Team of researchers from the HU look into macroeconomic impacts of the planned changeover
Bhutan, the small kingdom in the eastern Himalayas, is mainly known for its unique philosophy by the name of Gross National Happiness. It has also drawn international attention with its announcement in 2012 to be the first country to fully convert to organic agriculture by 2020. A team of researchers at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU) has carried out a study on this policy target. It has now been published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Small farmers make up half of the population of this mountainous country, the majority of whom are already working without agricultural chemicals. “However, the banning of chemical fertilisers and crop protection agents would still affect one in three farmers”, says agricultural economist Arndt Feuerbacher, lead author of the study.
“For conventional farmers this would mean an average drop in yields of 24 percent and it would particularly affect the cultivation of rice and potatoes.” According to the study, a conversion would reduce agricultural production by about 15 percent.
This would not only be due to lower yield, but also an increase in workload, such as mechanical weed control. The authors were not able to determine the ecological benefits of the complete changeover, but given the already very limited use of agricultural chemicals today they consider it to be relatively low. The decline in production would increase Bhutan’s dependence on food imports from India.
“From a macroeconomic point of view, the strong links with the Indian market make the full conversion possible”, says Prof. Dr. Harald Grethe, co-author and professor of International Agricultural Trade and Development at the HU, and adds: “It would, however, be in conflict with other policy targets in Bhutan, such as the increase in food self-sufficiency due to political dependencies.”
Is Bhutan destined for 100% organic? Assessing the economy-wide effects of a large-scale conversion policy
Published: PLOS ONE, 13th Juni 2018, in Open Access
Authors: Arndt Feuerbacher, Jonas Luckmann, Ole Boysen, Sabine Zikeli, Harald Grethe
Albrecht Daniel Thaer - Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences
International Agricultural Trade and Development
Tel.: 030 2093-46328
Sella Christin Bargel | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Upcycling of PET Bottles: New Ideas for Resource Cycles in Germany
25.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF
Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
19.07.2018 | Earth Sciences
19.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
19.07.2018 | Materials Sciences