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Organic farming: Merits and Demerits

AgricultureOrganic Farming

Organic farming: Merits and Demerits

Organic farming is an age old agricultural system used and practiced to raise animals and grow plants. Currently consumption of expensive organic food is increasing due to rising awareness of toxic chemicals used in modern agriculture.

Organic Farming

Organic farming uses agricultural production systems reliant on biological pest control, green manure or compost and crop rotation to produce crops, poultry and livestock. Organic farming forbids the use of chemical likefertilizers,pesticides, antibiotics andgrowth hormonesin crops, meat and other food production. The main objectives of organic agricultural production is farming of grains, vegetables, fruits, flowers, fibres and animal products like eggs, milk and meat in the best natural way without using synthetic chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides or antibiotics. The primary aspects of organic farming are, to use green manure or compost, animal manure, crop rotation to improve soil fertility, restoration of soils biological activity, interrupting pests habitation and diseases.
Organic farming is a strategy used in agricultural sector to avoid the overuse of chemical fertiliser, pesticide, insecticides and herbicide so as to reduce public health issues and environmental risks. Use of chemical fertilizer destroys natural habitat of wasps,beetles, bugs, flies ,birdsor frogs. Use of organic manuresinstead ofchemical/conventional fertilizers and adaptation to crop rotationpracticepreserve soilhealth and provide the necessary nutrients for crop growth and development. Manyagriculturalproducts like meat,dairy productsand eggs are produced in anatural and organicway of feeding and maintaining animals. Every agricultural system has pros and cons including organic farming.

Merits of Organic Farming

  • The knowledge of growing fruits,vegetables, and other nutrient rich products devoid of cancer causing materials and chemical residues of pesticides can protect the environment, biodiversity and health of both farmers and consumers.
  • Organic farming avoids use ofexpensiveagrochemicals to produce plants with better resistance to diseases and pests.
  • Organically grown food attributes to more durability, drought tolerance, higher resistance to pest and diseases.
  • The practices of intercropping, crop rotation and minimal tillage used in organic farming lowers the cost of animal and crop production along with improving fertility, structure and water holding capacity of soil. This considerably saves energy, decreases global warming and thecostof usingexpensivefertilizers, pesticides, fungicides and insecticides.
  • Organic based agricultural production system fosters cycling of natural resources toconserve biodiversity, protect environmentand promote ecological balance.

Demerits of Organic Farming

  • Organicfood is more expensive due to higher production costs, lesser availability of land and lack of workforce in comparison to conventionalfarming.
  • Crop and animals produced by organic farming suffer from variousillnesses more often.
  • Organicfood produced in smaller amount faces challenges of inefficient marketing and distribution to meet the demandof worlds population.
  • Labour intensiveprocess of organic farming products cannot support the survival needs of theexisting population.
  • Disadvantage of not using genetic modification and lack of flexibility are demerits of organic farming which require appropriate and valuable skills to understand healthy farm ecosystem,for higher productivity.

Online Course at JLI

James Lind Institute (JLI) will soon be launching Agriculture related courses to understand on modern agricultural practices.
For more information please visit: www.jliedu.com

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