Organic agriculture is a food production management system, which promotes and enhances agro-ecosystem health, including biodiversity, soil nutrient cycles and soil biological activity. It emphasizes on the use of local management practices while taking into account the fact that regional conditions require locally adapted systems.
Organic farming integrates biodiversity and soil conservation, and takes farming one step further by eliminating the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This will improve human health and that of plants and animals associated with the farm and farm environment. Organic farming enhances soil structures, conserves water and ensures the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Today contaminants in the form of chemical fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides from chemical agriculture are a major concern all over the world as they find their way into soil, air and water. The rapid growth of algae in water bodies are literally killing rivers, lakes and ponds. Persistent herbicides and insecticides have accumulated up the food chain which human beings are forced to consume in toxic dosages. Organic agriculture in contrast restores the environmental balance and has none of these or other such deleterious effects on the environment.
Petroleum based chemicals used in agriculture and consumer based products are known to affect the nervous system and immune system with prolonged exposure. These may include adult and child cancers, numerous neurological disorders, immune system weakening, autoimmune disorders, asthma, allergies, infertility, miscarriage, and child behavior disorders including learning disabilities, mental retardation, hyperactivity and A.D.D (attention deficit disorders).
Governments are marking heavy budgets towards medical expenditures when the focus should be on healthy food production. “Prevention is better than cure” and hence the policy of the Government towards agriculture should be suitably modified to promote as well as to protect organic farming.
One of the most frequently asked questions about organic farming is about organic fertilizer. The answer lies in composting. Large quantities of organic wastes from agriculture as well as market and kitchen wastes can easily be converted to fertilizer, without much investment costs. This also promotes local based industry for composting. Organic foliar sprays as well as pest repellents can also be prepared at even the domestic level.
CAP has designed a model nutrition garden which incorporates simple technologies from composting, plant growing techniques, and maintenance. The book “Home Nutrition Garden” released by CAP would be a boon to home makers to cultivate nutrition gardens at homes.
Organic agriculture should be an integral part of any agricultural policy aiming for food security, and it is time that the Government also takes positive action in this direction for Earth’s sake.
Press Release, 21 May 2013