“Prachar Rath” to promote organic and natural farming in Rajasthan

first_imgA “Prachar Rath”, flagged off by Agriculture Minister Lal Chand Kataria on Wednesday, will promote organic and zero budget natural farming (ZBNF) among the farmers in Rajasthan to reduce agricultural input costs, encourage the use of bio-fertilisers, replace pesticides with traditional material and give tips for preparation of indigenous seeds.Flagging off the chariot at a public hearing event here, Mr. Kataria said the progressive farmers would be associated in large numbers with the drive which would continue till November 9. “Groups of farmers will visit the villages to generate awareness about the methods to increase agricultural production with innovative methods,” he said.Noted agriculturist Subhash Palekar, who has pushed for adoption of ZBNF, will train the farmers at a six-day-long camp beginning on September 24 at Sewar in Bharatpur district. This will be the first-ever training camp devoted to natural farming organised in the State.Mr. Kataria said the excessive use of chemicals was damaging the land’s fertility and adversely affecting people’s health. “The Prachar Rath’s dialogue with the farmers will apprise them of the benefits of using organic manure, vermicompost, crop residues and organic waste, while the weed, disease and pest control can be achieved through bio-materials and crop rotation.”The Union government’s Economic Survey of 2018-19 had advocated ZBNF as a “lucrative livelihood option” for small farmers. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had mentioned the method in her Budget speech as one of the innovative models through which the farmers’ income could be doubled by 2022.About 2,000 farmers have got themselves registered for the Sewar camp, where the research on forest vegetation as well as the techniques for natural growth of trees, based on Mr. Palekar’s “zero budget approach” to chemical-free farming involving manures and agro-ecology, will be highlighted.Sita Ram Gupta, executive director of Bharatpur-based Lupin Foundation, which is organising the camp, said that the exhibitions on beekeeping, manufacturing of ‘tulsi mala’ and fashion designing would be held during the event. Students of agricultural and veterinary colleges and researchers are also expected to participate in the camp.last_img read more