Mashobra: Interacting with farmers and orchardists at Horticulture Research and Training Station, Mashobra in Shimla district today, Governor Acharya Devvrat urged the farmers to adopt ‘Zero Budget Natural Farming’ to improve the quality of their produce for better prices in the market.

Expressing concern over the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers which not only diluted the healthiness content of crops but also affected fertility of the soil, Governor advised farmers to adopt natural farming as it’s a better option, environment friendly and will help making the Nation self-reliant in agriculture sector.

He called upon the scientists to educate the farming community about traditional and natural farming and added that special awareness camps should be organised for popularizing zero-budget farming for improvement of the existing agricultural practices in the State. He also asked the scientists to carry out intensive research and develop new techniques besides improving the existing ones especially in natural farming. He said the research conducted in laboratories should reach the fields of the farmers and results of research should be conveyed in local dilects also.

The Governor said that Padamshree Dr. Subhash Palekar had shown the path of inspiration to farmers of the country and given the concept of zero budget natural farming adopted by more than 40 lakh farmers of the country. He said that such farming technique would go a long way in benefitting the people and those farmers who had already adopted this technique were getting better prices of their produce.

He said Sikkim state has become an organic state of the country and it was surprising to know that almost 60 percent of the scientists of that state had studied from the Horticulture and Agricultural Universities of Himachal Pradesh. These scientists are utilizing this technique in their state.

Acharya Devvrat appealed the farmers to adopt Zero Budget Natural Farming for increasing the production in their farms besides preferring indigenous cow breeds. He said that success of natural farming had proved its worth and an example which should be followed by others. He said that number of diseases had increased during last decades due to unreasonable chemical farming and it was the right time to shift from chemical farming to natural farming.

He said that one local cow could be helpful in farming 30 acres of land and added that it would improve the fertility of the soil, producing maximum yield by using minimum water and getting remunerative price of their product. He said that local cow was useful in propagating traditional farming and able to bring revolution in agro sector. He expressed the hope that the interaction particularly with the young and progressive farmers would enable the participants to think afresh and open new vistas in their lives.

Dr. H.C. Sharma, Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan welcomed the Governor and detailed about the activities of the University. He said that the university had already introduced the concept of natural farming. He also focused on adopting high density plantation and crop diversification.