Organic Agriculture, otherwise referred to as Biological or Ecological Agriculture, combines traditional conservation-minded farming methods with modern farming technologies. It emphasizes rotating crops, managing pests naturally, diversifying crops and livestock and improving the soil with green manures.
Organic Agriculture has a history of being contentious and is considered by some as an inefficient approach to food production. However, organic foods and beverages are a rapidly growing market segment in the global food industry.
Benefits of organic farming in the agricultural industry
Organic farming systems produce lower yields compared to conventional agriculture. Howbeit, they are more profitable, environmentally friendly, and delivers more nutritious foods that contain no pesticide residues compared with conventional farming. Initial evidence indicates that organic agricultural systems deliver greater ecosystem services and social benefits.
Although organic agriculture has an untapped role to play when it comes to the establishment of sustainable farming systems, no single approach will safely feed the planet. A blend of organic and other innovative farming systems is needed. Signiﬁcant barriers exist to adopting these systems. However, a diversity of policy instruments will be required to facilitate their development and implementation.
Organic farming encourages crop diversity. The science of agroecology has revealed the benefits of polyculture (multiple crops in the same space), which is often employed in organic farming.
Planting a variety of vegetable crops supports a wider range of beneficial insects, soil microorganisms, and other factors that add up to overall farm health.
Organic farming relies heavily on the natural breakdown of organic matter, using techniques like green manure and composting, to replace nutrients taken from the soil by previous crops. This biological process, driven by microorganisms allows the natural production of nutrients in the soil throughout the growing season and has been referred to as feeding the soil to feed the plant. Organic farming uses a variety of methods to improve soil fertility, including crop rotation, cover cropping, reduced tillage, and application of compost. By reducing tillage, the soil is not inverted and exposed to air; less carbon is lost to the atmosphere resulting in more soil organic carbon.
Organic weed management promotes weed suppression, rather than weed elimination, by enhancing crop competition and phytotoxic effects on weeds. Organic farmers integrate cultural, biological, mechanical, physical and chemical tactics to manage weeds without synthetic herbicides.
Food crops produced organically are filled with nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, enzymes, and other micro-nutrients as compared to those from conventional farms that use chemicals for cultivation.
Crops from conventional or commercial farms have a reasonably lower nutrient content, as most of the nutrients get wrecked by the use of harmful chemicals.
Enhances soil nourishment
The absence of chemicals in organic farming promotes the existence of microbes, which raises the nourishment of the soil. This, in turn, guarantees that the crop remains nutrient-rich.