Furthering his 'goraksha' (cow protection) agenda, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has advocated the use of ‘gomutra’ (cow urine) as pesticide and manure for organic farming in the state.
Reviewing the progress of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana here last evening, he asked for holding district wise farmers’ conclave to creating awareness regarding the use of organic manures and pesticides and benefits of organic farming.
Cow protection has been among the top priorities of Adityanath and the state government has even proposed to set up a ‘goshala’ (cow shelter) in each of the 75 districts to shelter stray cattle. Earlier, Adityanath had also said cow milk products should be branded to spur its demand and thus amplify the goraksha agenda with people’s support.
Last year, National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog had asked Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to study if cow urine could be used to promote organic farming. ICAR was asked to explore the possibility of converting cow urine into amino acid for using as bio fertiliser to boost farm productivity.
In 2016, Sikkim had become India’s first fully organic state with the use of cow urine and dung for farming. Organic cultivation is free from chemical pesticides and fertilisers, which preserves natural resources and maintains ecological balance.
According to estimates, India clocks nearly 1.24 million tonnes (MT) of organic farm produce, of which almost 80,000 million is accounted for by Sikkim alone. Nine other states viz. Karnataka, Mizoram, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujarat have organic farming policy, while Kerala is also targeting to become 100% organic farming state.
Meanwhile, Adityanath has asked the insurance companies servicing the Fasal Bima Yojana to open offices at the district level also and provide toll free number to farmers for grievance redressal. He asked the agricultural department to encourage farmers to seek crop insurance and creating wide publicity on the ground.
Under the scheme, the farmers are provided insurance cover against loss to their kharif and rabi crops due to natural calamities, pests, diseases etc. Those farmers who take crop loans are compulsorily covered under the scheme. Seasonal horticultural crops including fruits and vegetables are also covered under the comprehensive scheme.
The scheme covered 3.58 million and 2.56 million farmers under the kharif seasons 2016 and 2017 respectively. Similarly, 2.98 million and 2.80 million farmers were covered during 2016-17 and 2017-18 rabi seasons respectively. An evaluation committee was formed on March 12, 2018, which had recommended several steps to the Centre accordingly.
India’s chemical pesticide market is pegged at almost Rs 180 billion and growing by 8-10%. With its pesticide market estimated at Rs 15 billion, UP is a laggard in the use of pesticide with Punjab, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh figuring at the top, leading agro chemicals company UPL business head Ujjwal Kumar said here.