Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

100 % Organic Farming in Bhutan – a Realistic Target?

15.06.2018

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.


Rice cultivation by local farmers in Punakha, Bhutan

Foto: Arndt Feuerbacher

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.”

Study:
Is Bhutan destined for 100% organic? Assessing the economy-wide effects of a large-scale conversion policy
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0199025

Published: PLOS ONE, 13th Juni 2018, in Open Access
Authors: Arndt Feuerbacher, Jonas Luckmann, Ole Boysen, Sabine Zikeli, Harald Grethe

Contact
Arndt Feuerbacher
Albrecht Daniel Thaer - Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences
International Agricultural Trade and Development
Tel.: 030 2093-46328
arndt.Feuerbacher@hu-berlin.de

Sella Christin Bargel | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Sinking groundwater levels threaten the vitality of riverine ecosystems
04.10.2019 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Protecting our climate, the environment and nature is the focus of a new communications project
04.10.2019 | IDEA TV

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Solving the mystery of quantum light in thin layers

A very special kind of light is emitted by tungsten diselenide layers. The reason for this has been unclear. Now an explanation has been found at TU Wien (Vienna)

It is an exotic phenomenon that nobody was able to explain for years: when energy is supplied to a thin layer of the material tungsten diselenide, it begins to...

Im Focus: An ultrafast glimpse of the photochemistry of the atmosphere

Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have explored the initial consequences of the interaction of light with molecules on the surface of nanoscopic aerosols.

The nanocosmos is constantly in motion. All natural processes are ultimately determined by the interplay between radiation and matter. Light strikes particles...

Im Focus: Shaping nanoparticles for improved quantum information technology

Particles that are mere nanometers in size are at the forefront of scientific research today. They come in many different shapes: rods, spheres, cubes, vesicles, S-shaped worms and even donut-like rings. What makes them worthy of scientific study is that, being so tiny, they exhibit quantum mechanical properties not possible with larger objects.

Researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility located at DOE's Argonne National...

Im Focus: Novel Material for Shipbuilding

A new research project at the TH Mittelhessen focusses on the development of a novel light weight design concept for leisure boats and yachts. Professor Stephan Marzi from the THM Institute of Mechanics and Materials collaborates with Krake Catamarane, which is a shipyard located in Apolda, Thuringia.

The project is set up in an international cooperation with Professor Anders Biel from Karlstad University in Sweden and the Swedish company Lamera from...

Im Focus: Controlling superconducting regions within an exotic metal

Superconductivity has fascinated scientists for many years since it offers the potential to revolutionize current technologies. Materials only become superconductors - meaning that electrons can travel in them with no resistance - at very low temperatures. These days, this unique zero resistance superconductivity is commonly found in a number of technologies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Future technologies, however, will harness the total synchrony of electronic behavior in superconductors - a property called the phase. There is currently a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Symposium on Functional Materials for Electrolysis, Fuel Cells and Metal-Air Batteries

02.10.2019 | Event News

NEXUS 2020: Relationships Between Architecture and Mathematics

02.10.2019 | Event News

Optical Technologies: International Symposium „Future Optics“ in Hannover

19.09.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fraunhofer LBF and BAM develop faster procedure for flame-retardant plastics

21.10.2019 | Materials Sciences

For EVs with higher range: Take greater advantage of the potential offered by lightweight construction materials

21.10.2019 | Materials Sciences

Benefit and risk: Meta-analysis draws a heterogeneous picture of drug-coated balloon angioplasty

21.10.2019 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>