The rising population worldwide is becoming one of the more serious problems confronting humanity. Food shortage is an eminent threat as more mouths need to be fed. Agriculture has been the backbone of addressing the issue, however it is also plagued by concerns. More and more land is devoted to other use such as industrial zones, housing and the like. If not, these lands lay idle with no beneficial use. Part of the problem is agricultural practices that tend to aggravate the situation through the indiscriminate use of inorganic fertilizers and pesticides that can have detrimental effects on our health and the environment.
If we are to achieve a situation where there is food security and more sustainable agriculture, then the benefits of organic farming need to be revisited. There are misconceptions that only through the use of commercially available farm inputs that one can succeed. This is far from the truth and a result of too much exposure to incorrect information.
The benefits of organic farming are many:
- You can bring down the cost of production because raw materials such as corn husks, corn cobs, plant stalks and leaves are readily available within the farm itself which would otherwise just be destroyed and become waste. These materials can be turned into compost rich in organic matter that plants need for robust growth
The benefits of organic farming take into consideration preservation not only of the farmer’s health, but also the well-being of the environment. This cannot be said of commercial pesticides and fertilizers that have brought about widespread pollution and destruction. The rise of various diseases such as cancers could be, in a large part, the result of the food we eat that are laden with this harmful substances. In the control of pests and diseases, this takes up a large proportion of the expenses in farming which again could be reduced, if not eliminated, by the use of locally available raw materials
- When you practice organic farming methods, such as simple crop rotation, you enhance biodiversity where species recover and become havens for wildlife so ecosystems improve. Reduction of toxic substances in the environment is one of the direct results and benefits of organic farming. It is known that the use of inorganic substances has contributed to the pollution of rivers, lakes and other waterways so that a reduction of toxic waste is a step in the right direction
- Better-tasting food can be achieved with organic methods of farming than their conventional counterpart. The reason is that there is less nitrate involve that come mostly from inorganic fertilizers. The result is that you harvest more palatable and tasty produce. The soil, which plays a very significant role in the propagation of plants, enjoys the benefits of organic farming as well. As organic matter is ploughed back to the soil, this improve its profile making air circulate better in the roots and promote coexistence of beneficial organisms that also aid in plant growth
- Another one of the benefits of organic farming is because it has an indirect effect in the reduction of fossil fuels that contribute to global warming. As you reduce the use of inorganic fertilizers and pesticides, you also reduce the burning of fossil fuels that is used in their production thereby bringing down emissions of greenhouse gases. That in effect makes our planet a better place to live in. When you return carbon to the soil through organic farming then you become a part of the solution of global warming, which is threatening the globe with glaring consequences.
This being said, all people should be aware of the wonderful benefits of organic farming. Making our planet a better place to live in is not an exclusive concern of a handful of people. We all need to do our share in whatever small way we can. Cultivating organic gardens and supporting the cause of organic farming is definitely one of them.