One of the benefits of organic/sustainable gardening and even farming, in my humble opinion, is the availability of inexpensive inputs to feed and care for the soil and resulting plants.
How can that be with the higher prices being charged in the grocery stores? As with most food, the profit is not in the growing but in the handling and marketing. Most farmers today are just making a living or doing it with the addition of jobs off the farm.
Why do they do it? They love the land, nature, lifestyle and producing healthy food. I could go on and on about all we owe to these folks, but that is not what this blog is about.
Surprisingly to me, it is in support of a United Nations study about the value of organic/sustainable methods to poor, and emerging countries, specifically Africa. http://www.unep.ch/etb/publications/insideCBTF_OA_2008.pdf
It is a big report but if you just read the executive summary you will get the main points. What it basically says is that organic/sustainable methods are best suited to nations who do not have a lot of wealth to pay for expensive man-made inputs. They even throw in the value for more developed countries as well.
They give a number of good reasons without placing emphasis on the safety aspects that we talk a lot about here in the U.S. There are many practical, economical, common sense reasons.