What is organic farming (organic agriculture)?
Organic farming is the practice of growing and caring for plants in a natural way. In other words, organic farming is a farming method that does not use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, non-organic growth substances in the agricultural production process to ensure a balanced ecosystem, food safe and nutritionally complete.
Organic agriculture is based on the principle of saying no to 5 sources of input materials including plant protection chemicals, growth stimulants, chemical fertilizers, mutated products, and human excrement. However, organic farming can use pesticides and fertilizers if they are considered natural and safe for the environment.
For organic agriculture, the most important thing is that the soil and water source must be completely clean and safe, no toxins caused by chemical fertilizers, and pesticides, and especially not contaminated with hazardous industrial waste.
Features of organic farming in agriculture
Organic farming is a safe and effective method that brings a lot of value to agriculture. Here are the features that organic farming has:
- Protects soil quality by using organic materials and encouraging biological activity
- Provides nutrients to plants indirectly through the use of microorganisms from the soil.
- Nitrogen fixation in the soil through the use of legumes
- Control of weeds and pests based on methods such as crop rotation, biodiversity, natural predators, compost, and appropriate chemical, thermodynamic and biological interventions
- Help livestock, take care of the barn, and care about the nutrition, health, and reproduction of animals.
- Conservation and preservation of natural habitats and wildlife
The role and benefits of organic farming for agricultural products
Agricultural products that are cultivated and cared for carefully will bring a rich and diverse food source. But if grown according to organic farming methods, it will bring a higher nutritional value, along with many other benefits. Here are the benefits that organic farming brings to food and people:
More delicious, richer flavor
Organic foods are usually fresher than other products. Their appearance may not be as shiny and attractive as chemical products, but their taste will be much better because of the natural sugar content in vegetables and fruits when grown with organic farming methods.
Provide better nutrients
As mentioned, because organic farming has a standard from nature, not contaminated with harmful chemicals, therefore, compared to conventionally grown food, organic food has higher nutritional content, safety, and quality. Organic farming brings a high source of nutrients to the soil, from which nutrients are transferred to plants and animals.
Help everyone be healthier
Organic farms, do not use chemicals in the growing process, so organic produce does not contain toxins that are harmful to health, moreover, it also helps prevent dangerous diseases such as cancer, diabetes, etc.
With commercial farms or conventional farms, during the cultivation process, the chemicals used will seep into the ground and cause toxic and severe pollution to the environment. In contrast, safe and natural organic farming will contribute to better preserving and protecting the environment.
Chemical-free and strictly controlled
Organic farming has the features of not using chemicals, growth stimulants, pesticides, or herbicides so that food will be completely safe and nutritious. Besides, before being delivered to consumers, organic food must go through a process of testing and evaluating quality. Only products that meet the standards will be marketed.
Longer product life
Naturally grown organic foods will have a more complete structure and higher cellular metabolism than conventional crops. Therefore, organic food has a longer shelf life.
We often think organic food will be quite expensive. But in fact, because it doesn’t have to use high-cost chemical drugs, so organic products have affordable prices. And if you can buy directly from organic farms, the price will be extremely suitable for you.
The difference between organic farming and conventional farming.
Conventional farming is a farming method that uses chemicals and pesticides to obtain the highest possible crop yield. However, using this method will affect the quality of the crop.
Chemicals seep into the soil and transform into food. Therefore, food grown with conventional farming methods may contain pesticides that are harmful to our health. The goal of conventional agriculture is to secure food availability, even if genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are involved in the production.
On the other hand, organic farming is based on natural farming methods, without the use of chemicals. Organic agriculture aims to improve soil fertility and nutrition, protect the environment, and provide humans with highly nutritious, chemical-free products.
Following are the basic differences between organic farming and conventional farming:
|Organic farming||Conventional farming|
|Soil quality||Use natural fertilizers, and crop rotation to improve soil quality.||Soil quality degrades over time because of the use of artificial pesticides.|
|Fertilizer||Use only natural fertilizers such as manure, compost, etc.||Use of artificial fertilizers|
|Nutritional quality||Food contains more nutrients||Loss of a significant amount of nutrients|
The amount of water infiltrating into the soil is 15-20% higher than in conventional farming
Reduce erosion, limit waterlogging, and provide water during the drought.
|The amount of water infiltrating into the soil is less and it is easy to erode, the soil is degraded due to the mining process.|
Uses 45% less energy than conventional farming.
Higher production efficiency.
|Consumes more energy for the production process.|
|Impact on the environment||Eco-friendly organic farming||Cause adverse impacts on the environment|
|GMOs||Genetically modified organisms are not used or encouraged||Genetically modified organisms are used to increase crop yields|
|Health Safety||Crops grown by this method do not cause any damage to human and animal health||Plants grown by this method can be harmful to health, leading to dangerous diseases|
|Farming methods||Uses mixed crops, crop rotation, etc. to keep soil quality||Farming methods focus only on increasing production and improving the economy|
|Impact on animals||No adverse effects on animals||Often perform antibiotic injections in livestock|
|Lifestyle change for farmers||In a better, more positive direction||Chemical agriculture is a threat to farmers’ livelihoods|