What is an organic farming? Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved.
Reasons for organic farming: The population of the planet is skyrocketing and providing food for the world is becoming extremely difficult. The need of the hour is sustainable cultivation and production of food for all.
The Green Revolution and its chemical-based technology are losing its appeal as dividends are falling and returns are unsustainable. Pollution and climate change are other negative externalities caused by the use of fossil fuel based chemicals.
In spite of our diet choices, organic food is the best choice you’ll ever make, and this means embracing organic farming methods. Here are the reasons why we need to take up organic farming methods.
- To accurate the benefits of nutrients: Foods from organic farms are loaded with nutrients such as vitamins, enzymes, minerals and other micro-nutrients compared to those from conventional farms. This is because organic farms are managed and nourished using sustainable practices. In fact, some past researchers collected and tested vegetables, fruits, and grains from both organic farms and conventional farms and they came to know that the foods that are grown by organic farming are more friendly for humans and environmentally.
- Natural and better taste: Those that have tasted organically farmed foods would attest to the fact that they have a natural and better taste. The natural and superior taste stems from the well balanced and nourished soil. Organic farmers always prioritize quality over quantity.
- To conserve agricultural biodiversity: These days, it normal to hear news about extinct species and this should be a major concern. In the last century alone, it is approximated that 75 percent of the agricultural diversity of crops has been wiped out. Slanting towards one form of farming is a recipe for disaster in the future. A classic example is a potato. There were different varieties available in the marketplace. Today, only one species of potato dominate. This is a dangerous situation because if pests knock out the remaining potato specie available today, we will not have potatoes anymore. This is why we need organic farming methods that produce disease and pest-resistant crops to guarantee a sustainable future.
Key features of organic farming:
- Protecting soil quality using organic material and encouraging biological activity
- Indirect provision of crop nutrients using soil microorganisms
- Nitrogen fixation in soils using legumes
- Weed and pest control based on methods like crop rotation, biological diversity, natural predators, organic manures and suitable chemical, thermal and biological intervention
- Rearing of livestock, taking care of housing, nutrition, health, rearing and breeding
- Care for the larger environment and conservation of natural habitats and wildlife.
why is modern farming unsustainable?
- Loss of soil fertility due to excessive use of chemical fertilizers and lack of crop rotation.
- Nitrate runoff during rains contaminates water resources.
- Soil erosion due to deep ploughing and heavy rains.
- More requirements of fuel for cultivation.
- Use of poisonous bio-cide sprays to curb pest and weeds.
- Cruelty to animals in their housing, feeding, breeding and slaughtering.
- Loss of biodiversity due to monoculture.
- Native animals and plants lose space to exotic species and hybrids.
Benefits of organically growing food and agricultural products:-
Free of poison: Organic farming does not make use of poisonous chemicals, pesticides and weedicides. Studies reveal that a large section of the population fed on toxic substances used in conventional agriculture have fallen prey to diseases like cancer. As organic farming avoids these toxins, it reduces the sickness and diseases due to them.
Low prices: There is a big misconception that organic foods are relatively expensive. The truth is they are actually cheaper because they don’t require the application of expensive pesticides, insecticides, and weedicides. In fact, you can get organic foods direct from the source at really reasonable prices.