Ecological Farming (Eco-farming)
Ecological Farming or Eco-Farming is a cultivation system that emphasizes both environmental health and of the health of consumers. This is not a new concept, and dates back to before the green revolution of the conventional agriculture system. The apparent “convenience” and “guaranteed results” provided by current conventional agriculture have led most farmers to neglect ecological farming, and forget the skills required for it’s practice.
Besides producing healthy and safe-to-consume agriculture products, ecological farming also provides other benefits, such as minimized environmental pollution and contamination through agricultural activities, and maintenance of soil productivity and fertility in the long term. All of which add up to improved sustainable use of natural resources and of the environment.
Eco-farming relies on conforming with the natural processes of living organisms, in which all elements (such as soil, plants, cattle, insects, and farmers) are closely connected to and highly dependent on each other. Therefore, eco-farming has to be based on a deep understanding and careful management of the natural interactions and processes. Thus eco-farming does not only mean the lack of the application of chemical or synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Eco-farmers learn from the existing mutual dependencies within a natural ecosystem, such as forest. The higher the diversity of the environmental components, the greater the stability of the ecosystem.
In the implementation of community development programmes in rural areas adjacent to conservation areas, YEL introduces ecological farming through the application of organic farming. To further promote eco-farming, , YEL has established, with the support of its principle partner PanEco Switzerland, an Eco-Farming Centre at Timbang Lawan in Bohorok Sub-District of the North Sumatran District of Langkat.