By Christian Hulsebusch, Florian Wichern, Hans Hemann, Peter Wolff
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Extra info for Organic Agriculture in the Tropics and Subtropics Current Status and Perspectives
FiBL, Frick, Switzerland /Chart Lukas Kilcher Fortunately, in the humid tropics, it is not only decomposition processes that are rapid, but also composition processes. Animal manure, green manure and compost favour the composition processes and can replenish nutrients required by crops and supply the soil with essential organic matter. Additionally, legume plants are a highly valuable source of nitrogen. Closed nutrient cycles and efficient use of local resources – for example compost, dung or seeds – are especially important for subsistence farmers depending on few and limited assets.
If conversion to organic takes place on the basis of a low-input system, which is often the case for poor farmers in developing countries, yields under organic management tend to be more stable compared to the previous management system. 41 Kilcher, How organic agriculture contributes… Chart 4: To investigate the economic viability of organic cotton farming and its impact on the livelihood of the involved farmers, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and WWF Switzerland mandated FiBL to conduct a detailed study on organic cotton farming in the bioRe India project in central India.
Nine years on since its launch, this project now has more than 2000 participating farmers and covers more than 6000 ha of land. Most farmers are located in the eastern and central provinces. The large-scale cooperatives in the central provinces have specialized in a few products, while the small mountain farmers’ cooperatives produce a range of agricultural goods in agroforestry systems. 35 Kilcher, How organic agriculture contributes… Chart 2: Conversion of an existing citrus orchard into an intercropping system © FiBL, Frick, Switzerland / Chart Lukas Kilcher Picture 2: Agroforestry is a centrepiece of organic agriculture in the tropics.
Organic Agriculture in the Tropics and Subtropics Current Status and Perspectives by Christian Hulsebusch, Florian Wichern, Hans Hemann, Peter Wolff