Agri Business

Gujarat encourages ‘desi’ cow breeding with financial support

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on June 29, 2020

Declares ₹900 monthly maintenance assistance per cattle for farmers taking-up ‘natural’ farming

As more and more farmers are joining the ‘natural’ farming bandwagon in Gujarat, the State government has announced a financial assistance for farmers to cover maintenance of the cattle.

Per the latest announcement, the State government will provide ₹900 per month per animal assistance to all such farmers, who are using only indigenous cow breeds for natural farming, i.e. using their manure, gaumutra, etc for farming. The assistance amounts to ₹10,800 annually for each registered farmer.

The farmers are required to register themselves on a State government website — iKhedut portal — to avail the benefits. “The registered farmer will get quarterly payment of ₹2,700 directly in their bank account after end of a three-month period, through Direct Benefit Transfer. The decision is aimed at doubling farmers' income as envisioned by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” a Gujarat government statement said.

“This is a timely and encouraging support from the Government. In past couple of years, we have seen many farmers turning to complete natural farming using inputs from indigenous cow breeds. As of today, about 5,500-5,700 farmers across the State are involved in such natural farming. With such monetary support to farmers, the government has provided encouragement to farmers to have more indigenous cows,” Praful Senjaliya, a farmer leader and expert on cow-based farming told BusinessLine.

The Gujarat government had made a provision of ₹50 crore for the scheme, which was launched on Friday. Each farmer having at least one any indigenous breed animal can qualify for the scheme. The farmer must have also taken training from master trainer or other natural farming agencies. “We are aiming to have at least one farmer in each district of Gujarat having one indigenous cattle. So far about 50,000 farmers have taken training over a span of past three years. We expect more number of farmers to join given the assistance extended by the State government,” said Senjaliya.

How natural cow-based farming is done?

Indigenous cow-based natural farming involves using cow-dung as manure and cow-urine (gaumutra) as the input for preparing a mixture which is used in place of fertilisers.

“We take cow dung manure in the quantity of 10 kg, and equivalent quantity of gau mutra. The mixture is put inside 200 litres of water along with jaggery and pulses powder. The material is kept isolated for 3-4 days, during which there will be multiplication of bacteria useful for the soil and improves its fertility,” said Senjaliya, who is also associated with the Bhartiya Kisan Sangh (BKS). The idea is to improve soil fertility using inputs from indigenous cow such as gir or kankrej breeds, besides other Indian breeds.

Cow-based farming is gaining momentum in key kharif crops including groundnut, besides horticulture and regular pulses. This, according to the government officers, brings down the input costs for farmers thereby improving their margins and offering better profitability.

Published on June 29, 2020

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