Organic Farming: Principles and Benefits

Organic Farming 

Organic farming is a type of agriculture that employs techniques like crop rotation, green manure, compost, and biological pest control. Organic farming only uses natural fertilizers and pesticides, but it prohibits or severely restricts the use of other methods (synthetic petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides, plant growth regulators, antibiotic use in livestock, genetically modified organisms and nanomaterial) for reasons including sustainability, openness, independence, health, and safety.

Organic farming is a system of ecological production management that promotes and improves biodiversity, biological cycles, and soil biological activity. It is based on the use of as few off-farm inputs as possible, as well as management practices that restore, maintain, and improve ecological harmony.

Facts About Organic Farming:

  • Farmers develop a healthy, fertile soil instead by growing and rotating a variety of crops, adding organic fertilizers or organic matter such as compost or manure, and using clover to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere.
  • Pesticides are strictly prohibited; instead, farmers cultivate nutrient-rich soil in order to grow strong, healthy crops, and they encourage wildlife to help control pests and diseases.
  • Animal welfare is at the heart of the system, and farm animals are guaranteed a truly free-range life.
  • A variety of crops and animals are raised on the farm and rotated throughout the seasons, including fallow periods. This mixed farming method breaks pest and disease cycles while also increasing soil fertility.
  • The routine use of drugs, antibiotics and wormers is banned instead the farmers use preventative methods, like moving animals to fresh pasture and keeping smaller herd and flock sizes
  • Genetically modified (GM) crops and ingredients are banned.

Principles of Organic Farming

Organic farmers embrace a simple set of values in their efforts to live in harmony with the environment. They protect natural resources, improve soil quality, and conserve biodiversity. They strive to avoid unnecessary use of non-renewable resources as well as exposure to health hazards such as pesticides.

The Four Principles of Organic Farming are as follows:

Principle of Health

  • Organic farming should sustain and improve the health of the soil, plants, animals, humans, and the planet as a whole. This principle emphasizes that the health of individuals and communities is inextricably linked to the health of ecosystems; healthy soils produce healthy crops, which in turn promote the health of animals and people.
  • The wholeness and integrity of living systems is defined as health. It is more than just the absence of illness; it is the preservation of physical, mental, social, and ecological well-being. Immunity, resilience, and regeneration are important aspects of health.
  • The role of organic agriculture, whether in farming, processing, distribution, or consumption, is to sustain and enhance the health of ecosystems and organisms from the smallest in the soil to human beings. In particular, organic agriculture is intended to produce high quality, nutritious food that contributes to preventive health care and well-being. In view of this it should avoid the use of fertilizers, pesticides, animal drugs and food additives that may have adverse health effects.

Principle of Ecology

  • Organic farming should be based on living ecological systems and cycles, and should collaborate with, emulate, and help sustain them.
  • This principle establishes organic farming as a part of living ecological systems. It states that production will be based on environmentally friendly processes and recycling. The ecology of the specific production environment provides nourishment and well-being. For crops, this is the living soil; for animals, it is the farm ecosystem; and for fish and marine organisms, it is the aquatic environment.
  • Organic farming, pastoral, and wild harvesting systems should be in sync with nature's cycles and ecological balances. These cycles are universal, but their operation varies by location. Organic management must be tailored to the local environment, ecology, culture, and scale. In order to maintain and improve environmental quality, inputs should be reduced through reuse, recycling, and efficient material and energy management.

Principle of Fairness

  • Organic farming should be based on relationships that ensure equity in terms of the common environment and life opportunities. Fairness is characterized by equity, respect, justice and stewardship of the shared world, both among people and in their relations to other living beings.
  • This principle emphasizes the importance of conducting human relationships in organic agriculture in a way that ensures fairness at all levels and to all parties - farmers, workers, processors, distributors, traders, and consumers. Organic agriculture should improve the quality of life for everyone involved while also contributing to food sovereignty and poverty reduction. It intends to produce a sufficient supply of good quality food and other products. This principle insists that animals should be provided with the conditions and opportunities of life that accord with their physiology, natural behaviour and well-being.
  • Natural and environmental resources that are used for production and consumption should be managed in a way that is socially and ecologically just and should be held in trust for future generations. Fairness requires systems of production, distribution and trade that are open and equitable and account for real environmental and social costs.

Principle of Care

  • Organic farming should be managed in a precautionary and responsible manner to protect the health and well-being of current and future generations and the environment.
  • Organic farming is a living, dynamic system that responds to internal and external demands and conditions. Organic agriculture practitioners can improve efficiency and productivity, but this should not come at the expense of health and well-being. As a result, new technologies must be evaluated, and existing methods must be reviewed. Given our hazy understanding of ecosystem and agriculture, care must be taken.
  • This principle states that the primary concerns in organic agriculture management, development, and technology choices are caution and responsibility. Science is required to ensure that organic agriculture is healthy, safe, and environmentally friendly. However, scientific knowledge is insufficient on its own. Validation is provided by practical experience, accumulated wisdom, and traditional and indigenous knowledge. Organic agriculture should avoid major risks by using appropriate technologies and avoiding risky ones, such as genetic engineering. Through transparent and participatory processes, decisions should reflect the values and needs of all those who may be affected.
Lettuce produces in Organic Farming


Organic farms build healthy soil, therefore keeping water and air clean. Organic agriculture means growing a diversity of crops and livestock together, improving the health and vitality of the land. This is good for farmers, consumers and the environment.

Benefits Of Going Solar To A Farmer

There are many benefits to choosing solar energy over traditional power sources. This article outlines some of the benef...

By Thandiwe Ncube
November 15, 2021
Benefits Of Going Solar To A Farmer
Teeth clipping in young pigs

Piglets' teeth are frequently cut shortly after birth. The objective of teeth-clipping is to prevent harm to the piglets...

October 28, 2021
Teeth clipping in young pigs

Download our App