Organic farming won’t feed the world

FWi LETTER OF THE WEEK


“The Soil Association says biofuels are a pipe dream and suggests the practical option would be to convert to organic methods as they require 50% less energy,” writes Cambridgeshire farmer James Wallace in a letter this week to Farmers Weekly.


“But history shows large-scale organic production is the real pipedream.


“A century ago, when organic production was the norm, the UK population was about 45m, yet we imported about 50% of our lamb, beef and cereal requirements. Now our population is 60m and, using modern conventional farming methods, we are about 75% self sufficient and are exporters of  food products worth nearly £10bn.


“In 1901 the average life expectancy of a man was 45 years and for a woman 49 years. Now with better health, largely as a result of better nutrition from our conventional farming methods, the equivalent figures are 76 for men and 81 for women. Far from being farming’s Achilles heal, nitrogen really does work.”


 


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