India’s Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for promoting zero-budget natural farming in order to make agricultural trade viable and sustainable for farmers, a government statement said.
It said Naidu’s comments came at his meeting with the Governor of Himachal Pradesh, Acharya Devvrat, the agricultural expert Subhash Palekar and the Advisor (Agriculture) to Government of Andhra Pradesh Vijay Kumar as part of national consultations on ways to increase farmer income.
The best agri-practices adopted in Himachal Pradesh were to improve the income of farmers were discussed. Subhash Palekar and Vijay Kumar briefed the Naidu on the role that zero-budget farming is playing in bringing down the input costs.
The Vice President called for innovative solutions to make farming profitable.
Unlike in the past, the farmers were facing the problem of plenty and there is a need to streamline the procurement methods. Expressing his concern over increasing input costs and the lack of remunerative prices to farmers, he complimented the Union Government for steeply increasing the MSP for paddy and other kharif crops.
According to Naidu, farming should be climate-resilient in the wake increasing problems due to climate change. He also stressed the need for eliminating the role of middlemen burden in agriculture and allied activities.
Referring to the exorbitant cost of fertilizers and pesticides, he advised the state governments to come out with farmer-friendly policies. There is a greater need for all stakeholders to adopt a balanced approach in protecting the interests of farmers and consumers.
While commending NITI Aayog, the government think tank, for consultation on ‘Zero- Budgeting Natural Farming’, the Vice President said that NITI Aayog must play a bigger role in disseminating research outcomes to farmers.