Organic farming can save billions
According to a new study by the Technical University of Munich, increasing organic farming by 30 percent by 2030 in Germany, as targeted by the Federal Government, could save up to €4 billion in environmental costs annually. The study was published during the Grüne Woche in Berlin.
The study's leader, Kurt-Jürgen Hülsbergen, says that the faster the transition to organic farming takes place, and the greater the area that is grown organically, the greater the relief for the environment and cost savings for society. The study shows that organic farming already saves society €1.5 billion in environmental costs, which could increase to €4 billion if the organic area is expanded to 30%.
Furthermore, the study found that organic farming reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 50% compared to conventional farming, making it environmentally beneficial. Hülsbergen emphasizes that the true value of the study lies in the fact that it supports the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture with scientific evidence.
The study results were welcomed at the Grüne Woche. Barbara Scheitz, director of Andechser Molkerei, immediately used them to put pressure on the Federal Minister of Agriculture to invest in organic farming.
Hubert Heigl of LVÖ is pleased that the study provides arguments in favor of organic farming. However, he acknowledges that the yield gap with conventional farming remains a significant problem that must be addressed.
Although the study shows that organic food products are about 20% cheaper in terms of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions than conventionally produced products, Hülsbergen stresses that the organic farming sector must increase productivity to close the yield gap.
The study provides ecological and economic reasons for Germany's goal of 30% organic farming by 2030. However, this goal may be in danger if the yield gap with conventional farming is not reduced.