Explained: The idea of 'zero-budget' farming, and why scientists are sceptical -Yashee

-The Indian Express

Addressing the 14th Conference of Parties (COP14) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned that India was "focusing on Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF)".

In her Budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had spoken of the need to “go back to basics”, and to “replicate this innovative model (that) can help in doubling our farmers’ income”.

The National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS), India’s premier academic body of agricultural scientists has, however, criticised the “unproven” technology of ZBNF, which it says brings no incremental value gain to either farmers or consumers. NAAS has written to the Prime Minister, expressing the scientific community’s reservations.

* So, what is ZBNF?

ZBNF is a farming technique that seeks to bring down input costs for farmers by encouraging them to rely upon “natural products”, rather than spending money on pesticides and fertilisers. Proponets claim this system is also more environment-friendly, since it does not require chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

The concept behind ZBNF is that over 98 per cent of the nutrients required by crops for photosynthesis — carbon dioxide, nitrogen, water, and solar energy — are already available “free” from the air, rain, and Sun.

Please click here to read more.

The Indian Express, 10 September, 2019, https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-the-idea-of-zero-budget-farming-and-why-scientists-are-sceptical-5983583/

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