Organic Agriculture for Sustainable Livelihoods

Edited by Niels Halberg, Adrian Muller

© 2013 – Routledge

280 pages | 51 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9781849712965
pub: 2012-08-09
US Dollars$51.95
Hardback: 9781849712958
pub: 2012-08-09
US Dollars$149.00

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About the Book

This book provides a timely analysis and assessment of the potential of organic agriculture (OA) for rural development and the improvement of livelihoods. It focuses on smallholders in developing countries and in countries of economic transition, but there is also coverage of and comparisons with developed countries. It covers market-oriented approaches and challenges for OA as part of high value chains and as an agro-ecologically based development for improving food security. It demonstrates the often unrecognised roles that organic farming can play in climate change, food security and sovereignty, carbon sequestration, cost internalisations, ecosystems services, human health and the restoration of degraded landscapes.

The chapters specifically provide readers with:

  • an overview of the state of research on OA from socio-economic, environmental and agro-ecological perspectives
  • an analysis of the current and potential role of OA in improving livelihoods of farmers, in sustainable value chain development, and in implementation of agro-ecological methods
  • proposed strategies for exploiting and improving the potential of OA and overcoming the constraints for further development
  • a review of the strengths and weaknesses of OA in a sustainable development context


"The book is a pulse of conscious people who are in search of alternatives to the present unsustainable food and agriculture system. Provides enough food for thought to shift from the present exploitative, violent farming methods to compassionate and sustainable solutions." Dr. A. Thimmaiah, Advisor (Organic Agriculture), Royal Government of Bhutan.

"Adding an important voice to the sustainable intensification discussion from the perspective of organic agriculture, this book provides a realistic and evidence-based perspective that explores the principles and advantages of organic farming methods, beginning by defining the meaning of ‘organic’ – what it is, and what it is not." – Chantel Davies, BES AeG Newsletter

Table of Contents

1. Organic Agriculture, Livelihoods and Development 2. Consequences of Organic Agriculture for Smallholder Farmer's Livelihood and Food Security – Case 1: Food Security Obtained through Farmer Family Learning Group Approaches: Description of a Project Between Organic Denmark, NOGAMU and SATNET Uganda 3. Globalization of Organic Food Chains and the Environmental Impacts – Case 2: Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Organic Orange Juice Imported from Brazil To Denmark: A Case Study 4. The Use of Agro-Ecological Methods in Organic Farming 5. The Potential of Organic Agriculture for Contributing to Climate Change Adaptation 6. Organic Agriculture Governance in the Global South: New Opportunities for Participation in Agricultural Development and Livelihood Outcomes 7. The Possibilities for Inclusion of Smallholder Farmers in Organic Market Chain Development – Case 4: Certified Organic and Fair Trade Impacts on Smallholders Livelihoods in Kandy Case Area: Sri Lanka 8. Policies and Actions to Support Organic Agriculture 9. Comparative Institutional Analyses of Certified Organic Agriculture Conditions in Brazil and China 10. The Dynamics and Recomposition of Agroecology in Latin America 11. Research Needs for Development of Organic Agriculture in Sub Saharan Africa

About the Editors

Niels Halberg is Director of the International Centre for Research in Organic Food Systems (ICROFS), Tjele, Denmark. His publications include the co-edited book Global Development of Organic Agriculture (2006).

Adrian Muller has a dual appointment as Senior Researcher at the Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau (FiBL / Research Institute of Organic Agriculture), Frick, Switzerland and at the Professorship of Environmental Policy and Economics (PEPE) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

About the Series

Earthscan Food and Agriculture

Earthscan Food and Agriculture

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Agriculture / Organic