The Apostle of Zero Budget Farming

It was a proud moment for Subash Palekar, a farmer in Belora village in the district of Amaravati, Maharashtra, after winning Padmashri for his Zero Budget Natural Farming Model back in 2016.

Subash Palekar, a BSc graduate in Agriculture, was known as ‘Krishi ka Rishi’ by fellow farmers. Palekar had always kept this in mind that  using chemical fertilizers is not only bad for health but also result in a drop in the yield. Palekar religiously researched about the concept of zero farming and only after 3 long years of research he could find that the chemical fertilizers are spoiling the mineral-rich soil.

Paleker thus developed zero budget farming, which is, as the name suggests, a 100 per cent cost-effective programme without using conventional fertilizers.

The most important factor behind this technique is the use of farmer-friendly microorganism that nourishes the soil with all trace minerals, similar to that of probiotics living in our intestines.

Photo Courtesy: wire

‘Cow dung’ was the main ingredient used by Palekar and he found out that there are about ‘300 to 500’ crore beneficial organisms inside the dung that could nourish the soil.

Some of his key findings from the 6 years of research:

  • Cow dung from Indian breed cow is much better when compared to foreign breed. Excreta from Kapila cow is considered better.
  • Make sure that the dung is fresh and the urine of the cow is old enough. It can be mixed with jaggery and dicot flour for the best result.
  • The less the milk produced by the cow, the more effective will be its dung.

Palekar has been educating more than 40 lakh farmers across India about this practice. He has been conducting seminars, workshops, and lectures to reach to the farmers.