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Organic Farming ¡V Farming Method That Cherishes the Earth
Organic farming is a kind of management system that encourages sustainable use of natural resources and highlights water and soil conservation as well as balances ecological system. As a result, certified organic produce is grown without chemically compounded substances including chemical pesticides and fertilizers, hormones, and animal health protection chemicals products. In addition, the water and soil used to grow organic produce cannot be contaminated. As far as maintenance of soil fertility is concerned, as well as designation of ecological sanctuaries, crop rotation has to be carried out to provide soil with adequate rest.
Growers have to be certified by an impartial third party before their produce legally becomes organic produce. So far, four certification organizations ¡V MOA International, Taiwan Organic Production Association (TOPA), Tse-Xin Organic Agriculture Foundation (TOAF) and Taiwan Formosa Organic Association (FOA) ¡V have been approved by the Council of Agriculture.
The use of chemically compounded substances pollutes air, water and soil, while high-degree development and intensive farming worsen soil and destroy birds and insects survival environment. Most importantly, the chemical pesticides, hormones and animal health protection chemicals remaining in produce threaten human health. After all, organic farming is a farming method that requires the least time, effort and money. Farmers often lose large quantities of harvests because of natural disasters. If they don¡¦t use a low-cost production method, how will they solve the problems caused by the use of fertilizers, pesticides and pests?
To overcome technical difficulties encountered in carrying out organic farming, the government has formed research teams to develop new production technologies and helped farmers make organic fertilizers by themselves or use organic matter to improve soil fertility. Due to environmental constraints, Taiwan¡¦s organic farming stresses sustainable maintenance of soil fertility through crop rotation. By growing different crops successively in the seasons suitable to be grown, land can be made good use of and results similar to those obtained abroad through letting land idle can be obtained.
As to tackling pests, Taiwan¡¦s organic farmers use a technique that combines intercropping and the spraying of natural repellent medical preparations to get rid of pests. Intercropping refers to growing a crop different from the main crop along the sides of the main crop to reduce the chance of the main crop being diseased or attacked by pests. Some farmers grow crops in a netted house or conservatory to protect them from most of the pests. Natural repellent medical preparations, diluted Bacillus thuringiensis or Chinaberry essence, garlic, and diluted sugar vinegar and wood vinegar have been used because they are harmless to humans and pose no threat to the environment.
Farming method that believes in life-force
Organic farming can be carried out using more than scientific methods. In Taiwan, a group of farmers believe in land and the ¡§life-force¡¨ of crops. They insist on natural farming when it comes to organic farming. Natural farming refers to a farming method that uses no chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Farmers practicing natural farming improve soil fertility through crop rotation, intercropping green manure and composting. They grow crops that are suitable for the season and soil.
Whether it be organic farming or natural farming, as long as nature is valued and no chemical fertilizers or pesticides are used, we can create a sustainable environment that produces healthy, pollutant-free produce. And that is the best production method for the environment, consumers and producers.