Organic farming is the growing of crops and raising of animals without the use of artificial fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics, feed additives, growth regulators, and hormone stimulants.
Organic farming is an unconventional farming system and uses what other farmers see as waste to enrich the soils upon which they cultivate their crops. For example, this involves the reuse or recycling of livestock droppings as fertilizer.
Organic cropping involves practices such as crop rotation, shifting cultivation, use of animal manure such as cow dung and chicken droppings. It also involves the use of legumes to enrich the soil with certain minerals and the use of biological pest control methods.
Raising livestock organically is quite an unconventional practice. Growth hormones are not used or feed that are products of inorganic cropping. Rather, they use the natural products produced by the environment to sustain their livestock as well as use certain waste materials as resources thereby minimising or avoiding pollution.
Facts about organic farming
1. There is a growing interest in farm produce derived from organic cultivation as a significant number of consumers demand foods or livestock products that are grown organically. This is an emerging market with an annual market growth of over 20% in the past 6 years.
2. According to reports, the United States, Japan, and Europe will be the majority actors in the practice of organic farming in the world. Analysts are forecasting that gross sales of products gotten from organic farms will surpass one hundred billion dollars over the coming 10 years.
3. Large organisations in the world today are making major changes in their products and service delivery to meet the demand of consumers that want to consume only organic products. Such corporations include Nestlé, McDonalds, Swiss Air, and Lufthansa. Thousands of corporations are adding organic products to their product lines as they target consumers worldwide.
4. Production of foods and livestock organically needs to be safe as it involves a lot is handling of raw materials and animal waste. Therefore, since 2002, organic farmers are subject to an annual inspection of their farms to make sure they are running their organic farms under standard guidelines. This inspection is done by a licensed certified.
5. Organic farming is economical and gives better returns on investment compared to conventional farming. Organic farmer consumes less energy resource than a conventional farmer. For example in the USA, 12% of the nation’s energy supply is consumed by a conventional farmer.
6. Transitioning from conventional farming to organic farming can take up to 5 years. This is because it will take a holistic change in operation and persistent nurturing for the entire farming ecosystem to transform organically and become self-sustaining.
7. There are levels to the certification of a product as organic. Some products don’t have all-organic ingredients while some do. However, for a product to be tagged organic, it has to be certified 100% organic that is falls under 100% Organic Certification. Now, for such a product, there are no ingredients that are genetically modified (GMOs).
8. Reports have it that over 300 varieties of pesticides are used by conventional farmers to grow crops. These crops are processed into consumables (non-organic foods) and are all shelved in supermarkets across the world.
9. Organic cultivation of fish is a thriving farming business worldwide with China being the largest producer of organic seafood. Also called organic aquaculture, this farming activity is quite the money bringer, thanks to the increasing demand for organic products. An estimated 1.5 trillion metric tonnes of shellfish are produced globally.
Aside from these known facts and current statistics on organic cultivation, there are numerous inherent benefits that both the organic farmers and consumers of their products enjoy such as improved health, quality of life, and longevity.
Other than the aforementioned facts on farming organically, several benefits come with engaging in organic cultivation as a farmer and in consuming organic foods as a consumer. Farming organically plays a significant role in improving the health of persons in society because the consumers of organic foods tend to have better health and longevity than consumers of synthetic foods.
Benefits of organic farming
Let’s look at the several benefits of farming organically to persons in society:
1. Organic farming consists of scientific methodologies that conventional farmers can learn and practice by converting their resources into farming any cultivar organically thereby making more profit than they do in conventional farming.
2. According to researches carried out in the United States of America, farming organically is more economical than conventional farming. These researchers hold that organic farming methods can reduce the cost of production by 25%. This reduction is due to the elimination of the costs of using pesticides, herbicides, and artificial fertilizers. More so, organic farming aids in minimizing soil erosion by 50% and boosting crop yield five times over in just five years.
3. In three to five years, a conventional farmer can convert to fully organic cultivation with a well-planned methodology irrespective of the crops he cultivates. Adopting new and effective organic cultivation of methods is very doable within a short time.
4. Farming organically tends to play a significant role in ecosystem sustenance as It supports higher levels of wildlife. In fact, by using organic farming methods, groundwater is conserved.
5. Cows fed with organic feed or allowed to graze on organic fields tend to experience better health conditions and produce better milk for consumers of dairy products. So, farming organically is of benefit to dairy operators, cows, and consumers.
6. Organic cultivation maintains the fertility of soils and replenishes the fertility of soils. This is because the process of organic cultivation keeps the cycle of nutrients intact without causing any adverse effect or drastic change to the natural properties of soils.
7. Organically grown foods taste differently and are of better quality than foods produced from conventional farming. Consumers have vouched that organically grown foods look, smell, and taste better.
8. Organic foods are less expensive than inorganic foods. This is because the cost of farming organically and organically processing crops into consumable products is not as costly as inorganic products. The production of inorganic foods is costly as it involves the use of synthetic flavours, preservatives, and other chemicals. These additives are expensive and to recoup their monies, manufacturers of inorganic foods hike the prices of their products.
9. Organic cultivation produces organic foods that are of amazing health benefits to the body. Scientific research has shown that organic foods improve the quality of life and longevity of life. On the other hand, reports have it that products from conventional farming are loaded with chemicals that pose adverse effects to the body. Farming organically plays a significant role in improving the general health of the public.
One can easily conclude that organic cultivation is rapidly gaining traction as many are accepting it. However, this is bound to happen due to the ongoing discovery of the adverse effects of many food products people consume.
Researchers have proven that many processed foods contain toxins that are responsible for the increase in diseases and a decline in the lifespan of individuals.
With the new interest in farming organically, conventional farmers can begin transitioning to organic farming as it has proven to be more economical, profitable, and environmentally friendly. Kindly drop your comments as we would like to hear from you on what you think about organic cultivation.