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Zero budget natural farming (ZBNF)

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  • 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.

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