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TitleConcept, Background, and Feasibility of Organic Agriculture and Biodynamic Agriculture
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsAishwath, OP
JournalAsian Agri-History

The natural way of farming goes by several names today - biological agriculture, biodynamic agriculture, organic agriculture, organic-biological agriculture, and ecological agriculture. The natural way of farming comprises two major components or inputs: (1) organic matter, which is transformed by the macro- or micro-organisms in the soil, resulting in the release of plant nutrients; and (2) cosmic energy, which makes the zodiacal constellations influence both the living and the non-living. An agricultural production that harnesses cosmic energy with the organic inputs should obviously be called the natural way of farming. Clearly, no other system as close to nature could be more sustainable. While there is no doubt about the influence of organic matter and cosmic energy on the quality and quantity of production, one needs to assess the extent of the influences as well as the feasibility of the system. It has been estimated that organic farming results in 20-30% lower yield compared with modern agriculture. The question, therefore, is whether organic farming can meet the food demands of an increasing population. This article reviews some major scientific facts of organic/biodynamic agriculture and attempts to clear the misconceptions and to assess its feasibility.