It is interesting to know that you grow spinach, tomato, aloevera etc. in your small garden. You hae also stated that in order to make the soil nutrient you make use of the chemical fertilizers. You also use pesticides and insecticides to keep the plants free from fungus and other worms and insects. This means that the method used by you to grow vegetable and other plants in your garden is not organic but inorganic.What is organic farming.
Opposed to what you practice, the organic farming envisages production of crops without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or any other artificial chemicals to enhance growth of crop yields. Organising farming is a farming that comprises of methods that use natural and organic materials in the process of crop production. No chemicals or hormones are used, especially in the production of food crops by the organic farmers. Synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers are not used at all in organic method of farming. There is no use of irradiation, industrial solvents and chemical food additives in aiding the growth or ripening of food products. Organic farming is that form of agriculture where farmers make use of varying techniques like crop rotation. Organic farmers use natural fertilizers like green manure and compost. The biological methods are used for pest control. Organic farming methods, of course, to not use fertilizers manufactured synthetically or herbicides, insecticides and fungicides manufactured artificially in the factories. Hormones and food additives, which help to regulate the growth the plants and artificial ripening of the crop product are also prohibited in organic farming. There is an international regulation on methods to be used in the organic methods of farming and these have been legally enforced by many nations. International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM) set up in 1972 has defined the objective of organic farming as "Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved...".
However, the agricultural farming today consists of only a very minute portion of organic farming. Brief History of organic farming.
We should remember that the organic farming was practiced in almost all the parts of the world throughout centuries before invent of industrial revolution, which resulted in drastic changes in the methods of agriculture due to invention of several farming machines. These machines reduced the use of farm animals which were the main source of natural manure and compost. In the wake of industrial revolution, not only the machinery but synthetic fertilizers and insecticides came to be manufactured which had their unhealthy side effects when the products were consumed by the humans. Due to this fact, organic movement began in 1920s in central Europe. Growing reliance on synthetic fertilizers by the farmers and its side effects, made the English people realize the importance of organic farming in the 1940s. However the modern organic farming was only a minute part of the total agriculture.Processes involved in organic farming
Organic faming methods have to look after almost every process involved in farming like soil management, weed management, controlling growth of other organisms like pests and insects, genetic modification of plants, growth, productivity and profitability etc. Soil needs enough Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium and other minerals for proper growth of plants. The organic farmers have to get these by use of methods like crop rotation and application of green manure, compost and animal manure. Inter cropping patterns have to used not only for supply of soil nutrients ut also for insect and disease control. Organic farming will require soil organic matter to be increased in the soil to destroy common weed seeds. For the purpose of removing weeds, the processes of tilling, cultivating and mulching have to be carefully organised. The modern organic farmers use integrated biological pest management to control pests and diseases. Organic farming includes rejection of genetically engineered plants and animals. Advantages of organic farming :
Disadvantages of organic farming:
- Food products grown by organic farming are tastier and healthier sine only natural fertilizers are used to grow them.
- Since the machinery is not used much in organic farming, there are more job opportunities for the farmers.
- Organic farming is environmental and echo friendly.
- The re-use of soil is better in organic farming.
- Organic farming saves energy.
- Cost of production is more in organic farming so the products are also costly. It is difficult for the people below poverty line to buy the organic products.
- The production is less since the crops are grown and harvested by hand.
- Norman Borlaug, the father of the Green Revolution and Nobel Peace Prize winner and some other critics have criticized the programme on the ground that organic farming cannot serve the food needs of billions of people of the world.