Nabard says zero budget farming can help ease rural distress

Mumbai: Welcoming the Budget proposal for 'zero budget farming', Nabard chairman HK Bhanwala has said the move will help millions of famers cut down their input cost and practice sustainable agriculture. Presenting the Budget for FY20, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government will go back to basics on one count--zero budget farming.

"The proposal to revive zero budget farming is a well-thought-out plan as it can help millions of famers bring down their input cost and follow sustainable farming. This initiative will help mitigate the rural distress to a great extent," Bhanwala said.

The finance minister said steps such as zero budget farming can help in doubling farmers' income in time for the 75th Independence Day celebrations.

She said in a few states farmers are already being trained in this practice. The government also hopes to form 10,000 new farmer producer organizations, to ensure economies of scale over the next five years.

Bhanwala said Nabard has been propagating collectivisation of farmers through farmer producer organizations as it allows them to get collective bargaining power in buying inputs and selling their produce.

The overall emphasis of the Budget is to develop infrastructure, energize investments, strengthen rural sector and empower women, he said. "The focus on the villages, the poor and the farmers will augur well in addressing the rural distress and providing succor to the rural populace," he added.

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