Biological agriculture

Various methods of sustainable farming can be undertaken and organic farming is one of them: it’s a production method defined and disciplined by the common CEE 2092/91 Regulation and, at an international level, by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements – IFOAM.
The organic production method respects the environment as it doesn’t resort to synthetic chemical products, as pesticides and fertilizers, but on the contrary, uses products of natural origin against parasites (sulphur, copper, plant extracts) and uses natural compost to fertilize soil. Biological farming products, though, aren’t totally devoid of residues of synthetic chemical products due to the presence of polluting agents, coming from crops where these substances are employed, in soil and water. Moreover, the use of elements existing in nature, as copper and fertilizers, doesn’t exclude potential damage to the environment but at least it guarantees that inserted substances are recognized by micro-organisms and are biodegraded over time: in nature, infact, practically all substances can cause damage to living organisms but what allows to identify a substance as toxic is the quantity which causes harmful effects in a given environment. As stated by Paracelsus “It’s the right dose which creates a poison” and, until toxic substances introduced in the environment can be assimilated and metabolized by existing organisms, pollution can be contained.
Other characteristics typical of organic farming are: crop rotation, which, on one hand, blocks parasites from finding a favourable environment to proliferate and, on the other hand, employs nutrient substances found in the soil more rationally and less intensively; superficial ploughing; use of useful insects to contrast insects that are harmful for crops; creation of dividing hedges and trees which give hospitality to natural predators of parasites and work as a physical barrier to potential external pollution; the recourse to alternative energy sources; the absence of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs); contemporary farming of different crops. Organic farming isn’t an innovative system, infact, before the invention of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, it was the only type of cultivation employed in the world! In many countries of the world where the “green revolution” of the ‘60s didn’t arrive, farming is still totally organic! Let’s just think that 80% of farmers in developing countries wouldn’t have to change at all their production systems if they wanted to be certified as “organic”! In addition to these countries which produce biologically without certification, organic farming at a global scale is practised by over 120 nations! According to most recent surveys, more than 634 thousand agriculture companies employ organic farming over about 31 million hectares of land. The continent with the greatest extension of organic crops, equivalent to 39% of the world’s overall crops, is Oceania; Europe is positioned at the second place (23%), followed by Latin America (19%); in Asia, North America and Africa, organic crops are very widespread. Nations with greatest areas destined to organic farming are Australia (with a bit less than 12 million hectares), Argentina (3,1 millions), China (2,3 millions), United States (1,6 millions) and Italy (1,07 millions).

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