|Occupation||Agricultural scientist, farmer, author|
|Known for||Philosophy, Natural farming|
|'Holistic Spiritual Farming'|
Subhash Palekar is an Indian agriculturist who practiced and wrote many books about Zero Budget Natural Farming. Subhash Palekar was born in 1949 in a small village Belora in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra in India, and he has an agricultural background. He practised Zero Budget Natural Farming and didn't use any chemical pesticides to cultivate. He conducted many workshops all over India. He was awarded India's fourth highest civilian award the Padma Shri in 2016
Education and profession
he was educated in Bachelor's Degree in Agriculture at Nagpur. During college education he was working with tribals about their problems in Satpuda Tribal region. In 1972 he joined his ancient agriculture with his father. His father was a natural farmer. But after learning chemical farming in the college, he started chemical farming in his farm. While practising from 1972-1990, he was writing articles in media also.
He was attracted to the philosophy (Indian ancient thinking) of the Vedas, Upanishads, and all ancient Granthas. His Spiritual background inspired by Saint Dhnyaneshwar, Saint Tukaram & Saint Kabir. He was searching for the absolute truth. Meanwhile, he studied the Gandhi and Karl Marx and done their comparative study. Then, he found that Karl Marx's thinking is not so near to the truth as of Gandhiji. He found that Gandhiji's philosophy is much closer to truth - the "Nature". Marx has denied the nature's owner ship law. When he heard that, in Russia during Communist movement, thousands of farmers were killed then, he was affirmed to no alternative to Gandhiji’s philosophy, based on truth & non-violence. Great Indian personalities like Gandhiji, Shivaji, Jyotiba Phule, Vivekananda and Tagore had built up his thinking infrastructure towards absolute natural truth and nonviolence (Satya & Ahimsa). Since 1972-1985, while practising the chemical farming, his agricultural production was continuously increasing. But, after 1985, it started declining. He observed that by following the technology of chemical farming i.e. Green revolution the production decreased significantly and steadily over the years. After searching the causes for three years he concluded Agriculture science is based on false philosophy and established repetitive practices with little or no evidence of such practice being superior to natural farming methods.
During college life, when he was working in tribal areas, he studied their life style and social structure. He had studied the nature system in the forests. He realized the forest does not require humans and human assistance for its existence and growth. The forests have a vast variety of fruit bearing trees such as Mango, Ber, Tamarind, Jamulum, Custard Apple which feed the forest inhabitants in surplus. Therefore, he embarked on a research on the natural growth of forest trees to fully understand the phenomenon. During 1986-88 he studied forest vegetation. He studied the natural system and verified those natural processes of the forest in his farm for six years, between 1989 and 1995. There were about 154 research projects during this six years of research work. After six years of verified research work, he put together a technique which he named as Zero Budget Natural Farming; he actively distributes the study material to farmers throughout India by means of continuous workshops, seminars, his books in Marathi, Hindi, English, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil languages and by those of thousands of models farms established throughout India.
Since 1996-98, he was involved in an editorial team in Bali Raja a renowned Marathi Agricultural Magazine in Pune, Maharashtra. But, for enhancing the speed of the movement, he resigned in 1998. He wrote 20 books in Marathi, 4 books in English, 3 books in Hindi. All the books in Marathi are to be translated in all Indian languages. Now, his movement has attracted the attention of media, politicians and thinkers towards the real problems of the farmers and rural economy. More than 30 million farmers throughout India are practicing Zero Budget Natural Farming, in parts of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Gujarat and West Bengal.
On 14 June 2017, Sri. Subhash Palekar has been appointed as advisor to the state of Andhra Pradesh for Zero Budget Farming with the aim of encouraging natural farming. The advisor role is equivalent to cabinet rank.
- "Venkaiah Naidu congratulates farmer on winning Padma Shri". Indian Express. 25 January 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
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Official site: http://palekarzerobudgetspiritualfarming.org