Krishika Rishi’ is the title farming communities across the country have bestowed on SubhashPalekar. This agriculturist is the creator of the ‘Zero Budget Natural Farming’ model, a method that has been creating waves in the farming community in India. By 1985, Palekar began to notice a drop in yield; one that only got worse with each harvest. Curious about the sudden change, he began to look into the reasons for the decline. Three years of intensive research led him to the conclusion that chemical farming was the culprit. Shocked by the harmful effects of chemical farming, he began the hunt for less destructive alternatives. Thus began the journey of zero budget natural farming in India. Zero budget natural farming, as the name suggests, is a method of farming where the cost of growing and harvesting plants is zero. More than 40 lakh farmers across the country have benefitted greatly from Palekar’s teachings and his method of natural farming. In 2016, in recognition of his work and the impact he was creating, the Government of India conferred Palekar with the prestigious Padamashri Award. Palekar also made history for being the first active farmer to receive the award.
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