Government of Andhra Pradesh (GoAP), Department of Agriculture (DoA) is implementing Zero-Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) Programme, through the Rythu Sadhikara Samstha (RySS), a not-for-profit organization established by GoAP. The programme has been initiated in 2015 -16 with multiple objectives of enhancing farmers’ welfare, consumer welfare and for conservation of environment.
ZBNF is a holistic alternative to the present paradigm of high cost chemical inputs-based agriculture and to address the negative and uncertain impacts of climate change. Z.B.N.F principles are in sync with the principles of Agro ecology, a world wide movement. Its greatest strength is that it is based on the latest scientific discoveries in Agriculture, and, at the same time it is rooted in Indian tradition. The F.A.O has as recently as April, 2018 urged all countries to move towards the adoption of Agro ecology to meet the twin goals of global food security and conservation of the environment.
ZBNF is pioneered by Shri. Subhash Palekar, a Padma Shri Awardee, who is regarded as the “Father of zero budget natural farming” all over the country. ZBNF practices are built on four core principles, as explained below:
The programme invests heavily in building the capacities of farmers and their continuous handholding. The crucial innovation and the strength of the programme is the farmer-to-farmer knowledge dissemination strategy. The trainers are the best practicing ZBNF farmers, called Community Resource Persons (CRPs). They are highly motivated and strongly committed to ZBNF as their own lives have been transformed by their practicing ZBNF in their own fields. It is their dedicated work that has resulted in new farmers in the programme villages switching over to ZBNF. They are the true heroes of this unique movement.