Is this equation possible?
World economic crisis + increased demand for organic food = opportunities for farmers in poor countries
The United Nations thinks so.
Reuter’s Africa has a fascinating article on how the UN feels that organic food production could help Africa.
Demand for organic foods will keep growing despite the world economic crisis, creating an opportunity for farmers in poor countries, the United Nations’ trade and development agency said on Monday.
Demand is skyrocketing, which is no surprise until you consider the numbers:
UNCTAD projected that sales of certified organic products would reach $67 billion in 2012, up from $46 billion in 2007 and about $23 billion in 2002.
And, as it turns out, farmers in developing countries can make more by growing organic produce!
Poor-country farmers, who often struggle to compete against their subsidized and technologically advanced counterparts in Europe and the United States, could benefit from growing and exporting more organic foods.
“Studies from Africa, Asia, and Latin America indicate that organic farmers earn more than their conventional counterparts,” it said, estimating that organic foods carry price premiums for farmers ranging from 30 to 200 percent.
While it’s normal to be skeptical, you can’t help but think that opportunities like this are a blessing of some variety. Where we’d find the real win is if this increase in opportunities can be available to all farmers, and that the effects of the downturn could be repaired for all.