Rajasthan Launches Prachar Rath to Promote Organic Farming

Rajasthan Agriculture Minister Lal Chand Kataria flagged off a Prachar Rath to promote organic and zero budget natural farming (ZBNF) among the farmers.

Prachar Rath

  • The initiative aims to build awareness among the farmers about organic and ZBNF which reduces agricultural input costs, encourage the use of bio-fertilisers, replace pesticides with traditional material and give tips for preparation of indigenous seeds.
  • A large number of progressive farmers would be associated with the drive. These farmers will visit the villages to generate awareness about the methods to increase agricultural production with innovative methods.
  • Subhash Palekar who is spearheading the adoption of ZBNF will train farmers at a six-day-long camp.
  • The prachar rath will apprise farmers on the benefits of using organic manure, vermicompost, crop residues and organic waste, while the weed, disease and pest control can be achieved through bio-materials and crop rotation.

Zero Budget Farming

Zero Budget Farming is a farming practice propounded by Padma Shri awardee Subhash Palekar of Amravati in Maharashtra and he prefers to call ‘Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF)’.

ZBNF is based on four chakras:

  • Increasing the count of beneficial microbes in the soil.
  • Creating resilience in plants against pests, diseases and weather shocks.
  • Reducing the cost of cultivation with minimal cash inputs; and
  • Recovering the cost of unavoidable cash expenses with income from secondary crops planted with the main crop.

High Costs of farm inputs is one of the reasons for the huge debt the farmers are shouldering. The ZBNF reduces the net budget of these inputs to zero by encouraging intercropping and natural ways of farming.

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