Natural farming is a natural mode of farming to know the true spirit and form of nature. It does not involve the use of components of modern farming and indicates 'Do nothing approach'. The essential principles involve no cultivation, chemical fertilizers, weeding and plant protection. But, organic farming though close to natural farming, involves limited, but, essential elements of modern farming i.e. ploughing, hoeing, weeding and use of chemicals, indicating a soil building program in combination with intensive style of natural farming. Application of natural plant protecting chemicals (not inorganic derivatives), and organic manures (instead of chemical fertilizer) is permitted.

Organic farming envisages a comprehensive approach to improve the health underlying the productivity of soil. It is a matter which involves giving back to nature that we take from it. There is a misconception that organic farming is merely to say "no" to chemicals. But, it is regarded as the integrated use of fertilizers and organic manure as well as chemicals and natural inputs for plant protection. Principal elements to be considered are maintaining a living soil, availing all the essential nutrients and organic mulching. Moreover, it is an inexpensive, profitable and sensible approach of plant protection, instead of using synthetic fertilizers and pesticides during conventional farming.

Soil organic matter is one of the important components of soil. The more the organic matter in the soil the more stable it is. Its use will increase the organic matter content and water holding capacity of soil. Tropical soils are comparatively low in organic matter content. It may be due to climate, particularly high temperature and secondarily due to cultural practices. It decomposes over 90% in a year.

Nowadays, inorganic fertilizers have largely replaced organic matter. The normal practice of cultivation includes high energy cost, monocropping, loss of productivity and water pollution with chemical inputs. To avoid the toxic effects, we can go for biological agriculture which attempts to provide a balanced environment. Thus, promotion of organic farming techniques may help in increasing the organic matter contents of soil over conventional farming technique as:
Conventional farming over Organic farming

• Organization
- Economical orientation, mechanization, with minimum labor input.
- Specialization in disproportionate development of enterprises.
- Program based on market.
while organic farming involves
- Ecological orientation, Economic efficient labor input.
- Stability due to diversification, and balanced combination of enterprises.

• Production
- Supplementing nutrients, predominantly bought in fertilizer.
- Weed control by herbicides.
- Pest control by pesticides.
while organic farming involves
- Cycle of nutrients within the farm produced materials.
- Weed control by crop rotation and cultural practices.
- Pest control based on inoffensive substances.
- Housing of livestock for production and health.

• Mode of influencing life processes.
- Emancipation of enterprises from their environment by chemical and technical manipulation.
- Excessive fertilization, necessitating frequent correction of nutrient deficiency.
while organic farming involves
- Production is integrated into environment.
- Balanced condition for plants and animals, few deficiencies need to be corrected.

• Social values
- Low input/output ratio.
- Considerable pollution worldwide.
- Using up soil fertility leading to erosion and losses in water quality and wildlife.
- Economic motivation.
while organic farming involves
- Optimum input/output ratio.
- No pollution
- Maximum conservation of soil, water quality and wild life.
- Holistic approach.

The Components of organic farming are organic manures such as green manure, farm yard manure, biogas, slurry, composts, straw or other crop residues, as well as biofertilizers; non-chemical weed control measures and biological pest management.

Organic agriculture systems are based on three strongly interrelated principles which are mixed farming, crop rotation and organic cycle optimization. This state of soil life and associated organic transformations will enhance the regenerative capacity of soil and make it resilient to absorb the effects of climate factors and occasional failures in agronomic management.

About Author / Additional Info:
Km. Shruti Agrawal, Dr. R. K. Pathak
Dept. of Botany, D. A. V. (P. G.) college, Dehradun (Uttarakhand)
Km. Shruti Agrawal is a research scholar of HNB Garhwal (Central) University in microbiology. Wrote articles in Agrobios Newsletter, Research paper for Advances in Plant sciences and in book.