Difficulties in reverting to traditional agriculture –A response


In response to the challenge by the author of "Difficulties in reverting to traditional agriculture –A reply" Island Sept 10th 2013. Where the author claims:

"Organic farmers (and I am a proponent too - see below) would know what their productivity per hectare is. Neither Mr. Punyawardena, nor Mr. Ranil Senanayake presented feasibility data for their ideas".

I give below an extract from a recent paper by Badgley et al (2006) which states :

"Our results suggest that organic methods of food production can contribute substantially to feeding the current and future human population on the current agricultural land base, while maintaining soil fertility. In fact, the models suggest the possibility that the agricultural land base could eventually be reduced if organic production methods were employed, although additional intensification via conventional methods in the tropics would have the same effect. Our calculations probably underestimate actual output on many organic farms. Yield ratios were reported for individual crops, but many organic farmers use polycultures and multiple cropping systems, from which the total production per unit area is often substantially higher than for single crops2, 3. "

I hope this settles the data issue. On passing May I note that stating that he got his data from some scientist in Canada

" If they disagree with these figures (I obtained them from a scientist in Canada), they should quote their own."

With out stating the Canadian scientists name and published paper is like the pot calling the kettle black ! I trust the references provided below will elucidate the author in this matter.

Ranil Senanayake


1. Catherine Badgley1, Jeremy Moghtader, Eileen Quintero, Emily Zakem, M. Jahi Chappell, Katia Avile ?s-Va ?zquez, Andrea Samulon and Ivette Perfecto. 2006 Organic agriculture and the global food supply Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems: 22(2); 86–108

2.Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 1993. Food and Agriculture Production Yearbook 1992. Statistical Series 112. FAO, Rome, Italy

3.Piper, J.K. 1998. Growth and seed yield of three perennial grains within monocultures and mixed stands. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 68:1–11.

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