CHAPTER V – PART II
REPORT ON CONTRIBUTION OF THE COW TO THE ECONOMY, UTILIZATION OF CATTLE PRODUCTS AND BY-PRODUCTS, CATTLE ENERGY UTILIZATION/RESEARCH
(By Member Secretary)
1. Brief Background
2. Present-day Context
3. Economics of livestock enterprises
4. Major Products and by-products of cattle
5. Medicinal properties – Panchagavya
6. Organic Farming
7. Manures and fertilizers in the planning process
8. National Commission on Agriculture
9. Task Force on Organic Farming
10. Dung is a Gold Mine
11. Medicinal properties of Cow Urine & Dung
12. Use of cattle urine as a pesticide
13. Bio-gas and fule uses of dung
14. Draught Animal Power
15. Self-sufficiency through use of dung and urine of so-called useless cattle
ANNEXES OF CHAPTER V – II
ANNEX V – II (1) Flow - chart
ANNEX V – II (3) Auryveda Shastra Aur Go Chikitsa by Dr. Pande (Hindi)
(Hindi -VOL. III )
ANNEX V – II (4) Cow’s Milk - Paper by Ms. Kiranjeet Kaur
ANNEX V – II (5) Panchagavya Formulations-table by Gayatri Shaktipeeth
1. Out of the four specific terms of reference of the National Commission on Cattle, the item entrusted, for a detailed examination, to this Committee is extracted below for ready reference:
“To study the contribution of cattle towards the Indian economy and to suggest ways and means of organizing scientific research for maximum utilization of cattle products and draught animal power in the field of nutrition and health, agriculture and energy, and to submit a comprehensive scheme in this regard to the Central Government”.
2. Brief Background
2.1 Importance of the cow in the Indian Economy over the centuries
2.1.1 Bos Indicus or Zebu cattle breeds which are the humped cattle, found in the Indian sub-continent are thought to be the world's oldest domesticated cattle. There are differing views about the exact origin of the Indian cattle breeds and as to whether or not they were brought into India by the Aryans or existed in the country even prior to that. According to some historians, the abundant remains of humped bulls in every stratum of the archaeological site at Mohenjodaro, indicate that “ the Indus Valley must have been specially rich in this fine breed of cattle .......” (Ref. Dasgupta Satish Chandra, Cow in India, Vol.I, p.115, 1945).
2.1.2. Whatever the origin, the fact remains that the cow has been a cornerstone of Indian agriculture for centuries and has served as source of nutrition for farmer’s families through milk and milk products, as well as providing draught animal power for both agricultural operations such as ploughing and tilling the land, as well as for transportation of goods. Nearly all basic necessities of life were woven around the cow, with contributions in all aspects of life, including farming and manure, food and nourishment, transport, fuel (burning of dried cow dung cakes and medicinal usage of cow dung and cow urine.
2.1.3. Coming to the position in the first half of the twentieth century, the economic contribution from cattle in India was studied by several authors, as documented by Shri Satish Chandra Dasgupta in his book entitled “The Cow in India” (at p.372-382). According to Shri Dasgupta, the wealth produced by cattle was quantified in 1933 by Sir Arthur Oliver (with Shri M. Vaidyanathan) as around Rs 1900 crores with the following break-up:
3. Present-day context
3.1 The significance of cattle and their contribution to the Indian economy has, if anything, further increased in the present-day context, when the impact of rapid industrialisation and mechanisation is taking its toll on the ecological bio-sphere.
3.2 According to the Government of India’s Economic Survey 2001-2002, the total contribution of Agriculture and allied sectors, like Animal Husbandry, to the GDP amounted to Rs 3,05,643 crores (at 1993-94 prices), while the total GDP from all sectors of the economy was Rs 12,58,800 crores (at 1993-94 prices). The contribution of the livestock sector alone was 5.9 % of the total GDP. As a percentage of the agricultural GDP, the livestock sector (minus fisheries) contributes about 24% as against 22.6% in 1998-99.
3.3 While the proportionate contribution of livestock sector (4.8 – 6.5%) to total Gross Domestic Product Growth (GDP) has remained constant, its contribution to agricultural GDP has gone up over the years. This however does not include animal power, which is valued at between Rs 4,000/- and Rs 9,500/- crores in terms of fuel equivalent. According to the Economic Survey 2001-2002, the contribution of milk and milk products alone, (Rs 1,01,990 crores) was higher than wheat (Rs 47,091 crores) and sugarcane (Rs 27,647 crores).
3.4 Livestock production is an important source of income for the rural poor in developing countries, like India, where 70% of the livestock is in the hands of small and marginal farmers and landless labourers, who own less than 30% of the land area. Production Systems are based on low cost agro-byproducts as nutritional inputs, using traditional technologies for production. A sizeable percentage of livestock owners are below the poverty line.
3.5 Rearing of cattle is an enterprise, which enables poor and landless farmers to earn income using common-property resources and land that has no other sustainable agricultural use. The cattle and other livestock are fed on crop residues and agricultural farm produce and by-products that would otherwise be wasted. Cattle products are an important source of nutrients, and the addition of milk to the diet provides protein, calcium, vitamins, and other nutrients that would otherwise be lacking. Besides providing food, cattle form the most important form of non-human power available to poor farmers.
3.6 Animal Husbandry sector provides large self-employment to millions of households in rural areas. Employment in Animal Husbandry sector was 9.8 million in Principal status (out of which 7.90 million were in rural areas) and 8.6 million in subsidiary status. This does not include persons employed in sale, re-processing and transport of animal products at secondary market level. Apart from these, large manpower is involved in livestock related activities viz., manufacture of animal food products and beverages, manufacture of woolens, tanning and dressing of leather, farming of animals, production, processing and preserving meat and meat products, manufacture of dairy products, retail and wholesale trade of livestock products, etc.
3.7 The rural women have a special place in the animal husbandry sector, in which they play a very prominent pro-active role. Women constitute 71% of the labour force in livestock farming. In dairying alone, 75 million women are engaged as against 15 million men. Generally, it is seen that decisions in livestock production lie with men while those of feeding and milk production, breeding of animal and fodder cultivation lie with women. Although, women are involved in most livestock operations, their knowledge level is low.
3.8 Cattle rearing, as it exists today in India at the subsistence farming level, is quite financially unviable. As long as the cow is in milk, the farmer is willing to maintain her, but once the becomes permanently dry, the scenario changes. So is the case with bullocks which become aged and infirm. Male cow-calves are often sold at very young ages, with the farmer-owner knowing full well that the calve he is selling will definitely land under the butcher’s knife. The answer lies in the harnessing of all cattle by-products such as cattle dung and urine for various purposes. It is also possible to increase the profitability of the ventures by increasing the unit size and using current technologies, thereby generating wealth and employment.
4. Economics of livestock enterprises
4.1 Livestock enterprises with crossbred cattle and high yielding buffaloes have shown to be a remunerative business, mainly on account of the sale of milk produced at these farms. Studies have shown that dairy enterprises, as against crop-raising in rural areas, gave larger profit margins in marginal, small and medium holdings. Studies have also shown that dairying and crop production together for small farmers having irrigated land was more profitable than crop farming alone. In India, because of the low per-capita availability of land, and also because of the skewed distribution of the available land resources, the crop-based rural economy needs to be diversified or converted into a livestock-oriented, mixed farming system for rapid economic development, income generation, poverty alleviation and providing employment to the rural masses.
4.2 The fact that Agriculture, the rural economy and land management – everything is intricately built around livestock, can be seen from the flow-chart at Annex V – II (1) to this report. The land produces plant life, which in the form of food grains, oil seeds, vegetables and crop residues, as well as legumes, green fodder, grasses serves as feed and fodder for cattle. While milch animals give milk and milk products for human consumption, draught animals serve as an invaluable source of power for agricultural operations, ploughing the fields, drawing water from the well and extracting oil from oil seeds etc., as well as for transportation of goods and people, especially in the rural areas. During the productive life of the animal, whether milch or draught cattle, as well as after the productive life, cattle give dung, which is an invaluable input for producing organic manure, which is put back in the land for enrichment of the soil in terms of restoring the nutrients. Dung is also used as fuel in the form of dried cakes for cooking and heating as well as for production of bio-gas. Slurry, which is a by-product of bio-gas is an eminently rich source of manure and is, in turn, usable for enrichment of the soil. Cow urine is also of immense medicinal value. Research in cow urine is gaining immense significance in cure of some diseases like cancer, renal failure and so on. Cattle urine is also a powerful natural pesticide and, if used properly can save human beings from the harmful effects of pesticide residues in every thing he eats and drinks. After dying a natural death, carcasses of cattle can be utilised for hides / skins and other by-products, at the same time providing employment to rural poor, who are traditionally engaged in this trade. While the various uses of the products and by-products of the cow and its progeny are discussed in detail further on in this report, the present discussion is only to high-light the inter-dependence of human beings, cattle and land resources.
Major Products and by-products of cattle
5.1 Production of Milk
5.1.1 In 1998, India attained the status of world leader in milk production. The figure of milk production in the country, which was 17 million tonnes in 1951 increased by 5 times to reach about 85 million metric tonnes in 2001-2002. The figures of milk production and the per capita milk availability over the years is given in the table below:
6. Medicinal Properties of cow products - Panchagavya
6.1 The medicinal importance of products obtained from the cow knows no bounds. Panchgavya, a mixture of five products of the cow viz. milk, urine, dung, ghee and curd / butter milk is a formulation of Ayurveda, which possesses healing properties against many disorders. Physicians from the Ayurveda system of medicine have been using remedies based on cow’s products, either singly or in combination as Panchgavya, for centuries. In recent years, results of scientific investigations in India and abroad into the medicinal and curative properties of these products have created a lot of enthusiasm and hope, as they could be potent anti-cancer and anti-HIV agents. A detailed table showing the different formulations of Panchgavya treatement for various diseases as given to the Commission by the Gayatri Shaktipeeth, Bhopal is attached as Annex V – II (5) to this Chapter.
7. Cow dung
7.1 Cow or cattle dung has an astonishing and myriad variety of uses, which have been developed over a period of time. On going through some e-mails exchanged by some individuals the world over, (down-loaded from the ISCOWP web-site http://iscowp.org/ on Cow Conference texts), one came across a list of 101 Uses for Cow Dung, which was basically added on to by different members of the Cow conference discussions. The list goes like this:
101 Uses for Cow Dung
1. Fuel - cow dung patties (goottee) for cooking
2. Fertilizer - composting makes it even more powerful.
3. Heat source - cow dung is naturally hot -compost makes hotter put in glass house to heat glass house or run pipes thru it to get hot water.
4. Purifier - natural antiseptic qualities
5. Floor coating - used mixed with mud and water on floors in mud houses. Improves water absorption of mud. Prevents muddy puddles resulting from spilt water.
6. Mud brick additive - improves resistance to disintegration
7. Skin tonic - mixed with crushed neem leaves smeared on skin - good for boils and heat rash (SP used it for heat rash in Mayapur.)
8. Smoke producer - smoldering cow patties keep away mosquitoes. Can also make smoked paneer over such smoke. Tastes great in pasta!
9. Ash - from patties used in cooking-Pot cleaner - used dry, absorbs oil and fat; wet, as a general cleaner.
10. Brass polisher - tamarind removes oxidation - wet ashes polishes.
11. Fertilizer - alkaline - cow dung ash is basically lime with a few other minerals mixed into it.
12. Mud additive - dries up slippery mud puddles. Mud brick additive - mud and lime (cow dung ashes) becomes like cement
13. Pond PH balancer - thrown into pond neutralizes acid.
14. Tooth polish
15. Sun-dried organic recreational-aerodynamic-device -cow patty Frisbees;
16. Fan for fire - large cow patties can be used as make-shift fans.
17. Deity worship - ingredient in pancha gavya
18. Seed protector- covering seeds in dung before planting helps to protect against pests.
19. Fresh Cow urine taken thirty days straight is an ayurvedic remedy for Brights disease.
20. Disposable camphor lamps for use during fire sacrifices.
21. Another use of cow pies (and camel dung) mix with fresh water till you have a paste and apply to skin diseases. It seems to work to ease the Itching of psoriasis.
22. If you soak your feet in cow urine it will cure athletes feet.
23. Fresh, less than hours old cow urine seems to have some helpful effect on teen age pimple eruptions. Wipe on face before going to bed. That is in an old herbal book I found??? wash off in the morning!
24. Smoke from Cow-dung or coal actually increases our eyelids to close & open so many times & lot of water from the eyes comes out & the advantage is that it increases the vision life of a person to old age also.
25. For seed-raising –
26. I also use cow dung on insect stings let it dry and then wash with hot soapy water.
27. Cow urine can be used for stones (kidney, gall etc.) shot glass full first thing in the morning fresh from the cow for 21 days (uric acid in cow urine dissolves these stones to a manageable size.
28. Apparently, the traditional Indian village system of wiping the floor daily with a mixture of water and fresh cow dung assures that flies will not settle there.
29.Dr. Laxmi Narain Modi in his presentation for the Livestock Policy Perspective 2020 July 5-7 1995, held in India stated:
"Dung and urine from cows and bulls (cattle) are essential for organic manure (OM) which is used in the construction of new houses, frequent coating of floors and walls of mud houses to protect from insects, and as a base for bio-gas programs. There are innumerable other uses for traditional medicines."
30. Urine was used to bleach wool in the middle ages up until sixty years ago.
31. Cow urine used to restart a biogas plant that has "stalled" when the biocomposting won't start or fizzles out in mid process then it can be jump started by adding ammonia (a BI -product of urine).
31. The dung ashes makes excellent tooth power.
32. A good "cement" is made by mixing dung with water and mixing with dirt. The salt in the dung keeps the moisture in the "cement " from drying out as easily and the "Cement" feels cool and almost damp and lowers the temp in a well insulated house by ten or twelve degrees.
32. Molding fresh pies into various shapes like rabbits and frogs and selling them as art / fertilization art. Place in a flower pot and a little fertilizer leaches out with each watering and the Poo pet slowly dissolves into the soil.
33. If you make a biogas composer you can cook off the gas from the dung then when all the gas has been used up, you still have excellent compost in liquid form to place on your garden.
34. To break the parasite infestation whenever possible collect and place all dung and urine from all animal and human sources in a bio-gas generator. The digester turns the dung into sterile compost all worms et killed, and as a by product produces a gas called methane which is half as hot as propane but you can still use it to cook or run a generator to produce electricity. It is free and cleans up the area the finished product is essentially sterile and can be spread on crops as an excellent fertilizer.
7.2 The above list is by no means exhaustive and can still be added on to by imaginative and innovative cow-lovers and other persons. The primary uses of cow or cattle dung can be said to be for organic farming on one hand and on burning of cow-cakes for fuel on the other. There are also other important uses of cattle dung such as for production of bio-gas etc. All these will be dealt with further in this report.
8. Organic Farming
8.1 Over the years, the farmer in India had been using cow dung and cow urine as manure in his fields. However, due to unscientific methods of collection and management of the by-products such as dung and urine, a lot of wastages occurred. Also, a good part of the dung collected was being dried and used as fuel-cakes. With the advent of composting methods, production of organic manure on a scientific basis resulted in the yield of a product, many times richer in soil nutrients than plain cow dung manure.
8.2 We have already noted the close and intricate relationship of interdependencies between land, man and cattle. The economists who postulate the theory that man and cattle are competing for limited land resources and, therefore, cattle numbers have to be kept limited to a sustainable level, which is an euphemistic way of saying that surplus cattle should be slaugthered. However, as pointed out by Dasgupta (Dasgupta, Cow in India, Vol.1, p.17) this triangular conflict theory had left a gap for plants, and the theory should actually be seen as a quadrangular theory, where plant life plays a vital link and production of crops should be maximised to contibute to the food and feed chain. Even when Dasgupta wrote his book (in the early 1940s), as noted by him, the crop yield per unit area of land was twice in China and three times in Japan, as compared with India.
8.3 Dasgupta has described the pioneering work of one Dr. Erhart Bartsch, who converted a life-less piece of land in Marien-hole in East Germany into a vibrant farm, using cattle as the central figure. Starting with an inheritance of 13 sickly cattle, who were infected with all kinds of diseases, Dr. Bartsch first grew fodder to feed the cows, which then gave manure back to the soil, resulting even better yields of fodder crops. Through intensive bio-dynamic manuring, the farm was rejuvenated, over-flowing with milk, which was supplied to neighbouring estates. (Dasgupta Satish Chandra, Cow in India, Vol.I, p.25, 1945).
8.4 On similar lines, Sir Albert Howard, who came to India as Imperial Economic Botanist to Government of India in 1905, initiated what came to be known as the Indore Process, which involved collection of vegetable and plant waste and treating the heap with cattle dung and urine, to produce compost which had much better manurial qualities than dung directly applied. As a result of this Process, it was found that, in view of the shortage of cattle dung, which was being mostly used as a fuel for cooking and heating purposes, the solution of the manurial problem was to be found in the combination of animal and vegetable wastes. Thus, the concept of green manuring and composting came into being. At Pusa, Sir Howard proved that the use of chemical fertilisers and occurrence of plant and soil diseases go hand-in-hand. He kept six pairs of bullocks, which were fed on organic produce of his farm. These bullocks became healthy and resistant to diseases like Foot and Mouth Disease, even when other animals at Pusa got infected with the disease.
8.5 In the context of the wide-spread use of chemical fertilisers in Western agriculture, Dasgupta quotes from Sir Howard’s book entitled ‘Agricultural Testament’ as follows: “ In the years to come, chemical manures will be considered as on of the greatest failures of the industrial epoch. The teaching of the agricultural economists of this period will be dismissed as superficial” (Dasgupta Satish Chandra, Cow in India, Vol.I, p.36, 1945). These words of Sir Howard, written so many decades ago, have indeed proved to be prophetic. Today, Western countries are increasingly moving towards organic and bio-dynamic farming processes, with organically produced agricultural produce fetching higher returns for the producers.
8.6 It is now established that by use of mechanical tractors to replace bullock power and by using chemical fertilisers, quick profits can be obtained in the short term, due to higher yields and quicker cultivation processes. However, the devastating effects on soil fertility, the health (human and animal) hazards of pesticide residues in food items including milk, and the cost of restoring the nutrients to the soil are all to be taken into account. In the long term, therefore, these practices prove much more costly and all the profits vanish. The age-old practices of using dung from cattle for manuring the fields and using bullocks for ploughing so that their dung goes back into the land, need to be restored. With the process of converting cow dung into compost, which is many times better than spreading the dung directly on to the fields, value can be added and the results in the form of better yields, more healthy foods and feeds can be perceived quickly.
8.7 Dasgupta points out that “Even in their apparent uselessness, the so-called useless cattle will be economically useful if we know how to make compost out of their urine and dung and utilise these manures fully in the fields for better crop production. The cow will pay for her maintenance through the increased output of compost made from her dung and urine and cease to be a burden, and to stand as a wall before our economists and scientific men. Then, when the useless animals are made useful in disregard of the exhortations of scientists and economists to slaughter them, and as these begin to pay their way, other very many blissful things will follow, if we stick to those sound, basic principles that helped to keep India alive inspite of our intelligent men themselves following and calling upon others to follow the lead of a dying, hungry, self-centred, monstrous machine-civilisation. (Dasgupta Satish Chandra, Cow in India, Vol.I, p.41, 1945).
9. Manures and fertilisers in the Planning process
9.1 Tracing the importance given to increasing the use of chemical fertilisers through India’s Planning process, we find varying degrees of emphasis on chemical fertilisers, while at the same time organic manures have also been discussed in the different Plans.
First Five Year Plan
9.2 In the First Plan period the annual target of consumption of various types of fertilisers was 6,10,000 tons of nitrogenous fertilisers, 1,76,000 tons of superphosphates and 50,000 tons of bone-meal. The Plan document speaks of the criticism from some quarters about the introduction of chemical fertilisers, without full steps being taken to mobilise all the manurial resources of the organic type. The Planners acknowledge that this criticism was just to the extent that it stresses the need for mobilising such resources. However, they felt that the two processes could go on simultaneously as both the types of manures were necessary for maintaining and increasing soil fertiity. The use of chemical fertilisers in conjunction with bulky organic manures was recommended.
9.3 As regards use of organic manures, increase in production as a result of increased use of this type of manure was expected but no estimate was attempted. The Plan document notes that the addition of bulky organic manures like farmyard manure, which is a by-product of farming with bullocks, helps the soil by increasing its water-holding capacity, improving soil-aeration, and by changing the plant nutrients through slow decomposition into forms readily available to plants. There are other advantages in the use of organic manures, viz. a) steadiness in yield over a period of time, b) benefit to the succeeding crops by their residual effects and c) ability to withstand unfavourable weather conditions. On the basis of the 1951 Livestock Census, the total production of fresh dung was estimated at 800 million tons, around half of which was estimated to be used as fuel by the farmers. It was felt that this dung should also be saved for use as manure by creating village forest plantations and popularising the use of coke as a domestic fuel. The Plan document also recommended that, since cattle urine was a very good manure, due to its high nitrogen content, conservation of cattle urine, which was going waste, should be promoted as a part of extension activities in all States.
Second Five Year Plan
9.4 In this Plan period, the estimate of nitrogenous fertiiser consumption in the country annually was expected to go up to 1.8 million tonnes. The procurement and distribution of chemical fertilisers on a greatly-expanded scale was envisaged. No special mention has been made about use of organic manures in this document.
Third Five Year Plan
9.5 The Third Plan document envisaged targets of consumption of chemical fertilisers and organic & green manuring as follows:
Annual Consumption of chemical fertilisers by the end of the Plan (1965-66)
a) Nitrogenous 1 million tons
b) phosphatic 0.4 million tons
c) potashic 0.2 million tons
Organic & green manuring
a) urban compost 5.0 million tons
b) rural compost 150 million tons
c) green manure 41 million acres
9.6 The Plan document notes that there was a rapid growth in the demand for chemical fertilisers, which had to be met. Regarding organic manures, it was found that sufficient stress was still not being laid in extension work for development of local manurial resources. Some progress was noted in the development of cowdung gas and manure plants suitable for use in villages. However, high cost of the gobar gas plant developed by IARI (Rs 400 to 450) was inhibiting its adoption on a larger scale.
9.7 The Plan document, while speaking about non-commercial sources of energy, notes that dried cattle dung was the main source of energy for cooking and heating throughout the rural areas and also in some urban areas. It was estimated that the amount of cattle dung annually available was 1200 million tons, of which 400 million tons was used as fuel, 215 as manure and the remaining was wasted. As a percentage of the total energy consumption in the country, cattle dung accounted for 27.9 per cent, according to the Plan paper.
Fourth Five Year Plan
9.8 The Plan document for the Fourth Five Year Plan says that a significant increase in fertiliser consumption was a crucial element in the agricultural strategy, to get optimum yields of new cereal varieties and for development of commercial crops. Targets of fertiliser consumption were raised to 3.7 million tons (nitrogenous) and 1.1 million tonnes (phosphates) and 1.1 million tons for potash based fertilisers. A major programme was started for intensification of extension and sales promotion activities so as to step up fertiliser consumption.
9.9 For manufacture of good quality of organic manure out of urban waste, a programme for setting up mechanical compost plants was invisaged. No separate programme for utilization of rural waste seems to have been thought of, although a green manure programme was sought to be developed.
Fifth Five Year Plan
9.10 This particular Plan does not have any details about various aspects of planning for Indian agriculture. There is a passing mention about the provisions made for important programmes including distribution of fertlisers and the fact that emphasis has been placed on developing organic sources of manure and higher outlays have been provided for setting up of biogas plants.
Sixth Five Year Plan
9.11 The agricultural strategy ensivsaged for this Plan period in the area of soil-nutrient supply, includes harnessing of organic and biological sources of fertilisers, in addition to increasing the supply of mineral fertilisers. Quite a lot of stress has been given to organic recycling by utilising organic wastes in the form of crop residues (estimated to amount to 1000 million tons annually) and cattle dung and other animal droppings (300 to 400 million tons). Use of organic materials for biogas production and use of the resultant slurry as manure has also received attention. It has been proposed that large scale use of composting techniques would be used by designing simple and low cost composters for use in rural areas. Biogas development has been envisaged as a major energy provider resulting also in saving millions of tons of forest wood.
9.12 The Plan paper notes that the consumption of fertilisers had gone up steadily, with the target for the sixth Plan being 6.0 million tons for nitrogenous fertilisers as against 0.61 million tons in the First Plan. While stepping up the infrastructure for fertiliser distribution to meet the increasing demand, the Plan document also recommends that steps be taken to promote the conservation and use of all organic wastes and biological sources of nitrogen fixation and supply. The objectives of the Sixth Plan have been stated, thus: s) to have equitable and efficient fertilizer distribution system in the country accompanies with a proper infra-structural and organisational support; b) to reduce regional disparities in fertilizer consumption; c) to ensure that benefits of fertilizer use are received by all sectors of the farming community, especially the small and marginal farmers; and, d) to promote integrated nutrient supply system by better and increased mobilisation of organic and bio-fertilizer resources in order to supplement and optimise use of chemical fertilizers as also to maximise efficiency of fertlizer use.
Seventh Five Year Plan
9.13 The Plan envisages a further enhancement of target of fertilizer consumption, with nitrogenous fertiliser target pegged at 9.10 to 9.30 million tons. While several steps were envisaged to achieve these target, in respect of organic manure, it has merely been stated that attention has to be given, in an increasing measure, to the conservation and use of organic wastes and biological wastes for nitrogen fixation and supply for which adequate outlays would be provided for the new programmes in this regard.
Eighth Five Year Plan
9.14 While no specific programmes appear to have been drawn up, the target for fertiliser consumption was further hiked, reaching 11.50 million tons in the last year of the Plan (1996-97) in respect of nitrogenous fertilisers alone.
Ninth Five Year Plan
9.15 The Plan notes that the total consumption of fertilisers (NPK) during 1996-97 was 14.31 million tons, while the total nutrient requirement in the terminal year of the Ninth Plan was projected at 20.0 million tons. It was envisaged that, during the Ninth Plan, greater use of bio-fertilisers and bio-technological research in this direction would be encouraged. A strong network of all associated activities was to be set up including, inter alia, the Integrated Plant Nutrient Management system, use of organic sources and bio-fertilisers, use of legumes by farmers for generating and sustaining the inherent nutrient potentiality of soils, followed by application of chemical fertilsers. Promotion of bio-pesticides would also be undertaken in the Integrated Pest Management programme.
Tenth Plan Proposals
9.16 The Planning Commission had set up a Working Group on Organic and Bio-dynamic Farming for framing the proposals for the Tenth Plan. The Working Group found that organic and bio-dynamic farming had special significance in dryland agriculture, constituting 65% of our cropped area. The recommendations, in the form of suggestions of individual members of the Working Group, inter alia, include the following:
• The comparative nutritional quality and flavour of agricultural crops produced by organic farming as opposed to those produced by high fertiliser input cropping systems should be assessed.
• Farms organically producing lentils etc. for various Rajasthani food products like Bhujia etc. should be certified as organic farms, so that their produce fetched better returns to the farmers / cultivators.
• Government of India should launch a programme for recovering traditional farming knowledge of Indian farmers, who have always practised low input-based agro-ecologically sound agriculture. As series of workshops and seminars should be organised, where farmers can assemble to share their farming secrets and experiences with other farmers and interested groups.
• Increase in agricultural production should necessarily satisfy parameters that guide sustainability based on local adapatability, social acceptance, economic viability and ecological soundness.
• Organic farming, being a system approach, should be viewed and experimented using inter-disciplinary programmes.
• A viable basis for an alternative for the Green Revolution model has to be developed, for which the ‘alternative theory of indirect nutrition’ can provide an answer. The theory of transmutation of elements has to be studied further through institutions in the country.
• Large-scale use should be made of cattle urine and manure as the most effective and cheap source of plant nutrients.
• Certification procedures for organic produce should be made simple and accessible to the small farmers.
• Marketing linkages should be established to make available improved composting methods, biofertilisers and bioagents to these small holders.
• Training centres should be set up in all agricultural colleges and KVKs on preparation of manures and biofertilisers and benefits of organic produce should be included in the curriculum in schools, home science and medical colleges, while at the same time spreading public awareness about the harmful effects of agro-chemicals.
• A broad-based think-tank should be established to formulate approach and line of direction for research in organic farming. A Centre of Excellence should also be established, for documenting indigenous technical knowledge and for making an inventory of national resources for promoting organic farming on a large scale.
• A regulatory or certifying authority should be established for quality control of organic produce.
10. National Commission on Agriculture
10.1 In Part X of its Report submitted in 1976, the National Commission on Agriculture has inter alia found that, for success in modernised farming, an efficient and balanced use of fertilisers and manures is imperative. The Commission also notes that in the farming system of the country, the dominant role of fertilisers has come to stay. A lot of emphasis has been given to the promotion of fertilisers and stimulating the demand for such fertilisers. At the same time, it has been recognised that the performance of chemical fertilisers in the soils is not fully realised in the absence of an adequate amount of organic matter. Rural compost programme covers a very wide area and offers a gigantic potential of organic manure and plant nutrient resources. The Commission found that more than 40% of rural compost was constituted of dung, most of which is used as fuel. The annual production of dung was estimated as corresponding to 2.9 million tons of nitrogenous fertiliser, 1.5 million tons of phosphates and 2.5 million tons of potash. By comparison, the total consumption of all three types of fertilisers was 2.3 million tons, with a corresponding food grain production of 108 million tons. The Commission felt that the loss in manurial caused by the use of cattle dung as fuel was enormous, and it could be arrested by introducing gobar gas plants, which would enable retention of both the fuel and manurial value of dung. The Commission also pointed out that the importance of organic manure and organic matter lay not so much in supplying plant nutrients as in permanently improving the physical and biological conditions of the soil.
10.2 The recommendations of the National Agricultural Commission on Soil Organic Matter and Organic Manures include the following:
• Bulk and consequent cost of transport are handicaps in the application of processed organic wastes to the field. Suitable methods of reducing bulk by chemical and microbiological or other methods need to be evolved. Enrichment of organic wastes with nitrogen and phosphates will considerably enhance their manurial value.
• The programmes of development of organic manures by the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation in which urban and rural composts, sewage and sullage etc. are being mobilised are attempts in the right direction. The manner in which the urban wastes are processed determines its manurial value, which can be enhanced by suitably treating them with ammonium and phosphatic compounds.
• Centres for utilization of sewage and sullage should multiply and develop as a continuing venture.
• By introducing gobar gas plants the energy requirements of the farmer’s household can be met, retaining the manurial value of the dung. Rural population should be given adequate technical guidance and help in making use of this innovation.
11. Task Force on Organic Farming
11.1 The Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, in May 2000, set up a Task Force on Organic Farming under the Chairmanship of Dr. Kunwarji Bhai Jadav, to collect information on Organic Farming, assess the appropriate techniques and technologies of such farming and setting up of standards. The Task Force was required to suggest measure for development and propagation of Organic Farming and also to suggest measures for the marketing of the produce of Organic Farming.
11.2 In its Report, submitted in November 2001, the Task Force has stated that India has been historically practicing organic farming, live-stock being treated not only as a source of nutrition in the form of milk and meat, or of energy in the form of draught animals but urine and dung being utilised as a major cog in the growth process. The Report has found that the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides lead to ill effects on soil fertility and it was essential to return to the soil the nutrients that were taken from it in plant formation.
11.3 The Task Force has made a number of recommendations. The ones relating more closely to the subjects matter of the terms of reference of the National Commission on Cattle are reproduced below:
• Bullock drawn implements should be encouraged.
• Bio-gas plants need to be popularised to have the dual benefits of gas for lighting and manure for crops.
• Programmes need to be continued or initiated for evaluation and promotion of organic sources of nutrients through bio-fertilisers, vermi-compost, press mud, coir pith manures, urban compost, bio-gas slurry and non-edible oil-cakes etc.
• Each KVK may set up a vermi-compost unit and a biological control unit for demonstration and dissemination of the techinques. These centres may also provide worms to the farmers after their training.
• All the Central Government farms may set up vermi-compost units and develop and demonstrate the system of recycling of crop residues. This may be demonstrated by reduced consumption of chemical fertilisers on the Government farms. The numbers and capacity of vermi-compost units may be according to the size of the farms.
• The ventures of vermi-compost, compost, press mud and other forms of generation of organic nutrients for crop production may be exempted from levy of all kinds of taxes, excise and income tax etc.
• The concept of organic farming as a sustainable and better alternative should be propagated by the leaders of the Government in order to create a favourable environment in its support in the country.
• A National level permanent Board may be set up to oversee the promotion of organic farming in the country and to coordinate this activity with all concerned Union Ministries, national level bodies, State Governments, Research Institutions, Universities & others.
11.4 The National Cattle Commission notes that the Task Force has not distinguished between cow dung from other forms of animal waste, which is used for preparation of composts used in organic farming. However, it is a well-known fact that bulk of the recoverable animal waste in the country is in the form of cattle dung and urine, both excellent for use in organic manure because of their high nitrogen content and their easy availability in the rural areas. Therefore, the Commission accepts the recommendations of the Task Force insofar as they relate to utilization of animal wastes, including cow dung and urine.
11.5 In particular, the Commission finds that the recommendation for a National level permanent Board to be set up is very important. At present, cattle development programmes lie within the purview of the Department of Animal Husbandry, whereas organic farming comes under the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation. Thus Agriculture Department can be said to be the user Department for cattle dung and urine, whereas Animal Husbandry is at the producer end of the cycle. Research is done by the ICAR Institutes coming under Department of Agricultural Research and Education. Composting techniques are conveyed to farmers through extension and demonstration activities organised by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation. For certification of organic produce for exports, APEDA and the Ministry of Commerce is involved. For draught animal power, the Department of Non-conventional Energy Sources is the nodal agency.
11.6 The multiplicity of agencies, as described above, and the lack of communication between various players in the area, leads to total confusion. A concerted effort needs to be made to coordinate all the efforts and frequent interaction should take place between the various stake-holders. NGOs, Goshalas, and Farmers’ Associations should be involved in the entire exercise and resources of Agricultural Universities and their knowledge-bases should be utilised. A permanent Board of the type suggested is, therefore, the need of the hour, as it would provide the interface and the forum for such interactions and exchange of knowledge to take place.
12. Dung is a Gold Mine
12.1 As brought out in the Preface to his article entitled “Dung is Gold Mine”, (published by the Viniyog Parivar Trust, Mumbai), Shri Venishankar M.Vasu has brought in simple language but with hard facts, figures and proofs the consequences of government policy of slaughtering animals, which are either not yielding milk or are useless as draught animals. The preface goes on to say “The government has forgotten the third most important service rendered by animals i.e. providing dung which has been at the root of well-laid out social and economic systems adopted by the Aryan population of this great nation since time immemorial”. A copy of the article of Shri Vasu is at Annex V – II (6) to this Report.
12.2 Shri Vasu has highlighted the unique and essential role of bovines and bovine dung in our economy and has pleaded that the slaughter of our precious animals should be stopped. Shri Vasu has tried to establish that Dung and only dung was the only solution to problems of shortage of food grains, water, fuel, shelter, good health, nutrition, eradication of poverty and unemployment. The important concepts highlighted by Shri Vasu can be summarised thus:
• Dung is the nucleus of our prosperity and has not substitute.
• Our ancient system of medicine i.e. Ayurved cannot subsist in the absence of dung.
• With growing age, an animal may become useless for milk production, field work or for breeding. However, its age is never a detriment to its service for providing dung.
• No other fertilizer in the world is as cheap and harmless as dung fertiliser.
• Unfettered slaughter of animals resulted in disruption in the availability of cattle dung, forcing farmers to use costly and harmful chemical fertilisers.
• By cutting down the availability of bullocks and forcing the use of tractors, the farmer has become dependent on others for availability of fertilisers and tractors. By burdening farmers with the heavy costs of inputs, the cost of production has gone beyond the paying capacity of the farmers.
• Land has lost its fertility and nutrients of the soil have been extracted and not replaced. To replenish such nutrients, cattle dung or organic manure in the best, cheapest, harmless and most easily available manure. The average nutrient in terms of percentage of nitrogen, phosphoric acid and potash contents of different types of manure have been compared. (It is noted here that the composition of cow and buffalo dung are the same).
• If soil has to be prevented from becoming barren, it is necessary to apply 10 bullock cart loads or 5 tonnes of dung manure for each acre of land. With this level of manuring, the yield per acre of different types of crops is given. (It is noted that the yield with optimum level of cow dung in terms of kg/ha is even more than that quoted for fertiliser based production yields).
• Experiments described in Satish Chandra Dasgupta’s book ‘Cow in India’ showed that use of natural manure resulted in yields of 6 and 3 ½ times greater for rice and grass compared to yields without natural manure.
• Government subsidies on fertiliser production were burdening the poor farmers and high prices of food grains were the root cause of inflation.
• As a result of large-scale slaughter of animals resulting in non-availability of dung, millions of Hindus and Muslims, mostly women, have lost their age-old profession of making and selling dung cakes. If a bullock survives even for 5years after becoming useless, it can provide employment to a person for 5 years, whereas, a butchered bullock can provide employment only for a day or two.
• Potters in villages used to build houses and make roof tiles out of mortar, which is a mixture of cattle dung, clay and horse dung. Because of non-availability of dung, the potter has lost his profession.
• Mid-wives in villages, who used to provide oil massage and slow fomentation with burning of dung-cakes to rural women after child-birth have also lost their profession.
• The 16 religious rituals or Sanskars of Hindus cannot be performed without cow dung. Even for the Agni Sanskar, cremation of the dead body on a pyre of cow-dung cakes is required to be done, which is now replaced by a wood-pyre due to non-availability of dung. When an adult bullock is slaughtered, it affects the Sanskar of 10 persons every year and 100 persons in its lifetime.
• Cow dung is also used to purify many medicines such as Bhasmas and herbal medicines. Scarcity of cow dung is affecting the very basis and existence of the Ayurved system of medicine.
12.3 On the subject of value of dung, the extract of the relevant paragraphs of Shri Vasu’s article is reproduced below:
“Value of Dung
What is the value of cattle dung? Does this question still need an answer? The value of dung is much more than even the famous Kohinoor diamond. "How is it viable to maintain an old bullock which consumes grass of Rs 700 in a year and in return gives dung and urine worth only Rs 500 ? How absurd, unscientific and hollow this argument is, is clear from what is described below. The market price for any commodity can be manipulated (i.e. increased or decreased) by speculation and hoarding, by administrative measures, or by similar calculated action. But this cannot alter its value. Grass can be priced as Rs 1 per kg or Rs 5 per kg also. But its value as the means to help animals to survive, to feed them and to give them strength cannot be altered. The stalk of food grain plants which becomes useless after removal of food grains from it, is the food for animals. When this useless stalk is returned by animals in the form of their dung, its value is astonishing. Even an old bullock gives 5 tons of dung and 3,443 pounds of urine in a year, which can help in the manufacture of 20 cart loads of compost manure. For cultivating jowar and bajra on dry land, 5 carts of compost manure is required for each acre. Thus, the compost manure provided by one single old bullock can meet the manure need for 4 acres of land. On irrigated land with the help of such manure, about 2,800 to 3,600 kg of bajra can be grown on 4 acres of land and where irrigation facility is not available, the yield can be about 1,500 to 1,600 kg. This can feed about 10 to 12 human beings throughout a year. Thus there is a wide difference between concepts of price and value. Whether the food grain is priced at Rs 1 per 10 kg or Rs 10 per 1 kg, it does not affect the intrinsic value of the food grains. Its value lies in the utility of providing nutrition and life to human beings. The right to life is a fundamental right and it can be basically protected only with proper food and feeding and the cheap and nutritious food grains required for feeding can be grown with the help of dung. Thus, the most fundamental thing to the fundamental right of living for the human beings is bovine dung. It is absolutely foolish to evaluate this function of dung in monetary terms. A servant employed by us, has to be paid wages for his labor. He demands wage rise, he also demands bonus, he resorts to strike if bonus is less than his expectation, and also abuses the employer. But our servants in the form of these dumb cattle do not demand any wages from us, do not demand any wage rise or bonus. They survive on whatever we offer them to feed, and in return even favor us with a bonus in the form of most valuable dung. And still we are after the blood, meat, hides and skin of such animals and for that we slaughter them alive. We do not wait till they die their natural death to get their hides and skin.”
13. Medicinal properties of Cow Urine and Dung
13.1 The value of cow urine for medicinal purposes has been mentioned in passing in fore-going paragraphs. The use of cow urine therapy, which is in use over the centuries as a traditional ayurvedic practice, is gaining recognition and acceptability the world over due to recent advances in research in this type of therapy.
13.2 In the paper entitled ‘Gomutra Aur Gobar Se Rog Nivaran’, Vaid Shri Balkrishnaji Goswami has stated that cow urine is a blessing for human and plant life. It is an approved, natural, easily available, harmless, beneficial compound, which offers protection against a number of diseases. He has given examples of how certain diseases like liver problems, constipation, piles, water retention, gas, obesity, skin disease, chronic cold, cardiac problems, arthritis, high cholesterol and so on. Cow dung is also used in cases of malaria, itching, snake-bite, burns, dental problems like pyorrhea and cholera.
13.3 Another paper entitled “Gomutra Ki Tulna Mein Koi Maha-aushadi Nahin”, Shri Rameshwarji Poddar has also brought out the fact that cow urine has the property of destroying all diseases. The paper of Shri Poddar has been discussed in Part I of Chapter V.
13.4 As stated earlier, Gomutra ‘Ark’, which is a product of fractional distillate of cow urine, is extremely effective in renal disorders. It is also very effective against some hepatic disorders. It may also serve as a support to anti-cancer treatment, because of its ability to bind free radicals. In June 2002, a patent under U.S. laws was granted for the ‘ark’ developed by Indian scientists under the patronage of the Council for Industrial and Scientific Research, which is a major break-through for this type of research. The ability of cow urine to prevent chromosomal aberrations has also been demonstrated by research conducted at the national Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) at Nagpur.
13.5 As brought out in a Seminar organised by Go-vigyan Bharati, there are 16 different types of micro-organisms in cow dung which destroy harmful bacteria present in urban waste. It was also said that there are 16 minerals in cow dung and 24 in cow urine, which are beneficial both for human and plant life, for restoring the soil nutrients.
13.6 During the public hearings held by the Commision several examples were submitted of patients who were cured of certain diseases by use of cow urine therapy. Unfortunately, medical records in a systematic way were not made available to the Commission. However, it has been established that cow urine and dung have tremendous medicinal properties and it is necessary for research in these areas to be augmented even further.
14. Use of cattle urine as a pesticide
14.1 The insect-repelling properties of Cow’s secretions and the use of cattle urine as a pesticide has been discussed in Part I of this Chapter in detail. The advantages of using these pesticides are manifold. It is widely recognised that chemical pesticides, have very harmful effects on the human and animal systems, as residues of these chemicals find their way into the blood stream and organs of people, who ingest food produced from these crops, leading to tremendous harm from the toxic effects of these chemicals.
14.2 Tests were got conducted at the Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, CSA University of Agriculture & Technology, Kanpur on samples of dung and urine sent by the Kanpur Goshala Society to scan them for common pesticides to see whether the pesticidal properties were due to presence of these pesticides. However, it was seen that the samples did not contain any of these pesticides. Further analysis of the composition led to the theory that the presence of sulphur, potassium, zinc, iron and copper might be responsible for the resistance to disease on application to foliage of plants. However, this remains a theory, which needs to be further investigated and supported by scientific research.
14.3 In preceding paragraphs, we have already seen how cattle urine is very beneficial in organic manure, due to its high nitrogenous content. Both cow dung and cow urine are essential components for a good compost. Cow urine is also a good source of bio-energy.
14.4 Fertilisers from Cow Horn (Seengh Khad) is another innovative product which helps in nitrogen and phosphorus fixation when put into soil and acts as a very potent and powerful manure. A mixture of cow dung, cow ghee and honey is filled in the hollow of a horn of a dead cow, which is then sealed with cow dung and buried in a pit. The pit is filled with cow dung and allowed to lie there for six months, after which the horn is taken out. The contents of a single horn, when sprayed after mixing with water, enhances the fertility of one acre of land.
15. Bio-gas and fuel uses of dung
15.1 Cow dung cakes have been traditionally used by villagers in India as a common fuel, along with firewood. As pointed out by Vasu, in his paper ‘The Secular Cow Economy’ published by the Viniyog Parivar Trust - copy at Annex V – II (7), the electricity and piped gas as a source of energy for the rural masses is unavailable to the vast majority of our populace which live in villages. The other sources of fuel such as wood and coal have resulted in depletion of forest cover of the country leading to huge ecological and environmental problems. Kerosene is in short supply and the prices are unaffordable by the villagers even if the product is reached to them. Therefore, the only remaining alternative source of fuel for rural masses is cow-dung cakes. The demand for this fuel can only be met if the population of cattle is increased. The ash obtained after burning cow-dung cakes acts as a very good fertiliser. It can also be used for cleaning utensils thus saving us from the harmful effects of using chemical cleaning agents.
15.2 Generation of bio-gas from cow dung and urine is a very simple cost-effective way of producing energy for lighting as well as cooking. In rural areas, simple equipment can be installed for bio-gas generation. Even in urban and semi-urban areas, people who have accessibility to sufficient amounts of cow dung are installing these generating equipments and sufficient gas is generated to take care of the lighting and heating/ cooking needs of whole families from the output of a pair of cattle.
15.3 Production of bio-gas results also in the production of a very useful by-product in the form of slurry, which is an extremely good manurial source and it contains nitrogen. If cow-dung cakes are directly burnt to get fuel, the rich source of nitrogen is lost. If however, bio-gas is produced with the same dung, not only are the fuel needs met, but the manurial requirements and soil-enrichment can also be met.
16. Draught Animal Power
16.1 Energy is an important infrastructural requirement for development of any economy. Domestication of animals, especially cattle, use in agriculture and for transportation began in India many centuries ago. In this country, a vast majority of our rural populace are still very much dependent on cattle for ploughing the fields, running small oil-crushing mills, drawing water from the wells and transporting house-hold goods (nomadic tribes) or marketable goods and produce.
16.2 In India, 83.4 million land holdings (78% of the total) are less than 2 hectares in size, where tractors and tillers are uneconomical as they are viable only in holdings of more than 5 hectares. The use of animal power becomes inevitable in these small holdings. It is also seen that tractors are not suitable for slushy / water-logged fields and hilly terrain, where cropping is done in terraced fields, too narrow for these vehicular equipments. On the other hand, animal drawn vehicles are suitable for uneven roads, short distances. It is estimated (Tenth Plan Working Group Report – p41) that two-thirds of the energy required for ploughing the cultivated area comes from animal power and animal-drawn vehicles haul two-thirds of the rural transport.
16.3 According to a booklet on Livestock and Environment for Sustainable Development, published by CARTMAN, Bangalore, bullocks constitute 88% of the work animals, cows less than 2% and buffaloes only 9%, the latter being kept mainly for milk purposes. Mechanisation of ploughing and use of mechanised transport in rural areas have not reduced the number of draught animals. (However, this situation is fast changing and more and more use of mechanisation in agriculture is shifting the dependence of many farmers on cattle for draught purposes.) It has been estimated that, according to calculations based on the 1982 census, the value of energy obtained annually from draught animal power was of the order of Rs 90,000 crores and the value of petroleum or oil saved per year was Rs 4,000 crores.
16.4 There are many issues concerning Draught Animal Power, which requires the attention of Government, NGOs and other interest-groups. The first is the fragmentation of the government system handling this important subject. While livestock development, including the issue of development of draught breeds as well as dual purpose breeds, is with the Department of Animal Husbandry, the subject of DAP is with the Department of Non-conventional Energy Sources. This Department has a small budget of Rs 4 crore but adequate attention is not being given to developing proper programmes. There is no coordination between these two Departments with the result that no properly conceived programmes are being developed for utilization of this invaluable and vast source of energy to meet the growing energy demands of the population. The aspect of cruelty to animals during use as draught animals, heavy loading, beating etc. has also to be looked into and prevented by proper implementation of the Rules under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, which is administered by the Department of Animal Welfare, now with the Environment and Forests Ministry. This problem needs to be addressed by setting up an independent body for development of Draught Animal Power, which should act as an interface and coordinate the programmes of all the concerned Departments.
17. Self-sufficiency through use of dung and urine of so-called useless cattle
17.1 The Animal Welfare Board of India is giving a special grant of Rs 5 lakhs per year to Adarsha Goshalas for development of programmes for utilization of cow dung and urine for organic manure, pesticides and medicines. The National Commission on Cattle tried to ascertain the economics of these Goshalas to determine whether or not they could become self-reliant on the basis of the income from cow dung and urine. 9 out of 22 Goshalas responded to the survey and the essence of the responses was that they were hopeful that they would become self-sustaining within the next two year. However, none of them claimed that the sale of organic manure and dung alone or their products has given them enough income to maintain cattle in their Goshalas. It is, therefore, obvious that, while the economic value of the dung and urine of cattle cannot be under-rated, a number of problems ranging from collection and sale of the raw materials to manufacture and marketing of the finished products have to be sorted out for which some form of institutional support would be required.
RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMMITTEE ON
ECONOMIC CONTRIBUTION OF CATTLE PRODUCTS AND BY-PRODUCTS
1. One of the main problems encountered in this report is the lack of accurate data regarding the various parameters requiring study. It is, therefore, suggested that:
• A sound data-base or data-collection system be developed, which would throw up data regarding cattle numbers, numbers of work animals, energy outputs, milk production, dung and urine utilization, number of bio-gas plants, etc.
2. There has been a lot of research, which is still on-going in many cases, on the various uses of cow products and bi-products. However, in order to draw the benefits from this research in an organised manner and translate the results into positive action on the ground, it is recommended that:
• An inventory should be drawn up of all research that has been conducted, be it on organic farming and composting, cow urine therapy etc.
3. A plethora of studies and theoretical papers were presented before the Commission but most of them lacked a professional scientific basis. It is obvious that, while there is a general awareness, mostly coming through handing down from one generation to another about the invaluable properties of all products of the cow, right from milk and its products to dung and urine etc., much work is required to be done to document and quantify these benefits in concrete economic scientific terms. The Committee, therefore, recommends, that:
• A programme for conduct of scientific research into several aspects of the issue should be drawn up, with special attention to the following:
a) Chemical, microbiological and immunological analysis of milk, dung and urine of various indigenous cattle breeds and the comparison of the results with that obtained from the product of buffaloes.
b) Chemical and microbiological analysis of fertilisers and pesticides or pest-repellents produced from cattle urine and dung and evaluation of the various parameters of these products vis-s-vis that of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
c) Determination of quality control parameters for raw materials such as dung and urine, especially those used in medicines. Parameters such as age, health and physiological status of the cow need to be studied and quality control standards and measures laid down.
d) Verification of the clinical and medicinal claims in our scriptures and other literature regarding the medicinal properties of various cow products. Pharmacological, microbiological, immunological and toxicological studies need to be made of these remedies. Clinical trials need to be documented.
e) Research on bio-fertilisers and bio-pesticides made from cow products, to determine their soil and crop specificity. Composition and efficacy of fertiliser obtained from cow horn merits special attention.
f) Influence of cow urine on germination of seeds and plant growth. Presence of plant and human immunostimulant substance in cow’s urine needs to be determined and studied.
4. With regard to organic farming, the following suggestions are made:
• Improved methods of composting should be popularised amongst farmers by large-scale training programmes and demonstration through the extension networks.
• NGOs like Goshalas should be involved in this activity.
• Awareness about the efficacy and utility of dung-based manure and compost should be spread far and wide, through the use of the various forms of media, including audio-visual, print and through Krishi Vigyan Kendras and information kiosks at the village level.
• Facilities for certification of organically produced vegetables, grains and other crops should be made available to the farmers, who can obtain a better remuneration for their organically-produced products.
• Marketing and transport of these labelled products should be facilitated.
• If possible, in the initial period at least, subsidies should be given for production of organic produce, rather than subsidising the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
5. It is very important to propagate the use of Cow’s milk, for a number of reasons already cited. As long as there is a wide-spread demand for clean and hygienic milk of the cow, to that extent the slaughter of the cow and its progeny can be curbed. The Committee suggests that:
• Cow’s milk should be separately labelled and marketed on a large scale, for which labelling should be made mandatory.
• The pricing policy based on fat content of milk, (which favours buffalo milk, leading to an ever-widening preference of the farmer to keep milch buffaloes rather than cows) needs a serious re-look to correct the tilt in favour of the buffalo.
• The benefits of taking cow’s milk should be propagated and awareness should be spread through an aggressive media campaign, holding of seminars etc.
6. A major logistics problem is the proper collection or retrieval of dung and urine and their transport to the place where they are to be utilised. The Committee, therefore, suggests that:
• For collection of urine, proper sheds with appropriate channels in the floor need to be set up, for which advice may be given to the farmers.
• Subsidies could be given for construction of special sheds.
• Subsidies could also be given for collection and transportation of the products to the manure or medicine-producing facilities, if they are at a distance from the source.
7. Cow urine therapy is already gaining recognition. The use of Panchgavya for curing a variety of ailments and diseases has already been described. The Committee suggest that:
• Special efforts may be made to popularise the use of Panchagavya treatment, by spreading awareness about its efficacy in curing various diseases.
• Similarly, the efficacy of cow urine therapy, based on properly documented trials and research studies, may be made known to the general public.
• However, while procedures for grant of licenses for production of these medicines may be simplified, care needs to be taken to ensure that quacks are not able to take advantage of the simplified procedures, as this would be to the detriment of the patients seeking relief, as has happened in some stray cases.
8. While the Committee is totally against slaughter of cattle for any reason, whatsoever, there are certain parts of the body of the cattle, which can be used after the natural death of the cattle. Horns of cattle can be used for manufacture of an extremely effective manure in the form of Seeng Khad. The Committee, therefore suggest that:
• In the matter of carcass utilization, the collection of horns and other products like hides and skins from dead cattle should be organised properly.
• New technologies should be used for carcass utilization, so that the economy can gain from the benefits, bestowed by the benevolent cow, which even gives to mankind after her death. The employment of the rural population engaged in this trade will not be disturbed if this is done.
• Tractorisation needs to be curbed and the use of draught cattle for agricultural purposes as well as for transport needs to be restored, by developing improved ploughing implements and harnesses.
• Special draught breeds of cattle should be developed and improved genetically, so that this valuable source of energy remains available to the farmer, especially the small and marginal farmers.
9. There is a multiplicity of agencies dealing with different aspects of organic farming and use of cattle products and by-products, and also draught animal power. Unfortunately, there is little or no coordination between the various agencies, with the result that there is a lot of overlapping of functions in some areas, and big gaps in other areas, which should be covered. The Committee, therefore, suggests that:
• There should be a nodal body for coordinating with the different Government Departments and other agencies in the matter of organic farming and the utilization of cattle dung and urine for composting.
• Similarly, there should be a coordinating body for use of draught animal power, which is presently with the Department of Non-conventional Energy Sources, whereas, tractorisation and mechanisation are with the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation and breeding and bullock production are with the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
10. Goshalas, Gosadans and Panjarapoles were designed and envisaged to play a very important role in the development and betterment of cattle. Unfortunately, due to a variety of reasons, these organisations have, by and large, not been able to live up to the expectations, for which they were set up. Although there are, no doubt, many organisations being run very well and can serve as model Goshalas, these are few and far between. The Committee, therefore, recommends that :
• The roles of Goshalas, Gosadans and Panjarapoles should be enhanced for evolution of better manures, pesticides and medicines.
• These organization should be encouraged to become self-sustaining by selling or properly utilising the dung and urine from even dry cattle.
• They should be given grants in the initial stages to develop self-sufficiency by adopting modern methods of collection and usage of these products.
• They should lay down time-bound programmes with firm plans of action to achieve self-sufficiency and these programmes should be closely monitored and subsequent grants with-held if the targets are not achieved. On the other hand, if the targets are achieved within the scheduled times, additional incentives and awards should be given.
11. One of the most important uses of cattle dung and urine is for the generation of an eco-friendly, cost-effective and sustainable alternative fuel for rural cooking and lighting. The Committee feels that:
• Bio-gas generation should be given impetus in a big way.
• Research for production of new and improved cost-effective plants should be encouraged.
• The benefits of using such plants should be explained to farmers with regard to how they can meet their energy needs, at the same time, producing valuable manure in the form of the residual slurry.
• The ecological and environmental aspects of bio-gas generation needs to be studied and quantified. The results of such studies, in terms of the saving of forests, reduction in pollution caused by burning of diesel and other fuels need to be analysed and conveyed to the general populace, especially in the rural areas, to bring home to them the real benefits of saving the cow and its progeny.