SOAR is a research school. In addition to the focus on PhD students, SOAR also includes graduates, postdocs and supervisors in the activities and networks. This is important because they also constitute the research environment, in which the PhD student is under education. SOAR wants to contribute to the professional discussions with a special focus on the organic food and farming systems.
The research interests of SOAR cover a wide range of subjects within organic agriculture and food systems:
The PhD project is part of the GLOBAL ORG project and the aim of the PhD project is to assess the effect of large scale conversion to organic farming on food production and food security of selected regions in India. The objectives are
• To estimate the effect of certified and non-certified organic farming on food security of smallholding farms.
• To assess the potential of farming units for large scale conversion to organic agriculture.
• To assess the consequences of large scale conversion to organic farming for food supply and food security among rural and urban poor at a regional scale by use of and further development of relevant international food security models.
The world food situation show that there are still 742 million people has no enough food to eat. India has more than 220 million populations remain hungry and chronically food insecure. The prediction that even by 2030 hundreds of millions of poor people will remain undernourished unless local food production is given priority and inequality of access to food is reduced. Thus all attempts to increase food security should focus on local food production in some regions of India, where financial resource for inputs are low and organic farming has the potential to increase food production, supply and food security in a sustainable way.
Organic farming may improve the asset building and food security in smallholder and resource poor farmers due to higher prices, reduced risk through diversification and occasional potential for higher yields. Recent case studies in India, China and Latin America indicate that the conversion to organic farming is beneficial to small, resource poor farmers and that the conversion to market oriented and certified organic farming can alleviate poverty and improve food security besides improving soil fertility. Non-certified organic farming may increase food security in small holding farms by providing diverse food, increasing farm productivity, and reduce debt by use of on-farm inputs. However, the study on improving food security through organic agriculture in India is scarce. Therefore, the study is intended to investigate the household food security of small holding farms after large-scale conversion to organic agriculture in India.