Zero Budget Natural Farming:
Women farmers in the hill State of Himachal Pradesh are gradually turning to non-chemical, low cost “natural farming”, which has not only provided them with a sustainable livelihood but also empowered them better.
- Launched in 2018, the State’s Prakritik Kheti Khushhal Yojana (PK3Y) is promoting the climate resilient Subhash Palekar Natural Farming (SPNF), also called ‘Zero Budget Natural Farming’.
- ZBNF is a set of farming methods, and also a grassroots peasant movement, which has spread to various states in India.
- ‘Zero Budget’ means without using any credit, and without spending any money on purchased inputs. ‘Natural farming’ means farming with Nature and without chemicals.
- Under ZBNF, neither fertiliser nor pesticide is used. Also, only 10 % of water is to be utilised for irrigation as compared to traditional farming techniques.
- Basic concept of ZBNF, which is different from organic farming, is to ensure that profit from supplementary crops is enough to cover the cost of production of the main crop.
- It has attained wide success in southern India, especially the southern Indian state of Karnataka where it first evolved.
- The movement in Karnataka state was born out of by the efforts of Padma Shri Subhash Palekar in Karnataka.