Everything you need to know about Organic farming: objectives, principles, types, and methods
Organic farming has recently gained popularity among those worried about their health and the environment and those seeking new culinary experiences.
It has benefited the environment, human health, and food variety. An additional advantage of organic farming is the better nutritional content of natural food than food cultivated with chemical additives.
With increased awareness, concerned consumers want to understand the roots of organic farming. If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to organic farming, here it is! Read here about the objectives, the guiding principles, the different types, and the methods of organic agriculture.
What is Organic Farming?
Organic farming produces crops and livestock without pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, genetically modified organisms, and growth hormones. Using chemicals and synthetic sprays have had a much greater impact on the environment than previously thought. Plant and animal wastes are used as biological fertilizers in many forms of organic farming. There are no artificial means of controlling the seasons in this farming practice. It just follows natural seasons and doesn’t negatively impact flora and fauna of local ecosystems.
Objectives of Organic Farming
It’s primary goals are as follows:
- The continuous and enough supply of nutritious and healthy foods.
- To reduce pollution, erosion, and soil deterioration.
- To ensure that crops get the best possible long-term fertilization via organic pesticides.
- To maintain a wide variety of genetic and biological diversity among plants and animals.
- Encourage the use of recyclable materials and renewable energy.
- To manufacture organic insect and weed killers.
Principles of organic farming
Organic farming adheres to the following four principles:
- Health Principle
- Ecology principle
- Principles of fairness.
- Principle of Care
1. Principle of Health
Organic farming follows the principle of health, which advocates avoiding harmful chemicals that leave toxic residues that have a detrimental influence on several levels, including soil microorganisms, crops, animals, and people. We can say that healthy soil generates healthy crops that promote excellent health and a sound mind and body, with a strong immune system, healing abilities, and incredible strength to fight diseases.
2. Principle of Ecology
The Principle of ecology adheres to eco-friendly agricultural practices, which are soil conservation and the prevention of environmental pollution. To do this, we must consider the needs of all the organisms in the environment since they are interlinked. Maintaining a correct balance and conserving natural resources is achieved by eco-practices in agriculture, such as restoring soil fertility with non-synthetic matter (green manure and animal dung), promoting recycling and genetic variety of organisms in the region.
3. Principle of Fairness
Farmers, suppliers, merchants, and customers should all be treated with dignity and respect under the fairness principle of organic farming. As a result, it helps to ensure that people have access to healthy food and safe working and living conditions.
Providing the right conditions for animals and cattle to adapt to their physiology is also an important part of fair farming. Prices should be reasonable and affordable to the majority of consumers.
4. Principle of Care
In agriculture, the principle of care supports resource conservation for future generations and the environment. The negative repercussions of using new agricultural technology should be properly studied. Precaution and risk management must guide all decisions. Protection and risk management must guide all decisions.
Even while new techniques may prove more effective, it advocates prefer to stick with the tried and true ways that have stood the test of time. They use common sense, factual information, fresh ideas, and indigenous experience dating back to the pre-chemical era to make their decisions in farming.
Organic Farming Types
There are two main types of organic farming: pure organic and integrated organic farming. Some of these methods of agriculture have benefits and drawbacks. Some farmers choose a pure farming system, while others favor integrated farming.
Pure Organic Farming
As the name of this farming type suggests, it mainly uses natural practices to grow crops. No inorganic chemicals are used in organic farming, so it’s safe for both plants and consumers.
Pure organic farming relies mostly on organic manure, bone meal, blood meal, fertilizers, and biopesticides to grow crops. Using pesticides or inorganic chemicals that might increase the yield is strictly prohibited.
Integrated Organic Farming
Integrated Organic Farming combines organic farming, nutrition control, and pest management to provide the best results for food production and maintaining the soil’s nutrient profile. Farmers use natural resources to cultivate crops in this style of farming, just like they would in pure organic agriculture. This style of farming involves using natural and renewable resources to produce the crop.
Methods and practices:
Management of the Soil
To grow anything, you need soil. After cultivating crops, the nutrients in the soil are depleted, causing the soil’s quality to decline. Therefore, soil management is essential for replenishing the soil with essential nutrients.
It’s primary goal is to improve soil quality using natural methods. This is why organic agriculture encourages the use of bacteria (found in animal manure) that boost the soil’s nutritional content, making it more fertile.
‘Polyculture,’ a new concept, is gaining traction in the food industry. A wide range of crops may be grown simultaneously in polyculture to meet the ever-increasing global food needs.
On the other hand, traditional farmers were well-versed in the practice of monoculture, in which just one kind of crop was grown at a given place.
The polyculture farming technology produces the essential soil microorganisms for increased output.
“Green manure” refers to dead plants added to the soil. These plants feed the soil with nutrients, so enhancing its fertility.
Adding green plants to the soil improves its organic and nitrogen content. It also improves soil quality by increasing moisture levels and supplying microbes with nutrients. Weeds are also less of a problem when using this farming method.
Compost is regarded as one of the most effective natural fertilizers in organic farming. It is a nutrient-dense recycled organic matter that improves soil quality and increases crop yields.
A lot of living things live on agricultural land. Depending on the organism, crop output might benefit from some or be adversely affected by others.
Soil fertility and crop protection depend on controlling dangerous organisms and their populations. So, organic farmers can use herbicides and mild pesticides (with fewer chemicals) or natural to get rid of pests biologically. Additionally, farmers have the potential to effectively clean their fields to prevent the spread of disease-causing microbes.
Organic farming doesn’t use weedicides. However, manually removing the weeds requires a lot of time and effort and is ineffective. As a result, natural weedicides like mowing or cutting and mulching are encouraged in it.
It is forbidden to use synthetic pharmaceuticals, growth-enhancing drugs and hormones, antibiotics, non-organic fodder, GMOs, and clones in poultry and cattle breeding under organic farming laws. To guarantee that cattle behave naturally indoors and out, farming operations must provide an atmosphere conducive to growing and grazing them in the right circumstances.
The advantages of organic farming:
- It is not necessary to use expensive materials in organic agriculture.
- It’s an eco-friendly way to raise crops that promotes healthy, long-term growth.
- It’s safe and pure, resulting in nutritious and antioxidant-rich food for people to eat and enjoy.
Organic farming has many drawbacks
- Organic farming involves a greater number of workers, which often results in a reduction in output or production constraints.
- Due to insufficient production, it alone cannot meet the rising demand for commodities.
- Because organic farming requires a lot of specialized equipment and techniques, the food spoils quickly.
- Artificial preservatives are being phased out, resulting in shorter shelf lives for items.
Now you know much about organic farming, the different kinds, and all the techniques and methods used. It is undoubtedly better for the environment, the farmers, and you, the customer.
To reduce chemical fertilizers and pesticides, we should make it a top priority now. Furthermore, organic farming is one of the finest ways to improve soil quality without using hazardous chemicals.