This is question being debated now. While it is a fact that prices of organic food are much higher compared to conventionally-grown agricultural products, there is considerable evidence showing that organically-raised crops can go much further and be more productive than commercial-raised plants.
Based on the results of the of the Rodale Institute’s study, organically-grown corn and soybean crops can produce just the same amount of food as those grown using commercial fertilizers and pesticides. Not only that, but given the looming threat of droughts and other weather disturbances, organic crops appear to be much more resistant and productive than their counterparts.
If the results of the study is to be taken as canon, it appears that the claims made by various industrial groups, and media giants, that organic farming is a luxury that is not enough to feed the world, has been debunked. Not only that; it appears that a more sustainable method of farming is starting to open up for many farmers, increasing the chances of a more productive farming output in the future. What may be seen as an unnecessary practice may actually be the solution to the increasing problem of feeding the world’s population.
For many farmers, being able to produce a bountiful harvest is a great concern. Much effort, time, and money has been invested into the entire production process. Naturally, they would want to produce more despite the limitations of land area. A common “solution” has been the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides to ensure the “healthy” growth of plants.
While this method has been producing results, the problems it results in are also significant. Chemical run-offs, food contamination, rising prices of fertilizers and pesticides, etc. are just some of the issues being raised that demand immediate attention. There is also the problem of firms producing genetically-modified organisms (GMO), which are plants that have been altered to possess characteristics not natural in them. Growing them in farm lands has been a big issue between environmentalist groups and large agricultural biotechnology companies.
Serving as an answer to these issues is the term organic farming. This is a farming method where crops are raised free from any kind of chemical support, from fertilizers to pesticides. In addition, this method favors the use of plants that have not been genetically altered to possess superior characteristics. The outcome are crops that are safe to eat, nutritionally balanced, and without the risk of harming the health of humans and damaging the environment.
The concept may sound new for some people, but that is no so. Organic farming merely goes back to the old ways of raising crops, where animal manure and compost reign supreme, and farmers were more attune to the changes in climate. It is a far cry from the current methods we use, where active human intervention forces plants to grow where they do not naturally exist, or in seasons where they are not normally supposed to thrive.
What the Rodale study reveals is the reliability of organic farming over conventional means. In the near future, when weather and soil conditions go to the extreme, being able to raise crops without the need of synthetic support may very well be the next step in the farming revolution.