Types, Principles, Methods and Importance
Organic farming is the method of crop and livestock production that involves much more than choosing not to use pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics and growth hormones. In other words, it is referred to as, low input farming and uses natural sources of nutrients. These sources of nutrients include compost, crop residues and manure, and natural methods of crop and weed control, instead of using synthetic or inorganic agrochemicals.
OBJECTIVES OF ADOPTING ORGANIC FARMING
Organic farming may be adopted, to;
- Increase genetic diversity.
- Promote more usage of natural pesticides.
- Make sure the right soil cultivation at the right time.
- Keep and build good soil structure and fertility.
- Control pests, diseases and weeds.
TYPES OF ORGANIC FARMING
- Pure organic farming – It involves the use of organic manures and bio pesticides 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.
In organic farming, we use the following techniques;
- CROP ROTATION: It is the technique to grow various kind 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.
METHODS OF ORGANIC FARMING
1. Soil Management
After cultivation of crops, the soil loses its nutrients and its quality deplete. Organic agriculture initiates the use of natural ways to increase the fertility of the soil. Hence, it focuses on the use of bacteria that is present in animal waste. The bacteria help in making the soil nutrients more productive and fertile.
2. Weed Management
Weed is the unwanted plant that grows in agricultural fields. Organic agriculture focuses on lowering weed and not removing it completely. The two most widely used weed management techniques are;
● Mulching: A process where we use plastic films or plant residue on the surface of the soil to block the growth of weed.
● Mowing or Cutting: Where there is a removal of weeds top growth.
3. Crop Diversity
Monoculture is the practice used in the agricultural fields where we harvest and cultivate only one type of crop in a particular place. Recently, polyculture has come in existence, where we harvest and cultivate kinds of crops. To meet the increasing crop demand and produce the required soil microorganisms.
4. Controlling other organisms
There are both useful and harmful organisms in the agricultural farm which affect the field. So, we need to control the growth of such organisms to protect the soil and the crops. We can do this by the use of herbicides and pesticides that contain fewer chemicals or are natural.
IMPORTANCE OF ORGANIC FARMING
- The environment benefits because natural habitat sources are less threatened.
- It provides healthier food for people.
- The soil is in better condition because of the manure used.
ADVANTAGES OF ORGANIC FARMING
- Organic farming helps to prevent environmental degradation and can be used to regenerate degraded areas
- Organic manures produce an ideal condition in the soil for high yields and good quality of crops.
- They cut the need for purchased inputs.
- They improve the soil chemical properties such as supply and retention of soil nutrients and promote favorable chemical reactions.
- Organically grown plants are more resistant to diseases and insect and hence only a few chemical sprays or other protective treatment are required.
- Poison – free.
DISADVANTAGES OF ORGANIC FARMING
- Production costs are a high error because farmers need more workers.
- Food illness may happen more often.
- Organic food is more expensive because farmers do not get much out of their land as conventional farmers do.
- Organic farming cannot produce enough food that the world’s population needs to survive.
PRINCIPLES OF ORGANIC FARMING.
- Principle of health – Organic agriculture must contribute to the health and well-being of soil, plants, animals, humans and the earth.
- The principle of ecological balance – We must model organic farming on living ecological systems. Moreover, the methods of organic farming must fit the ecological balance and cycles.
- Principle of fairness – Organic farming provides a good quality of life and helps in reducing soil infertility. Principle of care – We should practice organic agriculture in a careful and responsible way to help the present and future generations and the environment.
Types, Principles, Methods and Importance
- Loss of soil fertility due to excessive use of chemical fertilizers and lack of crop rotation.
- Nitrates run-off during rains contaminates water resources.
- Use of poisonous biocide sprays to curb pest and weeds.
- Soil erosion due to deep ploughing and heavy rains.
- Loss of biodiversity due to monoculture.
After traveling and seeing organic farms throughout the world, I do truly believe organic agriculture can succeed anywhere. It is our best hope for feeding the world as well as improving the health of both our land and people. What we should be striving for on our family farms and gardens is to create a model that would be fun, exciting and profitable for young farmers. I envision farms that can grow most of their own inputs and provide not only an adequate food supply but also food with the nutritional components to keep us and our families healthy and vibrant.
I think of my farm as my laboratory and am constantly trying new things to keep pushing organic farming to new heights. After all, there is no such thing as a perfect organic system. Organic farms are dynamic living organisms which are constantly changing. They should never be treated or thought of as an enclosed factory where all conditions are controlled. Hence the joy and the learning comes from pursuing the ideal of a perfect system rather than the expectation of ever developing a system that is perfect.
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