Hallo, vibrant viewers, and welcome to Planet Earth: Our Loving Home. On today’s episode, we feature an interview with Paul Roos of Limpopo, South Africa who practiced conventional farming for 17 years before switching to organic farming five years ago.
He has a masters degree in agriculture and his farm produces between 250,000 and 300,000 cases of peaches, nectarines, apricots and plums a year.
What prompted Mr. Roos to embrace organic agriculture?Roos (m):
Our main reason was to produce a better quality product, a better fruit. We wanted a higher sugar content and better color,so we started researching and decided that we had to improve the status of our soil.
Then we started with a biological approach, more compost, mulching and so forth. The step from biological to organic was basically to get the accreditation behind our name and we had to change one or two things to comply to be fully organic.
HOST : The term “organic agriculture” is formally defined by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) as “a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people.
It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects.”
Organic agriculture does not include use of pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, or Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO).
Organically grown produce has seen a rapid rise in demand worldwide in the last decade. The number of hectares devoted to organic agriculture continues to expand in many countries.
As of 2007, 32.2 million hectares of land were being cultivated by 1.2 million organic farmers across the globe. Almost half of the world’s organic farmers reside in Africa. http://orgprints.org/15575/03/willer-kilcher-2009-1-26.pdf
Soil is the most important element in cultivation and organic farming helps to prevent its erosion and preserves its fertility.