Cow Dung : India’s Most Valuable Item

Both cattle meat and milk are totally irrelevant to India’s economy – in fact they are both responsible for the destruction of huge amounts of water and the filthifying of India’s rivers. They have never brought any wealth to the common man… The only reason why the cow is the mother of the nation is because of her dung and her urine – not because of her milk and her meat. The basis of our progress depends on the optimal use of our resources, an important resource base being bovine dung…


india-most-valuable-itemIf I had to state the most valuable item in India , it would be dung. For many years India had been a dung economy. Unfortunately now , we have “modern” agriculture and Finance Ministers who make fun of it and believe that the only use a cow has is to provide meat or milk. Such ignorance is destroying India’quality of life very quickly. Both cattle meat and milk are totally irrelevant to India’s economy – in fact they are both responsible for the destruction of huge amounts of water and the filthifying of India’s rivers. They have never brought any wealth to the common man. All the leather meat and milk factories are either owned by NRIs or people who are already wealthy, taken huge bank loans and live exceedingly well hundreds of miles away from where labour is exploited in their factories. Many of them are criminals, breaking all the protection laws with impunity, passing off mixed milk as pure, cow meat as buffalo meat, and buying their way out with bribes to politicians, husbandry inspectors and the police.
How valuable is dung ? If, for many years your grains and vegetables were cheap, it is because of dung. If other products like sugar were cheap it is because all the transport costs were negligible since it came on the backs of cattle. If the hospital didn’t have so many cases of cancer and liver/kidney diseases, it was because of dung. If your water was relatively safer to drink, it was because of dung. If the poor had cooler, renewable, cleaner housing, it was because of dung. If you had much denser forests, and so the climate was regular with clearly defined seasons instead of this bizarre weather, it was because of dung. If you did not have such a high import bill of petroleum, it was because of dung. If the rural poor do not demand gas and kerosene it is because they cook on cowdung.
The only reason why the cow is the mother of the nation is because of her dung and her urine – not because of her milk and her meat. The basis of our progress depends on the optimal use of our resources, an important resource base being bovine dung.

Dung can be the root of a well thought out economy. By killing a non milking female, a calf or an old male by saying that they are useless is killing India’s economy. It is the answer to the shortage of food, electricity, fuel, nutrition, forests, employment, rising prices, unemployment. Instead of looking for far featched solutions in making dams and importing oil, why not look for our prosperity within India. The sustainable use of natural renewable agricultural resources must be facilitated by the synergistic relationship between humans, animals, crops and land.

What are the different ways in which cowdung is or can be used?

  •  The most important would be to use dung as biogas for electricity and cooking. This is a cheap and non polluting fuel for the masses.
  •  Cheap and readily available fertiliser so that chemicals do not poison the grains and nutritional food grains can be produced and made available at reasonable rates. The soil will retain its fertility. Chemical fertilisers make the soil thirsty so more water is needed and more electricity is needed to pump this water. With dung the soil does not need more water.
  •  Hard cakes of dung mixed with mud make excellent bricks contributing to cheap rural housing which is now very scarce. Floor coating – used mixed with mud and water on floors in mud houses. Improves water absorption of mud. Prevents muddy puddles resulting from spilt water. the traditional Indian village system of wiping the floor daily with a mixture of water and fresh cow dung assures that flies will not settle there. A good “cement” is made by mixing dung with water and mixing with dirt. The salt in the dung keeps the moisture in the “cement ” from drying out as easily and the “Cement” feels cool and almost damp and lowers the temp in a well insulated house by ten or twelve degrees.
  •  Providing employment to millions of people in the collection , distribution of dung.
  •  Dung ash is used for religious rites. This is very important as, if Indian culture/ancient knowledge/traditional technologies is to be preserved , it always passes through religious rites from one generation to another.
  •  As food for fish in aquaculture.
  •  Heat source – cow dung is naturally hot -compost makes hotter. You can put in a glass house or run pipes through it to get hot water.
  •  As a purifier – cowdung has natural antiseptic qualities/
  •  Smoke producer – smoldering cow patties keep away mosquitoes.
  •  As from patties used in cooking is a rural utensil cleaner, absorbing oil and fat
  •  Seed protector- covering seeds in dung before planting helps to protect against pests.
  •  Disposable camphor lamps.
  •  Any number of medicinal uses from toothpowder to athletes foot.

Cattle could provide approx 100 million tonnes of dry dung a year costing Rs 5000 crores which saves 50 million tonnes of firewood which again means that many trees are saved and more environmental damage prevented. It was calculated some time ago that if these 73 million animals were to be replaced, we would need 7.3 million tractors at the cost of 2.5 lac each which would amount to an investment of 180,000 crores. In addition 2 crore, 37 lakh and 50 thousand tonnes of diesel which would mean another 57,000 crore rupees.
Dung can be the root of a well thought out economy. By killing a non milking female, a calf or an old male by saying that they are useless is killingIndia’s economy. It is the answer to the shortage of food, electricity, fuel, nutrition, forests, employment, rising prices, unemployment. Instead of looking for far featched solutions in making dams and importing oil, why not look for our prosperity within India. The sustainable use of natural renewable agricultural resources must be facilitated by the synergistic relationship between humans, animals, crops and land.
The Indian farmer can grow the best and cheapest food grains in the world with the help of dung manure, providing stability to the Indian economy. The unbridled slaughter of cattle resulting in disruption of availability of cattle dung, forcing farmers to use costly and harmful chemical fertilisers, pushing up the prices of food grains and ultimately affecting the entire economy by tying it to inflationary pressures. By cutting down the availability of bullocks and forcing the use of tractors, the once independent Indian farmer has now become dependent on fertiliser plants, railways and money lenders or banks.

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