Introduction to the Debate on Conventional versus Organic Agriculture
For many years now, conventional farmers and organic farmers have been in constant debates over which one is superior. Organic farmers and opponents maintain their argument that their products are environmentally-friendly because they do not use synthetic fertilizers applied in conventional farming. On the other hand, proponents of conventional agriculture argue that their products yield more and are healthier. Individuals tend to take sides based on these arguments, yet up to today, none has won. Even though these farmers believe in their techniques, none is better than the other because they both have advantages and disadvantages. This paper analyzes the ongoing debates between conventional and organic modes of farming.
Conventional is the modern type of farming that produces a lot of food that people consume today. It heavily depends on the use of synthetic and chemical fertilizers and chemical-based control mechanisms. Basically, it relies on chemical interventions to provide plant nutrition and to fight pests and diseases. On the other hand, organic agriculture relies on natural ways such as composting and biodiversity to produce abundant and healthy foods.
Conventional agriculture is a widely used form of farming and intensive farming, characterized by high inputs such as heavy use of fertilizers or pesticides, labor, capital, and low fallow ratio. Conventional agriculture leads to increased crop yields compared to organic farming, making more farmers and customer-friendly. Conventional agriculture aims to offer safe and proficient, and abundant food under low or fair prices.
This kind of farming is associated with various advantages and disadvantages. Some of its pros include that it produces a high amount of foods at relatively low production costs. Thus, it meets the high food demands of people. Its value is quite lucrative and low because of its higher marginal profits. Conventional agriculture produces cheaper food since it is easily manageable compared to organic farming, which depends on the natural environment. It also has varieties, hence consumer-friendly. The foods produced conventionally last longer than organic ones because of the chemicals induced in them. Conventional agriculture is associated with disadvantages such as it may harm the surrounding environment through the unsafe disposal of its massive waste materials. Besides, the various chemicals used are likely to harm the health of both human beings and animals. The chemicals used may also release dangerous pollutants to the environment. Additionally, large scale conventional agriculture scares away small scale farmers.
Organic farming relies on natural resources obtained from the environment to aid in the production of foods. Organic agriculture aims to maintain soil fertility, decrease environmental pollution, and maintain biodiversity. It focuses on promoting sustainability and producing products with nutritional benefits than those made through the conventional method. Organic farming was developed due to the rapidly changing agricultural practices that were affecting people and the environment.
There are many pros or benefits of organic farming. First, it entails less application of toxic chemicals, which enhances the more extraordinary biodiversity of farmland. Another one is that organic food has lower emissions of greenhouse gas when compared to conventional foods. This is because organics do not produce emissions linked with production, transport, and use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Besides, naturally grown foods contain a lower carbon footprint than those made through conventional ways.
Furthermore, organic foods are healthier than conventional ones because they do not have various chemicals that can affect people’s lives. Organic foods improve human health and also maintain the environmental sustainability. On the other hand, organic farming has multiple cons. This farming model is tough to keep because it may be challenging to find natural products for its maintenance. Organic agriculture is also characterized by diminished productivity in the long-term. It requires a lot of time and skills because it relies on natural factors. In all this, it is crucial to note that organic farming may not continue to be the better option as most people think. This is because the natural environment is slowly and steadily affected by the chemicals used in conventional agriculture. Thus, if people do not become careful, conventional agriculture may take a more significant percentage in the whole world because it may be the most convenient type of farming.