Zero budget natural farming (ZBNF)
- It is a method of chemical-free agriculture drawing from traditional Indian practices.
- Using cow dung, urine based formulations and botanical extracts would help farmers in reducing the input cost.
- Intercropping with leguminous crops is one of the components of ZBNF and it improves the crop productivity and soil fertility by way of fixing the atmospheric nitrogen.
- It promotes soil aeration, minimal watering, intercropping, bunds and topsoil mulching and discourages intensive irrigation and deep ploughing.
- It was developed by Subhash Palekar from Maharashtra in the mid-1990s as an alternative to the Green Revolution’s methods, which led to indebtedness and suicide among farmers due to rising cost on external inputs in agriculture.
- During this revolution, impact of chemicals on the environment and on long-term fertility was also very devastating.
- ZBNF would break the debt cycle for many small farmers.
- Components 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 provides moisture to the soil.