The terms organic’ and eco friendly’ often go hand in hand for reasons obvious. When the greenhouse effect and global warming are utterly straining the planet, giving rise to various chronic diseases, organic farming has become the need of the hour as its benefits are immeasurable. Organic farming benefits all the elements of life.
Long Term Sustainability
Environment is drastically changing over time. Organic farming keeps in mind the medium and long term impacts of agricultural interventions on the agro-ecosystem. Its objective is to provide food while maintaining a biological parity to avoid problems with soil fertility and plant pests. Organic farming adopts a proactive strategy instead of treating issues after they arise.
Strategies such as crop rotations, intercropping, natural composts and minimum tillage are fundamentals of organic practices. They stimulate soil flora and fauna; improve soil formation and structure and stabilize soil systems. Nutrients cycling is promoted thus increasing water and nutrient retention capacity of the soil. These strategies also play a vital role in controlling soil erosion which in turn protects soil biodiversity and productivity.
Water pollution due to the usage of chemical fertilizers and pesticides is a major issue giving rise to several serious health problems. Organic farming doesn’t involve the use of any of these chemical plant growth products, instead meet the requirements of the plant with plant and animal manure and compost. In areas where groundwater is highly polluted, the adaptation of organic farming should be encouraged as a restorative measure.
Air & Environmental Change
Fossil fuels, the governing source of energy for agriculture, are majorly used for the manufacturing of fertilizers and pesticides that are used in the conventional farming resulting in the depletion of this non-renewable source of energy. Since organic farming doesn’t involve the use of chemical-based plant protection products, it contributes to the conservation of valuable natural resources. Organic farming practices such as minimum tillage, nutrient cycling and crop rotation results in the return of carbon to the soil
Biodiversity, at all levels, is the key element in organic farming. At the genetic level, conventional and improved breeds and seeds are selected owing to their resistance to extreme climatic changes and disease-causing pests. At the species level, various groups of flora and fauna are involved in the nutrient and energy cycling. At the ecosystem level, absence of chemical inputs protects various plants and animals on both land and aquatic ecosystems including human beings. The soil biodiversity is protected by implementing crop rotation. Many studies confirmed that organic farming protects biodiversity more than other farming systems.
Genetically modified organisms (GMO)
The use of GMOs is completely restricted in any stage of organic farming. Since there is a lot of controversy and uncertainty around the use of GMOs and their impact on the environment and health, their non-utilization inorganic farming is a precautionary measure to avoid any commotion to the ecological balance.
Organic farming is less polluting to water, soil and environment. It facilitates various healthy interactions within the agro-systems that contribute to both agricultural productivity and nature conservation. Carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, crop rotation, water cycling, soil stabilization, predation, pollination and niches are key elements of organic farming that makes it environment-friendly. By choosing organic products, the customer through his/her choice endorses a less polluting framework and better health.
Online Course in Agribusiness at James Lind Institute
To learn more about organic farming enroll yourself in an online training program; professional diploma in Organic farming and Food production which is being launched at James Lind Institute. This course acquaints you with various aspects of organic farming including crop agronomy, the role of animal health and nutrition in organic farming and environmental impacts along with a broad overview of sustainable agriculture and food security in African countries. The globally accredited and industry-specific training fine-tunes your skills to match the needs of the ever-growing market. James Lind Institute has launched an online training program in Organic farming and Food production. For more details, please visit www.jliedu.com