Organic, zero-budget natural farming will be incorporated in Agri universities syllabus
With the central government’s push for organic, zero-budget natural farming, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her Union Budget speech on Tuesday that agriculture universities in the country will be encouraged to incorporate these areas into their curricula.
According to the Indian Express, the Union government launched a push for zero-budget natural farming, which would help to make farming more sustainable by lowering input costs and increasing farmers’ income through better market access and improved product returns. Also Read | PM Modi: India’s natural farming witness to world on food security, enrich soil with Govardhan.
The new zero-budget farming focuses on shifting agriculture practices away from mono-cropping and toward multi-cropping. The urine and dung of the desi cow play an important role in this process, which includes various inputs such as Jivamrit, Ghanjivamrit, and Beejamrit, which are a good source of nutrients to the soil for better agricultural production.
It also includes other traditional practices, such as keeping the soil covered with green cover all year, even in low water conditions, or mulching the soil with biomass, which ensures long-term productive capacity from the first year of adoption.
While speaking at the National Summit on Agro and Food Processing on December 16, 2021, at Anand, Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized the importance of natural farming in improving farmer conditions, prompting the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the apex body for co-ordinating, guiding, and managing agricultural research and education, to issue a circular to all central and state universities encouraging them to promote natural farming.
On Tuesday, the Finance Minister stated that states would be encouraged to revise agricultural university curricula to meet the needs of natural, zero-budget, and organic farming, value addition, and management. Also Read | Zero-budget natural farming returned to PM Modi govt’s top priority list
According to Dr. Harihar Kausadikar, Director (Education) of Maharashtra Council of Agriculture Education and Research (MCAER), the curriculum of agriculture universities in Maharashtra is revised every ten years, with the most recent revision occurring in 2009-10.
Dr. Kausadikar, who emphasized the inclusion of organic farming, zero-budget farming, and natural farming, added that the new syllabus could be implemented as early as the upcoming academic year, which begins in July-August 2022.