Sunday, March 3, 2024

The organic debate: What are the benefits of Organic Farming?

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Organic foods

Conventional food producers claim that there is not enough scientific evidence for organic food production being better for the environment. This may be true but the facts speak for themselves.

Organic food production eliminates soil and water contamination. Since organic food production strictly avoids the use of all synthetic chemicals, it does not pose any risk of soil and underground water contamination like conventional farming which uses tons of artificial fertilizers and pesticides.

Organic food production helps preserve local wildlife. By avoiding toxic chemicals, usage of mixed planting as a natural pest control measure, and maintaining field margins and hedges, organic farming provides a retreat to local wildlife rather than taking away its natural habitat like conventional agriculture.

Organic food production helps conserve biodiversity. Avoidance of chemicals and use of alternative, all natural farming methods has been shown to help conserve biodiversity as it encourages a natural balance within the ecosystem and helps prevent domination of particular species over the others.

Organic food production helps the fight against global warming. Most organically produced food is distributed locally. As a result, less energy is used for transportation which automatically reduces carbon dioxide emissions which are believed to be the main cause of global warming.

Organic food production reduces erosion. Organic crop production methods do not foresee elimination of all vegetation except for crops. As a result, more soil is covered with vegetation preventing the wind to carry away the topmost fertile soil layers.

Despite the lack of scientific studies and existence of a few which even deny the environmental benefits of organic food production, there is no doubt about which food production methods cause the greatest harm to the environment.

The fact alone that organic farming methods strictly forbid the use of all synthetic chemicals is enough to reject allegations about organic food production not being any more environmentally friendly than the conventional farming practices.

The effects of pesticides and artificial fertilizers have been scientifically proven to be seriously damaging to both the environment and human health. Pesticides do not only kill pests but many beneficial insects too including honey bees, while some are even lethal for small mammals and birds.

Organic food production is, by some, accused to use more land to produce equal amounts of food. This may be true but unlike conventional agriculture, organic farming is significantly less disturbing for the environment because it often supports the local wildlife rather than striping it of its natural habitat. In fact, many organic farmers encourage wildlife species such as birds, bats and other predatory animals to live on their farmland and assist them in pest control.

One of the projects promoting organic farming is Zambia is the Civil Society Environment Fund, Phase 2 (CSEF2) project at Kasisi Agriculture Training Centre in Chongwe, the project is funded by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA).

The CSEF2 project promotes the technologies and land use practices associated with sustainable crop and vegetable production. By encouraging innovation in agricultural practices, farmers can secure more stable and sustainable livelihoods, restore soil fertility, foster sustainable use and management of natural resources and prevent environmental degradation.

3 COMMENTS

  1. That is number 3 on Socialist Party manifesto. No weed killer, no combined harvesters, they take away jobs. Be natural, be organic.

  2. How can you have a debate when people do not know the difference; there is no labeling no standards….a squirrel would tell the difference and wont touch OMG maize.
    With Chines in Zambia you should be more worried about eating plastic rice…

  3. article of the year. ba LT. we need more of such please please. beautifully done. forget about politics and concentrate of such articles and that way, the country can easily change. we thank you.

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