Do you know that 95% of our food depends on the soil? Soils are a non-renewable resource of the environment. Chemical fertilizers and synthetic materials are depleting soils at an alarming rate. This is why it’s important more than ever to transition to organic farming, which is the healthiest kind of agricultural method.
Pesticide residues and synthetic fertilizers are contaminating the soil. They also affect non-target species. As much as agricultural farms need insecticides and pesticides to kill insects that feed off the crops and plants, they also target species that help the growth of these crops.
Unsustainable agricultural practices have been a problem for years now. It is a global issue that affects more than 250 million people all over the world. It also impacts a third of the world’s surface. The problem is once the soil starts to deplete, it is almost impossible to regain it. These practices put the health of the land’s surface in peril.
The impact is particularly felt in developing countries where food security and public health are already big issues. Destructive agricultural practices can lead to not only food insecurity, but also climate change, poverty, and human displacement.
Governments and non-government organizations are pushing for a shift to sustainable land management that uses holistic approaches. This includes organic farming, agroecology, and protection and restoration of natural ecosystems. In the face of the climate crisis, the health of the soil must be preserved. This will be possible by shifting conventional farming methods into organic agriculture.
The most common thing we hear is the type of soil we need for organic farming. What’s even more important is understanding the impact of this type of farming on the health of the existing soil on the farm. Organic matter like green manures, compost, and farmyard manure helps the environment regain the nutrients that it naturally has.
Other methods like cover crops, crop rotation, and intercropping will also help in preventing soil disturbance and depletion. The presence of such organic matter in the soil helps the soil retain its nutrients, as well as add to them. Even as it nourishes the crops growing in it, the soil will be able to retain its health because of the absence of chemicals and synthetic materials. These practices will also protect the environment better because it is not dependent on water irrigation.
Policies have to support these agricultural practices so as not to make it hard for organic farmers to transition to this type of agriculture.