10 Key Benefits Of Organic Farming That You Should Be Aware Of
The definition of organic farming, still not exactly defined, has morphed into various versions and perceptions as per one’s understanding of the concept, over the years. However, it is broadly considered as an alternative agricultural method that drastically cuts down the usage of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. These alternative methods often range from the humble crop rotation to switching to animal/green manures.
Known for its age-old wisdom, organic farming is profitable, healthy and an ethical choice to make. Beyond the great virtues associated with it, organic farming has proven to sustain the lives of soils, ecosystems and people. Here is a list of 10 reasons to help support the claim—
1. Reduces the impact of pesticides and chemicals
Organic farming, as a concept, greatly employs sustainable and eco-friendly practices and raw materials to cultivate safe and healthy products that benefit various ecosystems. This is fostered by the usage of
- green manures— the uprooted or sown crop parts that wither down to serve as mulch for your crop
- compost— the fresh residues from the farm and household that are piled up, moistened and turned occasionally to aerate and decompose gradually by bringing down the Carbon:Nitrogen ratio
Such alternatives not only supply organic matter by increasing the concentration of Nitrogen in the soil, but they also help in correcting the soil erosion and leaching.
2. Rejuvenates and replenishes the health of soils
Eradication of synthetic growth boosters allows the soil to take a fresh breath, giving it a chance to rejuvenate on its own, naturally. Due to green manures and composts, the composition of mulch and the soil organic matter (SOM) increases rapidly, therefore resulting in nutrient-rich soil composition.
3. Decreases the degree of soil erosion
Shallow tilling, a technique that is majorly followed in organic farming, minimises the disruption that is no deeper than 3-6 inches. Due to enhanced soil thickness with cyclical additions of animal/plant-based growth boosters, the top layer of the soil eventually becomes rich in SOM with increased water retention capacity.
4. Minimises the adverse effects of climate change
Recent studies show that there is a direct correlation between nitrous oxide emissions and the dosage of nitrogen fertilisers used in conventional agricultural models. Thanks to the farming communities finding their way back to their roots that organic farming has immensely helped in tackling climate change, all around the globe.
Since organic farming eliminates the usage of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, the concentration of Nitrogen per hectare is lowered drastically. This contributes to a sustainable food production system with increased and safe yield and lowered damage to the environment it is cultivated in.
5. Boosts water conservation and water health
Planting cover crops, spreading thick layers of organic mulch and creating perennial patches of crops and plants contribute to recharged groundwater due to decreased water run-off. In fact, the replenished water sources contain minimal or zero chemical substitutes due to avoidance of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, thereby paving the way to safer, cleaner and reliable watersheds.
6. Increases the value of nutrition in the produce
With limited exposure to heavy metals in the fertilisers and pesticides, organically cultivated produce is, therefore, rich in antioxidants. Also, the sugar and mineral structures in organic produce are significantly from the conventionally produced food. This results in tastier, healthier and more fragrant vegetables and fruits that are of overall greater quality.
Organic produce also has the ability to boost immunity in us, naturally. Due to completely unaltered crop structures, the produce is rich in essential minerals and vitamins that build a stronger immune system.
7. Creates an authentic source of food for all
Organic food, unlike conventionally grown produce, is often sourced locally. Due to its availability from within the city or the state that you reside in, organic produce is less intensively processed.
Additionally, organic produce denotes a higher note of transparency. Most of the local markets or food trucks that sell organic produce source it directly from the farmers and the food growers. This creates a seal of authenticity that can be further passed on to the consumers.
8. Extends the shelf-life of the produce
Organic fruits and vegetables have better structural and metabolic integrity that allows them to flourish on their own without the intervention of synthetic pesticides or growth hormones.
On the other hand, conventionally cultivated produce goes through the myriad steps of spraying, dipping and coating that accumulates multiple layers of toxic residue that is unsafe for us as well as the environment.
9. Supports the health and welfare of animals
Organic farming not only protects the natural habitat of various species of animals and plants it also helps them flourish in it. Due to dependant ecosystems that get established over a period of time, organic cultivation is shielded by natural pest control.
On top of that, chemical-free shrubs and plants allow the animals to graze and intake healthy and safe produce that further filters down to their meat and milk products.
10. Encourages the growth of biodiversity
Organic farms naturally allow a higher diversity of plants, insects, soil organisms and animals to thrive in a chemical-free environment. Many species found in organic farms provide the required agricultural stability and sustainability that the farm requires to produce healthy and safe food.
All the above-mentioned factors clearly denote the extent to which organic farming has spread its benefits. Economic, environmental and nutritional— these are just some of the aspects that have witnessed the positive yet worthy benefits of organic farming in just a few years.
If you feel like you would find your calling in organic farming, feel free to get to know us a bit more by clicking here. InAcres is a group of passionate individuals with an aim to promote integrated sustainable farming and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Our organic farming models help foster this pursuit of creating eco-friendly ecosystems in and around Hyderabad.