Natural farming: Manipur, Nagaland to emulate State

A delegation from Imphal during a visit to Visakhapatnam Agency to study the zero budget natural farming system.  

The zero budget natural farming (ZBNF) system which has got an encouraging response from the tribal farmers of Visakhapatnam is all set to be implemented in Manipur and Nagaland. A nine-member delegation from Imphal, the capital city of Manipur, which has come on a study tour to the Visakhapatnam Agency has decided to replicate the ZBNF system in the North-Eastern States.

The concept

The ZBNF is a practice that believes in natural growth of crops without the use chemical fertilisers and pesticides, apart from ensuring the zero net cost of production of the crops grown. The system relies on the locally available organic inputs such as cow dung and cow urine for seed treatment and other inocluations.

Rythu Sadhikara Samstha, a not-for-profit company fully-owned by the A.P government, has pioneered the climate resilient ZBNF in the State, with an aim of reaching out to 6 million farmers and brining around 8 million hectares under natural farming by 2024.

In the first phase, the system is being implemented in 5 lakh acres covering five lakh farmers. The Imphal delegation that came to the State on an invitation of Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiative, after visiting the ZBNF areas in Chintapalle and G.K. Veedhi mandals, has resolved to implement the success story in Manipur and Nagaland.

“It is amazing to find tribal farmers reaping the benefits of natural farming methods. We are associated with the livelihood improvement of the tribal farmers of around 2,100 villages in Manipur by promoting agriculture, horticulture, poultry, piggery, duckery and fisheries. We want to promote the ZBNF in a big way,” Kamei Chingkhiungam, coordinator of Rongmei Naga Baptist Association (RNBA), who is also a member of the delegation, told The Hindu. “During our three-day stay, we have found ZBNF as a user-friendly project that promotes sustainable agriculture. This system should be implemented across the country,” Yingkongshon Shaiza, a team member from Nagaland, said.

Cluster approach

The ZBNF is being implemented through a cluster approach to free farmers from the use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers, with the support of Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiative. A target has been set to create 6,800 master farmers as capacity-builders. In Visakhapatnam district, Pinakaota in Anantagiri mandal and D. Gonduru in Paderu mandal have been chosen s the model villages. Koramgindi in Gangavaram mandal of East Godavari, Kotala Cheruvu in Atmakur mandal in Kurnool district and Melacheruvu in Srikalahasti of Chittoor district have been selected as the resource villages.

Kovel Foundation, which promotes sustainable agriculture, is the partner NGO for the RSS in these four districts. “So far, we have trained 6,800 master farmers in 60 clusters, a move that will benefit around 60,000 farmers. They are confident that the number of beneficiaries in these four districts will increase to 1 lakh in a year,” Kovel Foundation CEO V. Krishna Rao said.

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 3:22:26 PM |

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