Organic agriculture is a holistic production management system which promotes and enhances agro-ecosystem health, including biodiversity, biological cycles, and soil biological activity. It emphasizes, the use of management practices in preference to the use of off –farm inputs, taking into account that regional conditions require locally adapted systems.
Organic farming methods combine scientific knowledge and modern technology with traditional farming practices based on thousands of years of agriculture. Organic farming relies heavily on the natural break down of organic matter, using techniques like green manure and composting, to maintain nutrients taken from the soil by the previous crops. Organic farming uses a variety of methods to improve soil fertility, including crop rotation, cover cropping, and application of mulching.
In chemical faming a specific insecticides may be applied to quickly kill off a particular insect pest but his encourages rapid natural selection of resistant insects, plants and other organisms, necessitating increased use or more powerful control measures. In contrast, organic farming tends to tolerate some pest populations while taking a longer-term approach. Organic farming, organic pest control involves techniques like encouraging predatory beneficial insects and microorganisms, careful crop selection and crop rotation. Each of these techniques also provides other benefits- soil protection, fertilization, pollination, water conservation etc.
These benefits are both complementary and cumulative in overall effect on farm health. However, there are various major advantages of organic farming:-
- It increases productivity at lower cost there is misconception among the people that organic farming leads to loss in productivity. It is also proven that after a short period of drop in yields, organic farming is more productive than chemical farming.
- Environmental friendly Conventional agriculture based on chemical farming is rapidly depleting natural resources particularly fresh water, soil, air and fossil fuels. In chemical farming there is also use of large quantities of pesticides, fertilizer etc. and there is also water wastage through high volume irrigation, heavy use of petrochemicals for farm machinery and long distance transport etc. but organic farming curtails all these.
- It reduces food contamination and increased food quality Conventional agricultural practices based on chemical fertilizer causing greater contamination of food in absence certification and in the wake of unhygienic handling.
Intercropping to reduce pests and diseases
Organic food tastes better than conventionally grown food. Certified organic food does not contain genetically engineered organisms. Organic food does not undergo irradiation. Modern farming uses more petroleum than any other industry. More energy is required to produce synthetic fertilizers. Cultivate and harvest crops organic farming is still based on labour intensive practices such as hand weeding, green manure and cover crops instead of chemicals.
Here are some organic product links available
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