CHAPTER V – PART I
BI PRODUCTS OF CATTLE – ORGANIC MANURE AND COW URINE – MEDICINES – DRAUGHT – GAS – ELECTRICITY
(By Sh. Sunil Mansinghka)
Explanatory Note of Justice Guman Mal Lodha
1. Organic Manure
3. Report of Task Force on Organic Farming
4. Organic Farming in the Planning Process
5. Composting to enhance the quality of manure
6. Benefits of organic farming
7. Useful Cattle Products and Their Formulations
8. Economical Aspects
9. Research : Present status and needs
10. Analysis of Cattle products
ANNEX V – I (1) Major Recommendation of Taskforce on Organic Farming
ANNEX V – I (2) Papers on Benefits of Organic Farming
(i) Report on Low-cost agricultural techniques By Dr. Tarak Kate
(ii) Information from NBRI
(iii) Summary of results of Field Trials – Dr. Priti Joshi
1. In our country, farming and agricultural cultivation, as per the traditional age-old system, used to be done, with cow dung amongst others serving as manure. Tracing out the history, we find that one Sir Albert Howard, who was in India in 1905, as Imperial Economic Botanist working in the Indian Agriculture Research Institute, studied the Indian system of Agriculture in order to consider ways and means of improving it. He observed in 1926, as President of the Indian Science Congress, that soil reserves should not be exploited and Indian Agriculture must be brought the know-how to transfer capital in the shape of soil fertility. According to him, the Indian Agriculture has been traditional by faithfully copying nature and use of urine and dung of the livestock was a crucial factor in organic farming in India. His research proved the importance of the organic manure. He developed the Indore Process of composting, which is even today practiced by organic farmers.
2. The traditional farming system can be safely termed as organic farming. In several developed countries, organic agriculture has come to form a substantial portion of food production system, as would be evident from the following table of growth rates in organic farming:
U.S.A.-20 % and above
(same is true for) France, Japan and Singapore
Some developing countries have developed organic markets for their products. For example, Egypt and Ugandan Cotton and Mexican Coffee are being organically produced and then exported.
Report of the Task Force on Organic Farming
3. It would be interesting to study the world trends in organic farming and use of organic manure and the latest figures and statistics are available in the recently published report of the Task Force on Organic Farming, set up by the Department of Agriculture. According to this Report, some of the products being produced organically by developing countries are as follows:
Tanzania Honey, cotton, tea, essential oils, herbs and spices
Uganda Cotton, sesame, cocoa, oils
Zimbabwe Vegetables, herbs
MIDDLE EAST & NORTH AFRICA
Egypt Vegetables, garlic, onions, potatoes, cotton, herbs
Morocco Potatoes, tomatoes, lemons
Turkey Dried fruit, nuts, cotton, pulses, olive oil
Costa Rica Coffee, tea, bananas, vegetables, sugar, Herbal teas
Dominican Rep. Bananas, coffee, cocoa, coconuts, mangoes, Avocados, fruit puree, sugar
EI Salvador Coffee
4. The Task Force Report finds that four main crops have dominated the organic trade from developing countries to date and these are Coffee, cocoa, tea and cotton with spices, herbs, fruits and vegetables following. Another finding of the Report is that the total current Global trade in organic products according to one estimate, (Segger - 1997) is US $ 11 billion, over US $ 4 billion of which takes places in the USA and US $4.5 billion in Europe. It is estimated that the global value of organic trade would reach US $100 billion by the year 2006.
5. The main products in developing and CEE countries involved in the organic trade in 1998 are, as under, as given at p.32-33 of the Report of the Task Force:
Burkina Faso Sesame
Madagascar Rum, Palm oil, coconut oil, vanilla, Essential oils, cocoa, coffee, fruit
Mauritius Sugar cane
Senegal Vegetables, groundnut
South Africa Avocado, herbs, peaches, asparagus, Nectarines, spice
Guatemala Bananas, coffee, cashew nuts, Vegetables, fruit
Mexico Coffee, bananas, avocado, mango, Apple, spices, coca, vegetables
Nicaragua Coffee, neem, cotton, beans
Puerto Rico Banana and banana products
Argentina Fruit & vegetables, rice, oils, textile crops, meats, dairy products.
Bolivia Nuts, cocoa, quinoa, grains, dried fruit
Brazil Coffee, tea, nuts, fruit, vegetables, Sugar, cotton, palm oil, Products
Chile Soft fruit, kiwi fruit, grapes, Asparagus
Colombia Coffee, nuts
Paraguay Soya beans, cane sugar, molasses, Cane Alcohol
Peru Coffee, cotton
Chile Honey, Sesame, tea, rice, apples, Herbs, Soyabeans, groundnuts Spices
India Tea, cotton, spices
Indonesia Coffee, herbs, spices
Pakistan Grains, herbs, spices, fruits, nuts
Papua New Guinea Coffee, tea
Thailand Vegetables, fruits
Sri Lanka Tea, spices, cashew nuts, pine-Apple, sesame, oils, dried coconut
Czech Rep Grains
Lithuania Grains, potatoes, vegetables
Russia Buckwheat, potatoes, vegetables
6. The salient observations of the Task Force on Organic Farming and the major recommendations of this Task Force are given at Annexure V – I (1) to this Report. The Commission agrees with all the recommendations, especially the ones involving use of dung as manure and for production of bio-gas, use of urine as pesticides and bullock power for draught purposes.
Organic Farming in the Planning process:
7. In the First Five Year Plan itself, the importance of organic manure was realized. In Chapter XVIII under the caption “SOME PROBLEMS OF AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT”, the importance of using organic manure was emphasized in Para-21 as under:
“Organic matter, nitrogen, phosphorus and potash are the chief constituents, which must be supplied to the soil. Nitrogen is of the first importance in crop production. The soil has a mechanism by which it absorbs nitrogen from the atmosphere and makes it available to living beings in the form of grain and fodder; men and cattle derive energy from the consumption of these and the nitrogen taken from the soil is returned to it in the form of organic manures like farmyard manure, green manure, oilcakes, composts of various kinds, bonemeal and various types of chemical fertilizers, thus completing the nitrogen cycle”
“Next in importance is phosphate. Plants absorb phosphates from the soil which are returned to it through animal and human excreta and through decayed plants and their ashes and the bones of dead animals.”
“Indian soils, while deficient in nitrogen and phosphates are generally rich in potash. Lack of potash does not, therefore, present a serious problem at present but it is one that should be watched.”
8. In para-22, the Planning Commission noted that “in tropical soils, organic manures like farmyard manure, which is a by-product in farming by 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 namely (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”
9. The Planning Commission also emphasized that “conservation of cattle urine should be an item of extension work in all States and increasing attention should be paid to the Conservation of this useful source of manure. Cattle urine was found rich in nitrogen.”
10. In para-29 the Commission also emphasized that “cattle and human wastes yield fuel gas by appropriate fermentation without much loss of organic matter and of nitrogen compared to the ordinary composting process. If this process, which has successfully passed through laboratory and pilot plant stages is developed, it will check the burning of dung as fuel and thus augment materially the supplies of organic manures.”
11. In the Fourth Five Year Plan in Para 7.51, it is stated that a programme of setting up mechanical compost plants for the manufacture of good quality organic manure out of urban waste is envisaged in the Plan.
Composting to enhance the quality of manure:
12. According to Prof. K. Shivashankar, in the wake of the Green Revolution, our agriculture has become heavily dependent on fertilizers and chemicals. Through their use, increased pollution of soil, water and environment has resulted in health hazards. Therefore, in Organic Farming, the use of fertilizers and chemicals is banned.
13. In this context, the nutrient-needs of the crops have to be met only through organic and biological activities. There is acute shortage of farm yard manure (FYM), as 70 per cent of cow dung is being diverted to meet fuel needs. Besides, FYM is of poor quality having 0.5, 0.3 and 0.4 per cent of nitrogen, phosphorus and potash respectively. Therefore, to overcome the shortage of FYM and to enhance its quality “Composting” of available organic matter, needs to be taken up as an important programme. It takes nearly 6 to 8 months to get FYM prepared, while compost can be got ready in about four months. Whether in modern agriculture with use of fertilizers and chemicals or with organic farming, use of compost should be practiced which can stabilize yields of crops.
14. In the main, compost has the following role: Quality compost when incorporated into the soil would improve its physical characteristics and thus enhance chemical and biological activities leading to higher soil fertility.
15. The material for compost preparation can be from five organic waste materials, of which cow dung is one of the most important components.
16. The Japanese method of composting uses several layers of various products in a Compost-Vat, in the following order starting with the top-most layer, as follows:
I. soil + culture slurry
II. cow dung
III. Straw + Green biomass
IV. Cow dung slurry
V. Poultry waste + Crop residue
VI. Green leaf manures (Sesbania etc)
VII. Soil/Ash + Cowdung sprinkle
VIII. Dry leaves, grass residues
IX. Coconut shells, fibrous materials.
17. According to Dr. G.K. Veeresh, Vice Chancellor, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore “our concept of organic farming and sustainable agriculture is mainly to see that our land is made more productive and sustainable whereas the concept of organic farming or nature farming in developed countries, is to produce chemical-free food. It costs more than the ordinary. We have not yet reached this stage in our country. But our first aim is to produce more and make the land more productive. We all remember the Green Revolution in the 1960’s and 1970’s but that was possible only in the 30 per cent of the irrigated area. The remaining 70 per cent rain-fed agriculture is yet to respond to modern technology. Unless all efforts are made to increase the production by enhancing the productivity of this area and make it sustainable neither the country will be able to meet the food requirement of the population nor the people depending on this land will be happy”.
18. According to Shri C. Byre Gowda, Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture, Govt. of Karnataka, Bangalore, who presided over a Seminar on Organic Farming “it is essential that we step up the production capacity of soils in a natural way. We have given a serious thought on this in the policy Statement that we have adopted in the State. We have included a Chapter in our Agricultural Policy to provide greater emphasis for Natural Farming, by making use of Social Forestry and by making use of waste that is obtained in the villages. For that we have already constituted a team to see that we keep our environment clean, to see that the valuable waste generated in villages is put to better use by processing and applying it to the soil. We have already launched a scheme called “Nirmal Grama Yojana” which includes making use of human and agricultural wastes that are generated in the villages. We have already given a big impetus and have started this scheme in the villages. We will continue to give more emphasis on this aspect.”
Benefits of organic farming:
19. During our hearings some of the papers presented and those papers reports, etc. deserves to be reproduced for ready reference, which are at Annex V – I (2).
20. The Animal Welfare Board of India gives a Special Subsidy of Rs 5 lakhs per annum to Adarsha Goshalas to develop methods for utilization of Cow Dung and Urine for Organic Manure and medicines. The National Commission on Cattle tried to make an assessment as to whether these animal welfare organizations have become financially self-reliant on account of use cow dung and urine. Shri Rampal Aggrawal, who is one of the consultants, has prepared a Note on the basis of the replies received from these animal welfare organizations in this respect. (The copy of the report of Shri Aggrawal is placed at Annex V – I (3) in Volume III. Out of 22 Goshalas to whom questionnaires were sent, only 9 chose to reply. The substance of these replies is that they are very hopeful and optimist about these Goshalas becoming financially self-reliant within the next two years. However, none of the Goshalas claim that the sale of organic manure and cow urine or their products has given them enough funds to maintain the cattle.
21. The deduction that can be made from the above assessment is that individual stray cases of utilization of cow urine and cow dung cannot create a situation when they become financially self-reliant. They would require support of the Government for getting subsidy in organic fertilizer and cow urine utilization. The Central marketing will also have to be arranged with the help of the Government. The Government will have to provide research centers, quality control centers and marketing centers. Then, and then only, can maintenance of old, dry and infirm cattle become financially viable.
22. As on today, contrary to the above, subsidy is given for the use of chemical fertilizers. Use of chemical drugs in the allopathic system of medicine is encouraged in the pharmacies and hospitals maintained by Government and no infrastructure is given for promoting the use of medicines based on cow urine therapy.
23. Dr. Balram Jakhar, former Agriculture Minister and former Speaker of the Lok Sabha, on a mature discussion of facts, had come to the conclusion that cattle plays most important role in development of agriculture in India. Copy of his article entitle ‘Contribution of cattle in Agricultural Development’ .is at Annex V – I (4) (in Volume III). According to Dr. Jakhar, the statistics of 1989 show that the income and production from the Dairy sector was Rs 4548/- per hectare, which was much more than the economic returns per hectare from wheat (Rs 2443), groundnut – wheat (Rs 1870), wheat-cotton (Rs 1798 and maize-wheat (Rs 1788). Dr. Jakhar also found that cattle-based farming was more profitable than buffalo-based farming. According to figures, an expenditure of Rs 100 yielded Rs 117 in cow-based farming and Rs 114 in buffalo-based farming. He also commended utilization of cow dung and urine for electricity production as it will improve environment also. Dr. Jakhar is very hopeful about the future of agriculture in India, if it is based on organic manure.
24. The article of Shri Purushotttam Dasji Jhun Jhun Wala of Chakuliya, Jharkhand is placed at Annex V – I (5) (in Volume III).
25. Regarding the utilization of cow urine in medicines, insecticides, etc., the Ayurved of our country antithetically mentions its various uses in medicines. Vaidya Balkrishnan Goswami in his very enlightening article on use of cow urine in health states that 15 medicines of cow urine will provide sure cure of various ailments. Shri Goswami’s article is placed at Annex V – I (6) (in Volume III).
26. Shri Rameshwar Poddar on the basis of American experts and scientists’ opinion has proved that there is no better medicine than cow urine for various ailments. A copy of his Article is annexed as Annex V – I (7) (in Volume III).
27. The progress of ancient Indian civilization pivoted around cow and its progeny. Cows were the symbol of prosperity and measure of wealth. A living cow was important and not a dead one for beef because everything that a living cow produced was put to some important use. Therefore, a person who possessed larger number of cow was considered wealthy. Cow was worshiped like a goddess as it was considered very auspicious and holy. A child born on inauspicious signs was put under the cow’s feet so that the evil was warded off.
The Present Status
28. Cows have lost all the importance that they enjoyed in the past, in present day society we feel that cows are important only because they yield milk and we look at them only as a source of milk. Even cow’s milk has lost its importance because it contains less fat than buffaloe milk. The nutrients and micronutrients other than fat that cow’s milk provide have all been ignored. As a result, we are losing a great deal of nutrition that cow’s milk can provide. Cows are valuable as long as they yield milk and the value of a cow depends upon the quantity of milk it provides. Even amongst cows, the breeds which yield greater quantities of milk are more valuable. As the yield of milk is reduced due to aging, the value of the cow is also diminished and ultimately when the quantity of cow’s milk is reduced below the expectation of the owners the cows are disposed off.
29. The commonest way of disposing off a cow is sale to a middleman, who ultimately takes her to a slaughterhouse. Alternatively, some are left to roam on road and to perish ultimately due to consumption of polyethylene bags. Some of the cows which are taken to slaughter houses may be rescued and taken to Goshalas but such cases are few. Those who rescue the cows from being taken to slaughter houses take enormous difficulties and often put their own lives in danger. Our sentries of law are also most unkind to such persons.
30. Some Indian breeds of cattle were well known for their endurance, and milk yielding capabilities. In our over-enthusiasm to produce a breed with greater ability to produce milk we undertook a cross-breeding programme. As a result our indigenous breed lost their immunogenic characters and now we have cross-breeds which neither produce milk nor are resistant to several diseases to which they were resistant in earlier days.
31. Milk from cow has now become a rare commodity. What is sold as cow’s milk in dairies is mostly diluted buffalo milk, in which the fat content is adjusted to match cow’s milk. This state of affairs is, to say the least, greatly alarming.
32. Indians farmers were enthusiastically encouraged to use chemical fertilizers and pesticides in post Independent scenario. This, no doubt, increased the production but inadvertently affected the quality of soil as well as the food it produced. The food products available in the country today are so heavily contaminated with the pesticide residue that these substances find their way even in the milk of lactating mothers and ultimately in the infants. During past decades some farmers became aware of this menace and started searching the substitutes for chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The products obtained from cows were the best choice. Concerted efforts made during the past decades resulted in some important products obtained from cow dung and cow’s urine, which can be used as fertilizers and pest repellent respectively in agricultural practice. There are a variety of these products, which can be useful in different situations. These products became very popular wherever they were used and increasing number of farmers are using them day by day also because the agricultural products produced by organic farming also are becoming gradually popular.
33. Cow’s urine has been used as medicinal agent since ages, some modern practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine used cow’s urine in practice with astonishing results. Gradually such products produced under the license from state drug authority started becoming popular. Encouraged with this success, the Ayurvedic practitioners are also attempting medicinal formulations containing cow-dung, buttermilk and cow’s ghee mixed with other herbs. These products are now gaining success, which prompted many medical researchers to analyze their chemistry and pharmacological actions. The results of such investigation are strongly indicative of these products being useful in disorders of kidney, liver, and central nervous system.
34. Recent scientific investigations are also indicative of cow’s milk containing some valuable micronutrients such as carotenoids, flavones, phenolic compounds, steroids, vitamin A, and several other nutrients.
35. Thus the cow is gradually gaining importance not only for the quantity of milk that it yields but also for the quality of milk and also for agricultural and medicinal importance of its products other than milk.
Useful Cattle Products and their Formulations:
36. The cattle products are now proved to be of utmost importance in the following fields:
6) Energy resources
36.1 Products of Agricultural Importance:
Almost everything that a cow possesses and produces is of importance from Agricultural point of view. Cows dung is a most important source of bio-fertilizer but at the same time cows urine, cows horn and a dead body of a cow can be used for preparing effective bio-fertilizer some of these products are described below.
Vermicompost is prepared by putting the mixture of cow dung and vegetable waster in contact with some specified species of earth worms for a period of 15 to 20 days in a pit in a controlled humidity conditions. The product is sieved at the conclusion of the period and is dispensed in suitable containers for using as manure.
Some controversy exists regarding the exact species of earthworm that should be used for this purpose. If some systematic research is conducted in this regard the outcome will be very fruitful.
There is also a need for determining the parameters on which the Quality of this product may be determined. Research in this direction is advisable.
This product is very popular amongst farmers in various states and has yielded very encouraging results. Observation of some researchers in this field are recorded in Annexure –I-(Indore, Nagpur, Bhopal etc.)
It is observed that use of this manure results in increase in yield and also yields the agricultural produce of greatly superior Quality and taste.
A commercial project for production of Vermicompost from cow dung and vegetable waste is presently in existence at the following places:
a. Excel (uses microbial culture)
b. Go-Vigyan Anusandhan Kendra, Deolapar.
c. Municipal Corporation of Bangalore.
d. Murarka Foundation, Jaipur.
This manure from cow dung vegetable waster is known after the name of its inventor Late Shri Pandharipande. The process consists of keeping cow dung and vegetable waster in a pit for 6 months and sieving and packing the product at the end of the period. The product was immensely popular in early days and is used at some placed even today. It is now gradually being replaced by the vermicompost.
Interestingly, Late Shri Pandharipande has the credit of inventing many other things like tooth powder, cleaning powder, heat-resistant bricks and light-resistant paint from cow products.
iii) Fertilizers from Cow’s Horn:
This is an innovative product prepared with the help of horn of a dead cow. A mixture of cow dung, cow ghee and honey is filled in the hollow of a horn of the cow’s sealed with cow dung and burried in a pit. The pit is filled with cow dung and allowed to stand for 6 month after which the horns are taken out and their contents also. The content of single horn when sprayed by mixing with waste can help the soil in one acre of land to enhance considerably its fertility.
The product presumably consists of anaerobic micro organisms which when put in soil help it in fixation of nitrogen and phosphorus.
The product is very popular and effective and is available in the market in the form of Tablets.
iv) Insect Repellent from Cow’s Urine:
Cows inherently repell insects. The seat of the cow is a powerful repellent of house fly and therefore flies seldom are found on cow’s skin. Cow’s urine also is a strong repellent for insects which normally inhabit the common crops. The repellent activity of cow’s urine is enhanced by mixing some plant extracts with it. Neem (Azadirachta indica) Sitaphal (Annonaceae) etc. are some common plants which enhance the insect repellent capability of cow’s urine. These activities are utilized by agricultural scientists by preparing a concentrates of cow’s urine with extracts of these plants.. These insect repellents are harmless for humans. They are successfully replacing the chemical pesticides as they offer an added advantage of enhancing natural immune systems of plants and also enhance the growth of a plant by increasing the synthesis of some plant growth promoting hormones in plants. Thus the products acts as a “Tonic” for plants.
The product is available commercially and is gaining popularity very fast.
The insects against which the product is experimentally seen to be effective are indicated below :
i. Plant pathogenic fungi (colletotrichum falcate)
ii. Human pathogenic fungi (sclerotium rolfs)
iii. Human pathogenic bacteria
Although this product is very effective and popular amongst farmers its use can be much more effective if the systematic research aiming at optimizing technology of its production and fixation of appropriate standards for the Quality of its raw materials and finished products is conducted.
36.2 Products of Medicinal Importance
The medicinal importance of products obtained from cow was recognized even in ancient days. The ancient Ayurvedic literature liberally describe several such formulations. Five products viz. Cow’s Milk, Urine, Dung, Ghee, and Curd or butter milk possess healing properties against many disorders and are used for the medicinal purpose singly or in combination with some other herb. Collectively these five products are called, “PANCHAGAVYA” and the therapy making its use as panchgavya therapy. Ayurvedic physicians have been using these remedies for ages but in recent years results of some scientific investigations in India and abroad have prompted physicians to view them with renewed hope and enthusiasm. They seem to be potent anticancer and anti HIV agents and some of their formulations made with Panchagavya are described here.
a. Ashtamangal Ghrita – A Memory Enhancer
This is a formulation containing Cow’s Ghee, Brahmi (calamus bach), saindhave (chloride of sodium), sayssurea (kuth), mustard, anantmul (Indian sarsaparilla), long pepper and a few more herbs. Administration of the formulation in children enhances their memory power. The formulation is also useful as a therapy for senile dementia. With financial assistance from Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, the formulation has been rendered stable by protecting the ghee against oxidation during storage with a polymer coat by a specially designed technique. The formulation is being patented.
b. Jatyadi Ghee:
Cow’s Ghee has been demonstrated to enhance wound-healing process, presumably by promoting cell-division. A combination of ghee and an antibiotic is more advantageous. Jatyadi Ghrit contains cow’s ghee and several herbs know to promote healing of wounds. An US patent has been granted for a product using cow’s ghee, which facilitates drug action.
c. Ghee as a Suppository Base:
Cow’s ghee, in combination with some other bases, has been seen to serve as an excellent material for preparation of suppositories.
d. Gomutra Ark:
A volatile fraction of cow’s urine prepared by distillation process is available as ‘ark', which is seen to be effective against renal disorders.
e. Immunological applications
Cow milk as a means to transfer immunogens or antigens is being used by rendering milch cows hyper-immune by administration of an appropriate agent. In this hyper-immune state, the antigens find their way into the milk of the cow, which when administered to humans, especially children, render them immune to the particular disease. Cow’s ghee as well as urine has been seen to stimulate immune processes in experimental animals. This property has important potential in treatment of diseases like AIDS and Cancer.
This is a formulation prepared by fermentation of buttermilk along with some herbs. the formulation is effective principally against micro-organisms which cause food poisoning.
g. Ghan Vati:
This is a residue remaining after removal of volatile matter and water from cow’s urine. Administered in the form of an ointment and tablet the formulation is effective against several skin infections.
h. Shwitra Nashak Vati and Shwitra Nashak Lep:
Shwitra Nashak Vati is a pill prepared from non-volatile solids of cow’s urine and some herbs. This is for oral administration. Shwitra Nashak Lep is a similar formulation for external application. Both administered simultaneously form an effective treatment against leucoderma.
i. Kamdhenu Marham:
This is an ointment containing cow’s urine and ark made from cow dung along with some herbs. This has been acclaimed as a very effective treatment against psoriasis. Some Ayurvedic physicians also export this formulation.
36.3 Cosmetic preparations:
A fractional distillate of cow urine exhibits antibacterial activities against several micro-organisms, including those which cause ‘dandruff’. Cow’s dung, when dried has good cleansing properties. The half-burnt cake of cow dung possesses good absorbent, as well as adsorbent properties. Cow’s ghee exhibits emollient action. These activities render these materials excellent bases in some cosmetic formulations. It has also prompted cosmetic scientists to conduct research with an object of using these raw materials for effective cosmetic formulations. Some such formulations are indicated below:
• Skin care cake: This is a product, which looks like a soap. This is prepared with dried and sterilized cow dung, multani earth, til oil, cow’s ghee, and several aromatic herbs. The cake is very popular amongst young ladies and beauticians. This is available in several variations of the formula described.
• Anti-dandruff shampoo: A shampoo containing cow’s urine and other ingredients is an effective remedy against dandruff and has recently been made available to consumers.
• Tooth powder / tooth paste: Tooth powder made by using half-burnt cow dung cake and other aromatic components is effective tooth-cleansing formulation, some times used in combination with neem.
• Skin care cream: A skin care cream containing cream or ghee from cow’s milk is said to render the skin fair and smooth.
36.4 Nutritional Aspects:
Milk of any animal is considered to be a whole food as it contains almost all the ingredients essential for body growth. Amongst such element the emphasis is given enormously to its fact content so far as India is concerned. Cow’s milk contains less fat (4-4.5%) than the milk of buffalo (8-8.5%) and is therefore rated lower. Amongst other components of milk are proteins, lactose & vitamins. Ancient literature states that cow’s milk also contains gold. This has not been confirmed & perhaps is a wrong notion. The yellow colour of cow’s milk is perhaps because of carotenes which are present there in contrast to Buffalo-milk, the Cows milk contain substances like carotenes, Vitamin A, Vitamins of B complex group and Vitamin C. It also contains substances like flavones sterols & phenols. The lactic acid bacilli present in milk are important. Although not much work has been carried out on milk of indigenous breed, it is known that the fatty acids & amino acids present is the fact of cow milk are different than those in buffalo milk. These components render cow milk very nutritious and growth promoting for infants & children. Ayurvedic practitioners believe that cow’s milk and ghee are memory enhancer. This fact finds confirmation from the researches conducted on a formulation known as `Ashtamgal Ghrita’. This preparation has been seen to enhance memory in school children and is being investigated for possible treatment for senile dementia and mentally handicapped children.
There is absolutely no doubt that cow’s milk is most nutritive. The nutritive value of cow’s milk is also enhanced when we take into consideration, carotenes, flavones & phenolic comps and some steroids, which are exclusive compounds of cow milk. All these chemical agents delay the processes involved in aging. Capsules containing such synthetic compounds are used in medical practice for preventing aging symptoms. A Seminar partly sponsored by the N.C.C., held on 7-72002 at Delhi organized by the “Love4Cow Trust”, confirmed that cow milk is ‘Amrit” and superior to all.
A formulation containing cow’s Ghee, honey, vitamins & a non-fat fraction of cows milk is being attempted as a micronutrient. Under these circumstances it has to be accepted that cow milk is superior to others as nutrient. It is obvious that evaluating cows milk as inferior to buffalo milk on the basis of its fat content is totally wrong. It is cows milk that should be rated superior because it contains more nutrient & micronutrient substance.
36.5 Environmental Aspects:
The commonest pollutants today are pesticide residues and poisonous elements coming from automobile fuels. The problems arising out of pesticide residues are enormous. Every food article today is contaminated with considerable quantities of residual pesticides. These pesticides, along with the insecticides, sprayed for insect control, reach in blood of humans at high levels. It has been demonstrated that they all are excreted in human milk and even reach the body of the infant, who is bread fed. The search for substitutes for the petroleum fuel & synthetic chemical pesticides & insecticides is being made hectically. The products from cattle can be best substitute for pesticides & insecticides. The pesticides, pest-repellents made from cows urine & insect repellent from the urine & dung pose no problem. Cows, therefore, can help us to a great extent in resolving problems of pollution due to pesticide & insecticides. The agricultural soil in the country is also gradually loosing its productivity because of the irrational/uncontrolled use of chemical fertilizers. This has destroyed the natural microbial flora in soil & also useful for insects like earthworms & to some extent rats. This has caused a total loss of ecological balance & unless a solution is found in time, it may lead to a irreparable loss of soil fertility. The situation can be remedied effectively by using organic fertilizers & insect repellents in place of chemical fertilizers and insecticides. Many farmers have realized this & are switching over to organic farming.
36.6 Cattle as a source of energy:
Traditionally, the bulls are being used as source of energy for carrying out several mechanical operations in agricultural practices & food industry. Although tractors are no available around 75% of the total land is being activated with the help of instruments, which are operated by bulls. It is necessary to cultivate a breed, which is efficient as draught animal. Ongole breed of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra was supposed to be one of the best in this respect, but is under the threat of being extinct because of the cross-breeding policy. This aspect needs immediate attention of the authorities.
A small amount of electricity can be generated by placing two electrodes in cow urine. This current is sufficient to operate an electrical wall clock for about a month. Duration can be increased by putting some fresh cow dung in urine. Efforts to use this sample of electricity are yielding favourable results. It is possible that further intensive research efforts may make it possible to use this source of energy for illumination of a small space in villages.
Some efforts have recently been made to use biogas from cow dung as a tool for running a generator of electricity. The results are very encouraging, as it enables us to use biogas as a fuel for general use or generating electricity. This would be extremely useful in places where electricity is a problem.
A generator operated by bulls is also a novel concept, which merits attention. The efforts can be successful provided that some means of continuous rotation of the shaft can be ensured by using multiple pairs of bulls or some means of storage of the electricity, which could be available even when the bull stops moving can be found out.
37. Economical aspects:
37.1 The cows are slaughtered in India because the owner of the cow finds in difficult to maintain her after she stops yielding milk. This is because it is generally believed that milk is the only commodity obtained from cows, which is useful and can be sold in exchange of cash. This notion is totally wrong. Cow yields products other than milk, which are valuable and saleable. Thus the dung as well as the urine of cow can be put to use by owner himself or sold to persons or organizations to process them. The Commission noticed that there are a good number of organizations (goshalas) which keep the cows rescued while being carried to slaughter houses. Very few of such cows are milk yielding. Such organizations use the urine and dung produced by these cows to prepare Vermi-compost or any other form of bio manure and urine for preparing pest repellents. The money collected by the sale of such products is normally sufficient to allow maintenance of the cows. In some cases the urine and dung is used to prepare the medicinal formulations also. The organizations, which are engaged in such activities, are making profits also.
37.2 Commission examined the balance sheets of some such organizations. The expenditure and income of one such organization is displayed here. In order to make the accounts simple the amounts are calculated as averaged per cow per day.
It is obvious that expenditure per cow is Rs 15-25 cow/day.
While the income from sale is Rs 25-35 cow/day.
37.3 These averages make it clear that the belief that cow’s which do not yield milk are unprofitable and burden for the owner is totally false. In fact it can be seen that products of cow are sufficient to maintain them even without milk. The milk in such cases is only a by – products.
37.4 It is obvious that all cow owners do not engage in productions of fertilizers or insect repellents. It can also be understood that such activity may not be feasible for owners of a single or a few cows. In such cases the cow’s urine and dung may be supplied to such organizations, which utilize these materials for producing finished products required for agricultural or medicinal purpose. Commission has noticed that some organizations which are engaged in production of agricultural and medicinal products from cow dung and urine do purchase raw materials from nearby cow owner at a price which is sufficient to maintain a cow.
37.5 These activities may be facilitated if the sale as well as procurement of cow durng, and cow’s urine is made in some organized manner, may be in the same manner as is done in case of milk. Encouragement to organic farming from the government will facilitate such activity.
38. Research: present status and need : -
38.1 Progress of any Nation today is based on the progress it makes in the field of science. While India has made commendable progress in may important fields the scientific investigations in the fields, related to cattle are unfortunately totally ignored.
38.2 The country has institutes named as National Dairy Research Institute, Veterinary research institutes, institutes of teaching and various other institutes. These institutes are expected to conduct research on problems, which are of national importance. Despite the rupees from the country’s exchequer, the basic problem is that we do not know the difference between chemical constituents of milk from different breeds of cows and that from buffaloes. We do not know what difference exists between the physiology and biochemistry of various Indian breeds of cows and buffaloes. Existence of hump on the back that develops below the neck are special features of Indian breeds and most astonishingly we are still in dark about the precise physiological and biochemical functions of these anatomical parts. We do not know what exactly is the effect of the cross-breeding programs, which we have executed during the past decades nor do we have any idea with regard to how Indian breeds could be upgraded with cross breeding with other Indian breeds. There are many such aspects, which ought to have been the subjects of interest of national laboratories or Indian researchers but perhaps such aspects were not considered important from the point of view of national priorities.
38.3 It is now time that some government agencies fix the research priorities of National interest.
38.4 Organizations related to cattle are presently in the process of revolution. The uses of cattle products in agricultural and medicinal practices are being recognized and efforts are being made to base such applications on sound scientific basis. The organizations concerned are trying to conduct necessary research in various fields related to cattle and cattle products to the extent that it is possible for them. However it must be realised that research today is much more complicated than earlier. Unless sophisticated instruments and statistical analytical procedures are employed the data is not considered reliable. Most of the problems have multidisciplinary dimensions and if becomes necessary that the problem is considered by scientists of different scientific disciplines. It is therefore absolutely necessary that research is conducted by a team of researchers. Such variety of competence is not easily available to non- government organizations. The Commission therefore feels that the authorities in government research institutes should jointly set up a research programme based on national priorities, which may be reviewed from time to time. Some aspects, which, in the opinion of the Commission, deserve immediate attention, are mentioned here.
Analysis of cattle products : -
38.5 Commission is surprised that no systematic analysis of secretions and excretions of different indigenous breeds and their comparison with other animals like buffaloes has not been carried out at any laboratory in the country. As a result we do not know the precise difference between the contents of milk of different breeds of indigenous breeds & milk of buffalo. Because of such ignorance, the cow’s milk is valued only on the basis of its fat content. As a result, the various micronutrients present in cow’s milk have been totally ignored. Cow urine is used for medicinal as well as agricultural purpose. But we do not know which component in cow’s urine is useful in this respect. Cow’s milk & butter have proven memory-enhancing action, but to which component of milk & butter can this activity be related is not known. The variation of components of milk & urine of cow’s different physiological stages & in different seasons is also a matter of interest because if we know these things it may be possible for us to utilize cow’s urine for optimal benefit. It is therefore absolutely necessary that a systematic research program is undertaken with the aim to find out.
a. Composition of milk, urine & dung of different indigenous breeds & buffaloes.
b. Variation in these components in different seasons and different physiological conditions such as age, menstrual period and pregnancy.
c. The detailed analysis of micro-nutrients n urine & milk with special emphasis on biologically and medicinally active ingredients and substances such as steroids, phenols, flavonoids, fatty acids, prostaglandin precursors, vitamins and enzymes & hormones may be given special attention.
d. The difference between the composition (especially in terms of above compounds) of secretion & excretion of pure indigenous breed & exotic and cross breeds should also be analyzed or determined.
Microbial analysis :-
38.6 The cow’s urine as well as milk contains micro-organisms, which are useful. For eg. Lactic acid bacteria are used as digestive. These organisms also produce substances, which has wide antibiotic activity. We have reasons to believe that some of these organisms may produce substances, which can either kill or inhibit the growth of microbes involved in food poisoning. Urine of cow contains microorganisms, which probably help the growth of plants. Some such organisms have been isolated by some researches in the field. Systematic microbiological examination of different indigenous, exotic & cross breed may yield fruitful results. Such work should be undertaken in National Laboratories if it is not carried out so far. Aim should be to examine the entire microbial flora in milk, urine & dung of different breeds of cows to isolate different organisms and study their usefulness.
38.7 Fresh cow’s urine exhibits anti-microbial activity. The activity declines over storage, presumably because of the oxidation of compounds like phenol. Some fractions of urine exhibit greater activity and residue remaining after evaporation shows maximum anti-microbial activity. It is possible that such activity is simply because of high salt content of the residue but the possibility of existence of other components with good anti-microbial activity can also not be ignored, especially because this fraction is considerably useful against many skin diseases including eczema. The research aiming at utilization of anti-microbial activity of cow’s urine in clinical practice may yield fruitful results. Competent persons must carry out such research in a systematic manner.
Technological Research : -
38.8 Some very useful formulations are presently being produced by different organizations from the urine & dung of cow. These formulations are important from agricultural point of view. For eg. Vermicompost from cow dung is not only a substitute for chemical fertilizers but is even superior. Similarly, the insect-repellent is being produced by extracting herbs like neem with cow’s urine. The methodology that is used in production of these substances is crude and not necessarily based on scientific considerations. Our benefit from these products could be much more if production of these materials is standardized on scientific & technological parameters. Special attention must be given to the aspects like nature of active ingredients & their stability under different conditions of temperature and the process conditions, which would suit and yield products of optimum efficiency.
38.9 While producing these materials some important aspects must be addressed. For eg. from which cows should urine & dung be collected & which cows must be excluded, which should be acceptable properties of these raw materials be analyzed before acceptance or rejecting them, what standards be applied for other raw materials for their acceptance and what other precautions be taken during manufacturing operations. These are some of the questions, which are important for ensuring quality of the product. At the same time, it is also absolutely necessary to examine whether the final product prepared is of required quality. These things can be done only when sharp quality control parameters are established for raw materials & finished products of this nature. Intensive research in this field is necessary. Such research efforts are possible only when a team of scientists consisting of agriculturalists, veterinary scientists, biologists, biochemists, chemists, microbiologists & technologists of appropriate branches make a co-operative effort. This may be done in any of the existing Laboratories.
Medical research: -
38.10 Cattle products, that is cow urine, dung, milk, butter-milk & ghee which are all collectively known as Panchgavya were extensively used in past years as medicinal Agents. Today such uses are being revived. As a result they are several organizations, which prepare medicinal formulations of various types from these cattle products. Although the efficacy of these products is yet to be established by systematic research, the fact that both physicians & patients find symptomatic relief by use of these formulations indicate their usefulness. At many places production of these formulations is made under the licence issued by State drug authorities.
38.11 While considering production of these formulations, importance of some basic parameters becomes obvious. For eg. It is necessary to know as to urine or dung or milk from which animals should be considered acceptable, which animals be excluded, secretions & excretions of animals of which age or breed should be used. Secretions/excretions in which physiological stage (menstrual cycle, pregnancy etc.) gives urine, milk or dung which is suited for formulations of drugs, are some questions which must be resolved in order to derive maximum benefit from these drug formulations.
38.12 It is also necessary to fix quality control standards for the finished products. The extensive research is these areas is absolutely necessary.
38.13 Verification of claims: Ayurvedic formulations derived from cattle products are claimed to be useful in multiple disorders. In which disorders are they really useful is a subject for research. Such research must be conducted by employing the modern research methodology & statistical analysis. Such researches must be conducted under the supervision of competent medical specialists in a hospital where research facilities are available. Such hospitals must be identified and, clinical research in such hospitals should be encouraged & supported.
38.13 There are reasons to believe that differences exist in biochemical and metabolic pathways in different breeds of cattle and other milch animals because the components in milk, urine & dung of these animals vary. This has however not been properly understood because the biochemists do not seem to have given attention to these aspects.
38.14 An Indian scientist at Kunoor has patented a formulation of the saliva obtained from a cow during regurgitation. He claims that his formulation is useful against many disorders of animals. These claims seem justified because regurgitation is a process, which involves several enzymes. It may also involve biochemical processes in Indian breeds of cows. It would help us a lot and enable us to obtain maximum benefit from cows.
38.15 Indian breeds of cows are resistant to several infectious diseases. This property seems to be gradually declining because of the uncontrolled cross breeding. The immunological characters of pure indigenous breeds were used for medical treatment in ancient times. There is a practice of administering the excreta of a just-born calf to infants & children for the purpose of achieving immunity against certain diseases. A patient suffering from tuberculosis in ancient days was advised to live amongst cattle for a period of a month or two. These practices are indicative of realization of special characters of immunity amongst Indian breeds. A methodical research in this area by immunologists can be beneficial.
Cow milk as carriers of immunogens :-
38.16 Some recent reports have come to notice of the Commission where the milk obtained from cows, which are brought to the hyper-immunity state, is used as a carrier for immunogens against many infective diseases. Suitability of this mode of immunization needs confirmation. It is recommended that research in this field be carried out at suitable institutions.
Samadhi Khad : -
38.17 “Samadhi Khad” is a term used for manure obtained from a pit where a dead body of a cow is buried. This manure is considered very effective and is valued very high.
Bio-inoculants from cattle : -
38.18 Microbial flora of soil plays an important role in plant and soil health. The microorganisms present in the rhizosphere’s environment around the roots influence the plant growth, crop yield and plant diseases. Isolation of such beneficial microorganisms, bio-inoculants from panchagavya and their establishment in the rhizosphere may improve the sustainability of agriculture. It is a well-known fact that the indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides have been proved harmful for soil environment and human health. Engineering the rhizosphere using beneficial bio-inoculants may lead to improved soil quality and plant nutrition. Scientists in NBRI Lucknow have isolated strains from some cattle products of such bio-inoculants and technologies have also been developed to commercialize them.
1. Intensive efforts must be initiated immediately to identify and preserve all the indigenous breeds of cows and bulls.
2. Policy of cross breeding with exotic breeds must be reviewed immediately. Efforts must be made to upgrade indigenous breeds with suitable other indigenous breeds. Such cross breeding must be made with well-defined aims and objectives and must be based on scientific and genetic characters. Cross breeding policy must be reviewed periodically on the basis of the results of previous experiments.
A central/regional cattle research institute be established to serve as a guide for this purpose.
3. Research programmes, as identified below, should be undertaken, encouraged and supported in national institutions, universities and non-government institutions:-
1) Genetic and other studies necessary for characterization of indigenous cattle breeds and for using as parameters for selection of breed for indigenous intra-breed cross breeding with an aim to upgrade them.
2) Identification of anatomical characters (such as hump), which are characteristics of indigenous breeds and to study their physiological significance.
3) Comparative chemical, microbiological and immunological analysis of milk and urine and dung of various indigenous cattle breeds and buffaloes with special reference to their agricultural, medicinal and nutritional significance.
4) Chemical and microbiological analysis of fertilizers and pest repellents, produced from cattle urine and dung with a view to serve as evaluation parameters of these products.
5) Technological studies for optimization of production operations involved in agricultural products from cattle.
6) Determination of quality control parameters for raw materials and finished products from cattle. Attention may also be given to various stages of development and physiological condition of health & diseases when such raw materials may be accepted or rejected.
7) Verification of clinical and medicinal claims made in ancient literature related to health sciences with regard to medicinal properties of products obtained from various breeds of cattle. Pharmacological, microbiological, immunological, and toxicological studies of these remedies.
8) Development of best-suited technological operations which are necessary for optimal efficacy of the medicinal products obtained from cattle urine, dung, milk, buttermilk and Ghee and any other such product.
9) Determination of quality control parameters for raw materials including age, health and physiological status of cow used for production of medicinal products from milk, Ghee, butter-milk, urine and dung (and any other secretion) of cows.
10) Research on bio-fertilizers and bio-pest repellents to determine their soil and crop specificity. Composition and efficacy of fertilizer obtained from dead cow’s horn merits special attention.
11) Influence of cow’s urine on rate of germination of seeds and plant growth. Presence of plant and human immuno-stimulant substances in cow’s urine.
12) Development and evaluation of technology for production of mechanical, thermal and electrical energy from cattle.
13) Efficacy and utility of radiation-preventing ability of cow dung.
14) Development of eco-friendly methods of disposal or replacement by other suitable substitutes of polythene bags and other materials.
15) Utilization of cow’s milk as immunogen transmission vehicles through hyper-immune cow.
16) Use of lactic acid bacteria as nutrient and for medicinal purpose especially for production of antibiotic substances.
17) Suitability of species of earthworm for production of Vermicompost and their ecological effect.
18) Plant Antibiotic substances in cow’s urine.
19) A `cow urine concoction’ is seen to be useful in medical practice in many ways in the country. Usefulness of such formulation from indigenous species may be investigated.
20) Technology and quality control aspects of cosmetic products from products of cattle.
4. A broad-based review committee be constituted at national level which should review the progress in the area of research and utilization of cattle products. The committee should guide the various research institutions, other organizations and departments involved for means of optimal utilization of cattle products.
5. Possibility of utilizing vegetable and kitchen waste in all the municipal areas in the country for production of vermicompost should be seriously examined and implemented wherever feasible. Such efforts are in progress in the city of Mumbai and advantage could be derived from that experience.
6. Indiscriminate throwing of plastic and polyethylene bags must be banned. A suitable systematic plan of disposal of plastic & polyethylene bags must be evolved and implemented. A public education program in this respect must be initiated.
7. Education programme for farmers concerning benefits of organic farming by using bio-fertilizers and bio - pest repellents must be started. Agricultural universities and departments and non-government organization may be involved in such programmes.
8. The useful medicinal products are available from cattle products. The drug control authorities in the country should, after thorough examination, include such products in Indian pharmacopoeia so that their production and quality may be suitably standardized.
9. Use of oestrogens and similar drugs increasing the yield of milk of cows should be banned for reasons of health of cows.
10. Utilization of cattle and cattle products (dung cake and biogas) as source of thermal, mechanical and electrical energy should be encouraged and subsidized.