SHIMLA-12 October, 2018-Governor Acharya Devvrat called upon the people to adopt natural practice in agriculture field as by adopting zero budget natural farming (ZBNF) they could change the destiny of the country.

He was speaking after inaugurating five-day long training camp on natural farming organized by Agriculture department at Shimla today. Farmers and orchardists from six districts are participating in the training camp.

“In practical terms, initially there is minimal expenditure, so this method should be recognized only as natural farming”, said Acharya Devvrat.

He said that the ill effect of chemicals used in agriculture or fruit plants was showing their trace in our food but now we have alternative system in the form of natural farming. He said the soil of Himachal was considered to be very fertile in northern region and according to scientific data, the organic carbon of this soil was near about 0.8. If the farmers continuously used chemical spray at this pace, the agrarian land would become barren. He said that the ground water level was going down below four feet every year as result of chemical cultivation and if it continues, the next generation would not have even enough water to drink.

Acharya Devvrat said the cost of production was increasing through chemical farming whereas production was decreasing. Moreover, various health problems have emerged, the environment was getting contaminated and as per scientific reports, chemical farming was also contributing 40 percent in global warming. Therefore, it was the need of the hour to understand the alarming situation and shift towards natural farming by working in a mission mode.

He said that India's food reserves could not be filled with organic farming and there were many side-effects of this farming like chemical farming and being expensive it was not practical for the common farmers. He emphasized on natural farming and said that with the cooperation of all, this region would emerge as a natural farming state and guide the rest states by 2022.

The Governor urged the farmers and orchardists to take training on natural farming and adopt this method honestly in one part of their farm to see the results themselves. He informed that the industrialists and exporters who met him at New Delhi recently have decided to buy natural products on the rates higher than one and a half times.

Earlier, the Governor released special issue of newspaper "Apna Himachal" on natural farming.

Agriculture Minister Dr. Ram Lal Markanda said that such camps and programmes on natural farming were being organized on the direction and guidance of the Governor. The Ministers and officials visited farm of Gurukul in Kurukshetra, where natural farming was being done and after that the State government immediately decided to adopt this system in Himachal also and a provision of Rs. 25 crores has been made for this.

Padamshree Subhash Palekar said that chemical free farming should be encouraged in the State to maintain the significance of the Dev Bhumi. "There is a special charm of Himachal in the country especially because of apple but using chemical sprays we are not only serving poison but also reducing the fertility of the soil. The only solution for this is natural farming", said Palekar.

He said that today only 35 crore acres of land was left for agriculture in the country and at the pace the population was increasing, double food grains would be produced till 2050 i.e. 50 million metric tons, which was not possible with chemical farming. Therefore, natural farming or spiritual farming would have to be promoted.

Principal Secretary, Agriculture Onkar Sharma briefed about the activities being undertaken by the agriculture department on natural farming.

Director, Agriculture Dr. Des Raj Sharma proposed the vote of thanks