Sustainability | VOL. 13
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Food and Nutrient Supply from Organic Agriculture in the Least Developed Countries and North America

Publication Date Apr 30, 2021

Abstract

Although organic agriculture (OA) is praised unequivocally for its environmental and health benefits, its potential for food security is often questioned because of its perceived lower yield. Least developed countries (LDCs), which have a high prospect of conversion to OA, are underrepresented in the literature related to the yield potential of OA, and its impact on regional food security. This paper aims to assess food and nutrient (calorie, protein, and fat) supply, thereby contributing to food security, from OA using yield ratio (YR) in LDCs and to compare this with North America (NA). Literature is the main source of data to estimate YR. Food supply data available in FAOSTAT for 1963–2013 along with the YR is used to estimate food and nutrient supply from OA in 2013. YR of crops shows a higher yield from OA in LDCs compared to NA. The food supply in LDCs between 1963 and 2013 increased at a higher rate than in NA. However, per capita nutrient supply is growing at a meager rate in LDCs; calorie and protein supply are just above the minimum threshold level and fat supply is still below the threshold level. Cereal is the single most important food item contributing to nutrient supply in LDCs, indicating a lack of dietary diversity. Thus, with relatively higher yields and crop diversity, and localized production and distribution systems, OA will have important contributions in dealing with persistent food insecurity in LDCs. However, a concerted effort is necessary to achieve yield gain and wider acceptance of OA.

Concepts

Nutrient Supply Least Developed Countries Food Supply Protein Supply Organic Agriculture Lack Of Dietary Diversity Yield Ratio Persistent Food Insecurity Food Supply Data Minimum Threshold Level

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