Long-term farming system comparisons in the tropics

Proyecto terminado

Agriculture based on high external inputs resulted in productivity increases but has high negative external costs. Alternative systems such as organic agriculture exist but information on their economic, environmental and social performance is scarce. This long-term system comparison led by the Swiss-based Research Institute for Organic Agriculture (FiBL) provides scientific evidence on the productivity and profitability of organic agriculture compared to conventional agriculture in four production systems of the tropics.

Región/País Tema Período Presupuesto
A nivel mundial
Agricultura y seguridad alimentaria
Investigación agrícola
Desarrollo agrícolo
01.12.2014 - 31.12.2018
CHF  2’000’000

The past efforts to maximise agricultural production by use of input intensive agricultural practices have proven detrimental to the health and sustainability of agro-ecosystems, despite higher yields in the short term. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that new practices and farming methods are developed and implemented, which ensure high productivity while being economically viable and environmentally sustainable. In addition, the diversity of agro-ecosystems as well as the differences in social and cultural habits around the world demand integrated site-specific solutions to help overcome the challenges of food security.


Enhance knowledge and knowhow about the sustainability of the different agricultural production systems in three tropical countries.

Grupos destinarios

Direct beneficiaries:
i) farmers involved in the Participatory On-farm Research (POR) and farmers trained in the context of the project
ii) university students, technicians, project coordinators and steering committee members attending trainings
iii) the national and international scientific community, who will be able to build on this newly generated evidence based knowledge.

Indirect beneficiaries: Other organic and conventional farmers who learn about the project results via extension.


Efectos a medio plazo

(1) The dissemination of solid agronomic, economic and ecological data on major organic and conventional agricultural production systems in selected project regions, which will lead to an enhanced knowledge base that can be used by different stakeholders;

(2) The adoption of newly developed, locally-adapted technology innovations addressing organic farmers’ needs leads to improved yields and rural livelihoods in the mid- and long-term perspective.



Resultados de las fases anteriores:  

- First results prove that organic agriculture tends to be more resilient to climatic or weather stress, whereas in optimal production conditions conventional agriculture has a productivity advantage.

- Economically organic agricultre seems to reach the same profitability as conventional agriculture due to the lower costs for external inputs.

- The high inter-seasonal variability of agricultural production do not yet allow for a fully conclusive evidence on the productivity and profitability of organic compared to conventional agriculture.

- In general, project management will have to give a stronger focus on analysing and publishing data.


Dirección / Officina Federal responsable COSUDE
Crédito Cooperación al desarrollo
Contrapartes del proyecto Contraparte del contrato
Institución académica y de investigación suiza
  • Instituto de investigación para la agricultura orgánica

Presupuesto Fase en curso Presupuesto suizo CHF    2’000’000 Presupuesto actual suizo ya emitido CHF    2’000’000 Total del proyecto desde la primera fase Presupuesto inclusive contrapartes del proyecto CHF   6’000’000
Fases del proyecto Fase 4 01.12.2018 - 31.12.2022   (Fase en curso)

Fase 3 01.12.2014 - 31.12.2018   (Completed)

Fase 2 01.05.2011 - 31.12.2014   (Completed) Fase 1 01.05.2007 - 30.04.2011   (Completed)