BHARATPUR: Lupin Foundation has organised 6 days (24th to 29th Sept) training camp for farmers at Sewar in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur district. About 6,000 small and marginal farmers from Rajasthan and other states are attending the camp.
Noted agriculturist Subhash Palekar is providing training and interacting with the farmers and suggesting them for the betterment of agriculture and farmers.
Noted agriculturist Subhash Palekar, who has pushed for adoption of ZBNF, apprised the farmers of his research on forest vegetation and the techniques for natural growth of trees at the six-day-long camp, which is the first one devoted to natural farming in the State. About 6,000 small and marginal farmers from Rajasthan and other States are attending the camp.
Sita Ram Gupta, executive director of Bharatpur-based Lupin Foundation, which is organising the camp, said the farmers could also take up avocations such as beekeeping, dairy farming, pisciculture and poultry farming on their agricultural land.
Lupin Foundation has been working in Bharatpur region for last 3 decades.
‘Zero budget natural farming can solve farmers’ issues’
The zero budget natural farming (ZBNF) was highlighted as an alternative method of agriculture, shifting away from big irrigation projects, farm loan waiver and fertilizer subsidy, to address agrarian distress and resolve the plight of peasants at a training camp for farmers organised at Sewar in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur district on Wednesday.
Maharashtra-based Palekar — recipient of the Padma Shri in 2016 — threw light on his “zero budget approach” to chemical-free farming involving manures and agro-ecology. He said farmers could face the present crisis if they learnt the techniques of reducing input costs, replacing pesticides with traditional material and preparation of indigenous seeds.
Palekar said land productivity had decreased because of constant use of chemical fertilizers, while climate change had posed new challenges and put the farmers in the vicious circle of loans, often resulting in their suicide. “Farming has become a loss-making occupation. Farmers are not getting remunerative prices for their produce because of a number of factors.”
Palekar said the Union and State governments should promote ZBNF by changing the policies adopted during the green revolution. The Union government’s Economic Survey of 2018-19 had advocated ZBNF as a “lucrative livelihood option” for small farmers, while it could be taken up with negligible investment and save 90% of irrigation waters.
The farmers practicing ZBNF either of small land holding or large land holding prepare the low cost cow urine and dung based formulation on farm by procuring the required inputs locally from the village or neighboring villages.
The latest available data as per the quinquennial Survey estimates indicated that workforce engaged in agriculture and allied sector has come down from 24.74 crore in 2009-10 to 23.18 crore in 2011-12, i.e., about 6 percent.