A form of farming which relies on systems such as crop rotation, biological pest control, and compost usage is referred to as Organic Agriculture or Organic Farming. Particularly in relationship to fertilizers and pesticides, organically grown foods only use resources which are considered to be “natural” rather than chemically created by humans. This produces crops and livestock which are thought to be healthier for the humans consuming them as well as for the environment.
Various methods for organic farming exist, but all forms exclude the use of synthetic fertilizers, particularly in the form of petro-chemicals because they are, of course, made from fossil fuels. Other exclusions from organic agriculture include plant growth regulators such a hormones, use of antibiotics in livestock, and GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Health, safety, independence, and sustainability are the main reasons for the limitations placed upon organic farmers.
Demand and Benefits of Organic Farming and Technology
The demand for organically managed farmland has grown as the popularity of organically farmed products has increase in the last 25 years, but it still only represents around 1% of the farmland on the entire planet. Although organic may vary depending on the area of the world in which the farmland sits, some general ideas about organic farming are the same and benefit more than simply the environment, but they also have economic benefits such as maximizing efficiency and yield at the level of the individual farmer rather than on a larger scale.
Other benefits of using organic farming practices are said to include biodiversity as well as reduced water use, lessening soil erosion, minimized carbon emissions, increased drought protection, and reduced contamination of water. In addition, studies have shown that organic agriculture farms are often more energy efficient than their traditional farming counterparts.
Worldwide Effects of Organic Agriculture
There is some question about the ability of organic farming to be able to meet the increasing needs of food to feed the growing population into the future. While debates are still ongoing, many people concerned with the ability to produce food for the world call on the need to use biotechnology in order to be able to meet the needs. However, other studies have shown that the best practices used in organic farming and sustainable technology provide a significant increase in yields and should be used for small farmers in the world’s poorer nations to aid in their production of food and economic growth.
For the most part, organic agriculture and farming is a concept which is likely to continue to grow. Because of the lessened use of energy, potential health benefits to humans and livestock eating the crops, as well as the possible benefits to the environment and eco-systems, using sustainable technology to continue developing better practices for organic farming is likely to continue.