Organic farming provides long-term benefits to people and the environment.
Organic farming aims to:
1. Increase long-term soil fertility.
2. Control pests and diseases without harming the environment.
3. Ensure that water stays clean and safe.
4. Use resources which the farmer already has, so the farmer needs less money to buy farm inputs.
5. Produce nutritious food, feed for animals and high quality crops to sell at a good price.
Modern, intensive agriculture causes many problems, including the following:
1. Artificial fertilisers and herbicides are easily washed from the soil and pollute rivers, lakes and water courses.
2. The prolonged use of artificial fertilisers results in soils with a low organic matter content which is easily eroded by wind and rain.
3. Dependency on fertilisers. Greater amounts are needed every year to produce the same yields of crops.
4. Artificial pesticides can stay in the soil for a long time and enter the food chain where they build up in the bodies of animals and humans, causing health problems.
5. Artificial chemicals destroy soil micro-organisms resulting in poor soil structure and aeration and decreasing nutrient availability.
6. Pests and diseases become more difficult to control as they become resistant to artificial pesticides. The numbers of natural enemies decrease because of pesticide use and habitat loss.