22 January, 2021

No Data To Justify, Is Zero Budget Natural Farming A Flawed Concept?

Experts say Zero Budget Natural Farming defies logic that it will involve no financial cost. Imbalance between yield and price could even lead to food shortage in future

Sow Shall He Reap
Farmer Arun Dagar of Najafgarh, Delhi, switched to organic farming in 2013 and is happy with it
Photograph by Jitender Gupta
No Data To Justify, Is Zero Budget Natural Farming A Flawed Concept?

Au Naturel

  • Zero-budget natural farming relies on savings on chemical inputs like fertilisers and insecticides
  • As health consciousness grows, there’s a demand for natural/organic produce
  • ZBNF relies on cow dung and urine for seed treatment, improving yield
  • Scientists fear ZBNF may lead to drop in food production


First, it’s a misnomer. There is no such thing as zero-budget natural farming (ZBNF), although its the next big government push in the farm sector. What has been plied around as chemical-free, org­anic farming cohabits with the “back-to-basics” approach of some Indian agiculturists. This system involves using dung and urine of cows, jaggery, pulses-flour and neem as fertiliser and insecticide. Then again, only dung/urine of cows of Indian breeds will produce des­ired results, they say.

Several agriculture scientists have expressed fears that any push towards ZBNF would affect food productivity,...



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