Recently, PM Modi said that Surat’s success in connecting 75 farmers in every panchayat with natural farming is going to become an example for the entire country. He made those observations while virtually addressing a conclave on natural farming held in Surat.
About the ‘Zero Budget Natural Farming’ –
- Zero budget natural farming is a type of farming practice that promotes chemical-free agricultural practices.
- It was originally introduced by agriculturist Subhash Palekar in the mid-1990s as an alternative to the Green Revolution methods such as the adoption of high yield variety seeds and use of inorganic fertilisers and pesticides.
- While current farming practices are driven by using chemicals, zero budget natural farming promotes low-cost inputs such as the use of — Cow dung, aged cow urine, jaggery, pulse flour and other plant-based extracts.
- Palekar has argued that the cost of external inputs such as pesticides and fertilisers were the leading cause of indebtedness and suicides among farmers in the country.
- ZBNF is based on the following four pillars defined by Subhash Palekar —
- Bijamrit – It is the microbial coating of seeds with formulations of cow urine and cow dung.
- Jivamrit – it is the enhancement of soil microbes using a mixture of cow dung, cow urine and jaggery.
- Mulching – It is the covering soil with crops or crops residue.
- Waaphasa – It is the building up of soil humus to increase soil aeration.
About the ‘Paramparagrat Krishi Vikas Scheme’ –
- The Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Scheme was launched by the Union Government in 2015.
- Objective — To supporting and promoting organic farming, in turn resulting in improvement of soil health.
- The scheme stress on end-to-end support to organic farmers i.e. from production to certification and marketing.
- Post-harvest management support including processing, packing, marketing is made integral part of these schemes to encourage organic farmers.
- Under PKVY, farmers are provided financial assistance of Rs 50,000 per hectare/ 3 years.
- Out of this Rs. 31,000 (62%) is provided directly through DBT for inputs (bio fertilizers, bio-pesticides, organic manure, compost, vermi-compost, botanical extracts etc).