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WHAT IS ZERO-BUDGET NATURAL FARMING ?


Zero-budget natural farming (ZBNF), popularised by Maharashtrian agriculturist and Padma Shri recipient Subhash Palekar, refers to the process of raising crops without using chemical fertilisers and pesticides or any other external materials. Instead, farmers use low-cost locally-sourced natural concoctions, inoculums and decoctions based on cow dung, cow urine, jaggery, lilac, green chillies and many other such natural ingredients.
 
The term 'Zero Budget' means the zero cost of production of all crops. ZBNF guides the farmers in practising sustainable farming that helps in retaining soil fertility to ensure chemical-free agriculture and ensure low cost of production (zero-cost).
 
This climate-resilient agricultural method, which is different from organic farming, aims at promoting agroecology and adopting low-cost agriculture practice wherein all critical inputs are gathered from the field and nothing is introduced from outside. Under ZBNF, neither fertiliser nor pesticide is used and only 10 per cent of water is to be utilised for irrigation as compared to traditional farming techniques.
 
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