The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog has asked the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to study if ‘cow urine’ (Bison Benasus L) can be used to promote organic farming and submit its report in the next two months.
The decision to ask the ICAR to conduct this study was taken after a high-level meeting at the Niti Aayog where Union Minister Giriraj Singh called for a study on how cow urine, bio-waste and cow dung can be used in organic farming.
Officials of ICAR told The Pioneer that the ICAR has been asked to look into the possibility of converting cow urine into amino acid for use as natural fertiliser to increase farm productivity. Amino acids are used an essential nutrient for soil and plant health.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also many times in the past have asked Niti Aayog to hold discussion with Union Minister Singh as he has done a lot of work in the field of organic farming in Bihar.
In 2016, Sikkim became India’s first fully organic State where cow dung and urine are being used for farming purposes. Organic cultivation does not involve the use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers and thus helps maintain a harmonious balance among the various complex ecosystems. Also, it has improved the quality of the soil which further improves the standards of the crops produced there. Within 1.24 million tonnes of organic production in the country around 80,000 million is supplied by Sikkim alone.
Organic nutrients can be obtained from the fermentation of cow urine thereby enhancing soil fertility. In addition, it can be turned into liquid fertiliser as a pesticide for crops. Liquid manure from cow urine is very easy and does not take long and is good for plants compared with artificial fertiliser. The materials used to make liquid fertiliser are also easily available and relatively low cost, said officials of ICAR.
India already has some 6,50,000 organic producers-more than any other country. Expanding the industry could boost employment by 30 per cent through recycling resources, and certifying, marketing and packaging products, a parliamentary committee said in a report in August, without giving a timeframe. In India, nine other States-Karnataka, Mizoram, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujarat-have an organic farming policy or law. Of these, Kerala has announced its intention to become 100 per cent organic.
It is noteworthy that the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, has received 50 proposals from different academic and research institutes to study the benefits of cow urine and milk under the SVAROP programme. SVAROP is acronym for Scientific Validation And Research On ‘Panchgavya’ (concoction of cow dung, cow urine, milk, curd and ghee).
Earlier, the Centre has constituted a panel headed by Union Environment and Forest Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan in April this year to study the role of cow urine and dung in curing diseases and scientific validation of uniqueness of indigenous cows, is likely to have its first meeting next month when it will assign various projects to ministries and institutions.
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