Organic Farming: Challenge for Chemical Pollution in Aquatic Ecosystem

Organic Farming: Challenge for Chemical Pollution in Aquatic Ecosystem

Shivom Singh, Bhupendra Kumar, Neha Sharma, Kajal S. Rathore
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6111-8.ch022
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Agriculture is one of the significant factors contributing to the economic growth of India. In order to reap a better harvest, farmers inoculate the soil with fertilizers. These fertilizers include pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, etc., and are broadly used to control pests and pest-induced diseases. Increasingly high inputs of chemical fertilizers have not only left soils degraded, but it has also increased the adverse effect on aquatic life and other environmental hazards. Organic farming methods would crack these issues and make the ecosystem healthier. Bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides form a link between the biotic and abiotic factors and can be used to supplement the expensive chemical fertilizers. This chapter focuses on agricultural chemicals (fertilizers and pesticides) that impact the aquatic environment. The aim of the chapter is to improve ecological sustainability and to minimize the effects of pesticides on aquatic ecosystems. In addition, the authors attempt to reveal almost all positive aspects of organic farming in special reference to aquatic pollution.
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The global growth of crop production has been achieved largely through the intensive use of inputs such as pesticides and chemical fertilizers. India’s utilize about 76 per cent of pesticides, against the world average of 44 per cent. However, the use in agriculture is less than 350 gm a hectare as against the world average of 500 gm a hectare. In India pesticides production was started in 1952 with the establishment of a plant for the production of BHC near Calcutta, and now India is the second largest manufacturer of pesticides in Asia after China and hold twelfth position globally (Mathur, 1999). The trend has been amplified by the expansion of agricultural land, with irrigation playing a strategic role in improving productivity and rural livelihoods while also transferring agricultural pollution to water bodies.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Pesticide: These are the chemical substances that are used to control pests, weeds, insects, etc. These chemical substances are designed to kill or retard the growth of pests that damage or interfere with the growth of agricultural crops and vegetations. Practically all chemical pesticides, however, are poisons and pose long-term danger to the environment and humans through their persistence in nature.

Organic Farming: Organic farming is a system which prohibits the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, etc. and to the maximum extent feasible relies upon crop rotations, crop residues, animal manures, off-farm organic waste, mineral grade rock additives, and biological system of nutrient mobilization and plant protection. The principal goal of organic production is to develop enterprises that are sustainable and harmonious with the environment.

Biopesticides: Biopesticides are certain types of pesticides derived from such natural materials as animals, plants, bacteria, and certain minerals. For example, canola oil and baking soda have pesticidal applications and are considered biopesticides.

Chemical Fertilizer: A chemical fertilizer is defined as any inorganic material that is partially or completely synthetic in origin that is added to the soil to sustain plant growth. Many artificial fertilizers contain acids, such as sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid, which tend to increase the acidity of the soil, reduce the soil's beneficial organism population, and interfere with plant growth and contaminate the environment.

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