Mandi: Natural Farming seems getting acceptance in the state of Himachal Pradesh as natural farming was being done in 5,595 hectares of land under Prakritik Kheti Khushhal Kisan Yojana in the state.

About 1,20,000 farmers have adopted Natural Farming, Himachal CM said while speaking at the Himachal Day function at Padar in Mandi today.

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The state government is targeting to cover 9.61 lakh families of farmers of the State under natural farming by the year 2022. As per the latest information available, 3,026 panchayats of the state have already covered under natural Farming and the department working on covering the remaining at the earliest.

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Need of Natural Farming

First crop of natural Farming at Horticulture University Nauni

With Green Revolution, the use of Agrochemicals was extensively promoted to increase crop production. But, with an increase in consumer awareness, yield stagnation and environmental degradation, a more sustainable farming system was required which can improve farmer’s livelihood. To repair the damage caused by chemical farming, a concept of Natural Farming suggested by Padma Shri Subhash Palekar was adopted in HP. This practice reduces dependence on costly external inputs and promotes the use of cow dung and urine of indigenous breeds of cows, to restore the soil microbiome.

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As per the studies conducted in the state, Natural Farming has helped in improving the soil quality and significantly reduced the incidence of invasive leaf miner as compared to organic and conventional farming.

Former state Governor Acharya Devvrat was instrumental in bringing Natural Farming in the state. Devvrat was of an opinion that the Natural Farming can change the destiny of the country. He had advised the farmer community to adopt natural practice in agriculture field as by adopting zero budget natural farming.

Prakratik Kheti-Khushal Kisan Scheme

To promote natural farming in the state, the Himachal Pradesh Government had launched Prakratik Kheti-Khushal Kisan Scheme. The state government providing subsidy along with financial assistance to encourage farmers for natural farming.

The objectives of the Prakratik Kheti-Khushhal Kisan Scheme was to reduce input costs required for farmers, to increase farmers income and also to reduce the use of chemicals and fertilizers in the farms.

The government is also providing subsidy and other benefits to promote the natural farming.