NITI Aayog Task Force Suggests Cow Urine & Dung to Increase Organic Matter in Soil

The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog published a task force report titled "Production and Promotion of Organic and Bio Fertilisers with Special Focus on Improving Economic Viability of Gaushalas."


Ramesh Chand, Member (Agriculture), NITI Aayog, released the report in the presence of task force members, senior government officials, and gaushala representatives. Meanwhile, Chand, an NITI Aayog member, emphasised that the integration of livestock and crops is a unique strength of South Asian agriculture.

“In the last 50 years, there has been a serious imbalance in the use of inorganic fertiliser and livestock manure,” he said. “This has a negative impact on soil health, food quality, efficiency, the environment, and human health.”

Recognizing this, the government is promoting environmentally friendly agricultural practises such as organic and natural farming. Gaushalas, he adds, can play an important role in scaling up natural and sustainable farming by serving as resource centres for the supply of bio and organic inputs. The task force was formed by NITI Aayog to recommend measures to make gaushalas economically viable, to address the problem of stray and abandoned cattle, and to maximise the use of cow dung and urine in agriculture and the energy sectors. Dr. Neelam Patel, Senior Adviser (Agri), NITI Aayog, and Member Secretary of the Task Force, informed the participants about the task force’s background, terms of reference, and approach to developing the report.

“Cattle were an integral component of the traditional farming system in India and Gaushalas can be of great help in promoting natural farming and organic farming. Agri-inputs derived from cattle wastes, such as cow dung and urine, have the potential to reduce or replace agrochemicals while also serving as plant nutrients and plant protection for economic, health, environmental, and sustainability reasons,” Patel said. She went on to say that the efficient use of cattle waste is an excellent example of a circular economy that employs the waste-to-wealth concept.

Dr Rajeshwar Singh Chandel, Vice Chancellor of Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Solan, highlighted Himachal Pradesh’s experiences and stated that the task force report will strengthen the waste to wealth initiative by promoting the use of organic and bio fertilizers. He also emphasised the importance of institutional support in improving gaushalas’ economic viability.

Priya Ranjan, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, highlighted the recent shift towards organic farming and natural farming, stating that the Union Budget 2023 has given special emphasis to natural farming, and the recommendations of the taskforce report will further augment these efforts.

Task force members and Gaushala representatives shared their experiences and perspectives on the role of Gaushalas in promoting sustainable farming and the waste to wealth initiative. The report, which was released on Friday, provides factual estimates of gaushalas operating costs, fixed costs, and other issues, as well as the costs and investments involved in establishing a bio-CNG plant and a PROM plant in Gaushalas.

It makes suggestions and recommendations for improving Gaushalas’ financial and economic viability, channelling the potential of stray, abandoned, and uneconomic cattle wealth for the promotion of natural and organic farming. according to the report.

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