We know that Conventional farming uses synthetic fertilizers and chemicals to grow crops and that Organic farming doesn’t. But is the only difference and how does it benefit us to cultivate an organic farm?
Considering organic farming is the harder option among the two, as chemicals and various other methods used in Conventional farming are easier to follow, why then would Organic Farming be a preferred mode of farming? What are the skills required for organic farming? Do farmers need to be trained to carry out organic farming? What were the methods followed in the earlier times, organic or conventional farming?
If you have any or all of these questions on your mind, then this article is definitely for you. Before we begin the comparison process, let us just understand once more what each method offers.
Conventional Farming –
Both the farming methods are essentially done to grow and cultivate crops and livestock. The difference is mainly in the farming methods that each of them follows to cultivate crops. Conventional farming is also called industrial agriculture. As the name suggests, industrial agriculture is done to generate crops on a large scale for commercial purposes (export as well as for own use). The methods followed in this type of farming are the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, etc. to generate crops. While this method is highly productive in generating crops on a large for commercial uses and thereby increasing revenue faster, it is found to be harmful to the soil, plants, livestock and humans who consume them. This is mainly because of the chemicals used in the fertilizers and the sprays on the fields. Although it is referred to as conventional farming, it first started only in the 19th Century. The hazards caused to humans, crops and livestock have made people sit up and notice and try a more organic (sustainable) means to cultivate crops.
Organic Farming –
Organic Farming is an alternative farming system that began as an initiative to reduce the harmful effects of using chemicals and fertilizers on crops and thereby providing longevity and life to soil, crops, livestock and humans. It is a widely adopted system of farming across the world and has gained immense popularity over the years. Foods are now labeled organic on them to differentiate them from the rest. They may be a little more expensive and so for those who can afford them, definitely choose and prefer organic produce over regular produce. Organic farming systems use organic fertilizers such as compost manure, green manure, etc. and employ crop rotation, companion planting, biological pest control and mixed cropping methods to cultivate crops.
CONVENTIONAL FARMING ORGANIC FARMING
Domination of nature Harmony with nature
Uses chemical, synthetics, etc Minimizes chemical usage
Soil erosion occurs over time Soil health is improved
Pesticides and weedicides are used to control and manage weeds, pests and insects Crop rotation is done to control weeds as well as manual removal of weeds, tilling, etc
Easier to practice Harder to manage for farmers as weeds are removed by hand
Not environment-friendly Environment-friendly
Uses harmful fertilizers for humans, crops Uses natural fertilizers like organic manure
Uses antibiotics, growth hormones, medications in animals to prevent diseases Uses organic feed for animals and provides open pasture
Uses chemical fertilizers for plant growth Natural fertilizers are used such as compost
Hazardous to human health Good for humans and people are increasingly finding a marked difference in organic produce
Plant health is affected by industrial farming Plants are healthier with organic farming methods
Synthetic sprays and fertilizers are harmful to farmers who spray them as well There is no such issue in this case as organic farming caters to the health of everyone involved and is a more responsible means of farming
Organic Farming Conventional Farming