Friday, February 24, 2012

Subash Palekar's zero budget no-till rice farming

This is some information about Zero budget farming after reading Subash Palekar's books and also interacting with farmers. I have also given a brief about zero budget no-till rice farming given in Subash Palekar's "Techniques of Spiritual farming". I don't practice zero budget farming, but follow natural farming as advocated by Masanobu Fukuoka.

Zero budget farming advocated by Subash Palekar from Maharashtra is popular in different states of India. This method basically talks about mulching using agriculture waste generated from farm, mixed cropping with stressing importance of leguminous crops and also applying a set of preparations based on cow dung, urine of traditional Indian cow. This is called as Zero budget since all the required things can be cultivated at farm itself and hence no inputs has to be brought from outside.

The most popular preparation is Jeewamritha which has cow dung, cow urine, pulse powder, jaggery and a handful of soil. Jeewamritha is not talked as a fertiliser rather it contains lot of microbes and hence decomposition of the mulch becomes faster and earth worm activity becomes more and land becomes fertile. People who has used Jeewamritha tells that visible changes in the earth worms can be seen within a week itself. Also one good thing is that 1 local cow is enough for 30 acres of land. The calculation goes like this, Jeewamritha has to be applied once in a month per acre and local cow gives 10Kgs of cowdung per day which is sufficient for an acre in a day. So within a month all 30 acres can be completed once and cycle repeats. I was impressed with this scheme, since 1 cow per 30 acre of land seems to be a sustainable model. After seeing some farms I felt that if the cows increases in the farm, the fertility will reduce since no grass will be left for mulching.

Subash Palekar's has written three books on Zero budget farming..Principles of Zero budget farming, Philosophy of Zero budget farming and Techniques of zero budget farming. The book Techniques of zero budget farming gives a clear description of how all mixed cropping can be done and a description of how various crops are cultivated using Zero budget farming philosophy.

I had visited some zero budget farms - Krishnappa Dasappa Gowda in Mysore, Manoj in Kanjikode, Palakkad, Chandrasekhar, Vithinaserry, Palakkad and Dr. Raju , Karivannur, Thrissur.

Subash Palekar also talks about zero budget no-till paddy farming in his book - Techniques of spiritual farming. This method goes like this..

When the paddy crop is standing and 15 days before harvest, broadcast Bijamritha treated seeds of pulses like beans,cow pea, green gram etc..Some seeds will fall on the paddy but eventually they also will end up in ground. There will be sufficient water for these pulses to germinate.Since paddy is already matured the leaves will allow more sunlight to reach the pulses which will be sufficient for them to germinate and come up.

During harvesting the seedlings of the pulses will be crushed, but they will again standup. The same thing was described in One straw revolution, but the seedlings in that case are rice seedling..typically the pulse seedlings may break if they are crushed by the foots of the harvesters, so not completely convinced if it will work. Now apply Jeewamritha periodically.

Now on the bunds of the fields he asks to plant glyricedia, pegion pea, turmeric, ginger, cow pea etc..and use the waste from all these for mulching the field later. Glyrecedia provides mulching material at each 21 days.

In March, pulses will be matured, harvest and return all the remains to the field. Also mulch with straw immediately after harvesting the pulses. This may be to avoid hardening of soil with sun light and wind...Apply Jeewamritha over this...March, April and May the soil will be covered with straw.. In the first week of May treat the paddy seeds with Beejamritha. Make holes in the mulch at the distance of 9 inches to 1.5 feet and dibble the seeds into this and add some soil over to it using sickle. Pre-monsoon rain starts by may end and apply Jeewamritha and keep applying Jeewamritha once in 15 days. And again before harvesting the paddy sow the pulses and cycle continues.

This method looks to be impressive, now would like to see some one really practicing it.






18 comments:

  1. Excelente! greetings from Argentina! :)

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  2. Thanks..Just glanced your blog, even though couldn't make out, could see lot of interesting photos


    Nandan

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  3. I appreciate you really from my heart....
    The information which you provided is really inspiring.
    Better keep on educating and motivate us.
    Jai Jawan Jai Kissan

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  4. Appreciate this post and your interest in Zero Budget Natural Farming.
    Guess you might be interested in http://zbnfkerala.com/

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Shine. Gone through http://zbnfkerala.com/ and it looks good. It will be good to give details of farmers who practice zero budget farming.

      Keep in touch

      Regards,
      Nandan

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  5. Hi i just now read this Blog and from past obeweek am looking on Plaekar Method. I have land and i want to Grow Vegetables that is Cabbage & cauliflower. Cna anyone of explain for this also we have to treat the seeds with Bijamitra will this formula work out....My email ID ..Praveen.patil28@gmail.com

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    1. Hi Praveen,
      You can look at this web site for Bijamritha preparation and applying.

      http://palekarzerobudgetspiritualfarming.org/Bijamrita.aspx

      I haven't used this, but my feeling is that the seedlings will have better initial growth and there will be effect of this.

      Regards,
      Nandan

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  6. Happened to see the blog only today. A very good comprehension of Palekar's method. Keep blogging.
    R Narayanan
    navanna@sify.com

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  7. Thanks Narayanan for motivating comments


    Regards,
    Nandan

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  8. Hi
    Is there any web site to download subash palekar ZBNF book
    Best Regards
    Bala Krishna

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    Replies
    1. Hi Bala Krishna,

      Haven't seen any downloadable versions. It is available in Atermedia, Trichur, Kerala..and can buy online from Vedic books, Earth care books etc..

      Regards,
      Nandan

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  9. Hi
    This is santosh from Bijapur, I hv gone through this new technic , really impressed. I bought a book & hv gone through that, so I decided to start this so before that I want to visit those farmers who hv used this & u mentioned some formers whome u visited so could u give their full address & contact no so I can visit & hv live experience.. so please help... I hope u can sir
    Thanku

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    1. Hi Santhosh,

      You can find address of zero budget farmers here.

      http://palekarzerobudgetspiritualfarming.org/PDF/Model_farmers_adress.pdf

      Subash Palekar's book also will have the latest contact details. But I couldn't find any farmer who does no-till rice.

      Regards,
      Nandan

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  10. Were can I get zero farming boos of Subhash Palekar

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    Replies
    1. Check in www.vedicbooks.net or Alter media, Trichur, Kerala

      Regards,
      Nandan

      Delete
  11. राजस्थान की रेतीली धरती पर पालेकर जी की तकनीक की क्या सम्भावनाऐं हो सकती है, कृपया बतावें।

    ReplyDelete