Aslı İlhamova

We all love fruits and vegetables especially when we eat them in the right season. We love the idea that we are consuming something healthy.

Generally, fruits, vegetables, and greens are in the health category of food as they are rich in vitamins and arguably, are “natural”. When grocery shopping, all those, green, red, yellow-colored fresh products increase our appetites. However, do we really think about how and under what circumstances they were grown? Which chemicals are we taking into our bodies when we take a bite from an apple or enjoy a bowl of salad? And most essentially, how all those chemicals, pesticides affect the soil and the environment that the fruits and vegetables are grown?

What would happen if they were grown under natural conditions with only natural manures and natural sprays? Would they taste and look better? The answer is probably “yes!”. 

To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves

Mamatha Gandhi

This is what ecological agriculture does. So, let’s find out what it really is.  Ecological agriculture refers to the agricultural activities that do not harm human health and contaminate the environment. In a broader sense, ecological agriculture is all about healthy farming that does not utilize chemical substances or genetic engineering practices; it protects the soil, water, and the climate and in turn, yields healthy and diverse products for current and future generations.

As you see, there is a similarity between ecological and organic farming regarding that both do not benefit from chemicals, but instead fertilize the soil with 100 % organic matter. Additionally, in ecological farming, the use of multifunctional trees such as neem trees and perennial plants is widespread (Ghana Permaculture Institute, n.d.).  

Why is it important? 

Ecological agriculture is definitely a step forward in sustainability. The soil can be used over and over again as it is, by no means, contained or eroded as the soil in conventional farming. The natural fertilizers derived from the plants and biodegradable waste enable the soil to be used repeatedly by enriching it.

The damaged soil can also be beneficial again after being rejuvenated by the natural substances, unlike in conventional agriculture in which the damaged soil is profitless and cannot be used anymore. 

Another important advantage of ecological agriculture is that it reduces greenhouse gas emissions. If you do not familiar with the term “greenhouse gas emissions”, they the reason why we are going through climate change now. For more and detailed information you can check here

Ecological farming takes part in climate change mitigation by not only reducing the greenhouse gas emission but also, by suppling large carbon sinks to absorb them. Additionally, the diverse kinds of veggies and fruits produced within ecological farming practices prepare us for possible climatic challenges by adapting to climate change with biodiversity (Reyes Tirado, 2009). 

Healthy ecosystems and rich biodiversity are fundamental to life on our planet.

Concisely, in contrast to traditional agriculture, ecological farming does not rely on expensive fossil fuels, genetically engineered seeds, chemicals, pesticides, and any other toxic substances that destroy soil, water, and generally, the environment. It only depends on nature and its blessing and labor. It is continuous, renewable, reviving, low-cost, and efficient. It yields much more harvest than destructive agriculture. 

Ecological agriculture takes us to the future, encourages and supports sustainability, and shows us only by relying on nature, we can benefit from it in the most natural way possible. 

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