Vijayawada: Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu impressed the audience at the UN headquarters by addressing them in Telugu for two minutes. Thanking the UN delegates on behalf of Telugu speaking people and Indians, the Chief Minister said that he was going to utilise this rare opportunity to speak in his mother tongue.
He delivered the keynote address on Zero Budget Natural Farming in a session on Financing Sustainable Agriculture: Global Challenges and Opportunities, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
The global event was organised by the UN Environment Programme in collaboration with UN Women, BNP Paribas SA, World Agroforestry Centre and several other international organisations and financial institutions.
The Chief Minister said that AP had turned as a hub of natural farming. He said that he had promoted technology in the past and was now promoting technology and nature together. Giving a presentation on natural farming in the UN headquarters, the Chief Minister explained how Mission 2024 plans to make Andhra Pradesh India’s top natural farming state involving 60 lakh farmers and covering 8 million hectares.
He said that 62 per cent of the population is employed in agriculture and related activities. AP has the second longest coastline in India of 974 km and is the largest producer of fruits, eggs and horticulture over 1.7 million hectares.
The Chief Minister said that state government has been encouraging zero budget natural farming to reduce costs and risks in farming, more and safer food with nutritious values, reverse migration to villages and enhance soil health to safeguard our collective future.
He said that microbial seed coating, bio inoculants, cover crops, mulching, soil aeration and zero chemicals will promote the living soil concept. He said that the target was set to make villages bio villages in five years. He said that with the help of women’s self help groups, community resource persons and technology, 6 million farmers will be involved in zero budget natural farming and this will help to reach sustainable development goals. Earlier in a bilateral meeting with Dr Tony Simons, Director General, world agroforestry centre and Dr Ravi Prabhu, deputy director general, research ICRAF, the Chief Minister discussed on ongoing research activities in AP to strengthen scientific evidence and assess the impact of sero budget natural farming through field based data collection.
Dr Tony Simons expressed readiness to extend their research programmes to natural farming practices of AP.
He said that training of farmers plays a key role in the success of natural farming....