Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF)
Agriculture is suffering many setbacks across the world, including extreme weather events like floods and droughts, as well as problems like soil deterioration, soil salinity, and water scarcity. Scaling up food production is critical if the world’s population of 9.6 billion people by 2050 is to be fed, as predicted by a UN research. In order to create a food-secure future, it is also necessary to ensure food security, produce more with less resources, and strengthen the resilience of smallholder farmers.
Background(Zero Budget Natural Farming)
- The neoliberalization of the Indian economy resulted in a severe agricultural crisis, rendering small-scale farming unprofitable.
- For peasants, privatized seeds, inputs, and markets are inaccessible and costly.
- Indian farmers are becoming trapped in a vicious cycle of debt, high production costs, high credit interest rates, and uncertain agricultural market prices.
- In such circumstances, ‘zero budget’ farming claims to eliminate the need for financing and substantially reduce production expenses.
- The term ‘zero budget’ refers to a situation in which no credit is used and no money is spent on acquired inputs.
- ‘Natural farming’ refers to farming that is done in harmony with nature and without the use of chemicals.
- Everything needed for the crop is provided by Mother Nature.
Need for ZBNF (Zero Budget Natural Farming)
- Assuring food security and producing more with fewer resources are two important goals.
- For the purpose of increasing the resilience of smallholder farmers and ensuring food security in the future.
- ZBNF is the best way to combat climate change and build more resilient food systems.
- One of ZBNF’s primary goals is to combat drought.
- The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) promotes ecologically friendly farming practices that can help us achieve a more sustainable future.
- The importance of eating chemical-free food is steadily increasing.
- Food has become poisonous as a result of chemical farming, which has also lowered productivity by rendering regions barren.
- Farmers’ well-being and environmentally friendly methods are critical for a profitable and long-term economy.
- ZBNF is a viable option for attaining the SDGs’ objectives.
ZBNF in India (Zero Budget Natural Farming)
- ZBNF is a collection of farming techniques as well as a grassroots peasant movement.
- It has achieved widespread popularity in southern India, particularly in the state of Karnataka, where it originated.
- ZBNF has been used by farmers in Andhra Pradesh with positive results.
- The Himachal Pradesh government has established the ZBNF initiative, which seeks to boost agricultural production and farmer income by 2022.
Features of ZBNF (Zero Budget Natural Farming)
- It is a farming method that emphasizes natural crop development without the use of artificial fertilizers or pesticides.
- Bijamrita, Jiwamrita, Mulching, and Waaphasa are the four wheels of ZBNF.
- Bijamrita is a natural seed treatment method that uses indigenous cow urine and manure.
- Water, local cow dung, local cow urine, jaggery, dal flour, and soil are used to make Jiwamrita.
- Aeration in the soil is known as Waaphasa.
- ZBNF is not the same as organic farming.
- Intercropping is a key aspect of the ZBNF.
- Composting on the farm to boost soil organic matter is a good idea.
- Keeping water in agricultural ponds for usage in emergency situations.
- Neem leaves, neem pulp, and green chilies are used to control insects and vermin.
- Creating farmer federations and self-help organizations, and putting farmers in charge of knowledge development and distribution.
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