What is ZERO Budget Natural Farming

ZERO Budget Natural Farming

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi informed the United Nations Conference on Desertification (COP-14) that India is concentrating on Zero-Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF). ZBNF was also included in the 2019 budget, which aims to treble farmer income by 2022.

However, specialists from the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences believe that the government should not promote ZBNF until it has been scientifically validated.

ZERO BUDGET NATURAL FARMING

1. There is no budget. Natural farming is a chemical-free farming system based on traditional Indian practises.

2. It was introduced in the mid-1990s by agriculturist Subhash Palekar as an alternative to the Green Revolution’s practises, which are based on chemical fertilisers and pesticides, as well as extensive irrigation.

3. It is a one-of-a-kind model that is based on agro-ecology.

4. It intends to reduce production costs to practically nil and return farming to its pre-green revolution state.

5. It asserts that expensive inputs such as fertilisers, pesticides, and heavy irrigation are unnecessary.

ZERO BUDGET NATURAL FARMING (ZBNF) is based on 4 Pillars

  1. Jeevamrutha

Jeevamrutha is organic, less-cost, fermented microbial preparation that enhances the soil, aids microorganism growth, and enhances soil mineralization.

While spraying on the crops, this bio-pesticide involves around 10% alcohol. Prior to use, a some plants must be tested to know if there are any negative effects such as leaf burning, drooping, wilting, and so on. Because alcohol-based pesticides leave no deposit on plants or soil and are easily washed away by rain/water, the concentration of alcohol in biopesticides should be diluted with water. Once their pest control function is completed, bio insecticides degrade spontaneously.

  • Bijamrita

It’s an insect and pest-control mixture made from neem leaves and pulp, tobacco, and green chilies that can be used to treat seeds.

Water, Cow Dung, Cow Urine, Lime, Soil from Bund of farm or forest are the ingredients required for the preparation of Bijamrita.

  • Acchadana (Mulching)

It protects topsoil during agriculture rather than degrading it through tilling.

There are three forms of mulching, according to Palekar:

1) Soil Mulch: This protects topsoil from erosion during farming and prevents tilling from destroying it. It improves soil aeration and water retention. Deep ploughing should be avoided, according to Palekar.

2) Straw Mulch: Straw mulch is typically made up of dried biomass waste from previous crops, but as Palekar points out, it can also be made up of the dead material of any living being (plants, animals, etc). Palekar’s approach to soil fertility is straightforward: offer dry organic material that will degrade and generate humus as a result of the soil biota’s activity, which is triggered by microbial cultures.

3) Palekar believes that developing various cropping patterns of monocotyledons (monocots; Monocotyledons seedlings have one seed leaf) and dicotyledons (dicots; Dicotyledons seedlings have two seed leaves) planted in the same field is critical for supplying all needed components to the soil and crops. Legumes, for example, are nitrogen-fixing plants that belong to the dicot group. Other elements such as potash, phosphate, and sulphur are supplied by monocots such as rice and wheat.

4) Whapasa

Palekar debunks the myth that plant roots require a lot of water, hence reducing the overuse of irrigation in green revolution agriculture. Water vapour, he claims, is what roots require. Whapasa is the situation in which both air and water molecules are present in the soil, and he recommends limiting irrigation and just irrigating in alternate furrows during noon. Farmers in ZBNF report a significant decrease in the requirement for irrigation.

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