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Book of Abstracts

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

Abstract front page
Subject index
Athor index

Extra Papers

Economics of Organic Farming and Use of Biodegradable Refuse E3

Vaheesan, Saminathan1; Dharshi Kumaragamage2

1) Institute of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, 2) Department of Soil science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

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Excessive use of agrochemicals and chemical fertilizers create many environmental problems. To reduce such problems and also to averse some components of the cost involved in farming efficient use of biodegradable wastes such as market refuse, kitchen refuse and crop refuse could be an economically and environmentally feasible solution. To find out the economics of organic farming under marginal land cnditions and the potential for composting industry in relation to the financial net benefit obtained by organic and chemical farmers a socio- economic survey was carried out in two villages in Sri Lanka where abandoned tea lands (marginal lands) are used for vegetable cultivation. It was also intended to make approximate recommendation for the application of compost mainly made out of kitchen and crop refuse by analyzing compost mixed marginal land top soil for main nutrients such as Nitrogen and Phosphorus. Results show that under marginal land conditions, when the size of the holdings are small (0.25 - 2 acres), the net benefit obtained by the organic farmers is significantly higher than that of chemical farmers. This shows that the utilization of marginal or degraded lands for organic vegetable cultivation using compost as a main nutrient source is beneficial Results of the analysis of compost mixed top soil indicate that the nutrient content and release are high at the rate applied (10g compost/150g of soil). To reduce bulky application requirements direct application to the planting holes would be a practically possible alternative.

Gray, K. R. and Biddleston, A. J. (1980): Agricultural use of composted town refuse. In: Inorganic Pollution and Agriculture, p. 279-305

Julius, D. A. (1981): Urban waste as an Economic good. In: Pacey, A. (Ed) Sanitation in Developing countries. John Willey and Sons Ltd, Chichester, p. 195

Lampkin, N. (1990): Organic farming. In: Benefits of diversity. United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Newyork, p. 87