Net income of the farms with diverse cropping systems was 135 percent higher than monocultures

June 3, 2015

 

The state of Uttaranchal in the
Himalayas has a long heritage of
subsistence economy with agriculture
as the core component involving over
80 percent of its population. A majority
of the farmers are marginal and
possess less than 1ha of agricultural
land.
The study A new Paradigm for Food
Security and Food Safety. Biodiversity
based organic farming, carried out by
the Indian organisation Navdanya
found that the traditional mixed
farming systems had high levels of
biodiversity that invariably resulted
in higher economic returns and
more long-term sustainability. It
also found that family farmers in this
area regularly achieved higher and
more dependable production from
their land than large farms practicing
monoculture in similar environments.
The total yield per hectare for farms
with diverse cropping systems, in this
case four different crops, was about 6
percent higher than for those with only
one crop. In addition, the market price
of the crops from the diverse farms
was double that of the monocropped
produce, mainly because smallholders
tend to grow traditional crops that
have more value to local consumers
than the modern varieties grown
in the monocropping schemes. In
addition, the monocropping farms
had higher production costs because
the crops required chemical fertilizer
and pesticides. In total, the net income
of the farms with diverse cropping
systems was 135 percent higher than
for the farms with only one crop.
More information can be found at
www.navdanya.org

www.navdanya.org
cited in A Viable Food Future, Editor: Aksel Nærstad, Senior Policy Adviser in Utviklingsfondet /the Development Fund (Norway)
The Development Fund /Utviklingsfondet Oslo
Norway. 2010, www.utviklingsfondet.no

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