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Zero Budget Natural Farming model to be implemented in other States on lines of Himachal, Andhra Pradesh

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NIti Ayog on Zero Budget Natural Farming

New Delhi: Niti Aayog has urged all the states to work towards giving practical shape to the Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) on the lines of Himachal Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, for which the Aayog will provide all assistance.

According to the NITI Aayog, ZBNF will be considered as a recognized component to double farmer’s income by 2022 and also by adopting this farm practice it would bring down the cost of farming, thereby significantly enhancing the profit margin for farmers.

The NITI Aayog on Monday late evening organized National Conference on Zero Budget Natural Farming in New Delhi. Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog presided over the conference and Governor Acharya Devvrat attended it as a special guest.

Speaking on the occasion, Governor Acharya Devvrat said,

The challenge before us today is to double the income of farmers in such a way that fertility of the soil improves along with an increase in production of the crops. It is not possible with chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The only alternative with the farmers is to adopt ZBNF which is successfully tested in the field.

He presented a detailed document and shared the vast experience of Gurukul Kurukshetra, where he had adopted natural farming in near about 200 acres of land.

Agricultural scientists, Central & State Ministers, MPs, officials and policymakers, all have visited Gurukul and they have closely seen its succes

s, said Acharya Devvrat. He said this method has been successful on a large scale and was a perfect example for the farm community.

The Governor said that Himachal Pradesh has also adopted this model and the state government has made a budget provision of Rs. 25 crores to give it a practical shape. Training Camps were organized in the State and farmers were shifting to natural agriculture.

ZBNF would not only benefit small and marginal farmers, but also the medium and large farmers could successfully adopt it at no cost. It also protects soil from degradation, helps in retaining soil fertility and is climate-change resilient, he added.

Acharya Devvrat said ZBNF system was the only alternative for chemical and organic farming as it was safe and had the capacity to double the income of farmers. Under this system, the cost of production becomes zero and the products were non-poisonous.

It also increases the productivity of land, requires less consumption of water, protects friendly pests and the products were of the best quality.

He said that under it, a set of natural farming methods was used where the cost of growing and harvesting crops was almost zero, which means farmers need not purchase fertilizers and pesticides. He added that the inputs used were locally available in form of cow dung and cow urine and this would lower the cost of inputs for farmers.

He said the as per the available data based on scientific research, by adopting this farming method, the cost of production of farmers could be reduced and enhances the farmers’ income. He also detailed all important aspects of ZBNF and urged the policymakers to adopt this model for the benefit of the farm community.

The Governor thanked the NITI Aayog for considering ZBNF as a component of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) and Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) and hoped that it would be helpful in promoting natural farming in a right direction.

Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog Dr. Rajiv Kumar said that States can promote ZBNF under the two farm sector schemes- Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana.

About 50 lakh farmers are working on ZBNF in different States, he said, adding that not only it has the potential for India it also has global potential.

Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said,

We are seeing side-effects of use of chemicals and fertilizers in crops and natural farming is the traditional method of farming and totally safe.

Member, NITI Aayog Ramesh Chand, CEO, NITI Aayog Amitabh Kant, Senior officers from Ministry of Agriculture and various States, representatives from agriculture universities, institutes, farmers & practitioners were also present on the occasion.

Misc News/Press Release

Himachal: 12 COVID-19 Deaths in a Day, 68 in Past 19 Days

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Himachal Pradesh COVID-19 deaths

Shimla-The COVID-19 fatality rate in Himachal Pradesh is spiralling up. On September 18, the state reported a record 12 deaths in a single day. The deceased aged between 42 to 95 years and most had other pre-existing medical conditions. A total of 432 new confirmed cases took the COVID-19 case tally for the state to 11622 till the last official update from the Health Department (9 PM).

The situation is alarming as 5367 of the total cases and 68 fatalities were reported during the past 19 days of September month. So far, the highest 24 deaths have been reported from Kangra district, followed by Solan (21) and Shimla (20). (View the table below for statistics from other districts).

Available data of fatalities suggests that elderly persons and patients of Diabetes Mellitus, Cancer and Chronic Kidney Disease are highly vulnerable. Take a look at the medical conditions and symptoms of the 12 patients who succumbed to the infection yesterday:

Himachal Pradesh Daily COVID-19 deaths

 So far, Solan district has reported the highest 2566 cases, followed by Kangra (1759), Siramur (1482), Mandi (1228), and Una (1057). The tally for Shimla is witnessing a steep rise as the number has reached 826, of which 730 cases were reported during the past 19 days.

HP Health Department COVID-19 Bulletin- September 18, 2020 (9 PM)

Himachal Pradesh COVID-19 data till september 18, 2020

These numbers are official statistics and the original number could be much higher as it is not possible for the government to trace all cases due to community spread. The government itself admitted that people with mild symptoms are not getting tested or reporting it and isolating themselves. These people are fueling community spread, the government said. 

Regarding the fatalities, the health officials say that people are coming to hospitals very late only when their symptoms worsen. They have urged people to not ignore the appearance of symptoms and get tested or inform the authorities.

Meanwhile, lifting all restrictions on inter-state movement of people including tourists would add fuel to the situation. Tourists have begun to visit the state and the attitude of the public is becoming more casual, following the lead of the state government.

As usual, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur continues to maintain that the state government is prepared to deal with community spread. Moreover, with this surge in cases and fatalities, the blame is being shifted on the people alone. 

Feature Image: [email protected]_s

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Schools in Himachal to Open With 50% Staff  for Students of 9th to 12th Classes

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Himachal Pradesh Schools Opening

Shimla: After lifting all restriction on entry into Himachal Pradesh in the previous Cabinet meeting, today the state government also gave nod to re-open schools from September 21, 2020. The decision was taken in a meeting of HP Cabinet held on September 18, 2020, in Shimla. 

Only those educational institutions would be opened which are outside containment zones. Schools would be opened as per the standard operating procedure (SOP) of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, it was informed.

Also Read: Himachal: No E-Pass, No COVID-19 Negative Report, No Registration Needed to Enter State

Only fifty per cent teaching and non-teaching staff would attend students from 9th to 12th standard, provided the students are willing to take guidance from the teachers, the government informed. The students would be able to visit their teachers for guidance, but it won’t be mandatory to come to schools.

Also, written consent of the parents or guardians of the students has been made mandatory.

It is speculated that there are bleak chances of opening primary schools this year as the community spread is in its initial phase and would be wreaking havoc in upcoming months. Himachal Pradesh has reported over 400 cases with 12 deaths today only.  

It would mean a huge loss in terms of education. There are several other obstacles and issues which make online classes for students of primary classes a difficult and less efficient mode of education. Imparting education amid the COVID-19 pandemic has become a challenging task for the state government.

Further, the Cabinet gave its approval to start BSc (Hons.) in Forestry in Government College for Forestry and Horticulture, Thunag in Mandi district from the academic session 2020-21.

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Himachal: Seven COVID-19 Deaths, 395 New Cases in a Day

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Himachal pradesh corona deaths

Shimla-On Thursday, Himachal Pradesh reported 395 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection. Seven fresh casualties were reported, taking the COVID-19 death tally in the state to 96. According to the official Bulletin released by the Health Department for September 17, 2020 (9 PM), the total for the state has risen to 11190, of which 4145 are active cases and 6919 had recovered.  

Seven fatalities also included a 14-year-old male from Shimla. He was a patient of Burkitt’s Lymphoma. Remaining six aged between 50-82 years.  As per the Health Department’s official Bulletin, all seven patients had pre-existing medical conditions like Diabetes Mellitus, severe Sepsis, severe ARDS, Hypertension etc.  

Details of COVID-19 Fatalities on September 17 (till 9 PM)

covid-19 deaths in himachal pradesh on september 17, 2020-

Among Thursday’s cases, Sirmaur reported the highest 82 cases, followed by Kangra (76), Mandi (70), Solan (49), Una (38), Shimla (30), Lahaul-Spiti (15), Kullu (13), Bilaspur (12), Chamba (7), and Hamirpur (3).

Further, Solan has reported the highest number of cases (2525), and Kangra district has reported the highest number of casualties (20), followed by Solan (18), and Shimla (17).

For more statistics from all districts, view the table given below:

Himachal Pradesh-september 17, 2020, covid-19 update

Several media persons complained that the Health Officials have even stopped taking their calls and release required information. The Chief Minister, in today’s Vidhan Sabha session, compared fatality rate of Himachal Pradesh (0.8%) with the national rate (1.64%) and states having larger population like Punjab (2.8%). He claimed the state government was comfortable with the situation and rising number of cases. He said five make-shift COVID-19 hospitals, which are yet to be established, would take care of the rise in cases.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur today patted his own back by releasing an e-book “Sewa Hi Sangathan” brought out by the State BJP.

In this book, BJP has claimed that various initiatives and steps were taken by the party to effectively tacking the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Minister also termed the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan” as a success and went on to say that it has stabilized rural economy of the country and the State during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Defending the decision to lift all restrictions on inter-state movement of people, including tourists, amid a community spread, he termed it a necessary step to revive the state economy. In a way, the government has made it clear that the people would have to learn to live with COVID-19.

Feature Image: [email protected]

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