Friday, April 19, 2024
AGRICULTUREfeatured story

Organic farming boosts finances while protecting the environment and saving human lives

Organic Farming is all about planting of crops and rearing of animals in natural ways. It is the production of crops and livestock through the applications of natural nutrients such as compost, crop residues and natural manures as well as natural feeds. In other words, it a method devoid of as use of chemical fertilizers and other chemicals to grow crops or rear animals.

It also involves natural methods of weeding and irrigation as well. The farmer depends on natural rain or stored rainwater for irrigation during dry season. The use of only biological materials ensures that soil fertility and ecological balance are sustained to minimize pollution and wastage.

In organic farming, the farmer uses wastes such as animal dungs, vegetable remains, dry leaves, ashes and bones as a source of nutrients to cultivate maize, beans, cassava, bananas, tomatoes and other food crops all year round. He does not use petrochemical fertilizers to provide nutrients for his crops.

Likewise, the farmer uses natural feeds such as grass, organic wastes and kitchen wastes to rear animals such as cows, goats, rabbits, ducks, and poultry chickens.

Even in weeding, the farmer does not use herbicides to removes weeds but do so manually in the farm. He may however use a flame-weeder to get his animals to eat them up. He also uses ecological balanced agricultural principles and methods such as crop rotation, green manure, and biological pest control to produce his crops. He avoids the use of pesticides, synthetic or inorganic agro-chemicals to control pests and weeds.

Advantages

More and more Nigerians are now turning to organic produce to avoid health complications associated with chemicals in the food we eat arising from wrong application of petrochemical fertilizers and agro-chemical deposits. In fact, many attribute ailments such as cancer, kidney failure, diabetes and so on to chemicals in foods. Remember that sometime ago the United States banned beans from Nigeria because of very high chemical content in that is harmful to the body.

Foods from organic farms contain essential nutrients such as vitamins, enzymes, minerals and other micronutrients for healthy living. For instance, when natural manure is applied in crop production, it continually enriches the soil with necessary nutrients such as potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus for plant growth. Chemical based fertilizers rather destroy natural nutrients and lasts only for a short while in the ground.

Other benefits are that organic farming increases soil fertility, controls pests and diseases and saves the environment from chemical pollution.

It also keeps ground water clean and safe for human consumption and saves the farmer the money that would have been used on expensive farm inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides and other agro-chemicals.

Most importantly, produce from organic farming are more nutritious. The ugu leaves produced with natural manure serves as blood tonic unlike the ones produced with fertilizers. Organic farm produce has longer shelf life. For instance, yams produced with fertilizers rot easily while the ones produced with organic manure lasts until the next planting season.

The overall advantage in organic farming is that the farmer produces safe and nutritious foods that fetch better prices in the market.

Marketing

Growing and nurturing of crops and rearing of animals without the use of chemical based fertilizers, pesticides and feeds should be your unique selling point. Print flyers enumerating the gains of organically produced crops and livestock as enunciated above and send to shopping malls, hotels, restaurant, schools and hospitals. You must however ensure that you do not deviate from your offering to use chemically based inputs. The moment customers have doubts about your product; your business surely will pack up.

Profitability

As more and more people are embracing organic foods to stay healthy, and so investment in the business is very profitable.

This is because of the rising demand arising from the realization health is very important. Researchers collected and tested vegetables, fruits and grains from both organic farms and inorganic farms and have concluded that food items from organic farms are more nutritious, tastier and healthier.

You can create fabulous wealth by making a difference. Invest in organic farming today to reap from the new income opportunities it offers. A trial will convince you.

 

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