GAUSHALAS, GOSADANS, PINJARAPOLES, PASTURE LAND AND FODDER DEVELOPMENT
1. Gaushalas and Pinjrapoles – Symbol s of India’s Cultural heritage
2. Historical Perspective
3. Post Independence Era
4. Status Position on Gaushalas
6. Feed & Fodder for Cattle
7. Carrying capacity and potentials
8. Recommendations for Feed & Fodder Development
9. Problem of Stray Cattle
10. Strategies for dealing with stray, dry cattle
11. Eco friendly cow based village development scheme
ANNEX VI (1) Questionnaire of Goshala Committee
ANNEX VI (2) State-wise numbers of responding Goshalas
ANNEX VI (3) Question-wise Break-up of Responses received
Gaushalas and Pinjarapoles - Symbols of India’s Cultural Heritage
1. The Gaushala movement is synonymous with the protection of cows and cattle wealth of our country. Being practiced for the last five thousand years or so, its origin can be traced in the Vedic period when social customs and rules laid great emphasis on protection, preservation and development of cows for home, and oxen for agriculture-fields. According to Vedic concepts, cows were considered sacrosanct and constituted material and spiritual assets of the people of the country. At that time, possession of herds of cows was the yardstick for measuring economic esteem and prosperity of an individual. Thus ‘Shatagu’ was the owner of hundred cows. One who possessed one thousand cows was referred to as ‘Sahastragu’ with honour. In Jain Agams and scriptures, the principal disciples of Bhagawan Mahavir have been referred to as having several Gokuls, each Gokul containing 10 thousand cows. ‘Rigveda’ refers to cow as ‘Aghnya’- or one which must never be killed. ‘Yajurveda’ states- ‘Go matra Na Vidyate’ – which means that there is no parallel to the cow in this world. .’Atharva Veda’ considers cow as the ‘house of prosperity’- ‘Dhenu Sadanam rayinam’. The Rishies (Ascetics) maintained Asharam Gaushalas, with hundreds of milking cows. It was the milk and milk products from these Gaushalas, which helped them to offer hospitality to visitors. Cow being the backbone of rural life and economy in India, care was taken for their well-being and uplift. Grazing areas and grass lands (Gochar Bhumi) were kept reserved in abundance everywhere. People used to donate their lands to Gaushalas on auspicious occasions so that cows may have sufficient land for grazing. Thus the entire culture of ancient India was ‘Go-Sanskriti’ or Culture based on cow.
2. Even during mediaeval periods, cow and its progeny were protected by the Rulers. During Muslim regime and particularly the Mughal period, right from Humayun to Shahjahan and ShahAlam there was complete ban on the slaughter of cow. For the British, who neither cared for the traditional rural economy and rural crafts nor bothered for the sentiments of people or cultural heritage of this subcontinent, cow was just a cattle, a good source of meat. After Independence, with the impact of the western world and growth of cities and towns, the entire socio-cultural and socio-economic patterns of life got revolutionized solely on the basis of materialistic considerations. The picture started taking a U-turn in the Sixties, when the ‘Green revolution’ introduced mechanical and chemical inputs to the agricultural activities. This led to a situation when the only purpose of cow was milk. There also, buffaloe and exotic breeds pushed it back on the pretext of yield and fat percentage. Now, the cow progeny was burden on the farmer.
3. It was in 1946 that the Animal Husbandry Wing of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research recognised the potentiality of the valuable work done by Goshalas & Panjarapoles and recommended a plan to encourage them to be the fountain-heads of milk and draught power in the country. They formulated a plan to constitute State-wise Federations of Goshalas & Panjarapoles.
Post Independence Era
4. On November 19th, 1947 the Government of India appointed a ‘Cattle Preservation and Development Committee’ under the chairmanship of Sardar Datar Singh, Vice President of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. Along with other issues, the Committee also studied as to how agencies like Gaushalas and Cattle Protection Societies and Salvage Centres could be utilised for preserving cattle wealth and for promoting its development.
5. The Committee recommended establishment of ‘Gosadans’ where ‘uneconomic’ cattle could be housed cheaply and allowed to die a natural death. In pursuance of this recommendation a scheme for establishment of 160 Gosadans in the country was included in the first Five Year Plan and a sum of Rs. 97.15 lakhs was kept in the budget for the purpose. One Gosadan was designed to house 2000 cattle on a block of land of about 4000 acres. It was estimated that a Gosadan, capable of housing 2000 cattle, would require Rs. 50,000 as non-recurring, and Rs.20,000 per annum as recurring expenditure. The scheme could not achieve the projected targets. Only 17 Gosadans could be started during the plan period. Established in the States of Bihar, UP, Pepsu, Coorg, Bhopal, Kutch, Vindhya Pradesh, Tripura and Saurashtra these Gosadans could have only 5293 cattle against the capacity of 34,000. Lack of funds with the State Governments for meeting their share of expenditure, non-availability of suitable land, absence of legislative measures for the compulsory removal of unproductive cattle from owner’s premises, transport difficulties etc. are the reasons generally advanced as to why the ‘Gosadan’ scheme could not succeed then.
6. Although the Gosadans established by the Government could not prove to be successful, the Goshalas and Pinjarapoles managed by the community were still running. A report published by the ‘Central Council of Gosamvardhan’, New Delhi under the heading ‘Gaushalas and Pinjarapoles in India’ informs that, during the First Five Year Plan, there were nearly 3,000 Gaushalas and Pinjarapoles spread over the whole country. These institutions maintained over six lakh cattle at an annual cost of Rupees seven crores. It has been realised that, in spite of their draw-backs, these institutions could, with better organisation, very well serve as useful centres for the improvement of cattle and milk production, supplementing Government’s efforts in this direction. State-wise number of Gaushalas in 20 States, which responded to a survey conducted by Shri Harbans Singh, Assistant Cattle Utilisation Adviser to the Government of India, indicates that, in 1954, the Gaushala movement was quite strong in Rajasthan, UP, Bihar, Bombay (including present Gujarat and Maharashtra) Madhya Pradesh and Madhya Bharat, as illustrated by the following table
Spread of Gaushalas and Pinjarapoles (1954)
S.No. Name of State Number of Gaushalas and Pinjarapoles
1 Ajmer 13
2 Assam 5
3 Bihar 121
4 Bombay 124
5 Delhi 8
6 Hyderabad 19
7 Kutch 17
8 Madhy Bharat 48
9 Madya Pradesh 76
10 Madras 42
11 Mysore 2
12 Orissa 19
13 PEPSU 27
14 Punjab 96
15 Rajasthan 117
16 Saurashtra 43
17 Travancore-Cochin 2
18 Uttar Pradesh 203
19 Vindhya Pradesh 2
20 West Bengal 26
7. The Gaushalas had the following objectives:
1. To preserve the Indian cow and progeny and to breed and upgrade them for supplying plenty of unadulterated milk & milk products to the people & distribute the best female calves to the villagers.
2. Prepare best pedigree Indian Bulls & supply to villagers for breeding and upgrading village cows.
3. Production of best healthy bullocks for draught work and preserve male calves for distribution to agriculturists.
8. In pursuance of a statement made in the Lok Sabha on 21st May 1954, the Government of India set up an ‘Export Committee on the Prevention of Slaughter of Cattle’ on 10th June 1954 under the Chairmanship of Shri P.N. Nanda, Animal Husbandry Commissioner of the Government of India. Though the main focus of the Committee was to consider the steps for prevention of killing of milch cows, particularly in the cities of Calcutta, Madras and Bombay, it also elaborated upon relevant issues such as Goshalas, Gosadans and fodder etc. Along with other recommendations, this Committee, by way of interim measures suggested to the Government that self-contained salvage and calf-rearing farms should be set up by the State Governments. Also, that selected Gaushalas and Pinjarapoles should be helped with additional facilities and funds, wherever necessary, to enable them to undertake salvage of dry animals and rearing of calves. It also recommended that a comprehensive organisation be set up in each State for efficiently handling the numerous aspects of developing milk production in rural areas.
9. The ‘Central Council of Gosamvardhan’, as an organisation concerned with the preservation and development of cattle in the country interested itself in the study of the progress made in the implementation of the recommendations made by the ‘Expert Committee on the Prevention of Slaughter of Cattle’ in India (Nanda Committee) with particular reference to the prevention of depletion of stock of high-yielding strains of cattle from the breeding tracts and salvage of cows, when they go dry, in cities like Calcutta. The subject came up for discussion at the 30th meeting of its Executive Committee held in New Delhi on the 4th September, 1961 when the Council came to the conclusion that the problem was a colossal one and called for detailed examination by a special high-powered committee for suggesting comprehensive proposals on long-term and short-term measures for solving the problem. The President of the Central Council of Gosamvardhan Shri U.N. Dhebar was authorised to constitute the Special Committee and define its terms of reference. Accordingly, a special high-powered Committee was appointed under the Chairmanship of Shri Shriman Narayan, Member (Agriculture), Planning Commission. The Committee was of the view that various schemes drawn up by the States for the preservation and improvement of cattle should receive a high priority and necessary funds for their implementation should be allocated in the States’ Annual Plans.
Status position of Gaushalas
A. Questionnaire -Responses
10. To have first-hand knowledge about various issues relating to Gaushalas, Gosadans and Pinjarapoles such as availability of fodder, land and water, financial assistance, veterinary facilities, economic viability of their projects based on cow dung and urine and mechanism of governmental assistance etc. a detailed questionnaire - Annex VI (1) - was sent to 1797 Gaushalas, Gosadans and Pinjarapoles scattered throughout the country. 496 or 28% of them responded. As was expected, the maximum numbers of responses were from Rajasthan, U.P., Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Bihar and Uttaranchal, where the Gaushala movement has been very strong traditionally. State-wise names of Goshalas and figures for the questionnaires sent and responses received from different States are placed at Annexes VI (2) and VI (3), respectively. Position of the issue-wise responses is given in the statement- ‘Question-wise Break up of Responses’ at Annex VI (4).
11. On the question of provision of allotment of land for Gaushalas / Gosadans by the State Governments or local bodies, it is seen that 66.3% of the respondents affirmed that they had been given land. As far as the issue relating to financial aid is concerned, 54.4% Goshalas confirmed receiving such aid. However, a majority of them mentioned that the Animal Welfare Board of India and Go-Seva Ayogs were the main sources for such assistance. Financial assistance directly from the State governments is minimal. The same is the situation in regard to provision of financial aid for buildings (cow shed, office, godown, veterinary unit etc.). 42.7% institutions, which got funds for this purpose, conveyed that the assistance was received from Animal Welfare Board of India or Institutional/Individual donors. Regarding special provision for veterinary aid to Goshalas / Gosadans from the State Veterinary Departments, 57% respondents conveyed dissatisfaction. The picture about fodder arrangements is very dismal. Three-fourths of the Gaushalas who responded (75.1%) have confirmed that there is no system of keeping fodder reserves in their States to meet exigencies. The situation is not good in regard to supply of water also. When asked whether there is any provision of water supply to Goshalas / Gosadans at concessional rates, two-third (66.7%) of the Respondents answered with an emphatic ‘No’. 52.6% Respondents indicated that there are legal provisions applicable by way of Acts and Rules to check the movement of cow and its progeny en-route to slaughter houses in their respective States.
12. About half (49.1%) of the responding Goshalas / Gosadans mentioned that the cattle rescued from the slaughterhouses by the district administration are placed in local Goshala / Gosadans. There is also a system of grant-in-aid, though the amount is meager, from the State Government for maintenance of such cattle. Dissatisfaction is quite apparent on the issue of breed improvement. 46.5% Goshalas informed that there is no assistance, of any type, from the State government in regard to availability of bulls of good indigenous breeds. A good majority, almost three out of every four responding Goshala / Gosadans (71.7%), conveyed that their respective State Governments have a system of providing relief to cow and its progeny in the areas affected by natural calamities such as drought and floods. The relief, in most of the cases, is in form of fodder supply, shelter, grants-in-aid, veterinary care and assistance in shifting the cattle to safer places. Response was mixed on the issue of sufficient facilities for veterinary cover in the times of emergencies, such as epidemics in the cattle folk. While 52.2% respondents confirmed such arrangements, 47.3% were of the view that their respective State Governments did not have any special arrangement in terms of man and material to deal with such emergent situations.
13. Responses on the method and extent of the use of cow dung and cow urine were quite revealing. Even now, almost 9 out of every 10 Gaushalas are running in the same traditional way i.e. as charitable institutions concentrating only on protection of cow, and not giving any thought on harnessing the vast resources available with them in the form of cow dung and cow urine. Only at a few places, these resources are being utilized for producing bio-fertilizers, bio-pesticides, bio-energy and bio-medicine (panch-gavya medicines). Only 7.8% responding Gaushalas are using their cow dung to prepare Nadep Compost, while, in spite of all encouragement from Khadi and Village Industries Commission, Animal Welfare Board of India and the District Rural Development Agencies, less than 10% Gaushalas have bio-gas plants. However, about 70% respondents are of the view that the Bio-gas plant be recognised as a village industry, wherein the slurry and methane gas are the outputs. The situation is still worse in the case of use of cow urine for preparing bio-pesticides. Only 3.3% of the Gaushalas are trying this. As far as preparation of Panch-gavya medicines is concerned, only 2.4% of the responding Gaushalas are in the fray.
B. Public hearings
14. Almost the same situation came to light in the course of the public hearings held in different States. Shri Chandra Raj Mehta, who participated in the public hearing at Pali (Rajasthan) on 9.2.2002, was of the view that the State Government should provide electricity and water to Gaushalas at concessional rates. Shri Narain Singh, in the same public hearing, proposed that the lands, which are purchased by Gaushalas for developing into grassland, should be free from the stamp duty. Dr. Vireshau Prasad Singh, while speaking in the public hearing held at Patna (Bihar) on 28.02.2002, opposed the system followed by the Bihar Government, in which the land ceiling laws are applicable to Gaushalas also. Because of this, the Gaushalas are finding it difficult to sustain their fodder supply. It was a revealing fact, submitted by Dr. Dharmendra Singh, General Secretary, Association of Veterinary Doctors of Bihar in the same meeting, that only 0.4 percent of the State budget is earmarked for the health of Animals. He informed that in a State like Bihar where agriculture holdings are very small, the bullock is the main companion of farmers.
15. In the public hearing held on 23.1.2002 at Baroda (Gujarat), Mr. Mahesh Pandya, representing an NGO, asserted that the limit of grazing land should be increased. It is the same i.e. 40 acre land for every 100 Cattle, for many decades in the State of Gujarat. Representative of a Public Trust, Meenadham Pinjarapole, submitted a surprising fact. He informed that the work in the premises of the Gaushala for construction of sheds, godowns etc. has been treated as the non-agricultural use of the land and accordingly high conversion fees have been charged. He was of the view that the Pinjarapoles should be given some grant-in-aid as these institutions have to take care of Cattle put in the there by Municipality authorities. The revenue development officer informed that the Gujarat State Ceiling Act of 1976 has reduced the limit of land for Gaushalas. Of course, it was quite consoling that, in Gujarat, a separate Ministry has been established with a view to concentrate on preservation and development of cattle. They have some encouraging schemes for promotion of bio-fertilizers. In the public hearing of Ahmedabad on 22.01.2002, the Forest Officer expressed concern over lack of any ‘grazing policy’.
16. Most of the participants in the public hearing held at Mumbai (Maharashtra) on 16.1.2002 laid emphasis on the availability of grazing lands as the first and foremost necessity of Gaushalas. They expressed concern for the growing tendency of unauthorized occupation of ‘charagahs’. Because of this, observed Advocate Shri R.K. Joshi, the percentage of grazing land has come down from 10-12 to 2 only in the State of Maharashtra. Shri Prakash Chandra B. Kochar of Hingan Ghat Gorakshan Sanstha, while participating in the Commission’s public hearing at Nagpur on 18.1.2002 said that the large-scale trespassing on pasturelands has caused a serious threat to the cattle folk. However, farmers were quite enthusiastic about the use of bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides in ‘Vidarbha’ Region, it was revealed during the discussions. Dr. Suresh Dorle from Deolapar informed that some 2600 farmers had switched to organic farming. The cost of organic manure was Rs.300 to 400 per acre, as against Rs.2000 per acre for chemical fertilizers.
17. Shri Narsingh Das Goel of Vidisha, who participated in the public hearing at Bhopal, informed that in Madhya Pradesh also, like other parts of the country, the area of ‘gochar’ land has reduced. Earlier, it was 5%, but now the percentage has come down to 2%. He stated that in spite of the fact that the Gaushalas are taking care of quite a good number of cattle, the employees of the Veterinary Department have no consideration for that. During the course of discussions, it was revealed that, in some parts of the State, people are becoming aware about the scientific use of cow dung and cow urine. What is needed is the technical and infrastructural support from the governmental agencies. It was encouraging to note that the District Administration of Jabalpur was preparing a project for electricity generation using cow dung as basic material for harnessing methane gas. The Commission was informed that the Project may be funded by the Japanese Government.
C. Study Project
18. Since the advancement of the concept of organic farming, the Gaushalas are entering a new phase. Now there is awareness among them that they have lot of potential in terms of bio-fertilizers, bio-pesticides, bio-energy and panch-gavya medicines. They have also started thinking in this direction. Most of them are convinced that if this potential is harnessed, the Gaushalas can be economically viable units. They can get rid of the long practice of donations. The old and infirm cattle will no longer be a burden on them. In spite of all such ideas reaching them, most of the existing 4000 Gaushalas are still the same as they used to be two decades ago. It is mainly because of lack of technical know-how and marketing infrastructure. The status position of Gaushalas & Panjarapoles is well reflected in the findings of a study conducted by the National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD) Hyderabad on behalf of Animal Welfare Board of India. The study project was taken up with the following two major objectives:
1) To suggest managerial interventions required to minimise costs, and
2) To identify thrust areas of action points to make Gaushalas-Pinjarapoles relatively more self-reliant.
19. In the light of findings of the study, the status position of Gaushalas is summarised here under :
1) It is observed that no working arrangement exists in between Gaushalas-Pinjarapoles and local State Government officials in charge of Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
2) Mostly the Gosadans, Gaushalas and Panjarapoles are running as charity institutions managed by local people in a traditional way. Almost all of them are suffering from financial constraints.
3) Manpower is inadequate. By and large the workers are engaged either on adhoc or temporary basis on daily wages, and are not covered by the labour laws of the respective States. They are very low paid, get less than those labourers placed in other organisations of the same area.
4) Gosadans and Panjarapoles are being looked after by people who have no technical know-how or expertise or training exposure for upkeep of animals.
5) Due to low literacy among workers and lack of understanding about the imperative need to adopt modern technological practices among the members of the Executive Bodies in charge of Pinjarapoles innovative modern technology practices have not yet been adopted to improve the economic utility of the livestock.
6) By and large, the Gosadans do not have any permanent pasturelands. As the village charagahas are under unauthorised occupations, the cattle do not have any access to those also. Generally dry fodder is managed through donations, which is totally insufficient.
7) Over-all picture of these institutions is still the same old one, not only in look but also in outlook. They have not adopted scientific methods as far as collection and processing of cow dung and urine are concerned. The dung is mostly dumped in heaps in the premises of gosadan. This is a major hygienic problem, particularly during rainy season affecting the health of both- cattle as well as workers.
8) Some Gosadans have started preparing Nadep Compost, Vermi Compost, Bio-pesticides and Bio-energy but their efforts lack scientific back-up, with the result that none of them have been able to create a market for their products.
9) There is a no proper veterinary cover for the cattle being reared in these institutions.
10) Except the provision of allotment of land, and that too is subject to availability, there is no other support from the State for initial establishment, development and maintenance of Gaushalas. Even the water and electricity are provided to these institutions on normal rates and no concession is permitted.
11) The only financial assistance given to Gaushalas is for maintenance of the cattle entrusted to them by police after rescue operations. But the amount is meagre, ranging from 3 to 10 rupees per cattle per day and only for a definite period.
12) There is no definite system or scheme in any state for providing relief to Gaushalas in terms of fodder supply, feed supply, shelter, veterinary assistance, grant-in-aid in the areas affected by natural calamities such as drought and floods.
13) In spite of the fact that the Gaushalas have traditionally been breeding centres and the sources of bulls, the Animal Husbandry Departments in most of States do not have any mechanism to provide training to Gaushala workers.
14) Disappearance of grazing lands, rising cost of fodder and ‘ no support’ attitude of the community and the State have made these institutions as ‘begging institutions’.
15) Gaushala-Pinjarapole authorities are not taking proper advantage of on-going State-sponsored Schemes under rural development, animal husbandry, waste-land, social forestry sectors for infrastructure development of the Gaushala-Pinjarapoles.
16) It is observed that the present level of Government assistance to Gaushalas-Pinjarapoles is totally inadequate. Since these institutions are serving a noble cause, steps should be taken to increase the financial assistance to these organisations.
20. Strengthening of Gaushalas – Recommendationsfor
1) The main drawbacks of Gaushalas are the paucity of funds, unskilled workers and traditional outlook. To make them self-sustaining units, they have to be motivated to make the best use of their so far under-utilized resources viz cow dung and cow urine.
2) At least one Gaushala in each District may be got developed into a ‘Krishi-Govigyan Anusandhan Kendra’ with demonstration units to show the making of Nadep Compost, Vermi-compost, bio-pesticides and bio-energy. It will function as a catalytic agent not only for other Gaushalas but also for individual farmers. Infrastructure and trained personnel for these Kendras should be arranged by Animal Husbandry and Agriculture Departments of the concerned State.
3) At Division Headquarters or for a cluster of Districts, there may be a Laboratory and Documentation Centre. The bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides prepared at ‘Krishi Go-Vigyan Anusandhan Kendras’ may be tested and documented in these laboratories with a view to add to their effectiveness in the crops and reduce input-cost.
4) As the ‘Krishi Go-Vigyan Anusandhan Kendras’ and Laboratories will be mainly for the benefit of rural areas, a suitable fraction of the Krishi Mandi Tax may be diverted to maintain them. In U.P. such an arrangement has been made.
5) The Gaushalas may get their workers trained at the ‘Krishi Go-vigyuan Anusandhan Kendras’.
6) The State Government concerned should provide water and electricity to Gaushalas and Pinjarapoles at concessional rates.
7) The Animal Husbandry Department of the State should ensure that complete veterinary cover is provided to Gaushalas and Pinjarapoles.
8) Livestock Extension is presently a part of Agriculture Extension. But livestock extension, which is primarily based on providing services and goods, needs to be treated differently from crop related extension activities, which are based on transfer of knowledge. While in crops, the assumption is transfer of knowledge from laboratory to the farmer through an extension medium, in animal sciences the knowledge transfer is the least, while the services (like treatment of sick animals, artificial insemination, deworming etc) made available are the main platform for action. A well-equipped and far-reaching extension service should be independently organised by the Animal Husbandry Department, as this would be highly beneficial for the Gaushalas, Gosadans and Pinjarapoles.
9) The Central and the State Governments should have some mechanism of providing financial assistance to Gaushalas and Pinjarapoles for developing necessary infrastructure. Funds for this purpose may be raised by way of cess on the export of leather and leather goods, which is to the tune of about Rs.17,000 crores per annum. Needless to mention, this earning is mainly from cattle but not even a minute fraction of it goes back for improvement of livestock so that quality skins and hides are produced.
10) Scheme of working capital loan may be introduced for Gaushalas, Gausadans and Pinjarapoles. Such provision will help these institutions to avoid always rushing to donors for further financial help. The State Government can create a venture capital fund for this purpose in collaboration with NABARD.
11) Introduction of Gaushala Credit Card (like Kisan Credit Card) may also help solve the problem of working capital. Under this scheme, Gaushalas will get credit against their future production of milk, bio-fertilizer, bio-pesticide and panchgavya medicine etc. and they will be free to purchase the inputs at a competitive price from their selected shops. The cards will be issued by the competent authority on the basis of production value of a particular Gaushala.
12) The State Government should come out with a margin money scheme on the lines of KVIC’s Margin Money Scheme where entrepreneurs are required to contribute only a sum equal to 5% or 10% of the cost of the Project from their own sources. Alternatively, a soft loan scheme can be introduced.
13) Contributions for running of Gaushalas such as Lag, Biti, Katauti and Dharmada etc. should be legalised and their collection be regulated for utilisation in the improvement of Gaushalas and Pinjarapoles.
14) Donations made to the registered Krishi Govigyan Anusandhan Kendras be made completely Tax free under section 35 AC of Income Tax.
15) For good working arrangement between Gaushalas-Pinjarapoles and the State Governments, a cell should be created in the Department of Animal Husbandry under a competent authority.
16) It is suggested that the State Government may consider organising annual meetings at State-level in which the persons-in-charge of all the Gaushalas-Pinjarapoles and concerned State Government functionaries dealing with RD, AH and other Departments meet to discuss problems of common interest and to take steps and other policy decisions for improvement and maintenance of Gaushalas-Pinjarapoles with possible assistance from State Sponsored Schemes. Through such meetings, the Gaushalas-Pinjarapoles can take definite advantage in furtherance of the development of these organisations.
17) As outlook of most of the persons engaged in the affairs of Gaushalas and Pinjarapoles is still very old and traditional, an intensive training programme is required to be undertaken so that they can understand the economic prospects of their own resources in the form of cow dung and cow urine.
21. Recommendation with regard to R& D and Awareness creation
1) It is now an accepted fact that the chemical fertilizers and pesticides not only have adverse effects on soil but also are harmful for human health. Even the agriculture scientists agree with the view that regular use of chemical fertilizers leads to a situation when land ultimately becomes unproductive and barren because of destruction of microbes. On the other hand, organic manure provides most of the plant nutrients. The microbes are encouraged. Texture of the soil improves. It becomes porous with more aeration. Humus elements increase at a faster rate. Resistance power of the soil to fight fungus, pests and insects etc. increases. This all adds to the fertility of the soil. In this background, it is high time that the Indian Council of Agricultural Research concentrates on research on cow-dung and cow-urine as the basic components of bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides. It is the forum where proper research can be conducted for improvement in effectiveness and cost factor of bio-fertilizers and pesticides as compared to chemical ones. The findings can be percolated down to the universities, colleges and schools. Awareness can be created amongst the masses through All India Radio, Door Darshan and other media of mass communication.
2) Keeping in view the times ahead, the Animal Science Education must be the major focus in the school level curriculum. ICAR should take up this matter with concerned organisations, such as Central Board of Secondary Education and NCERT and emphasize the importance of introducing this subject from grade VI to XII of our formal education system. Likewise, the Board of Secondary Education working in different States can introduce the subject in their own syllabi.
3) Agriculture Universities and Veterinary Colleges should have separate units on organic farming with specific reference to potentials of cow-progeny. This can also be made as part of syllabus at the undergraduate level.
4) Veterinary colleges should start vocational training courses varying from one to two years on a regular basis to train technicians, who can work in Krishi Go-vigyan Anusandhan Kendras, Gaushalas, Gosadans and Pinjarapoles.
5) The Universities should have proper linkage with ‘Krishi Go-vigyan Anusandhan Kendras’ and Divisional Laboratories located in their jurisdiction. Experiments relating to applicability of bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides should be got conducted in the extension wings of universities.
6) As the Panch-gavya, particularly cow-urine has many medicinal properties, the Ayurvedic Universities and Colleges should conduct research thereon. Otherwise also, this is covered in the scope of Ayurveda. Such research will provide guidance to many Gaushalas and ‘Krishi Go-vigyan Anusandhan Kendras’ where work has already been started in this direction.
7) Utmost attention should be paid to the documentation of the findings of various researches relating to cow science. Done in written, audio and video formats, such documentation will provide the base for proving its genuineness and recognition.
8) As also proposed by the Working Group on Animal Husbandry and Dairying for the 10th Five Year Plan, development of marketing network and remunerative price support to the producers will be a great incentive for higher animal productivity both in quality and quantity. Creation of a permanent institution in the line of Commission on Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) should be initiated, which will estimate the cost of production of various livestock products and suggest remunerative prices, so that farmers are not exploited.
Feed & Fodder for Cattle
22. The importance of feed and fodder for cattle rearing hardly needs to be emphasized. in its Mid-Term Appraisal of the Ninth Five Year Plan, the Planning Commission observed that ‘Attention is needed for cultivations of fodder crops and fodder trees to improve animal nutrition. The area under permanent pasture and grazing land has been estimated at 11.06 million ha. However, actual availability appears to be much less. An integrated approach for regeneration of the grazing lands need to be evolved’.
23. Right from ancient times, a ‘charagah’ or ‘Gochar bhumi’ was an essential part of the land management. Sufficient land was invariably kept reserved, in which the village cattle could graze and move around. Even today, vast areas of land exist under the head of ‘Gochar bhumi’, though large parts of it are under unauthorized occupation. Disappearance of Charagah lands as been the major cause of making cattle-rearing a burdensome activity. The situation compels the farmers to drive out their cattle, which ultimately are pushed towards the slaughter-houses.
24. What caused squeezing or disappearance of grazing lands from the village landscape? Analysis of this reveals, in fact, the history of the changing land-use pattern during the last five decades. It informs us as to how the crop-culture, increasing irrigation, temptation for commercial crops, intensive agriculture, export value of products (like oilseeds and oilcakes) and expansion of human settlements and infrastructure thereon resulted increasing the pressure on land, at the cost of pastures and grazing lands. Traditionally the ‘ gochar-bhumi’ used to be in the close vicinity of villages. With the growing of villages, the ‘Charagah lands’ started thinning. Unauthorized occupation has been the most serious menace, which affected the traditional animal grazing practice in the worst possible manner. Land reforms and Land Ceiling Acts affected pasture lands in various States from time to time, and under the pressure of demand for land, these laws could not help much in resisting the continuous decrease of pasturelands. As compared to growing cattle population, shrinking of grazing land during the last four decades is evident from the data for classified land-use in the period 1951 to 1992.
Cattle Population 1951 to 1992
1951 1956 1961 1966 1972 1977 1982 1987 1992
1.Cattle 155.30 158.70 175.60 176.20 178.20 180.00 192.45 199.69 204.58
2. Cow* 54040 47.30 51.00 51.80 53.40 54.60 59.21 62.07 64.34
* Adult Female Cattle
Growth Pattern of Cattle population 1951-1992
1951-56 1956-61 1961-66 1966-72 1972-77 1977-82 1982-87 1987-92
Cattle 0.43 2.04 0.07 0.24 0.19 1.35 0.74 0.48
Cow -2.76 1.52 0.31 0.61 0.45 1.63 0.95 0.73
Extract: Land use classification - A
Year Area under non-agriculture use Barren and unculturable land Permanent pastures and grazing land Culturable waste land Total cropped area Total gross irrigated area Fodder crop Jowar
1 22 3 4 5 6 7
1950-51 9357 38160 6675 22943 131893 22583 15554
1960-61 14840 35911 13966 19212 152772 27980 18426
1970-71 16478 28161 13261 17500 165791 38195 16871
1980-81 19656 19962 11974 16744 172630 49775 16812
1990-91 21087 19389 11404 14995 185742 63204 14158
1992-93 21771 19122 11095 14588 185609 66762 13222
Source: Indian Agricultural Statistics 1992-93
Extract: Land use classification - B
Year Fodder crop Bajra Other millets Foodgrain wheat Total pulses Total foodgrain crops Total condiments and spices Total fruits and vegetables
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
1950-51 9744 5576 10010 20554 101196 1244 2249
1960-61 11470 4997 12931 23665 115564 1569 2649
1970-71 13391 4962 18293 23126 124910 1864 3683
1980-81 11658 4033 22225 22708 127608 2065 4924
1990-91 10735 2372 24046 24884 127948 2325 6692
1992-93 10856 2017 24641 23561 125207 2721 7013
Source: Indian Agricultural Statistics 1992-93
25. In the year 1951, the total number of cattle in the country was 155.30 million, which rose to 204.58 million in 1992, registering a growth of 32.2%. The rate of growth was highest during the period 1956-6, when it marked 2.04%. Out of the total number added to the cattle population during the last four decades, the number of cows (adult female cattle) was about 10 million. As compared to growth in cattle population, the sources of feed and fodder and pasture lands have decreased. Jowar, Bajra and other millets have traditionally been the main sources of straw (Kadbi) used as dry fodder for cattle. Areas for all types of fodder crops have decreased during the period 1950-51 to 1992-93. Jawar was grown on 15,554,000 hectares of land in 1950-51 while its area in 1992-93 was 13,222,00 ha. Land used for the crop Bajra, which was 11.4 million ha in 1960-61 and 13.39 ha in 1970-71, came down to 10.8 million ha in 1992-93. In the case of other millet crops, the area got reduced to less than half i.e. from 5.5 million ha in 1950-51 to 2.0 million ha in 1992-93. The same trend is visible in the case of permanent pastures and grazing land, which measured 13.9 million ha in 1960-61 but the area decreased to 11.09 million ha in 1992-93. This is as per the records and the actual pastureland available on the ground may be far less. Likewise, culturable wastelands, which are sometimes used for livestock, have also shrunken, as illustrated by the figures.
26. On the other hand, areas devoted to food-grains (wheat), pulses, fruits and vegetables, and for non-agricultural uses, have increased. The fastest growth is visible in the case of area under non-agricultural use, which rose from 9.3 million ha to 21.7 million ha. Greater part of grazing land has been grabbed by it only, as the land put under non-agricultural use is, in most of the cases, adjoining the human settlements.
27. Total cropped area has gone up by 50%, while gross irrigated areas has registered a marked growth of about 300% during the last four decades. In 1950-51, the total cropped area of the country was 131.8 million ha which rose to 188.15 million ha in 1994-95. In the same duration, the total gross irrigated area increased from 22.5 million ha to 70.64 million ha. Likewise, the area for wheat has gone up by about 250% i.e. 10 million ha in 1950-51 to 24.6 million ha in 1992-93. Changing crop pattern has also encouraged cash crops like fruits, vegetables and spices. Thus the area occupied by fruits and vegetable rose from 2.2 million ha in 1950-51 to 7 million ha in 1992-93. In case of condiments and spices, the crop area became more than double, from 1.2 million ha to 2.7 million ha in this duration. Growth has been registered in case of pulses also. Cropping intensity (obtained by dividing the gross) cropped area by the net area sown) has also increased from 111.07 million ha in 1950-51 to 131.70 million ha in 1994-95. Contrary to this growth, in areas under various crops, the fallow land has decreased from 28.12 million ha in 1950-51 to 23.30 million ha in 1994-95. This all is indicative of the fact that crop area and non-agriculture use of land have increased at the cost of pastures, grazing and fallow land.
28. It would be worthwhile to have a look at the State-wise number of cattle vis-a-vis the area under fodder crops and permanent pastures and other grazing lands, as given in the table given below.
Statewise number of cattle, Area under Fodder Crops, Pastures and Grazing lands
S.No. State/UTs Cattle population Fodder Crops Pasture and grazing land
(1992) (1994-95) (1994-95)
01. Andhra Pradesh 10946 156 763
02. Assam 10118 12 163
03. Bihar 22154 16 116
04. Goa 98 - 1
05. Gujarat 6804 1239 848
06. Haryana 2136 568 27
07. Himachal Pradesh 2165 1 1198
08. Jammu & Kashmir 3055 41 126
09. Karnataka 13173 71 1048
10. Kerela 3524 2 1
11. Madhya Pradesh 28688 789 2695
12. Maharashtra 17446 1138 1359
13. Manipur 719 - 1
14. Mizoram 59 - 4
15. Orrisa 13841 - 635
16. Punjab 2909 780 9
17. Rajasthan 11699 2909 1751
18. Sikkim 198 (a) 69
19. Tamil Nadu 9278 184 124
20. Uttar Pradesh 25635 1011 301
21. West Bengal 17453 3 6
22. A&N Islands 50 (a) 5
23. Chandigarh 5 2 –
24. Dadra & N.Haveli 49 2 1
25. Daman & Diu 8 - (a)
26. Delhi 41 1 (a)
27. Lakshadweep 2 (a) -
28. Pondicherry 90 (a) (a)
All India 204584 8925 11235
(a) Below 500 hectares
29. The table reflects that the States having large number of Cattle have either good fodder crops or sizable permanent pasture and grazing land. Only Assam, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal are exceptions to this. Except Assam, all these States are heavily populated and as a result, agriculture becomes more and more intensive day by day and, simultaneously, the grazing lands are brought under the plough. It is not a mere coincidence that the States having more area under fodder crops such as Rajasthan, U.P., M.P., Gujarat, Haryana and Maharashtra have also been very active in the Gaushala movement. However, the status position of grazing lands in most of the States is very discouraging. During the public hearings and meetings with government officials held in different States, it was revealed that, out of the total and area of the State, the grazing land was only 3% in Maharashtra, 4.2% in Karnataka, 4.9% in Rajasthan, 0.9% in Tamil Nadu, 0.1% in Punjab, 3.2% in Uttaranchal, 4% in Madhya Pradesh and only 0.09% in West Bengal..
Carrying Capacity and Potentials
30. It has been argued in more than one forum that the present size of Cattle population is beyond the carrying capacity of the country. Rearing of dry cows or old and infirm oxen will tend to affect the good and useful cattle, as the feed and fodder is inadequate to take care of the total number. Reports of the “Cattle Preservation and Development Committee” (Datar Singh Committee), “Expert Committee on the Prevention of Slaughter of Cattle in India” (P.N. Nanda Committee), Special Committee on Preserving High-Yielding Cattle” (Shriman Narayan Committee) and all other reports on this issue have highlighted this point. The judgement of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India dated 23.4.1958 in the case Mohd. Hanif Quareshi and others Vs the State of Bihar and others, also gave weightage to this viewpoint. In this background, first, it is desirable to analyze the existing capacity and potential of land to sustain the livestock.
31. As there is no exact mathematical correlation between the grazing areas or sources of fodder and consumption levels of various animals, and also as a complete, correct and up-to-date database is not available about production and consumption of feed and fodder for areas of different climatic and geographical conditions, it is difficult to calculate the exact carrying capacity. However, a fairly good picture can be arrived at after having taken into consideration the main sources of fodder, such as permanent pastures and grazing lands, land under various fodder crops, land under tree crops and groves and forest lands. It is estimated that 75% to 80% of the forest area is open to grazing. All these resources are able to meet the forage requirements of the grazing animals only during the monsoon season. But for the remaining periods of the year, the animals have to be maintained on the crop residues or straws of jowar, bajra, ragi, wheat, barly, etc. either in the form of whole straw or “bhusa”, supplemented with some green fodder, or as sole feed. The crop residues are available mainly from wheat, paddy, bajra, jowar, ragi, sugarcane trash, etc.
32. It is worth mentioning that, out of 329 million hectares total land mass of India, 142.82 million hectares or 46.8% is sown area. Percentage for other types of land use are as under:
Forests - 22.4%
Permanent pastures & grazing lands - 3.7%
Area under the tree crops and groves - 1.2%
Culturable waste - 4.7%
Fallow lands - 7.6%
Barren & Unculturable land - 6.2%
(Source: Land use classification 94-95)
33. The most crucial part of the analysis is to decide the fodder consumption levels of each category of livestock and the production level of each category of fodder-source. On the basis of fodder consumption, the forest department of Rajasthan, while preparing its action plan for the period 1996-2016, has done computation of livestock in terms of cow unit by adopting the following conversion factors.
S.No. Animal Cow Units
01. 1 Camel 4
02. 1 Buffalo 2
03. 1 Horse/Pony/Donkey/Mule 1
04. 1 Sheep/Goat 0.25
34. On this scale, the total livestock population can be converted into cow units as under :
Livestock Number as per Converted into
1992 census cow units
(1000 nos.) (1000 nos.)
Cattle 204,584 204,584
Buffaloes 84,206 164,412
Sheep 50, 783 12, 695
Goat 115, 279 28, 819
Horses & Ponies 817 817
Mules 193 193
Donkey 967 967
Camels 1,031 4,124
Total 470,860 416,611
35. Thus the country is required to feed 416 million cow units, taking caring of her total livestock population. Assuming an average daily consumption of 5 kg per cow unit of dry fodder, it amounts to 1825 kg or say 1.8 tons total fodder utilisation per cow unit per annum. On an average, the ratio between the green fodder produced from forest and its dried form is 3:1. In other words, 12 tons of forest green fodder amounts to 4 tons of dry fodder. The Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI) Jodhpur, has estimated that the production varies from 2.5 tonnes to over 10 tonnes per ha of green fodder under different production systems. In well-managed pastures, the production of over 20 tonnes of green fodder has been achieved. However, considering the fact that most of the forest areas are badly degraded, the conservative estimation of average withdrawal of fodder biomass from forest areas, excluding core areas of PAN, is about 4 tonnes per ha. It may be noted that these estimates of Cazri are specifically for the forests of Arid Zone. In other parts of the country it may be more, ranging in between 4 to 5 tonnes per annum. However, with a very conservative estimate, the carrying capacity of pasture lands can be taken as 2 cow units per ha. In scanty open grasslands, within the forests, it may be approximately one cow unit per ha.
36. The main production-bulk of the fodder crops such as Jowar, Bajara, maize, chari, Ragi etc. is constituted by the fodder, generally 6-7 times more than the grain, in terms of weight. In case of food-grains such as wheat, barley etc., it is lighter, weighing to 2.5 to 3 times of the grain. Of course, both the categories of cropped area provide fodder to cattle. In fact, in non-monsoon months these are the main sources of fodder. Taking all averages into consideration, the carrying capacity of the land under fodder crops may be taken, even with a conservative estimate, to 3 cow units per ha, while for the lands under wheat, barley etc. it would be 1 cow unit per ha. In the light of these parameters, the existing carrying capacity can be calculated as under:
Cattle Carrying Capacity - All India
A- Existing Capacity
Landuse classification Total land Carrying Capacity Number of cow units
(Million Ha) (Cow unit/per ha) sustained
i) Permanent pastures and 11.24 2 22.48
grazing lands (1994-5)
ii) Land under tree crops 3.6 1 3.60
and groves (1994-5)
iii) Land under fodder 26.08 3 78.24
crops such as Jowar,
Bajra, etc. (1992-3)
iv) Forest land suitable for 49.80 1 49.80
grazing (excluding 25%
v) Land under food grain 125.20 1/2 62.50
paddy etc. (1992-3)
37. As is revealed from the table, the existing fodder resources of the country can sustain 216.62 million out of the total 416 million cow-units. In other words, existing fodder resources can meet 51.92% of the total requirements to sustain its livestock population. Keeping in view that the animals such as horses, ponies, mules, donkies, camels, sheep and goats etc. subsist on different types of feed and fodder, if the aforesaid fodder resources are accounted for only to cattle i.e. cow progeny and buffaloes, this percentage will increase to 58.53%.
38. While calculating the carrying capacity, generally the areas providing fodder are taken into consideration. In other words, things are looked upon as they are, and not as they can be or ought to be. To be more specific, we are also supposed to take into consideration the fodder potential, which is yet to be explored. We have vast culturable waste-lands, which, with some efforts, can be developed into good pasturelands. Major part of the fallow land can be put under the plough for having fodder crops such as Jowar, Bajra and smaller millets. Likewise, the non-forest land covering more than two million hectares of land can be managed for developing grazing lands. The barren and unculturable land, which, apparently, is taken as totally useless, can also be looked upon. Suitable patches in such lands can be identified and developed with some interventions like application of cow dung for plantation of fodder trees. All these areas combined together, present a big potential for future fodder production, as is mentioned under:
B - Potential fodder areas for the future
Culturable wastelands (1994-95) 14.21
Fallowlands (1994-95) 23.30
Non-forest forest land (1997) 02.59
Barren and unculturable land (1994-95) 18.77
39. The combined area of all these categories of land is 58.87 million ha. Culturable wastelands and non-forest forest lands can be taken up and developed by the Panchayati Raj institutions in phases, as the District-plan programmes. With concentrated efforts of the Agriculture extension, major share of the fallowlands can be brought under the plough. With all these interventions carrying capacity can be added to sustain about 70 million more cow-units.
40. There are some more potential areas, which need to be developed. Throughout the country, vast tracts are lying unused in the command irrigation areas. Initially they were under crops but by and by the inundation process made them unfit for crops. These tracts can be used for grasses with some soil treatment. Likewise, land strips lying unused along all the National and State Highways and district roads can be used. If totalled, the area of such side strips would be millions of hectares. A system can be developed for setting these strips apart as pasture lands for neighbouring gram panchayats on suitable rents. One very big potential area lies in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan. Known as ‘Sevan Grass’ area, this can be developed into a ‘grass reservoir of India’, if managed properly. Spread over 22,16,527 hectares, this area can produce only sevan grass, thanks to the soil and climatic conditions of this area. (‘Sevan Grass’ area has been dealt with in detail under the heading ‘National Cattle Colony’). Forest beeds are yet other potential areas, which can be developed into good quality pasturelands. Besides, as mentioned earlier, shifting from crop culture to Animal Culture is the need of the day. Change of focus will redesign the cropping pattern, providing lots of additional land for fodder plantation. In a nut-shell, there are immense possibilities for increasing fodder production. What is required is to recognize the economic potential of cattle rearing. Once this is determined, the above cited potentials will automatically start getting harnessed.
Recommendations for Feed and Fodder Development
41. For development and conservation of feed and fodder, the following steps should be taken up at the level of concerned State Governments and the Central Government.
1) Development of feed and fodder through cultivation of fodder crops and fodder threes and regeneration of grazing lands are necessary not only to maintain the cattle population but also to provide basis for the economy of tomorrow. The economists are of the view that India, with its vast livestock and market demand for animal products, has a very bright future in livestock industry. As the Working Group on Animal Husbandry and Dairying for the Tenth Five Year Plan has also mentioned in its report, efforts should be made to change the mindset of agriculture scientists from crop culture to sustainable animal culture in rain-fed areas of the country, where livestock contribution to the family income can be more than 70%. In this connection, it is recommended that in the States of Rajasthan, parts of Harayana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, the emphasis should shift from crops to animal husbandry as a major livelihood option.
2) The State Governments should have time-bound drives to evacuate Charagah lands. Rules are there for evacuation of these lands. But the courts take such a long time that the purpose of the suit is defeated. By the time the case ripens, the occupant becomes eligible for regularisation under some other rule. With the result, Charagah lands are never recovered. Thus the State Governments should have time bound evacuation drives with the help of ‘on-the-spot fast-track courts’.
3) Regulations should be made to the effect that while alloting ‘sivay chak’ (govt. land), priority be given to the gaushalas. In command area some patches be kept reserved for gosadans and gaushalas.
4) There are grazing beeds within the forest areas. These beeds are permitted for grazing of local cattle on compensation basis. The procedure is too complicated. It is suggested that the concerned Gram Panchayats be involved in the allotment process of grazing beeds in forest areas. Also, the charges should be just nominal.
5) The forest authorities should develop these beeds into first rate grazing grounds with the addition of fodder grasses and fodder trees such as ‘khejri’, ‘Ber’, ‘Aru’ etc.
6) To create awareness among the villagers, ‘Charagah Conservation Committees’ be set up. Representatives from forest, revenue, agriculture and panchayat raj institutions should also be involved.
7) The wasteland should be converted into grazing lands by planting grasses and fodder trees. This should be the responsibility of Gram Panchayats. The State Governments should give rewards to such village panchayats.
8) There is a vast area of non-forest forests, measuring 2,596,655 hectares, in the country. This land can be utilised for developing good grazing lands. The State Forest Department can take it up as a time-bound project. State-wise non-forest areas within the forest are given at annex -7.
9) In some States, Land Ceiling Acts have been applied to lands belonging to Gaushalas. As these institutions are required to grow fodder and develop pasturelands, they need sizable land areas. Thus, Gaushalas should be exempted from the provisions of the Land Ceiling Acts in the States.
10) Fodder seed availability has been identified as a major constraint for fodder production in irrigated as well as rain-fed areas. Good quality seeds are not easily available. It is proposed that a scheme should be developed to produce fodder seeds of high quality and these should be made available at reasonable prices to the farmers.
11) The forest grasses should be harvested during the monsoon season and converted into hay and packaged, compressed and transported to user destinations. This would reduce the fodder deficit to a large extent. Problem soils and wastelands should be developed into fodder resource banks. This should be done on a war footing.
12) Crop residues should be converted into energetic feed and oil-meals into proteins, which are usable by animals. Report of the Working Group on Animal Husbandry and Dairying for the Tenth Five Year Plan, in this regard, mentions that the animal production in the Indian sub-continent can survive only if the Indian Scientists provide the mechanism for using plant cell-walls in the crop residues as a source of energy for animal feeding. It is a paradox that India produces 500 million tons of crop residues and this has not been converted into energy to feed 400 million livestock. An effort was made to create an institution for this specific purpose to use biotechnology in breaking ligno-cellulosic ring in the plant cell-wall to produce lignin and celllulose through a solid-state fermentation process. Oil cakes, which are an important source of protein, contain a large number of incriminating factors like toxins, anti-growth factors and many oxidants, which bind the protein and make it unavailable for the animals. Investment for the development of technology should be made, so that crop residues (mainly straw) and oil cakes could be used by animal efficiently. This should be the priority of Animal Science Research in the country. The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying should have a special R&D fund to encourage institutions (both in public and private sector) to undertake result-oriented and time-bound projects in these areas.
13) Inadequate information is available on what feed and fodder livestock (cattle, buffalo, goat, sheep, pigs and poultry) consume daily under various field conditions in villages, towns and metro cities in different regions. There is thus a need of a central sector scheme for establishing a database on various feed and fodder resources, feeding practices and consumption patterns in various agro-climatic zones and these data updated every two years. This also needs to be linked through input and output profiles of various animal products as cost-benefit studies.
14) A separate Feed and Fodder Development Authority should be established within the Department of Animal Husbandry with necessary technical manpower to undertake inter-agency coordination in fodder production, fodder seed production, conservation and transport.
15) For production and propagation of certified seeds of high yielding varieties of fodder crops and pasture grasses/legumes, the Government has established 7 Regional Stations at Mamidipally, Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh), Gandhi Nagar (Guajarat), Hissar (Haryana) Suratgarh (Rajasthan), Sahema (Jammu & Kashmir), Alamadhi (Tamil Nadu) and Kalyani (West Bengal). During 2000-01, these stations produced 191 tonnes of fodder seeds, against the target of 250 tonnes of seeds and organised 1680 field demonstrations, against the target of 1600 demonstrations. Looking at the size of the country and the extent of the cattle-based economy, the number of regional stations is far too less. It is recommended that such stations should be established at Divisional Headquarters in all the States.
16) Budgetary provision for assistance to states for feed and fodder development needs to be enhanced and fully utilised. The provision was meagre during the 9th plan period and even this meager amount was not fully utilised as per the allocation and expenditure figures given in the table below:
Assistance to States for Feed & Fodder Development (Rs. in crores)
9th Plan 1997-98 1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02
allocation B.E. Exp. B.E. Exp. B.E. Exp. B.E. Exp. B.E. Exp.
50.00 5.00 3.70 5.40 3.50 6.50 4.40 4.00 3.00 3.00 0.50
It is recommended that this amount be raised and states be asked to prepare realistic and result oriented projects for fodder development.
17) The State Governments, particularly those where cattle population is large, should develop a system of having fodder reserves, just on the pattern of food grain reserves of Food Corporation of India. Such reserves may be scattered all over the State.
18) It should be made mandatory for Gaushalas, having land, to grow fodder crops, fodder trees and grasses.
19) The States should develop and maintain pasture and fodder patches along water reservoirs, canals and rivers.
20) Panchayat Raj Institutions, such as Gram Panchayats and Panchayat Samitis, should be encouraged to prepare proposals for developing pasture lands. The district planning committees should take up these proposals on priority basis using united funds.
21) It is desirable to put a ban on the use of combine harvesting machines in their present form, as the wheat straw is completely crushed in this mechanised process. Alternatively, suitable modifications be done so as to secure straw.
22) Plant Tissue Culture is one of the branches of Plant Biotechnology that can be successfully used for various plant development activities. The development of fodder plants through the adoption of Tissue Culture techniques, should be encouraged, as this can considerably increase the desirable agronomic characteristics over the normal ones, without affecting the nutrient quality.
23) Fragmentary holdings should be consolidated as early as possible either by persuasion or legislation and suitable portions of ‘shamlate lands’ be reserved for pasture-grounds, where long grass under the supervision of the Village Panchayat is to be grown for cattle and cut by sickle. Use of Khurpas should be banned, since this implement erases the grass by the root.
Problem of Stray Cattle
42. Ever increasing number of cattle in general and cow and its progeny in particular, roaming on the streets of towns and cities as stray cattle is a serious menace to the environment, transport system and general living of people. It is a serious threat and challenge to society, which needs no elaboration. It is a country-wide problem, spreading from rural areas to metropolitan cities. It is also the crucial issue, generally put forward whenever the question of total ban on cow slaughter arises. Time and again, it has been said that stray cattle are indication of the fact that these are unfit and their rearing is uneconomic. That is why the owners just push them out on the ultimate journey to the slaughter-house. Thus, first, it is desirable to examine whether these so called ‘useless’ cattle are really useless.
43. It has to be recognized that, in the general field of agriculture 70% of farmers are made up by small and marginal farmers, landless labourers and they have access to a total of 30% of the land in this country. By force of circumstances 67% of these people own livestock. The general pattern of this activity is that these livestock units are distributed in twos or threes, which are financially non-viable with their traditional ways. These are the persons who get rid of their cattle. The day these people come to understand the economic viability of their cattle - of even dry cows and old oxen - the problem of stray cattle will start vanishing. Let us have a glance at the cattle population of India.
Extracts : Livestock census-All India (1992) - Cattle
(Numbers in thousand)
Category Rural Urban Total Annual growth
A. Cattle (cross breed)
i) Under 1 year 1027 130 1157 6.89
ii) 1-2.5 years 798 81 879 5.71
iii) Over 2.5 years
a) used for breeding only 156 19 175 -15.86
b) used for work only 1981 119 2100 3.18
c) used both for work & breeding 230 26 256 10.56
d) used for neither 83 8 91 1.14
breeding nor work
Total cross breed male cattle 4275 383 4658 3.35
i) under 1 year 1869 289 2158 7.69
ii) under 1-2.5 years 1681 225 1906 6.97
iii) Over 2.5 years
a) in milk 3448 563 4011 6.86
b) dry 1578 203 1781 7.60
c) not yet calved 501 74 575 6.33
d) others 110 16 126 11.23
Total cross breed
female cattle 9187 1369 10557 7.19
Total cross breed cattle 13462 1753 15215 5.92
B. Cattle (Indigenous)
i) Under 1 year 10438 394 10832 0.58
ii) 1-3 years 13816 423 14239 -0.01
iii) Over 3 years
a) used for breeding only 9447 595 10042 -6.31
b) used for work only 51602 1283 52885 1.32
c) used both for work & 7768 222 7990 2.38
d) used for neither 906 44 950 -10.58
breeding nor work
Total male indigenous 93977 2961 96938 -0.01
i) under 1 year 14209 715 14924 0.70
ii) under 1-3 years 18852 787 19639 0.22
iii) Over 3 years
a) in milk 26145 1406 27551 0.45
b) dry 23590 860 24450 -0.47
c) not yet calved 4145 167 4312 -0.48
d) others 1507 48 1555 7.76
Total female indigenous 88448 3983 92431 0.25
Total indigenous cattle 182425 6944 189369 0.12
Total cattle 195887 8697 204584 0.48
44. It is revealed from the livestock census data that, out of the total cattle population, 189.3 million or say 92.7% cattle belong to indigenous breeds. Only 15.2 million (7.3%) cattle are of cross breeds. More than 96% i.e. 195.8 million cattle are in rural area as compared to 3.9% i.e. 8.6 million in urban areas. The main problem stems from the numbers of male cattle that are not used either for breeding or work and dry cows, together numbering about 25 million. Out of this number, 24 million or say 96% so-called ‘useless’ cattle are in the rural areas, while less than 1 million in urban areas. Thus the problem basically lies in the rural areas. It may be noted that the number of ‘useless’ indigenous male cattle is decreasing, the annual growth rate between 1987 and 1992 being of the order of -10.58%
45. It is truly unfortunate that the cow and its progeny, which used to be the backbone of agriculture and village economy, are of very limited use now. The cow is meant only for milk and the bullocks have been replaced by tractors. This has caused problems. The pattern of land holdings in India also has particular significance in relation to the use of animal power on the farm. Out of a total of 50 million holdings, nearly 75 percent are two hectares or less. With the small size of holdings, the use of even small tractors becomes uneconomic apart from other disadvantages of providing fuel and other maintenance needs of these tractors. With a cultivated area of about 135 million hectares, the distribution of 160 million draft animals (including male buffaloes) is quite thin and gives an average of about 0.6 horse-power per hectare. As the optimum requirement of energy for efficient agricultural operations over 1 hectare varies from 1 to 1.5 horse-power, draft cattle in India provide less than half the desirable energy and almost the entire available energy needs of agriculture. It is, therefore, obvious that Indian agriculture is deficient in total energy input and gets most of its energy input for farm operations from animal power and it would be a great folly to not develop this source of energy further. While draft animals are used mainly for agriculture operations they are also a useful source of energy for shallow irrigation through Persian wheels and other ways of lifting water from dug wells. In the present state of road linkages of villages to market places and with the consequences of higher oil imports the obvious means of transportation for men and material in large parts of the country still continues to be the animal driven cart.
46. Now, it is a well-recognised fact that regular use of chemical fertilizers leads to a situation when land ultimately becomes totally unproductive and barren. On the other hand, organic manures provide most of the minor nutrients of soil and add to its fertility. Successful experiments have been done in Vidarbh area of Maharashtra where about 2600 farmers have switched over to bio-fertilizers. Data collected has shown that the cost of organic manure was Rs. 300 to 400 per acre as against Rs. 2000/- per acre on chemical fertilizers. The crop was also better, qualitatively and quantitatively. A survey had been got conducted by Akhil Bhartiya Krishi Goseva Sangh, Vardha. The respondents were mainly small and marginal farmers who made the best use of cow dung and cow urine in their fields, in place of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Thus bio-fertlizers (Farm Yard Manure, Nadep, Vermi-compost prepared from cow dung), bio-pesticides (cow urine and its preparations), bio-energy (Methane gas from Bio-gas plants), Panch-gavya medicines and use of oxen as draught animals, can prove rearing of even so called ‘useless’ cattle as economically viable. (Calculations and analysis of this concept dealt with in detail under the heading ‘Bio-products of Cattle- organic manure and cow urine medicines’, gas, electricity.)
Recommendations - Strategies for dealing with stray and ‘so-called’ useless or dry cattle
47. In this background, the strategies to tackle the problem of Stray Cattle have to be implemented at all levels and as a combined effort of various agencies. The following strategies are recommended for the purpose.
A. Establishment of Village gosadans
48. Village Gosadans should be established in the manner proposed below:
1) Each village should have one Gosadan to take care of the stray cattle of the area. Also the seasonal left-outs can be accommodated therein.
2) The Gosadan has to be managed by the village community, with full involvement of the Village Panchayat. A ‘Gosadan Committee’ can be constituted in the meeting of Gram Sabha comprising persons from all walks of life. Technical persons such as from agriculture and veterinary side should invariably be co-opted on this committee. The State governments are required to make provisions regarding constitution of ‘Gosadan Committees’ in their respective Panchayati Raj Acts.
3) 100 acres of land or as per availability, be attached to the Gosadan. Gram Panchayat can do it as in most of the States, grazing lands (gochar bhumi) are within their jurisdiction. This land can serve not only as the grazing ground but also as the source of green and dry fodder to some extent.
4) The problem of unauthorised occupations on the ‘Charagah’ or Gochar lands can be taken care of by ‘fast track courts.’
5) In the villages where ‘charagah’ land is not sufficient, the wastelands can be converted for development of grass and fodder trees. Waste lands could be converted into fertile lands by various convergent natural nutrients prepared by ‘gobar-gomutra- chhach, Amritpani’ etc.
6) While arrangement of such land should be the responsibility of the revenue agencies, maintenance part may be entrusted to the Village Panchayat. Some sort of mechanism should be developed for linking the maintenance of Charagah land with the grants-in-aid given to a particular Gram Panchayat.
7) As the Gosadan will take care of the stray cattle, which otherwise could have caused damages to the standing crops of the village farmers, it should be mandatory for every farmer to donate one trolley of fodder and one bag of cereals to the Gosadan at the crop harvesting time. Of course, it can be in proportion to the agricultural land area possessed by the village farmers. Such an experiment is being tried successfully in Bazzuwala village of Sriganganagar district of Rajasthan in a voluntary way.
8) The Go-sadan, so established, can be developed into breeding centre of good local indigenous breeds. It can also develop good breed bulls, meant for service of the whole village.
9) To augment its resources, the go-sadan can prepare bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides, which can be sold to local farmers at very concessional rates. Thus, there would not be any problem of marketing for the products of Gosadan.
10) Go-sadan can have a bio-gas plant of a suitable size to take care of its energy requirements for fuel, light and water pumping. Agencies like K.V.I.C., DRDAS and Non-Conventional Energy Development agencies can assist these Go-sadans in establishing Bio-gas plants.
11) No cash subsidy should be given to these Go-sadans. Instead H.R.D. training and provision of infrastructure should be there. In fact, it should be an independent enterprise. Let the village own it after having a considered view on the importance of the Gosadan in their village economy.
12) ‘Organisation of Gosadans’ be added to the list of 29 subjects for District Plan in the 11th Schedule at the end of 73rd Amendment Act.
13) In the proposals prepared at Gram Panchayat and Block level, plans for organisation of Gosadans included in the district plans, should be taken up on priority.
14) Public contributions and donations from individuals and organisations will be the main source of funding for organisations of Gosadans. As it would be an important institution for rural development, funds may be earmarked for establishment of gosadans in the M.P. and M.L.A. quotas also.
49. The proposed Village Gosadans will be different from the Gosadans proposed by Sardar Datar Singh Committee in many ways, as mentioned under:
Comparison of ‘Gosadan’ Concepts of
Datar Singh Committee (1947) National Commission on Cattle (2002)
(i) Big size organisation involving 4000 (i) A small village level institution having stray
acres of land and 2000 cattle cattle of only gram panchayat area, and land of 100 acres or as per availability
(ii) A Government-run institution (ii) An institution run by Community participation
(iii) Involved only expenditure (iii) Also income by way of bio-gas, bio- fertilizers, bio-pesticides, panch-gavya medicines, breed improvement, bull service and also milk.
(iv) Totally based on governmental (iv) Community funding in form of fodder and feed,
funding no cash subsidy, governmental assistance in form of infrastructure and H.R.D.
(v) Functioning in isolation (v) Linkages with ‘Krishi Go-vigyan Anusandhan Kendras, research organisations, agriculture and veterinary extension units.
(vi) 50 years back there was no (vi) Organic farming is call of the day, lot of awareness of scientific use of cow dung research is being done on cowdung and cow urine
and cow urine, no thought for exploring to make them basis for economic viability of so new avenues. called ‘useless’ cattle.
vii) ‘Gosadan’ then was a sectoral function vii) Establishment of Gosadan, now, will be part of allotted to a particular department the District Plan.
Datar Singh Committee (1947) National Commission on Cattle (2002)
i) (i) Big size organisation involving 4000
acres of land and 2000 cattle A small village level institution having stray cattle of only gram panchayat area, and land of 100 acres or as per availability
ii) A Government-run institution An institution run by Community participation
Involved only expenditure
Also income by way of bio-gas, bio- fertilizers, bio-pesticides, panch-gavya medicines, breed improvement, bull service and also milk.
Totally based on governmental funding
(iv) Community funding in form of fodder and feed,no cash subsidy, governmental assistance in form of infrastructure and H.R.D.
Functioning in isolation
Linkages with ‘Krishi Go-vigyan Anusandhan Kendras, research organisations, agriculture and veterinary extension units.
50 years back there was no and cow urine, no thought for exploring avenues
Organic farming is call of the day, lot of awareness of scientific use of cow dung research is being done on cowdung and cow urine to make them basis for economic viability of so new avenues. called ‘useless’ cattle.
‘Gosadan’ then was a sectoral function
Establishment of Gosadan, now, will be part of allotted to a particular department the District Plan.
In the light of above facts, the Commission is confident that the proposed ‘Village Gosadans’ will have very many more chances of succeeding than did the Gosadans envisaged by the Datar Singh Committee.
B. Establishment of Cow Sanctuaries
50. It is proposed that Cow Sanctuaries be established in each of the States, as per details below:
1) In every State there are big patches of land lying unused and unoccupied. Such lands can be developed into Cow Sanctuaries. All the stray cattle of the adjoining cities and towns may be accommodated therein. Thus, if Gosadans will take care of stray cattle in rural areas, Cow Sanctuaries will help cities in getting rid of the ever-increasing problem of stray cattle.
2) Preferably, the land for a Cow Sanctuary should be earmarked in semi-forest or culturable waste lands which, with some efforts, can easily be developed into grazing land. Plantation of fodder-trees of different varieties suited to the topography and climatic conditions of the area will also be required. The State Forest Department can act as the nodal agency for developing vegetative cover in the Cow Sanctuary area.
3) The State Government may set apart land for the purpose and provide it to the managing agency on lease basis.
4) Transportation of stray cattle from towns / cities to the Cow Sanctuaries will be the responsibility of the concerned local body such as Municipal Corporation, Council and Nagar Palika etc.
5) Average size of a Cow Sanctuary may be around 500 hectares. Out of it 350 to 400 hectares of land be earmarked for natural and fodder grasses. Veterinary unit, a few cowsheds, living quarters for care takers, Bio-gas plant(s) and Bio-Fertilizer-pesticide units may be arranged in the Sanctuary.
6) The land earmarked for Cow Sanctuaries will require to be fenced by barbed wire to ensure that the cows live and graze in the earmarked territory and are secure from wild animals.
7) Adequate arrangements will require to be made in the earmarked area for drinking water and the fodder. In the initial phase of the project, cows may require to be fed by transporting fodder from outside.
8) Management of Cow Sanctuary may be entrusted with some non-government organisation of repute having experience in Cow culture and organic farming. The governmental aid should restrict itself to infrastructure and HRD. Of course, veterinary facilities and technical assistance for scientific use of cow dung, cow urine and carcass from the concerned governmental agencies must be ensured.
9) Maintenance of Cow Sanctuary may prove burdensome in the first few years. Later on, availability of grazing grasses and trees will start providing fodder. Bio-Fertilizers, Bio-pesticides and Bio-energy produced from cow dung and cow urine will also be source of income. Till such time, donations from individuals and organisations, along with grants-in-aid from the organisations like Animal Welfare Board of India may prove valuable helping hands.
C. Establishment of Cattle Colonies
51. Some of the Cow Sanctuaries should be selected for developing as Cattle Colonies as per details given below:
1) Out of the Cow Sanctuaries to be established as suggested above, the suitable ones can be used for developing Cattle Colonies. Cattle Colonies would be the areas with sufficient natural and fodder grasses where milk-cows can be kept.
2) On an average, a ranch of 500 hectares may be sufficient to sustain 250 milch cows and 50 ‘Gopalak’ families.
3) In addition to milk production, economic viability of these colonies can be ensured through proper use of dung and urine etc.
4) Energy from Bio-gas plant(s), Cottage industries based on Cow products (dung-urine) and Panchagavya will augment the income of Gopalaks of the Cattle Colony.
5) They may also be developed as Breeding Centres for local indigenous breeds, which would provide bulls to farmers in the adjoining areas for breeding puroposes.
6) Cattle Colonies may be linked primarily with Dairy Development agencies along with other rural development organisations of the State.
7) Management of these Cattle Colonies be done by co-operative societies with maximum participation of ‘Gopalaks’.
D. Establishment of National Cattle Colony in Jaisalmer area
52. In view of the special qualities and climatic conditions of the Jaisalmer area in Rajasthan, it is proposed that this area be developed as a National Cattle Colony.
1) Jaisalmer, the largest District of Rajasthan, covers 38,401 sq. Km. area and lies on the Indian part of Thar desert. The topography of this district is heterogeneous e.g. barren rocky area, shifting sand-dunes, sandy plains, saline flats, alluvial flats, dead streams and hills. As a result of the agro-climatic conditions, agriculture is low-key (10-15%) in Jaisalmer. Grazing-based animal husbandry has been the predominant occupation in major part of the District.
2) Geologically, major part of the District is hard pan area. Because of hard rocks just beneath the mantle of sandy layer, the area is unable to absorb water. That is the reason why the area has been able to sustain thick natural grass constantly in spite of scanty rainfall.
3) The natural grass cover of Jaisalmer District is typified by Lasiurus Sindicus (Sewan) and Panicum turgidum (Murat) grass species. Out of the total grass production, Sewan grass alone contributes more than 80 percent. This grass species is the basis of life in this desert region and there is no other comparable grass species in the deserts of the world. It is a perennial, tufted, highly drought-resistant variety, with high quality of palatable forage. The species is endemic to north region of India and confined to Barmer, Jaisalmer and Bikaner, but maximum area is covered in Jaisalmer district. It has strong roots, which can sustain continuous drought of 6-7 years and more. It has a very compact and vigorous root system and a single plant occupies more than 10m3, with very high moisture-uptake efficiency. With onset of rains, it turns lush green and sets seed within 45 days, the stage at which it has the highest nutritional value. The crude protein contents at this stage remains around 14 percent and even at dried stage it remains between 6-8 percent.
4) Sewan is completely adopted to the local eco-system. The Tharparkar, Sindhi and Rathi breed varieties of cow prefer Sewan to any other grass. The species is drought-resistant for 7 years, and requires minimum water for maximum growth, which means cost-effective irrigation. The storage life of processed grass is at least 10 years.
5) It has been concluded at many forums, through studies undertaken in the area, that the hardpan area is not suitable for irrigation. If the area is irrigated by Canal for development of agriculture, it will get inundated and spoiled. That is the reason why agriculture in Indira Gandhi Canal command area has not been a success story in Jaisalmer district.
6) Keeping all such factors in view the Central Govt. may consider to develop a ‘National Cattle Colony’ in the Sevan grass area of Jaisalmer district. Good indigenous breeds of cattle like Tharparkar may be kept there.
7) It will be a National Project with all R&D facilities concentrating on development of good indigenous breeds, rich fodder grass, bio-fertilizers, bio-pesticides, bio-energy and various small industries based on panchagavya and other cow milk products.
8) With a view to implement the project successfully, the whole area can be subdivided into smaller units. According to the revenue records, a big stretch of 22,16,527 hectares of land is lying as wasteland. A sizable part of this wasteland is covered by the Sewan grass as a natural vegetation. It can be developed in other parts also. The District Administration reported that it has been successfully experimented at 47 sites during the last 15 years under the pasture development programme. List of these sites is placed at annexure VIII. Thus, even if half of the wasteland, say 10,00,000 hectares of land is put under the project, it will change the face of the District’s economy. The ‘Golden Grass Yojana’ experimented jointly by the State Animal Husbandry department and the DRDA Jaisalmer in Mohangarh area and a similar scheme carried out by the Regional Centre of CAZRI (Central Arid Zone Research Institute) suggest economic viability of such a project in the light of income from milk, sale of bulls, products of cow dung, cow-urine and Bio-gas etc.
9) One unit of 1000 hectares may sustain 500 adult cows and 100 families. 80% of the land should be devoted to cultivation of Sewan grass, while remaining 20% be used for the purpose of green fodder, cowsheds, living houses, orchards and growth of medicinal plants etc. The local experience informs that the Khejri, a local drought-resistant fodder tree, and Sewan grass have very good combination. Khejri, in fact, adds to the fertility of the soil. Thus, thousands of Khejri trees have to be planted in the pastureland. Water supply for sprinklers can be arranged through tube-wells dug for the purpose or from the Indira Gandhi Canal. If managed properly, the per-hectare output of Sewan grass, with 4-5 cuttings in a year, may be 10 to 12 tons. Likewise, one fully-grown Khejri tree may provide 50 kg. dry fodder in a year.
10) The project ‘ National Cattle Colony’ may be taken up in phases with the ultimate goal of 1000 units, each unit of 1000 hectares. Thus, it would be a huge colony giving shelter to 5 lakh adult cows and 1 lakh Gopalak families.
11) The Cattle Colony will be managed by participating farmers, lease holder individuals, organisations, industrial units, co-operative societies, NGO’s, sectoral departments and any other agency, genuinely interested in the pasture development and cow rearing.
12) When fully developed, this National Cattle Colony would meet a major part of the milk requirements of the western India. It will be a unique example of environment-friendly cattle-based and self-contained villages with potential employment opportunities.
Eco-Friendly Cow based Village Development Scheme: A blue print
49. Sincere efforts are being made for organic revolution in different sectors but there is so much compartmentalization that the target group i.e. villagers stand confused and directionless. It is, thus, the need of the day to create proper awareness amongst the village community in regard to an integrated approach for ‘Eco-friendly Cow based Village Development Scheme’, which takes care of all concerns viz. organic farming, water management, Bio-energy, village industry, animal welfare, vegetative cover, freedom from pollution and social & cultural enlightenment of the village. Water Management, crops, fodder, Bio-energy, village industry or social enlightenment of the village may look different in vernacular but in reality they are the segments of the one and the same ‘whole’. In a nutshell, it is a pragmatic approach for not only sustainable development of the village or rural poor but also a blueprint for protection of cow and its progeny. It is a practical way for re-establishing the role of cow and its progeny in the rural economy. The scheme envisages the creation of a model village, which will act as a catalytic agent in the area. In the first phase, a few villages can be taken up in every Region / State. An outline of the Blueprint for this Scheme is given at Annex VI (1).
An Outline of the Blueprint for the ‘Eco-Friendly Cow Based Village Development Scheme’
1. Basic Objectives:
i) To promote Eco-friendly organic farming
ii) To create employment opportunities using local resources
iii) To encourage village artisans, promote cottage industries and develop their backward & forward linkages.
iv) To create awareness among the village community for a pollution free environment.
Sustainable development of the village; its rejuvenation in regard to self-employment and self sufficiency.
3. Identification of village :
ii) Goshala’s Co-ordination
iii) Affirmation of Gram Panchayat
iv) Enthusiasm of village community
4. Awareness creation
i) Goshala functionaries
ii) Sectoral extension at the village level
iii) Village community
iv) N.G.O.’s and other concerned agencies
5. Activity Focus
i) Water management
ii) Organic farming
iii) Self employment opportunities (village industries)
iv) Vegetative cover and pollution
v) Social & cultural enlightment
i) Water Management
• Proper assessment of requirement and availability of drinking water
• Maximum and best possible use of water in agriculture and allied activities
• Raising underground water level
• Conserve surface water run-off during monsoons
• Revival of traditional systems for storage of rain-water
• Arrest underground water declines through artificial recharge
• Observation and intensive study of behavioural patterns of natural flow of rain-water
• Deepening of village ponds for additional storage capacity.
• Construction of cement-plugs and check-dams
• Pucca water channels or P.V.C. pipes for irrigating the fields
• In the areas with higher gradient lining of fields with walls across the slope to check the flow of water and soil-erosion
• Artificial recharge through:
(a) Percolation tanks
(c) Rooftop rainwater harvesting through injection wells
ii) Organic Farming
• Popularise and assist eco-friendly organic farming
• Minimise the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides
• Create awareness among the villagers in regard to role and importance of cow progeny in the village economy
• Undertake action research projects in the field of organic manures and pesticides.
• Training and demonstration on the adverse effects of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and advantages of organic farming along with manufacturing of Bio-manures and pesticides.
To popularise organic farming, interventions have to be taken up at two levels:
(a) At Family Level
• Each family to have cow, bullock, calf etc. In other words, each family to have its own Goshala.
• Cluster of 3 - 4 families to have:
One common Biogas Plant
Nadep compost pits (Number as per availability of cow-dung and their requirement)
Vermi Compost pits (as per requirement)
Arrangement to prepare pesticides using the urine of their cows.
• Such arrangement will take care of:
i) Milk, Curd, ‘Chhachh’, ghee etc.
ii) Cooking gas and light for all the member families
iii) Organic manure and pesticides for their fields
iv) Draughts animals for their fields and transport
v) Occupation/Employment for the unemployed or less-employed persons of the member families.
(b) At Village Level:
• Each village to have one Gosadan accomodating all stray and surplus cows (during non lactation period) of the community.
• Gosadan to function as a breeding centre to develop goods breeds of cows and bullocks suiting to local conditions
• Gosadan will have arrangements for manufacturing:
i) Nadep compost
ii) Vermi Compost
iii) Organic pesticides
• Goshala products will be sold for compensating labour of the landless persons who are put on the Job as an employment.
iii) Self-Employment Opportunities
• Developing cottage/village industries to create additional employment opportunities for the village youth.
• Identification of the natural resources available within the village and adjoining areas providing input (raw materials etc.) for the prospective village industries such as Ago-based, forest based, mineral based, Chemical based, Non-conventional energy based or the Service industries involving traditional village craftsmanship. Cow-dung and cow urine be taken up as the raw material for organic manure and pesticide village industry.
• Identification of unemployed persons within the village community, who are capable of running the aforesaid industries.
• Assessment of requirement and availability of power resource(s) to run these village industries.
• Assignment of the industries to person(s), keeping in view their capability and capacity to take up partial financial burden. (Free gifts do not germinate involvement).
• Arranging financial assistance from the concerned Governmental or Non-governmental agencies.
• Organise training for various vocations.
• Develop a system of monitoring and review at the level of Village Dev. Committee.
iv) Vegetative Cover and Pollution
• Maximum Vegetative cover
• Minimum pollution
• Discouraging wooden fuel for domestic purpose
• Effective prohibition on tree cutting
• Safeguarding the village charagah
• Outlet of domestic water to be used for plantation along the village streets
• Motivating farmers to grow trees on their fields
• Social forestry on waste lands by the community
• Creation of awareness regarding the necessity of charagah for the village economy.
v) Social and Cultural Enlightment
• Education, human-values, sense of citizenship, health, gender, folk culture.
• Elementry education for all
• Special emphasis on women empowerment
• Provision of sanitation and health facilities
• Arranging community/street lights
• Linkage of the village with other places through the means of transport and communication.
• Reviving the traditional village cultural forums such as sat-sang, kirtan, folk music, folk
• art etc.
• Encouraging traditional village games
• Starting primary/upper primary school, Jan-shikshan Nilayam with the assistance of concerned governmental agency.
• Extension of medical facilities to the village through health worker, ANM, dispensary etc.
• If conditions are favourable, the village Gosadan can also develop its own cow-therapy wing using Panch-gavya medicines.
• Non-conventional energy units for street-lights to be set up with the assistance of concerned agency.
• Submitting proposals for road and telephone linkage to the concerned department.
• Starting yearly cultural activities to motivate local participation and encourage folk music, dance, art and village games.
6. Pre requisites
As it has to be a micro-plan based integrated development scheme, the following prerequisites are desirable.
1) Organisation of a village development committee
2) Village survey & data collection (Formats at annexure-1 and 2)
3) Analysis of existing development programmes
4) Co-ordination with other governmental and non-governmental agencies involved in the development process
7. Plan Formulation
On the basis of data gathered through surveys and village records, village plan will be formulated having special emphasis on the following.
1) Plan cost : Intervention wise
2) Funding source(s)
3) Fund flow
4) Implementing agency
5) Time frame
6) Monitoring and review