Source: CIRAD, UNIV MONTPELLIER
Organic farming offers several options for documenting technological transitions towards new production models, even if it presents controversial aspects: low yields, accessibility to standards, values of eco-assessments or increased work. By mobilizing different situations in sub-Saharan Africa, this thematic issue of Cahiers Agricultures helps to illustrate these controversies. The constitutive articles show how organic agriculture defined by the standards of industrialized countries cannot account for the diversity of African agricultural realities. It follows the emergence of new certifications and demands from local companies. This emergence remains constrained by the insufficiency of the comparative knowledge bases of the productive realities between organic and conventional agriculture. Methodological innovations to reduce knowledge asymmetries on performance comparison are then proposed. The results question the need for new indicators integrating nutritional and health security issues. They show that organic farming can also be a lever for increasing yields when the forest rent has been consumed by export agriculture. While shedding light on the controversies, this thematic issue poses the hypothesis that, under certain conditions, organic farming is an opportunity to break the technological paradigm that responds to development challenges in Africa. He invites us not to confuse this break with the incremental transition mechanisms carried by agroecology.
Correspondence author: firstname.lastname@example.org
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