Organic Farming

Why Organic Farming is Eco-Friendly

By Charles S Taylor

Organic farming is the method of growing plants of fruits, vegetables, as well as ornamental plants like garden plants without using artificial pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers. It is the combination of best farming methods used in past and modern scientific knowledge. It acts in accordance with nature instead of opposing it, as seen in conventional farming. The processes involved in it are natural. Almost all the organic products are of good quality, as farmers follow strict methods during cultivation. Also, it preserves the nutrients in soil.

Difference between conventional farming and organic farming:

In conventional farming, farmers use chemical fertilizers to add only nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium where as in organic farming, farmers uses many favorable soil micro organisms and rock dust to make soil well balanced for growth of better plants. In conventional farming, farmers put chemicals, which kill microscopic bacteria that are very useful to enhance the ability of plant to absorb nutrients. In organic farming, farmers follow simple and Eco-friendly techniques in farming.

Disadvantages of Conventional farming:

Rivers, lakes and water sources get polluted as artificial fertilizers and herbicides are washed away easily.
In this type of farming, every year the use of artificial fertilizers is increased to produce same crop (amount).
Nutrient availability is reduced and the soil structure becomes poor as chemicals destroy micro organisms in soil.
Artificial pesticides stay in soil, enter into food chain and cause health problems to animals and human beings.

Organic farming methods:

Organic farming methods replace the chemical fertilizers and pesticides with natural methods of food cultivation.

Cultivation: Polyculture (growing variety of crops in single piece of land) is preferred in organic farming rather than monoculture (growing of single crop in single piece of land) followed by conventional farming. This is because different crops invites different soil microbes (which are useful for soil) and also helps in pest control organically.

Fertilization: Composts and green manuring is used to increase the fertility of soil. They add nutrients (organic matter) to soil that is necessary for plant growth.

Pest Control: Beneficial insects which control harmful insects are grown by growing plants which attract them. Biological insecticides like neem extract is used for pest control. Special crops are grown which diverts harmful pests and crop rotation helps in protecting crops from different pests.

Benefits of Organic farming:

To consumers
* Nutrition: Organically grown food products are rich in vitamins and minerals compared conventionally grown food products.
* Contamination free: Substances hazardous to health such as pesticides, fungicides and herbicides are not present in organic products. They are healthy and free from contamination.
* Food tastes better: In organic farming as plants are grown with natural methods, the products are nutritious and tasty compared to conventionally grown products.
* Food stays longer: Organically grown food products can be stored for longer time and they do not get decayed (rotten) easily.

To environment:
* Climate friendly: Emission of green house gases is low as low input needs are utilized for cultivation.
* Ecological friendly: As natural methods are used for cultivation, it do not cause soil and water pollution.

Today, organic farming is not widely used as it involves more labor and the yield of crop is also less, compared to conventional farming. It is a good practice for farmers to follow to maintain ecological balance, retain the purity of atmosphere, and to produce consumable healthy organic products.

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