FAO Training Manual for Organic Agriculture 2015

Organic agriculture follows the principles and logic of a living organism, in which all elements (soil, plant, farm animals, insects, the farmer and local conditions) are closely linked to each other. Organic agriculture shares many techniques used by other sustainable agricultural approaches (e.g. intercropping, crop rotation, mulching, integration of crops and livestock). However, the use of natural inputs (non synthetic), the improvement of soil structure and fertility and the use of a crop rotation plan represent the basic rules that make organic agriculture a unique agricultural management system. According with the Guidelines of Organically Food Produce of the Codex Alimentarius (2007), an organic production system is designed to:

  • Enhance biological diversity within the whole system;
  • Increase soil biological activity;
  • Maintain long-term soil fertility; • Recycle wastes of plant and animal origin in order to return nutrients to the soil, thus minimizing the use of non-renewable resources;
  • Rely on renewable resources in locally organized agricultural systems;
  • Promote the healthy use of soil, water and air as well as minimize all forms of pollution that may result from agricultural practices;
  • Promote the careful processing methods agricultural products in order to maintain the organic integrity and vital qualities of the product at all stages;
  • Become established on any existing farm through a period of conversion, the appropriate length of which is determined by site-specific factors such as the history of the land, and type of crops and livestock to be produced.
  • The manual provides a concrete knowledge about all practices related to Organic Agriculture and steps to convert from conventional to organic Agriculture