Hossein Mahmoudi, Houman Liaghati, Majid Zohari:
The Role of Organic Agriculture in Achieving the Millennium Development Goals: Challenges and Prospects in Iran


Shahid Beheshti University, Environmental Sciences Research Institute, Iran

Organic farming is nowadays considered as an alternative farming approach. Despite organic farming is the oldest form of agriculture on earth; few attentions have been paid to develop this approach. In fact, while organic farming has promoted as environmentally-friendly approach and developed during the last few years in most developed countries, there are few emphasising on developing countries such as Iran. The debate has been especially motivated when organic farming has introduced as a holistic approach. The MDGs is a set of eight goals derived from the various declarations and commitments adopted in conferences organised by the United Nations. The MDGs cover a diverse set of development outcomes, ranging from halving extreme poverty to protecting the environment and promoting a global partnership in development. Each goal has corresponding time"=bound targets, most of which should be achieved by 2015. Organic agriculture plays an important role in achieving MDGs, its impact is very greater when considered holistically due to the interrelationships among the MDGs. Organic agriculture can with impacts such as stable income, better nourished and healthier children are more likely to stay in school, healthier women from more nutritious farm products, less exposure to pesticides, conservation of water, water resources and soil help in achieving the MDGs. In other words, organic agriculture has the potential to address multiple MDG targets. On the other hand, this provides a case for government in developing countries such as Iran to look more seriously into supporting organic agriculture. This paper will briefly review the scope of the MDGs and the role of organic agriculture in achieving them.

Keywords: Iran, Millennium Development Goals, organic farming


Contact Address: Hossein Mahmoudi, Shahid Beheshti University, Environmental Sciences Research InstituteTehran, Iran, e-mail: h-mahmoudi@sbu.ac.ir
Andreas Deininger, November 2007