Zero budget farming or Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) is a new sustainable and eco-friendly agriculture practice approach. The basic aim of this innovative idea is to reduce the cost of farming.
This farming technique has been designed in such a way that it will benefit all, from small farmers to big farm owners.
This new approach was invented by Padma Shri recipient Indian Agriculture Scientist Subhash Palekar
So lets see what is it and how it works?
What is Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF)?
Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) is chemical-free nature agriculture practice. Its focuses on integrated farm management. ZBNF is also an organic farming technique because it avoids chemical fertilizers and uses natural things like cow urine, cowpea or pulse flour, and cow dung to fertilize the soil.
It avoid use of vermicomposting and support local earthworms to grow.
Why should we adopt such techniques?
Today farmers are facing many problems. For example:-
- Small land size
- Expensive loan
- High cost of seeds and fertilizers
- Expensive labor cost
- High climate risk
- High volatile market prices
All these problems result in farmer distress and hence rise in farmer’s suicide cases. But Zero Budget farming can be in one solution.
How to do Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF)?
Zero-budget farming doesn’t mean that farmers do not want to spend a single penny. It’s all about reducing the cost to a negligible amount.
So let’s see how it works?
Use of natural Inputs
From fertilizing to pest management, Zero budget farming totally relies upon natural inputs. such as:-
1. Fertilizing the soil
Jivamrita/jeevamrutha is acts as a fertilizer. It is a fermented microbial culture, made up of water, cow dung, jaggery cow urine, pulse flour, and a handful of the local soil.
This mixture acts as a catalyst for soil and increases the microbial activities in the soil. It also reduces the chances of bacterial and fungal infections. Thus, it protects our crop naturally.
How to make Jivamrita/jeevamrutha?
- Take 200-liter water
- Add 10 Kg fresh local cow dung
- 5 to 10 liters aged cow urine;
- Add 2 Kg of Jaggery (a local type of brown sugar),
- 2 Kg of pulse flour and
- A handful of soil from the farm
Leave it for 2-3 days. In this time microbes ferment it and make good fertilizer for you farm. 200 liter solution is sufficient for 1 acre land. So work according your requirement.
Advantages of Jivamrita are :-
- Ecofriendly and natural
- After using this for 2-4 years regularly, your farmland become self-sustaining
- Prevent soil degradation
- Best alternative to chemical fertilizers
- Cheaper then chemical fertilizers
2. Preventing soil-borne and seed-borne diseases
Usually during rainy season, the chances of soil born diseases increase. These can lead to microbial attack and hence agriculture losses.
Bijamrita/beejamrutha is made up of local cow dung, which is a powerful natural fungicide, and cow urine, a strong anti-bacterial liquid, lime, and soil.
How to use Bijamrita/beejamrutha?
- Add Bijamrita to the seeds of any crop: coat them, mixing by hand; dry them well and use them for sowing.
- For leguminous seeds, just dip them quickly and let them dry.
Use of Innovative techniques
According to Subhash Palekar, plants do not need a huge amount of water. instead, they need moisture mixed with air. he calls it Whapasa (Moisture).
Whapasa is the condition where there are both air molecules and water molecules present in the soil. For this, you can try drip irrigation and sprinkler.
Supporters of ZBNF suggests three types of Mulching.
- Soil mulch in which we have to avoid deep plowing
- Straw mulching in which we use dry biomass of the previous crop.
- Live to mulch in which we sow two types of symbiotic crops in one field. For example, legumes (pulses) are of the dicot group and are nitrogen-fixing plants. Monocots such as rice and wheat supply other elements like potash, phosphate, and sulfur. so we can sow both plants on one field so that both can support each other.
As we already know that Zero Budget Natural Farming doesn’t means that farmers do no want to spend single penny. Its all about reducing cost to minimal levels.
For compensating the cost incurred, farmers can adopt intercropping. In this techniques we grow two or more crops simultaneously in rows.
Advantages of intercropping
- Intercrops reduce the chances of pest attack
- Intercropping improves the nutrition usage efficiency and increase crop yield
- Farmers can generate extra income by selling other crop which is grow with primary crop.
So we can say the ZBNF have solved all above probles in follwig ways
- Small farmers can also generate big profits
- No need for loans for fertilizers, If you have cow and buffalos
- No soil degradation
- As vegetables are grown organically, you will get a good price as the demand of these vegetables increasing
Zero-budget farming has already revolutionized farming in many Indian states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. Governments of these states already take the required steps to excel in this technique. Similar steps are needed on a worldwide scale.
So this is how Zero Budget Natural Farming Works. I hope this will help you a lot and increase your profits 2 to 3 times.
For more such updates please subscribe our newsletter.