Organic Farming 101
Organic farming has been adjudged by some quarters as the future of agriculture, this stems from the food safety approach, environmental friendly, sustainable and self-sustaining production techniques it employs which distinguishes it from the conventional farming. Organic farming is the concept of agricultural cultivation of crops and rearing of livestock devoid of using artificial fertilizers, inorganic/synthetic pesticides, growth hormones, and every other synthetic treatment for plant and animals.
Organic products are perceived to be generally healthier and safer for consumption than conventional products this is so because conventional agriculture uses chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides to produce the food we eat. These foods has a potential to be harmful to human health as they contain residues of some of the chemicals that has been used to produce them.
A farm is organic after it has adapted its operation from pre-planting to post planting wholly and holistically to organic practices for a period of 3 years prior to harvest of organic products, also a product has to be certified by appropriate local and international accreditation bodies before it can be marketed as an organic produce, without which the produce cannot be exported or sold as organic even If the farm has adopted organic cultivation principles.
Recently, There has been a growing local and international demand for organic produce across the world hence they are subjected to strict standardization and certifications. The global size of organic produce market has been valued at 125 billion dollars in 2017 and estimated to reach 323 billion dollars by 2024.
There are several benefits of organic farming over conventional farming which can broadly be categorized into economic and environmental. Organic produce across the world are often sold at premium prices, these results in increased income and turnover for organic farmers. Also the non-use of synthetic chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides which are mostly expensive and not easily available helps to reduce the cost of food production incurred by farmers. These two factors combine to make organic farming very profitable.
There are several benefits of organic farming to the environment. Specifically, organic farming ensures drastic reduction of exposure of the agricultural ecosystem to pesticides and chemicals.
Organic farming through the organic principles builds up top soils also which helps in combatting erosion. Another benefit of organic farming is in supporting water conservation. Organic farming also helps to preserve biodiversity since harmful chemicals that can eliminate naturally occurring organisms are prohibited from use.
Organic farming is strategic to the realization of the SDG as its principles aligns with some of the sustainable development goals i.e “LIFE ON LAND”, “LIFE BELOW WATER”, “GOOD HEALTH AND WELL BEING”, “CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION”, “RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION”
However there is no scientific proof that organic foods are “largely nutritious” than conventionally produced albeit safer.
The organic system plan is the detailed description of the practices and procedures used by farms to produce organic goods, transition from conventional to organic farming and also serves as the bedrock for application for organic certification. Organic certification for your farm and processing units can be applied for and achieved by requesting for our consulting services at FutuX agri consult limited.