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Why organic agriculture is farmers’ natural production system

THE Biblical creation portrays the world as having been a place where man lived a natural life full of fresh foodstuffs and fruits of all sorts, one would call organic agriculture.

This was a production system that sustained the health of soil, ecosystem, and the world population. It relied on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects, the ‘modern man’ devised and now cracking heads to accommodate its outcomes.

With the above background, the human society, which still relies on agriculture for food and for sale to meet their other socio-economic daily demands, expect the procedure to continue in the soil and meet his/her food demands.

This would reduce production costs to a farmer by limiting and avoiding to buy expensive chemicals and fertilizers.

It should be noted that the system besides guaranteeing him constant food cheaply, at the same time it establishes ecological balance to prevent soil fertility or pest problems, which in a way takes a proactive approach to challenges he/ she may meet in the farm as opposed to treating them, after they emerge.

In this practice, the peasant’s plot can also accommodate practices such as crop rotations, inter-cropping, symbiotic associations, cover crops, and simple organic fertilizers, with minimum tillage, besides encouraging soil fauna, flora, and improve soil formation and structure.

In this approach, such management techniques are cheap and would ensure a peasant’s plot controls soil erosion.

And once that is done, the length of time that the soil would be exposed to erosive forces would be decreased, soil biodiversity would increase, and nutrient losses would reduce, meaning enhanced soil productivity to a farmer.

Equally, in many agricultural areas, pollution of groundwater courses with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, becomes minimized and replaced by organic fertilizers such as compost, animal manure, green manure, and through the use of greater biodiversity (in terms of species cultivated and permanent vegetation).

In this approach experts opine that 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 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 and this is the agricultural practice that is less expensive and guarantees a farmer healthy and natural foodstuffs.

IN August, this year the Southern African Development ...

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Mwandishi: EDITOR

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