Stage set for launch of ZBNF scale-out scheme

By TheHindu on 31 May 2018 | read

The Andhra Pradesh government, which has adapted Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) in a big way, is now scaling out natural farming practices to States such as Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala.

More than 1.60 lakh farmers are now using natural farming methods in 63,000 hectares across the State and the government now aims to cover 5 lakh farmers in 1.25 lakh hectares spread across 3,000 villages.

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu will launch the programme at a venue opposite Acharya Nagarjuna University on June 1 in which international dignitaries such as Erik Solheim, Executive Director, UN Environment, Sunny George Verghese, Chair, World Business Council for Sustainable Development and co-founder and Group CEO of Olam International, Pavan Sukhdev, president of WWF International, and Antoine Sire, member of the Global Management Committee, BNP Paribas SA, will participate.

Arrangements are being made to host 8,000 ZBNF farmers, Agriculture Department officials, and experts from around the world on innovative finance, food security and green economy.

Arrangements reviewed

District Collector Kona Sasidhar and Superintendent of Police, Guntur Urban, Ch. Vijaya Rao on Wednesday reviewed the arrangements.

The programme, initiated in September 2015 with support from the Azim Premji Foundation, has been scaled up with leading international agencies and financial institutions lending support.

During the World Economic Forum held at Davos in January 2018, Mr. Naidu made an impressive PowerPoint presentation which was witnessed by agencies such as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Sustainable India Financial Facilitators (SIFF).

France-based BNP Paribas had come forward to lend Rs. 16,000 crore to the AP government.

Zero Budget Natural Farming is pioneered by Subhash Palekar, is a unique model of farming in harmony with nature with focus on low-input / high output agriculture that enhances farmer’s welfare.

It utilises low cost and inorganic chemical fertilizer-free strategies.