What is Zero-budget natural farming ?

Zero-budget natural farming

What is Zero-budget natural farming ?
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.
Farmers' income
The basic concept of ZBNF is to ensure that profit from supplementary crops is enough to cover the cost of production of the main crop and it has the potential to enhance the income or profit margins for farmers who are often under distress owing to debt.
Four principles of ZBNF
Jeevamrutha: A composition of cow dung and cow urine, jaggery, pulse flour, water and soil is applied on the farmland
Bijamrita: It is a mixture of neem leaves and pulp, tobacco and green chillies prepared for insect and pest management, that can be used to treat seeds
Acchadana (Mulching): It protects topsoil during cultivation and does not destroy it by tilling
Whapasa: It is the condition where there are both air molecules and water molecules present in the soil. Thereby, providing water to maintain the required moisture-air balance
Government initiatives
The government of India promotes promoting organic farming through the schemes of Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) since 2015-16 and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY).
Under the PKVY scheme, several organic farming methods like zero budget natural farming (ZBNF), natural farming, vedic farming, rishi farming, cow farming, homa farming, etc. are included wherein states adopt any model of organic farming including ZBNF depending on the farmer’s choice.
According to the RKVY scheme, organic farming or natural farming model components are considered by the respective State Level Sanctioning Committee (SLSC).

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