Food and Agriculture Organisation calls Zero budget farming, a set of farming methods that involve zero credit for agriculture and no use of chemical fertilisers. Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) has become a buzzword when Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman said “steps such as Zero Budget Natural Farming will be encouraged to double farmers income” in her 2019 Budget Speech.
The ICAR-Indian Institute of Farming Systems Research initiated a study on Evaluation of Zero Budget Natural Farming practices in Basmati/ coarse rice-wheat system from Rabi 2017 at 4 locations namely Modipuram, Pantnagar, Ludhiana, Kurukshetra.
Also as per information available, the details of States practicing ZBNF are as follows:
Karnataka – has initiated implementation of ZBNF on pilot basis in an area of 2000 ha in each of the 10 Agro Climatic Zones of the State through the respective State Agriculture/ horticulture Universities as demonstrations/ Scientific experimental trials in farmer’s fields and in the research stations of the concerned universities.
Himachal Pradesh – is implementing State funded scheme ‘Prakritik Kheti Khushal Kisan’ since May, 2018, the details of which are as: 2018-19- 2,669 farmers, Area: 357 ha. 2019-20- 19,936 Farmers, Area: 1,155 ha.
Kerala – only awareness programmes, trainings and workshops to draw interest of farmers towards ZBNF has been imparted.
Andhra Pradesh – launched ZBNF in September 2015 under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana. Rythu Sadhikara Samstha (RySS), Govt. of Andhra Pradesh is conducting experiments to generate the scientific evidence of the ZBNF in collaboration with University of Reading, UK World Agro forestry Centre, Nairobi, FAO & resource NGOs/Civil Society Organizations like Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, Hyderabad.
Himachal Pradesh – The findings of studies conducted by the state indicated that ZBNF practice showed an improvement in soil quality within a single cropping season and incidence of Invasive leaf miner was significantly less in ZBNF system as compared to the organic farming and conventional farming.