CBNF has manifold benefits for farmers, soil, crops, the environment, and consumers. Natural farming has significant healing powers that maintain the ecosystem’s balance by following the principle of giving back to nature. India has more than 70% of its population dependent on agriculture for its livelihood. Subsequently, it becomes even more significant to protect everyone from the dangerous effects of chemical inputs, from farmers to consumers.
The Sacred Lands and Cows of the Gir-Somnath Region
The primary reason why CBNF is also called Zero-Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) is that it doubles the farmers’ incomes with very little expenditure. Many Indian states like Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Karnataka already started implementing it. Girveda aims to bring this culture to Gujarat by introducing natural farming methods in the sacred agricultural lands of the Gir-Somnath region.
The naturally rich soil and comprising a significant percentage of India’s valuable flora and fauna, Gir forest has vast fertile land for cultivation. The name “Girveda” emerged from the same traditional methods of ancient India, intending to go back to the basics. Besides the lands and soil, the Gir cows also have their unique properties, making them true friends of the farmers.
Implementing CBNF For a Chemical-free Farming Culture
CBNF inculcates a culture of farming that is free of any chemicals by promoting the use of Jeevamrutha. It’s a concoction of cow dung and aged urine, flour made from pulses, jaggery, farm soil, and water. The fermented microbial properties of the mixture are highly effective for maintaining the essential soil nutrients. The mix also works as a catalyst for promoting the activities of earthworms and other microorganisms in the soil.
The Goodness of Jeevamrut and Bijamrut
Moreover, a single Indian-bred cow is enough for a land of 30 acres. To make the land self-sustaining, 200 litres of Jeevamrutha mix can be sprayed per acre twice a month. A highly intensive composition called Bijamrut treats seeds apart from a few other blends using Neem leaves and pulp, green chillies, and tobacco.
The CBNF farming culture also promotes minimum usage of water and avoids O2 starvation in crops by reducing harmful levels of CO2 when they arise. Additionally, growing different kinds of crops together is exceptionally convenient with this type of farming. It also encourages groundwater recharge by slowing down water sheet flow which helps maintain soil moisture levels. CBNF also plays a significant role in preparing topsoil mulching to prevent the growth of weeds.
Strictly Against Vermicomposting
The mainstay of CBNF is strictly against vermicomposting, which needs high maintenance, creates problems of pathogens and pests, and is time-consuming. It introduces the most common composting worms, known as European red wiggler, to the Indian soil. Eisenia fetida (European red wiggler) absorbs all the toxic metals that can deteriorate the groundwater and soil.
How CBNF Helps Farmers
CBNF started as a strong alternative to the Green Revolution to increase land and soil fertility for a longer period. The increased expenses of chemical inputs became the primary cause of farmers’ indebtedness, leading them to commit suicide. Instead of taking loans and spending money on chemicals, “zero budget” helps in reducing the production cost and brings an end to the debt cycle for farmers. The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) data shows that around 70% of Indian households, dependent on farming, earn less than their expenses. Each home is in debt of around INR 1 Lakh, raising their debt levels to approximately 90%.
The natural farming method of CBNF aims to reduce farmers’ dependence on loans for buying costly inputs. Moreover, it complies with the Central Govt’s promise to double farmers’ incomes and introduce intercropping to increase their returns.
How CBNF Helps in Bringing Fresh Food to Consumers
CNF seeks to replicate nature’s way of producing the crops we require by maintaining the cycle of life, death, decomposition, and, again, life. Everything that soil produces goes back to the earth. Likewise, when cows consume healthy crops produced by their waste, they consequently produce nutritious milk. Consuming a diet rich in the food produced by natural farming increases vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fatty acids.
Healthier and Safer Future Generations
Research by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) indicates that harmful food can also cause complications in unborn babies. The pollutants and pesticides can damage the placenta’s health and create an unsafe environment in the womb. Natural farming products help keep future generations healthier by eliminating many such health risks. Moreover, such methods keep the water non-contaminated, use less water, and preserve the earth’s water bodies.
Care and Maintenance of Cows for Healthy Consumption
Wild animals, aquatic life, and birds depend on healthy crops, plants, and forests for their livelihood. Natural farming also treats its animals better by providing a healthy lifestyle. At Girveda, all our Gir cows are the highest priority and are extremely well-cared for. They are fed on lush green farms and enjoy a comfortable living. The Gaushalas with which we have partnered take extra care of the cows and strictly adhere to cruelty-free maintenance.
Less Soil Erosion and Pollution
Soil erosion is a threat to both the environment and the population. It promotes floods and droughts and causes excess dust in the air, resulting in air pollution. Natural farming uses cultivation methods like conserving the tillage, crop covering, and windbreaks, reducing soil erosion and making it sustainable.
Fresh and Better Tasting Food Products
Natural farming food products have better taste, flavour, and nutrition. The crops and plants don’t have any chemical pesticides, and hence, when brought from farms, they are devoid of any such harmful elements. At Girveda, our partner farmers use natural manures and pesticides from healthy cows’ waste and prepare food products from traditional recipes. We ensure a closed natural loop with proper seed protection that keeps the freshness, taste, and essential nutrients necessary for human consumption and a healthy lifestyle.
Growing food on completely chemical-free soil and sustainable living is a long road ahead. Girveda ensures that all our procurement, storage, and packaging processes reflect the natural goodness of the farms from where they grew and were brought.