Himachal Pradesh Government has launched Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) project to promote organic farming. It was launched by Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur. The project aims to increase agriculture produce and the income of farmers by the year 2022.
Zero Budget Natural Farming is set of natural farming methods where the cost of growing and harvesting plants is zero. It is a farming practice that believes in the natural growth of crops without adding any fertilizers and pesticides or any other foreign elements. It is different from organic farming.
The word Zero Budget refers to zero net cost of production of all crops. This means that farmers need not purchase fertilizers and pesticides in order to ensure the healthy growth of crops. The inputs used for seed treatments and other inoculations are locally available in form of cow dung and cow urine.
It requires almost no monetary investment and envisages the use of ‘Jeevamrutha’ and ‘Beejamrutha’. The main aim of ZBNF is to eliminate the use of chemical pesticides and uses biological pesticides and promotion of good agronomic practices. Farmers use earthworms, cow dung, urine, plants, human excreta and such biological fertilizers for crop protection.
It lowers cost of inputs of farmers and gives better capacity to increase the incomes. It also protects soil from degradation and helps in retaining soil fertility and is climate change resilient.