Vidarbha Economic Development Council (VED) and Anacon Laboratories Ltd. held a workshop jointly with Vidarbha Vaibhav, “Sheti Vyavasayatun Aarthik Samruddhi” on Monday, March 21, 2016, especially for farmers at the R G Maheshwari Sabhagruha, Mor Bhawan, Sitabuldi, Nagpur addressed by renowned Indian agriculturist Padmashri Subhash Palekar who was awarded the Padmashri award in 2016 and who has practiced and written many books about Zero Budget Natural Farming to which farmers are now turning.
Palekar spoke of his now-well-know Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) or holistic agriculture which is a method of agriculture that counters the commercial expenditure and market dependency of farmers for the inputs like fertilizers and pesticides. The method involves locally obtainable natural bio-degradable materials and combines scientific knowledge of ecology and modern technology with traditional farming practices based on naturally occurring biological processes. While conventional agriculture uses synthetic pesticides and water-soluble synthetically purified fertilizers, zero budget farmers are restricted by regulations to using natural pesticides and fertilizers. The principal methods of ZBNF include crop rotation, green manures and compost, biological pest control, and mechanical cultivation. These measures use the natural environment to enhance agricultural productivity: legumes are planted to fix nitrogen into the soil, natural insect predators are encouraged, crops are rotated to confuse pests and renew soil, and natural materials such as potassium bicarbonate and mulches are used to control disease and weeds. Natural farmers are careful in their selection of plant breeds, and organic researchers produce hardier plants through plant breeding rather than genetic engineering.
Zero Budget spiritual Farming means for all the crops, the production cost would be zero. In the Zero Budget Natural Farming nothing has to be purchased from the outside. All things required for the growth of the plant are available around the root zone of the plants. There is no need to add anything from outside. Our soil is prosperous-full of nutrients. How much nutrients the crops takes from the soil? Only 1.5 to 2.0 % Remaining 98 to 98.5% nutrients are taken from air, water & solar energy. Agriculture Universities says false that we have to add fertilizers from outside. If science says, that 98% crop body is constituted by air and water, then where is the need to add the fertilizers from the outside? Every green leaf produces the food throughout the day.
These green leafs are food producing factories. What is used the leaves for producing the food? It takes carbon dioxide & nitrogen from the air, water from the canal, river or well given by the monsoon clouds, and solar energy from the sun for producing the food. Every green leaf of any plant produces 4.5 gram carbohydrates per square feet surface, from which we get 1.5 gram grains or 2.25 gram fruits. For preparing this food, the plants take necessary elements like air, water and solar energy from the nature, not from us. Monsoon clouds do not send any bill for the water that he supplied. Neither air sends bill for the nitrogen it supplied or the sun for the solar energy. All these are available free of cost. Green leaves do not use the technology of the Agriculture University for taking CO2 from the air or solar energy from the sun. Whether monsoon clouds use the technology of Agriculture University for giving rainwater? No! All these elements constituting 98% body of the plant are available free of cost. Remaining 1.5% nutrients taken from the soil are also available free of cost as it is taken from the prosperous soil which is enriched with these nutrients. Moreover, for this it does not use the technology of the Agriculture University.
More and more farmers are taking to this ZBNF and there are cases of farmers whose earnings per acre of farm have increased by 2-3 times.
This workshop was done for the benefit of the farmers and was free of charge for them. Several farmers from outside Nagpur attended the workshop. Subhash Palekar was felicitated for his creditable work as well as three successful farmers along with him. President of VED Devendra Parekh welcomed the guests. Speaker Padmashree Subhash Palekar was introduced by Pankaj Mahajan, Project Coordinator. Dr R G Garway was the Project Director as well as the MoC. Prominently present VED members were Pradeep Maheshwari and Navin Malewar.