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Rythu Sadhikara Samstha (RySS), a not-for-profit company fully-owned by Government of Andhra Pradesh has pioneered Zero Budget Natural Farming in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The aim is to reach universalization of Natural Farming practices by reaching 6 million farmers and converting 8 million hectares into natural farming fields.
Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) is a farming practice that believes in natural growth of crops without adding any fertilizers and pesticides or any other foriegn elements. The word Zero Budget refers to the zero net cost of production of all crops (inter crops, border crops, multi crops). The inputs used for seed treatments and other inocluations are locally available in the form of cowdung and cow urine.
A ZBNF practicisng farmer has lower cost of inputs and thus has better capacity to increase the incomes. At the same time, ZBNF crops helps in retaining soil fertiliting and is climate change resilient.
The father of ZBNF and Padma Shri Awardee, Sh. Subash Palekar has provided four important non-negotiable guidelines: Bijamrita (Seed Treatment using local cowdung and cow urine), Jiwamrita (applying inoculation made of local cowdung and cow urine without any fertilizers and pesticides), Mulching (activities to ensure favorable microclimate in the soil), and Waaphasa (soil aeration).