Food is a basic human need. A significant amount of this most basic need is fulfilled by agricultural farms. Research shows that the excessive use of chemical fertilizers has depleted natural resources and negatively impacted human health. To overcome this issue, we should look at the significance of organic agriculture (biofriendly agriculture) in establishing food security. In our efforts to introduce Iranian food and the importance of high-quality raw ingredients in the preparation of Iranian ethnic foods, we shall take a look at organic agriculture in Iran.
A report complied in 1980 in the United States is considered a turning point in agricultural practice literature. This report deems organic agriculture a productive system, and prohibits the use of chemical fertilizers, industrial pesticides, artificial growth additives and chemical animal feed supplements.
It should be noted that industrialized agriculture is one of the main factors leading to loss of natural biodiversity, increased greenhouse gas emissions, chemical pollution and soil degradation. As a result, it endangers both the environment and the overall health of human population. This is why the agricultural reform is an important topic in discussions about food security.
Impact of Organic Agriculture on Food Security
Organic agriculture is the combination of scientific and traditional data that aims at reducing the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers in the production of agricultural products. The basis of this style of agriculture is closed ecosystem management as it is not dependent on external input from outside the farm in any way.
By modifying agricultural practices and relying on natural inputs, we can manage production in a sustainable and conscious manner. That’s how we can improve the ecosystems and biological cycles and biological activities of the soil. An important element in this farming method is the use of materials found inside the farm and not relying on external inputs.
Considering this data, we gain an understanding about the effects of agricultural practices on food security. During the World Food Summit held in 1996, the following definition was provided for food security: Food security is realized when all population always have access to adequate food to sustain an active and healthy lifestyle that is in accordance with their beliefs and preferences. In other words, all people should have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food at all times.
Considering the significant growth of world population compared to the past, the issue of organic agriculture availability to meet the increasing demand is of outmost importance. In fact, large biotech companies have studied this problem, Companies that use chemical pesticides and GMO (genetically modified organism) seeds. In this regard, we should consider the potential of this agricultural style in fulfilling the global food demands using sustainable resources.
This type of agriculture can fulfill global food demands of by using safe environmental techniques. In addition, this type of agriculture can increase access to food. Thus, it enables food deprived groups to engage in agricultural production and trade.
In light of the mentioned points, we can consider biological or organic agriculture as the most sustainable food production system, which has the potential to adapt to the climate. Following the principles of organic agriculture in Iran can also be effective in saving biodiversity of animals and plants in farmlands. At the same time, it can reduce the production costs to some extent by preventing outbreak of viral diseases.
The State of Organic Agriculture in Iran
Based on the surveys focusing on organic agriculture, we can say that this type of agriculture is in its initial stages in Iran. However, there is a lot of potential for the development and promotion of organic agriculture in Iran, although there is no clear system in place to realize this potential.
We see a glimpse of the effectiveness of organic agriculture in economic, social and environmental aspects is observed in some rural areas. This is a testament that organic cultivation in these areas does not yield unified and comprehensive results and requires more attention from the government and related officials.
By examining the results, we understand that many challenges are present in the processing of agricultural products in the development of health-centered agriculture. But since organic agriculture has a positive impact on the farmer’s income, it should receive more attention. Promotion of this style of agriculture should take place through media outlets and cultural products.
Farmers think that the lack of organized institutions for producers is one of the most important factors that prevents the development of organic agriculture in Iran. They are concerned with the easily spoiled products and low sales in the market.
The Future of Organic Agriculture in Iran
Due to the issues and diseases caused by the consumption of unhealthy food, the cultivation of quality raw ingredients has been addressed in recent years. In this context, monitoring the impact of organic agriculture on food security is now a priority. Today, most farmers use chemical fertilizers and pesticides and poisons on a large scale. These substances have negative effects on the immune system. In this regard, paying attention to organic farming practices can solve this problem to a reasonable extent.
By studying traditional agriculture in Iran, we can learn about the history of closed-system agriculture without external outputs. Through utilizing modern knowledge and informing farmers, culture building and other measures, we can support economic growth in local communities and promote Iran’s ethnic food culture. Finally, with the development and promotion of rural tourism, we can promote a culture that improves our society towards a better future.
If you plan on visiting Iranian villages on your travels, you can inquire with local farmers about their organic farming practices. Destination Iran hopes to promote responsible tourism culture in order to achieve sustainable development in Iran. This is why it’s important to talk about the organic agriculture in Iran in the context of responsible tourism.