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Natural farming is an ecological farming approach established by Masanobu Fukuoka — , a Japanese farmer and philosopher, introduced in his book The One-Straw Revolution.
A. Soil Mulching (Cultivation)
The title refers not to lack of effort, but to the avoidance of manufactured inputs and equipment. Natural farming is related to fertility farming, organic farming , sustainable agriculture , agroecology , agroforestry , ecoagriculture and permaculture , but should be distinguished from biodynamic agriculture. The system works along with the natural biodiversity of each farmed area, encouraging the complexity of living organisms—both plant and animal—that shape each particular ecosystem to thrive along with food plants.
Fukuoka's ideas radically challenged conventions that are core to modern agro-industries; instead of promoting importation of nutrients and chemicals, he suggested an approach that takes advantage of the local environment. Fukuoka claimed that his approach prevents water pollution , biodiversity loss and soil erosion , while providing ample amounts of food.
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In principle, practitioners of natural farming maintain that it is not a technique but a view , or a way of seeing ourselves as a part of nature , rather than separate from or above it.
Rather than offering a structured method, Fukuoka distilled the natural farming mindset into five principles: .
Though many of his plant varieties and practices relate specifically to Japan and even to local conditions in subtropical western Shikoku , his philosophy and the governing principles of his farming systems have been applied widely around the world, from Africa to the temperate northern hemisphere.
Principally, natural farming minimises human labour and adopts, as closely as practical, nature's production of foods such as rice , barley , daikon or citrus in biodiverse agricultural ecosystems. Without plowing , seeds germinate well on the surface if site conditions meet the needs of the seeds placed there.
Fukuoka used the presence of spiders in his fields as a key performance indicator of sustainability.
Fukuoka specifies that the ground remain covered by weeds , white clover , alfalfa , herbaceous legumes , and sometimes deliberately sown herbaceous plants. Ground cover is present along with grain, vegetable crops and orchards. Chickens run free in orchards and ducks and carp populate rice fields. Periodically ground layer plants including weeds may be cut and left on the surface, returning their nutrients to the soil, while suppressing weed growth. This also facilitates the sowing of seeds in the same area because the dense ground layer hides the seeds from animals such as birds.
For summer rice and winter barley grain crops, ground cover enhances nitrogen fixation.
Straw from the previous crop mulches the topsoil. Each grain crop is sown before the previous one is harvested by broadcasting the seed among the standing crop.
Later, this method was reduced to a single direct seeding of clover, barley and rice over the standing heads of rice. Fukuoka's practice and philosophy emphasised small scale operation and challenged the need for mechanised farming techniques for high productivity, efficiency and economies of scale. While his family's farm was larger than the Japanese average, he used one field of grain crops as a small-scale example of his system.
Widely regarded as the leading practitioner of the second-generation of natural farmers, Yoshikazu Kawaguchi is the instigator of Akame Natural Farm School, and a related network of volunteer-based "no-tuition" natural farming schools in Japan that numbers 40 locations and more than concurrent students.
This Farmer Won the Padmashri for His Zero Budget Natural Farming Model
He re-states the core values of natural farming as:. Kawaguchi's recognition outside of Japan has become wider after his appearance as the central character in the documentary Final Straw: Food, Earth, Happiness , through which his interviews were translated into several languages. Since , Kawaguchi is no longer directly instructing at the Akame school which he founded. He is still actively teaching however, holding open farm days at his own natural farm in Nara prefecture.
In ecology , climax ecosystems are mature ecosystems that have reached a high degree of stability, productivity and diversity see old-growth forest.
Natural farmers attempt to mimic those virtues, creating a comparable climax ecosystem, and employ advanced techniques such as intercropping , companion planting and integrated pest management.
Natural farming recognizes soils as a fundamental natural asset. Ancient soils possess physical and chemical attributes that render them capable of generating and supporting life abundance.
It can be argued that tilling actually degrades the delicate balance of a climax soil:. Fukuoka advocated avoiding any change in the natural landscape. This idea differs significantly from some recent permaculture practice that focuses on permaculture design, which may involve the change in landscape. For example, Sepp Holzer , an Austrian permaculture farmer, advocates the creation of terraces on slopes to control soil erosion.
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Fukuoka avoided the creation of terraces in his farm, even though terraces were common in China and Japan in his time. Instead, he prevented soil erosion by simply growing trees and shrubs on slopes.
Although the term "natural farming" came into common use in the English language during the s with the translation of the book One Straw Revolution , the natural farming mindset itself has a long history throughout the world, spanning from historical Native American practices to modern day urban farms.
In , Newman Turner advocated the practice of "fertility farming", a system featuring the use of a cover crop, no tillage, no chemical fertilizers, no pesticides, no weeding and no composting. Although Turner was a commercial farmer and did not practice random seeding of seed balls , his "fertility farming" principles share similarities with Fukuoka's system of natural farming.
Turner also advocate a "natural method" of animal husbandry.
Recent research in the field of traditional ecological knowledge finds that for over one hundred centuries, Native American tribes worked the land in strikingly similar ways to today's natural farmers. Author and researcher M.
Kat Anderson writes that "According to contemporary Native Americans, it is only through interaction and relationships with native plants that mutual respect is established.
Japanese farmer and philosopher Mokichi Okada , conceived of a "no fertilizer" farming system in the s that predated Fukuoka. Okada used the same Chinese characters as Fukuoka's "natural farming" however, they are translated into English slightly differently, as nature farming.
The Rishi Kheti is regarded as non-violent farming [ citation needed ] without any usage of chemical fertilizer and pesticides.
They obtain high quality [ citation needed ] natural or organic produce having medicinal values. Zero Budget Farming is a variation on natural farming developed in, and primarily practiced in southern India. It also called spiritual farming. The method involves mulching , intercropping , and the use of several preparations which include cow dung.
These preparations, generated on-site, are central to the practice, and said to promote microbe and earthworm activity in the soil. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Zero Budget Farming. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Systems science portal Ecology portal.
Retrieved Archived from the original PDF on March 27, Retrieved April 28, People and Environment: Development for the Future. November 1, Participating in Nature: Thomas J. Prescott College. Zed Books.
B. Straw Mulching (Cultivation)
Japan Publications. Mie Univ. Journal of Rural Problems Japan in Japanese. Principles and Applications of Soil Microbiology. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. The Nature of Cities. KAT University of California Press. Fertility Farming. Faber and Faber Limited.
Zero budget natural farming pdf merge
Retrieved 6 March At Rasulia we called it 'rishi kheti' agriculture of the sages. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Retrieved 25 January On land. Aquaculture Aquaponics Hydroponics Aeroponics.
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Zero Budget Natural Farming: Interview with Subhash Palekar