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Empowering Americas Middle Class through the Organic Revolution

THE ORGANIC REVOLUTION. 7

EmpoweringAmericas Middle Class through the Organic Revolution

Theorganic revolution is the best way that human beings can contributeto a healthy life and secure the future for the next generations. Theorganic revolution involves adopting organic farming on a large scalethan what has already been done by earlier Organic revolutionists.Organic farming is sustainable because it is practiced by usingrenewable resources(Parrott&amp Marsden, 2002). Soil and water conservation is done throughnatural mechanisms to enhance environmental sustainability. In thiscase, the use of conventional pesticides, fertilizers, bioengineeringorganism, and ionizing radiation are excluded from the entireagricultural process due to their effects to human health after beingin use for a long time. However, there must sufficient regulation toensure that all the procedures are adhered before a farmer can getcertification as an organic farmer. This should be done throughinspections on the farm by Organic farming institutions that providecertification to farmers. There are several ways that the organicrevolution can be sustained. They include:

MaintainingAgricultural diversity

Thisis one of the fundamental methods to achieve food security withoutthreatening environmental sustainability. Agricultural diversityinvolves other practices such as agro-ecology which exhibit morecharacteristics of biodiversity that are safer than the conventionaluse chemicals to improve productivity. More trees, a wider diversityof crops on the farm, many natural predators to control pests anddiseases is one example of a biodiversity plan that farmers can adopt(Duran,2010). This moves way from monoculture which is unsustainable interms of pest and control of diseases. Farmers who engage inmonoculture are forced to use a lot of chemicals such as pesticidesbecause of the lack of natural predators. For example farmers engagedin the cultivation potatoes should consider planting differentvarieties rather than just one variety. Traditional swim-swapnetworks are one way that biodiversity can be sustained on the farm.The method maintains genetic diversity and spreads the food basket ofthe world across different crop varieties rather than restricting itto a few crop species as its happening today. The society through thegovernment can enhance seed swap networks by limiting the extent towhich scientists can induce genetically-modified pollution of cropvarieties and animal species. Legislation should be passed to limitthe freedom to do corporate bio-piracy. Having a wide variety ofcrops gives the society the assurance of food security throughout theyear. This is an important step that peasant farmers can take toeliminate monocropping.

Increasingyields without compromising on soil quality and pest reduction

Unlikethe common belief that organic farming negatively affects yields, itactually increases yields(Godfray,2010). The advantage is that while yields per acreage increases, thequality of the soil also increases and pests are controlled throughnatural predators rather than agricultural chemicals. For instance,the use o farm manures in Brazil has increased maize yields fromabout 20% to 250%. This is an incredible example that farmers and thesociety in America should understand before being misled byanti-green movements that might only be interested in high yieldswithout considering environmental effects.

Establishingan organic food market that will encourage farmers to earn profitsOrganic farming

Todaydeveloped nations are the main drivers of organic product markets.They have done so through establishing the certified organic sector.Certifying more organic farmers from developing countries cangenerate high production from primary producers of organic productsfrom the export market. Most developing nations have begun to investin organic farming but the process is largely driven bynon-governmental organizations. In some instances, they even facehostility from the conventional sector. State governments and thesociety should embrace organic farming by removing the barriers thatimpede initiatives by NGOs to certify most farmers for organicfarming. This can be done through media campaigns, subsidies, andproviding field extension officers to help the populace understandthe benefits of organic farming. Priorities in education,institutional and legal programs should be re-oriented towardspromoting ecological and agricultural practices.

Farmerswho practice de facto organic farming should be helped to developconfidence in their traditional knowledge they have about organicfarming methods. If farmers have more confidence in traditionalfarming methods, which are an integral part of organic farming, theywill not resort to chemical methods after they begin to afford them.This could be as a result of subscribing to the common misconceptionthat organic farming is less productive.

Securityof land tenure

Organicfarming projects take long to initiate. For instance it can takeabout three to six methods for farm manure to be ready for use. Thisrequires that farmers are assured of their continued use of land. Ifthey fear losing the farm or if they are constantly under strictleasing rules, farmers are likely to use chemical methods becausethey are instant. Security of land tenure has the incentive todeveloping a long-term organic management strategy. In a societywhere there are inequalities in access to land, reform is vital fororganic farming to spread and be appreciated by al farmers.

Providingfinancial incentives to households to get conservational technologyin America

Farmersshould be given financial incentives such as reduced taxes and moresubsidies to farmers so that they can afford conservationaltechnologies. The technologies are important n maintaining soilfertility and enhancing water conservation where they are high andenhancing them when they are low. Equipment that can make waterconservation easier and economical for farmers should be madeaccessible to them. Farmers in places with low water levels shouldhave, terracing contour construction equipment (OtsukA &amp Yamano,2006). Other technologies include planting basins and tied ridges.Farmers have found this equipment over the years. Providingincentives that can enable them conserve water. Irrigation is anotheroption that society can adopt. Irrigation pumps, low-drip andsprinklers should be subsidized to make them affordable for farmers.Soil harvesting and fertility management practices will improve ifthe technologies are enhanced. Contour ridging, terracing, woodlots,hedgerows, stone dikes, planting basins can sustainably save waterand soil fertility. Low till technologies and the use of organicmaterials in making mulches in agro-forestry, compositing, and manureapplications are the practices that every society in America canadopt for sustainability. Organic fertilizers made from leguminouscrop rotations, improved herbaceous fallows, and composting, andmanure. Improve soil humor and retains fertility for a long periodsof time (Horne, 2001).

Onthe overall, human beings are supposed to be conscious ofagricultural practices that are sustainable because they are a greatdeterminant of the future of the global environment and foodproduction. Chemical fertilizers add significant amounts ofdestructive nitrogen and phosphorous to the environment. These ratesare likely to increase three-fold if there are no efforts to adoptorganic farming methods. Farmers have been obsessed with the need toincrease yields in the ever-increasing demand for food and otheragricultural practices. The destructive impacts of agriculturalpractices on the environment are cost by cost that leaves farmerswith no choice on the type of method to use in farming. Buyingfertilizers, mechanizing all pest control methods, use of chemicalpesticides, and mechanized harvesting make the cost of farming veryhigh for farmers. The costs make present practices veryunsustainable. Sustainability in this case, refers to employingpractices that meet the present and future needs of the society. Theneeds are, fiber, food, a safe ecosystem, and healthy outcomes afterfeeding on the produced food. The practices also need to maximize theneed benefit of to farmers and the society in general. Net benefitsare said to be maximized if the costs should be lower than thebenefits accrued from such practices. Accounting for benefits are notjust restricted to monetary profits. The society must also benefit inperms of policy, ethics and actions. Present agricultural practicesfail to meet all these needs. They have high profits but the generalsocietal benefit in terms of environmental ethics and health concernsof consumers are not met. Over-mechanization of the agriculturalsector introduces other problems that can also reduce the net benefitof the society from such practices.

Agro-forestryas part of the agriculture diversity strategies discussed earlierreduces the incidence of floods, slows down the rate of snow meltingand discharge of water. Forest moderates regional climates. Forestsreduce the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Carbondioxide is a green house gas that is responsible for global warming.We need to secure the future from adverse affects of wrongagricultural methods by adopting a more sustainable approach toagriculture.

References

Duran,Sergi. (2010). Ecohouse: practical ideas for a greener, healthier dwelling.Richmond Hill, Ont.: Firefly Books, 2010.

Godfray,H. C. J.(2010).Foodsecurity: feeding the world in 2050.London: Royal Society.

Horne,J. E., &amp McDermott, M. (2001). Thenext green revolution: essential steps to a healthy, sustainableagriculture.New York: Food Products Press.

Incomein Poverty Reduction:Evidence from Asia and East Africa,” Agricultural Economics, 35(Supplement): 393-397.

Otsuka,K., and T. Yamano (2006). “Introductionto the Special Issue on the Role of Nonfarm

Parrott,N., and Marsden, T. (2002). Thereal green revolution: organic and agroecological farming in thesouth.London: Greenpeace Environmental Trust.