Natural farming practices are referred to as “Zero Budget Natural Farming” (ZBNF) or “SubhashPalekar Natural Farming” (SPNF). Subhash Palekar, a farmer and agricultural scientist who received the Padma Shri Award, developed these techniques.
It was given the name “Zero Budget” because intercropping—growing two or more crops next to one another at the same time—compensates for the minimal investment it needs.
The Indian government will encourage “Zero Budget Natural Farming” as a part of its aim to double farmers’ income by 2022, according to an announcement made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the 2019 Union Budget.
The pros of the process
The Zero-Budget Natural Farming method uses very few input costs, restores the health of the soil, and yields highly nutritious food.
In numerous regions of the nation, farmer suicides in recent years are on the rise. This is primarily due to the expensive input expenses associated with farming. They are compelled to take up debts to generate money, and if the harvest fails for a variety of reasons, they choose suicide. Farmers that practice Zero Budget Natural Farming will avoid becoming entangled in a never-ending cycle of debt.
Organic farming generates greenhouse emissions, which contribute to climate change even while it results in the production of healthful, nutrient-rich food. ZBNF is therefore the best alternative.
Government debt forgiveness programs do not need to cost billions of rupees thanks to ZBNF.
The cons of the process
Zero Budget Natural Farming is a misleading name. Anyone who hears the name for the first time will assume that this strategy doesn’t require any money to implement. However, it costs money to pay for labor, cow upkeep, and water. When compared to other types of agriculture, the costs are virtually nonexistent, yet they do exist. ZBNF was called SubhashPalekar Natural Farming to eliminate this ambiguity (SPNF). However, it was declared to be ZBNF in the 2019 budget. To achieve food security and avoid famines, the Green revolution enhanced food grain production in the 1960s. India’s population is currently growing. So, we require a plentiful quantity of food. If we entirely transition to natural farming, this might not be possible.