Organic farming | Definition, History, Methods, Component

Organic farming | Definition, History, Methods, Component

ORGANIC FARMING: INTRODUCTION AND COMPONENTS

WHAT IS ORGANIC FARMING?:

Organic farming is a method of obtaining production without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals, using organic fertilizers, mixed cropping, crop rotation, maintaining the fertility of the soil by greening, conservation of natural pest and disease control insects and weed control without the use of chemicals. In which more production is not the goal but quality production without chemical residue is given importance.

ADVANTAGES OF ORGANIC FARMING

  • Organic farming improves the physical, chemical and biological condition of the soil. Soil fertility and productivity increase progressively.
  • Organic farming helps in maintaining soil moisture. Water percolation is good in such soil. This prevents the water from running off the soil, thus preventing soil erosion.
  • Organic farming provides favorable conditions for crops. Hence resistance to diseases and pests develops.
  • Unnecessary agricultural waste and agricultural by-products can be put to optimum use.
  • There is no special extra cost for organic farming.

Organic farming | Definition, History, Methods, Component

Organic farming | Definition, History, Methods, Component
Organic farming

Introduction

  • Organic farming was practiced by our fathers and grandfathers since long. Organic farming is on the verge of extinction due to the gradual use of chemical fertilizers by farmers in the soil. But with the noble spirit, foresight, and continuous efforts of conscious people, efforts are being made to revive organic farming by restoring the natural relationship between mother earth and humans.
  • Due to the growing awareness of human health, the demand for organically produced vegetables, fruits and grains is continuously increasing.
  • Due to excessive and indiscriminate use of agrochemicals, soil health deteriorates year by year and high salinity of groundwater runoff and surface water pollution make it difficult to produce safe and toxic chemical residue-free grain/agricultural produce.4
  • Excessive use of agrochemicals poses a looming threat to sustaining soil fertility, health, and sustainability in the long run.
  • Farmers are successfully moving towards organic farming by using their own knowledge and traditional knowledge. Especially the progressive farmers have started making innovative inputs on their farms successfully.

   2. Creation of a market for the sale of organic farming produce/products.

  • Over the past two decades the global community has become sensitized and conscious of environmental preservation and food/food quality assurance. Now organic farming is regaining widespread acceptance and emerging commercial, social, and environmental promise.
  • Continuing ideological brainstorming from the mythological times to the present day, today’s modern organic farming movement and awareness advocate a radical transformation from its early origins.
  • The concern for organic farming is to preserve the environment and sustain the productivity of the land in the long term.
  • For this we need to develop agriculture based on the natural values of harnessing and preserving nature instead of exploiting it. Which we know by different names like ORGANIC FARMING, ORGANIC FARMING, SUSTAINABLE FARMING, LIVING FARMING ETC.

 Organic farming | Definition, History, Methods, Component

ORGANIC FARMING PHILOSOPHY:

  • A package of organic farming is an integrated approach through which all farming systems are interconnected and mutually interoperable. A healthy, living, and functioning soil that is the main source of crop nutrition, the biodiversity of the area.
  • Disease and pest control through diversification, crop rotation and multi-cropping system health and resource management of the farmer to maximize utilization and productivity are two key aspects. The main support (foundation) of organic farming is living soil. o keep the soil alive, it is necessary to use crop residues to compost on your farm or add crop residues directly back into the soil to nourish the crops.
  • The concept of organic farming means improvement of soil health, which includes conservation and improvement of the biodiversity of the area, adoption of different farming practices, and comprehensive management approaches for better agricultural production and quality.

OBJECTIVES OF ORGANIC FARMING:

  • The main objective of organic farming is to improve the quality of soil and environment from every perspective.
  • We have to give back to the soil through one or the other sources as much organic matter as we get from the soil in the form of agricultural produce like grains, fodder, oilseeds, cash crops or fuel wood, etc. by doing this, the availability of nutrients in the soil is also maintained.

Organic farming | Definition, History, Methods, ComponentBASIC PRINCIPLES OF ORGANIC FARMING

  1. Management of crop residues
  2. Optimal utilization of natural resources (land, energy, water, air, etc.)
  3. Proper cropping system and crop rotation
  4. Practical use in agricultural crops
  5. Practical use of traditional methods
  6. Minimal intervention of market

REASONS FOR ADOPTING ORGANIC FARMING

(A)  Indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers
  • Initially, the use of chemical fertilizers in agriculture was very limited in India. But as new hybrid seeds were introduced and the need for more  production arose, the use of chemical fertilizers began to increase, but three problems is being faced by farmers.
  • LACK OF KNOWLEDGE AMONG FARMERS, ABOUT WHICH CROP, HOW MUCH FERTILIZER TO APPLY ACCORDING TO THAT SOIL AND CLIMATE
  • LACK OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT WHEN TO FERTILIZE?
  • LACK OF KNOWLEDGE ON HOW TO USE FERTILIZERS?
  • Due to the above three reasons, the use of chemical hazards in crops has increased exponentially, resulting in,
  • Soil quality deteriorated
  • Disturbance of availability of nutrients required for crop production
  • The consistency and quality of crop production were adversely affected
  • Groundwater was polluted due to excessive use of chemical fertilizers
  • New problems of disease and pests arose
  • Farming costs increased
  • The physical, chemical, and biological conditions of the soil deteriorated due to which the soil became hard and the micro-organism activity was disturbed, which disturbed its chemical balance. Due to this, the moisture absorption capacity of the soil as well as the ability to provide nutrients decrease, resulting in a decrease in soil productivity over time.
(B) Indiscriminate use of Insecticides, Pesticides and Weedicides
  • Due to the excessive use of Insecticides, Pesticides, and Weedicides and excessive production of our hybrid varieties, the transmission of diseases and pests on crops has increased greatly. But due to lack of knowledge about which Insecticides, Pesticides, and Weedicides to use, where, and how, Insecticides, Pesticides, and Weedicides started to be used indiscriminately. Due to this, some diseases occur pests developed resistance and farming costs increased.
 (C) The unsustainability of agricultural products & rising price of farming
  • Rough use of agrochemicals has reduced the sustainability of agricultural products. Every year an expected production is not achieved and the cost of farming also increases. Because of this, many farmers, who live in economically viable agriculture have left agriculture and turned to other employment.
  (D)  Adverse effects on the environment
  • Due to the above-mentioned reasons, the indoor and outdoor environment of the soil was polluted which ultimately had a negative impact on human health.
Organic farming | Definition, History, Methods, Component
Organic Potatoes

Organic farming | Definition, History, Methods, Component

Challenges face by organic farming

(a) INADEQUATE ORGANIC FERTILIZERS

  • Geographically, India has 2.4% of the world’s total land area and 16% of the total population. Due to this very less land is available per person.
  • If the current population of 143 crores is to be provided with a sufficient supply of food, 2800 lakh tonnes of grain would be required.
  • For this, approximately 350 lakh tonnes of nutrients (NO+FO) are required. Of this, 190 lakh tonnes of nutrients are supplied by chemical fertilizers.
  • 4 million tonnes of nutrients from the whole country can be supplied through organic sources. This accounts for a net deficit of 86.3 lakh tonnes of nutrients. Some sections of the society believe that this need of the country can be met only through organic farming, but this is not possible in the present circumstances.

(b) DECREASE IN GRAIN PRODUCTION

  • Some research by Agriculture University show that within two to three years of starting organic farming, there is a drastic drop in production of up to 30% and only after that it starts showing good results. Especially inadequate supply of nutrients and low effectiveness of non-chemical measures against pest infestation plays an important role in this.
  • A significant reduction of 30% in the current 2.8 million tonnes of grain demand across the country may reduce our self-sufficiency in the food sector, resulting in high grain prices (inflation) and long-term grain dependency leading to political, social, and economic crises in the country.

(c)  LOW EFFECTIVENESS OF NON-CHEMICAL MEASURES AGAINST PEST INFESTATION

  • High-yielding hybrids and improved varieties are more susceptible to disease if proper precautions are not taken. Once a disease or pest infestation has started, in most cases only chemical treatments are effective, and organic farming is reduced due to limited non-chemical expertise under current circumstances.

(d) UNORGANIZED MARKET SYSTEM

  • Organic agricultural produce can fetch higher market prices than chemical or market agriculture produce and thus the effect of reduction in production can be significantly reduced. But the market of agricultural produce is not a SELLER’S MARKET, BUT A BUYER’S MARKET.
  • It means that the price of agricultural produce is determined not by the farmer, but by the buying trader or middleman. There are also a handful of farmers who produce “organic food”, which is completely unorganized, so the argument that the decline in yield can be offset by higher prices of agricultural produce is far from realistic.

(e) CERTIFICATION PROCEDURE

  • Due to the lack of a simple process for organic produce certification, producers have to go through a lengthy process to get their produce certified, which also deters many farmers from adopting organic farming. Because there is always doubt on the validity of organic produce without certification.
  • Components of Sustainable Organic Farming

       Organic farming is based on the application of modern farming methods, biotechnology, biodiversity, and               the use of biofertilizers are the three basic components of successful farming.

        Hence the basic components of organic farming reflect its holistic nature. These basic components are as follows.

Organic farming | Definition, History, Methods, Component

Organic farming | Definition, History, Methods, Component

 BASIC COMPONENTS OF ORGANIC FARMING

(1) CONSERVATION OF LAND

  • Land conservation is the use of land in such a way that it is permanently produced according to its capacity and need, taking into account the limits of its economic productivity.
  • Its main objective is to prevent the water falling into the soil of any catchment area from running off and digesting it as moisture to obtain maximum agricultural production.

         For this the following are agricultural methods and mechanical methods.

 Agricultural measures

  • Deep plowing against the slope
  • Planting of spreading/scattering crops on the ground.
  • Adoption of mixed cropping/intercropping system
  • Planting in strip method
  • To conserve government, panchayat, pasture fallow land
  • Sowing crops against the slope
  • Crop rotation
  • To make artificial forests
  • Growing grass on the land

Mechanical remedies

  • To make contour embankment in opposite direction of slope
  • Adopting step method in sloping land
  • Making a contour canal
  • Construction of check dams in shallow ravines
  • Construction of rotating embankment on top of sloping land
  • Construct farm pond
Organic farming | Definition, History, Methods, Component
Farm Yard Manure-FYM- Organic Farming Component

(2) WATER CONSERVATION

  • Water conservation is the control, conservation, and management of water use for the sustainable benefits of crop production, pasture and forest lands, vegetation cover, wildlife conservation and human, agricultural, industrial, commercial and national wealth.

         Water conservation involves two things.

  • Proper storage of rainwater by preventing it from running off and
  • Using available water resources judiciously.

(3) INTEGRATED NUTRITION SYSTEM

  1. Bulk organic fertilizers
  • Manure
  • Compost
  1. Concentrated organic fertilizer
  1. Cake

Edible Cake

Groundnut CakeCotton Cake
Sesame CakeCoconut Cake

 Inedible Cake

Neem CackeMahua CakeKasumbi cake
Karanjan CakeCastor Cake 
  1. Green Manure
  • Sun hemp
  • Guar
  • Cluster bean
  • Glyricidia
  1. Organic fertilizer
  • Rhizobium
  • Azotobacter
  • Azospirillum
  • Azolla/Blue Green Algae
  • PSB

Organic farming | Definition, History, Methods, Component

Organic farming | Definition, History, Methods, Component
Organic Beet Root

(4) BIOLOGICAL WEED CONTROL METHODS

Preventive measures

 

Counter measures

 

  • Use of clean seeds for sowing
1) Physical method
  • Hand weeding
  •  Intercrop
  • Deep tillage in summer
  • Destroy  weeds by keeping them watered
  • Use of well-decomposed organic manure and compost.
(2) Cropping methods
  •  Crop rotation
  •  Mixed cropping method
  •  Selection of fast land covering crops
  •  Maintenance of the proper number of plants
  •  Sowing crops at the right time and in the right way
  • Feed the animals with only mature weed plants, whose seed germination has been destroyed.
3) Biological method
  • Bio-herbicide
  •  Micro herbicide
  • Biological control

 

  •  To prevent animals from moving from weed-infested to weed-free areas.
(4) Method of laser beams
  •  Using weedy soil in a weed-free field.
(5) Soil solarization
  • Keep the water canal weed-free.
  • Agricultural implements should be cleaned after working in weed-infested areas.
  • Keeping the area around the farm weed free.
  • Replanting plants after proper checking
  • Keeping field corners, around fences and other uncultivated areas weed-free.

Organic farming | Definition, History, Methods, Component

(5) ORGANIC CROP PROTECTION SYSTEM

Mechanical method

 

Physical control

 

Biological control
Sowing of resistant varietiesThe seeds are heated in the sun and cooled and storeParasitic insects
Increase the seeding rate Deep tillage in summerPredatory insects
 Change in date of sowingYellow sticky cageNPV
 Farm/field hygiene Light cage BT
 Cage cropping/ intercropping systemDigging a trench around the fieldPheromone trap
Fertilizer-water regulationDestroy egg masses by handHerbicides
Fix Bird supportBio Insecticide
Micro insecticide
Organic farming | Definition, History, Methods, Component
Organic Watermelon in field

(6) KNOWLEDGE OF BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

  • Creation of habitats for the purpose of nutrition and breeding of different bio-forms is an integral part of organic farming. Different types of trees, plants and different crops that grow in the climate of that area should be included in the cultivation.
  • It provides a natural habitat for friendly insects, parasitic insects, predatory insects and birds of prey and helps in the control of pest pests.
  • Nitrogen fixation from the air as well as absorption of nutrients from deeper soil layers adds it to the upper soil layer.

(7)  CONVENTIONAL ENERGY CONSUMPTION

  • Using solar energy, wind energy, biogas energy, and animal-powered machines.
  • To create a green cover by planting crops on the land throughout the year through various crops and cropping systems so that solar energy can be utilized to the maximum.

Organic farming | Definition, History, Methods, Component

(8) SUMMARY

  • Organic farming is a method of producing without chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals, using organic fertilizers, mixed cropping, crop rotation, and maintaining soil fertility. It offers advantages such as improving soil health, preventing soil erosion, and providing favorable conditions for crops. Organic farming also reduces unnecessary agricultural waste and by-products, and there is no special extra cost for it. The main objective of organic farming is to improve soil and environment quality, ensuring the availability of nutrients in the soil.
  • The main principles of organic farming include managing crop residues, optimizing natural resources, proper cropping systems, and minimizing market intervention. The main challenges faced by organic farming include the indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers, the indiscriminate use of insecticides, pesticides, and weedicides, the unsustainability of agricultural products, and adverse effects on the environment. India faces challenges in providing adequate organic fertilizers, as the country has a population of 143 crores and a limited land area per person. To meet the demand for organically produced vegetables, fruits, and grains, farmers must develop innovative inputs and adopt sustainable farming practices.

“Minimize use of Chemical Fertilizers and Maximize use of Organic fertilizers”

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