As part of its ‘Gaudhan Nyay Yojana’ which was launched on July 20, coinciding with the Hareli festival, the Chhattisgarh government has planned to buy cow dung at ₹1.50 per kilogram from cattle rearers.  

A five-member cabinet sub-committee in Chhattisgarh had recommended purchase of cow dung on Saturday under agriculture minister Ravindra Choubey, a government spokesperson told News 18.   

Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, on June 25, had announced the scheme and said it would be used for large-scale production of vermicompost (product of decomposition of organic matter brought about by worms), which in turn would be purchased by horticulture, forest departments and farmers for manure. This will help promote organic farming and reduce dependence on chemical fertilisers.

Chief minister Bhupesh Baghel aims to procure cow dung also to make cattle rearing more viable and in turn help agriculture, animal husbandry, generate employment and uplift the state’s rural economy.  

The sub-committee also emphasised to evolve a transparent mechanism in the purchase of cow-dung stating that it would be procured by Gauthan Samiti (that manages the cattle-shed enclosures having scores of cows) and the self-help groups (SHGs) nominated by the Samiti.

Almost every gram panchayat now has a Gauthan Samiti. Further, in the urban areas and the forested terrain it would be the responsibility of the urban administration department and the forest management committee to respectively procure cow-dung.  

According to the official press statement, the dung will be collected by ‘gauthan’ committees and women of self help groups door to door and a procurement card will be issued in which data of purchase will be maintained and the payment would be released within 15 days.

As stated by the Chief Minister, such measures will also prevent the cattle move into grazing agricultural land besides check the movement of stray animals on the roads. As per one estimate, there are around 1.10 crore cattle in Chhattisgarh and over four thousand tons of cow-dung likely to be purchased daily.