In 2050, organic will feed Europe

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In 2050, organic farming could be able to feed the entire European population, which could reach 600 million people. This is the conclusion of a study entitled “Reshaping the European agro-food system”, carried out in France by the CNRS, the National Centre for Scientific Research, in collaboration with researchers from three universities (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden, and University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna), and two Italian research institutes: Joint Research Centre (JRC), and Higher Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA).
Starting from the premise that, after World War II, the practices of intensive agriculture have gradually caused an increasingly serious loss of nitrogen (N) in aquatic environments and the atmosphere, with a severe impact on ecosystems and human well-being, today the time has come to change the direction. It is possible to turn the tide by operating three levels: a dietary change toward a lower animal protein intake; the generalization of region-specific organic crop rotation systems involving N2-fixing legumes; the reconnection of livestock with cropping systems allowing optimal use of manure. The scenario outlined by the study demonstrates the possibility to feed the projected European population in 2050, with half the current level of environmental N losses, substantially adopting organic production practices and methods.

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