Arathy Aravind of S4 MSW is reviewing the “action research report on subhash palekar’s zero budget natural farming” written by By R.Yogananda Babu, Faculty (Agriculture), ANSSIRD, Mysore.
This is one of the articles which caught my eye upon the deep interest in farming especially in zero budget farming. I actually got the crux of zero budget farming as it was unknown to me.
In this article the author R.Y. Yogananda Babu tries to convey the importance of zero budget farming which has been proposed by Subhash palekar which is entirely different from the conventional farming. In the introduction part the author mentions the bio diversity, soil types, rain fall and amount of sunshine of our country. India is blessed with her huge bio diversity which is favorable to cultivate agricultural crops. In the time of independence the farming is not focused on the agricultural production. At that time the farming practices didn’t make any threat to the fertility of the soil and to the eco systems. He states the infamous Bengal famine of 1943. At that time due to starvation and hunger many deaths occurred. The government was thinking about the maximum food production in that context and the Govt. found ‘green revolution’ as the best answer for that. In the latter half of the 60s that green revolution made a new history in agriculture. By using varieties of crops, varieties of hybrids, increasing the use of fertilizers it was possible to stimulate the agricultural production. The increased usage of fertilizers made the crops more vulnerable and succulent.
Mr. R V Yogananda Rao gives a clear idea about the present agricultural scenario of India. He mentions the adverse effect of green revolution. Persistent pesticide is not easily degradable and it will create health hazards. The banned products in developed or advanced countries like DDT and BMC have high market in developing countries like India.
The inappropriate application of irrigation makes problems like water logging, salinity, alkalinity in many areas. Betrand Russell said that “what we are witnessing is frenzied exploitation”. The slogan of food and agricultural organization is that “ we have not inherited natural resources from our ancestors but we have borrowed from their posterity”.
Many critics said that the marginalized farmers are more affected people because the green revolution did not spread to rain fed areas where production is very low and those areas which is affected by monsoon. The high price for fertilizers and insecticides is not affordable to the common people and the farmers were forced to take loan from private money lenders and other sources, but the crop failure entrapped the farmers in huge debt. This is the reason for farmers committing suicide.
Many agriculturalists were researching for a consistent eco- friendly alternative for this problem. SubhashPalekar’s zero budget natural farming is widely being accepted among the farming community. It is a unique method without using purchased seeds, fertilizers and plant protection from the market. One desi cow is sufficient to take up this method. The philosophy behind this system is to make the farmers self-reliant. There are ten salient features for the zero budget natural farming. One of the important methods is the seed treatment with ‘Beejamrutha’ which is used to treat the seeds and seedlings and thereby protects the crops from pathogens. The composition is water, Desi cow dung, cow urine, soil and lime. The other seed protection methods are treated with ‘Jeevamrutha’ , a nutrient and also a catalyst for one time application. The composition of this mixture is water, cow dung, cow urine, jaggary , flour of any pulse and soil. Mulching reduces tillage labour requirements, suppresses weeds, promotes humus formation and enhances water holding capacity of the soil.
Plant protection method by using Fungicides and insecticides which contains butter milk , desi cow milk, black pepper powder and water, cow dung , neem seed powder , tobacco powder, garlic paste and green chilly paste. This is prepared by the farmer and applied it whenever it is applicable. Mixed cropping, importance of spacing between etc. are discussed well in this article.
There are certain objectives to conduct an action research which is mentioned briefly. Methodology involves visiting the farming fields and interaction with farmers. The system of zero budget farming is eminently suited to the small and marginal farmers because of its simplicity and adaptability.
The original article can be read here http://www.atimysore.gov.in/PDF/action_research1.pdf