Organic farming is important from the aspect of environmental protection, biodiversity, soil conservation and soil fertility, animal health and consumers’ protection.
Organic farming is a way of producing food that respects natural life cycles. It minimises the human impact on the environment and operates as naturally as possible, in accordance with objectives and principles including the following:
- Crops are rotated so that on-site resources are used efficiently,
- Chemical pesticides, synthetic fertilisers, antibiotics and other substances are severely restricted,
- Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are banned,
- On-site resources are put to good use, such as manure for fertiliser or feed produced on the farm,
- Disease-resistant plant and animal species adapted to the local environment are used,
- Livestock are raised in a free-range, open-air environment and are fed on organic fodder,
- Animal husbandry practices are tailored to the various livestock species.
Organic farming methods emphasize the use of renewable resources and conservation of soil and water. But this isn’t a new idea, in the United States or worldwide.
History of organic farming
The concept of organic farming started 1,000 years back when ancient farmers started cultivation near the river belt depending on natural resources only. There is brief mention of several organic inputs in Indian ancient literature like Rig-Veda, Ramayana, Mahabharata and Kautilya Arthasashthra etc. In fact, organic agriculture has its roots in traditional farming practices that evolved in countless villages and farming communities over the millennium.
Organic farming practice is known since ages. The ancient Indian manuscripts also describe the importance of dead and decaying matter in nourishment of life and soil fertility, respectively. Importance of organic manure and recycling post-harvest residues has also been dealt in various sections of these literatures. Organic farming has been recognized worldwide for personal health, safe environment, food security and ﬁght against global warming. Ideological, philosophical and religious beliefs have also triggered the use organic farming with a commercial outlook taking care of environment and quality product.