Organic Farming has gained sizeable traction in recent years owing to a global appeal for healthy food that’s enriched with the nutrients of the soil and not doused with commercial NPK. Farmer’s Markets, Organic Superstores and fast food hubs turning organic is a definitive step ahead in the food industry that echoes the demand in the market and future diktats that are bound to rule. However, the biggest reservation remains. Is organic farming practical?
Organic Farming aims to produce food that is completely devoid of chemicals. Farmers do not use any form of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers to produce it. It has been held as the titular way forward to sustenance and food security that mitigates the harms inflicted by conventional farming. However, these claims are superficial and do not convey a thorough understanding of farming and its impact.
Food security is a major problem and ensuring sustainable food production is no easy feat. The biggest reservation with organic farming is its low yield which translates to extra land being used for producing the same amount of food. This further perpetuates the same problem that organic farming had proclaimed to eliminate- increased greenhouse emissions because less land is available for carbon sequestration. Concerning certain fruits or crops, the yield is equal to or sometimes more than conventional methods with the same area of land used but other inputs need to be used like sulfur which put the workers in peril and is borderline against the zero chemical principle adage of organic farming. Therefore, worldwide adoption of organic farming is actually detrimental to the planet’s health and will speed up the process of global warming and climate change.
The next bubble I’d like to burst is the skyrocketing prices of organically grown food. Organic food is affordable only to the upper-middle class and rich. For something to be widely accepted and consumed it needs to have its economics on point. Demand, supply, production, money, economies of scale, suitable employment and actual quality are all paramount for organic food to be sold at a price that isn’t heavy on the pockets and consumers perceive some value for the price paid. This increased price is due to the high labour costs involved as organic farming doesn’t make use of fertilizers. Additionally, the yield per acre is very low and the cost per acre is chart-topping which discourages farmers from taking it up as a livelihood.
For organic farming to be successful and have a positive impact on the earth, agribusinesses need to strike a balance between the costs involved, its carbon footprint and the overall need to meet the high demands for food. 100% organically grown food will do more harm to the planet than conventionally produced products. Organic farming also involves techniques such as crop rotation and smart farming where multiple crops are grown together that require roughly the same amount of water, and sunlight and are better suited to particular seasons. Such methods are feasible and partially deliver on the lofty promises.
Organic Farming lies on the periphery of ideas that can be implemented in a green economy. They sound absolutely fantastic on paper but struggle to be practical. It’s not that organic farming is entirely irrelevant; a mixture of organic and conventional farming will always be better than exclusively the latter but organic farming on its own is not capable of sustenance and enhanced food security. Nevertheless, when masses choose sustainability, technology will progress to gear-up and fit the much needed.
Our vision is that pioneering step towards agricultural revolution!