Organic farming is a method of crop and livestock production that involves the usage of natural sources of nutrients (such as compost, crop residues and manures) and natural methods of crops and weed control. It is averse to using synthetic or inorganic agro-chemicals.
It is a method of farming system which primarily aims at cultivating the land and raising crops in such a way, so as to keep the soil alive and in good health. Unlike the conventional methods it is in complete harmony with the environment without harming it or the people. Interestingly, organic farming does not mean going ‘back’ to traditional methods. It takes the best of traditional methods and combines them with modern scientific knowledge.
The world market for organic food has grown for over 15 years. The main reasons for wanting to farm organically are mainly the concerns for the environment. Conventional farming systems rely heavily on fossil fuels which are exhaustive. Organic farming maintains biological diversity within the system by minimising soil degradation and erosion, and decreasing pollution.
It aims at recycling materials and resources to the greatest extent possible. Additionally it involves careful use of water resources. It is also more economical than the other farming techniques. Organic farming results in less nutrient contamination, since it stays away from the artificial pesticides.
Conventional intensive agriculture causes many problems such as: artificial fertilisers and herbicides are easily washed from the soil, polluting the rivers and lakes. The prolong use of artificial fertilisers degrade the soil quality and also require great amount of money.
Artificial pesticides can stay in the soil for a long time and enter the food chain where they harm the bodies of animals and humans, thereby causing health problems. The organic food instead is claimed to taste better. For these reasons, people worldwide are shifting to organic food.
In India, organic farming has grown many folds and a number of initiatives at the Government and Non-Government level have given it a firm direction. National centre of organic farming promotes organic farming by providing quality biological inputs. It spreads awareness and publicity through print and electronic media. They also look into research and development in the field along with market development. India organic is a certification mark for organically farmed food products manufactured in India. It certifies and conforms the products to National Standards for Organic Products.
With the phenomenal growth and increasing demand, India has achieved the status of single largest country in terms of total area under certified organic harvest collection. To make food toxin free, organisations across India have been advocating non-pesticides farming. Some have even gone a step further by setting up centres to train farmers in organic farming.
Famous chains like Godrej’s Natural Basket roped Karishma Kapoor to endorse its organic food. Infact, the evil of conventional farming was highlighted by the enlightening show of ‘Satyamev Jayate’. It named the episode as ‘Khane Ki Thali Me Zahar’ (Poison on your plate) wherein it brought to attention how excessive use of pesticides have led to many problems. In the show, doctors and scientists present proved that pesticides can trigger diseases as dangerous as cancer.
Organic food is becoming popular in Europe and America though it is not at all easy farming. Each crop and crop variety has its own specific needs. It has also been concluded that organic methods gives small yield when compared to conventional farming methods and thus is expensive. Inspite of these minute drawbacks organically farmed food surely has miraculous qualities because of which actors like Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Shilpa Shetty are promoting its use.