crop Productivity:


The race to produce more on less land has left us with less arable and fertile land, reducing the soil’s capacity to produce crops. 

Using toxic chemicals in fertilizers and pesticides is wresting away the fertility of the cultivatable soil.

According to research led by Australian Scientists, around 65 square km of the world’s fertile land is at risk of pesticide pollution.

It contributes to more than half of the world’s crop-producing land worldwide. We can’t even imagine the negative impacts of these pollutants on our food security.

After a tipping point, this land will be rendered useless, exacerbating the global hunger crisis.

Economic Impacts on Small Farmers:


There is enough literature available on the environmental effects of the green revolution. But, the economic impacts are often overlooked. 


There is a simple rule of economics. If a commodity’s supply exceeds the demand, the prices will go down.


Using artificial fertilizers and hybrid seeds, no doubt, increases crop yield. It increases the supply of a seasonal crop in the market.


 As the demand is lower than the supply, the prices dwindle. That’s why small farmers get better returns on their investments.


As a result, many farmers have left their centuries-old profession and moved to cities. We can see the sprawling population in developing countries living in slums. 


It further affects the developing world’s economic and law and order conditions. As farming families run out of business worldwide, farmers have decreased from 40% in 1991 to 26% in 2022.

Green Revolution– A Major Cause of CO2 Emission:

 Increasing food production increases global warming. This statement wasn’t true until recently. Recent research shows that the current faced-paced agriculture growth is the main reason behind the increased level of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Every year more than 0.3% of CO2 is added to the environment due to modern machines, fertilizers, and pesticides. 

Also, these chemicals take away useful nutrients from the soil and seep into water beds to contaminate the drinking water. In addition, the contaminated water enters the oceans to affect the biodiversity in soil and underwater.

Can Organic Farming remove Food Shortages?

 The problems created by the industrial and agricultural revolutions aren’t unheard of. We have started reaping the problems caused by the green revolution.


 If modern mechanized agriculture is the solution to growing food scarcity, it should have wiped out the hunger from this planet at least a decade ago.


But this is much more complex than simply increasing the yield. It has a lot to do with the hegemony of the corporate sector that sells its fertilizers and pesticides and lures farmers to heavy machinery to increase yield. 


Small farmers own almost 47% of the farmed land in the US. The same goes for the developing world. Unless we incentivize them, we cannot combat hunger and impending famines in 2050.


So, the solution could be community farming based on organic ways to yield crops. To probe into the sustainability of organic farming, we need to make a holistic approach.


According to the US National Academy of Sciences, an agricultural solution that sets these four points is only viable to our world.


Conventional agriculture practices lack most of the points. Therefore, they cannot be used to develop sustainable agriculture that could feed our world’s growing population.


The innovative farming approach should be socially just, productive, economical than run-of-the-mill solutions, and environment-friendly.


Natural farming applies all four points to reach sustainable food production to feed 9.6 billion people in 2050.


Rolade Institute’s trial comparing organic farming with conventional farming is one of the oldest running trials.

After 40 years of experimenting with both farming methods, they have concluded that natural farming is the way of the future. According to their statistics, the current organic methods yield is low by 5% to 20% but does become competitive yields after a transition period of 5 years.

It works better in droughts and generates 3 to 4 times greater revenue than conventional farming. Due to the use of manure as a fertilizer, it doesn’t produce toxic chemicals in the waterways. Thus, it protects biodiversity and brings nature’s course to the food chain.


The best thing about this farming is that it creates more jobs bringing more people into the economy to provide food to your table. 


That’s why it’s economically better suited. Moreover, A widespread use of organic cultivation techniques can bring back a sustainable farm economy because people will cultivate crops on rotation.


It will meet the natural demands of crops in the market, thus establishing better prices for small farmers. 


At last, the environmental incentive of this technique is unprecedented, as you can produce 40% less carbon dioxide to the environment, according to the Rodale institute.


So, it’s clear that organic farming helps not only in improving the yields of crops but also improves other factors affecting food shortages.

Way Forward:

 The world is facing severe food security issues. The UN FAO estimates a double crop production till 2050 to meet the ever-increasing population.


Due to the pandemic and current Ukraine crisis, the world is going through an economic downturn, leaving the SDG2 goals behind.


To double the production, we need to focus on innovative solutions which can help us achieve a sustainable agriculture solution for our planet.


A slew of research studies and surveys testify that organic farming is one of the best ways to achieve our global food security goals.


Yet, we must bring many global stakeholders to this platform to materialize our goal.  We may reach a mid-way between conventional and organic techniques and employ both of them to cater to the food needs of the growing world’s population. Yet, it cannot be done unless we work with our mother nature instead of farming against it.

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