With the number of articles & the number of people using Sustainability as a defining aspect of farming, it is clear that no two agriculturalists or companies view or define sustainability in exactly the same way. However, the general idea of sustainability that people agree to in a broad sense of the word is ‘something that can be maintained over a long period of time & is ecologically good’.
Elven Agri’s Organic farm was started with a vision to become the pioneers in Sustainable Organic Agriculture in our region. It has always been our belief that to be truly sustainable, we as a farm must do the following three things:
Produce enough food from the land to make it profitable in the long run,
Produce enough income for the farmers & their families &
Leave the land & the environment in a better condition & with better resources for future generations.
All three must occur for true sustainable farming; the loss of any means sustainability is not achievable. Agricultural sustainability requires that the individual farm be competitive and profitable while simultaneously enhancing environmental quality & the natural resource base upon which the farm depends. This is why, we have taken various steps to ensure that our vision to become the pioneers in Sustainable Organic Agriculture in our region is achieved.
One of the key steps to achieving our vision has been designing & implementing an elaborate Crop Rotations System which has immensely contributed in reduction of pest & disease population at farm. The rationale behind crop rotation is when the same crop is grown at the same place for several years the soil is depleted of certain nutrients. By rotation, a crop that draws one particular kind of nutrient from the soil is followed during the consequent season by a crop that returns the nutrient to the soil or draws a distinct ratio of nutrients such as Pineapple & Ginger/Chili grown in rotation.
The various benefits we have seen have been:
Soil fertility: Different crops have different nutrient requirements. Changing crops annually (sometimes longer) has reduced the chance of particular soil deficiencies developing as the balance of nutrients removed from the soil tends to even out over time.
Pest and disease control: Soil pests and diseases tend to attack specific plant families over and over again. By rotating crops between sites the pests tend to decline in the period when their host plants are absent which helps reduce build-up of damaging populations of spores, eggs and pests.
Weed control: Some crops, like pineapples and squashes, with dense foliage or large leaves, suppress weeds, thus reducing maintenance and weed problems in following crops.
The sequence & choice of rotation crops is based purely on the nature of the soil in this region, the climate, rainfall, economic viability of the crop & marketing.