A number of people in the world today are aware of the dangers of harmful pesticides and fertilizers, so they opt to buy organic produce whenever they can. Driven by this increased demand for organic products in the market, many farmers have also started to embrace organic farming methods.
Organic farming involves growing produce and nurturing livestock without the use of harmful pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, growth hormones and genetically modified organisms. Organic standards prohibit the use of animal cloning, sewage sludge, synthetic food processing aids and ionizing radiation as well. This method of farming aims to maximize the productivity of all the communities within the agro-ecosystem. These include people, livestock, organisms as well as plants.
Needless to say, this method of farming is a planet-friendly way of producing high-quality output. In a time and age when sustainability is a widely discussed topic, organic farming methods are becoming more and more relevant.
The Canadian Organic Standards (2006) stipulates a few principles for organic production. These include steps like protecting the environment by minimizing soil degradation and decreasing pollution, recycling material and resources, maintaining the biological diversity within the system, using renewable resources and of course, preparing organic products by paying attention to the processing and handling methods.
For the harvest of a farm to be certified as organic, the farm must not have used the prohibited practises and methods for at least three years prior to the date of certification.
Organic agriculture in Sri Lanka is also rapidly developing, with a large number of local buyers preferring to pay the premium to obtain better quality products. Several leading food manufacturing companies in the island have started promoting their organic produce and more and more buyers are becoming aware of the multiple health benefits that such products offer.
Needless to say, organic farming is a cumbersome exercise. Certain types of produce can be grown organically with ease while others pose serious challenges. But it is said that nearly every commodity in the world can be produced using organic methods. This is indeed the way forward. The planet and all its elements have been suffering too much for too long for people not to take measures to put an end to harmful practices.
In spite of the challenges associated with organic farming, many farmers are opting to use this method nowadays. The obvious satisfaction that comes from using environmentally friendly methods for manufacturing drives them on. The organic farming method is quite profitable as well, as the amount of energy used in the process quite low.
Consumers who buy organic products do so in an attempt to live a healthier life. The harmful chemicals that are found on the food that is eaten can damage health in multiple ways. More and more people are becoming aware of this now and so they opt to choose the healthier option. Some consumers simply buy organic produce with the intention of trying out something new and different. Approximately five per cent of the consumers are believed to buy 50% of all organic food.