Zero budget natural farming

3 min read

News:Noted agriculturist Subhash Palekar has said that the zero budget natural farming (ZBNF) can act as an alternative method of agriculture to resolve the plight of farmers.

Facts:

About Zero budget natural farming(ZBNF):

  • Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) is a farming practice that believes in natural growth of crops without adding any fertilizers and pesticides or any other foriegn elements. 
  • The word Zero Budget refers to the zero net cost of production of all crops.Natural farming’ means farming with Nature and without the use of fertilisers.

Four wheels of ZBNF:

  • Jeevamrutha: It is a fermented microbial culture that uses urine and dung from an indigenous cow breed and paste of green gram to rejuvenate the soil to provide micro-nutrients to crops.
  • Bijamrita: It is a treatment used for seeds, seedlings or any planting material.
  • Acchadana: It promotes mulching and soil aeration for favourable soil conditions.
  • Whapasa: It means providing water to maintain the required moisture-air balance.

Benefits of ZBNF:

  • The yields of various crops have been found to be significantly higher in the ZBNF.
  • The Input costs are near zero as no fertilizers and pesticides are used in this method.
  • There will be no toxic chemical residues released in the environment.
  • This method also reduces the use of water and electricity.
  • This method may also end reliance on loans and cut the production costs ending the debt cycle.

Concerns of ZBNF:

  • Experts have said that the term ‘zero budget’ is misleading as modern agriculture requires a whole set of expensive external inputs apart from sizeable capital investments initially.
  • Recently, Maharashtra have reverted back to conventional farming after seeing their ZBNF returns drop after a few years.