Advantages and disadvantages of organic farming
|Chemical-free food grown to meet consumer demands||More labour intensive – it takes the farmer more time and effort to grow crops|
|Organic food is more nutritional as it contains more vitamins and minerals||Farmer needs to be more skilful, eg to cultivate poorer soils|
|Food tastes better and keeps for longer||Productivity is lower on organic farms and more work is required as fertilisers and pesticides are not used|
This involves farmers using seeds which have been altered by scientific techniques. In the past, plants were improved by breeding them with better plants. This allowed farmers to grow strong plants which produced large amounts of crops to sell.
This natural process takes years to produce improved crop varieties, whereas GM plants are altered by scientists and the process is much faster. Some people think there are ethical, environmental and health concerns around the use of GM crops and therefore they should not be used by farmers.
However, others support the use of GM plants because they can be bred to fight off pests and weeds, safeguarding crops from being wasted. Many think this is particularly important because of the rising world population and the corresponding increased demand for food.