What is Organic Farming?
According to the IFOAM Organics International definition, 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 good quality of life for all involved.
Which school of thoughts are considered under Organic Agriculture?
Few examples of Organic Farming School of Thoughts are:
Masanobu Fukuoka, Japan: Natural Farming
Bill Mollison, Australia: Permaculture
Dabolkar, India: Natceuco Farming
Rudolph Steiner’s Biodynamic Farming
Subhash Palekar’s Zero Budget Natural Farming
What fertilizers are used in organic farming?
Cattle dung, urine and other organic matter are the important fertilizers in organic farming. Any material that undergoes rapid metabolic processes in the soil such as neem/ groundnut cake, compost manure and biogas slurry can be used as organic manure.
It should only be used in the correct amount according to the ingredients it contains.
Manure, urine, fish waste as well as other organic matter can be used in organic farming to make various types of fertilizers. Such fertilizers are very useful in increasing the activity of micro-organisms in the soil.
What methods are used in organic farming for pest control?
In organic farming, maximum precautions are taken to prevent pests by maintaining biodiversity and an eco-system balance. Any insect becomes a pest only after reaching a maximum threshold. Pests can be controlled with a caution and largely reduced by understanding their lifecycle and predators.
Within the early stages of an outbreak the pests can be controlled by using several pest repellants and decoctions like ginger-garlic-neem extract, five leaves extract, fish amino acid, jeevamrutam etc and physical barriers like sticky traps and trap crops like marigold.
The dosage and the concentration of the decoction and the use of pest repellent depends on the crop type, seasonal planting of the crop and the use of traditional seeds. Traditional seeds are more adaptable to the local conditions and over the years have developed strong resistance against common major pests.