May14

‘Nature’ publishes IRRI opinion piece on organic agriculture

Author // Sophie Clayton Categories // Fresh hot rice... science

Title: Agriculture: Comparing apples with oranges - Getting back to the field

Publication: Nature

IRRI author: Achim Dobermann

Date of publication: 9 May 2012

In an opinion piece in Nature, IRRI’s Dr. Achim Dobermann challenges us to move beyond old fashioned ideas about organic versus conventional agriculture.

“It is time to accept that various types of agriculture can have a place in feeding the world,” Dobermann says in his article: Getting back to the field. His article is one of two opinion pieces discussing the results of a meta-analysis of agricultural systems that shows organic yields are mostly lower than those from conventional farming, but that organic crops perform well in some contexts.

In the article, Dobermann says, “Organic or low-external-input agriculture is not always sustainable” and “There are also many conventional agricultural systems that are highly productive, resource-efficient and sustainable.” Instead he thinks the focus should be on improving yield and developing agricultural systems that meet high profitability, environmental, sustainability, and social standards.

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About the Author

Sophie Clayton

Sophie Clayton

Sophie is the former head of IRRI's Public Relations team.