Beneficial Agriculture – Organic Production
In the state of Jordan, farmers are using various techniques and strategies to cultivate, manufacture and distribute beneficial agri-foods. The agricultural sectors in the country are well diversified with over 40 different types of crops grown, and the small-holders are employing modern agri-food processing and packaging techniques to increase the productivity of their yield. The continuous harvest of olive oil, dates, legumes and olive leaves supports the small-holders to meet the demands of consumers while at the same time reducing chemical fertilization and pesticides, and instead enhancing the natural capacity of the soil. These chemicals in fertilizers and pesticides, when introduced into the soil to destroy the microorganisms that exist there and disrupt the growth of the desired microorganisms that are productive in the soil.
Beneficial agri-food production refers to those foods that are manufactured from natural or organic raw materials. This implies that these are products that contain no synthetic products added. Organic products are much easier to digest, and have a better taste and nutrient content. Beneficial agri-foods include honey, aloe vera, orange juice, oat bran, orange peel, as well as many kinds of spices.
There is a vast difference between organic and conventional agri-food production. Organic farming does not use chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides to increase the crop yield. In conventional farming, these are all used. Therefore, conventional farmers are facing increasing food supply related problems.
Some of the methods adopted by organic farmers to increase their agri-food production are the use of crop rotation, use of conservation techniques and improved irrigation systems. Some farmers do not use chemicals for pest control and also refrain from using chemical fertilizers on their crops. Other methods adopted for beneficial agri-food production include ensuring that farmers do not use fertilizers on their crops before they are planted. Farmers should make sure that before they apply any fertilizer on their crops, the soil should be thoroughly cleaned. Farmers should also minimize the use of pesticides.
Chemical fertilizers are very harmful to the environment. They pollute water bodies and end up polluting the soil where they are used. As a result, fish and wildlife species are killed and the soil becomes unfit for cultivation of food. Farmers should therefore not use chemical based fertilizers because this results in environmental pollution, which is not healthy for humans and the environment.
The chemicals used in agricultural practices can pollute the water bodies and soil and this ultimately results in contamination of the human body. Therefore, it is essential that the consumption of agri-food is safe for consumption. Beneficial agri-foods include food items produced naturally. These include crops such as alfalfa, broccoli, collard greens, endive, kale, mustard, nasturtium, gravitas, spinach, strawberries, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, and zucchini. Farmers should also not spray their plants with pesticides and other synthetic chemicals to increase the growth rate of their crops.
The processing of agri-food is also very important. After the crop has been sown, the crop residue and the byproducts of the sowing process are used for making ethanol, biodiesel, methanol, gasoline, and other synthetic diesel products. These products are harmful for the environment. So, farmers should ensure that the processing of their produce is completely organic. Organic commodity production has become very important these days because of the growing awareness of people for healthy living.
The benefits of using organic products in agri-food production are manifold. It helps in reducing chemicals and pesticides, which pollute the soil and the air and contaminate the food. The health of people is highly dependent on the health of the soil. Thus, the productivity of the land can be improved through the use of natural fertilizers and pest control measures. This results in higher production and quality of the crop, leading to a rise in its price and income.