The need was intensified by the rising cost of these external inputs causing indebtedness and suicide among farmers, while the impact of chemicals on the environment and long-term fertility was devastating. Without the need to spend money on these inputs or take loans to buy them the cost of production could be reduced and farming made into a “zero budget” exercise, breaking the debt cycle for many small farmers.
Arguments against Zero budget natural farming
- Though limited studies in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra have shown a decline in the input costs and improvement in yields; the long terms returns were seen dropping in a few years.
- The wholesale move away from conventional methods to ZBNF without widescale studies on yield may result in a negative impact on the agro sector.
- Sikkim, India’s first organic state also has seen a drop in output and income after a few years.
- ZBNF has helped preserve soil fertility, but its role in boosting productivity and farmers’ income is not satisfactory yet.
- ZBNF encourages the need for an Indian breed cow, whose numbers are declining at a fast pace. According to Livestock Census, the country’s total population of indigenous and nondescript cattle has dropped by 8.1%.
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