Advantages and Disadvantages of Organic Farming
Advantages and Disadvantages of Organic Farming: Everyone would want a pie or lasagna made of farm-fresh organic produce. At times when the farmers are burdened by the growing demands of fresh organic foods, the economy pretty much is stabilized by the conventional farming systems. What are other reasons that pave the way for organic farming and hinder its growth? All are discussed here in the Advantages and Disadvantages of Organic Farming.
What is Organic Farming?
It is nothing different from traditional farming though the only difference is of the farming practices, which are solely environmental and preserve natural resources. This practice involves methods that are beneficial for animals as well as humans since there are no chemicals (pesticides or fertilizers) engaged in farming techniques. Everything that is used during crop production is natural, from manure to bio-fertilizers. The product is 100% natural and pure that also becomes more nutritional in value. If your product is unprocessed say, vegetables, cereals, fruits, flowers, animals, eggs, or milk, it is said to be an organic product.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Organic Farming
Though there are lots of benefits of producing farm-based crops naturally, yet there are some facts that prove most farmers still prefer to follow conventional practices due to some reasons. The industrialized farming practices are widely followed despite the awareness of the use of fertilizers and hybrid techniques that are unhealthy for everyone. Here are some reasons for considering why organic farming outruns the traditional farming methods.
Benefits or Advantages of Organic Farming Methods
Beneficial for both farmers and consumers, the organic farming method is preferred due to the following reasons.
1. Organic produce is full in nutrition
Everyone would object to having food with less nutritional value. Organic food is always full of nutrients, and the growth of organic food is taken care of under natural conditions and the environment. The mineral and vitamin contents of grown food are higher than that of processed food. In an organic method, the fertility of the soil is retained and fostered with natural compost, manure, and environment-friendly practices. When the soil is healthy, it grows healthy food, and a healthy diet means better growth for us.
2. Chemical-free life for everyone
Organic Farming benefits a consumer; on the other hand, it is beneficial for soil and the farmer. A farmer does not have to spend extra on buying poisonous pesticides, fertilizers, and other additives to enhance production. The land will remain healthy and fertile. Regular use of toxic chemicals (fungicides, pesticides, herbicides) detriments the soil's value, which ultimately leaves the land useless. On the other hand, consumers need not worry as they have food on their plates instead of some fertilized farm-produce.
Ther use of pesticides is not just restricted to soil and keeping insects; the traces of these toxic chemicals are found in the products that grow in the land. For example, Punjab state in India relies majorly on farming, the vigorous use of pesticides and fertilizers has yielded most cases of cancer and other fatal diseases among people of this province. Another representative data cancer cases in New South Wales, Australia, collected by the New South Wales Central Cancer Registry, shows the number of cancer cases has risen to 50% in the last 32 years.
3. Lower Input costs
The natural and non-harming practices allow farmers to save every penny they can from abstaining from buying expensive herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides. The biofertilizers or eco-friendly fertilizers are also created using natural decomposition or green manuring techniques like worm farming (the product obtained is called vermicompost). There is a little maintenance cost, though, that can be incurred and balanced in marginal profits if the product is sold to the right customers in the market.
4. The organic crop has a great market value
There is a chance for farmers to earn better for their families and enhance organic farming practices to boost ultimate growth. Higher food value means more excellent market value for farm-based goods, which ultimately sparks a motivation among growers. The more aware the world, the better the chances to get the economic benefits for the farm produce.
Disadvantages of Organic Farming
As the debate continues about finding a perfect solution to the growing demands and less production. Despite the environmental friendliness, Organic farming is not encouraged or practiced in significant regions of the world. Here are some reasons why.
1. Low production is the main disadvantages of organic farming
Given the fact that organic farming methods are not completely instilled in trend, the production to meet the growing population's demands is still not adequately met. Over a period, farmers can grow only one crop at a time, which is evidently insufficient to meet consumer's demands. This ultimately hinders the demand and supply chain.
2. Organic farming requires more labor
To succeed in organic farming, farmers have to apply and follow all the environmentally friendly techniques. That said, one has to depend more on strenuous physical work rather than spraying chemicals and drilling the soil. It needs workers to control the weeds and apply cultivation techniques physically. There are ways to reduce this disadvantage by focusing on bio-intensive farming or permaculture, but it also requires more of a personal touch than what conventional farming methods need.
3. Time consumption
No use of hybrid chemicals, more dependency farmers on nature, and the environmental process takes us to the most significant factor, that is, time. Organic farming requires more meaningful and close interaction between a farmer and his crop for observation, timely intervention, and weed control. The labour-intensive practices take time to grow the ripe the crop, which ultimately depends on minor factors (such as earthworms) and natural compost. Natural practices in organic farming take more than conventional/industrial methods, which is one of the grave disadvantages of organic farming.
4. Organic farming requires proper skill
Organic farming requires more skills and intimate knowledge of the concepts and methods followed while growing an organic crop. Every minute detail is of considerable significance from sowing seeds to adjusting weed competitiveness, etc.
Zero dependencies on chemicals also become disadvantageous as not every problem has the same solution at hand. One has to be skilled and knowledgable about every difficulty they encounter. Farmers have to engage careful observation and greater understanding to know how to improve their farming system. This way is to correct the cause of the problem rather than covering its effect.
5. Organic products have less revenue in the market
Although the fact that organic farming is healthier for biodiversity and the grown product is full of nutritional value, the market for organic produce is still minimal. Organic foods are more expensive than products based on industrial farming. This, most prominently, it the important reason why organic agriculture is not fully supported yet. The lack of awareness among customers probably makes them incline towards non-organic foods. Consumers have to pay as much as 20 to 40 per cent more than non-organic food. The difference in cost is perhaps one of the most significant disadvantages of organic farming over conventional farming. This reason is also linked to the limited production of natural products.
The Road Ahead
There is no harm in organic farming. Time is to wonder how valuable the concept of organic agriculture is for nature, environment, animals, and, most of all, humans. Leading authorities need to aware of consumers about the goods of natural products and encourage such farming techniques to build a whole world. Organic farming is a sustainable method for everyone. Consumer awareness is essential to curb the obstacles faced by organic farmers.
Also Read: Advantages and Disadvantages of Hybrid Fruits and Vegetables