Amid the much brouhaha over ‘cow vigilantism’ and related incidents, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday mooted the idea of ‘zero cost farming’ model centered around cow byproducts, like urine and cow dung.
The CM said the ‘zero cost farming’ model could be replicated in agricultural holdings of 30 acres, which would not require any chemical fertiliser or compost for increasing farm productivity other than cow dung manure.
“Small ‘gobar gas’ plants could be established at the local level to supplement domestic cooking gas supply to the rural areas,” Adityanath said while referring to the prohibitive annual fuel import bill of almost Rs 8 trillion.
The CM noted India had abundant natural energy resources, which needed to be harnessed to their potential even as he stressed the concept of protecting and conserving the livestock, especially cow for future food, energy and environmental security.
He informed his government had allocated Rs 10 billion each to the 16 municipal corporations in UP for setting up large cow shelters, apart from providing Rs 120 million to other urban local bodies at the district level for cow protection centres.
Adityanath was addressing the inaugural ceremony of ‘UP Khadi Expo 2018’ in the presence of union MSME minister Giriraj Singh, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena and UP Khadi minister Satyadev Pachauri.
The CM said UP was giving free 2 sets of uniforms, sweaters, shoes and socks to almost 17.7 million students of government run schools every year and if the state could integrate the process by procuring these products from UP based units, it would automatically boost rural enterprises.
He underlined the imperative of connecting youth with UP Khadi for sustainable growth of the sector, which provided local employment to the youth and rural artisans.
Besides, UP Khadi Board unveiled its new logo to mark fresh new initiatives to market the brand nationally and internationally with the help of professional organisations, such as NIFT and ecommerce giants, including Amazon, Flipkart etc.
Meanwhile, Giriraj Singh said cow byproducts should be treated as industrial products for the environmentally compliant socioeconomic development model in the rural areas.
He informed that Jaipur-based KVIC research institute had developed a handmade paper made of gobar, while an industrial paint has also been developed from cow dung base. “We are planning to hold a meeting with paint manufacturers as well.”
As part of the 3-day Khadi Expo, UP Khadi and Village Industries Board has also organised a high octane fashion show in association with NIFT, Rae Bareli and women’s magazine Femina.
The Board also signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with UN agency, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for utilising solar energy for creating rural jobs, such as using solar charkhas for weaving Khadi fabric. UNEP India head Atul Bagai told Business Standard solar based rural livelihood had the potential to generate economic activities worth almost Rs 100 billion in UP over the next 5-10 years, if a 360 degree approach was employed across the entire value chain.