Pandjaitan encourages cooperation with Andhra Pradesh on natural farming

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – The Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan has encouraged a cooperation with Indias State of Andhra Pradesh on Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF).

Pandjaitan made a video call with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on the sideline of the High Level Dialogue on ZBNF in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday (Jan 22).

“We will send representatives from six districts to Andhra Pradesh next month. We hope they can be trained and can transfer the technology and knowledge to Indonesia; thus, we can improve farmers capability,” Pandjaitan said in a statement here on Wednesday.

ZBNF is a farming practice that believes in natural growth of crops without adding any fertilizers and pesticides or any other foreign elements.

By practicing ZBNF, farmers have lower cost of inputs and, at the same time, they have better health and environment.

The State of Andhra Pradesh has practiced the program since 2016, involving 40 thousand farmers, and within two years, the number of participant farmers has increased to 523 thousand.

The natural farming practice in the state has increased its rice production by 15 percent, groundnut production by 26 percent, and cotton production by 10 percent.

“We want to reduce the use of chemical fertilizer as it will bring negative impact to our health and result in farmers bearing high production cost,” Pandjaitan remarked.

The minister believed that such cooperation on natural farming would help Indonesia alleviate poverty in the country.

“If we can survive without subsidy and even without chemical fertilizer, this would be a win-win solution, especially for this planet,” an assistant for the UN Secretary General on environment that support the cooperation revealed.

Source: ANTARA News