The global population is growing rapidly causing a rise in demand for sustainable food production. The unsustainable farm practices certainly produce higher yields. This is why conventional farming is more popular than organic farming. But they also put additional pressure on global resources such as soil and water.
Critics of organic farming argue that it reduces the yield and increases pest attacks on crops. However, this is slightly out of context. For example, if in conventional farming, a farmer is able to produce 20 kgs of wheat, organic farming might produce 10 kgs, but it will also produce 10 kgs of lentils and 10 kgs of fruits and vegetables; crop rotation for restoring nutrients to the soil is central to organic farming.
As for pests, the insects find it difficult to grow and multiply if there is crop rotation. They cannot find the consistent nutrients they need to survive. In fact, in conventional farming, insects get a steady dose of the nutrients as the same crop is grown over and over again. To protect it from the attacks, more chemical pesticides are used, in turn contaminating the crop.
According to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, organic farming is extremely beneficial to the environment in the following ways:
Sustainability over the long term
Organic farming aims to produce food while establishing an ecological balance to prevent soil infertility and pest problems. It adopts a proactive approach towards problems caused due to agriculture interventions rather than treating problems after they arise.
Maintaining soil quality
Soil building practices such as crop rotations, inter-cropping, symbiotic associations, cover crops, organic fertilisers and minimum tillage are central to organic practices. These encourage soil fauna and flora, improving soil formation and structure and creating more stable systems.
In many areas, groundwater pollution caused due to synthetic fertilisers and pesticides is a major problem. In organic agriculture, the synthetic fertilisers are replaced by organic fertilisers preventing groundwater infiltration.
Combating climate change and global warming
Organic agriculture contributes to mitigating the greenhouse effect and global warming through its ability to isolate carbon in the soil.
Thank you for reading the story until the very end. We appreciate the time you have given us. In addition, your thoughts and inputs will genuinely make a difference to us. Please do drop in a line and help us do better.
The CSR Journal Team