With the developing awareness and Regard for environmental problems, organic farming has appeared to be one of the most reputable methods that provide the sustainable growth of crops without harming the ecology. Several methods and plans have been implemented through changes like the golden revolution, white revolution, black revolution, etc., to enhance India’s quality and quantity of crops and livestock.
What is Organic Farming?
Organic farming benefits the environment by lessening pollution, decreasing soil degradation, focusing on biological productivity, preserving soil from erosion, etc. This farming method increases the fertility of the soil without creating any infliction like conventional farming techniques.
This farming is not a new method of farming. In India, it is an agricultural method that intends to grow crops to maintain the soil alive. And in good health, organic waste, waste crops, animal and farm waste, aquatic waste, and additional organic materials are accepted.
Objectives of Organic Farming
Here are the core objectives of organic farming:
- The consistent and adequate production of healthy and nutritious food
- To develop crops in a manner that maintains their growth without interfering with their inherent behaviors and conditions.
- To lessen pollution, soil erosion, and soil degradation
- To provide optimal long-term fertilization through natural pesticides for the biological actions of crops
- To preserve genetic and biological diversity between plants and animals
- To improve the management of recycling materials and rely on renewable sources in industries
- To make organic products to defend crops from insects and plants
Types of Organic Farming
There are mainly two types of organic farming- pure organic farming and integrated organic farming. These farming methods have their advantages and disadvantages. Some farmers choose to use a purified farming process, whereas some opt for an integrated farming method.
1. Pure Organic Farming
This farming is one of the different types of organic farming. It essentially depends on organic compost, fertilizers, and bio-pesticides to cultivate crops. It rigidly forbids any inorganic chemical or pesticides that may influence the yield, positively or negatively. It includes the use of organic manures and bio-pesticides with the whole avoidance of inorganic chemicals and pesticides.
In the method of pure farming, fertilizer and pesticides receive from natural sources. It is called a pure form of organic farming. This is the most suitable for high productivity.
2. Integrated Organic Farming
This farming is one of the standards of organic farming that merges the best of organic farming with nutrient management and integrated pest management. In this type of farming, producers grow crops utilizing natural resources, as they would in pure farming. However, they will use more inputs to improve their nutritional value and preserve the crops from pests.
This method integrates pest management and nutrients management to achieve ecological necessities and economic requirements. This type involves growing the crop through natural and renewable means. This permits the maximum utilization of resources and enhances the productivity of production.
Organic Farming Methods
Organic farming methods consolidate scientific ecology and modern technology with conventional farming techniques based on biological processes. Organic farming techniques are considered in the field of agroecology.
The primary methods incorporate crop rotation, green manures and compost, biological pest control, and mechanical refinement. These measures practice the natural environment to improve agricultural fertility.
While organic is essentially distinctive from conventional because of the method of carbon-based fertilizers associated with highly water-soluble synthetic-based fertilizers and botanical pest control alternately of synthetic pesticides, organic farming and large-scale traditional farming are not uniquely privileged.
The organic method releases nutrients to the crops for enhanced sustainable production in an eco-friendly and pollution-free environment. It intends to provide a crop with high nutritional content, and there are several techniques by which organic farming is practiced are as follows:
1. Crop diversity
Crop diversity is referred to as plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, embraces diversity within and amongst crops, their wild relatives and wild edible plant species. It mainly provides the biological foundation for food production and food security and contributes to economic development. It refers to crops and varieties that farmers cultivate and use as part of their subsistence.
Crop diversity promotes environments thrive and also preserves varieties from proceeding extinct. The various ways to increase crop diversity within organic cereal production, but in practice, these methods are rarely used. Besides diversity compound and species mixtures, molecular investigation investigates the potential in agriculture and organic farming.
For example, crop and varietal diversity farmers can
- Stagger their planting and plant product to avoid peak danger times or to retrieve from a hazard; Ensure constant availability and a broader assortment of food;
- Spread labor requirements in the field; and
- Adapt to new environmental conditions, the market system, and emerging local demands.
2. Crop rotation
Crop rotation is the technique of planting crops in the event area of the garden so that no single crop will be planted in the identical place two or more years in a row. Crop rotation assists maintain soil structure and nutrient levels and inhibit soil-borne pests from obtaining a foothold in the garden. However, when a single crop is planted in the related place every year, the soil composition slowly deteriorates as the nutrients are practiced time and time again.
After a few years, the soil becomes unhealthy and exhausted of those specific nutrients. Simultaneously, insect pests that support the single crop and consume their larval stage in the ground become more productive as their food source persists. Then, these pests become harder to handle every year as their community develops.
Crop rotation is advantageous for these four reasons:
- Plants that fix nitrogen, such as peas and legumes, enhance soil quality for future vegetables planted in the same bed.
- Alternating shallow-rooted plants and deep-rooted plants in a given area draws nutrients from the soil at differing depths.
- Soil-borne pests that serve on one family of plants are excluded as their food source varies every year.
- Farmers who practice crop rotation do not require to let areas or fields unplanted as frequently as they might differ.
3. Biological pest control
The agricultural field includes a compound of organisms, some utilized for plant cultivation, and a few are damaging. The development of these organisms should be under control to guarantee the security of the field and the crops. Pesticides and herbicides that include some chemicals or natural can be practiced for pest control. A method in which existence organisms are managed to regulate pests without or with restricted usage of chemicals.
4. Soil management
After crop cultivation, the soil wastes its nutrients and its exhausts condition. Organic farming begins the performance of natural approaches to improve the health of the ground. It concentrates on bacteria existing in animal waste, which assists deliver the soil nutrients prolific to improve the soil.
Organic farming utilizes several methods to develop soil productivity, including crop rotation, decreased tillage, cover cropping, and the utilization of compost. Plants need a large number of nutrients in different amounts to flourish. It is challenging for organic farmers to provide sufficient nitrogen and principally synchronizing to arrange adequate nitrogen when plants require it most.
Crop rotation and green manure aid to provide nitrogen through legumes, which fix nitrogen from the environment through symbiosis with rhizoidal bacteria. Intercropping, seldom utilized for insect and disease restriction, can enhance soil nutrients. Still, the conflict between the legume and the crop can be doubtful, and broader spacing amidst crop rows is needed.
5. Green manure
It refers to the dying plants extracted and packed into the soil to obtain them act as a nutrient for the soil to enhance its characteristic. Green undecomposed substance applied as manure is recognized as green manure. It is accomplished by developing green manure crops or assembling green leaf from shrubs produced in wastelands, field bunds, and forests.
Green manuring is developing in the meadow plants, referring to the leguminous family and consolidating the soil behind adequate completion. And, the significant green manure products are cluster beans, sunn hemp, dhaincha, pillipesara, and Sesbania rostrata.
Compost is extremely productive in nutrients, and this is a recycled organic material used as a fertilizer in agricultural fields. Compost farming converts raw organic deposits into humus-like substances through the movement of soil microorganisms. Prepared compost reserves are strong and biologically steady, free of offensive odors, more relaxed to handle, and less massive than raw organic trash.
Composting can decrease or eradicate weed roots and pathogens in organic deposits. Compost contributes advantages as a soil improvement and a cause of organic material by increasing soil biological, chemical, and physical properties;
- Enhances microbial movement
- Improves plant infection elimination
- Develops soil fertility
- Progresses soil structure in clayey soils
- Develops water retention in sandy soils
- Decreases bioavailability of heavy metals
7. Weed management
Weed management in organic farming increases weed-suppressing rather than weed dismissal by improving crop competition and phototoxic impacts on weeds. Organic standards require a rotation of seasonal crops, suggesting that a single crop cannot be produced in the same position without a separate, intermediate crop. To promote organic techniques to improve the growth of general microorganisms that includes normal weeds’ growth and germination. The two extensively used weed management procedures are;
- Mulching – A method where we practice plastic films or plant deposits on the soil’s surface to block weed extension.
- Mowing or Cutting – It is a procedure where there is an elimination of weeds’ top increase.
8. Controlling other organisms
There are beneficial and dangerous organisms in the agricultural field which influence the area. The increase of organisms requires to be managed to defend the soil and crops. This can be caused by the usage of herbicides and pesticides that include several chemicals or are natural. Also, proper sanitization of the whole farm must be maintained to manage different organisms.
Organic farming yields numerous nutritious and secure foods. The prevalence of organic food is growing as consumers inquire about more potent and secure organic foods. Thus, organic food perhaps ensures food safety from farm to plate.
The organic farming method is numerous eco-friendlies than traditional farming. Moreover, organic farming preserves soil healthy and manages environmental integrity thereby, improving the health of purchasers. Moreover, the organic produce market is now the fastest-growing business all over the globe, including India.
India, at present, is the world’s most extensive organic producer. With this conception, we can conclude that stimulating organic farming in India can strengthen a nutritionally, ecologically, and economically healthy population shortly.