Organic farming is now supported by many people.
In the time of the technological process, they return to the origins and choose healthy living. What is so rewarding about eco-farming that makes people reconsider their lifestyles and change them completely? And what are main features of eco-farming?
Discover organic living with this article.
What is organic farming?
This collocation can be explained as an approach to agricultural production based on the use of natural elements such as compost, peat moss to grow crops, livestock, fruits, and vegetables. Natural farming respects eco-diversity and humans’ need for natural products that bring benefits to our health. Any synthetic supplements, pesticides, and antibiotics are not allowed to use in eco-farming.
Not only aims eco-agriculture to protect people from negative harms of the environment providing natural and nourishing food, but also struggles to keep the soils balanced and fertile. Eco-farming key features:
- Free of pesticides crop production
Natural crop producers maintain the diversity of sorts and attract insects and microorganisms, which sustain the growing process. Weed and pest elimination is conducted through flame weeding, mechanical tillage, and crop rotation.
Eco-farmers don’t use any genetically modified organisms or any other synthetic supplements in the production.
- Natural meat production
Natural meat production is another feature of eco-farming. Producers raise their poultry and livestock to supply eggs, meat and dairy products. They keep cattle and poultry in natural living conditions, which maintain the healthy growth of every living organism. Many of farmers recycle the waste of livestock to maintain a natural balance in the living environment. They also apply stress-reducing techniques to protect cattle from diseases and improve the quality of dairy.
To achieve constant fertility and keep the soil fruitful many agriculture manufactures use chemical elements and supplements. But that’s not how organic agriculture works. Eco-farmers use sphagnum moss and garden peat to nourish the soil and sustain balance in the soil environment.
- Control of buffer zones
The buffer zone is a territory, which adjoined to eco from the one side and traditional agriculture area from another. Eco producers decide on the borders of their households and control buffer zones.
Organic vs. traditional agrotechnics
Despite a number of advantages of organic farming, many farmers consider it unprofitable. This point of view is widespread due to the fact that organic fields are less productive since their processing is carried out without the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
In the discussion between supporters of organic agriculture and adherents of the traditional approach to agroproduction, one of the key issues is the problem of hunger: according to supporters of the traditional approach, eco production is not able to supply the growing population of the Earth with enough food. Nevertheless, more research indicates that an organic approach can make a significant contribution to alleviating the problem of hunger, in particular in the most vulnerable countries.
However, according to a new study published in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, owners of eco households can make more profit than traditional agro producers. This is due to the fact that eco products are more expensive than conventional ones.
Experts analyzed the data on 44 crop yields in different countries of research collected over the past 40 years. As it turned out, eco production turned out to be more profitable than the traditional agriculture by 22-35%. Moreover, unlike owners of conventional farms, organic farmers are much less likely to face such problems as soil erosion and the ingress of nitrates into groundwater.
Organic agriculture can be a viable alternative for farmers, but as in every case, there are specific difficulties. To address emerging issues, they need to determine the cause of current issues and choose the right strategy to reduce risks or avoid problems in the future, rather than trying to change the situation with all sorts of short-term solutions. This is the only key to promotion of organic farming through major households.
Picture credit: Qrius