Zero Budget Natural farming

Indigenous Cow based Natural Farming

 

Wardha has been declared as one of the distress district in the vidarbha region in Maharashtra. The economy of Wardha district is prominently based on agro based livelihoods mainly Agriculture. Today farmer faced problems of low productivity, high cost of production, crop failure due to adverse climatic condition, attack of disease and pest, damage due to wild animal.

The farmers themselves pointed out the reasons behind the adverse agrarian scenario as higher doses of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and cultivating single crop every year. To revert the distress conditions KJBF rolled out an intervention of zero budget natural farming and promotion of climate resilient cropping pattern.

Natural farming sees us working with nature to produce healthy food, to keep ourselves healthy, and to keep the land healthy. The ancient system of natural farming is more suited for the farming because of easy adoptability and cost effectiveness. Natural farming supports to maintain, prosper and sustain farm ecosystem. The four pillars of ZNBF are application of Bijamrit, application of Jiwamrit, Mulching and creating condition of Wafasa. Bijamrit is effective in protecting young roots from fungus as well as from soil-borne and seed borne diseases that commonly affect plants after the monsoon period. Jiwamrit provides nutrients, but most importantly, acts as a catalytic agent that promotes the activity of beneficial microorganisms in the soil. Mulching provides necessary microclimate for growth of microbes. It also creates Wafasa which retains the required moisture level for proper growth of plants. Natural farming reduced the cost of inputs as these formulations are prepared by using dung, urine of indigenous cow, jaggery, pulses flour and leaves of bitter plants available in vicinity of farm.  

Process followed

Kamalnayan Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation had been guiding and motivating farmers by adopting various capacity building measures like village meeting, demonstration of ZBNF techniques (Jiwamrit, Ghanjiwamrit, Dashparni arka, Agnestra etc,) trainings and field exposures at different stages of crop growth. Besides that, demonstration plots were maintained in each village to make the farmers understand the adoption of proper technique relevant to particular crop conditions. The demonstration of intercropping and mixed cropping models helped to clarify the doubts of the farmers and increased its adoption as the farmers visualized its benefit mitigating climate change effect.

Impact:

In zero budget natural farming program, 9735 farmers in Wardha are encouraged to spend less and to increase the productivity. 5108 farmers in Wardha are using Jivamrut and Dashparniark which are made of cow dung and urine. This has increased soil beneficial micro and macro flora and fauna and reduced farming cost by 40 to 45%. Farmers are getting much profit as they personally go to the market to sell their produces. This has revived the traditional system of mixed cropping and decreased the market dependency of farmers for seeds and inputs.

Learnings –

  • Introduction of traditional crops like linseed, sorghum, green gram, black gram, spices, etc proved their climate resilient benefits.
  • Adoption of intercrops and mixed crops minimized risk of total crop failure.
  • Internal and external exposure visits to the successful farmers proved as driving force for adoption of driving for zero budget natural farming techniques among the farmers.
  • Maintaining demonstration plots at village level helped to build a trust among the farmers in adoption of Zero Budget Natural Farming practices.

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