22 December 2021, New Delhi: India’s economy is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and agriculture is the largest part of it as even today about 50% of the population lives in rural areas. The central government is taking many initiatives for agriculture and farmers.
On December 16, Prime Minister Modi addressed all the farmers of the country during the National Conference on Natural Farming in Anand, Gujarat. The Prime Minister advised the farmers to adopt natural farming while teaching them to increase productivity and reduce the use of chemicals. He said, “We have to naturalize agriculture by using all natural products from seed to soil so that production can be increased and the expenditure on chemicals can be reduced. He aims to make natural farming a mass movement for which the central government will constitute a committee for the promotion of zero budget farming.
Damage from chemical farming
The Government of Gujarat, especially the Governor Acharya Devvrat has done a lot to increase the awareness of natural farming among the farmers. Even before this, during his tenure in Haryana and Himachal, he has connected thousands of farmers with natural farming. While working as Principal in Gurukul in Kurukshetra, Haryana, he understood the damage caused by chemical farming on the land there and started doing organic farming as an alternative.
In the initial period, there was not much success but he was determined to do chemical poison-free farming, so he talked to many agricultural scientists on this. Finally, after two-three attempts, he got success. Acharya Devvrat has done all three types of farming, chemical, organic and natural, but he realized that despite the promotion of organic farming, it is not so successful, but natural farming has not been promoted so much, yet it is becoming more successful.
The reason behind this was that in organic farming, the farmer needs cow dung and nitrogen in large quantities. It takes several months to prepare 150 quintals of vermicompost. On the other hand, natural farming does not face such obstacles. To make its manure, the farmer needs cow dung, cow urine, jaggery and gram flour. In natural farming, Jeevamrut is used as fertilizer. You get all this stuff in your own kitchen and no chemicals are used.
Soil fertility increases
Natural farming not only increases the fertility of the land but it is also good for the environment. In natural farming, nutrients are provided to the plants by the use of dung manure, compost, bacterial manure, crop residues and minerals available in nature such as rock phosphate, gypsum etc. in the form of pesticides.
In natural farming, the crop is protected from harmful bacteria by the bacteria available in nature, friendly insects and organic insecticide. Half of the farmers’ money goes towards spraying pesticides and chemicals in chemical farming but in natural farming, the farmer’s income will be saved and quality vegetables will be produced. Overall, natural farming is good for farmer’s income, soil fertility and human health.
100% Natural Farming in Dang District
The central government is promoting the vision of zero budget natural farming for the coming times. According to NITI Aayog, at present natural farming is being done by farmers in many areas of Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala. Dang of Gujarat is the first district in the country which has been declared as 100% natural farming district. At least 200,000 farmers practice natural farming in Dang.
To make Dang completely free from pesticide, the Gujarat government has announced to distribute an assistance amount of Rs 31 crore to farmer families, under which Rs 7 crore has been distributed. Last year also, the Gujarat government had provided assistance of Rs 900 per month to those farmers who adopted cow-based natural farming.
The Central Government is running a sub-scheme called Zero Budget Natural Farming under Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, which is named Indian Natural Farming System (BPKP). Under this, assistance is being given for natural farming at the rate of Rs 12,200 per hectare. This amount is given to the farmers for making the farm completely organic, their cluster formation, capacity building. Taking forward the vision of the Centre, the Gujarat government is also doing a lot of work for natural farming. The Chief Minister of the state, Mr. Bhupendra Patel himself is an advocate of natural farming. “Toxic substances like urea and pesticides in our food chain are badly affecting the health of the people but pure and sattvik food produced from natural farming will be good for all”, he says.
In the Global Vibrant Conference to be held in Gujarat, emphasis will be given on the agriculture sector. Even before this summit, investors have signed agreements worth Rs 2,359 crore for the agriculture sector. For this, Amanya Organic has signed an investment proposal of Rs 192 crore for a 150 kiloliter per day ethanol production plant.