Natural is extra worthwhile than standard within the northern Philippines

Photo credit: Alejandro Luengo

While organic farming benefits the health of the environment and those who farm it, it is crucial that organic farming is profitable enough for farmers to stay in business. Studies all over the world show that organic farming is more profitable than conventional. A recent study published in the Journal of Biodiversity and Environmental Sciences shows that the profitability of organic products is also outstanding in the Philippines. A survey of 64 organic and 52 conventional farmers showed that when comparing the break-even yield per 1,000 square meters, a lower yield was required for organic farming in order to achieve a profit for all examined vegetables. In addition, less upfront capital and land was required to make organic businesses profitable. However, ecological operation required more workers than conventional agriculture. While the overall profitability for organic farmers was higher, the average amount of land in organic vegetable production in the study area pales in comparison to the conventional one with 510 square meters per farm compared to 2,970 square meters. Organic farmers cite challenges with certification and a lack of market demand as reasons why the organic vegetable industry, despite its profitability potential, is not as widespread as conventional farming.

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