Pacific Organic & Ethical Trade Community

Goal 1: No Poverty

Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger

The majority of people in the Pacific still rely on subsistence agriculture for their livelihood, this combined with strong support for the extended family or community is said to have contributed to alleviating extreme poverty.

However the expansion of the cash-based economy, together with new forms of employment and urbanization, has restructured national and household economies and deepened economic inequalities.

Poverty is often not as visible or as extreme as it is in some parts of the world and the term poverty of opportunity more aptly describes poverty in the Pacific. It is attributable to a range of factors including the limited opportunities to earn cash income.

A comprehensive assessment of organic agriculture reveals overarching themes of comparable yields with conventional farming combined with price premiums offers significantly improved incomes through niche market opportunities. Organic agriculture requires and investment in knowledge instead of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and builds up the farmer’s own possibilities to continuously improve farm management.

Systems that depend upon sustainable use of locally available natural resources and farmers knowledge are far more likely to meet the needs and aspirations of resource poor farmers than those which requires costly or scarce external inputs.

The costs of adopting organic agriculture vary a lot, however organic agriculture can be cost-effective in reducing poverty and, even with the highest cost options, the amount involved per person taken out of poverty is much lower than that of development programs that achieve the same goals through investment in overall economic growth.


  1. UNDP, (1999). Pacific Human Development Report 1999: Creating Opportunities, Suva, Fiji
  2. IBID
  3. Scialabba, N. & Hattam, H. (2002) Organic agriculture, Environment, and Food Security. Environment and Natural Resources Series No. 4. FAO, Rome.
  4. PARROT, N., J. E. OLESEN, & H. HøGH-JENSEN (2006). Certified and non-certified organic farming in the Developing World. In: Halberg N, Knudsen MT, Alrøe HF and Kristensen ES (Eds) Global Development of Organic Agriculture: Challenges and Prospects. CABI publishing
  5. ADB, (2015). Organic agriculture and post-2015 development goals: building on the comparative advantage of poor farmers. Mandaluyong City, Philippines.

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