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Organic farming

Organic farming is not a new concept in India; it has been practised since ancient times. It is a farming system that uses organic wastes (crop, animal and farm wastes, aquatic wastes) and other biological materials, along with beneficial microbes (biofertilizers), to release nutrients to crops for increased sustainable production in an eco-friendly, pollution-free environment.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) study team on organic farming, “organic farming is a system that avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetic inputs (such as fertilisers, pesticides, hormones, feed additives, etc.) and relies on crop rotations, crop residues, animal manures, off-farm organic waste, mineral grade rock additives, and biological system of nutrient mobilisation and plant protection to the greatest extent feasible.”

Organic agriculture is a unique production management system that promotes and enhances agro-ecosystem health, including biodiversity, biological cycles, and soil biological activity, and this is accomplished by using on-farm agronomic, biological, and mechanical methods in the absence of all synthetic off-farm inputs,” according to FAO.

Organic farming is required.

With the growth in population, we would be compelled not only to stabilise agricultural production, but also to increase it in a sustainable manner. Scientists have recognised that the ‘Green Revolution’ with high input utilisation has reached a peak and is currently being sustained with a shrinking return of dropping dividends. Thus, a natural equilibrium must be maintained at all costs in order for life and property to exist. The obvious alternative would be more relevant in the current period, when these agrochemicals are produced from fossil fuels, are not renewable, and are becoming scarce. It may potentially have a significant impact on our foreign exchange in the future.

Protecting soil fertility in the long term by maintaining organic matter levels, encouraging soil biological activity, and careful mechanical intervention • Providing crop nutrients indirectly by using relatively insoluble nutrient sources that are made available to the plant by the action of soil microorganisms

Nitrogen self-sufficiency via legumes and biological nitrogen fixation, as well as excellent organic material recycling, including crop leftovers and livestock manures

Weed, disease, and pest management primarily by crop rotations, natural predators, diversification, organic manuring, resistant varieties, and limited (ideally minimal) thermal, biological, and chemical intervention.

Comprehensive livestock management that takes into account evolutionary adaptations, behavioural needs, and animal welfare issues such as diet, housing, health, and breeding.

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