Organic agriculture and the law

Organic agriculture and the law
This publication seeks to identify and explain the different legal issues related to organic production, including a comparative analysis of selected public and private legal sources of international relevance, as well as recommendations on the issues to consider in the design of national organic agriculture legislation. It is a first step in unravelling the complex and highly technical issues related to drafting national legislation on organic agriculture, and it is hoped that comments from readers will contribute to refining and enriching the preliminary findings presented in this volume.

Author: Elisa Morgera
Other authors: Carmen Bullón Caro, Gracia Marín Durán
Organization: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Year: 2012
Country/ies: Argentina, Canada, India, Japan, Tunisia, United States of America
Geographical coverage: European Union (European Union)
Type: Case study

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Organic farming systems as a driver for change

Since 1980’s, NJF members from Nordic and Baltic countries have been engaged in research, development and extension work in organic farming and food systems. Several NJF seminars have been arranged to highlight organic food and agriculture, bringing together experts from different branches of sience, from ecology to economics. This seminar in Denmark 2013 is part of this chain of seminars, which started in Alnarp, Sweden 2005 and was followed by Tartu, Estonia in 2009. This seminar is organized in collaboration with ICROFS – International Centre for Research in Organic Food Systems and EPOK – Centre for Organic Food and Farming at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
Organic agriculture has grown to a sector with profound impact on the societal and agricultural development.

    Hence, we want to utilize the upcoming seminar to reveal how organic research has contributed, or may contribute to change the many and serious challenges that we face to protect our environment and to ensure a satisfactory living for all. Concurrently, the needs for improvement in practical farming systems, both to support the farmers and to further develop organic farming in a sustainable direction, must be emphasized.
    The objective of the seminar is to encourage the seminar participants to discuss relevant main challenges and how research and developmental work can be more efficiently directed to solve problems in organic farming systems, based on the overview of work presented during the seminar. The seminar should inspire the participants, and make them better equipped to utilize their work to solve problems in relation to (organic) farming, as they are challenged to reflect the impact of their work in a broader context.
    Topics
    The seminar program is arranged around the following four tracks:

      1. Societal and economic viability
      2. Transition to renewable resources
      3. Nutrient sufficiency and management in farming systems
      4. Productivity and sustainable production levels in animal and crop production
        Download the final programme to see the topics that will be covered in these tracks.
        Keynote speakers
        Opening speech “Organic farming meets future food and environmental challenges” will be given by Elisabeth Gauffin, Sweden, a dairy farmer and the president of KRAV – Swedish Association for Standards in Organic Agriculture and Food.
        There are four track experts and each of them will give an introductory key-note speech about major challenges related to the respective track:
        Track 1: “The organic sector as an innovation system” by Dr. Susanne Padel, Principal socio-economic researcher, The Organic Research Centre, Elm Farm, UK.
        Track 2: “Energy balance comparisons of organic and conventional farming systems and potentials for the mitigation of fossil resource use” by Dr. Tommy Dalgaard, Head of Agro-Environmental Management MSc Programme, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, Denmark.
        Track 3: “Long-term management of nutrients in organic farming – principles and practice” by Dr. Christine Watson, Leader of the Soils Research Team, Scotland’s Rural College, UK.
        Track 4: “Is agroeclogy the most suitable approach for all organic farming systems? by Prof. Paolo Bàrberi, Professor of Agronomy and Field Crops, Institute of Life Sciences, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Italy.
        The track experts have participated in planning the programme and will contribute to discussions in the sessions and take part in the final plenary session in summing up major conclusions.
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      Organic Farming is More Profitable than Traditional Agriculture

      Food security has always been the most strategic goal for countries around the world. Food safety is an additional unit resulting from the number of vital and immune system factors in production, handling and storage. The extent of this damage depends on the control systems after harvesting and pest control. Pests of destructive drugs play an important role in harvesting sensitive and semi-transparent agricultural products.

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      Wheat is the main human food, and food security and safety plans include production and protection.

      Wheat products will vary by 20 million tons to satisfy our food, food and seed needs for years. In 2010, the demand for wheat will reach 25.5 million tonnes. Currently, there is some shortage of domestic production added to imports. Scientists say the wheat loss after harvest is between 2.5% and 15.3% because there is no understanding of the control and storage systems of protocols and the uncertainty of the market depending on the handling and storage conditions, as they are high in the private sector.

      Food grains are now protected from pests for insects and ready-made vapors. In 1990, the Punjabi Food Board used aluminum alloy pieces of phosphorus per cubic meter to control wheat pest storage, which is now used for three types of insects. By using our national natural resources, many foreign currencies can be avoided when importing pesticides. In addition, the World Trade Organization Codex Alimentarius Commission recommends that organic pests be produced in accordance with international standards. On the basis of the needs, it was decided to carry out an organic pest control study on stored wheat and selected local plants.

      How To Grow a FULLY Organic Vegetable Garden

      Recently, several scientists have shown insecticidal properties in laboratory studies, including the prevention of toxicity, the search, the protection of surfaces and the prevention of pests from spawning to storage of cereals. Therefore, these vegetable oils are used to control organic and integrated sterile, sterile and various packaging materials under natural product conditions. This was done to develop an IPM Code of Conduct for a City Safe Storage System, replacing synthetic pesticides.

      Jute and spray-free cotton bags made of fabric of different density (mesh size) with three different cooking oils and three mixtures, three storage periods (30, 60 and 90 days), three copies. The infected new crop of wheat was packed in bags and treated with different strengths of the test substance to assess their different toxicity and antibacterial properties. The test apparatus is placed in a field of ventilated wheat under favorable conditions so that the insects can propagate the stored products.

      Attempts have been made to show significant concentrations of the mixture as a concentration to assess their effect. At certain times, data on deaths, printing on treated bags and insect numbers were collected. At the end of the experiment, the wheat obtained from the treatment and the untreated rheumatoid arthritis test was produced to satisfy changes in the dough and the foam.

      When analyzing the data, different concentrations, shelf life, and packaging effects on insect pests and insect poisoning effects on their association with vegetable oils. There was a positive correlation between bactericidal and bactericidal effects on photon pulp concentration, but a negative correlation with retention time. The penetration of the bag is inversely related to the frequency of insects corresponding to the density of the package. The three vegetable oils, a vegetable oil, each with a concentration of 10%, must be effectively packaged in a small insect control cotton cloth for two months and gradually reduced in the third month.

      Silty studies have shown that wheat dough has not evolved significantly from wheat stored in botanical bags. In addition, sensory flavors or coffee packs that were not found in packaged bags of wheat flour showed.

      Author Bio:

      Hello, my name is Syed Ghufran and I live in Karachi, Pakistan. I am doing post graduation in Mass Communication from Karachi University. By profession, I am a blog writer and currently, I am connected with Post Free Ads in Pakistan – Clickr. My hobbies are reading, researching and learning small things on daily basis. I always belive in “Live the Life You Love, Love The Life You Live”.

      Modern Ways and Obstructions in Organic Farming of Pakistan

      Modern Ways and Obstructions in Organic Farming of Pakistan

      What is natural and organic farming?

      Organic farming approach elevating of plants and rearing of cattle by means of using only natural sources. There is little need of fertilizers, expansion hormones, pesticides, genetically modified organisms and antibiotics in organic farming. It is a device that sustains the health of soil and ecosystem. It may be named as low enter farming.

      Aims of natural farming:

      • Encourage higher utilization of organic pesticides.
      • Maintain higher soil structure in addition to soil fertility.
      • Proper tillage operations at the proper time.
      • Limit weeds, pests and illnesses.
      • Enhance genetic heterogeneity.
      • Reduce whole forms of pollution which is due to agricultural practices.
      • Provide food of best dietary status in ok amount.
      • Provide all natural stipulations to farm animals.
      • Restoration of the deteriorated soil.
      • No use of inorganic chemical substances.

      Major rules of natural farming:

      The following ideas have been shaped through the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM).

      The Principle of Health:

      Organic farming will have to deal with and upgrade the well being of human, soil, plant and animal.

      The Principle of Ecology:

      The precedence of this theory is to reach ecological steadiness by way of natural farming. It objectives on recycling.

      The Principle of Fairness:

      Organic agriculture is a potent defender of equity. Fairness expresses honour, justice, protection and steadiness. This idea is acceptable to all classes equivalent to providers, farmers, vendors, processors and consumers. Each workforce should be sure that they will not do any harm the soil, setting, animals, water and every other thing below this.

      The Principle of Care:

      In order to satisfy above objective, it is very important offer protection to land and environment from damaging substances.

      Classification of natural farming:

      Pure natural farming:

      In this sort of organic farming, farmer makes use of organic pesticides and manures. There is no need of inorganic chemicals in natural natural farming.

      Integrated organic farming:

      In integrated natural farming, crops produce which have proper nutritive value and safe from pest’s harm by using all of the natural assets. It comprises integrated pest control and built-in nutrient management.

      Strategies of natural farming:

      Green manuring:

      Incorporation of any crop or plant into the soil in green state to fortify soil well being. Mostly, leguminous vegetation are preferred because these crops fix atmospheric nitrogen into the soil.

      Crop rotation:

      Means raising of incompatible crops, in collection, at the same piece of land. It is completed to deal with soil fertility and to regulate bugs, weeds and sicknesses.

      Biological pest keep an eye on:

      In this system, living organisms are applied to check pests, without or with minimal utilization of inorganic chemical substances.

      Crop diversification:

      Its way, growing of 2 or more plants in combination in the same box. It is done to restrict pest inhabitants and to enhance soil situation.

      Compost:

      It is a decomposed organic topic. During decomposition carbon dioxide as well as water and heat are produced. The finish product is rich in nutrient and likewise a supply of meals for microorganisms present in the soil.

      Soil management:

      Due to continuous cultivation, the soil becomes low in vitamins and reduces its high quality. Incorporation of natural subject into the soil helps to preserve soil fertility as well as improves biological task of soil.

      Vermicomposting:

      It is a procedure of manufacturing soil modification (compost) by utilizing earthworms. Nutrients which can be provide lower within the soil and now not available to plants, earthworms help to convey them to the upper layers. Small channels which can be formed via the movement of earthworms help to support the water protecting capability of a soil. Organic waste can also be a subject matter within the agriculture sector if not supervised in a right kind method. Vermicomposting is a potent and rapid strategy to arrange organic waste. In vermicomposting, earthworms act on natural matter both biochemically and bodily.

      Constraints in natural farming in Pakistan:

      • A dearth of social consciousness about organic merchandise.
      • Lack of presidency insurance policies related to the price of an organic product.
      • There is no efficient connection between shopper and producer.
      • Organic farming calls for time and labour at the side of patience.
      • Lack of simple availability of inputs.
      • No availability of separate natural markets.
      • Lack of organization that factor certificates to the organic product.
      • No consideration in opposition to small farmers which can be working laborious day and evening.
      • No understanding of farmers about modern technologies fascinated with organic farming.

      Wastage of organic topic in Pakistan:

      Plant’s residues:

      Mostly, Pakistani farmers misplace the plant’s residues of the previous crop. Farmers use rice and wheat straw as animal feed. The dietary price of rice and wheat straw decreases due to inappropriate storage. Mostly, farmers retailer it on a farm flooring where it suffers to an destructive setting. Actually, farmers will have to incorporate crop residues into the soil. These residues won’t most effective feed to the soil but additionally to the plant.

      Let’s take an summary within the following pictures.

      A Huge quantity of end result and vegetable residues goes unnecessary, day-to-day. It could be very valuable for the soil to control it from depleting soil organic subject. It may be used to make compost. In evolved countries, a tree after reducing changes into tiny pieces throughout the specially designed machine. They even use sawdust as a source of natural subject which in Pakistan used as a fuel. They use lawn clippers as compost after composting.

      Manures:

      Although Pakistani climate is not beneficial to construct organic subject within the soil, there are lots of defaults in Pakistani farming machine which leads toward low yield.

      Let’s take a view of mismanagement of organic manures in Pakistan.

      In Pakistan, farmers know not anything in regards to the price and garage of manures. They retailer the manures in an open atmosphere which in flip develop into a source of mosquito relating to different health issues. The nutrient status of manures decreases swiftly in an open environment. Keep in mind that every one manures should store in a closed pit and the entire pit duvet with plastic sheet, internally. The plastic sheet avoids from seepage losses. Use decomposed manures because it’s secure for plant and soil.

      Conclusion:

      Now, the human population is expanding and agricultural land is lowering day by day. Our intention is to increase in step with capita yield, on a sustained foundation, without compromising the well being of human and setting. Organic farming is an technique to get now not only healthy food but also a healthy breath. Everyone, who learns, tries to teach the farmer and different stakeholders which are unconsciously enjoying with setting.

      8 Things You Need to Know when Starting an Organic Farm

      A Lot Of questions strike up in our minds once we recall to mind starting one thing new. Similar is the case when one tries to start out an natural farm. Farming is considered as one of the crucial oldest human professions. Regrettably, this noble process of manufacturing food has come what may went out of fashion. In most countries, farming and agriculture generally is noticed as a one-way price tag to poverty and drudgery. Young individuals are leaving behind the nation-state to seek higher opportunities in urban spaces.

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      In contemporary years, however, we meet increasingly young people who are taking farming as a profession and as a practical source of benefit. This is most commonly on account of the alternate within the viewpoint of the way younger people see farming.

      This positive view of agriculture has larger with the growth of worldwide population. A Bigger the inhabitants means more people to feed, and due to this fact more meals to supply. Organic food could also be gaining popularity due to its prime nutritional benefit.

      Along these traces, the wish to produce food in the neighborhood could also be observed as a sustainable option to the ever expanding meals requirement.

      Different peoples have other views on what they suspect they will have to know while planning to start an organic farm. From a management and marketing standpoint, this author is enumerating what he thinks should be the eight components that we will have to imagine whilst putting in place and maintaining an organic farm.

      1. Learn the fundamentals of organic farming

      Learning the fundamentals of natural and organic farming is the first step in beginning an natural farm. This undoubtedly offers hints of what one might expect and where one should be starting from. It is useful to spend money on a pre-hand analysis.

      It is also necessary to be engaged in conversations with people who are already within the industry. Participate in organic farm training programs and farmer-meet-up symposiums. The enjoy of any other farmer who went thru a an identical phase could be very useful in making the exploratory process so much smoother.

      The internet additionally plays an enormous role as there is a huge playlist tutorials, videos, and online forums about natural farming. Books relating to natural farming is also a massive resource worthy of attention.

      2. The web page is essential

      The website plays a vital position for any undertaking to achieve success. An organic farm’s location usually determines how the venture will turn out.

      The organic farm website online should be near a blank water source: water is a non-negotiable resource for crop growth and well being. If the water source is a long way, it is a lot more tough to control the irrigation process. For a newcomer, this is a tedious consideration to make however is also a very powerful for the good fortune of the challenge.

      The proximity of the farm to the marketplace also plays a large role in the sustainability of the farm. The farm’s closeness to the marketplace lets in for the straightforward transport of produce for promoting. Also, this is helping save costs when transporting fabrics to the farm.

      However, website selection must also be aligned with the purpose of the organic farm. If the farm is not for a industrial function, the role of the above-mentioned components will doubtlessly decrease. The goal of the farm additionally determines its measurement.

      3. Match the land with what it is best for

      While selecting what can also be grown within the land, it is extremely vital to evaluate the website’s soil situation in addition to the sources available. A plant that is indigenous to the landscape, temperature, elevation, and available sources is way more uncomplicated to regulate than rising a plant this is international to the area.

      However, there also are sensible ways in growing crops and animals that don’t seem to be local to that particular house. Take notice, regardless that, that this could be just a little difficult for first-time natural farmers.

      There are also cases when the available land space is relatively insufficient for the big variety of crops that the farmer is planning to develop. In those instances, there are many tried-and-tested workarounds for restricted farming area equivalent to vertical gardening, container farming, and intercropping, among many others.

      4. Know your marketplace

      It is essential to know the type of market that a farmer is catering for. Some agricultural products will not be sellable in a undeniable form of market. This consideration could be very useful in making the undertaking sustainable.

      Find out what agricultural merchandise the market needs, what is the marketplace’s purchasing capacity, and the way regularly does the market purchase such produce. It may be essential to figure out how the farmer will sell products to the marketplace. Keep a backup advertising and marketing plan, too.

      5. Prepare the soil and make excellent compost

      All good organic farm produce get started with excellent soil. The soil’s situation at once complements the vegetation growing in it. Inorganic soil therapies probably harm the environment, the vegetation that grow in the soil, in addition to the patrons who in the end devour the meals.

      Good soil approach soil with vitamins necessary for the expansion of plants. Good soil is a mix of compost, leaf and grass clippings, and manure, amongst other vital compositions.

      Farmers typically benefit when they make their own compost onsite. It is simple to make and saves some huge cash. Compost is helping conserve water, reduce down on weeds, and stay wastes out. This step is crucial when one begins farming.

      6. Take care of what you plant

      The means of growing a crop is a lengthy one. Organic farming takes time and it required more attention compared to standard farming. There are certain ways that want to be thought to be relying on the plant and farm situation. Also, one natural farming technique may not essentially paintings for all vegetation within the farm.

      Water is a must for plant’s expansion and well being. Regular watering is important for the vegetation to develop. Generally, vegetation are watered 2-three Times a day relying on their type as well as the location where they’re being grown. Watering the plant in the morning is very useful as mornings are cool. Due to this, the water does no longer evaporate speedy.

      Weeding is another essential repairs job. Weeds grow in excellent soil and those unwanted vegetation get vitamins that are meant to be for vegetation.

      7. Seek a mentor and network with other people

      This might look adore it is not directly associated with the issues we’re discussing, however seasoned organic farmers believe that this is an important. There are many instances when farmers get lost in their pursuit of organic farming, and they have no idea what to do next. Books and on-line tutorials would possibly assist in surprising situations, but not anything beats expert recommendation from a dwelling breathing natural farmer.

      It may be essential to network with individuals who can help in promoting farm merchandise. These people additionally connects natural farmers to the proper markets.

      8. Patience performs a key function

      Some individuals who plan to start an organic farm wish they get organic fruits and vegetables in a single day. Sorry to damage the bubble, however this is not even just about what occurs if truth be told. Growing organic crops is a gradual and tedious procedure. numerous times, natural farming does no longer move as deliberate. An organic farmer should be physically and mentally ready of unexpected situations that will rise up. The farmer’s set objectives must be cheap.

      Working within the farm is an on a regular basis affair, and organic farming gradual step-by-step procedure. The farmer needs to be continual and affected person.

      While the results of an natural farm may seem sexy, the method of putting in place and maintaining the farm is a tricky one. It takes hard paintings, persistence, endurance, and huge a lot of optimism. The willpower concerned about an organic farm is a difficult one, but in time, the culmination (and greens) of a farmer’s exertions shall be able for the selecting.

      Happy farming!

      Organic livestock farming: benefits, principles, challenges

      Introduction to Organic livestock farming:

      Organic livestock farming is one among various farming systems that are close to nature & ethics. The use of veterinary drugs & synthetic products in conventional animal farming is continuously increasing the threat to human health. Organic livestock farming method is a land-based activity. In order to avoid environmental pollution, particularly natural sources such as the soil & water, organic production of livestock must in principle present for a close relationship between such production and the land.

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      Organic livestock farming not only proves to maintain health & welfare of animals. But is also playing an important role in providing benefits regarding the health of consumers, profit to the producers and sustainability of the environment. Certified organic animals are generally reared by feeding on pastures, fully organic nutrition is provided that is grown and processed by avoiding the use of synthetic pesticides & herbicides. Animals are reared without the use of any genetic modifications & antibiotics or artificial hormones are allowed only when no other option is available that too to a limited extent.

      The demand for organic livestock farming is increasing tremendously with the attendant expansion of organic livestock product markets. The presence of developing countries like Brazil & Argentina in exporting the organic livestock products provides welcome opportunities for the other developing countries like India. In order to increase export of organic livestock farming products and develop strong domestic markets a lot of challenges must be overcome by the developing countries. Organic livestock farming has a greater demand & scope in the present global scenario due to more focus on sustainability. Despite its benefits, there are several debatable questions like the circulation of disease organisms, use of medicines & management, etc. regarding organic livestock farming in which further research & re-consideration is needed.

      Historical development of Organic livestock farming:

      Historically, livestock has always played the main role in organic production systems. During the formative years of the organic livestock movement (the 1920s through the 1950s), the typical organic farms of Great Britain, Continental Europe & North America integrated livestock production with the growth of both food & feed crops.

      Livestock provided manure, which is one of nature’s best fertilizers & a good means for recycling nutrients within a crop rotation. Rising organic livestock farming feed alongside food crops, expand rotations; because forage legumes & sod-forming grasses are among the best feeds for ruminant livestock, these soil-building crops physically became part of long sustainable cropping sequences. In such systems, livestock could be fed cull vegetables, weather damaged crops, crop residues, “alternative” grains, and forages & cash crop grains during years of low prices.

      Organic agriculture has its roots in traditional agricultural perform in small communities around the world. Farmers passed down knowledge of efficient practices onto subsequent generations. Organic agriculture became observable on a wider scale in the 1960s, when farmers & consumers became concerned that the number of chemicals used in crop & animal production could have negative consequences for human being health & the environment. Since then, it has developed into a more cohesive & organized movement and it is now the fastest growing food sector globally.

      Characteristics of organic livestock production systems:

      Organic livestock management shall aim to use natural breeding methods, minimize stress, prevent disease, progressively eliminate the use of chemical allopathic veterinary drugs, and maintain animal health & welfare.

      Breeds and Breeding

      There is a large range of organic farming enterprises. There are farms that focus on scale economies & maximum production efficiency per animal or per hectare. Other farms focus on product quality, self-sufficiency, direct marketing or niche market, etc. These different types of farms may need livestock breeds with different characteristics. At present, organic farmers worldwide keep livestock according to circumstances where breed choice has been based on information from conventional production systems. Such livestock could not be optimally adapted to an organic, low-input farming system.

      When animals are genetically adapted to specific or extreme conditions, they will be more productive and production costs will be lower. Also, selecting breeds suitable for the local environment will also safeguard animal health and welfare. Production in intensive systems is associated with high-energy concentrate feeding & regular, prophylactic veterinary treatments and the use of exotic livestock breeds. Livestock breeds developed for use under these circumstances. Organic forage-based livestock systems may need special breeds. Highly productive dairy cows, for example, may endure physiological problems under organic conditions, as they need concentrate.

      Feeds and feeding

      • Livestock should be fed with 100 percent physically grown feeds.
      • More than 50 percent should come from farms or formed in the region.
      • Sufficient green fodder must be supplied.
      • Sufficient clean & potable drinking water should be provided.
      • Use of synthetic growth promoters, synthetic appetizers, preservatives, synthetic coloring agents, synthetic amino acids, emulsifiers, urea etc. is prohibited.

      Housing:

      • Animals should not be caged, tethered in buildings.
      • Animals should have enough area to graze.
      • Housing must allow sufficient movement.
      • The maximum amount of fresh air & daylight should be provided.
      • Should be reared in herds or flocks of appropriate size.
      • Dry litter material must be used as bedding.
      • Group penning is arranged.
      • The indoor area is complemented by an outdoor area that must be at least 75 percent of the indoor area.

      Disease prevention:

      • Selection of breeds to avoid exact diseases. The indigenous breeds are resistant to most of the disease as compared to exotic breeds.
      • Animals should be raised in a manner that promotes good resistance against diseases & infections.
      • Availability of good value feed in outdoor areas strengthens the natural immune system.
      • Adequate space allowance avoids overcrowding & prevents health problems associated with it.
      • Vaccines should be used when diseases cannot be controlled by other manage mental techniques.

      Treatment:

      • Avoid reliance upon routine or prophylactic makes use of conventional veterinary medicines.
      • Non-allopathic medicines, herbal medicines & methods, including Homoeopathy, Ayurvedic medicine and acupuncture should be emphasized.
      • Conventional veterinary medicines are allowed in case of an emergency. If used, the with-holding period for livestock products should be twice the legal essential period.

      Challenges of Organic livestock farming in Developing Countries:Developing countries are already producing a wide range of organic products & many are thriving well. Though, most of them are often faced by a number of constraints, such as:

      1. Lack of technical know-how, for example, organic farming practices & production methods. In most developing countries, practical support is oriented towards using technologies that can enhance productivity per unit input and time. The practical knowledge, how about organic livestock farming is restricted to private companies that have access to export & limited local markets.
      2. Lack of market information, for example, which products to grow, which markets & distribution channels to choose, competition, market access. Although most of the population in the developing countries become aware of the health & environmental hazard of inorganic agricultural products, there are no extensive promotion works concerning the negative impacts of these products & initiation of the use of organic ones. In addition, most governments in developing countries are promoting the common conventional production systems which could hamper the market information about the accessibility of organic agricultural products.
      3. Organically produced foods have to meet strict regulations. Entering this profitable market is not easy. Farmers are denied contact to developed country organic markets for two to three years after beginning organic management since such countries will not certify land & livestock as organic before that time, arguing that it is essential for the purging of chemical residues.
      4. Intensive management & this is why farming is mostly done on a smaller scale.
      5. Organic farming is still faced with the difficulty of higher labor input in its operation. Other studies show that the major reason why organic farming requires more labor is to carry out manual & mechanical tasks essential to growth. The preparation for sale on the farm or on the market involves more labor on organic holdings. In fact, this could be a challenge to organic livestock farming because of the rising flow of the labor force from rural agriculture to urban areas where they could enjoy a better payment.
      6. Organic farming is still hampered by the requirement of clarity: Consumers were not always sure about what was actually covered by organic farming and the restrictions it implied. The reasons for the confusion lay, among further things, in the existence of a number of different “schools” or philosophies, the need of harmonized terminology, the nonstandard presentation of products & the tendency to blur the distinctions between concepts such as organic, natural, wholesome & so on. The situation was worsened by cases of fraudulent utilize of labeling referring to organic methods. In the future, organic livestock products will gain contact to lucrative local markets because of the growing income, urbanization & the increasing demand of animal products and these together with the information on the inclination to the requirements of organic livestock products, will make opportunity for the deceitful use of labeling.

      Factors influencing organic livestock farming success:

      With regard to the legislative side, it is extremely important to note that regulations on organic production embrace a wide variety of organic farms; they agree to use different animal breeds, structures, agro-ecosystem management, feeding strategies, & marketing strategies. As a consequence, organic the livestock farm’s success & perspectives are really different from one place to another. For example, found that the situation in North Germany was in contrast to the region in the south, where the variability of amount & proportion of the different feed types is predominantly independent of the milk yield. Many factors form these differences, such as the ecosystems on which farms are based and consumers’ demands & willingness to pay.

      Animal nutrition: Legislation and market

      Animal nutrition constitutes the main pillar of organic livestock production. Therefore, found that feeding strategies among Wisconsin organic dairy farms were the main determinants of herd milk production and income over feed costs. This could serve current organic farmers & transition farmers when considering feeding management changes needed to meet organic pasture rule necessities or dealing with dietary supplementation challenges.

      In relation to organic feedstuffs, the mainly important obstacles are the difficulty to find them & their prices. This situation is forced by the farms’ high external dependence of feedstuff due to the decoupling between crops & livestock. These facts decrease the organic livestock farms´ adaptability, & their access to feed additives and materials of high quality. As a result, the organic livestock farming sector faces a big challenge that, along with other factors, has to lead to a situation characterized by organic livestock farms without organic products, which decreases their profitability & future perspectives of success. This has been observed also in beef cattle, dairy cow farms, or other species.

      One possible result of overcoming this barrier would be the use of local agricultural by-products for animal nutrition since their price is generally low, and according to, they allow adding to their economic value, while providing an environmentally sound technique for disposal of the by-product materials. Moreover, it would lead to either an increase in the incomes for the organic business that sells such by-products or a decrease in the expenditure related to their disposal.

      Opportunities for Organic Livestock Farming in Developing Countries Acceptance by Consumers:

      Most consumers wish organic foods because they declare it is tastier, as well as healthier both for themselves & the environment. Consumers are ready to pay additional for organic products. Another reason for Organic products prominence is the opposition to genetically customized food. Under organic livestock production process, consumers expect organic milk, meat, poultry, eggs and leather products, etc. To come from farms that have been inspected to prove that they meet rigorous standards, which permit the use of organic feed, prohibit the use of prophylactic antibiotics & give animal contact to the outdoors, fresh air and sunlight.

      Consumer demand for certified organic products is mostly concentrated in North America & Europe with the two regions contributing 96 percent of global revenues of certified organic products. Besides a large variety of organic crop products, major livestock products sold are eggs & dairy products. Even though there is less availability & lack of certification process of organic livestock products in developing countries, most of the people, particularly those living around urban areas in are aware of the beneficiary aspects of organic products & thrive to use these products for consumption. Once if the government of these countries endorses organic livestock farming as a policy and if awareness formed & technical assistance is provided among the communities of both urban & rural areas, people tend to produce more of the organic livestock products so this will increase the supply & compensate the price of products.

      Encourages Biodiversity:

      Organic livestock farming provides energy for microbial activity & this has been suggested as an indicator of change for soil properties because the size & activity of the microbial quotient is directly related to the amount & quality of carbon available.

      Organic livestock farms often explore biodiversity than conventional farms since it is usually with more trees, a wider diversity of crops & many different natural predators, which control pests & help prevent disease.

      Livestock farmers could tend to think of insects as pests:

      mosquitoes & various flies come to mind. Yet dung beetles & other similar insects help to take manure into the soil, where it feeds the microorganisms & eventually the pasture plants. Pollinators that assist the ecosystem function are beneficial to livestock & insects are vital to the food chain. You can encourage insects by having a diversity of flowering plants & by not using broad-spectrum insecticides

      Benefits of Organic livestock farming:

      Environment: Organic farmers & ranchers use practices that reduce impacts on the off-farm environment. They implement plans to avoid manure runoff, instead of using compost as fertilizer it to conserve nutrients. As well, farmers use sustainable practices such as crop rotation & cover crops to maintain soil fertility and protect soil & water quality.

      Animal health: Pasture-based diets develop ruminants’ digestive health, making the rumen less acidic. This lower acidity increases the number of beneficial microorganisms that help ferment ruminants’ high-fiber diet. Pasture-based systems have been exposed to reduce hock lesions and other lameness, mastitis, veterinary expenses, & cull rates.

      Although livestock is generally the last part of the farm to be certified organic, they are often central to the farm & can contribute to its success. Livestock plays an even critical role in organic farms than they do on conventional farms. Livestock on an organic farm plays the main role in:

      Nutrient cycling: a process in which nutrients are returned to the soil through manure & compost. Amending soils with animal manures can increase microbial biomass, enzymatic activity & alter the structure of the microbial community.

      Incorporation of feed crops, such as alfalfa, grasses into crop rotations assists to build soil organic matter. Increasing cropping options, adding diversity of the agro-ecosystem.

      Weed control: feed crops can be used to suppress & control weeds and animals can be used to graze out weeds on crops or pastures

      Preparing the ground for cropping:

      Livestock farm such as pigs can ‘Plough’ rough or new land earlier than planting vegetables or grains, reducing tillage & weed control costs.

      Interrupting insect & disease cycles by taking land out of cropping.

      Adding value to grasslands & promoting the use of green manures Reducing the financial risks of farming by converting lower quality grain crops & screenings into profit and spreading income more evenly over the year.

      Organic Certification:

      It is a certification procedure for producers of organic food & other organic agriculture products. In general, any business straight involved in food production can be certified, including seed suppliers, dairy farm, farmers, food processors & retailers. Certification is basically aimed at regulating & facilitating the sale of organic products to consumers and also prevents fraud.

      The five major certifying bodies which monitor the standards for organic production & having worldwide acceptance are:-

      – EU regulation (1804/1999),

      – Organic Food Products Acts (OFPA) of USA,

      – Draft Guidelines of Codex / WHO/ FAO,

      – UK Register of Organic Food Standards (UKROFS)

      – International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM)

      Steps required for certification:

      1. The local certification group has to be contacted to know their standards as they vary from area to area & type of production.
      2. Study the standards & check by the certification agency if there is anything that is not clear.
      3. Submit a completed application & fees to the certification agency. Confidentiality is secure.
      4. The certification agency’s certification group will consider the application & if anything is in order, will hire a third party inspector to create an on-farm assessment periodically.
      5. The inspector submits a comprehensive report & committee member’s made a decision based on the report & sells products as ‘certified organic’. Some agencies charge licensing fees & have official stickers or labels, which may be purchased.

      The followings are the National Standards for Organic Livestock Production (NSOLP) In India:

      • Landscape
      • Fertilization Policy
      • Animal husbandry management
      • Length of the conversion period
      • Brought –in Animals
      • Breeds & Breeding
      • Mutilations
      • Animal Nutrition
      • Veterinary Medicine
      • Transport and Slaughter

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      Organic rice success story

      India’s organic rice success story proves that GMOs are unnecessary

      by: Daniel Barker

      One of the biggest – but most easily debunked – lies we’ve been told about GM agriculture is that the technology is necessary to feed a steadily increasing world population. Monsanto and other GM agriculture companies would like for us to believe that their methods increase crop yields and are therefore essential in fighting world hunger, but it simply isn’t true.

      Many people who might otherwise be skeptical about GMOs have been led to accept the idea that the supposed increase in yields justifies the widespread planting of GM crops, so they tend to overlook the dangers associated with the technology.

      GM agriculture often decreases overall regional crop yields
      But there has been no real increase in crop yields due to GM agriculture – in fact, the opposite is often true, when all factors are taken into consideration. Not only are the yields from GM crops typically only marginally larger than those from conventional farming methods, but the technology actually damages nearby crops, thereby decreasing regional yields.

      The use of the herbicide glyphosate – a key component in GM agriculture and a carcinogen, to boot – is a threat to non-glyphosate-resistant crops, so in many cases the technology causes a negative overall effect on potential crop yields in a given area.

      From Anonymous:

      And contrary to GM agriculture propaganda, the key to increased yields may actually lie in the refinement of organic farming techniques, as Indian rice farmers are now proving in that country’s rice fields.

      India’s organic rice revolution
      In India, where GM agriculture has proven to be a huge disaster, driving many farmers to suicide over debts to GM seed companies after the technology failed to deliver the promised yields, many farmers are turning to organic methods – and with astonishing results:

      “Even the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), which is often dominated by agrochemical interests, released a report that showed there was no increase in yield potentials for GM crops over the past 15 years. In addition, the majority of GMOs grown aren’t even used to feed hungry people.” From the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS): “Contrary to myths about the superiority of GE crop yields, most yield gains in recent years are due to traditional breeding or improvement of other agricultural practices … genetic engineering has failed to significantly increase U.S. crop yields.”

      “In Bihar, India, farmers are breaking world records for rice production without agrochemicals or GMOs. In 2013, Sumant Kumar and his family produced an astounding 22.4 tons of rice on only one hectare of land, much more than anything achieved by GM seed companies and their expensive herbicides,” Anonymous noted.

      The secret to Kumar and other Indian rice farmers’ success is a new organic rice growing method called the System of Rice Intensification (SRI). This breakthrough approach uses different techniques than those of conventional rice farming, including the wide spacing of young rice plants in a square pattern, and avoidance of the traditional method of flooding rice fields.

      With the SRI approach, the rice fields are kept moist rather than being flooded, and are fertilized naturally instead of with expensive chemical fertilizers. Rotary weeding is also used, and the end result is greater yields through an approach that also allows farmers to adapt to increasingly unpredictable weather patterns.

      The success of the SRI method is proof that organic farming, when properly managed, can produce far greater yields than GM agriculture, and at a lower cost – both in terms of money and damage to the environment – not to mention human health.

      The GM agriculture industry is based on lies and greed. If we truly want to feed an increasing world population without endangering ourselves and the environment, organic farming offers the only real solution.

      Sources:

      AnonHQ.com

      UCSUSA.org

      UCSUSA.org[PDF]

      How to start an organic garden

      You’ve been trying to eat more organic foods, both to decrease the amount of pesticides you and your family consume and to help protect the environment. But take one look at your grocery store receipt and you know that buying organic can get very expensive, very fast. Luckily, there’s a way to grow your own delicious, fresh produce while having fun and learning at the same time: organic gardening!
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      Don’t know where to start? It is possible to hire someone to install and maintain a beautiful organic garden for you, but most of us can roll up our sleeves with a surprisingly low amount of effort. Remember, you can start small, even with just a single plant or two. Don’t worry if things aren’t perfect right away.
      Organic gardening means you won’t use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, but that doesn’t mean your plants fend for themselves. There are an array of tools you can use to bolster plant health and ward off pests. Read on for specific tips, taken from expert garden blogger, Leslie Land, her New York Times book 1000 Gardening Questions & Answers, and other sources.
      Getting Started
      Start off on the right foot with all of the tools you’ll need for the job.
      Top-Tested Clippers: Fiskars PowerGear Bypass Pruner ($25, amazon.com)
      Ergonomic Trowel Set: Fiskars 3 Piece Softouch Garden Tool Set ($16, amazon.com)
      Best-Selling Soil Test Kit: Luster Leaf Rapitest Soil Test Kit ($14, amazon.com)
      Favorite Compost Bin: Yimby Tumbler Composter ($89, amazon.com)
      Breathable Garden Gloves: Pine Tree Tools Bamboo Working Gloves ($8, amazon.com)
      Lightweight Watering Can: Union Watering Can ($10, amazon.com)
      Preparing the Soil
      In order to get the best results with your new organic garden, you’ll want to make sure the soil is properly conditioned. You have to eat, and so do plants, so make sure your veggies get lots of fresh nutrients. Healthy soil helps build up strong, productive plants. Chemical soil treatments can not only seep into your food, but they can also harm the beneficial bacteria, worms, and other microbes in the soil.
      The best way to gauge the quality of your soil is to get it tested. You can get a home testing kit, or better, send a sample to your local agricultural extension office. For a modest fee you’ll get a complete breakdown of pH and nutrient levels, as well as treatment recommendations; be sure to tell them you’re going organic. Typically, it’s best to test in the fall, and apply any organic nutrients before winter.
      Even if you don’t have time for testing, you’ll want to make sure your soil has plenty of humus — the organic matter, not the similarly named Mediterranean spread. According to 1000 Gardening Questions & Answers, you’ll want to mix in compost, leaf and grass clippings, and manure. Manure should be composted, unless you aren’t harvesting or planting anything for two months after application. Preferably, get your manure from local livestock that’s organically and humanely raised.
      Making Good Compost
      All gardens benefit from compost and you can make your own on site. Hey, it’s free! Compost feeds plants, helps conserve water, cuts down on weeds, and keeps food and yard waste out of landfills by turning garbage into “black gold.” Spread compost around plants or mix with potting soil — it’s hard to use too much!
      The best compost forms from the right ratio of nitrogen- and carbon-rich organic waste, mixed with soil, water, and air. It might sound like complicated chemistry, but don’t worry too much if you don’t have time to make perfect compost. Even a minimally tended pile will still yield decent results.
      1. To get started, measure out a space at least three feet square. Your compost heap can be a simple pile or contained within a custom pen or bin (some can be rotated, to improve results).
      2. Add alternating layers of carbon (or brown) material — leaves and garden trimmings — and nitrogen (or green) material — such as kitchen scraps and manure, with a thin layer of soil in between.
      3. Top off the pile with four to six inches of soil. Turn the pile as new layers are added and water to keep (barely) moist, in order to foster microbe action. You should get good compost in as little as two months or longer if it’s cold.
      4. A properly maintained compost pile shouldn’t smell. If it does, add more dry carbon material (leaves, straw, or sawdust) and turn it more frequently.

      A possibility for healthy food & safe environment

      Organic farming involves using techniques to produce good crop yields without harming the natural ecosystem or the people who live and work in it and completely relies on ecosystem management and attempts to reduce or eliminate synthetic agricultural inputs. Concept of organic farming is in process around the globe. During 2012-13, there is an increase of agriculture land regarding organic farming and total 69 million hectare area is organic in the world.
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      Author: Usman Zulfiqar (University of Agriculture, Faisalabad)
      It is a farming system that focuses on production of plants/crops without using synthetic or artificial chemicals (including fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, plant growth regulators and genetically modified organisms).
      It works in harmony with nature rather than against it. Organic farming involves using techniques to produce good crop yields without harming the natural ecosystem or the people who live and work in it and completely relies on ecosystem management and attempts to reduce or eliminate synthetic agricultural inputs.
      Concept of organic farming is in process around the globe. During 2012-13, there is an increase of agriculture land regarding organic farming and total 69 million hectare area is organic in the world.
      The population of the planet is skyrocketing and providing food for the world is becoming extremely difficult. The need of the hour is sustainable cultivation and production of food for all.
      With the advent of Green Revolution in the second half of 20th century, farmers began to use technological advances such as synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides to boost yields.
      These synthetic chemicals help to enhance crop productivity, but they are harmful too. They are simply destroying our natural ecosystem in many ways; intensive farming leading towards soil degradation.
      Continuous farming promotes wind and soil erosion, loss of organic matter and biological life in soil. Chemical fertilizer use on crops has adverse effects on waterways caused by chemical runoff of excess fertilizer. The over-abundance of nutrients reduces the oxygen in water, which results in death of fishes.
      Over-use of synthetic fertilizers result in soil acidification, because of low amount organic matter in soil. Unabsorbed nitrogen goes into the air and contributes in green house gases and air pollution.
      Synthetic fertilizers kill a huge amount of soil microorganisms; these microorganisms usually break down organic matter into plant nutrients, and convert nitrogen from air into plant usable form.
      Synthetic pesticides and herbicides inhibit the storage of Nitrogen and other essentials in the soil. They percolate into the soil by the action of rain water and get mixed with ground water. Spraying of herbicides makes them lighter and toxic compounds to be suspended into the air which in turn causes air borne diseases and nasal infections.
      Draining of these chemicals contaminate the water source and cause loss of living beings that feeds the water. These pesticides are also causal agents of various diseases; James Cleeton claims that “women with breast cancer are five to nine times more likely to have pesticide residues in their blood than those who do not.
      Hormone dependent cancers, such as prostrate and breast cancer may be via endocrine disrupting chemicals such as 2,4-D and Atrazine (Both are herbicides).
      Major features of organic farming are:
      • Development of sustainable agriculture production system that ensured adequate food production in future.
      • Production of nutritious food, feed for animals and high quality crops to sell at good price
      • Protection of soil quality by use of organic material and enhancing the biological activity in soil
      • Nitrogen fixation in soils using legumes
      • Provision of nutrients to crops by using soil microorganisms
      • There should integrated disease, weeds and pest management through different methods such as crop rotation, natural   predators, organic manures, biological diversity and suitable thermal, chemical and biological intervention
      • Ensure that water stays clean and safe
      • Conservation of soil, water and environment by practicing eco-friendly strategies.
      • Development of self-sufficient agriculture process that mainly depends upon natural resources
      • Use resources which the farmer already has, so the farmer needs less money to buy farm inputs
      Cultural practices during organic farming are performed from seed sowing up to harvesting of crops. Soil is main asset in agriculture, in organic farming there is minimum disturbance of soil so, its management is basic principle.
      First select those crops which have deep root in this way, need for ploughing will be reduced then use mechanical method with low damage. In organic farming there is no pre sowing seed treatment against insect pests and diseases. To produce healthy crop an organic farmer needs to manage the soil well.
      Feeding the soil with organic manure or composts is beneficial and soil turns this material into food for plant growth. This also enhances organic matter in soil. Green manures are also very valuable source of nutrition. One thing should remember that using too much manure or using at wrong time could be as harmful as synthetic fertilizers. So, right source should apply at right time and right rate.
      Each crop and crop variety has its own requirements, crops are affected by; type of soil, precipitation, altitude, temperature, requirement of water and nutrients. These factors affect crop growth and yield. Crops should select after keeping in view these factors.
      Crop rotations are important that growing of crops in such a sequence one after other that fertility status of soil may not affected. Best irrigation method function is to supply optimum water according to crop need. Organic matter contents can enhance the water holding capacity of soil.
      Mulches can also be used for this purpose. Mulching is a useful strategy as it prevents from soil erosion, reduce weeds growth and water loss and increase number of microorganisms in top soil. On an organic form weeds should controlled by hoeing, mulching and crop rotation. In organic farming first focused should be on selection of those crops which are resistant to pest.
      There are some benefits of organic farming;
      • Farmers have low production costs because they do not need to buy expensive chemicals and fertilizers.
      • Better mineral content in foods, better nutrition, fewer residues in food and free of poison food
      • Longer shelf–life of organic products
      • Organically grown crops are naturally drought resistant.
      • It slows down global warming
      • Organic farms save energy and protect the environment.
      Organic farming is not acclaimed in world because of low productivity as compared to conventional farming. But everyone admire that this farming is eco-friendly.
      Nobel Prize-winning plant breeder and father of Green Revolution Norman Borlaug supported organic farming in respect to environment friendly practice.Organic farming is preferred as it battles pests and weeds in a non-toxic manner, involves less input costs for cultivation and preserves the ecological balance while promoting biological diversity and protection of the environment.

      Profitability in organic farming

      Organic farming has the potential to address some of the threats to agricultural sustainability. It is a well-defined method of production that tends to minimise the use of costly synthetic inputs, such as fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides and medical products and makes agriculture environmentally sustainable and economically viable. It avoids nutrient exploitation and increases soil organic matter content.
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      An interesting research sponsored by the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics reveals that growing organic crops is at least as profitable as crops nurtured on synthetic inputs despite their low yields in Punjab.
      It is because of their low input costs and significant high price premium.
      Further study reports that organic farms tend to better conserve soil fertility and system stability than conventional farms.
      Importance of agriculture in Pakistan economy needs not to be over emphasised. It accounted for 20.9pc of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2014-15 and is a source of livelihood of 43.5pc of rural population.
      However, farmers are under great stress as their profits are shrinking sharply which may pose food security threats to the country’s 190m people.
      Current farming practices in Pakistan heavily rely on the use of chemical inputs and high yielding varieties. This has led to a decline in soil fertility and loss in topsoil, organic matter and the crop production potential of soils.
      These problems are especially important in the wheat-rice belt, the breadbasket of northern India and Pakistan, which covers over 12m ha and provides food security for some 500m people.
      The conventional farming brings small profits due to the continued increases in input costs and stagnant market prices of agricultural outputs (especially major crops like wheat, rice and cotton) resulting from government interventions that distort relative prices.
      Organic farming has the potential to address some of the threats to agricultural sustainability.
      It is a well-defined method of production that tends to minimise the use of costly synthetic inputs, such as fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides and medical products and makes agriculture environmentally sustainable and economically viable.
      It avoids nutrient exploitation and increases soil organic matter content.
      Soils under organic system capture and store more water than soils under chemicals-used cultivation. Integrated organic approaches also demand more labour inputs. In addition, higher prices can be realised via organic certification.
      Higher farm incomes are thus possible due to lower input costs and higher sale prices.
      This research compares the productivity and profitability of organic and conventional farms that grow two major crops, wheat and rice, based on primary data collected from farms located in three districts-Gujranwala, Sheikhupura and Okara of Punjab.
      The study shows the overall, input costs are 20pc and 10pc lower in organic wheat and rice farms relative to their chemical counterparts.
      The average organic farm produced 14pc less wheat and 44pc less rice per hectare relative to the average ‘conventional’ farm.
      However, organic crops earn significant higher price premium. The benefit cost ratio is also higher for organic crops as compared to ‘conventional’ crops.
      But an interesting question arises: if there is a significant difference in profits, one would expect an en-masse shift from one system to the other, which has not been observed.
      In fact, if fertiliser and pesticides subsidies for agriculture are withdrawn or a subsidy for organics is introduced, there may be a natural shift to organic farming as this would tilt the profit balance.
      Organic agriculture needs to be encouraged as it is an economically as well as ecologically viable farming.
      It can ensure sustainable use of natural resources: the labour intensive nature of the organic farming would also provide more employment for rural unskilled workers, and save valuable foreign exchange used to import chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
      Stakeholders point out four problems of organic agriculture: first, markets for organic products are not well developed; secondly, the organic inputs are not easily available to farmers.
      For pest and weed control, farmers are constrained to use only mechanical and biological methods to which they have immediate access. No subsidies are available for organic products.
      June, 2015
      By  M KHAN | M IFTIKHAR UL HUSNAIN