Organic farming is the concept of growing crops without using artificial fertilizers, synthetic pesticides and other synthetic treatments for plants. It requires a great deal of dedication and resilience to be able to achieve the desired results.
Becoming an organic farmer may be hectic because of the several certifications rules and standards one needs to adhere to. However, it comes with numerous environmental benefits.
According to expert views, finding the right location is key to starting an organic farm is finding land with fertile soil, good quality water and drainage. As a requirement a farmland needs to be free of fertilizer and pesticide residues for at least three years. According to quora.com the key elements that constitute organic farmland include:-
- Living soil which comprise of beneficial microorganisms and macro organisms
- Second, is soil enrichment using natural amendments only such as compost, green manure, vermicomposting and lime.
- Then multi-cropping, that is, planting different seasonal crops simultaneously on the same farmland to maintain plant diversity.
- Since synthetic chemicals are not to be used, crop rotation becomes necessary in organic farming to break disease cycle peculiar to certain crop specie.
- Local sourcing of crops that are indigenous to the region or produced locally is also another key point of organic farming, it reduces environmental footprints.
- Also, seed propagation should be a standard practice to be able to get seeds free of chemical treatment. Chemically treated seeds need to be washed thoroughly before planting.
- For natural pest control, organic farmers may use mixture of natural ingredients like neem and other natural bio-pesticides.
- Mulching is also a common practice in organic farming.
- Mechanization and the use of heavy machinery for farming operations is highly discouraged in organic agriculture.
Source: Daily Trust
Date: 15 February 2017