Aayog member Ramesh Chand, who is an expert in agriculture, said that such methods could be scaled up nationally only after they have been scientifically proven to be correct and there is proper manual for these. 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.
“Around five million farmers are working on zero-budget farming in different states,” he said, adding that not only does it have potential for India but it can also be put to global use.
The NITI Aayog vice-chairman was addressing a press conference after meeting principal secretaries (agriculture) of states, representatives from agriculture universities, institutes, farmers and practitioners.
ZBNF expert Subhash Palekar was also present at the event. He said that the basic concept of ZBNF, which is different from organic farming, is to ensure that profit from supplementary crops is enough to cover the cost of production of the main crop.
He said an average domestic Indian cow is sufficient to generate chemical-free farming in 30 acres of land by using a concoction of cow dung and urine, among others.