Karnataka budget: farmers hail announcement on zero budget natural farming

Karnataka Natural Farmers Association has welcomed the budget announcement to support zero budget natural farming (ZBNF). The association president Ishwarappa Chakote and member Chandrashekar Kadadi told The Hindu that this would be a long-term welfare measure for farmers.

Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy announced on Thursday announced the formation of a farmers' consultation committee comprising of progressive farmers. A sum of ₹50 crore allocated for a zero budget natural farming on the lines of Andhra Pradesh.

"I have been practicing ZBNF for 20 years now. My cost of cultivation has reduced significantly while the returns have improved steadily. It can be practiced in all agro-climatic zones," Mr. Kadadi said.

The farmer from Hulsoor in Bidar district, has acted as a resource person for ZBNF in Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Mr. Chakote said the program has to be implemented cautiously. “The govertment should focus on training farmers and organising them. Care should be taken to see that it does not become another subsidy oriented scheme,” he said.

The government seems to have finally understood what we had been saying for years, said Vivek Kamat , a ZBNF practitioner from Bailhongal in Belagavi district. Mr, Kamat who grows grains, fruits and vegetables using ZBNF method, sells them in Belagavi. He said the govertment should take it up on a priority and convince all farmers to implement it. “If we all do it, there will be no need for loan waiver schemes in future”, he said.

The method involves avoiding inorganic fertilizer and pesticides. Farmers use compost and herbal pesticides prepared in their backyard instead.

They follow traditional methods like cover crops, mulching and inter cropping to increase yields and reduce and avoid chemical inputs.

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 6:54:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/karnataka-budget-farmers-hail-announcement-on-zero-budget-natural-farming/article24338288.ece

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