Economic Viability of Small Scale Organic Production of Rice, Common Bean and Maize in Goias State, Brazil

Alcido Elenor Wander, Agostinho Dirceu Didonet, José Aloísio Alves Moreira, Fabio Pires Moreira, Anna Cristina Lanna, José Alexandre Freitas Barrigossi, Eliane Dias Quintela, Tiago Ribeiro Ricardo


This study was conducted to assess the economic feasibility of small scale organic production of rice, common bean and maize in Goias State, Brazil. During 2004/05 and 2005/06 growing seasons, rice, common bean and maize were produced at the organic farm of Embrapa Rice and Beans in five mulching systems (fallow, Crotalaria juncea, Cajanus cajan, Mucuna aterrima and Sorghum bicolor ), with and without tillage. Soil tillage consisted of heavy disc harrowing followed by light disc harrowing. All operations and used inputs were recorded. Based on those records, the production costs for each crop were estimated for each cropping season. The costs included operations like sowing, ploughing, harrowing, spraying, fertilizer broadcasting and harvesting, as well as inputs like seeds, inoculant strains of Rhizobium, neem oil and organic fertilizers. The benefits include the gross revenue obtained by multiplying the production amount with the market price for non-organic products. For the purpose of analysis of competitiveness of organic production in comparison to conventional farming the market prices assumed were those of conventional production. In the analysis, the costs of certification were not considered yet due to lack of certifiers in the region. For comparison between traits, net revenue, the benefit-cost-ratio (BCR) and the break even point were used. In 2004/05 growing season the BCR varied from 0.27 for common bean on S. bicolor mulch system with tillage up to 4.05 for green harvested maize produced after C. juncea in no tillage system. Common bean and rice were not economically viable in this growing season. In 2005/06 growing season the BCR varied between 0.75 for common bean after S. bicolor in tillage system and 4.50 for green harvested maize produced after fallow in no tillage system. In this season common bean was economically viable in leguminous mulching systems and green harvested maize was viable in all mulching systems.


economic feasibility; organic farming; organic rice production; organic common bean production; organic maize production

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