• Organic farming is an integrated farming system that makes strenuous effort for sustainability, the enhancement of soil fertility and biological diversity.
  • It includes minimal use of synthetic pesticides, antibiotics, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, and growth hormones too.
  • This technique involves cultivation of plants and rearing of animals in natural ways.
  • This process involves the use of biological materials, avoiding synthetic substances to maintain soil fertility and ecological balance thereby minimizing pollution and wastage.
  • In other words, organic farming is a farming system that involves growing of crops without the use of synthetic based fertilizers and pesticides.
Organic farming of strawberry
Organic farming of Tomato








In the late 1800s and early 1900s, soil biology scientists began to seek ways to remedy these side effects while still maintaining higher production.

In 1921 the founder and pioneer of the organic movement Albert Howard and his wife Gabrielle Howard, accomplished botanists, founded an Institute of Plant Industry to improve traditional farming methods in India. Later he promulgates an organic farming system.

The term “eco-agriculture” was coined in 1970 by Charles Walters to describe agriculture which does not use “man-made molecules of toxic rescue chemistry” effectively another name for organic agriculture.

Organic agricultural methods are internationally regulated and legally enforced by many nations, based in large part on the standards set by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM).  It is an international umbrella organization for organic farming established in 1972. The objective is defined by IFOAM is as “Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved…”

Reasons for Organic Farming

  • The vast use of chemical fertilizer, pesticides and weedicides in agriculture, however, boost the production but severely damage the water and air quality, soil fertility, and produce poison in food chain which badly affect the human being and other animals.

  • The new agricultural techniques, while beneficial in the short term, had serious longer term side effects such as soil compaction, erosion, and declines in overall soil fertility, along with health concerns about toxic chemicals entering the food supply.
  • So that, Increasing environmental awareness in the general population in modern times has transformed the originally supply-driven organic movement to a demand-driven one. Premium prices and some government subsidies attracted farmers.

Advantages of Organic Farming/Agriculture

  1. Conserve Agriculture Diversity– Organic farming produce disease and pest resistant crops to guarantee a sustainable future. It can check the extinction of many crop varieties.

  2. Natural & better Taste– organically farmed foods have a natural and better taste. The natural and superior taste stems from the well balanced and nourished soil. Organic farming always prioritizes quality over quantity.

  3. Supports a healthier soil and pollinators-  Soils from organic farms produce items that have higher antioxidant content, Vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids when consistent practices are used. There are higher micro-nutrient and mineral levels in produced food products through organic farming because organic materials reach into deeper soil layers.

  4. Benefits of nutrients- Foods from organic farms are rich in nutrients such as vitamins, enzymes, minerals and other micro-nutrients compared to those from conventional farms. This is because organic farms are managed and nourished using sustainable practices.

  5. Prevent antibiotics, drugs, and hormones – commercial dairy and meat are highly susceptible to contamination by dangerous substances. According to a report by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a vast majority of pesticides are consumed by the population stem from poultry, meat, eggs, fish and dairy product since animals and birds that produce these products sit on top of the food chain. This means they are fed foods loaded with chemicals and toxins. Drugs, antibiotics, and growth hormones are also injected into these animals and so, are directly transferred to meat and dairy products.

    Hormone supplementation fed to farmed fish, beef and dairy products contribute mightily to ingestion of chemicals. These chemicals only come with a lot of complications like genetic problems, cancer risks, growth of tumor and other complications at the outset of puberty.

  6. It creates higher natural levels of resistance to pests and disease– Organic farming eliminates the use of synthetic products. It works on creating a healthier soil instead, encouraging the link between healthy plants and protected soils. No chemical herbicides or pesticides are used. Only natural soil enhancement techniques are permitted. Healthy plants, grown in health soil, are naturally resistant to disease and pests. These plants have stronger natural defense mechanisms through this technique, which thickens the cell walls of the plants being grown.

  7. Specialization opportunities- there are more opportunities to specialize through organic farming; That is because the farm produces crops that grow best in the soil composition which is available to the farmer. The advantage of being able to grow a specialty crop is that these produces usually command a higher price at the market. Organic foods can already be priced about 20% above commodity crops. Specialization can add another 20% to 40% to the final price a customer pays. Many organic farmers can sell directly to their customer base as well, which eliminates the costs that other farmers often pay.

Key Features of Organic Farming

  • Protecting soil quality using organic materials and encouraging biological activities.

  • Indirect provision of crop nutrients using soil microorganisms

  • Nitrogen fixation in soils using leguminous crops.

  • Weed and pest control by adopting crop rotation, biological diversity, natural predators, organic manures and suitable chemicals.

  • Animal husbandry, nutrition, health, rearing and breeding.

  • Maintaining natural equilibrium and conservation of natural habitats and wildlife.

Principles of Organic Farming

  • Principle of Ecological Balance: Organic farming must be based on ecological systems. Organic farming methods must fit the ecological balances and cycles in nature.

  • Principle of Fairness: Organic farming provides good quality of life and helps in reducing poverty as well. Natural resources and life supporting systems must be judiciously used and preserved for future generations.

  • Principle of Health: Organic agriculture must contribute to the health and well being of soil, plants, animals, humans and the earth too. It provides pollution and chemical free, nutritious food items for humans.

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