Zero budget natural farming in the drought-prone regions of Andhra Pradesh is helping soils to produce more, offering smallholder farmers decent livelihoods. Farmers' organizations together with the government provide the training. They encourage local communities, particularly women’s self-help groups, to take up new farming practices that transform the land. The practices make farmers more resilient and able to fight climate change.
The Government of Andhra Pradesh introduced Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) in 2016 as an alternative to chemical-based and capital intensive agriculture through its implementing agency Rythu Sadhikara Samstha (RySS). The main objective of the ZBNF is to make agriculture economically viable, agrarian livelihoods profitable, thereby reduce agrarian distress through cost reduction and sustainable agricultural practices that are climate-resilient. ZBNF aims to reduce the cost of cultivation, enhance soil fertility, enhance yields, reduce risks, and protect from uncertainties of climate change by promoting the adoption of an agroecology framework.
The Government of Andhra Pradesh has launched a scale-out plan to transition 6 million farms/farmers to 100% chemical-free agriculture by 2024.
Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) technology uses locally available resources to manage soil nutrition, fertility, pests, and weeds. The technology completely avoids the use of inorganic fertilisers, pesticides, and herbicides. It emphasises the effective utilisation of water through specified methods and recommends less tilling, to produce higher yields. This farming practice asserts that ZBNF is resilient to climate change, reduces the cost of cultivation, and increases farmers’ income.
A study taken up in the implementation area reports the following benefits
To access the study report, click here.