ifoam96.gif (1141 bytes)
Book of Abstracts

11th IFOAM
Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996
Copenhagen, Denmark

Abstract front page
Subject index
Athor index


Systems with and without Effective Microorganisms S12

Sangakkara, U. R.1 & Higa, T.2

1) Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka; 2) University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan.

See also:
News from:


Organic farming systems of the humid tropics center around smallholder subsistence units, where farmers practice this technology due to several reasons. These units are characterized by low inputs and low returns to investment. In contrast, the use of the technology of Effective Microorganisms (EM) is proven as a technology for improving productivity of organic systems on a sustainable basis and more importantly farmer returns to investment. Thus, a study evaluated the agronomic and economic benefits of an organic cropping unit with and without EM over three years, covering six seasons of continued cropping.

The yields and returns to investment of the traditional organic system was dependant on crop yields, determined by climatic and edaphic factors. However, the yields were relatively stable throughout the seasons, which enabled the farmer derive some income. In contrast, the use of EM, which had a cost included increased yields systematically with time, thus giving enhanced returns with time. The benefits of using this technology in the context of organic farming of the developing world of the tropics is presented.

Holmes, B (1990): Can sustainable farming win the battle of the bottom line? Science, 260, 1893-1895.

Sangakkara, U. R. & T. Higa (1995): Effective microorganisms - A key to increasing productivity of organic farming in developing countries - A case study. In: (Freyer, B. et al., eds.). Betriebswirtschaft in Biologischen Landbau Stiftung Íkogolgie and Laubau, No 57, Germany: 159-162.