PUNJAB AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY
ZERO BUDGET NATURAL FARMING IS AN ANSWER TO FARM SUICIDE, SAYS PADMA SHRI AWARDEE
LUDHIANA, MARCH 20:
“There is no question of suicide in zero budget natural farming,” said Subhash Palekar, a Padma Shri Awardee, while delivering his talk on “Zero Budget Natural Farming” at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today. The Directorate of Research, PAU, had organized the lecture, in which farmers from Punjab and deans, directors, heads and faculty of PAU participated.
Palekar disclosed, “In India, nearly 7 lakh farmers have committed suicide. This is due to loans and poor marketing facilities.” Farm suicides are prevalent in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Telangana states while the worst hit are Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal states, he told. Zero budget natural farming is an answer to farm suicide as it leads to reduced use of inputs, saves water and electricity, keeps away from dreadful diseases, and ultimately paves way for reduced cost of cultivation and high income. Expressing concern over global warming and climate change, Palekar pointed out that three green house gases including carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane are responsible for global warming. This is further adding to the problem of food crisis, which needs to be solved at every cost in view of shrinking land holdings and ever-increasing population. There is a need to double the food grain production to meet the requirements of the growing population, he said. Palekar also shared his experience regarding the use of farm yard manure in India and abroad. Earlier, he compared zero budget natural farming with organic farming and said that the latter (organic farming) was absolutely different from the former (zero budget natural farming).
Earlier, Dr Ashok Kumar, Director of Research, PAU, welcomed the guest speaker and the participants. Giving a brief introduction of Subhash Palekar, Dr Kumar said that he was decorated with Padma Shri for his commendable work in natural farming. He further said the PAU has been giving recommendations to minimize the use of agro-chemicals, and promote the use of biofertilizers and bioagents.
Dr R.S. Sidhu, Registrar and Director of Extension Education, PAU, appreciated the thought-provoking talk of Subhash Palekar.
On the occasion, Dr Neelam Grewal, Dean, Postgraduate Studies and Dr G.K. Sangha, Dean, College of Basic Sciences and Humanities, PAU, were also present.