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Zero budget natural farming in India | Advantages and challenges of zero budget natural farming

Zero budget natural farming in India

Zero budget natural farming India, Advantages and challenges of zero budget natural farming
Zero budget natural farming in India


During two separate functions held recently, the Prime Minister in his speech talked about zero budget natural farming and appealed to farmers to adopt it more and more in their farming habits.

The first function was organized in Varanasi on December 14, where the Prime Minister, considering the benefits of zero-budget natural farming, urged the farmers to make it a mass movement.

For the second time, the discussion of Zero Budget Natural Farming took place on 16 December at the National Summit on Agriculture and Food Appreciation in Anand, Gujarat, which the Prime Minister attended through video conferencing. At the time of its closing ceremony, the Prime Minister, while addressing about 5000 farmers, emphasized promoting zero budget natural farming, due to these reasons the aspects related to zero budget again came into the discussion.


What is Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF)?

ZBNF is a natural way of farming, in which farming is done without any chemical inputs. In return, natural things like cow dung, cow urine, and plant residues are used. Due to this, the cost of cultivation is almost negligible. Zero-budget natural farming was introduced by Subhash Palekar in the mid-1990s as an alternative to the Green Revolution.

The motive behind bringing this was to reduce the cost of farming to almost zero and free the farmers from the burden of debt and increase their income; on the other hand, it was to save the environment by eliminating the pollution of soil and water.

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Pillars of Zero Budget Natural Farming:

There are four pillars of zero budget natural farming in India, names are as under:







Jeevamrut is a type of catalytic agent, which along with adding nutrients to the soil, also increases the activity of micro-organisms and earthworms present in it. It is prepared by mixing fresh cow dung, cow urine, jaggery, lentil flour, water, and soil.



Beejamrit is prepared from the formulation of indigenous cow dung and cow urine, the seeds are treated with this and the seeds are also saved from diseases.



Acchadan means to grow a mixed crop to maintain moisture in the soil, it does not increase the weeds on the soil layer.



Waaphasa refers to maintaining the required amount of air and water vapor in the soil, thereby reducing the need for irrigation, which not only saves water but also benefits the soil.


Advantages of Zero Budget Natural Farming:

By reducing the cost of cultivation, farmers can get rid of the debt trap.

It is less labor-intensive, with one estimate using only 10% of the labor force in ZBNF compared to normal farming.

On the one hand, farmers do not have to take loans for farming, on the other hand, profits also increase, which can break the debt cycle of small farmers.

Zero budget natural farming also has the advantage of the exchequer, it will reduce the pressure on the exchequer by reducing the burden of fertilizer subsidy.

It provides clean and healthy food to society because ZBNF is cultivated naturally, due to which the amount of harmful chemical substances in the food is negligible.

Zero Budget Natural Farming is also eco-friendly as it is natural, it will not only prevent desertification by maintaining soil fertility but will also almost zero the water and soil pollution caused by agriculture.


Zero Budget Natural Farming in India:

ZBNF is not a new concept for India, but it is already present on the agenda of the Central Government. A step in this direction was taken by the Government of India in 2015-16 when "PKVY" was launched. The objective of "PKVY" is to promote organic farming by integrating ZBNF. Under this scheme, funds are provided to the schemes and programs of state governments and NGOs promoting organic farming and ZBNF.

Although ZBNF received less importance under this scheme than organic farming, it gained importance when Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman mentioned ZBNF as a source of doubling farmers' income by 2022 in her 2019 budget speech. NITI Aayog is also taking initiative for states to adopt ZBNF.

However, later on in 2020-21, a sub-scheme was brought under "PKVY", named "BPKP" whose full name is "Bharatiya Prakrutik Krushi Paddhati". . Under this scheme, the use of traditional and indigenous methods by small and marginal farmers will be promoted. The objective of this scheme is to eliminate chemical inputs from farming practices and recycle crop residues in the field and convert them into natural manure.


Challenges of Zero Budget Natural Farming:

It is still not a scientifically proven technology; data related to its productivity, economics, impact on soil health, etc. is not sufficient.

Lack of faith the farmers still did not have that much faith in this process, that is why this method is not becoming as popular.

There is a shortage of trained farmers for ZBNF, most of the farmers of India are suffering from a lack of education and awareness, due to which it is easy for those farmers to adopt new technology.

The market is either too far away or not at all to get a good and necessary price for the natural grains produced under ZBNF.

The productivity in the crop from ZBNF is less than the presently prevalent modern farming, due to chemical farming in the present time, the production comes more, that is why farmers are hesitant to adopt ZBNF.


Efforts to make ZBNF a success:

ICAR has started research on ZBNF at different places.

The efforts of the government are included in the efforts of the government to make farmers aware of zero-budget natural farming and provide them training regarding the process.

Apart from this, fertilizers and other agricultural subsidies should be gradually shifted towards low ZBNF so that farmers' tendency towards ZBNF should increase.

Small farmers should be qualitatively linked to MSP along with providing mandi for natural grains grown from ZBNF.


Adopting zero-budget natural farming is not necessary because it is a part of the government's agenda, but it is the demand of today's time in terms of economic, social, and environmental needs.

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