Cow Based Natural Farming has been a fixture in the Indian agrarian system since time immemorial. Back in the days when fertilizers and machinery were not available, cows became fulcrum on which the agricultural economy grew. Cows were the source of all the natural fertilizer that the soil needed, while the bulls ensured the land was ploughed. Together, the farmer and the bovine created a sustainable, and healthy cycle of producing natural ingredients.
Today, pesticide and chemical pollution has put farming land at risk all over the world, and nowhere is it more evident than here in India. Research suggests that 64% of all agricultural land the world over has higher than prescribed levels of chemicals. India is the world’s 4th largest producer of pesticides simply because farmers lose about 20-25% of their crops to pests every year.
The primary indicator for soil health is soil organic matter content. Ideally this should be 2.5%-3% of the weight of the soil near the root zone. In most part of Northern and North-western India it is as low as 0.5%, taking a grave toll on the overall yield quality and quantum. CBNF can help us change this for the better.
The beauty of this ancient practice is that it provides a series of recipes that can not only help improve soil health, but also keep pests and insects at bay. Research has shown that cow urine has germicidal, antibiotic and anti-fungal properties, making it ideal to keep pests and insects at bay. Moreover, cow dung has long since been considered one of the best organic fertilizers out there. Natural farming is the need of the hour. Combined with ancient recipes and modern technology CBNF can change the way we practice agriculture for the better.
In 2019, honourable Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharamana, pointed out how adopting cow-based farming can help alleviate the pain points of farmers in India. It can rid farmers of their debts by eliminating dependence on external sources for procuring fertilizers, pesticides, equipment, and more. Certain Indian states like Arunachal Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh are already reaping the massive benefits of cow-based farming.
Girveda helps educate all associated farmers on the techniques of cow-based farming and keeps checks on quality of all produce thus grown. Since most farmers already own cows and oxen, cow-based farming requires little to no investment. With focused efforts, within a short period of time, the land could be restored to its natural fertility, with the farmer being able to get a premium for his chemical-free produce.
Here are a few ways cow-based farming is different from conventional farming:
Cow Based Natural Farming is a means of ensuring that the produce grown by the farmer get premium value. Organic produce usually gets a higher price than produce grown using conventional methods. At Girveda, we have established a supply chain that ensures that all the farmers practicing CBNF get a higher than average price for their produce thanks to a strong quality-focused growing practices. We work closely with the farmers helping them fine tune their practices to improve upon the quality of their produce. This ensures that the farmer does not have to worry about growing in quantity and rather, can focus on growing quality produce.
CBNF is also popularly known as zero-budget farming. Since cows are such an integral part of the Indian farming system, CBNF becomes the most naturally adoptable farming practice. On our part, we support the farmers with the knowledge of various recipes for improving soil and seed health, as well as keeping away pests and insects. Conventional farming requires the farmer to invest heavily in fertilizers and pesticides. This cost pulls the farmer into a debt cycle that has proven fatal for so many around the country. CBNF, on the other hand, not only allows the farmer to stay debt free, but also helps them produce high quality yield regularly thus increasing their profits.
Cow Based Natural Farming is a completely natural and sustainable means of agriculture. Unlike conventional practices it does not use any type of chemical fertilizers or pesticides and focuses on growing produce the natural way. Moreover, the fact that this practice involves the use of cow based products makes it all the more sustainable for the farmer. Every farm in India has at least a pair of cows. This makes it easy for farmers to adopt CBNF without incurring extra costs. CBNF has been proven to improve the quality of the yield greatly, which allows the farmer to charge a higher price for the same. This creates a closed loop allowing the farmer to grow sustainably.
One of the biggest drawbacks of conventional farming is that it keeps the farmer indebted to chemical fertilizers and pesticides. More often than not, the farmer is laboring to stay ahead of the expenses they have already incurred. This does not leave the farmer with room to pivot into growing different crops depending on season and soil health. CBNF helps the farmer break this vicious cycle. It helps the farmer throw off the yoke of dependence on chemicals and allows them to grow completely natural, and 100% chemical free produce. Moreover, the fact that they do not have to invest heavily to practice CBNF also helps the farmer shift to this healthier, and natural way of growing food and Ayurvedic crops.