Agriculture World

Why Top Agricultural Scientists’ Body is dismissing the Idea of zero-budget Natural Farming? Explained

In a shocking note, the Natural Academy of Agricultural Sciences, country’s top body of farm scientists, has criticized and dismissed  the idea of ‘zero-budget natural farming’, considering it an “unproven” technology, which claims to be the biggest announcement by the BJP government towards the agriculture sector in the recent Union Budget. 

Panjab Singh, president of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) said in front of media, 

“The government should not needlessly invest capital and human resources towards promoting ZBNF (Zero Budget Natural Farming). We have given our recommendations in writing to the Prime Minister and it reflects the view held by the scientific community”. 

Zero-budget natural farming which was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Union Budget relies on the idea that over 98% of the nutrients needed for crops for photosynthesis are supplied naturally through air and water. The remaining 2% is taken through the soil by the action of microorganisms. Therefore, farmers must apply microbial culture, a seed treatment solution, watering through the plant’s canopy and cover them with a layer of dried straw or fallen leaves. 

The academy also criticized when the PM Narendra Modi presented it at the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification on Monday saying that India is focusing on zero-budget natural farming to improve farm incomes. 

The academy had organized a brainstorming session on zero-budget natural farming last month. Director-General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research Trilochan Mohapatra and NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand attended it. Moreover, Subhash Palekar, the man behind the farming technique, did not attend the meeting, the academy said. 

“In all, there were around 75 experts that included scientists, policymakers, progressive farmers, NGOs and fertilizer, seed and crop protection chemical industry representatives,” Singh said. “We reviewed the protocols and claims of ZBNF and concluded that there is no verifiable data or authenticated results from any experiment for it to be considered a feasible technological option.” 

 



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Krishi Jagran