Governor Acharya Devvrat urged the farm community and agri scientists to shun their old perceptions and adopt the model of Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) wholeheartedly which would be helpful in changing the present system of chemical farming. The Governor was speaking as a chief guest in a conference on Zero Budget Natural Farming organized by Agriculture Department at Peterhoff Shimla, today. More than 430 officers of agriculture department and farmers of all the districts of the state have attended the conference. He said that he had a meeting with NITI Ayog recently and it was a matter of satisfaction that they had admitted that only ZBNF could double the income of farmers and without it we could not think to save our farm community. He appreciated the vision and determination of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur for taking initiative to implement natural farming in the state and making a budgetary provision of Rs. 25 crore in a first instance. " The Chief Minister has accepted the reality and taking interest by providing all assistance in implementing natural farming in the State", said Acharya Devvrat.
He said that time has come to change our mind set and execute ZBNF on the ground instead of doing meetings. He added that six big camps on natural farming have been organized in different parts of the state during this year and farmers had participated in a large number which shows that the farm community was enthusiastic about it. He urged to organize more such camps in the state and also to associate every Panchayat with it so that they could be benefited.The Governor said that a campaign was running in the country to double the income of farmers as per the vision of Prime Minister but unfortunately our scientist who recommends chemical farming were unable to provide solution in this regard. Although, lakhs of farmers in Andhara Pradesh and our Gurukul Farms in Kurukshetra showed tremendous growth and income up to three fold after adopting natural farming, said the Governor and added that only reason of this transformation was that they had adopted this model honestly.The Governor said that the past practice of chemical farming and organic farming was not fit in present context. "As far as chemical farming is concerned, the products so produced are harmful and poisonous and is also costly. Similarly, cost of production in organic farming is high and it absorbs more essential nutrients from soil, therefore, zero budget natural farming is the best alternative for farming,” said Acharya Devvrat. He added that side effects of chemical farming could be dealt with natural farming. He detailed out various reasons and merits of adopting natural farming and latest reports and recommendation of Indian Council of Agriculture Research and Agriculture University, Hisar which was favourable. He detailed the report and figures of Agriculture University Hisar on Gurukul, Kurukshetra land and said that organic carbon reached at 1.12 in some parts and 30 percent increase of organic carbon during one year, as per the report. The results of this method are encouraging and there has been a surprising change in the fields.
The Governor said that zero budget natural farming was the only solution to save farmers and double their income. Under this system, the farmers need not have to spend even a single penny, but get more benefits such as rejuvenate the barren land, minimum use of water, save production for health, save the environment etc. He urged the farmers to rear Indian breed cow to adopt natural farming. He also urged to introduce Indigenous breed of cow like Sahiwal, Lal Sindhi and Dhar Parkar in the State. The Governor and Chief Minister also released Himachal Pradesh Vision: 2022 brought out by Agriculture department on the occasion.Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while presiding over the function said that about 90 percent population lives in rural areas of the State and their main source of livelihood was farming. He said that since time immemorial the farmers have adopted various practices and techniques to increase their Corp production. But to increase crop production the farmers have started using chemical fertilisers and fungicides on large scale, he added.Jai Ram Thakur said that overdose of fertilisers resulted in soil degradation and rendered fields barren. He said that these chemical also adversely affected health of people as most of fruits, vegetables and cereals have high contents of harmful chemicals. He said that the State Government was now ensuring effective promotion of natural farming. A budget provision of Rs. 25 crore has been made for promotion of zero budget natural farming in the State, he added.Chief Minister said that collective efforts were required to make Himachal Pradesh a Natural Farming State of the country. He said that the zero budget natural farming would not only ensure healthy food and fruits to people but also strengthen the economy of farmers. He also laid stress on promotion of indigenous cattle breed for ensuring effective zero budget natural farming.Padamshree Dr. Subhash Palekar, who is the originator of ZBNF said that the Government of Himachal Pradesh took right decision at right time to implement natural farming in the state to save farm community as well as people at large. He assured to provide his assistance in this regard and said that other line departments like animal husbandry, horticulture should also associate with it.He also detailed about ZBNF and said that chemical farming was mere a technology and not a natural process whereas natural farming was science and it needs no external support. He said that the only thing which required was to follow it.Dr. Ram Lal Markanda, Agriculture Minister welcomed Governor, Chief Minister and other prominent personalities present on the occasion. He said in order to bring diversification in farm activities in the state concerned efforts were being made. He said that to encourage farmers to adopt natural farming camps are being organized and many were coming forward to adopt the same . Principal Secretary Agriculture Onkar Chand Sharma presented vote of thanks.Later, interactive session was also held on the occasion.Chief Secretary Vineet Chawdhry, Additional Chief Secretary Dr. Shrikant Baldi, Principal Secretary Industries R.D. Dhiman, Director Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Rakesh Kanwar, Director Information and Public Relations Anupam Kashyap, Advisor to the Governor Dr. Shashikant, Vice Chancellors of various Universities, progressive farmers from different parts of the State and other senior officers of the State Government were present on the occasion among others.