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Source: The post is based on the following articles
“Help cow shelters market dung-based formulations for farming: NITI Aayog” published in The Hindu on 11th March 2023.
“NITI Aayog Releases Task Force Report on “Production and Promotion of Organic and Bio fertilisers with Special Focus on Improving Economic Viability of Gaushalas” published in the PIB on 10th March 2023.
What is the News?
NITI Aayog has released the Task Force report titled “Production and Promotion of Organic and Bio fertilisers with Special Focus on Improving Economic Viability of Gaushalas”.
What is the purpose of the task force?
The Task Force was constituted by NITI Aayog to suggest measures to make Gaushalas economically viable, address the problem of stray and abandoned cattle and effective utilization of cow dung and cow urine in the agriculture and energy sectors.
What are the key highlights from the report?
Gaushalas to promote Organic and Natural Farming: In the last 50 years, a serious imbalance emerged in the use of inorganic fertilizer and livestock manure. This is adversely affecting soil health, food quality, efficiency, environment and human health.
– Recognising this, the Government of India is promoting sustainable agriculture practices such as organic farming and natural farming.
– Gaushalas or cow shelters can be of great help in promoting natural farming and organic farming. The agri-inputs developed from cattle wastes- cow dung and cow urine can reduce or replace agrochemicals, serving as plant nutrients and plant protection.
– This effective utilization of cattle waste is an ideal example of a circular economy that harnesses the waste-to-wealth concept.
– Moreover, cow dung based organic fertilizers would have a huge impact in fulfilling the constitutional mandate under Article 48 that the State shall take steps for preserving and improving cattle breeds and prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves, and other milch and draught cattle.
Gaushalas could also address the problem of stray cattle that damaged crops in many parts of the country.
What are the key recommendations given by the report?
Cow dung is the major produce of Gaushala. It faces several challenges in realizing its economic value. Gaushalas should be helped through capacity development and other means to generate income from gobar. This should include proper processing of gobar using biogas plants, value addition, marketing and certification of the cow dung-based organic as well as biofertilizers.
Heavy subsidy on inorganic fertilizers especially on urea discourages the use of organic sources of nutrients, which do not get any subsidy. There is a need for some parity in support of chemical fertilizers vis-a-vis organic.
A portal should be created like the Darpan portal of NITI Aayog for online registration of all Gaushalas.
The goal of promoting natural farming in the country should be integrated with the cow economy.