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  project name ~ Ecofarming Productivity Study

category ~ Other




  Project Name


Ecofarming Productivity Study



Indian Social Action Forum









Andhra Pradesh

  Budget Approved


Rs 500000


  Year Approved







  Chapter Coordinators


Sripriya Natarajan
Preethi Jyothi











As promoters of ecological farming, Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA), OFAI and INSAF have often heard arguments against ecological farming (from policy-makers, technocrats, agri-scientists, agri-input industry and others), on the grounds that it is less productive and therefore, a large-scale shift to such models of agriculture would bring down food production and lead to a food security crisis in the country. There is therefore an imperative to examine such claims against ecological farming, both through secondary literature review (which could include many experimental or action-research studies) and a primary study of farmers’ experiences on the ground. Such an examination should be able to also capture which conditions or factors lead to higher or lower productivity in such eco-farming scenario.

There is also a school of thinking that argues that “productivity” has come to be defined in a narrow fashion by the mainstream agriculture establishment to mean only grain production of the main crop (in a mono-cropped situation) thereby neglecting other aspects of farming which should legitimately be provided emphasis in any policy or programme – there is a need therefore, to expand the understanding and scope of “productivity” to include socio-economic and environmental aspects of the term. A narrow definition and emphasis on productivity could lead to medium and long term problems for farmers, their farms and for food safety/diversity.

Findings of the study would be used with policy makers, civil society groups as well as farmers who are trying to make up their mind about shifting to ecological farming.





Field visits have been done in Orissa, Karnataka and Tamilnadu to identify some of the participating farmers in November 2011. The same will be done in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra by Jan 2012.





The proposed ASHA-OFAI study is to develop a composite index on productivity and use the same to measure productivity of organic farms vis-à-vis equivalent chemical farms and understand the underlying phenomenon contributing to such productivity. At least 4 different parameters will be used to assess productivity here – • yield of the crops sown, • total system outputs from a given unit of land, • net income per unit of land (with regular market price values imputed as well as premium price realized by organic farmers), • total nutritional value of output per unit of land.



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