Organic farming is a form of agriculture, which avoids the use of synthetic inputs such as synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified organisms, plant growth regulators and livestock feed additives.
As for as possible organic farmers rely on crop rotation, crop residues, animal manures, and mechanical cultivation to maintain soil productivity, supply plant nutrients and to control weeds, insects and other pests.
In other words the role of organic agriculture whether in farming, processing, and distribution is to sustain and enhance the health of ecosystems and organisms from the smallest in the soil to human beings. The British Botanist Sir, Albert Howard is often called "the father of modern organic agriculture". He was one of the first to point out advantages of organic farming over modern techniques in his book, "An Agriculture Testament".
Organic farming methods combine scientific knowledge and modern technology with traditional farming practices based on thousands of years of agriculture. Organic farming relies heavily on the natural break down of organic matter, using techniques like green manure and composting, to maintain nutrients taken from the soil by the previous crops.
Organic farming uses a variety of methods to improve soil fertility, including crop rotation, cover cropping, and application of mulching. In chemical faming a specific insecticides may be applied to quickly kill off a particular insect pest but his encourages rapid natural selection of resistant insects, plants and other organisms, necessitating increased use or more powerful control measures.
In contrast, organic farming tends to tolerate some pest populations while taking a longer-term approach. Organic farming, organic pest control involves techniques like encouraging predatory beneficial insects and microorganisms, careful crop selection and crop rotation. Each of these techniques also provides other benefits- soil protection, fertilization, pollination, water conservation etc. These benefits are both complementary and cumulative in overall effect on farm health. However, there are various major advantages of organic farming:-
(i) It increases productivity at lower cost:
There is misconception among the people that organic farming leads to loss in productivity. It is also proven that after a short period of drop in yields, organic farming is more productive than chemical farming.
(ii) Environmental friendly:
Conventional agriculture based on chemical farming is rapidly depleting natural resources particularly fresh water, soil, air and fossil fuels. In chemical farming there is also use of large quantities of pesticides, fertilizer etc. and there is also water wastage through high volume irrigation, heavy use of petrochemicals for farm machinery and long distance transport etc. but organic farming curtails all these.
(iii) It reduces food contamination and increased food equality:
Conventional agricultural practices based on chemical fertilizer causing greater contamination of food in absence certification and in the wake of unhygienic handling. But in organic farming there is such problems: To promote organic farming in India, the Central Government has set up National Institute of Organic Farming in 2003, in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, the purpose of this institute is to formulate rules, regulation and certification of organic from products in conformity with international standards the institute has appointed Agricultural and Processed Food Products Exports Development Authority.
The Tea Board, the Spice Board, the Coconut Development Board and the Directorate of Cashew and Cocoa as certifying agencies for organic farm products. They will be accountable for confirming that any product sold with the "India organic" logo is in accordance with international criteria. Organic farming has also been identified as a major thrust area of the 10th Plan of the central government and for this one billion rupees have been allocated to the National Institute of Organic Farming alone.