India-Germany sign MoU on Zero Budget Natural Farming
On January 9, 2020, the Andhra Pradesh Government signed Memorandum of Understanding with a German firm to implement Zero Budget Natural Farming in the state.
The state Government will take a loan of Rs 1015 crores to spend towards climate resilient Zero Budget Natural Farming. The project aims to cover 2.39 lakh farmers in 600 villages. The project was included in the Budget presentation of 2019. Along with ZBNF implementation, the Government will also implement Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.
Zero Budget Natural Farming
It is a chemical-free agricultural farming practice. The Government of India is promoting ZBNF through Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana since 2015-16.
According to Economic Survey, 2018, more than 1.6 lalkh farmers are practicing Zero Budget Natural Farming in over 1000 villages. The ZBNF was first adopted by Karnataka. In 2018, Andhra Pradesh was the first state to introduce an ambitious plan of 100% of natural farming in the state by 2024.
Currently, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is researching ZBNF methods on wheat and basmati.
States practicing ZBNF
The states that are practicing Zero Budget Natural Farming includes AP, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Kerala. All crops can be grown using ZBNF in all agro-climatic zones.