Organic farming a friend or enemy to climate change: A review

Aarati Khulal

Being an agriculture student and a climate activist, I came to realize these two terms are so much connected. Agriculture has a crucial role in both contributing and mitigating global warming. Organic agriculture combines old techniques, tradition, researches as well as science aiding not only the environment but also the health of consumers. It strictly avoids synthetically produced agriculture inputs even genetically modified inputs as well. Many researchers have put forward their findings of the facts of their exact relationship.

Climate change mitigation by Organic farming

 Organic farming is mitigating climate change. Organic agriculture can be a wonderful pathway to a climate-friendly future.

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Organic farming reduces the production of greenhouse gases responsible for global warming and climate change. There is a worldwide attempt to reduce global warming to 1.5°C. It can be achieved through fossil fuel cut off and the production of food through organic agriculture. Organic agriculture promotes lesser No2 due to lower nitrogen input. It is said that the impact of 1 kg nitrous oxide on warming is approximately 300 times more than 1 kilo Co2. Reduction in nitrogen-containing inputs as we perform in organic farming means a lot. The use of dried peat soil produces nitrous oxides and methane, this can be avoided at organic agriculture practices. Organically established soil has better soil structure and is less likely to erosion. This directly or indirectly lessens global carbon dioxide production. Similarly, farming system inputs also help to release lesser Co2. Organic agriculture had been thought as a beautiful approach that focuses on the maximum utilization of local renewable resources and maintains sustainability. Organic agriculture supports sustainable climate-friendly approaches like minimizing losses via runoff, emissions, reducing volatilization of nutrients, and close the nutrient cycle among the biodiversity. A significant amount of energy is used to produce synthetic fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides, and various other inputs. Organic agriculture cuts off this energy by 30-70% per unit of land.

Organic agriculture helps in the carbon sequestration in the soil. More carbon is stored with minimum tillage, cover crops, crop rotation, residues incorporation, etc leaves less carbon in the environment. Organic agriculture prevents nutrient and water loss, consequently decreasing the chances of flood and landslide. It promotes bio-diversity and various other management techniques for adapting to climate change.

It’s not about only climate change, organic farming works for maintaining biodiversity, tackle environment-related challenges and disaster, eutrophication, and sustainability. Indigenous knowledge is taken with us which connects yesterday with today. Yeah, it also thinks about tomorrow as well. All Past, present, and future are connected with it.

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Contribution of Organic farming on Climate change

The controversy arises when production through organic farming is related to the land they use. Obviously, organic production is about 40% lesser than the conventional one. To feed the world, more land should be utilized, conversely contributing the climate change. One of the international studies from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, claimed that organically farmed food has greater climate impact comparative to conventionally farmed food, due to the huge requirement of land. The same occurs with animal products as organic meat and milk production required organic feed, which needed more land as well. More trees could be cut down to cover the land requirement.


Reading the pros and cons, people have a different perception of organic farming regarding climate change. But, no one can deny the fact that if we keep continuing the conventional system as we are doing now, in the future there will be no healthy land left for agriculture. The remaining trees may be cut down to fulfill the food demands. That will be the worst thing people could ever imagine. People will start to replenish the soil with every organic means they could do in the coming future, but why not today? Why don’t we start everything when everything is still not at least worst? The climate contribution of organic agriculture is about the land it takes for production. But it has nothing to do with organic farming, as the soil needs a certain time to get replenished in an organic way. When soil reaches its optimum fertility in natural form, it could produce more than today. High yielding is not only the solution to the food security. There are more strategies made for food security and hunger. People should understand the seriousness of climate change and soil fertility. Organic farming solves a bundle of environmental issues like pollution, global warming, health, pest management, and so on. Organic farming can adopt draught, heavy rain and various other climate issues .The production in organic farming can be improved as well but it needs more patience and less selfishness. Organic agriculture are cheaper means of production, but can have good payment if farms are certified as the requirement. Country like ours can export organic production in higher price produced in cheaper input.

Let’s make organic farming way of our life. Let’s make it trend for green future. Organic means healthy and freshness throughout life which gonna care not only about you and your grandchildren but also this climate . Lets stand with climate which is standing with us since centuries.

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