Agriculture World

Fertilizer Companies May Not Get Benefited from Zero-Budget Farming, Experts Say

Nikita Arya
Nikita Arya

Despite several debates on the shortcoming and profitability of Zero Budget Natural farming in India, one thing is quite clear - fertilizer companies might not get benefits from this move. And this is why big players of the fertilizer industry are quite concerned.

Many experts and analysts believe that zero budget farming seems like an anti-fertilizer, anti-pesticides, and anti-chemical concept as it emphasizes largely on traditional methods of farming. The core of the concept lies in drawing the attention of the farmers towards using natural farming practices to cultivate crops.  

What is Zero Budget Natural farming? 

zero-budget-natural-farming

In her first budget speech in the 17th Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stressed upon zero budget natural farming in India and put the concept into the limelight. During her speech, she said, “We need to replicate this innovative model through which in a few states, farmers are already being trained in this practice. Such steps can help in doubling our farmers’ income."  

Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) is a method of using chemical-free agricultural practices, a more traditional approach to farming. The concept was originally promoted by Maharashtrian agriculturist and Padma Shri recipient Subhash Palekar, who argued that the rising costs of the external inputs like chemical fertilizers and pesticides caused indebtedness and suicide among farmers.  So without using such external inputs, farmers can do farming in 'Zero-Budget', that means no additional expenses have to be incurred by them. 

Nonetheless, the concept has many benefits for the farmers but it can cause great harm to the fertilizer players. However, it is believed that a balanced use of chemicals like fertilizers and pesticides do not cause harm to crop production but only enhances the soil quality. There is a need to understand that farmers can be educated about balanced use of these chemicals, which won't harm the farms and can also help them in earning a good profit as the yield will increase if these chemicals are used properly. With zero-budget farming, the farmers can be benefitted but a lot many industries get affected, so it's important for the government to think about the pitfalls.  

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