Organic Farming: Let's get the facts straight
The history of agriculture is ancient, tracing back to the Neolithic era, often referred to as the “New Stone Age.” Since then, the agricultural industry has gone through enormous transformations with the development of new technologies.
Presently, this industry has two main methods of farming: Organic and Conventional.
The difference between the two can be pretty unclear, even though every time we visit a supermarket, the unique aisle with the label organic glowing on top is common.
Farming, in general, refers to the process of growing crops and livestock using specific techniques. These techniques differ in these two methods, and the fundamental difference lies in the use of pesticides, fertilizers, and a few others.
Organic farming is a system of farming that relies on methods that are beneficial for our food and the planet.
Based on the principle of building a nurturing ecosystem for the plants, livestock, soil, watersheds, and millions of microorganisms, organic farming avoids the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Biological fertilizer inputs and techniques such as cover cropping and crop rotation are used to build healthy soil, one of the essential goals of organic farming.
Conventional farming relies on the intervention of chemicals in various forms—such as pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, and hormones—to fight pests and provide nutrition to the plants and livestock.
These chemicals impact the overall ecosystem.
Water pollution, soil erosion, greenhouse gas emissions are some of its harmful environmental impacts.
Here are some of the fundamental differences:
As we can see above, the holistic method of crop and livestock production in an organic environment creates a favorable, nurturing environment for the agroecosystem of plants, livestock, soil organisms, and people. In its natural way, organic farming attempts to build healthy soil. Although farming is the primary reason for soil degradation, it is essential for food production. Food is the source of the human life force.
At present, the scientific community is dwindling with both farming methods because the yield of organic farming is way lower in comparison to conventional farming.
Author: Somrita Ganchoudhuri
Image source: freepik.com