It is a diversified farming system that integrates crops, trees and livestock, allowing the optimum use of functional biodiversity. Natural Farming if done effectively enhances farmers’ income while delivering many other benefits, such as restoration of soil fertility and environmental health, and mitigating and/or reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Natural Farming builds on natural or ecological processes that exist in or around farms.
Features of Natural Farming
According to natural farming principles, plants get 98% of their supply of nutrients from the air, water, and sunlight. And the remaining 2% can be fulfilled by good quality soil with plenty of friendly microorganisms. (Just like in forests and natural systems)
The soil is always supposed to be covered with organic mulch, which creates humus and encourages the growth of friendly microorganisms.
Farm made bio-cultures named ‘Jeevamrit, Beejamrit etc.’ are added to the soil instead of any fertilizers to improve microflora of soil. Jeevamrit, Beejamrit are derived from very little cow dung and cow urine of desi cow breed.
It holds the promise of enhancing farmers’ income while delivering many other benefits, such as restoration of soil fertility and environmental health, and mitigating and/or reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The system requires cow dung and cow urine (Gomutra) obtained from Indian breed cow only. Desi cow is apparently the purest as far as the microbial content of cow dung, and urine goes.
In natural farming, neither chemical nor organic fertilizers are added to the soil. In fact, no external fertilizers are added to soil or given to plants whatsoever.
In natural farming, decomposition of organic matter by microbes and earthworms is encouraged right on the soil surface itself, which gradually adds nutrition in the soil, over the period.
In natural farming there is no plowing, no tilting of soil and no fertilizers, and no weeding is done just the way it would be in natural ecosystems.
Natural, farm-made pesticides like Dashparni ark and Neem Astra are used to control pests and diseases.
Weeds are considered essential and used as living or dead mulch layer.
Multi-cropping is encouraged over single crop method.