Several of my friends and colleagues have asked me why do you say that you are an organic farmer but who do not believe that organic agriculture can feed the world today. In fact some of them have sarcastically laugh at me and further commented that if the world cannot be fed then why are you wasting your time?
The world’s population in 1965 was about 3.3 billion. There was a major food crisis in the world in 1960s and world’s agriculture took a dramatic turn during this decade. High input based, high yielding varieties were popularized and green revolution was sweeping the world. Many new agricultural systems were introduced. By 1970, and 80s the very same agricultural workers, scientists and farmers have started realizing many defects in their agriculture systems. Many started questioning reckless spoliation of natural resource endowment of the world. Many also started developing alternative nature friendly, ecosystem based or organic agriculture practices everywhere with organized or unorganized manner.
Today the world has more than 6.5 billion people. There has never been such an awareness of natural or organic farming in the world, as today. Thousands of alternative agriculture models, systems and methods have been tested and established. However, those methods and systems have not been fully capable of replacing most of the destructive agricultural practices due to many reasons. Some are not fully capable of competing in financial world. Some are not environmentally sustainable. Others cannot meet the required quantities or qualities. Some methods are prohibitively expensive and so on. Therefore the way forward is to continue to search for or develop better natural agriculture systems while improving the most promising methods. At least to my mind therefore, no reason to give up organic agriculture – – so I am organic farmer. Whether organic agriculture can feed the world fully to be proved by the world itself in time to come.
Presented by, Prof. P. Abeygunawardena