12 Difference between Organic Farming and Conventional Farming.

In this post, we’re going to succinctly talk about the difference between organic farming and conventional farming. Organic farming and conventional farming are two different methods of producing food and other agricultural products.

Organic farming involves growing crops and raising animals without the use of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), or irradiation. In contrast, conventional farming relies heavily on these inputs to increase yields and manage pests and diseases.

Generally, farming is cultivating crops and raising livestock for food, fiber, and other products to sustain the lives of human beings. With civilization, different farming systems evolved.

As an answer to the rapidly increasing demand for agricultural products, the conventional farming system was introduced with the Green Revolution.

However, after a few decades, agriculture scientists have understood the ecological damage and negative health effects of conventional farming and introduced the organic farming system.

Most of the principles of organic farming are from the original system that was practiced for thousands of years.

People nowadays are not only interested in the variety of food on their table, but also its origin. How is it grown, and what impact does it have on health, the environment, and the planet?

Within this framework, we will discuss the differences that exist between the two most widely used techniques of food production. If you are still in the dark about the differentiating factors between conventional and organic farming, we will help you catch up.

Difference between Organic Farming and Conventional Farming

What is Conventional Farming?

Conventional farming (CF) includes a large amount of chemical fertilizer and pesticide use to increase the yields per hectare. Chemical and synthetic fertilizers and pesticides are not applied in the organic farming (OF) system to reduce their adverse environmental impacts. Instead, plant residues or livestock manure are used to enhance soil fertility.

Conventional farming takes place with the purpose of obtaining the maximum productivity possible with the use of modern technology, without much consideration for food safety or environmental pollution.

Application of synthetic chemicals, genetically modified organisms, and integrated pest management systems are very common in conventional farming.

12 Difference between Organic Farming and Conventional Farming

Here are some key differences between organic farming and conventional farming:

  • Use of Synthetic Fertiliser
  • Use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
  • National and International Standards
  • Eco-Friendliness
  • Sustainability   
  • Disease Resistance        
  • Health Concerns             
  • Environmental Concerns             
  • Exploitation and Balance
  • Cost Input
  • Soil Health
  • Animal welfare

1. Use of Synthetic Fertilizer

Organic farming completely restricts the use of chemical fertilizers and synthetic pesticides. It depends on organic methods such as manure, agrochemicals, natural fertilizers, and compost, rejecting all things synthetic.

In stark contrast, conventional farming depends on synthetic chemical-based fertilizers to increase production. Synthetic agrochemicals, such as inorganic fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, growth promoters, etc., are commonly used.

By cutting the use of chemicals, organic farming prevents environmental degradation and improves the quality of produce, thereby resulting in the production of more nutritious produce.

2. Use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) produced through recombinant DNA technology are not allowed in organic farming. Instead, it encourages the use of natural fertilizers, organic manure, and composts.

While also focusing on crop rotation and replenishment of natural resources. In conventional farming, such restrictions are not available, there is heavy use of GMOs for better yield and enhanced disease resistance.

3. National and International Standards

There are national and international standards for organic farming, but I could not find such standards in conventional farming. Farmers, before selling their organic farming produce, need to get a certificate certifying that they are practicing agriculture operations according to the standards of organic farming.

Therefore, it takes a few years to convert an ordinary farm into an organic farm, and the farming system is continuously supervised. Such a certifying system or supervision is not applicable in conventional farming. However, certified organic products are very expensive compared to the other products in the market.

4. Eco-Friendliness

An organic farming system is an eco-friendly system and soil and water conservation approaches, biodiversity conservation approaches, etc. are commonly practiced to cut down environmental pollution to zero.

Such approaches are not common in conventional farming and the contribution to environmental pollution is comparatively high.

5. Sustainability              

Organic farming is more about sustainability. The main objective is food production that does not compromise nature, health, or resources. It focuses more on the long-term benefits than the short-term gains.

It employs techniques that respect nature, protect non-renewable resources, and keep them in good shape for the present and future generations.

In contrast, conventional farming is not sustainable but focuses more on yield. Organic farming is sustainability-focused. Food production while caring for ecology and the environment is the main principle.

Conventional farming only aims at yield. The main objective is to squeeze as much production as possible. It does not account for the far-reaching consequences on health, ecology, and the environment.

Instead, short-term benefits are valued more, involving synthetic chemicals and heavy exploitation of limited natural resources.

6. Disease Resistance   

Organic farming is vulnerable to disease and pest attacks. Conventional farming is more adapted to disease resistance, thanks to pesticides.

7. Health Concerns        

There is no health risk associated with organic farming because of the absence of harmful chemicals. While in conventional farming, heavy use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides poses extensive health risks.

8. Environmental Concerns        

Organic farming is often touted as more environmentally friendly it improves the overall ecology than conventional farming due to its focus on reducing synthetic inputs, promoting biodiversity, and minimizing soil erosion and water pollution.

Conventional farming methods prove detrimental to land, soil, and water. While both organic and conventional farming have their advantages and disadvantages, choosing one over the other often depends on individual preferences and values.

Some consumers may prioritize organic farming practices for their perceived health benefits and environmental sustainability, while others may prefer conventional farming for its higher yields and lower prices.

9. Exploitation and Balance

Organic farming respects the utilization of resources. It further aims to prevent the depletion of these natural resources. Moreover, it adopts processes that improve the quality of these resources.

On the contrary, conventional farming tends to utilize natural resources without adequate consideration and maintenance of balance.

10. Cost Input

Organic farming can be more expensive than conventional farming, mainly due to the higher costs of organic inputs and labor-intensive practices. Organic farmers avoid synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, which can be relatively inexpensive compared to organic alternatives.

Also, organic farming practices may require more manual labor, such as hand-weeding, which can be more time-consuming and costly than using herbicides or mechanical tools. These factors can increase the overall cost of production and make organic products more expensive for consumers.

Also, organic farming may provide long-term cost savings by improving soil health, reducing environmental pollution, and promoting ecological sustainability, which can reduce the need for costly inputs and improve the resilience of the farm.

Overall, the cost of organic farming versus conventional farming depends on the specific circumstances and context, and it’s not always clear-cut which is cheaper or more cost-effective.

It’s essential to consider the long-term economic, social, and environmental benefits and costs of different farming systems to make an informed decision.

11. Soil health

Organic farming prioritizes soil health and fertility through practices such as crop rotation, cover cropping, and composting. In contrast, conventional farming can lead to soil degradation due to the heavy use of synthetic inputs and intensive tillage practices.

12. Animal Welfare

Organic farming places a greater emphasis on animal welfare, including the use of organic feed, access to pasture and outdoor space, and reduced antibiotic use. Conventional farming may involve crowded conditions, the use of growth hormones, and antibiotics to promote animal growth and health.


In conclusion, both organic farming and conventional farming have their strengths and weaknesses, and the choice between the two depends on their environmental impact, health benefits, economic viability, and social equity. individual priorities, and circumstances.

Many experts have suggested that a more integrated and sustainable approach to agriculture, which combines the best practices of both organic farming and conventional farming, may be the most effective way to promote a resilient and equitable food system for all.

Ultimately, it’s essential to consider the long-term economic, social, and environmental benefits and costs of different farming systems to make informed decisions that support a sustainable and healthy food system for everyone.


Environmental Consultant at Environment Go! | + posts

Ahamefula Ascension is a Real Estate Consultant, Data Analyst, and Content writer. He is the founder of Hope Ablaze Foundation and a Graduate of Environmental Management in one of the prestigious colleges in the country. He is obsessed with Reading, Research and Writing.

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