Paying Farmers to Go Organic, Even Before the Crops Come In

 19/07/2016

DENAIR, Calif. — The last time Wendell Naraghi tried to make money from organic nuts, in the 1980s, he failed miserably.

“Basically, we stopped because no one paid me,” said Mr. Naraghi, whose father started the family’s large nut orchards here in the Central Valley in the 1940s. “There just was no market premium for organic.”

Today, the problem is turned upside down: Companies can’t get enough organic ingredients to satisfy consumer desire for organic and nongenetically modified foods. The demand for those crops outstrips the supply, leaving farmers like Mr. Naraghi racing to convert their land to organic production, an arduous and expensive process.

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