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‘Zero budget natural farming’ ruse small farmers, hampers 30% yields, returns: AIKMS

'Zero budget natural farming' ruse small farmers, hampers 30% yields, returns - AIKMS
Image credit-AIKMS

‘Zero budget natural farming’ ruse small farmers, hampers 30% yields, returns: AIKMS

The All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha (AIKMS) has slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) proposal to promote ‘zero budget natural farming,’ accusing it of being a ruse to raise fertilizer costs and eliminate fertilizer subsidies.

It has been alleged that this will devastate small and middle-class farmers, reducing agricultural yields and returns by more than 30%.

AIKMS, a frontal organization of the CPI-ML (New Democracy), has urged all farmers to oppose the move to increase input burden and reduce farmers’ income, despite the ruling party’s promise to double farmers’ income by 2022, according to AIKMS general secretary Ashish Mital in a communiqué issued on Thursday.

As declared in the budget and in the electoral campaign by BJP, it wants to allow only natural farming up to 5 km on both sides of 2500 km along the Ganga. This is to encourage biofertilizers which are expensive and less effective on high-yield variety crops. Also Read | Budget highlights: Natural farming, 2.37 lk cr MSP, Drones, Digital, Rural enterprise.

According to him, the police would implement this strategy, which will result in the devastation of lakhs of farmers along the Ganga belt.

Fertilizer prices have already doubled, and farmers have suffered greatly as a result of black marketing. The fertilizer subsidy budget allocation for this year is ₹ 1.05 lakh crore, down from ₹ 1.55 lakh crore last year.

According to Mittal, who is also a member of the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, the government is encouraging ZBNF to lower its support to farmers (SKM).

In response to the charges, BJP Prayagraj municipal unit president Ganesh Kesarwani stated that ‘zero-budget natural farming (ZBNF) is a chemical-free agriculture system based on ancient Indian methods. It is a viable alternative to agricultural systems based on chemical fertilizers and pesticides, as well as extensive irrigation. Without the need to spend money on these inputs or take out loans to purchase them, the cost of production may be decreased, and farming can be turned into a ‘zero budget’ activity, breaking the debt cycle for many small farmers’ He stated.