Stirring up the truth about Zero Budget Natural Farming -R Ramakumar & Arjun SV
Zero Budget Natural Farming has no scientific validation and its inclusion into agricultural policy appears unwise
Most criticisms of modern agricultural practices are criticisms of post-Liebig developments in agricultural science. It was after the pioneering work of Justus von Liebig and Friedrich Wöhler in organic chemistry in the 19th century that chemical fertilizers began to be used in agriculture. In the 20th century, the criticisms levelled against Green Revolution technologies were criticisms of the increasing “chemicalisation” of agriculture.
Claims were made that alternative, non-chemical agricultures were possible. Organic farming became an umbrella term that represented a variety of non-chemical and less-chemical oriented methods of farming. Rudolf Steiner’s biodynamics, Masanobu Fukuoka’s one-straw revolution and Madagascar’s System of Rice Intensification (SRI) were examples of specific alternatives proposed. In India, such alternatives and their variants included, among others, homoeo-farming, Vedic farming, Natu-eco farming, Agnihotra farming and Amrutpani farming. Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF), popularised by Subhash Palekar, is the most recent entry into this group.
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