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Zero Budget Natural Farming: Andhra Pradesh Government signs MoU with German firm KFW

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on January 09, 2020 Published on January 09, 2020

Representative image   -  iStockphoto

The YS Jaganmohan Reddy led-State government will spend Rs 304 crore on the project

After some suspense over the much touted `Zero Budget Natural Farming’ (ZBNF), the Andhra Pradesh Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the representatives of a German firm, KFW, in Amaravati.

As part of the agreement that intends to scale up the ongoing project with the German firm, the government has taken a loan of Rs 711 crores out of the estimated amount of Rs 1015 crore earmarked to be spent towards the climate-resilient, ZBNF.

The YS Jaganmohan Reddy led-State government will spend Rs 304 crore on the project, which is aimed to cover 2.39 lakh farmers in around 600 village panchayats and promote natural farming, according to the State minister for Agriculture, Kurasala Kannababu.

The previous N Chandrababu Naidu government launched the project with much fanfare, but it attracted criticism too with questions over the huge funding, practical results and implementation. The project found mention in the Union Budget presented by Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman.

The Minister also launched a toll free number 1800 599 3366 for enquiries to provide information of the insurance scheme launched for the farmers on the occasion. As a demonstration he dialled the toll free number, called up farmers in his constituency of Kakinada rural and enquired. The service will be functional from 10 am to 10 pm every day.

The ZBNF has been under implementation with German Assistance covering over a lakh hectares in the past two years. It has been aligned with other schemes like the Rastriya Krishi Vikas Yojana.

The minister also said the Government has passed orders to completely take over the schemes of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima (PMFBY) and RWBCS Scheme and implement them on its own during the coming rabi season. The agriculture department would work as the nodal agency for the schemes. For the farmers who apply online for the insurance scheme through Karshak app, the last date for groundnut crop will be January 31 and February 15 for other crops.

The minister said that farmers who have taken loans from banks or from common service centres need not pay the premium. He said the village secretariats would take the full responsibility of handling all the dealings of the farmers. The minister gave an assurance to the farmers that the government was ready to pay compensation to them in case of any loss.

Published on January 09, 2020
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