GUNTUR: With the world looking towards the State following Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) practiced by farmers, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said the farmers must be coached in English language to impart ZBNF techniques to farmers of other States and countries.
Naidu inaugurated the 10-day training programme organised by Rythu Sadhikara Sadassu on Bible Mission Grounds at Peda Kakani on Saturday.
Addressing the farmers, the Chief Minister said the government was planning to turn the farmers, who adopted ZBNF, into trainers to train the uninitiated of other States and abroad. In this regard, they will be coached in the English language, he added. This apart, the government has also planned to promote tourism.
He said the government has targeted 60 lakh farmers to cultivate two crore acres of land in the State by adopting ZBNF practices in 2019-2020.
Quoting figures, Naidu said 40,656 farmers of 704 villages adopted ZBNF during 2016-17 and 1.63 lakh from 972 villages in 2017-18. Around 5.23 lakh farmers of 3,015 villages did the same so far in this fiscal year.
He said that 87 per cent of farmers benefited under ZBNF and only 2 per cent suffered crop loss.
After adopting ZBNF, the farmers saved Rs 960 crore — usage of fertilisers and pesticides reduced by 5.21 lakh MT. Naidu said the farmers posted 11 per cent growth for the past four years despite deficit rains in the State.
He said the Wipro Limited has sanctioned funds worth Rs 100 crore as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility. Recently, ITC Limited sanctioned Rs 150 crore.
Stating that the government gave a lecture on ZBNF at the UN, Naidu said India bagged the third best award for ZBNF in the innovations category in Paris.
Subhash Palekar, an organiser, said that as chemical farming proved is harmful to one’s health and organic farming creates global warming, the farmers will do well to follow ‘Subhash Palekar Prakruthi Krishi’.
Agriculture Minister S Chandramohan Reddy, Civil Supplies Minister P Pulla Rao, Social Welfare Minister N Anand Babu, Advisor to State government T Vijaya Kumar, Special Chief Secretary B Rajasekhar, District Collector K Sasidhar and over 9,000 farmers also took part.