Desperate need for organic farming!

AS THE issue of climate change and subsequent degradation of environment has started getting worse the world over including Pakistan with every passing day, the recent studies on practicing all available options and resources regarding protection of global environment or overcoming the negative impacts of climate change are gaining strength. Organic farming has emerged as the best environment friendly option and states are increasingly getting inclined towards adopting this way of farming. India, EU, America and other Western states have successfully opted for this way of farming and getting benefits of it as organic foods are in high demand in these states. The recent studies suggest that organic farming carries numerous benefits as it uses environmental friendly inputs and, therefore, generates environmental friendly foods and services. Organic foods are grown without pesticides, benefiting the environment through improved soil and water quality as the area delineated for organic farming forbids use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, veterinary drugs, hormones and breeds, additives, preservatives, etc. Presently, the food security concerns are at a high level in Pakistan. Increased usage of pesticides and subsequent threats of crops diseases spread are regularly haunting the farming community, who are facing regular decline in per acre yields. Droughts, flash floods, declined agriculture produce as well as crop diseases are termed the offshoots of climate change that need to be overcome to ensure food security in the country. Though organic farming has started gaining roots in the country as farmers in some parts of Balochistan, AJK, Chitral and others are using this way of farming, yet majority of the local farmers has yet to get full knowledge about this safe method of farming. The main hurdle in organic farming in Pakistan is termed the non-existence of an authority for the issuance of the organic farming certificate. Those opted for organic farming have got their certificate from abroad. Our neighboring state, India, has been issuing this certificate which is being accepted by the EU states. Agriculture experts say that organic farming is a science and before applying it, a person has to complete the knowledge about it and in this regard, PARC scientists need to do more work for the promotion of organic farming in the country. Besides, here comes a bigger role on the government side, as it needs to make some effective legislation to promote organic farming as has been done in India where about 538,000 hectors are presently under cultivation of organic farming. Pakistan has suffered a lot in terms of environment-related destruction to agriculture. The government should encourage organic farming on a larger scale as if this trend continues in future, it would massively leave negative impacts on the national agriculture and subsequently on human health.

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