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.
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.