WHAT IS ORGANIC FARMING?
Organic farming is defined as that kind of agriculture which uses the traditional ways of farming instead of modern techniques so that there is not too much effect on the natural properties of soil & crop environment. Organic farming is the farming done with the natural processes by following them not by opposing them. So in simple way organic farming is understood as that way of farming which is done by following traditional methods of agriculture like crop rotation , mixed cropping , double cropping , using organic manures like farmyard manure , compost and different other organic fertilizers , green manuring & bioherbicides etc. in place of chemical containing pesticides & herbicides . The different farming systems like Agro-horticulture ,Agro-silviculture, Silvopasture ,Agrosilvi-pisciculture etc. are also included under organic farming systems leading towards good land saving results .Organic farming puts a more pressure on using these traditional & less harmful methods of farming & limited or no use of pesticides , chemical fertilizers , manures etc. so that to enhance the agricultural production without posing a harm to the agro-ecosystem . Organic farming is a science which leads in protecting the biosystem of earth which is on the edge of extinction now a days due to excessive & uncontrollable use of synthetic products to the crop production . The need of the hour is organic farming as there is daily increasing demand of foodgrain production due to increasing population of human beings & decreasing land holdings throughout the world . The Green Revolution has also reached to its peak value of increased production as there is no further increase potential left in foodgrain production . Today the only possible solution of these problems is organic farming as it is the way of farming which can be used in a sustainable way of increasing production. Under organic farming, all the resources are used in their full & judicious manner & also being left for the use of future generations. So it can be said that organic farming is helpful in maintaining the natural balance in a very good & efficient way by increasing the agricultural production & saving the natural environment as well. Organic farming is a way of science which sustains the health of soil & the biodiversity of this planet including all the races living on earth. Nowadays, the ratio of organic farms is increasing day by day as the harmful effects of modern agriculture are starting visible to the people using them & there is no way left for them to move towards organic farming as it is the only solution of a sustainable increase in crop production. The different tools of organic farming are listed below:
- Integrated weed management (IWM)
- Integrated pest management (IPM)
- Integrated nutrient management (INM)
- Crop rotation
- Integrated disease management (IDM)
- Integrated farming systems (IFSs)
- Use of natural products
Organic farming is based on certain principles such as;
- The principle of care: It means that the organic farming can be performed in such a way so that the care of the ecosystem of earth & all living species should be taken & no one should be in any kind of danger or threat. Organic farming also takes care of sustainable use of resources, so that they should be preserved for future generation also.
- The principle of health: Organic farming also looks upon the health of the biosphere & species living here which are dependent on nature for their survival & well being.
- The principle of ecology: Ecology must be maintained in a proper & efficient way so that the living systems must be developed in a good way which can be possible only with the help of organic farming nowadays .
- The principle of fairness: It means that all the resources must be divided equally among the people & animals & also used in a sustainable manner so that they are able to meet the needs & demands of future generations also.
HOW TO DO ORGANIC FARMING?
Organic farming is done with the help of following steps:
- First of all, you have to select those tools of farming which force the use of natural processes of farming & do not pose any threat or danger to the environment or natural organisms living in the ecosystem.
- Then you must look out for developing the organic management of land from conventional management.
- Then you must manage the entire surrounding ecosystem or crop ecosystem so that there is ensured sustainability in that area.
- Afterwards, crop production is done with the help of natural tools like crop rotation, bio-fertilizers, residue management, organic manures & other biological inputs.
- Management of the weeds & insect pests in the field should be done with the help of cultural or physical methods or by use of biologically formed compounds in place of chemical herbicides or pesticides.
- Also rearing of livestock in close association with the organic farming system & making their full use in accordance with the preparation of organic manures, vermin-compost or farmyard manure etc.
- Use of new kind of seeds prepared by following organic methods instead of genetically modified crop seeds as they are less vulnerable to insect-pests & diseases.
So these are the few steps of following organic farming in the field conditions. By following these steps one can surely produce the organic food & compounds which can be sold at a reasonable price in the market for doing the profitable agriculture.
ADVANTAGES OF ORGANIC FARMING
There are many advantages of organic farming as it is a kind of natural farming which is performed in a natural way by avoiding synthetic materials used for plant production & enhancing the use of natural materials. Advantages of organic farming are mentioned below:
- It provides the more nutrient rich food to the people which are very good in taste & is very rich in minerals & nutrients which are good for health & helpful in curing dietary problems of people due to improper & less nutritive food.
- It also does not cause any pollution problems to environment & humans as other methods of agriculture do.
- Organic farming is also helpful in building the soil structure as it helps the soil to retain its organic manures like humus etc. & do not pose any threat to soil health.
- Organic farming is also helpful in rescuing the crop from certain insect –pests by making them insect –pest & disease resistance which are occurring due to monoculture or mono-cropping by using the crop rotation techniques.
- It also helps in the safe disposal of animal or crop wastes in a very efficient manner in manure form which otherwise would pose many problems of health to humans & environment.
- Food obtained from organic farms is of very good quality & of increased shelf-life. Also, it is free of any contamination from the poisonous elements which are very much visible in food grains obtained from modern day agricultural systems.
- Organic farming is also giving a farming system to farmers which are of low total cost & is giving high-value produce.
- Organic farming methods are very much climate friendly & environment-friendly as compared to all other agricultural methods.
- These also provide the value added products to the consumers which demand food products of superior quality.
- Organic farming is also the best means of farming in drought prone areas as it requires a very much limited amount of water for crop production & making the possibility of obtaining the value added food also from desert areas with limited water availability.
DISADVANTAGES OF ORGANIC FARMING
Though organic farming is almost a profitable & advantageous way of performing the agriculture but still it has certain disadvantages over other ways which are listed below:
- High input cost: Organic farming is a way of farming which requires all natural products to start the crop production in agricultural land & these natural products like FYM, vermicompost, bio-herbicides, friendly insects etc. are available at a high initial cost which poses a stone in the way of absorption of organic farming.
- Organic farming also requires the skill full person to operate the food production programmes in field conditions as if there is no skill in farmer than he does not understand the role of certain friendly pests & also do not figure out the proper way & timing of manure or nutrient application in the fields.
- Decreased productivity in initial years is also an opposing factor in the way of adoption of organic farming at a large scale. Most of the farmers do not go for organic farming as it provides less productivity as compared to modern agricultural methods of farming.
- The popularity of GM crops; as we all know that the genetically modified crops are more widely adopted & popular throughout the world as compared to organic methods of cropping & GM crops are reared only by conventional or modern methods not by organic methods.
- Difficulties in the cultivation of organic crops as these require special handling & care by the growers as compared to other crops is also a disadvantage of organic farming methods.
- It is also a very much labour intensive method of farming as there is very less or no use of mechanical or chemical inputs here.
- Difficulty in the production of organic manures like vermicompost, FYM, treated sewage waste etc. is also the main disadvantage of organic farming.
METHODS OF ORGANIC FARMING
Organic farming methods are the combination of natural methods & full scientific knowledge of them and use of somewhat modern day methods but only to a small extent. These are the methods which use the naturally occurring materials for crop production & neglecting or limiting the use of synthetic products in agriculture. The main aim of organic farming is to use those methods of crop production which occurs in nature or available from natural means & increase the productivity of crops without any harm or danger to ecosystem & biosphere of our planet.
The different methods of organic farming are as follows:
- Crop rotation; so that there should be avoidance of monoculture & there should be distinctive crop diversity in the crop land.
- Soil management & formation; by the use of naturally formed manures & fertilisers leading towards the addition of organic matter to the soil.
- Weed & insect –pest management; by using the bio-herbicides or biological systems of pest control giving nature ensured protection from pollution problem & humans & animals the uncontaminated food & fodder products.
- Agro-horticulture or Agro-forestry or Horti-silvicultural systems, so that the resources should be utilised of their full value.