ACHIEVEMENT4: ORGANIC AGRICULTURE
" It is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems, and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic Agriculture combines tradition, innovation, and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and good quality of life for all involved." Source
METHODS OF ORGANIC AGRICULTURE
The principal methods of organic farming include:
This is the system of cultivation different of crops in alternation/sequences on the same piece of land to improve soil health, optimize nutrients in the soil, and combat pest and weed pressure amongst crops
This is the practice of growing plants like cover crops and later placing residues in farmland and allowing to decompose which is incorporated in to the farmland providing nutrients necessary for plant growth.
Compost is a mixture of organic residues (manure, animal carcasses, straw, etc.) that have been piled, mixed and moistened to undergo thermophilic (high heat 113 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit) decomposition.
It is another weed control method which undercuts weeds between crop rows to kill them. A combination flamer/cultivator implement was designed to take advantage of the good qualities of both flaming and cultivation to provide excellent organic weed control.
The Principles of Health, Ecology, Fairness, and care are the roots from which organic agriculture grows and develops. They express the contribution that organic agriculture can make to the world, and a vision to improve all agriculture in a global context.
Principle of Health:
Organic agriculture should sustain and enhance the health of soil, plant, animal, human and planet as one and indivisible.
Principle of Ecology
Organic agriculture should be based on living ecological systems and cycles, work with them, emulate them and help sustain them.
Principle of Fairness
Organic agriculture should build on relationships that ensure fairness with regard to the common environment and life opportunities.
Principle of Care
Organic agriculture should be managed in a precautionary and responsible manner to protect the health and well-being of current and future generations and the environment.
Long term sustainability:
Many changes observed in the environment are long term, occurring slowly over time. Organic agriculture considers the medium- and long-term effect of agricultural interventions on the agro-ecosystem. It aims to produce food while establishing an ecological balance to prevent soil fertility or pest problems. Organic agriculture takes a proactive approach as opposed to treating problems after they emerge.
Enhances soil building practices such as crop rotations, inter-cropping, symbiotic associations, cover crops, organic fertilizers and minimum tillage are central to organic practices. These encourage soil fauna and flora, improving soil formation and structure and creating more stable systems. Also nutrient and energy cycling is increased and the retentive abilities of the soil for nutrients and water are enhanced, compensating for the non-use of mineral fertilizers. It also limits erosion, increases soil biodiversity and nutrient losses are reduced, helping to maintain and enhance soil productivity.
In many agriculture areas, water boimdies are been polluted by synthetic fertilizers and pesticides causing major major problems to humans, aquatic life is been destroyed and other animals. As the use of these is prohibited in organic agriculture, they are replaced by organic fertilizers (e.g. compost, animal manure, green manure) and through the use of greater biodiversity (in terms of species cultivated and permanent vegetation), enhancing soil structure and water infiltration. Well managed organic systems with better nutrient retentive abilities, greatly reduce the risk of groundwater pollution. In some areas where pollution is a real problem, conversion to organic agriculture is highly encouraged as a restorative measure. This will be an online link
Air and climate change:
Organic agriculture reduces non-renewable energy use by decreasing agrochemical needs. Organic agriculture contributes to mitigating the greenhouse effect and global warming through its ability to sequester carbon in the soil. Many management practices used by organic agriculture (e.g. minimum tillage, returning crop residues to the soil, the use of cover crops and rotations, and the greater integration of nitrogen-fixing legumes), increase the return of carbon to the soil, raising productivity and favouring carbon storage. The more organic carbon is retained in the soil, the more the mitigation potential of agriculture against climate change is higher.
Organic farmers are both custodians and users of biodiversity at all levels. At the species level, diverse combinations of plants and animals optimize nutrient and energy cycling for agricultural production. At the ecosystem level, the maintenance of natural areas within and around organic fields and absence of chemical inputs create suitable habitats for wildlife. The frequent use of under-utilized species ( rotation crops to build soil fertility) reduces erosion of agro-biodiversity, creating a healthier gene pool - the basis for future adaptation. The provision of structures providing food and shelter, and the lack of pesticide use, attract new or re-colonizing species to the organic area (both permanent and migratory), including wild flora and fauna (e.g. birds) and organisms beneficial to the organic system such as pollinators and pest predators.
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Genetically modified organisms:
The use of GMOs within organic systems is not permitted during any stage of organic food production, processing or handling. As the potential impact of GMOs to both the environment and health is not entirely understood, organic agriculture is taking the precautionary approach and choosing to encourage natural biodiversity.
The impact of organic agriculture on natural resources favours interactions within the agro-ecosystem that are vital for both agricultural production and nature conservation. Ecological services derived include soil forming and conditioning, soil stabilization, waste recycling, carbon sequestration, nutrients cycling, predation, pollination and habitats. By opting for organic products, the consumer through his/her purchasing power promotes a less polluting agricultural system. The hidden costs of agriculture to the environment in terms of natural resource degradation are reduced.
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Generally, organic agriculture is the best practice which need to be adopted by all farmers as it ensure sustainability to both plants, humans, animals and the environment.
A big thanks @cryptokannon for the tutorial guide, special thanks to @njiatanga for constant support and follow up not forgetting @iamlynxie for making is possible too.