Union MoS External Affairs and Education RK Ranjan Singh on Sunday said 10,000 Bio-input Resource Centre will be established across India in the next three years under the Union government subsidy to push the growth of natural farming.
Ranjan was speaking at the valedictory function of the three-day international conference on Natural Farming for Revitalizing Environment and Resilient Agriculture at College of Agriculture, Central Agricultural University, Imphal.
The MoS stated that the government decided to take initiative realizing the importance and practicality of implementing natural farming methods for farmers in the country.
The Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana and the Bhartiya Krishi Paddhati Yojana are being implemented in the country to transform the farming methods in line with natural farming, he added.
“In Union budget 2023-2024, the Central government concluded to transform one crore farmers into natural farmers in the next three years,” he said.
Pointing out that the term ‘Natural Farming’ was popularized a few decades after the Second World War, Ranjan further pointed out that the technique gained global notoriety after Masanobu Fukuoka’s ‘One-Straw Revolution and Natural Farming’ was published.
He highlighted that the philosophy and approach of natural farming was fully dependent on the Natural ecosystem. According to Fukuoka every seed of various crops, vegetables and trees had inherent capacity to germinate and grow with the natural ecosystem, he added.
The Union MoS further stated that natural farming discouraged the use of chemical products and promoted the practice of farming which used easily manageable resources for better economy and long-term conservation of nature.
Ranjan maintained that natural farming reduced dependency on purchased inputs and helped unload the burden of high cost of inputs farming for smallholder farmers.
“Diversity of climate and low capacity to purchase inputs are main factors for farmers to leave agriculture,” he said.
“It considers the principles of agro-ecology which integrates crops, trees and livestock with functional relationships fulfilling the needs of all living organisms,” he said.
Ranjan also pointed out that conventional farming gave more emphasis on yield maximization rather than yield optimization leading to soil fatigue, high cost of production, declining factor productivity and causing imbalance in the ecosystem which led to high dependency of the farmers on the market.
The Union MoS exuded confidence that the development of natural farming syllabus which will be implemented in Central Agricultural University’s UG and PG courses will help in popularizing the concept among new age farmers in the state.
Those who attended the event included Vice chancellor of Central Agricultural University, Imphal Anupam Mishra, vice chancellor of C. C. S. Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar B R Kamboj, DDG (N R M), ICAR, New Delhi Suresh Kumar Chaudhari, director of Instruction, CAU, Imphal S Basanta Singh, director of Research, CAU, Imphal K Mamocha Singh, director of Extension Education,CAU Ph Ranjit Sharma, dean of College of Agriculture, CAU, Imphal Indira Sarangthem among other directors and vice chancellors of various universities, scientists, teachers and students.