Organic farming is a profitable farming method. Not only that, production of crops and food is strictly organic. This means that the food that arrive on the table are healthier—for the consumers and the environment.
Farmers have been doing organic farming for hundreds of years even before the green revolution.
Today, many communities across the country are adopting the method of shifting cultivation, a form of organic Farming. For almost a decade, farming communities, policymakers, and scientists have come to a worrying realization. The promotion of excessive use of agrochemicals is only possible because of limited and non-renewable resources.
Thus, maintaining a sustainable and natural balance is essential for the survival of life at all costs. This is possible by adopting strictly organic farming methods.
What is organic farming?
Organic farming is a method of crop production, in which farmers grow crops by keeping the soil alive.
Maintaining good soil health is due to the use of cow dung, aquatic waste, and crop residues, which contain some beneficial microorganisms.
Moreover, you can ensure the health of your soil through biofertilizers. These are strictly organic and also help in providing nutrients to the crops. This method is highly sustainable, pollution-free, and environmentally friendly.
- Organic Farming and Nature Balance:
Organic farming is not against nature but it is in tandem with nature. How so? It is through using all its knowledge techniques and available resources.
In this, farming is relatively better by combining traditional farming with modern scientific knowledge. This combination creates a healthy balance between nature and farming. Even though it is strictly organic, it doesn’t mean that it is purely up to to nature. It goes hand in hand with science to make it possible.
So to ensure crops and animals will grow and flourish, there is a prohibition of chemical fertilizers in organic farming.
Instead, it is based on organic manure, turn crop production, crop waste, and mixed crop production, to protect plants and soil.
Thus, organic farming promotes the health of the ecological farming system. It also protects biodiversity and increases biological activity in the soil.
Benefits of organic farming
- Organic farming increases the fertility of the land.
- This method reduces environmental pollution.
- Organic farming requires less water allowing for water conservation.
- Cultivation through this method maintains the quality of the land.
- The direct effect of this farming is also on the animals. The food they get does not contain the amount of chemicals. With this, the quality of their milk and their overall health will also be better.
- It also has a direct long-term effect on humans. By which we can avoid many incurable diseases and maintain good health.
- There is no need for the destruction of crop residues.
- To produce good quality crop.
- Organic farming costs less and produces more.
- Microorganisms helpful in agriculture will not only be safe, but they will increase.
Principles of Organic Farming
Organic farming is based on the following 4 principles.
The role of organic farming is to maintain and promote the health of the ecosystem and the soil. Therefore, farmers can avoid chemical fertilizers, pesticides, animal medicines, and food nutrient-enhancing drugs, all of which have adverse health effects.
Organic farming should be in accordance to local conditions, ecology, and culture for ecological balance.
It also should be with live ecological systems and cycles to help them to continue. This will result to enhancements in the quality of the environment. We can also expect to conserve resources through use and reuse, and efficient management of materials and energy.
Organic farming should contribute to a good standard of living of every person. Its main objective is to supply good quality food items for the use of natural and environmental resources in an appropriate social and ecological manner.
To protect the health of present and future generations, and also to protect the environment, farmers should do organic farming in a responsible manner.
Care should be given in choosing development and technology-related choices when going strictly organic. Adopting scientific knowledge, practical experience and traditional methods is a must. Through these, farmers can ensure that farming is healthy.
Methods used in organic farming
To get the best results when farming that is strictly organic, develop its essential parts in a systematic manner:
- Natural habitat development.
- Facilities on the farm for the production
- Sequence of growing crops and planning of fair crops.
- Three- to four-year cycle plan
- Production of crops suited to the area, soil and climate.
- Development of facilities and habitat on the farm
- Infrastructural facilities
Another of utmost importance is reserving about 3-5% of the field for cattle, earthworm manure beds, compost tanks, irrigation well, water pumping infrastructure, etc. Doing so is an effective use of resources to increase production. Also, do not forget to plant a minimum of 5-7 trees in certain locations for shade.
Moreover, digging tanks should only be at suitable places to conserve rainwater. Keep a tank of about 200 liters for preparing liquid manure and some tanks or casks for flora.
- Natural Habitat and Biodiversity
Suitable habitat for sustaining various forms of organisms is an essential part of organic farming. It can be made by planting different varieties of trees and shrubs suited to the local climate.
Trees and shrubs ensure to bring nutrients from the deeper layers of the soil to the surface. It also attracts birds, fauna and insect friends. Alongside this, trees give them food and shelter. Some of the production losses due to the effect of tree shade are compensated by the reduction in pest problems.
Use of biofertilizers and microbial group
Bio-fertilizers include Rhizobium, Azotobacter, Azospirillum, Phosphate Solubilizing Bacteria (PSB), and Pseudomonas. These Biofertilizers are then applied to seeds, plant surfaces, or soil to promote plant growth by increasing the supply of primary nutrients.
Recently, biofertilizers more adapted to local climatic conditions have been developed and made commercially available.
Methods of use: Biofertilizers can be used on crops and plants in three different ways.
- Seed Treatment
300-400 ml Dissolve 200 gm of Azotobacter/Azospirillum and PSB in water and mix thoroughly. 10-12 kg to this goal. Add in the seeds and mix them by hand until all the seeds are evenly coated.
The treated seeds are dried in shade and sow them very early.
- Root treatment of plants
Dissolve 1 to 2 kg of Azotobacter/Azospirillum and PSB insufficient quantity of water (5 to 10 liters depending on the quantity required for planting per 1 acre of seedlings).
Dip the roots of the plants in this ball 20 to 30 minutes before transplanting. In the case of paddy, make a sufficient-sized bed 2 m long X 1 m wide X 0.15 m high in the field.
5 cm in it. Fill water up to and including Azospirillum and PSB 2-2 kg. Mix and mix it completely. Now immerse the roots of the child plants in this bed for 8 to 12 hours (overnight) and then do the cloning.
- Soil Treatment
For soil treatment, 2 to 4 kg of Azotobacter/Azospirillum and 2 to 4 kg of PSB are required for one acre depending on the number of plants per acre. But in order to achieve this, separately mix organic fertilizer in 2 to 4 liters of water and spray this round on two different heaps of 50 to 100 kg compost.
Mix these heaps separately and leave them for incubation overnight. After 12 hours mix these two heaps together. For acidic soil, add 25 grams of lime to this mixture.
Methods related to organic farming
Organic farming includes various methods of farming, in which chemical fertilizers and pesticides are not used.
The objective of organic farming is not only to stay away from chemical-based farming but also to grow poison-free food. Not only this, but better and more varied crop productivity and food security for small farmers.
Keep in mind that multi-cropping production and crop rotation (crop rotation) are the two main features of organic farming systems.
Because it provides mechanisms to control the formation of healthier soils and increase productivity. Use of multi-cropping methods and crop rotation methods for small farmers to understand the management of crop rotation, avoid problems associated with rotation, and improve the soil through the use of production sequences of different crops, pest control, and profitable farm development.
- Production through multi-cropping (mixed farming) method
Mixed farming is a major feature of organic farming, in which many types of crops are grown simultaneously or at different times in the same field.
Mixed farming promotes photosynthesis and there is no competition for nutrients, as different plants draw nutrients from different depths of the soil.
- Crop rotation (crop rotation)
This method is the cornerstone of organic farming methods. Crop rotation is essential for keeping the soil healthy and for the functioning of natural microbial systems.
Additionally, it is a method of growing different crops on the same field. Farmers should follow the rotation plan of 3 to 4 years for best results. Remember to match nutrient high-demand-based crops.
Another method is the rotation of worm host and non-worm host crops, which helps in the control of soil-borne diseases, insects, weeds.
Do the crop rotation of cereals and vegetables along with pulse species- multiple crops. Take note to give proper place in the rotation plan of green manure crops.