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Farmers to Get Incentives for Doing Natural Farming

Natural farming is a traditional, chemical-free agricultural technique that integrates crops, trees, and cattle without the use of fertilizer.

Shruti Kandwal
The NITI Aayog and the agricultural ministry have had several debates on natural farming methods with international experts.
The NITI Aayog and the agricultural ministry have had several debates on natural farming methods with international experts.

The Centre may provide sops to farmers as part of a soon-to-be-launched national mission to encourage them to embrace natural agricultural practices.

Financial support for the purchase of high-quality seeds and organic manure for farming, as well as help with product marketing, are among the incentives under consideration. According to a senior government official, a decision will be made soon on the incentives.

The official, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed that the government is getting ready to announce a national mission on natural farming, which would lay out a roadmap for the adoption of sustainable and affordable natural farming practices.

Natural farming is a traditional, chemical-free agricultural technique that integrates crops, trees, and cattle without the use of fertilizer. It is focused primarily on the recycling of biomass on-site, with a focus on biomass mulching, the use of cow dung and urine produced on-site, periodic soil aeration, and the rejection of any synthetic chemical inputs. The proposed strategy intends to expand export opportunities by certifying agricultural products that are naturally produced. The official said that more support measures, such as those for marketing, could be performed.

According to the official, "The government is looking at providing farmers with financial incentives to switch to natural farming while allowing backward linkages for them with gaushalas (cowsheds) for the procurement of traditional manure."

The NITI Aayog and the agricultural ministry have had several debates on natural farming methods with international experts.

In her Budget statement in February, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman declared the government's commitment to a natural farming initiative.

She stated that, at first, farmers' lands along 5-km-wide corridors along the Ganga will be prioritized in the promotion of chemical-free, natural farming across the entire nation.

The government has covered 650,000 hectares of farmland in natural farming as part of the pilot project, and the plan calls for expanding that to 2 million hectares over the course of the following five years.

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