India comes under the top countries in cultivating and development. Agriculture is the backbone of the Indian economy.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman emphasized zero budget farming in the 17th Lok Sabha’s first speech in July 2019. That was the time, Zero Budget Farming came into the spotlight. Several states, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, have been attracted to this farming technique.
What is Zero Budget Natural Farming?
Zero budget farming is a cultivating method for the natural development of yields without using substance composts. It is a unique chemical-free method that involves agro-ecology. For the zero-net expenditure of manufacturing, yields are known as the term zero budget. ZBNF reduces farming expenses and promotes the use of natural fertilizers and local seeds.
It uses biological pesticides. To crop protection, farmers can use cow dung, urine, human excreta, plants, natural fertilizers, and earthworms. It protects the soil from degradation and decreases the farmer’s investment. Zero budget farming is the best method of chemical-free farming drawing from conventional Indian methods.
How Did Zero Budget Farming Start In India?
The Green Revolution started to ruin livelihoods and lands, few farmers started their research to return to alternative systems. One of them was a Maharashtrian agriculturist, and Padma Shri Subhash Palekar developed it in the mid-1990s as a green resolution’s methods alternative, which was driven by chemical, intensive irrigation, and pesticides.
Mr. Subhash Palekar argued that the rising cost of external inputs is the main cause of suicide and indebtedness among farmers. The impact of chemicals on long-term fertility and the environment is devastating. He met with the Japanese philosopher Fukuoka. They both came with techniques of natural farming. They promoted the technique of natural farming widely in Karnataka as zero budget natural farming.
Top 4 Pillars of Zero Budget Natural Farming
Below we are showing the top 4 pillars which provide support to the zero budget natural farming. Have a look.
Jeevamrutha is the first and important pillar of zero budget farming. It is a blend of aged cow urine and fresh cow dung from India’s indigenous jaggery, water, pulse flour, soil, and cow breed. This mixture is one type of natural fertilizer which applied to farmland.
Bijamrita is the second pillar of zero budget farming. It is a blend of tobacco, green chilies, and neem leaf pulp, used for insects and pest control. It’s used to treat seeds, and it provides natural protection to seeds.
3. Acchadana (Mulching)
Acchadana (Mulching) is the third pillar of zero budget farming. It helps to maintain soil moisture content. This pillar helps to protect the cover of soil cultivation and does not ruin it by tilling.
Whapasa is a condition where water molecules and air molecules are present in the soil. It helps to reduce the extra irrigation requirement.
These are the basic and essential pillars of zero budget farming.
Why is ZBNF necessary?
From the (NSSO) National Sample Survey Office data, 70% plus of farmers spend more they earn, and most farmers have debt. The indebtedness level is around 90% in states like Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, where each household has an average debt of Rs 1 lakh.
To achieve the promise of the central government to double the income of farmers by 2022, one factor being considered is natural farming methods zero budget natural farming.
Why is ZBNF important?
- Farmers depend on loans.
- The economic survey has highlighted the ecological benefits.
- Cost of farming inputs is rapidly increasing.
- The number of farmer’s suicide cases is growing continuously.
- The demand for safe food increased among customers.
- Unstable market price.
Institutions that Supports ZBNF
Below are the organizations that supported zero budget natural farming in India.
- Isha sadhguru foundation
- The art of living foundation
- Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha
- Sony India private limited
Government Schemes and Plans for ZBNF
- India’s Legislature is advancing natural farming in the nation from 2015-16 through the traditional agricultural development plan’s committed schemes and the National Agricultural Development Plan.
- In 2018, Andhra Pradesh started a plan to become the first state in India to practice 100% natural farming by 2024. It aims to carry out chemical farming on 80 lakh hectares of land by converting 60 lakh farmers of the state into ZBNF methods.
Features of Zero Budget Natural Farming
According to zero budget natural farming principles, crops get 98% of their supply of nutrients from the water, sunlight, and air. And the remaining 2% can be fulfilled by good quality with lots of favorable microorganisms.
- Soil microclimate – The soil always covers an organic mulch, which forms humus and encourages good microorganisms.
- Cow – The farming system requires cow urine and cow dung obtained by only Indian breed cows.
Advantages of Zero Budget Natural Farming
- Zero budget natural farming reduces the initial cost of farmers.
- Farmer’s income automatically increases.
- The soil ecosystem improves.
- Cow dung adds soil value. It is full of nutrients value and available locally.
- Bacteria of cow dung decompose the organic matter in soil and make soil for the plants.
- It required less electricity and water.
- ZBNF improves the productivity of the soil.
- It decreases the disease attack risk on the crop.
- In Zero Budget Farming we use utilizing less chemical fertilizer, farming production quality improves.
Disadvantages of Zero Budget Natural Farming
- This farming method used in some parts of India.
- The type of farming being debated, and there is not much scientific research under evaluation.
- It is highly sustainable farming.
- This farming technique used in negligible areas.
Implementing States of Zero Budget Natural Farming
- Haryana – 80 acres in Gurukul, Kurukshetra
- Punjab – 1000 acres
- Karnataka – 10 Agro climate zones
- Andhra Pradesh – 5.01 lakh acres
- Himachal Pradesh – Across the state
Zero Budget Natural Farming V/S Organic Farming
|Zero Budget Natural Farming(ZBNF)|
|1.||No external fertilizers are used in ZBNF.||Organic fertilizers such as compost, cow dung, and vermicompost are used in organic farming.|
|2.||There is no tilling and no mixing. It requires natural ecosystems.
|It requires basic agro methods like tilling, plowing, mixing, etc.
|It is low-cost farming due to the local biodiversity.||It is expensive due to the need for bulk manures.|
Unique Points of Zero Budget Natural Farming
- Sustainable growth.
- Cost-free Farming.
- Chemical-free food.
- It consumes the least electricity and the least water.
- No extra labor required.
- Saves farmer’s life from suicide cases.
Zero Budget Natural Farming Success Stories
- The first success story of ZBNF is Mr. Annadurai from Musiri Trichy, Tamilnadu, a paddy farmer. He practices ZBNF on 2 acres of land, and he gets a good share of yield per acre. he gained the confidence to spread it 10 acres.
- The success story of ZBNF is Mr. Kudankavil, who lives in Idukki. He practiced ZBNF in their field. And he got a high yield and better price. Mr. Kudankavil says if you follow Mr. Palekar’s guidelines, you will get the best results.
- Mr. T Suryanarayana from East Godavari district. He is a ZBNF farmer who cultivates paddy and oil palm. He got a good yield of oil palm and paddy.
- In this way, zero budget natural farming is an excellent farming technique for Indian farmers for farming with high productivity at a low cost. We hope you enjoy this blog and delight in it.