All To Know About Organic agriculture
Organic farming, it sounds like a contemplate expression. Surprisingly, it is an approach that has been applied. Since the new stone age, when our ancestors promoted from the phase of hunting and gathering to the farming phase which was the first step into civilization. In this article, we will learn important basics about organic agriculture.
It’s obvious that it is experiencing a bit of a comeback in recent years. The main reason behind this comeback process is the increasing awareness about the chemical-free products and its benefits on our bodies. In addition, huge strides towards developing care about animal welfare are taken, preferring choices that reduce any further environmental degradation.
More people are willing to pay higher prices for organically produced food. Especially, with the increasing awareness about toxic chemicals and pesticides used extensively in modern agriculture
What is meant by Organic Agriculture?
There are many definitions with different explanations for organic agriculture. Most of them describe it as a management to the ecosystem more than depending on using external agriculture input. In other words, it’s a system that starts to cut off the use of chemical and synthetic inputs. Pesticides, veterinary drugs, synthetic fertilizers, preservatives, genetically modified seeds and breeds, additives and irradiation can’t be used in organic agriculture. They are all replaced by organic and environmental alternatives that increase long-term soil fertility. It helps with preventing diseases and pests following site-specific management approaches.
Let’s explore some of the benefits of Organic Agriculture:
Improving our methods in which we produce food probably can impact on reducing climate change effects, can help farmers to become more effective and productive, and can enhance and protect biodiversity.
Organic agriculture provides a systematic approach for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). It also helps with enhancing soil carbon sequestration with protecting biodiversity and supporting healthy soils.
Less energy consumption and GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions reduction:
Organic management has a beneficial impact on soil-based greenhouse gas emissions.
Studies show that the emission reduction potential by an absence of synthetic fertilizer use is around 20% of the global annual agricultural GHG emissions.
Synthetic fertilizers are abandoned in organic farming which means emissions associated with it no longer exist. Consequently, that means GHG emissions of organic farming are significantly reduced.
Organic farming is based on many practices to be free of any external fertilizer inputs, such as recycling of organic manures and reducing nitrogen losses through natural fixation process.
Protecting species and biodiversity:
Organic agriculture can also protect rare insects and spiders, increasing their diversity by 27% compared to traditional agriculture. Furthermore, rare plant species of open arable land are grown in wider diversity on organic farms.
Multiple studies have shown that organic farming increases the density and diversity of pollinators, rare plants, beneficial insects and improves the diversity of herbivores.
Organic agriculture has the potential to enhance biodiversity not only locally, but also at the regional level.
Several studies show that organic farming promotes species diversity, the number of individuals and the reproduction rates of wild bees.
Sustaining ecosystem functions:
Another positive impact of organic farming is increasing the natural pest control in multiple cases compared to the conventional farming methods.
The improvement in the crop pollination leads to increase the fruit yields and minimize losses caused by deformed fruits.
Nitrate leaching was shown to be reduced by 28-39% in organically farmed systems. That means that water contamination caused by synthetic fertilizers and chemical pesticides is expected to be lower.
In addition, the avoidance of using any chemicals has an effective impact on protecting water sources from any potential toxicity restricting any possible damage to the environment.
More robust farming systems:
Climate change has disastrous consequences that all of us can clearly observe, such as more intense and frequent heat waves, droughts, heavy precipitation, and other extreme weather events. Unfortunately, these consequences will certainly increase in the future.
Agricultural production will need to adapt to these varying conditions to resist the additional pressure of pests, diseases and climate variability to ensure resilient food systems.
Organic farming often cultivates a larger crop diversity, more adapted species and supports more biodiversity.
One of the most essential benefits of organic agriculture is taking care of soil health, building up a soil rich in beneficial microorganisms which can increase water capture and retention capacity, reduces erosion, supports plant health and makes crops more resilient to weather conditions changes.
One of the most important advantages of organic agriculture is the fact that it depends on organic natural manure. It uses legumes for nitrogen fixation. Furthermore, it does not depend on synthetic fertilizers or any external inputs of non-renewable resources. It helps with generating a robust agricultural system against climate change.
The sustainable use of resources, diversification of production systems and the capacity for self-organization and innovation are essential for socio-economic resilience.
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