What is organic farming?
It is related to sustainable development of agriculture and set of operations that is carried out with the aim of diminishing the consumption of unnatural inputs and in which the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, synthesized preservatives, chemical drugs and organisms produced is disposed of by genetic engineering methods and effluents. Studies in developed countries have shown that consumers are willing to buy organic products at a price ten to forty percent higher than non-organic products.
From the perspective of sustainable agriculture, agricultural products are divided into the following four categories:
- Natural product
- Organic product
- Healthy product
- Certified product
Benefits of Organic Farming
The emphasis of organic farming on good plant nutrition is to prevent the spread of pests and diseases, with the use of cover crops and crop rotation and to increase the level of ecological communication in the plant.
Cover crops, fallow, mechanical tools and weed burning is used for weed control.
Organic farmers amplify soil’s organic matter with the use of cover crops, compost, soil biological modifiers and the production of plants resistant to pests and diseases.
- In organic agriculture, ecosystem balance and soil fertility are maintained. Soil erosion is also reduced up to 50%.
- In organic agriculture, water does not get contaminated by materials contaminants like synthetic fertilizers.
- Organic materials preserve the texture and structure of the soil and increase water holding capacity.
- Biodiversity in organic farmland is 57% higher.
- Farmers are not exposed to pesticides and chemical pollutants
- Organic producers strive for biodiversity.
- Organic farming helps to preserve rural communities properly.
- Organic farmers are leading new research.
- Organic products reduce the risk of disease.
- Organic farming creates healthy soil.
- Organic products have higher standards.
- Organic foods taste better.
Production and processing of organic foods
The first step in processing an organic food is to limit the choice of formulation. Processed products in this industry are divided into 4 groups according to the standard, based on the ratio of organic raw materials used in the formulation.
The first group is made of 100% organic raw materials and is also supplied under the same name.
The second group, in their preparation, a maximum of 5% of non-organic raw materials, but allowed in the organic standard has been used.
The third group, in their preparation, a maximum of 30% of non-organic materials has been used and is supplied in the market with the label of “prepared from organic materials”.
The fourth group uses less than 70% organic matter in their preparation. This group has no special label and organic raw materials are only written in the table of food ingredients on the package.
This division provides the conditions for the producer to produce organically at any time according to the amount of raw materials available, and thus there is no need to store raw materials for a long time.
According to the above classification, organic and non-organic raw materials are used in the formulation of organic products.
Benefits of consuming organic food
- Have a higher nutritional value.
- Organic foods contain more antioxidants.
- Free of toxic substances also they are tastier and delicious.
Organic producers follow very strict standards and guidelines. The possibility of contamination of such products with chemicals and toxins has reached to a minimum level.
Biological farming is a system that, if taken care of by the people and the government and non-governmental organizations, can lead to long-term soil protection and fertility, health and high production of plant and animal products, increase the quality and importance of food, positive social effects, convenient and economical market.
Fortunately, in recent years, fundamental measures have been taken by the private sector in Iran.
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