BENGALURU: The state government is doing great harm to both farmers and the environment by blindly following organic farming, said noted agriculturist and Padma Shri awardee Subhash Palekar on Saturday.
Palekar is the inventor of zero budget natural farming (ZBNF), a method in which no fertilisers, insecticides or pesticides are used.
He is in the city to deliver lectures as part of a three-day conference titled ‘Back to Nature’ at MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology from Saturday to Monday. The conference is touted to be for city dwellers rather than farmers. Over 90 per cent of the audience were software engineers.
Criticising state government’s drive to spread organic farming, Palekar said, “This kind of farming destroys humus, leads to emission of greenhouse gases, creates heat in the soil and costs higher. Being a western concept, it is ‘videshi’, not ‘swadeshi’.” He welcomed the state’s move to waive off farm loans, but said the aim should be to have a loan-free farming approach, which was possible through ZBNF.
Palekar’s campaign recently received a big boost with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu appointing Palekar as advisor and pledging to implement the ZBNF method in the entire state.
Andhra Pradesh will also set up a university where ZBNF method will be taught. Palekar added that the method had produced a double yield in AP’s drought-prone Anantapur district, and hence could work in Karnataka too.
Sandeep Anirudhan, founder, Aikyam Communities for Sustainable Living, said, “We keep using organic and chemical farming, consume all of that poisonous food and then ask why cancer is increasing.”
Zero budget natural farming (ZBNF)
- Doesn’t require any input for the soil
- Soil is not exposed, it is covered with a mixture of microbial organic matter, which becomes humus
- Instead of a single crop, a mixture of crops, trees and shrubs are grown
- Requires much less water
- Selling price of the final product is slightly lower