Organic Farming Principles and Practices

In this article, I will talk about the key organic farming principles and practices you should know about.

Why on earth do I need to know about organic farming?, you may ask.

Because organic farming produces organic food. And organic food is good for health. Very good. Amazingly good.

Organic food is slowly becoming an important part of our daily lives. People are realizing the health benefits and are willing to pay extra an extra premium for good health.

If you have not switched to organic food yet, it is high time you did. But before you do it is important to understand why is organic food so wonderful. To do that, we need to understand organic farming.

What is Organic Farming?

Organic farming is an agricultural system that produces wholesome natural food, while at the same time sustaining the health of soils, ecosystems and people.

Techniques such as natural pest control, crop rotation, green manure and compost are an important part of organic agriculture.

Organic farming methods are built on the principles of health, sustainability and safety. Such farming methods use traditional farming practices along with latest scientific research.

At a broader level, organic agriculture not only includes the actual farming process but also the whole supply chain including processing, packaging, marketing and distribution of organic food.

How is organic farming different from conventional farming?

 

How is organic farming different from conventional farming

Conventional farming, especially in first world countries like US, Western Europe and Australia  is heavily mechanized and produces a lot of pollution.

Conventional farming use synthetic insecticides and fertilizers, many of which have long term harmful effects on humans.

High use of chemicals destroys the soil and the land becomes unusable. These chemicals also affect the underground water supply by polluting them.

All these factors put together have a big impact on our lives, either directly or indirectly. Organic farming tries to address all these issues.

The key elements of farming are soil, plant, animal, human and nature. Organic farming tries to produce good food and at the same time better the health of all these elements.

Respect for environment is the key difference between organic farming and conventional farming.

Five Features of organic farming are as follows.

  1. Organic agriculture is intended to produce food of optimum nutritional value. To do this it uses local resources and follows ecological cycles. Read more.
  2.  Organic farming tries to preserve the natural fertility of soil. It relies on natural techniques like green manure and composting to replenish soil nutrients. Synthetic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers are not used.
  3. Organic farmers use local animals and plants to ensure disease resistance and adaptability to local conditions. They promote animal health and welfare by giving the animals living conditions that meet their basic natural requirements.
  4. Organic agriculture promotes the use energy and natural resources in a responsible manner. It discourages the use of non-renewable resources including fossil fuels.
  5. It strictly monitors water quality and maintains regional ecological balance along with maintenance of biodiversity.

Organic Farming Principles

The International Federation of Organic Agriculture has defined four principles of organic farming. Read more.Principles of Organic Farming
  1. The Principle of Health – The key elements of farming are soil, plant, animal and human. Organic farming is meant to better the health of all these elements at the same time.
  2. The Principle of Ecology – Organic agriculture should function in sync with the cycle of nature.
  3. The Principle of Fairness – Fair use should be made of natural resources in terms of social justice and ecological impact.
  4. The Principle of Care – Careful monitoring of all the elements of farming will ensure protection of our environment.

Conclusion

Organic farming is a sustainable system intended to better the health of the environment, and all creatures that form part of the ecosystem. It fits the cycle of nature adapted to local conditions and attempts to maintain ecological balance and biodiversity by reducing waste, reuse, efficient material management, energy reduction and conservation of resources.

If you care about your health and the health of your children, if you care about your society’s well being and if you care about the environment, switching to organic food is the best thing you could do.

By eating good wholesome organic food, you could lead a healthy, cheerful and fulfilling life, and help the environment at the same time.

What more could you want?

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Reference

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