The state government of Gujarat recently held a meeting where Farmers Welfare and Cooperation Minister, Ranchhod Faldu stated that the state government wants to discontinue the subsidy for chemical fertilizers and that farmers should take up organic farming. The meeting was held at the Main Dry Farming Research Station (MDFRS), Junagadh Agricultural University, Targhadiya near Rajkot.
“But we want to discontinue this subsidy. You are aware of the fact that the burden of disease has increased since we started using chemical fertilizers and pesticides in farming. When we were doing farming using manure, the scenario was different. In order to save our agriculture and mankind, we will have to turn to Prakrutik Kheti (organic farming), which is being promoted by Subhash Palekar,” The Indian Express quoted Faldu as saying.
Shubhash Palekar is an agriculturist who practiced and wrote many books about Subhash Palekar Natural Farming (SPNF), formerly ZBNF (Zero Budget Natural Farming), which is a type of farming where the cost of growing and harvesting plants is zero. He is popularly known as ‘Krishi ka Rishi’.
Concerns regarding chemical fertilizers and pesticides adversely affecting the health of people and fertility of agricultural land were cited as reasons behind this move.
While addressing the meeting Faldu also added that the state and central government allocated Rs 5,000 crore towards subsidizing chemical fertilizers that 56.36 lakh farmers of Gujarat used in the financial year 2018-’19.
The meeting was called to formally start paying compensation to farmers for crop loss caused by excessive and unseasonal rain.
Farmers from Rajkot, Jamnagar, Devbhumi Dwarka, Morbi, Porbandar, and Junagadh attended the meeting where Faldu and Kunvarji Bavaliya, the Minister for Water Supply, Animal Husbandry and Rural Housing, handed over letters of compensation to select farmers.
According to Faldu, 9.77 lakh farmers from these six districts applied for compensation till December 24 and the state government sanctioned Rs 745 crore compensation.
The payment of compensation was officially launched by Chief Minister Rupani at an event in Vadodara. The CM began the process of transferring compensation directly into bank accounts of farmers through digital transactions.
Urging the farmers to disregard the ‘propaganda’ circulated by the opposition, Faldu said, “You have elected us to work for you. Rest assured, we do not while away our time sitting in chairs or driving around in red beacon cars. We are working for you, providing all the support you need,” said Faldu.