Posted Maret 7, 2011on:
Long-term sustainability. Many changes have been observed in the environment are long term and slow. Organic agriculture takes into account the effects in the medium and long-term agricultural interventions in the agro-ecosystem. It aims to produce food while establishing an ecological balance to protect soil fertility and prevent pest problems. Organic agriculture takes a proactive approach instead of dealing with problems as they arise.
Soils. In organic agriculture practices are essential to enrich the soil as crop rotation, mixed cropping, symbiotic associations, cover crops, organic fertilizers and minimum tillage, which benefit the fauna and flora soil, it improves the formation and structure, leading to more stable systems. In turn, increases the circulation of nutrients and energy, and improves water retention and soil nutrients, which compensates for dispensing of mineral fertilizers. These management techniques are also important for combating erosion, reducing the length of time the soil is exposed to it, increases soil biodiversity and reduce nutrient losses, which helps maintain and improve productivity soil. The issue of crop nutrients often compensated with renewable resources of agricultural origin, although it is sometimes necessary to add soil potassium, phosphate, calcium, magnesium and trace elements of external origin.
Water. In many agricultural areas is a major pollution problem of the underground streams with fertilizers and synthetic pesticides. As they are not using these substances in organic agriculture, are replaced with organic fertilizers (eg compost, animal manure, green manure) and through the use of greater biodiversity (relative to the cultivated species and permanent vegetation) that improve soil structure and water infiltration. Well managed organic systems with better capacity to retain nutrients, greatly reduce the risk of groundwater contamination. In some areas where pollution is a big problem, it encourages the adoption of organic agriculture as a means of restoring the environment (for example, by the governments of France and Germany).
Air. Organic farming reduces the use of renewable energy to reduce the need for agrochemicals (whose production requires a large amount of fossil fuels). Organic agriculture contributes to mitigating the greenhouse effect and global warming through its ability to sequester carbon in soil. Many management practices used by organic agriculture (such as minimum tillage, returning crop residues to soil, the use of cover crops and rotations, as well as increased integration of legumes that contribute to nitrogen fixation) , increase the return of carbon to the soil, which increases productivity and enhances carbon storage.
Biodiversity. Organic farmers are custodians of biodiversity while using it, at all levels. In terms of genes, they prefer seeds and traditional varieties and adapted, by its resistance to diseases and climatic stress. In terms of species, different combinations of plants and animals optimize nutrient cycling and energy for agricultural production. As the ecosystem, maintain natural areas in and around crop fields and unused chemical inputs, create a suitable habitat for flora and fauna. The frequent use of underutilized species (often as rotational crops to restore soil fertility) reduces erosion of agricultural biodiversity and create a more healthy gene pool, which is the basis for future adaptation. By providing structures that provide food and shelter, and no use of pesticides, it encourages the arrival of new species (permanent or migratory type) or other previous re-colonize the organic area, species of flora and fauna, as some birds – and beneficial organisms to the organic system, such as pollinators and pest predators.
Genetically modified organisms. The use of GMOs in organic systems is not permitted at any stage of production, processing or handling of organic food. As not fully aware of the potential impact of GMOs on the environment and health, organic agriculture is taking a precautionary approach and prefers to promote natural biodiversity. The organic label therefore ensures that GMOs are not used intentionally in the production and processing of organic products. This can not be ordinary products and to ensure that in most countries are still not mentioned on labels the presence of GMOs in food products. However, as more and more GMOs are used in ordinary agriculture, and because the method of transmission of GMOs into the environment (for example, via pollen), organic agriculture can not ensure that organic products devoid of GMOs in the future. In the FAO publication genetically modified organisms, consumers, food safety and the environment presents a detailed analysis of GMOs.
Ecological services. The impact of organic agriculture on natural resources favor an interaction with the agroecosystem vital for agricultural production and nature conservation. Ecological services that are obtained are: training, conditioning and soil stabilization, waste recycling, carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, predation, pollination and habitat supply. By choosing organic products encourages consumers with their purchasing power, an agricultural system cleaner. Reduce the hidden costs of agriculture to the environment from the point of view of resource degradation. A recent publication of Jules Pretty, The Real Costs of Modern Farming discussed in greater detail many of these issues.