Lands for Organic Farming Increase Worldwide

February 17, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. dedicate to 
 [DED-i-keyt-tuh] (phrasal v.) – to choose to use something for a specific reason
Example: A hundred acres of his land was dedicated to growing different vegetables.

2. agriculture [AG-ri-kuhl-cher] (n.) – the science of growing plants and animals for food
Example: One focus of Philippine agriculture is the growing of rice.

3. pesticide [PES-tuh-sahyd] (n.) – a chemical used to kill pests such as insects
Example: The pesticide prevents insects from eating the plants.

4. fertilizer [FUR-tl-ahy-zer] (n.) – a chemical used to make soil able to grow a lot of crops or plants
Example:  The farmer added chemical fertilizer to make the vegetables grow faster.

5. sustainability [suh-stey-nuh-BIL-i-tee] (n.) – the capability of something to be used without being broken or finished
Example: We can achieve food sustainability if we can produce food without depleting natural resources.

Read the text below.

Around 37 million hectares of land are now dedicated to organic agriculture, according to the Worldwatch Institute.

Organic farming is a type of farming that is all-natural and does not use harmful chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers.

Worldwatch revealed that most organic farm lands are in Oceania, with 12 million hectares in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Island. As for organic farm lands in the rest of the world, Europe has 10 million hectares, Latin America has 8.4 million, Asia has 3 million and Africa has one million hectares.

Laura Reynolds, a researcher for Worldwatch, said more farmers are becoming interested in organic farming because they profit more from higher-priced organic food. In 2011, organic food sales in the US alone increased to $31.5 billion.

Organic farming is expensive because it requires a lot of effort from farmers who have to record their plant-growing methods in detail. But Reynolds said organic food prices would decrease once competition rises.

The Worldwatch Institute reported that organic farming can help with food sustainability as the world faces climate change and increasing population. Farmers can use organic farming techniques to save water and to grow plants that are naturally strong against changes in temperature.

The problem, however, is that not enough people have access to organic food and to organic agriculture techniques.

Currently, only less than 1% of global agricultural land is dedicated to organic farming.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         In your opinion, is organic food healthier or better than non-organic food? Why or why not?
·         How can people be encouraged to eat healthily?

Discussion B

·         Do you think people check where or how food is made?  
·         Is it important to know where or how our food was grown? What makes you say so?


February 17, 2013