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[EBOOK] ORGANIC FARMING AND FOOD PRODUCTION, Edited by Petr Konvalina, Published by InTech

Organic farming is a modern way of agriculture management, not using any chemical treatments which have negative effects on the environment, human health or animal health. It produces organic foodstuffs, and at the same time enhances the living conditions of animals. It contributes to environmental protection and helps biodiversity to increase. Organic farming does not mean going 'back' to traditional (old) methods of farming. Many of the farming methods used in the past are still useful today. Organic farming takes the best of these and combines them with modern scientific knowledge. Organic farmers do not let their farms to be taken over by nature; they use all their knowledge, as well as various techniques and materials available to them, in order to work with nature. In this way the farmer creates a healthy balance between nature and farming, where crops and animals can grow and thrive. To be a successful organic farmer, the farmer must not see every insect as a pest, every weed plant as out of place, nor find the solution to every problem in an artificial chemical spray. The aim is not to eradicate all pests and weeds, but to keep them down to an acceptable level and make the most of the benefits that they may provide.

The future development of organic food is never easy to predict. That is what makes it such a fascinating subject to study. At present, the sales of organic food are going through a trough and the organic industry is consolidating as it learns how to operate in a new environment. The big boom in the key markets for organic products; North America, the European Union and Japan, is faltering and the domestic purchasing power of many people is increasingly constrained (Reed, 2012). Simultaneously, organic agriculture, under the name of agro-ecology, is increasingly being presented as an answer to producing food sustainably, and improving the livelihood of farmers in the global south. A recent report from the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, which recommends the global adoption of agro-ecology, is built on the sustained effort of academic researchers to demonstrate, through high quality research, the potential of organic agriculture (De Schutter, 2011).

The book contains 8 chapters written by acknowledged experts, providing comprehesive information on all aspects of organic farming and food production. The book is divided into three parts: Organic farming, Organic food quality and sustainability and Alternative feed. In the book there are chapters oriented towards organic farming and environmental aspects, problematic organic seed production, economic optimalization of organic farming, quality and distribution of organic products, etc. Researchers, teachers and students in the agricultural field in particular will find this book to be of immense use.

The goal was to write a book where as many different existing studies as possible could be presented in a single volume, making it easy for the reader to compare methods, results and conclusions. As a result, studies from countries such as Romania, Poland, The Czech Republic, Mexico, Slovenia, Finland, etc. have been compiled into one book. I believe that the opportunity to compare results and conclusions from different countries and continents will create a new perspective in organic farming and food production. Finally, I would like to thank the contributing authors and the staff at InTech for their efforts and cooperation during the preparation of this publication. I hope that our book will help researchers and students all over the world to attain new and interesting results in the field of organic farming and food production.

[EBOOK] ORGANIC FARMING AND FOOD PRODUCTION, Edited by Petr Konvalina, Published by InTech


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