Ramesh Chaurasia-call for organic farming in India: its pros and cons
The green revolution was introduced in our country in the last 20th century to increase the yields of crops to meet the skyrocketing demand for food. We all are aware of how its commencement in our country drastically transformed the agricultural sector by bringing in the use of modern methods of technology such as fertilizers and pesticides. It is true that in the short run, this seemed like a revolution, but in the long run, this revolution in agriculture came with its consequences. The pervasive use of chemicals has led to the depletion of natural resources. They have resulted in severe water and soil pollution.
When the fertilizers and pesticides enter the water bodies, they contaminate the water and threaten marine life. They also seep into the ground and pollute groundwater. Isn’t it ironic that fertilizers that are used to increase the fertility of soil are a major cause of soil pollution? The excessive use of fertilizers results in the deterioration of soil quality. The contamination of soil with these chemicals reduces its fertility making it unsuitable for agricultural activities. Not only that, plants too absorb these chemicals. In consequence, they enter the food chain and cause adverse effects on our health as well as the health of animals.
The approach of organic farming and its objectives
The presence of harmful chemicals in conventionally grown food and their poor nutrient content have forced people to go back to the old times when food was grown organically. Organic farming is gaining popularity as people are trying to acquire safe and healthy food and are finding ways to conserve the environment. In organic farming, crops are grown without the use of synthetically produced fertilizers, pesticides, and other technological methods. in other words, it focuses on the cultivation of crops with the help of natural means. Below I have mentioned the major objectives on which organic farming is based:-
Maintaining and improving soil fertility and the agricultural ecosystem in general.
Reducing all types of pollution.
Minimizing the overexploitation of natural resources.
Producing healthy and quality food in sufficient quantities with good economic returns for the producers.
Its positive impact on the environment
Organic farming completely depends upon the usage of manures prepared from animal and plant wastes, biological fertilizers, eco-friendly pesticides, and farming methods like crop rotation to enhance the fertility of the soil and ward off pests. Since organic farming does not make use of chemicals and uses inputs that are biodegradable and environmentally friendly, it plays a significant part in conserving natural resources. I recently read about how organic farming not only reduces all types of pollution but also improves soil properties such as its water retention capacity and minimizes soil erosion. In addition, unlike conventional farming, organic farming also preserves biodiversity.
Production of quality food
The food produced by organic farming is safe as compared to that produced by conventional farming because it does not have the residue of chemicals in it. Consequently, it reduces the risks to the health of humans and animals. Also, researchers have observed that organically produced food has many nutritional benefits as well.
Limitations of Organic Farming
However, there are certain limitations of organic farming as well. The inputs that are used in organic farming are very expensive. So even if everyone wants to start consuming organic products, only the economically privileged people can afford to buy them. Moreover, in the beginning, organic farming may not be very profitable for the farmers due to the high input costs and the low yield in the first few years.
The path ahead
I feel that the problems associated with organic farming that I have talked about can be solved with proper and careful planning.
Organic farming ensures that there is the optimal use of natural resources to meet the current needs while at the same time it helps in conserving them for future generations. In my opinion, adopting organic farming methods helps us in our battle against environmental degradation. I feel that a gradual transition to organic farming by taking proper measures for food security and the profits of the farmers will help us move one step forward towards sustainable development.
Author- Ramesh Chaurasia
A superior and highly experienced entrepreneur in the field of business for quite a long time now. Also, a philanthropist, author and public speaker who believes in working towards the overall well being and betterment of the society as a whole.