What is great about organic agriculture is that it is both beneficial to the producer as well as to the consumer. Non-organic fertilizers may be easy to use and may result in high yield but it poses some danger to the soil, the environment, and the consumer.
Benefits to the Producer
Maintaining the soil that a farmer is tilling is as precious as owning the soil itself. There are cases where the soil may become agriculturally unfit due to excessive use of non-organic fertilizers. In most instances, the farmer may not fully comprehend why their yield declined significantly and why eventually their soil is useless for cropping. In organic agriculture, all activities related to production are aimed at enhancing the soil by cultivating the soil in a manner that improves and boosts soil formation and soil structure. With that, erosion is minimized resulting in the preservation of useful minerals that the soil contains.
Organic agriculture procedures also enhance the resistance of the crops against pests and climate. Weeds, pests, and unfavorable weather conditions are the major concerns to be controlled in agricultural endeavors. With the use of organic agricultural procedures, weeds growth is suppressed. Further, the crops which is grown in a healthier way, are more competent to compete with the weeds that may grow. Also, pest control in organic farming is done in a natural way that is called biological pest control. This procedure utilizes living organisms to control pests.
Drought is among the greatest nightmares of crop producers. Experts have concluded that organic agriculture reinforces crops to be resistant against drought. The logic is simple – chemical fertilizers are created to be water soluble so that the plant will ingest it whenever it takes in water. Thus, when there is no water anymore, the plant that is stuffed with chemicals will reach a level of toxicity that will eventually kills it.
Benefits to the Consumer
Higher nutritional value and food guaranteed free of unhealthy elements are the major benefits that consumers gain from products of organic agriculture. Research that has been conducted supports that yields from organic agriculture have way higher mineral and vitamin content as compared to those that are produced using modern agricultural techniques. It is likewise observed that organically produced fruits and vegetables taste more appealing. Moreover, the food stays longer as compared to yields from other procedures.
Several diseases are due to the unhealthy food intake and eating practice that people have these days. Most readily available foods are stuffed with chemicals. One thing to consider here is that eating fruits and vegetables may not be as healthy as it should be. Non-organically produced agricultural products are stuffed with chemicals too.
Benefits to the Environment
Pollution control and enhancement of biodiversity are perhaps the greatest contribution of organic agriculture to mankind.
Chemical fertilizers and pesticides do not only pollute and destroy the soil, rather, it poses hazard to ground water and the air as well. On the other hand, organic agriculture promotes the use of organic fertilizers which results in enhanced soil structure and elimination of ground water pollution.
Organic agriculture helps lessen the greenhouse effect through the fact that it promotes the retention of carbon in the soil. In the process of production, numerous procedures are used to keep the carbon in the soil.
What about biodiversity? Taking the definition by the two words composing it (“bio” and “diversity”), it means “living things” and “variety”. Thus, biodiversity means variety of life forms. Maintaining a healthy ecosystem means a good balance in the existence of these different life forms. Different living organisms have different purposes or contribution to the ecosystem.
In non-organic farming, several living organisms are eliminated or their existence is threatened. Take for example some small fish that used to thrive in irrigated farmlands. These are being killed by chemical fertilizers and pesticides. There are other life forms in the field or farms that are inadvertently eliminated with the use of non-organic farming. On the other hand, organic farming encourages the use of life forms to control the existence of crop unfriendly living organisms. This is more helpful to the ecosystem in that it does not result inthe indiscriminate killing of organisms in a plantation or farm.
Promoters of non-organic farming pose the question on the low productivity in terms of the volume of the yield of organic agriculture. Will this single disadvantage outweigh all the advantages which are in fact really valuable from the individual level to the global level?
Would you rather eat one nutritious and healthy apple in a day rather than eat three that are contaminated, breathe air that is unhealthy and drink water that is unsafe?