Cow-based farming will lead to conservation of water, soil and life. Not only this, comparatively this method would require only 10 per cent of the irrigation water used in traditional farming.
Rearing a cow will open the way for cultivation on 30 acres of land and at zero cost. The principles of zero budget farming have proven it.
Zero budget farming is a boon for farmers as well as cattle rearers. This method would not just help farmers in enhancing their crop yield, but will also ensure that the cattle rearers would get a good price for the cow dung manure.
The cow waste can be utilized for agricultural inputs, such as fertilizers and pesticides.
Made from cow dung, Vermicompost, ‘Jeevamrit’, ‘Beejamrut’, ‘Ghanjivamrit’ and ‘Panchagavya’ can be used for farming. Unlike chemical-based insecticides or pesticides, they do not have any harmful effect on the soil or humans.
Dr Sanjay Kumar Dwivedi, an expert in zero budget farming, says that the farmer cultivating with this method does not need any agricultural investment. Even the water and electricity requirements come down by 90 per cent in this method and thus the cost of cultivation becomes minimal. Also the lesser power consumption means less pollution.
Agriculture expert Girish Pandey also says that there are many benefits in adopting cow-based farming.
“Cows will not be slaughtered. The demand for cow-based products will not only strengthen the financial condition of the farmers and the cattle owners, but the cow shelters will also become self-reliant.”
The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has promoted it a lot. Not only is it encouraging organic farming, it has also emphasised on cow based farming.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath can often be seen discussing this cow-based or zero budget farming.
Veterinarian and farmer Saroj Kant Mishra says that it is a different matter that this effort of Yogi Adityanath has been seen more from a religious and political point of view, but it is of great benefit for the farmers.
Farmer Chandrabhan Singh says, “We are gradually shifting towards zero budget farming. However, till now no training has been received. Despite this, more use of organic has been started. We have started witnessing the advantages of doing cow rearing and farming together.”
“We are also encouraging other farmers to do cow based farming. We have been told that the government has got the demonstration of cow based farming done in four agricultural universities and 20 Krishi Vigyan Kendras in the state. We look forward to seeing and doing it too,” he adds.
According to Padma Shri Subhash Palekar, zero budget natural farming is based on indigenous cow dung and cow urine. A farmer can cultivate 30 acres of land with products made from the dung and urine of a ‘desi’ cow. After doing cow based farming with cow dung of indigenous species, the nutrients in the soil increase over time. Also there is an expansion of biological activities in the soil.
Former zonal manager of UP Livestock Development Board B.K. Singh says that methane gas obtained from cow dung in a year is equivalent to 235 liters of petrol. Considering the cattle population in the country, the methane obtained from the dung is enough to become an alternative to petrol-CNG after meeting the consumption of LPG.
With this, the best organic fertilizer will also be available as a by-product. This will further resolve the problem of disposal of recyclable waste generated from animal excreta, he adds.