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'Leave Studies, Collect Cow Dung': BJP Leader Mocks Chhattisgarh Govt's Procurement Scheme

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Former Chief Minister Raman Singh had taken a swipe at Bhupesh Baghel-led government and said it could not buy paddy from farmers but is preparing to purchase cow-dung from them.

After fixing a Minimum Support Price (MSP) for the procurement of cow-dung from cattle owners and farmers, the Chhattishgarh government is gearing up to collect cow-dung from July 20 amid sharp criticism from Opposition BJP.

Former minister Ajay Chandrakar mocked the project in his tweet. Posting a parody song, Chandrakar said that the youth should shun studies as the state government has decided to ask them to collect cow-dung.

BJP leaders had even suggested that cow-dung be declared state symbol.

"Is this the way, you will create a new Chhattisgarh," the ex-Minister mockingly said in his tweet.

Former Chief Minister Raman Singh had taken a swipe at the Bhupesh Baghel-led government and said it could not buy paddy from farmers but is now preparing to purchase cow-dung from them.

On July 5, the Bhupesh Baghel government of Chhattisgarh announced that it would fix MSP for buying cow-dung from farmers and cattle owners at Rs 1.50 per kg. Under ‘Gaudhan Nyay Yojana’, the Bhupesh government decided to procure cow-dung from farmers and cattle owners with an aim to make animal husbandry a profitable business.

The state government is of the view that this move would not only boost the farmers’ income but also promote organic farming. The state government plans to launch this project from July 20.

A cabinet sub-committee led by Agriculture Minister Ravindra Chuabey had recently finalised the modalities of the scheme, including the valuation of cow-dung. The committee has decided that the cow-dung will be purchased by Gauthan samitis (committees that oversee cattel-sheds) and Self Help Groups (SHGs).

The procurement will be done at the doorsteps of farmers and cattle owners and payments will be released within 15 days of purchase.

There is about 1.25 crore livestock in the state but due to the cattle rearers' poor economic condition, they are unable to make arrangements for fodder and they leave their animals in the open, said a communique from Chhattisgarh government.

The Godhan Nyay Yojana will be implemented in 2,200 Gothans in the first phase, after which it will also be implemented in 2,800 under construction Gaothan, it added.

Estimates suggest that with the implementation of the Godhan Nyay Yojana in five thousand Gaothans of the state, about four-and-a-half lakh people will get employment in cow-dung collection and manure making, the statement read.

The scheme will be implemented for the landless labourers and shepherds. Small cattle herders will also earn an income of two to three thousand rupees per month through the sale of cow-dung, state government estimates suggest.