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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND FARMERS WELFARE
LOK SABHA
STARRED QUESTION NO: 193
ANSWERED ON:  31.07.2018
Zero Budget Natural Farming
SHRIKANT EKNATH SHINDE
DHARMENDRA YADAV
Will the Minister of



AGRICULTURE AND FARMERS WELFARE be pleased to state:-


(a): whether the Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) is a method of farming where the cost of growing and harvesting plants is zero and farmers need not have to use fertilizers and pesticides in order to ensure the healthy growth of crops and only 10 per cent water is used for irrigation in comparison to that of traditional way of irrigation and if so, the details thereof;

(b): whether the Government has conducted any study to assess the impact of ZBNF practices in improving organic carbon and soil fertility and if so, the details and the outcome thereof;

(c): whether ZBNF is being practiced in various States in the country, if so, the details thereof and the total area of land being cultivated under ZBNF;

(d): whether the farmers are skeptical of huge decline in yield, if so, the details thereof and the reaction of the Government thereto; and

(e): whether any training programme is being conducted to educate and create awareness among the farmers regarding ZBNF and Central grant is also being given to the States to promote this technique and if so, the details thereof, State-wise?


ANSWER
MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE AND FARMERS WELFARE
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(a) to (e): A statement is laid on the Table of the House.


STATEMENT REFERRED TO IN REPLY TO PARTS (a) TO (e) OF LOK SABHA STARRED QUESTION NO. 193 DUE FOR REPLY ON 31ST JULY, 2018.

(a) & (b): Yes, the phrase ''Zero Budget'' means without using any credit, and without spending any money on purchased inputs. ''Natural farming'' means farming with Nature and without chemicals. The main aim of Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) is elimination of chemical pesticides and promotion of good agronomic practices and also to sustain agriculture production with eco-friendly process in tune with nature and to produce chemical free agricultural produce. Soil fertility & soil organic matter is restored by pursuing ZBNF. Less water is required under ZBNF. ZBNF is a climate friendly agriculture system.
Realizing the potential and benefits of organic farming particularly in areas like hilly, tribal and also in rainfed areas where utilization of chemical fertilizers and pesticides is relatively lower, the Govt. of India is promoting organic farming in the country through the dedicated schemes of Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) and Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER) under National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).
In the revised guidelines of Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) scheme during the year 2018, various organic farming models like Natural Farming, Rishi Farming, Vedic Farming, Cow Farming, Homa Farming, Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) etc. have been included. Under the new guidelines, flexibility is given to states to adopt any model of Organic Farming including ZBNF depending on farmer’s choice.

ICAR (Indian Council of Agriculture Research) under Network Project on Organic Farming (NPOF) and All India Coordinated Research Projects (AICRP) on Integrated
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Farming Systems has initiated an experiment on “Evaluation of zero budget farming practices in basmati rice-wheat system” at Modipuram (Uttar Pradesh), Ludhiana (Punjab), Pantnagar (Uttarakhand) and Kurukshetra (Haryana) from Rabi 2017 to study the zero budget farming practices on productivity, economics and soil health including soil organic carbon and soil fertility.

(c): Yes, some States are practicing ZBNF under Central Assistance to State, viz. Scheme: Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) & Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY), such as:
1. Karnataka - ZBNF movement in Karnataka was born out of collaboration between Mr Subhash Palekar, who put together the ZBNF practices, and the state farmers association- Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS).
2. Himachal Pradesh - Himachal Pradesh is also planning to take up ZBNF in their State.
3. Andhra Pradesh - In Andhra Pradesh, districts like Anantapur, Prakasam, Kadapa, Kurnool and Chittoor have traditionally been drought-prone. For such districts, ZBNF has come as the right solution. ZBNF was initially launched in September 2015 under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana. The programme is under in implementation in 131 clusters covering 704 villages under RKVY and 1300 clusters covering 268 villages under PKVY. It will be expanded to 4000 new clusters for 2018-19 under PKVY scheme. So far, 163034 farmers are practicing ZBNF.

The total area covered in Andhra Pradesh under the PKVY & RKVY Schemes for promotion of ZBNF is given at Annexure-I.

(d) & (e); No, such information about farmers being skeptical due to huge decline in yield has been brought to the notice of Government. The Government
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is creating awareness and educating the farmers about Organic Farming practices including ZBNF in the areas where clusters are formed under the Scheme PKVY for promotion of Natural Farming.

In the state of Andhra Pradesh Rythu Sadhikara Samstha organized training programme at Kakinada, Tirupati and Amaravati with assistance from RKVY & PKVY schemes. Throughout the state 3500 farmers have been trained as farmer trainers to train farmers in ZBNF practices. Regular trainings are being organized by Farmers Field Schools by Master Trainers enrolled under ZBNF.



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