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Natural farming, also known as Do-nothing farming or No-till farming was popularised by Masanobu Fukuoka, starting in the 1940s in Japan.
The most essential aspect of natural farming is to let nature play a dominant role to the maximum extent possible. Hence, no-till, farm biodiversity, integration and symbiotic farm components and protection of soil cover all have a place in this method of farming. The seed ball technique for sowing has also been given importance by Fukuoka.
The immense importance placed on no-tillage has led to natural farming also being referred to as No-till farming. The term 'Do Nothing Farming' originated because the farmer is considered only to be a facilitator - the real work is done by Nature herself. Hence, while there is lots to think about and do in natural farming, actual physical work and labour has actually been seen to reduce by upto 80% compared to other agricultural systems.
In Japan, Fukuoka achieved yields similar to those of chemical agriculture. His methods have also been adopted to suit European conditions and put into practice there. In India, Fukuoka is fondly-regarded and his work has found a number of practitioners who have termed their method of farming 'rishi kheti' literally meaning agriculture of the sages.
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