AGRICULTURE WORLD Prakritik Kheti Khushal Kissan: Himachal Pradesh

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In Himachal Pradesh, CSKHPKV, Palampur was first to initiate the Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) activities. On 29th January, 2018, a ZBNF centre was inaugurated in the university by the then governor of HP, under the Department of Organic Agriculture and Natural Farming, CSKHPKV. The centre aims at popularization of the ZBNF practices among farmers through KVKs, NGOs and Line departments, and to develop standardized technologies for cultivation of different crops under ZBNF system. Studies conducted in the state revealed that, ZBNF practices improved soil quality and significantly reduced the incidence of invasive leaf miner as compared to organic and conventional farming. In 2019-20, a total of 19,936 farmers are practicing ZBNF in total area of 1,155 ha in HP. 

Issue  

With Green Revolution, the use of agro chemicals was extensively promoted to increase crop production. But, with increase in consumer awareness, yield stagnation and environment degradation, a more sustainable farming system was required which can improve farmer’s livelihood. To repair the damage caused by chemical farming, ZBNF concept suggested by Padam Shri Subhash Palekar was adopted in HP. This practice reduces dependence on costly external inputs and promotes use of cow dung and urine of indigenous breeds of cows, to restore the soil microbiome.  

PrakritikKheti Khushal Kisan Scheme  

The scheme aims to enhance farm income by adoption of climate resilient ZBNF practices. The state Department of Agriculture is the nodal agency for its implementation. It converges the actions under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) and Paramparagat KrishiVikas Yojana (PKVY) and other state schemes for effective implementation and popularisation of ZBNF practices.  

Objectives 

Promotes climate smart agriculture

Reduces cost of cultivation

Improves soil health and biodiversity

Discourages use of agro-chemicals like fertilizers and pesticides

Prepare POPs for different crops

Encourages natural farming and eco-friendly approaches

Incentives for farmers  

  1. 80% assistance for lining of cattle sheds
  2. 75% assistance for providing plastic drums to farmers. Maximum of three drums will be provided per farmer
  3. 75%assistance for physical and biological pest control measures
  4. Third party certification process for efficient marketing of ZBNF produce
  5. One time assistance of INR 50,000/ shop spread over three years for opening PrakritikKheti Sansadhan Bhandar shops at village level for supply of ZBNF inputs
  6. Honorarium for resource persons and experts involved in capacity building