Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF)
As climate is changing, creating resilient food systems has become the need of the hour. Agriculture is facing multiple setbacks be it in the form of extreme weather events like floods and droughts or factors such as soil degradation, soil salinity and water shortage.
Ensuring food security, producing more with less resources and building the resilience of smallholder farmers are important in creating a food-secure future. Zero budget natural farming can be right solution to address this challenge.
Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) is a farming practice that believes in natural growth of crops without adding any fertilizers and pesticides or any other foreign elements. The inputs used for seed treatments and other inoculations are locally available in the form of cow dung and cow urine.
A ZBNF practicisng farmer has lower cost of inputs and thus has better capacity to increase the incomes. At the same time, ZBNF crops helps in retaining soil fertilizing and is climate change resilient.
- The Andhra Pradesh government’s unique initiative to improve farmers’ livelihood through zero budget natural farming (ZBNF) is the right solution to fight climate change in the drought-prone Rayalaseema region.
- ZBNF was initially launched in September 2015 under the Centre’s Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana. Initially, 50 villages across 13 districts of the state were selected for the pilot project. It has been so successful that the government wants to scale it up.
- Besides reduced input cost, farmers practising ZBNF gets higher yields. In Anantapuram district, there has been a 136 per cent higher yield in groundnuts under natural farming. Farmers use bio fertilizers and that make the soil fertile, thus giving higher yields.
World needs a global transition to a more resilient and sustainable agriculture that is less dependent on agrochemicals and draws more on natural biological and ecosystem processes. Zero budget natural farming can be of great aid in this direction. [Reference]