Impacts of modern agriculture
Status of Organic Farming-World
What is Organic Farming?
Organic farming is the
production of crops and
livestock without the use of
synthetic chemicals and in-
Organic agriculture aims at
the human welfare without
any harm to the environment
which is the foundation of
human life itself.
History of Organic Farming
Organic farming was practiced in India since
thousands of years. Agriculture was practiced
using organic techniques, where the fertilizers,
pesticides, etc., were obtained from plant and
Post-independent India witnessed severe food
India depended on heavy imports of food-for-aid
from western countries.
Green Revolution introduced in 1970’s changed
the situation from food importer to food exporter
What is Organic agriculture
Organic agriculture is a production
system that sustains the health of
soil, ecosystem and people.
It relies on ecological processes,
biodiversity and biological cycles
adapted to local conditions, rather
than the use of synthetic inputs
with adverse effects.
Organic agriculture combines
tradition, innovation and science
to benefit the environment and
promote fair relationships and a
good quality life for all involved.
Healthy food: Contains no toxic substances
„Natural & Good taste
„Higher benefit cost ratio due to less external
input use and premium price (20-25%)
„Takes care of Environmental concerns of
Why farm organically?
Organic farming aims to:
increase long-term soil fertility.
control pests and diseases without harming
ensure that water stays clean and safe.
use resources which the farmer already has,
so the farmer needs less money to buy farm
produce nutritious food, feed for animals and
high quality crops to sell at a good price.
What is conventional/ modern
Modern agriculture uses pesticides,
herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides and
harmful chemicals to produce the food we
The food produced from conventional
agriculture is harmful to human health
because they contain residues of chemicals
and in-organic fertilizers.
Intensive Farming - chemicals
Many different chemicals are used to
make plants and animals grow faster
Intensive farmers use artificial fertilizers
and growth promoters.
It is easier to use than manure and smaller
quantities are needed, because it contains
more of the elements.
Artificial fertilizers are spread on the
ground or sprayed on the crops.
Intensive Farming - chemicals
They do not just disappear but stay in the plants that we eat,
so our food is contaminated with chemicals.
Soil used to grow the plants will also be contaminated and
have chemicals in it for a very long time.
Animals eat the grass , which has had
chemicals sprayed on to it, so the chemicals
get into their blood and therefore the meat
that we eat.
Chemicals run off the land into rivers
and kill plants and fish.
Artificial fertilizers are banned in Organic farming.
Organic farmers use animal manure, compost and human sewage,
(which has been heated to destroy any harmful microbes) to make their
‘Green manure’ is grown – plants are grown,
then ploughed in and left to rot.
Worms, insects and bacteria underground are
always working on making the soil good.
By using a process called CROP ROTATION
(changing the crop grown each year), the farmer
can keep a good soil for many years.
cheaper Large numbers of
animals kept in
stay in soil
Animals live in
Modern Chemical Farming creates
Acidic soils with few
Lacking in micro elements,
trace elements, poor vitality
Almost O organic matter
Organic Farming creates “Living Soil”
Full of life with microorganism, fungi,
worms and termites.
Very rich in macro and micro elements,
trace elements, and vital energy
Very rich in organic matter
A 22-year farming trial in N York (USA)
Organic farming produces the same yields of
corn and soybeans as does conventional
farming, but uses 30 percent less energy, less
water and no pesticides,
"Organic farming approaches for these crops not only use an
average of 30 percent less fossil energy but also conserve
more water in the soil, induce less erosion, maintain soil quality
and conserve more biological resources than conventional
What is wrong with intensive
Artificial fertilisers and herbicides are easily washed from the soil
and pollute rivers, lakes and water courses.
The prolonged use of artificial fertilisers results in soils with a low
organic matter content which is easily eroded by wind and rain.
Dependency on fertilisers. Greater amounts are needed every
year to produce the same yields of crops.
Artificial pesticides can stay in the soil for a long time and enter
the food chain where they build up in the bodies of animals and
humans, causing health problems.
Artificial chemicals destroy soil micro-organisms resulting in poor
soil structure and aeration and decreasing nutrient availability.
Pests and diseases become more difficult to control as they
become resistant to artificial pesticides. The numbers of natural
enemies decrease because of pesticide use and habitat loss.
How 'modern farming' affects our world
• Land exhaustion – Loss of soil fertility
• Nitrate run-off – water contamination
• Soil erosion
• Reduced soil porosity due to soil compaction
• Excessive use of pesticides, weedi cides, fungicides
• Cruelty to animals due to over-crowding
• Loss of cultivated biodiversity
• Threat to indigenous seeds and animal breeds and species
• Habitat destruction
• Contaminated food
• Destruction of traditional knowledge systems and traditions
• Control of agriculture inputs and food distribution channel
• Threat to individual farmers
The REAL effect of pesticides
Trade name Long-term effects
Camphechlor Cancer suspect, toxic to fish, very persistent
Chlordane/Heptachlor Leukemia suspect, toxic to wildlife, very persistent
Chlordimeform Cancer suspect, bladder damage, toxic to wildlife
DBCP Cancer risk, male sterility, persists in water
Cancer causing, damage to liver, nerve, brain,
extremely persistent, toxic to wildlife
Cancer suspect, birth defects, very persistent,
toxic to wildlife
Potent cancer cause, birth defects, lung, liver
damage, very persistent
Proven cancer cause, miscarriage, leukemia
suspect, very persistent, toxic to fish
Paraquat No antidote, lung scarring
Endosulfan Nervous system damage
Nervous system damage, liver damage, skin
Potent cancer cause, birth defects, toxic to fish,
Today, Oncologists from the Harvard
Medical School recommend to cancer
or avoid red meat
Eat lots of organic
Avoid eating at FAST
FOOD Restaurant like
Certification of Organic crop
production by INDOCERT
Standards of certification
(i) National standards for organic production
(NPOP), Govt. of India
(ii) European Union regulations for organic
production rules equivalent to
(iii) United States organic standards
USDANOP (National Organic Programme).
“Intensive cultivation of land without conservation of soil fertility and soil
structure would lead ultimately to the springing up of deserts. Irrigation
without arrangements for drainage would result in soils getting alkaline or
saline. Indiscriminate use of pesticides, fungicides and herbicides could
cause adverse changes in biological balance as well as lead to an increase
in the incidence of cancer and other diseases, through the toxic residues
present in the grains or other edible parts. Unscientific tapping of
underground water would lead to the rapid exhaustion of this wonderful
capital resource left to us through ages of natural farming. The rapid
replacement of numerous locally adapted varieties with one or two high
yielding strains in large contiguous areas would result in the spread of serious
diseases capable of wiping out entire crops, as happened prior to the Irish
potato famine of 1845 and the Bengal rice famine of 1942. Therefore, the
initiation of exploitative agriculture without a proper understanding of the
various consequences of every one of the changes introduced into traditional
agriculture and without first building up a proper scientific and training base
to sustain it, may only lead us into an era of agricultural disaster in the long
run, rather than to an era of agricultural prosperity.”
- M.S. Swaminathan
Indian Science Congress, Varanasi, January 4, 1968
Sustainable Food Production
Livestock Husbandry in
Temperate Himalyan region
The Himalayan region is vast, gigantic,
diverse and youngest mountain system in the
It occupies 591 thousand square kilometer
(18% of geographical area of India)
spread over 2,800 kilometer in length and
220 to 300 kilometer wide across the 11
states of India
In this region, 6% of Indian population
Livestock are integral part of farming system
for this region where it not only supplement
the family income but also contributes FYM
to the farm which is an essential requirement
of largely rain-fed agriculture of this region.
Himalayan farming System
Land holdings - small and fragmented,
low input-low output production system,
poor means of transport and communication,
women centred agriculture,
out migration of males in search of off farm
poor productivity of crop and livestock,
low risk bearing capacity of farmers yet rich in plant
and animal diversity etc.
People have sustained themselves in this difficult
condition and in their endeavour the livestock were
Indigenous livestock provide practical means of using
natural grasslands in this region
Organic cattle farming is a method for
raising cattle in a more "natural" way.
animals raised this way are allowed to
graze on natural foods and have access
to the outdoors.
Feed for animals is grown organically,
Not given antibiotics or hormones.
Animals often have much better living
conditions than most large-scale cattle
farms that are often crowded and prevent
cattle from getting much exercise in order
to maximize profits.
Farm Yard manure is used for producing
organic manure thru vermi-composting,
and bio-gas production
Organic livestock farming
Breeds and breeding-
◦ use of well adapted breeds,
◦ conserve animal genetic resource biodiversity
◦ access to pastures
◦ No growth hormones
◦ No animal by-products in feed
◦ Loose and comfortable
Animal health and disease management
◦ Minimal use of antibiotics
Manure must be managed to prevent
contamination of crops, soil or water by plant
nutrients, pathogenic organisms, heavy metals
or residues of prohibited substances.
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