Permaculture Found to Be a Sustainable Alternative to Conventional Agriculture

Permaculture Found to Be a Sustainable Alternative to Conventional Agriculture

RPTU University of Kaiserslautern-Landau has shown for the first time, in a joint study with BOKU University, that permaculture brings about a significant improvement in biodiversity, soil quality and carbon storage.

In view of the challenges of climate change and species extinction, this type of agriculture proved to be a real alternative to conventional cultivation—and reconcile environmental protection and high yields.

Permaculture uses natural cycles and ecosystems as blueprint. Food is produced in an agricultural ecosystem that is as self-regulating, natural and diverse as possible. For example, livestock farming is integrated into the cultivation of crops or the diversity of beneficial organisms is promoted in order to avoid the use of mineral fertilizers or pesticides.

In a study, published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment, researchers from RPTU and BOKU have now, for the first time, comprehensively investigated the effects of this planning and management concept on the environment.

“Although permaculture projects have been established all over the world since the 1970s, there has been surprisingly little accompanying scientific research,” explains environmental scientist Julius Reiff from RPTU the background to the study. “We wanted to close this gap and investigate whether permaculture actually has the repeatedly-assumed positive effects on the agricultural ecosystem in practice.”