Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Small organic farms Vs Large industrial farms.

Industrial type agriculture concentrates on one target crop for ease of operation using heavy machinery in land preparation and harvesting. The present form of agriculture based on energy-intensive inputs is no longer deemed viable. This could be seen from the evidence of massive agricultural subsidies given to farmers not only in the developing countries but more so in the developed countries. The solution to the agricultural sector is to combine production, consumption and disposal of waste into smaller units based on multiple crops so that large scale processing and transport is avoided. Further, this will cut down the off-farm energy requirements and labour-intensive small farms will hugely contribute to poverty reduction.  This will create opportunities to supplement soil fertility by integrating waste and by-product management into farming activity. Since organic systems receive no chemical inputs for fertility, weed or pest control, the yields would be lower in the organic systems during the first few years. However, in subsequent years, organic systems will actually outperform conventional systems. Small farms are no less technically efficient than large farms and increasing their productivity will have a major impact on production. Read more at Low Carbon Industry and Agriculture - Daily Mirror, Sri Lanka.