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Organic and Sustainable Farming

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  • 1. Organic and Sustainable Farming in the Developing World Solar panels in the fields at Lange Twins Winery and Vineyards.
  • 2. What is Organic Farming?
    • The production of crops without the use of synthetic/chemical inputs
      • No Genetically Modified Organisms
      • Utilizes biological activity in soil
      • Uses crop rotation, manure, compost, natural pest control (natural predators)
  • 3. What is Sustainable Farming?
    • Farming that considers environmental health, yet is profitable while still considering social and economic equity.
      • Not necessarily organic, but often uses organic farming techniques
      • Fair treatment of farm laborers
      • Very similar to Ecological Agriculture
        • Ecological Farming ensures healthy farming and healthy food for today and tomorrow, by protecting soil, water and climate, promotes biodiversity, and does not contaminate the environment with chemical inputs or genetic engineering
  • 4. Why use Organic & Sustainable Farming Techniques?
    • Water pollution (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, pathogens) from conventional agriculture cause health problems
      • Also an increase in algal bloom
    • Decreased soil erosion
    • Fewer pesticides in groundwater and on food
    • Fewer farm workers contaminated with pesticides
  • 5. Why use Organic & Sustainable Farming Techniques?
    • Fewer antibiotic resistant strains of organisms from less antibiotic use in farm animals
    • Alleviate rural poverty in the developing world
      • Organic food production requires more hand labor
      • It is spread out over the growing season for continued employment
    • Less dependence on fossil fuels for all agriculture (animal feed & waste transport, vehicles for spraying, etc.)
  • 6. What Are Some Organic/Sustainable Farming Techniques?
    • Build crop strength
    • Build soil strength
    • Be proactive with the crop and use ecological practices to prevent diseases, pests and weeds
    • Use reactive management – deal with problems as they arise
    • Mix animal and crop production as much as possible
    • Sell products locally whenever possible
  • 7. Why is This Good for the Developing World?
    • Return to small-scale farming
      • Production is higher on small scale farms in both developed and developing world
      • Fewer farmers will be forced from their land and into slums to starve
    • Less reliance on imported fertilizers and pesticides
    • More nutritious food crops due to more diverse crops and higher soil nutrient content
    • Organics in U.S. - lessen the effects of global warming on the developing world.
  • 8. What Are Some Roadblocks to Organic/Sustainable Agriculture?
    • Need markets for crops other than corn and soybeans
    • In some countries, soil building farm residues (manure, plant material) are used for fuel instead of building the soil
    • Little to no governmental subsides or assistance
    • Economics & Education (in U.S.)
  • 9. References
    • Badgley, C., Moghtader, J., Quintero, E., Zakem, E., Chappell, J., Avilés- Vázquez, K., Samulon, A., Perfecto, I. (2007). Organic agriculture and the global food supply. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 22 (2), 86-108.
    • Magdoff, F. (2007) . Ecological agriculture: Principles, practices, and constraints. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 22 (2), 109-117.
  • 10. References
    • Rodriguez, J.M., Molnar, J.J., Fazio, R.A., Sydnor, E., Lowe, M.J., (2009) . Barriers to adoption of sustainable agriculture practices: Change agent perspectives. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 24 , 60-71.
    • Tirado, R (2009). Defining Ecological Farming. Greenpeace Research Laboratories. Retrieved From: http://docs.google.com/gview? a=v&q=cache:DjC4xa3W_xkJ:www.greenpeace.to/publications/Defining-Ecological-Farming-2009.pdf+what+is+ecological+farming&hl=en&gl=us&sig=AFQjCNHFjLyKGY5diZ6l-UcCsqlBKyuW4g