Organic Farming In India| Techniques, Methods To Go Organic
Organic farming is a method of crop and livestock production that involves much more than choosing not to use pesticides, fertilisers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics and growth hormones.
Organic production is a holistic system designed to optimize the productivity and fitness of diverse communities within the agro-ecosystem, including soil organisms, plants, livestock and people. The principal goal of organic production is to develop enterprises that are sustainable and harmonious with the environment.
Why buy organic?Consumers purchase organic foods for many different reasons. Many want to buy food products that are free of chemical pesticides or grown without conventional fertilizers. Some simply like to try new and different products. Product taste, concerns for the environment and the desire to avoid foods from genetically engineered organisms are among the many other reasons some consumers prefer to buy organic food products. In 2007 it was estimated that over 60 per cent of consumers bought some organic products. Approximately five per cent of consumers are considered to be core organic consumers who buy up to 50 per cent of all organic food.
TYPES OF ORGANIC FARMING.
- Pure organic farming-It involves the use of organic manures and biopesticides with complete avoidance of inorganic chemicals and pesticides.
- Integrated organic farming-It involves integrated nutrients management and integrated pest management. It is the type of farming where you grow crops from natural resources. Further, having the complete nutritive value and also manage to prevent the crop or plants from the pests.
Techniques used in Organic Farming
- CROP ROTATION: It is the technique to grow various kinds of crops in the same area, according to the different seasons, in a sequential way.
- GREEN MANURE: It refers to the dying plants that are uprooted and turned into the soil to make them act as a nutrient for the soil to increase its quality
- BIOLOGICAL PEST CONTROL: With this method, we use living organisms to control pests with or without the use of chemicals.
- COMPOST: Highly rich in nutrients, it is a recycled organic matter used as a fertilizer in the agricultural farms.
Method of Organic Farming
- Crop Diversity: Nowadays a new practice has come into picture which is called -Polyculture- in which a variety of crops can be cultivated simultaneously just to meet the increasing demand of crops. Unlike the ancient practice which was -Monoculture- in which only one type of crop was cultivated in a particular location.
- Soil Management: After the cultivation of crops, the soil loses its nutrients and its quality depletes. Organic agriculture initiates the use of natural ways to increase the health of soil. It focuses on the use of bacteria that is present in animal waste which helps in making the soil nutrients more productive to enhance the soil.
- Weed Management:Weed is the unwanted plant that grows in agricultural fields. Organic agriculture pressurizes on lowering the weed rather than removing it completely.
- Controlling other organisms: There are both useful and harmful organisms in the agricultural farm which affect the field. The growth of such organisms needs to be controlled to protect the soil and the crops. This can be done by the use of herbicides and pesticides that contain less chemicals or are natural. Also, proper sanitization of the entire farm should be maintained to control other organisms.
- Livestock: Organic farming instigates domestic animals to increase the sustainability of the farm.
- Genetic Modification: Genetic modification is kept away from this kind of agricultural set up because organic farming focuses on the use of natural ways and discourages engineered animals and plants.
Advantages of organic farming
- Farmers can reduce their production costs because they do not need to buy expensive chemicals and fertilisers.
- Healthier farm workers.
- In the long term , organic farms save energy and protect the environment.
- It can slow down global warming.
- Fewer residues in food.
- More animals and plants can live in the same place in a natural way. This is called biodiversity.
- Pollution of groundwater is stopped.
The Main Principles of Organic Farming
- The principle of health claims that organic farming is intended to protect and enhance the health of all organisms (this includes soil microorganisms, as well as humans)
- The principle of ecology, which is based on the fact that organic farming should protect and benefit the environment (landscape, climate, natural habitats, biodiversity, air, water, and soil)
- The principle of fairness aims to provide socially and ecologically appropriate management over environmental resources, as well as provide a sufficient supply of quality food and other products.
- The principle of care stresses precaution and responsibility as the key concerns in organic farm management.
Organic farming can be a viable alternative production method for farmers, but there are many challenges. One key to success is being open to alternative organic approaches to solving production problems. Determine the cause of the problem, and assess strategies to avoid or reduce the long term problem rather than a short term fix for it.