Organic Farm Forestry In India
Organic Farm Forestry In India
Why Organic Farm forestry?
Organic farm forestry is an agricultural practice where we refrain from any usage of chemicals. It is termed as the healthiest and environment-friendly farming practice. Its ideology is that of sustainable development. It restores the fertility and productivity of the soil, along with producing chemical-free products.
In the era of innovation and technology, we often turn to a more comfortable and more profitable alternative. To increase the crop yield, we seek the help of artificial fertilizers. And to get rid of pests and insects, we go for pesticides and insecticides. But with time, these chemicals rupture the structure of the soil, making it unfit for further production. And even the pest grows resistant. Yet again, to overcome this, we utilize more and more fertilizers and pesticides to a state where it gets ruin beyond repair.
So, an excellent alternative is Organic farm forestry. This method is also gaining popularity and getting on the field. In January 2016, Sikkim became India’s first “100 per cent organic” state. Today, all farming in Sikkim is carried out without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, providing access to safer food choices and making agriculture a more environment-friendly activity. Globally, around 40 million ha area is undergoing organic farming. Even the global market is replacing synthetic products with nutritious natural products. Its huge demand and less availability are making it more expensive. With less cost of production as compared to other forms of farming, organic farming has more profit.
Initially, it may seem a difficult task, with no clue where to start. The less produce in comparison to alternative methods can be depressing. But with patience and consistency, soon we can surpass the productivity of alternative approaches. And in the long run, we would face no side effects, like saturated soil. as the world knows, it is healthy if it is organic, we are here to help you at every step.
Principles of Organic Farm Forestry:
There is the usage of organic-based fertilizers and manures. The soil fertility can be enhanced using green manures, blood meal, bone meal, oil cakes, cow dung cakes, etc. Manures are formed by partial or fully decomposed organic materials, like vegetable peels, leftovers, dead flowers, leaves or other plant parts, animal waste. It is added to the soil to amend it. Green manure is formed by only plant leftover, crop leftovers and plant waste. When manure is made with controlled decomposition, it is called compost. The process of decomposition of organic waste and materials by microorganism inside a pit is called composting. Sometimes the process may involve other small insects or worms. The help of earthworms is called overcompensating.
Composting is mostly done in a compost pit. The pit most is well aerated. Otherwise, it can result in anaerobic decomposition that produces a foul odor, attracting vermin. Even the temperature must be adequate to decompose green waste, killing seeds and diseases. It should also be moist.
Even the practice of crop rotation is beneficial. After a significant crop, like paddy, wheat or cereals, cultivation of leguminous crops can help to restore the soil nitrogen. It is done by the process of nitrogen fixation performed by the bacteria Rhizome present in the root nodules of leguminous plants. And after harvesting, when the topsoil is turned, the leftover part of the plant is mixed in the soil. It can act as green manure enriching the soil.
To manage the weeds, we can increase competition. For this practices of mixed cropping are to be followed, by introducing a secondary crop that will not affect the primary yield. But it will leave no space or nutrients for weed to survive. Even when there is no crop on the field, catch crop may be cultivated to keep away the unwanted plants. Organic farming believes in wee suppression rather than elimination. Even The agricultural practices like mowing, tillage, pruning, cutting and mulching help to get rid of weeds.
For intercultural activities, traditional tools are used. Organic farm forestry the reliance on fossil fuels that are used in motor machinery and equipment.
To manage a pest infestation, biological pest control technique would be applied. In organic pest control, other organisms are used. It involves the introduction of natural enemies of the pest that are bred in the laboratory and released into the environment. Ideally, the released organism will breed and survive and provide long-term control. For example, mosquitoes are often controlled by putting BT Bacillus Thuringiensis SSP. Israelensis, a bacterium that infects and kills mosquito larvae, in local water sources.
Organic Farming in Forest Farmlands:
Because chemical use in the vicinity can affect the ideology of organic agriculture. Forest farmland is left over a long period without human interaction. They are very fresh, fertile and isolated. They can be the perfect platform to initiate organic farming. There will be no requirement to treat the soil after excessive use of chemicals. Its productivity and structure are still intact. The microbial population and activity are optimum. The water retention capacity is functional. Even for integrated farming, live stocks would have sufficient grassland to graze on. Also, materials for preparing compost is readily available.
Unlike plain land where we first need to treat the saturated soil. Increasing it not only requires more labor but also adds on to the cost of production. These chemicals even have contaminated the groundwater over there, including the nearby water bodies. On top of that pest infestation is more prone to plain land than hilly forest land. There is the issue of irregular rainfall pattern. Getting rid of the pest can be a hideous task.
Even after so many investments and efforts, the results are unsatisfactory as the market demand and return would not match the input. The profit margin is very narrow. It is because of the poor quality of products. Well, a wiser option would be choosing forest farmland instead. Forest farmlands are an undiscovered treasure.