This article discusses the advantages of organic farming as follows;
1). Hazard Mitigation (as one of the Advantages of Organic Farming)
Organic farming is an effective means of mitigating both anthropogenic and natural hazards within the environs of agricultural lands.
Natural hazards that are mitigated by organic farming include landslides, wildfires and subsidence.
The risk of landslides, tunnel erosion and subsidence can be mitigated through soil conservation and sustainable agricultural practices like cover cropping, organic mulching and contour farming . These practices all fall within the context of organic farming.
Stormwater pollution hazard can be reduced by minimizing the use of agricultural chemicals like herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers. Biological control can be used in place of these options, which is itself one of the principles of organic farming.
Agricultural hazards like crop and livestock losses caused by diseases, pests and weeds can be mitigated through organic farming. While these hazards are addressed by all types of organic farming, pure organic farming is generally the most effective.
Lastly, organic farming mitigates the risk of economic hazards in the agricultural sector, which influences other sectors. It achieves this by establishing sustainable economic approaches and conditions.
2). Economic Growth
Studies have identified correlations between organic farming and notable economic growth, especially in the agricultural sector .
What this implies is that the economic implications of organic farming are generally positive. A number of factors can be used to explain this.
One of such factors is resource conservation, which is both an objective and an outcome of organic farming.
Organic farming methods include recycling techniques like waste-to-energy conversion, which exploits agricultural biomass as a tool to generate electricity through conversion practices like anaerobic digestion, gasification, torrefaction and pyrolysis.
A biorefinery can be installed on an organic farm, and may help to produce biofuel from which energy (bioenergy) can be derived . This is both a measure of energy recovery and a means of achieving sustainability by reducing material and energy waste.
Expensive carbon taxes and projects in carbon capture and other forms of environmental remediation, are reduced when organic farming is practiced extensively. This is because it utilizes the natural cycles of the ecologic pyramid, and the interactions between carbon sinks and carbon sources, to grow crops and livestock.
Lastly, organic farming supports the economy by creating jobs. These may range from bio-based chemical manufacturing, to cultivation, to waste recycling, food storage, and marketing.
3). Resource Conservation (as one of the Advantages of Organic Farming)
Resource conservation is a central theme in organic farming.
It can be used to account for other advantages of organic farming like long-term sustainability and economic growth.
These practices and principles are what can lead to the conservative use of environmental resources, and their effective recycling, in agriculture .
Agricultural resource conservation covers energy recovery, natural and anthropogenic recycling through biodegradation and waste-to-energy conversion, conservative consumption of water and soil nutrients, advanced auxiliary methods like hydroponics, and avoidance of potentially-harmful materials and methods.
4). Long-term Sustainability
Sustainability is an outcome of organic agricultural practices.
This can be attributed to the fact that organic farming at all levels seeks to reduce the environmental footprint of agriculture , especially in terms of its potential negative effects on soil, water and air quality.
It is important to note that the short-term economic benefits of organic farming are often lower than those which can be obtained when synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, and technological implementations, are applied.
However, organic farming ensures that agriculture remains profitable over the long-term, by conserving and effectively recycling available resources. This makes it almost impossible for such resources to be completely exhausted at any point, and creates a level of stability for future agricultural endeavors.
The risk of sudden occurrence of socioeconomic problems like poverty, hunger and food insecurity is lower with organic farming, as is the risk of worse future conditions for the environment in terms of greenhouse emissions, pollution and global warming.
5). Versatile Benefits (as one of the Advantages of Organic Farming)
The benefits of organic farming cut across all pillars of sustainable development, including the economy, environment and society.
Economic benefits of organic farming can be observed in the form of long-term productivity, quality output, job creation, and resource management.
Environmental benefits of organic farming include hazard mitigation, recycling and conservation, and minimization of environmental impacts.
Social benefits of organic farming include improved public health, poverty reduction, and lower risk of hunger.
As a sustainable concept, organic farming facilitates the growth of other concepts like renewable energy, smart house development, artificial intelligence, smart grid, biofuel-fired power plants, energy efficiency, and energy management systems.
Advantages of organic farming are;
1. Hazard Mitigation
2. Economic Growth
3. Resource Conservation
4. Long-term Sustainability
5. Versatile Benefits
1). Brenes, T.; Lakner, S.; Brümmer, B. (2012). “Economic growth of farms: An empirical analysis on organic farming.” Available at: https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/126756/. (Accessed 11 October 2022).
2). Holka, M.; Kowalska, J.; Jakubowska, M. (2022). “Reducing Carbon Footprint of Agriculture. Can Organic Farming Help to Mitigate Climate Change?” Agriculture 12(9):1383. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12091383. (Accessed 12 October 2022).
3). Kumawat, A.; Yadav, D.; Samadharmam, K.; Rashmi, I. (2020). “Soil and Water Conservation Measures for Agricultural Sustainability.” In R. S. Meena, & R. Datta (Eds.), Soil Moisture Importance. IntechOpen. Available at: https://doi.org/10.5772/intechopen.92895. (Accessed 12 October 2022).
4). Liao, W.; Liu, Y.; Hodge, D. (2014). “Integrated Farm-Based Biorefinery.” Biorefineries (pp.255-270). Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-444-59498-3.00013-0. (Accessed 12 October 2022).
5). Mandal, A.; Dhaliwal, S. S.; Mani, P. K.; Toor, A. S. (2021). “Conservation agricultural practices under organic farming.” Advances in Organic Farming (pp.17 – 37). Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-822358-1.00014-6. (Accessed 11 October 2022).
6). Meena, R. S. (2013). “Resources conservation agriculture – A review.” Annals of Biology 29(3):301-306. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/279669993_Resources_conservation_agriculture_-_A_review. (Accessed 11 October 2022).