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Himachal Pradesh taking lead in natural farming
Jul 08, 2019

 While presenting the budget on Friday, Union finance minister Nirmla Sitharaman mentioned about implementing zero budget natural farming in the country. In Himachal Pradesh, some farmers are writing new success stories by switching over to natural farming
. There are some who have even left their government or private jobs to adopt it. In 12 districts of the state, a total of 2669 farmers are already engaged in this form of farming in area spread over 252 hectares of land. 
In HP concept of natural farming was started by governor Acharya Devvrat. Last year, chief minister Jai Ram Thakur led state government had earmarked Rs 25 crore for propagation of natural farming. This year too state government had announced subsidy of 50 percent for purchasing cows of indigenous breed to promote natural farming. State government is also providing Rs 25,000 grant for purchasing indigenous cow. 
The aim is to produce healthy food grains and avoid use of chemicals. This will reduce the cost of farming and ultimately lead to a substantial increase of income of farmers by 2022. 
Manjeet Singh of Sihana village of Una district, who holds a degree in Master of Technology (MTech), is among those farmers who are now practising natural farming. When he had left his job to pursue farming not only villagers but even his family members were apprehensive about his future. 
No young person was seen in the village as they all had left the place in search of job. When I decided to give up my job for natural farming people used to make fun of me. But now they have come to learn new techniques of farming and it is benefiting all, he said. 
Manjeet took training from Subhash Palekar who had conceptualized natural farming. After that, Manjeet started growing tomato, pea, coriander, cauliflower and capsicum and due to less input cost, the returns were good. 

Times of india