Know the difference and the similarities

Do you practice Natural Agriculture or Organic Agriculture? Do you know the difference between these two? Keep reading the article to know more about their similarities and differences.

Difference Between Organic and Natural Farming

In the summer you are likely to find wild mango, tamarind, gooseberry, jamun, jackfruit and other trees that produce unusual fruit if you have ever been to the forest. These trees never skip a flowering or fruiting season, and they produce a large amount of fruit year after year. These are summer treats for all wild creatures, birds and insects, with plenty of leftovers for everyone.

Have you ever wondered who is responsible for maintaining those trees? Who determines the fertilizer dosage? Who protects them from infections and parasites? Who is responsible for irrigating the land? What about their maintenance?

Nature: Answer all of these questions only

Natural farming is a method in which agricultural practices are guided by natural laws. This strategy works in tandem with the natural biodiversity of each cultivated area, allowing the complexity of living species, both flora and fauna, that create each ecosystem to thrive alongside food plants.

Masanobu Fukuoka (1913–2008), Japanese farmer and philosopher, introduced natural farming as an ecological farming strategy in his 1975 book The One-Straw Revolution.

The clear concepts of organic and natural farming

Masanobu Fukuoka and Mokichi Okada developed “natural farming”, which is “an agricultural approach that mimics nature’s way”. This is called “doing nothing farming” or “the natural approach to farming”.

“Organic agriculture is a holistic approach that aims to maximize the production and fitness of various communities in the agro-ecosystem, such as soil organisms, plants, livestock and people.” The primary goal of organic farming is to create businesses that are both sustainable and environmentally friendly.”

Similarities Between Organic and Natural Farming

  • Natural and organic farming methods are chemical-free and to a large extent poison-free.

  • Both systems prevent farmers from using chemical fertilizers and pesticides on plants, as well as engaging in any other agricultural practices.

  • Farmers are encouraged to use local seed races and indigenous cultivars of vegetables, grains, legumes, and other crops in both farming methods.

  • Non-chemical, home-made pest control solutions are promoted through organic and natural farming methods.

Differences between organic and natural farming

  • Organic fertilizers and manures, such as compost, vermicompost, and cow dung manure, are used and applied to farmland in organic farming.

  • Natural farming does not use chemical or organic fertilizers on the soil. In reality, no additional nutrients are introduced into the soil or given to the plants.

  • Natural farming encourages the decomposition of organic matter by microorganisms and earthworms directly on the soil surface, gradually adding nutrients to the soil over time.

  • Plowing, tilting, mixing manure, weeding and other fundamental agricultural activities are always necessary in organic farming.

  • There is no tilling, no tilting the soil, no fertilizers and no weeding in natural agriculture, just as there would be in natural ecosystems.

  • Natural farming is an extremely inexpensive farming method that adapts completely to local wildlife. Organic farming is even more expensive due to the need for bulk fertilizers, and it has an ecological footprint on the environment.

There are many successful natural farming methods across the world, but in India, the Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) model is the most prevalent. Padma Shri Subhash Palekar developed this complete, natural and spiritual agricultural system.

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