By Team - FLASH GROUP
Mr.Subhash Palekar received fourth highest civilian Award Padma Shri in 2016 from the President of India Sri.Pranab Mukherjee.
Thus becoming First Active Indian Farmer to do Zero Budget Natural Farming Thiruvananthapuram , he is the founder of Zero Budget Natural Farming.
Zero Budget Natural Farming, as the name implies, is a method of farming where the cost of growing and harvesting plants is zero.
This means that farmers need not purchase fertilizers and pesticides in order to ensure the healthy growth of crops.
It is, basically, a natural farming technique that uses biological pesticides instead of chemical-based fertilizers. Farmers use earthworms, cow dung, urine, plants, human excreta and such biological fertilizers for crop protection. It reduces farmers investment. It also protects the soil from degradation.
Benefits of Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF):
As both a social and environmental programme, it aims to ensure that farming – particularly small holder farming – is economically viable by enhancing farm biodiversity.
It reduces farmers’ costs through eliminating external inputs and using in-site resources to rejuvenate soils, while simultaneously increasing incomes, and restoring ecosystem health.
Cow dung from local cows has proven to be a miraculous cure to revive the fertility and nutrient value of soil. One gram of cow dung is believed to have anywhere between 300 to 500 crore beneficial micro-organisms. These micro-organisms decompose the dried biomass on the soil and convert it into ready-to-use nutrients for plants.
Zero budget natural farming requires only 10 per cent water and 10 per cent electricity than what is required under chemical and organic farming. ZBNF may improve the potential of crops to adapt to and be produced for evolving climatic conditions.
1. Bijamrita: Seed treated with cow dung and urine prior to sowing.
2. Jiwamrita is a fermented mixture of cow dung and urine (of desi breeds), jaggery, pulses flour, water and soil from the farm bund. This isn’t a fertiliser, but just a source of some 500 crore micro-organisms that can convert all the necessary “non-available” nutrients into “available” form.
3. Mulching: Using dried straws or fallen leaves, etc to cover the field post harvest.
4. Waaphasa: Soil Aeration or providing water to maintain the required moisture-air balance.
Savings on cost of seeds, fertilizers and plant protection chemicals have been substantial.
Because of continuous incorporation of natural residues and replenishment of soil fertility helps to maintain the soil health.
The new system of farming (ZBNF) has freed the farmers from the debt trap and it has instilled in them a sense of confidence to make farming an economically viable venture.
Many state governments, including Haryana, Punjab, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh have openly supported ZBNF after studying its efficacy.