Farmers meet on the occasion of PMs address on Natural Farming on 16.12.2021

Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji addressed the farmers of the nation through videoconferencing on December 16 in the valedictory session of the three-day National summit on Agro and Food Processing organized by the Government of Gujarat, from December 14-16, 2021, at Anand, Gujarat. The objective was to popularise natural farming or zero-budget natural farming (ZBNF). Hon’ble Prime Minister urged the farmers to go back to the basics and go back to nature by taking up natural farming and briefed on the many advantages of adopting natural farming. Several government schemes such as PKVY (Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana) and BPKP ( Bharatiya Prakritik Krishi Padhathi) were formulated to encourage natural farming or ZBNF. In the live programme Shri Narendra Singh Tomar Ji, Hon’ble Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shir Amit Shah Ji, Hon’ble Union Minister of Home, spoke of the benefits of natural farming. Shri Acharya Devvrat shared his experiences of natural farming to deliberate on the advantages of zero-budget natural farming. A documentary on the methods to prepare various components of natural farming such as Jeevamrut, Beejamrut, Brahmastra, etc. were shown.

A programme was organized at ICAR-IIAB, Garhkhatanga campus to screen the valedictory session held at Sardar Patel Auditorium at Anand, Gujarat, live. Two hundred- and fifty-eight persons, including farmers, Institute staff, and students, attended the programme. Dr. Sujatha, TP Scientist (Ag Biotechnology), compared the programme on the screening day. She introduced the event and a brief about the subject in Hindi. She explained to the farmers that natural farming is being advocated in the context of climate change, declining soil health, and farmers’ welfare. The main aim of natural farming is to reduce the cost of cultivation and increase productivity. Other significant benefits include restoration or improvement of soil fertility, reduction of cultivation costs, and increasing farmers’ income. Natural farming uses the natural resources available locally or in the farm premises, thereby reducing the need to purchase inputs from outside. Seed biodiversity is improved by the use of local or indigenous seeds, seed and fertilizer dependency is reduced, soil health and human health is improved, and water resources are saved.
Students pursuing their PG programme at the Institute took an active part in the programme. They helped in stage arrangements, video editing, farmers’ interaction, etc. Shri Shubham Sachan, an M.Sc student, briefed on the different techniques of natural farming such as minimum or no-tillage, green mulching, use of jeevamrut, etc., and also about the advantages of practicing natural farming. A short documentary on an interview with Padma Shri awardee Shri Subhash Palekar, the chief architect and proponent of natural farming, was also screened on occasion.

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