India, an agricultural economy since times immemorial has had farmers undertaking organic farming from ancient times. It is not really a new-fangled approach as is being made out to be. What it really involves is cultivating crops in a way that does not harm the soil. The use of natural manure is advocated to keep the soil alive and allow it to replenish itself for subsequent use.
It was in the wake of the Green Revolution in agriculture that the advent of modern pesticides for inorganic farming became the norm. Chemical insecticides are used primarily because they ensure healthy crops every time as also sustained produce. Realizing the feat of pesticides, agronomy the world over has come to rely heavily on them, that subsequently launched the mushrooming pesticide industry.
What was taken up with such grand intentions has in a space of half a century, backfired on us, woefully. Inorganic fertilizers or synthetic fertilizers are a big time manufacturing plus as they do not decompose before usage and are readily absorbed by plants. These compounds are not entirely composed of the nutrients needed by the plants though. They also contain salts and other elements that are not absorbed by plants. They are in fact left behind in the soil that builds up in time to create hazards.
When overtime such compounds are found in large amounts in the soil they can alter the chemistry of the soil. The soil actually becomes less ideal for cultivation. Although methods like neutralizing the soil and so on are undertaken to allow soil to revert back to its original state, but that does not really happen. In fact, actually toxic compounds leech into the ground, seeping into groundwater. That’s double the jeopardy!
On the contrary organic manure made of wastes like crop remnants, farm, animal and aquatic wastes or other biological materials are better off for cultivation. They allow beneficial microbes called bio-fertilizers to be released as nutrients into the crops that benefit much more. Aside from being eco- friendly they help in restoring a pollution free environment.
This is why organic farming is encouraged so as to avoid or minimize use of synthetic pesticides. The promotion of crop residues, animal manures, off-farm organic waste and biological nutrients is considered effective for the long run for cultivation. Organic farming offers unique soil management to enhance agro-ecosystem health. This is accomplished by using on-farm agronomic, biological manure.
The increase in population should be all the more reason to stabilize agricultural production in a sustained way. While earlier food production was accelerated to feed an escalating population through the Green Revolution, we now need to go back to using organic inputs since to sustain the very soil that should be conserved for future generations.
With sizeable thrusts given to organic farming, we are witnessing positive outcomes. Organic produce now commands premium pricing and more farmers are getting into it to cater to a growing demand to accrue benefits. It really is a win-win situation for both producer and consumer. As ill effects of inorganic farm produce becoming clearer organic produce is being sought, creating its own niche market.