Simply put organic farming works in sync and harmony with nature rather than being against it. It is an agricultural system that seeks to provide the consumer with end products that are fresh, authentic and tasty while respecting the natural life-cycle system. This farming system involves using techniques that will achieve good crop yields without causing harm to the natural environment.
Organic farming does not necessarily imply that farmers are going back to the old traditional methods. Many of the past farming methods are still useful today. Organic farming takes the best out of the two and combines them with the well-researched modern scientific knowledge to give better healthier results.
Using organic farming does not mean that farmers should leave their farms to the mercies of nature; they should use acquired techniques and knowledge and materials that are available to together work with nature. This creates a balance between farming and nature, where animals and crops can grow and thrive.
To make in organic farming, the farmer must not view every plant that is not on the right place as a weed, or every insect as a weed, and solution to any farm problem as an artificial chemical spray. The goal in organic farming is not to completely eradicate all the pests and weeds, but to maintain them at an acceptable level and utilize the benefits that they may provide.
Organic farming is a system that is specifically designed to optimize the productivity of the diverse communities within the agriculture ecosystem, including; plants, soil organisms, livestock, and people. The principal aim of organic farming is to develop farms that are sustainable and harmonious with the environment.
To achieve this, this kind of farming relies on a number of objectives, principles, as well as common practices which are designed to minimize the human impact on the environment, while ensuring the agricultural system operates as naturally as possible.
Typical organic farming practices include:
- Use of crop rotation as a prerequisite for efficient way of using on-site resources
- Very strict limits on the use of chemical synthetic pesticide or synthetic fertiliser.
- Not using food additives, livestock antibiotics, and processing aids and other inputs
- Total ban on the use of genetically modified organisms
- Taking advantage of readily available resources, such as livestock manure as farm fertiliser or the feed that is produced on the farm.
- Choosing suitable plant and animal species that are somehow resistant to disease and are adapted to the local conditions.
- Raising livestock in open-air systems and feeding them with organic feed.
- Using appropriate animal husbandry practices.
As mentioned earlier, it is worth noting that Organic farming promotes the use farm practices such the use of crop rotations and cover crops, balanced host and predator relationships. Organic residues that are left and nutrients produced on the farm should strictly be recycled back to the soil.
Cover crops or the composted manure should be used in maintaining soil organic matter and fertility. Insect and disease control preventive methods should be practiced as well. These include improved genetics, crop rotation, and resistant varieties.
Integrated weed and pest management, and soil conservation methods are valuable tools in an organic farm. Organically approved pesticides should be used if there is an obligation to do so.
The main reasons to farm organically are concerns around the entire environment conservation and working with agricultural chemicals for conventional farming methods. Moreover, there have been issues with the amount of energy used in agriculture. This is because many agricultural chemicals require energy-intensive manufacturing methods that rely heavily on carbon fuels. Therefore, Organic farmers find this method of farming to be more profitable and personally rewarding.
On the other hand, consumers purchase organic foods for many different reasons. They want to get food products that are free of the hazardous chemical pesticides or rid grown food with conventional fertilizers.
Lastly, organic farming is also part of the larger supply chain, which entails food processing, distribution, and retailing sectors and, ultimately consumption.