The Benefits of Organic Farming For Small Farmers
Organic farming refers to means of farming that does not involve the use of chemicals such as chemical fertilizers and chemical pesticides. Numerous small farmers have been practicing organic farming; however, since they are unaware of the market opportunities, they are not able to reap the benefits of organic farming.
According to a research conducted by the Office of Evaluation and Studies (OE), International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), small farmers in Latin America, China and India can benefit drastically from organic farming and will help in alleviating poverty in these countries. Organic farming is being groomed to end modern farmers’ struggles resulting to various debts and farming land mortgages.Below are some of the benefits of organic farming for small farmers:
Higher Premium – Organic prices of organic foods are usually 20-30% higher than conventional food. This higher premium would meant fair and better returns for the small farmers, many of whom are still struggling with trying to achieve better returns from their farms.
Lower Investment – Organic farming do not require high capital investment as compared to other farming methods.With the soaring costs of chemicals and fertilizers used in the farms,many farmers has now realized the benefits and financial rewards of organic farming as they use natural made compost which are free. In cases of natural calamity, pest or disease attack, and irregular rainfall, when there is a crop failure, small farmers practicing organic farming have to suffer less as their investments are lower.
Lower Operating Costs – Further, since organic fertilizers and pesticides can be produced locally, the yearly costs incurred by the farmer are also low. Agriculture greatly depends on external factors such as climate, pests, disease. Further most of the small farmers are dependent on natural rain for water.
Lower Financial Burdens – Many small farmers worldwide are now in greater debt due to the soaring prices of chemicals,fertilizers,animal fees and fuel.Many are debt ridden.However,an organic farmer which relies on natural and self made natural fertilizers and farming methods have lesser financial burdens and risks.The increasing demand for their organic products will further strengthen their financial position.
Greater Knowledge – Small farmers have abundance of farming knowledge with them and within their community.Most of these knowledge backdates to the time when their ancestors were farming using traditional and natural ways.
Organic farming is not a new method, but one which predates to thousands of years when each family has their own land to farm and produce food.Just a century ago, there are no large scale commercial farming and there are no chemical plants that produces chemical fertilizers.