100% Organic food for everybody!

Significant hidden cost in conventional productionfield_sekem_farm_adleya


The introduction of new technologies had led the agricultural sector to tremendous growth. But the related cost, though sometimes hidden is significant. Prominent effects of intensive agriculture is top soil depletion, groundwater pollution and scarcity, increasing cost of production and socio-economic instability.


Organic agriculture requires less resources


Organic agriculture recently has gained importance, because under the current situation soil organic matter (SOM) plays a key role in sustainable agriculture in terms of ecology and farm economics. Egypt’s agriculture is highly determined through climate change and water availability. The Nile valley and delta is the area where intensive use of agriculture land takes place for many years but in the last 20 years the Egyptian government has promoted heavily the expansion of agricultural land into the “Newlands” located in the desert. Land reclamation of areas is still to be continued. There are mainly seven strategic important crops in Egypt’s agricultural sector: cotton, maize, potatoes, rice, sugarbeet, sugarcane and wheat. A decline in soil fertility and yield have increased especially in intensive agriculture but did not decrease the socio-economic instability but also increased the burden of subsidies on the Egyptian government.


No subsidies, but improving the soil


On contrary organic agriculture as an alternative farming system is rising in the Egyptian agriculture. The agricultural inputs in organic farming systems are not subsidized, but they have improved the soil structure, maintained water quality, increased soil organic matter, increased biodiversity and gradually increased the yields and decreased the total cost to produce one tonnes of any crop.


The Egyptian agriculture will also face impacts related to climate change such as rising sea levels, higher temperatures, a decrease in arable land and more water requirements to for produce crops. As Egypt is a unique country as almost 95% of the water comes from outside the country, climate change also affecting other countries may possibly affect the water availability in Egypt.


The Future of Agriculture in Egypt


Organic farming has proven to be remarkably effective in reversing the negative impact of agriculture on the environment; however, it has not found wider application in total national food production, due to being associated with higher costs. The aim of this study is to conduct a cost comparison between organic and conventional agriculture in Egypt, by using the “Full Cost Accounting” methodology. Full cost accounting measures and values in monetary terms the external costs of environmental impacts of food wastage. The research concludes that although organic agriculture has a slightly higher direct input cost of production, it enables a reduction of the environmental and health damage costs, and therefore, results in better cost effectiveness and profitability in the long term for society as a whole.


Read the study here

Newsletter-Icon Contact-Icon

Copyright © 2016 SEKEM. All rights reserved. Legal | Privacy