In a first-of-its-kind announcement for any state, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Bhagel on Thursday announced a policy to procure cow dung from farmers in an effort to make “cow rearing economically viable”. Baghel will inaugurate the scheme during the Hareli festival to be celebrated on July 20 in the state.
A statement from the state government said the decision was announced to save cows abandoned once they stop producing milk. “Once they stop giving milk, they are left to roam around. This has led to fights and people have even been killed as a result," said the statement from the CMO.
Baghel said cattle-rearers will be helped in buying fodder for cows.
"Since the focus was on milk, cow dung was sold in bulk and purchased by farmers for manure. Procuring cow dung will make cow rearing viable, will help agriculture, animal husbandry, employment and uplift the rural economy," said the statement.
Baghel said committees, or cow resting places, to ensure the functionality of this scheme have been constituted in 2,200 villages and are in process of being constructed in the remaining 2,800 villages so that the scheme can cover nearly 5,000 villages within the next two to three months. He added that the government eventually will extend the scheme to cities also.
Baghel said the procured cow dung will be purchased as manure by the state agriculture, forest and urban administration departments for use in various schemes. It will also be sold to private individuals.
Cow dung will be purchased not only from 'gothans' -- or cow resting places made by the state government -- but also from individual farmers who can sell cow dung from their homes. The dung will be made into organic manure which will be used in agricultural fields.
"We intend to move towards organic farming and procurement of cow dung will be an important step in this direction," he said.
Baghel claimed this will give employment to 30-40 people per gothan. The state eventually plans to have 5,000 gothans across its 20,000 odd villages. The CM said cow dung will be weighed and purchased per kg and the price of cow dung will be announced by the subcommittee.