Zero Budget Natural Farming: Farming Systems (Download PDF)

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Zero Budget Natural Farming

  • In the recent past, there was a global demand to shift to sustainable farming systems.
  • Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) is one such system.
  • India also introduced ZBNF in its Union Budget 2019 - 20.
Zero Budget Natural Farming


  • Agriculture is both the cause and victim of water scarcity.
  • Use of water excessively threatened the sustainability of livelihoods dependent on water and agriculture.
  • Green Revolution had phenomenal impact on India՚s food production, but it also rendered the land infertile.
  • Green revolution led to extensive water consumption and aggravated groundwater loss.
  • According to Central Water Commission, the country՚s agriculture sector already consumed over 83 per cent of the available water resources.
  • ZBNF is the adaptation of an ancient practice that reduces farmers՚ direct cost and encourages them to use natural inputs, such as
    • Cow dung
    • Cow urine
  • These inputs help in managing
    • Soil nutrition
    • Soil fertility
    • Pests and seeds
  • BNF requires less tilling.
  • It completely rejects the use of
    • Inorganic fertilizers
    • Pesticides
    • Herbicides
  • It is also water efficient.
  • Recently a study was conducted in Andhra Pradesh comparing ZBNF and non-BNF techniques in
    • Paddy
    • Groundnut
    • Chilli
    • Cotton
    • Maize
  • The comparison was made on six parameters
    • Water
    • Electricity
    • Energy consumption
    • Greenhouse gas emission
    • Yield
    • Net revenue
  • The study found maximum benefits of ZBNF in paddy farming, with a saving of 1,400 to 3,500 cubic meters of water per acre per paddy cropping period (1 acre equals 0.4 hectare) .
  • Paddy farms under ZBNF were irrigated with only 2.54 - 5.7 cm deep water whereas those under non-ZBNF were watered up to 12.7 cm.
  • ZBNF advocates mulching of crop residues to promote moisture retention in soil and increase humus.
  • The study did not observe much impact on crop yield.
  • In just one crop season, electricity consumption of farms relying on groundwater reduced by 1,500 - 3,900 units per acre and saved ₹ 6,000 – 16,000.
  • ZBNF can avoid current drawing of groundwater by 50 - 60 per cent, ensure adequate groundwater reserve, improve water table, and reduce financial and labor stress on farmers.

- Published/Last Modified on: March 10, 2021

Economy, Agriculture/Agro Industries

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