Innovative products made using cow-dung elevate rural economy in Chhattisgarh

Express News Service

RAIPUR: The unutilised disposable cow-dung procured by the state from livestock owners and villagers has opened up the scope of employment, generation of trade activities and the potential to boost the rural economy.

Under the scheme ‘Gaudhan Nyay Yojana’ launched last year, the Bhupesh Baghel government is buying cow-dung at Rs 2 per kg.

The utility of the cattle dung besides producing massive vermi-compost manures has now been much diversified, creating varieties of useful products.

Ahead of Deepawali festival, hundreds of women-run Self-Help Groups (SHGs) have got orders to supply lakhs of eco-friendly diva (earthen lamps) besides some other utility products made out of cow-dung to different cities of the country.

The products include colourful Diwali diyas of different sizes, idols of Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi, mobile & candle stand, name-plates, sleepers, key-chains, flower-pots, firewoods, incensed sticks, herbal Gulal for Holi festival among others. The process to make paints, pen, cement and bricks using the cow-dung has already begun. 

Diwali diyas, slipper, idols prepared from cattle-dung.

The varied products are being prepared at Gauthan (cattle shed premises), that the state government intends to develop as Rural Industrial Parks in different districts.

Besides the three different types of vermi-compost, now various innovative products are being made through value addition on cowdung. Recently, the project on power generation from cow dung was inaugurated by the CM in various Gauthan units.

Around 5 per cent of the available dung are being used for making innovative products presently and the remaining are returned to soil as organic manures (vermi-compost).

“The novel initiative on buying cow-dung and covering it into vermicompost and other useful products in Chhattisgarh has helped revitalise rural economy, especially the women SHGs that secured an income of Rs 46 crore from the unique scheme. The move has emerged as a good source of livelihood in villages,” said Kamalpreet Singh, Agriculture production commissioner.

“All different quality products which are being prepared in Gauthan would be standardised and the efforts will be put for sale on e-commerce market and online shopping. To begin, these would be available with single branch name at Chhattisgarh C-Mart stores (selling Chhattisgarhi products under one roof),” revealed Bhartidasan S, state nodal officer of ‘Garuva-Narva-Ghuruva-Badi’.

In Chhattisgarh, out of the 7202 Gauthans, there are nearly 2000 where a group of women are seen engaged in multi-activities. Some are preparing a thick malleable blend of dung with added natural binding mixture of powdered herbs, tamarind etc, while another group mould the dung into different shapes and colours of diyas.