What is Organic Farming
Organic farming is a process of production of crop and livestock without involving the use of pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics and growth hormones. Organic farming system is a holistic approach system designed to optimize the productivity and strength of an agro-ecosystem, focusing on the soil organisms, plants, livestock and people. The principal goal of organic production is to develop endeavours which are sustainable and compatible with the environment.
The principles of organic production, include the following:
- To protect the environment, increase soil health, minimization of soil degradation and erosion, decrease pollution, optimize biological productivity and promote a robust state of health
- To maintain long-term soil fertility by minimizing tillage optimizing conditions for biological activity within the soil
- To maintain biological diversity
- To reuse the materials and resources to the greatest extent possible within the system
- To provide care and attention which promotes the health and provides the behavioural needs of livestock
- Preparation of organic products with organic integrity at all stages of the manufacture
- To be dependent on renewable resources in locally organized agricultural systems
Organic farming encourages the use of crop rotations and cover crops, and a balanced host/pathogen relationship. Organic residues generated on the farm could be recycled back to the soil. In organic farming system cover crops and compost are used to retain the soil organic matter and productivity. Biological preventative insect and disease control methods are practiced, including crop rotation, improved genetics and resistant varieties. Integrated pest and weed management, and soil conservation systems are valuable aspects on an organic farm. Organically accepted pesticides include natural products which are included in the Permitted Substances List (PSL) of the organic standards. In organic farming system all grains, forages and protein supplements fed to livestock must be organically grown.
Career opportunities in organic farming:
A study published in May by Britains Soil Association concluded that organic farming gives 32 percent more jobs per farm in the United Kingdom than conventional agriculture. According to this study, 93,000 new jobs could be provided if all of Britains farms start using organic practices, which includes avoiding the use of toxic chemical inputs and genetically manufactured seeds.
An advanced post-graduate diploma in agribusiness and organic farming could be beneficial for the following career options:
- Organic Agricultural or Food Scientist
- Organic Farmer or Rancher
- Organic Handler
- Organic Certifying Agent
- Organic Agricultural Sciences Teacher Postsecondary
- Organic Niche Retailer
- Organic Agricultural Manager
- Organic Restaurateur
Many colleges and universities have created organic agriculture courses to promote, increasing importance of modern organic farming techniques. Aspiring candidates can obtain hands-on experience through entry-level positions in nurseries, farms and landscaping companies after completion of a good course in Agribusiness coupled with organic farming. Some farms or agribusinesses even offer formal internships to the potential candidates. After completion of a successful course in organic farming a person can learn marketing strategies to expand the business of organic farming and can claim certified organic label on the food produced.
Online Course at JLI
James Lind Institute (JLI) will soon be launching Agriculture courses related to organic farming management. For more information please visit: www.jliedu.com