Natural farming is a practice incorporating laws of nature. The technique aims at growth of crops in the existing biodiversity harmonizing balance of food plants and existing farm area ecosystem. It follows the policy of no human-supplied inputs for crop growth.
Through practiced world-wide in different forms over decades, natural farming gained its popularity when introduced in the book “One Straw Revolution” by Masanobu Fukuoka.
A Japanese farmer and philosopher, Masanobu Fukuoka, described his way of farming in the book as “the natural way of farming”. As a protagonist in the book Fukuoka talks about the farming technique and his journey towards its learning. The book radically changed ideologies and challenged the common practices followed.
“The Fukuoka Method” primarily depending on cultural and local bio-diversity instills five natural farming principles:
Elaborately discussing the natural technique of farming, Fukuoka highlights the balance in the ecology and biodiversity and how it helps in aiding growth of healthy food in abundance.
Benefits of Organic and/or Natural Farming
Age old practices such as organic and natural farming have additional benefits not only to humans but also to the environment in many ways.
Adoption of natural fertilisers (such as animal compost, plant compost), reduced tilling of land, controlled weed produce etc. helps to enhance the soil fertility. It not only results in adaptive soil environment for abundant and healthy crop growth but also curbs topsoil erosion.
A healthy soil is the most commonly cost-effective and natural way of removing excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it creates a friendly environment for growth of plants and microbes in the soil enabling absorption. Process of capturing and storing carbon dioxide is referred to as carbon sequestration.
Healthy soil allows the absorption and retention of moisture enabling maintenance of adequate soil aeration and healthy crop root system. This helps in the crop withstanding climatic resilience to changing conditions such as droughts, erosion during floods, overtime.
Organic or Natural farming is practiced keeping nature in cognizance. The practices followed under these techniques of farming enables water management. A healthy soil reduces constant supply of water to the land hence reduced installation of water pumps or other artificially devised methods of water irrigation. Enabling moisture retention of the soil by natural means results in healthy crop growth and increases capacity of the soil to absorb and enhance ground water levels.
No use of chemicals or synthetic fertilisers helps maintain water quality. This help break the vicious cycle of presence of chemicals either in soil or water promoting a healthy crop for human consumption.
Reduced use of chemicals and synthetic agents to promote crop growth helps in maintaining quality in soil and water quality. This results in positive impact to reduce release of greenhouse gases from the soil.
Adopting natural means to farming drastically reduces the use of machinery using fossil fuels at various stages. Right from production of synthetic fertilisers, insecticides etc. to fuel consuming land tillers used in conventional farming which increase reliance on fossil fuels reduces tremendously leaving a positive impact to our atmosphere and a cleaner air.
Healthy soil curbs continuous search of land for agriculture purposes. The organic and natural means to farming enriches the fertility of soil. Healthy and abundant crop can be grown in minimum land area by using the tools provided by the farming techniques.Nutrients, moisture and microbes present in the soil promote conservation of natural resources and biodiversity initiating an ecological balance.
Rich soil and water also initiates purification of air giving healthy food plant. This enables to keep the food quality intact and highly nutritious. Though not proven with adequate data research, food crop grown adopting natural ways of farming are believed to add a better taste than crop grown with adopting chemicals and synthetics.
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