New Delhi, July 10: The NITI Aayog will now pursue states to move on to zero-budget natural farming, with an aim to bring down the production costs.
Under zero-budget farming the idea is to create conditions wherein farmers need not purchase fertilisers and pesticides in order to ensure healthy growth of crops, a top J&K official representing the sate in the deliberations told Ziraat Times.
Under the scheme, use of cow dung and cow urine would be promoted for seed treatment.
These ideas were discussed at a NITI Aayog meeting with top officials of all states on Monday to arrive at a consensus to institutionalise zero-budget natural farming (ZBNF).
Although in theory, zero-budget natural farming is known to be a set of natural farming methods in which the costs of growing and harvesting crops is almost zero, experts believe zero cost is an utopian concept.
“It is almost impossible for farmers to incur zero-budget in the changing socio-economic conditions, including the changing nature of villages”, a agriculture expert told Ziraat Times.
According to NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar, most states have agreed to adopt zero-budget natural farming under two existing schemes: the Paramparagat Krishi Yojana and the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana.
“These pilots will then be validated by ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research), following which states will be allowed to move entirely to ZBNF,” he said, adding, “Niti’s role is to identify best practices, validate them and transfer them back to states for adoption.