Organic is more profitable than conventional in Northern Philippines

Photo Credit: Alejandro Luengo

While organic farming benefits the health of the environment and those who farm that land, it is critical that organic farming is profitable enough for farmers to stay in business. Evidence that organic farming is more profitable than conventional is mounting from studies around the world. A recent study published in the Journal of Biodiversity and Environmental Sciences shows that profitability of organic excels in the Philippines as well. A survey of 64 organic and 52 conventional farmers revealed that when comparing the break-even yield per 1,000 square meters, organic production required a lower yield to make a profit for all vegetables studied. Additionally, less upfront capital and land were required for organic operations to make a profit. However, organic operations did require more labor inputs than conventional farming. While profitability was overall greater for organic farmers, the average amount of land in organic vegetable production in the study area pales in comparison to that in conventional with 510 square meters per operation versus 2,970 square meters. The organic farmers cite challenges with certification and lack of market demand as reasons why the organic vegetable industry is not as prevalent as conventional farming despite its profitability potential.